Wednesday, September 13, 2017

February with MercyMe & Micah Tyler

Well, it's been over a month since I've blogged and the next one on my list is from February!  Whoops.  It's a fun one, though, because we got to do a Texas tour with MercyMe and Micah Tyler.  What a memory for us (and my helpful mama).

If you remember, we had to cancel the Amarillo opening slot due to Trent's voice being nonexistent.  But then, we were able to join up for 10 shows!  Once we got the word, I called my mom and she worked with her schedule so she could come on the road with us.  What a blessing.  

In the past, Trent has been on several big tours.  I have not, so I was excited/curious/nervous about what all would happen.  Mostly, just hoping our kids would adapt to a different schedule. Our shows are usually early in the evening and we're back to the hotel before 9.  The upcoming nights would be late, the kids would be with my mom a lot, and Amelia would be taking more bottles.  Plus, Trent's voice wasn't 100%.  With all that weighing on us, I'm not sure we FULLY sat back and enjoyed the moment.  It was a first for this mama's heart.


First stop, GREENVILLE.  We dropped the kids and Grammie off at our relatives' house near Fort Worth.  She watched them there while we headed to the venue, which was an hour away.

This stretch of shows was the first time (EVER) I had to pump and worry about bottles and having enough milk for my mom while we were gone.  MY WORD.  New respect for working mamas or moms who only can pump.  SO hard, but we managed.  

Dressing room selfie is a real thing. 

Trent getting set up.

We only did 2 songs, which isn't enough to really WOW a crowd, but they did enjoy it and we sold some merch, so that's a win.  

After the show, we drove the hour back to the house, got a few hours sleep, then got on the road for...


Oliver likes to help Daddy with gas.  

No big deal, just parking our tour bus. πŸ˜‰

We've played in Midland a few times and thanks to our contacts there, we were able to find a nice home (with toys and plenty of room) to stay for the night.  People really are so generous.  It was great for my mom to hang back and have space for the kids to play and keep their schedule somewhat normal. 

The road manager (who Trent knew well prior to this tour) said we could do THREE songs for the remainder of the tour.  Yay!!  Going from 2 to 3 may not seem like a big deal, but it's huge.  You get into more of a rhythm.   

We ordered pizza for my mom and kids and had it delivered to the house.  We got to eat the yummy catering.  πŸ˜¬

It was another late night, but we met some sweet people at the merch table.  Also, it was here where Micah told Trent about oil of oregano for vocal troubles.  We found a health store before heading out the next morning so Trent could start that treatment.

Oh. My. Goodness.  That oil is no joke and Trent said it tasted what he could only assume motor oil would taste like.  It did, however, make his breath/our car/my purse smell like an Italian restaurant.  

Next stop...


We had a bigger dressing room here, so Grammie and the kids came and hung out and ate with us.  And Trent's parents came to the show which was fun!

Tired babies.  I swear, when we need to get up and get going, they sleep.  When we aren't in a rush, they wake.  What is that?!?  

Oh!  After the Lubbock show, we went to Whataburger (because TEXAS) and Dennis and his family bought our food!  They were at the show and had nothing but nice things to say.  People are so sweet.  

Micah Tyler doing his thing.  Seriously.  If you don't know his music, go buy it.  He is phenomenal.  And so kind.

Okay, back at it.  Next stop...


My personal favorite stop.  The theater was amazing.  The crowd was super into it.  We sold the most merch here.  (Granted, the venue took a cut - a normal thing - but still.)  A little tidbit, we got people to see us at the merch table by doing water bottle flips.  Hahaha! #noshame #comebuystuff #wehavekidstofeed

A mom and her two teenage girls came up to us at the table and shared how much they enjoyed us.  One daughter said, "I want a story like yours."  The mom shared that she was a single mom and loved our story and hoped her daughters would have that one day.  I started crying and hugged them.  

Then another group came up and a twenty-somthing gave me some jewelry that she made.  One of the bracelets read, "Enjoy the Journey."  I was moved.  El Paso stole our hearts.  

These guys.  The real deal.  There's a reason they've been doing this so well for so long.  They are kind and genuine and giving and we appreciate the opportunity to be with them. 

An El Paso view before heading to Salado.

We spent the week in Salado before the next run.  It was beautiful weather and nice to regroup with family time!

The next stop was...


Waaaay down in South Texas.  We decided to leave the kids with my mom in Salado and drive to San Benito by ourselves.  It meant a lot more pumping (and washing parts in the bathroom) but it was the right decision.  Had we not, the kids would've had to go to sleep at the venue, etc.  Nope.  That had disaster written all over it.

It was another great night with a fun crowd!

We drove back to Salado after the show and got there around 4:00 - 5:00 AM.  I honestly can't remember.  We were so tired and so glad to see these kids. 

We loaded up for the next place...


We made the nursery (that wasn't in use) our dressing room and that worked out so well.  Many thanks to the church staff for letting us do that.  My mom and kids ate with us there as well and FINALLY, my mom got to see Micah and MercyMe play a little before we took them back to the hotel.

Trying to keep her quiet before everyone woke...

Onto the last stop...


The Perot Theater was the stuff of dreams.  Old and lovely.  

Merch was outside and it was cold and rainy. 😳  Also, we're very serious all the time.   

We said our goodbyes and thank-yous and then got back to our hotel and snuck into bed.  DON'T WAKE THE BABIES.  

We said more goodbyes and took Grammie to the airport.  #sadface

My takeaways from this tour:

- WHAT A BLESSING.  We hadn't *yet* had this opportunity as a duo and we were (and are) so appreciative.

-  We couldn't have done it without my mom.  She took off work, bought hotel rooms, bought a plane ticket, and smiled the whole time.  

- It was really hard.  It was a different pace than we're used to, plus the whole pumping thing.  BUT still so fun.

- Trent's vocal issues were stressful and he was never 100%.  

- I got to meet the MercyMe guys and Trent got to reconnect with them.

- We got to meet (and listen to and enjoy) Micah Tyler.  Turns out, he was a Monk and Neagle fan!  #smallworld

Most importantly...

We gained new fans and were able to share a little bit of our story.  We gave and received some encouragement along the way and for that, we are thankful. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Snow, Shows, Falling Down the Stairs, and Barf

Well, hellllllooooooo.  This blog has been started for quite some time, and I'm finally finishing it.  January and February seem like a lifetime ago, but here we go.  

We spent a lot of time home in January.  That seems to be normal for us, recovering from the holidays.  We got to have some fun!

We had a snow day!

We didn't last long.  Because as warm as we were, our gloves weren't waterproof.

I found a crib spring bed frame thing (???).  My original plan was to spray paint it and use it on our merch table.  You know, hang CDs on it.  We did it a couple times, but it's just too cumbersome.  It now hangs in our room with pictures.

We took Oliver to one of those trampoline parks and I'm constantly amazed at how many parents are on their phones and not paying any attention.  Makes my blood boil.  And yes, I told a teenager to get out the toddler inflatable area.  Safety first! 😜

A little lunch before heading to Kentucky.

Meet The Super King.  Sometimes we push beds together to make more space for Oliver's bed.  (And more room for Amelia in our bed because it's probably going to happen.) It's fantastic and I highly recommend it.

We took a Thomas tent to put over the cot.  Never again.  Too distracting for the boy.

We led worship at Regeneration Church in Georgetown, KY.  And this was sound check.  Ha!

We had a concert that night as well, and I actually had to get up off stage, during the show, and chase Oliver and tell him to sit down.  Good times.  (He was fine, and wasn't bothering anyone but me, but still.)

More time at home before hitting the road in February!

We were told we could open for MercyMe at their Amarillo show, so packing up and leaving was a bit more exciting!  But here's the deal.  We felt under attack.  I don't throw words like that around for fun or to exaggerate.  We felt like Satan was targeting us because of the opportunity in Amarillo.

That morning we left:  Trent woke up with a cold and scratchy voice,  I was holding Amelia as we were heading to the car, and I slipped and fell down our deck stairs,  then after I got cleaned up, I slipped in the yard.  Amelia and Oliver were crying, I was crying, we felt targeted.  But, we got prayed up, and said, "Not today, Satan. Not today."

Our first stop on our run of shows was the Memphis area.  Hernando, MS to be exact.  We did a little living room show at our friends' house.  Oliver wanted my hair to be like Elsa's and this was as close as I could get.  

After Memphis was Van Buren, AR for a show with 43 Assembly of God.  We hadn't been there since Oliver was just shy of one, so it was good to see familiar faces and for old friends to meet Amelia.

We left Arkansas and stopped in Oklahoma to see Honey Lue and Grandad Larry.  Just for one night, but it was a sweet time.  The next morning, we made our way to Amarillo and we were so excited to get to open for MercyMe!  Trent felt ok about his voice...was trying not to talk and drinking throat coat and eating throat lozenges.  

I wish I could tell you we did amazingly well at the MM show.  I wish I could tell you Trent's voice was 100%.  That's not the case.  We got to the church and all set up.  Trent went to sing at sound check and it was just a bunch of squeaks.  It was heartbreaking to watch and not pretty to hear.  In all his years of doing this (15+) he's lost his voice TWICE.  And this was one of those times.

  We left the church and went to his mom's house to do a steam treatment as a last ditch effort and it was there where we learned Oliver was throwing up back at PawPaw and GiGi's house.  Can you say under attack?!?  We made the tough decision to cancel the show.  Trent talked to the guys and apologized.  They, of course, were understanding and said to come to any other show we wanted!  

We got home and snuggled our sick boy.  It felt right.  

Oliver felt better the next day and we went on a walk around the canyon.

This one makes my heart happy.

Due to Trent's vocal issues, we had to cancel Sunday AM worship at GenNext in Amarillo.  We kept the evening concert, but the voice was still not 100%.  It became more of a sing along worship night. And it was still sweet.  

Off to Louisiana!

Pre-Valentine's date night was much needed.  Our hosts watched the monitors and paid for our dinner.  Such a timely treat after a rough couple days!

My Valentines!!!

We did a Valentine's Dinner show at Life Tabernacle in Shreveport.  It was fun to do some love songs!

Trent's voice stayed pretty strong, although he had to be careful and not hit some big notes.  

The good news, though... we were invited to join the rest of the MercyMe/Micah Tyler Texas Takeover Tour!!!

What a blessing and I'll blog about that soon.  It made us think...was that why Satan was attacking us?  Had we not had to cancel Amarillo, would we have gotten the huge opportunity to join the rest of the tour?  The Lord took the bad and made it good.  As only He can do.  

Suck it, Satan.  πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

(I went for the fist instead of the middle finger because this is a clean space. πŸ˜‚)