Check it off the list….

Check it off the list….

One of my goals on my 30 Before 30 list was to save $1000 for something fun.
And I did it!
I saved actually $1123.  I took it to the bank today, and I’m going to use it for another fun thing on my list…Zumba convention!  Convention is in August, and I now have plenty of money to cover hotel, transportation, food, and Zumbawear!  Boom.
$1000 saved. 🙂

Hanson Day Weekend: Day 3

Hanson Day Weekend: Day 3

Sunday morning, we got up and headed down to a coffee shop for breakfast.  We actually noticed this coffee shop because the day before, we saw Taylor duck in for some coffee.  They had some SUPER yummy breakfast tacos.  Actually, while we were waiting, we saw their brother Mac and some fans we had run into before.

After breakfast, we just decided to go ahead and get in line for the concert.  There were probably 30 or so people ahead of us.  So we sat, read magazines, talked, ate snacks, and waited.  At 1, they let us in the venue.

We got GREAT seats.  Like third row center seats.

Poor Kristin got so excited (it was her first Hanson concert!) she could barely contain herself.

They were a little late starting (always on Hanson time!), but then they came out….and this happened.

All three on guitars.  What?

I about blew my lid.  You sometimes see Zac at the piano, but I’ve never seen him with a guitar. And I’m pretty certain I’ve only ever seen Taylor at the piano or bongos (or, praise the Lord, the harmonica). But all three on guitar.

They started out telling us they were actually going to play and record the new fan club EP!  They send out an exclusive EP each year with songs just for the fan club.  They had mics set up in the audience, and wanted us to be a part of it!  They played a great song (which Zac sang!) called On and On…and we got to sing “on and on” as an echo.  Loved it.

Then they did something incredible.  If you can tell from the picture, there are two drum sets on stage.  From the documentary, we knew that Taylor played drums on a song…so I didn’t think too much about it.  I thought they might play that song, and had  a drum set for Taylor AND Zac.  But no.  They BOTH sat down at drum sets.  Ike played bass, and they double drummed.  I think the song was Roller Coaster Love?  But y’all.  Amazing.  These guys are talented.  Sure, I love that they are cuties, but I REALLY love their music.  They are so creative.

They continued through the fan club EP, ending with a song called “The Sound of Light.”  LOVED it.

They took a short set break, and came back out and played songs from the new album.  Fired Up (which will be featured in some OKC Thunder vids!), Scream and Be Free (Taylor’s new favorite!), I’ve Got Soul (possibly one of my new faves!) Get the Girl Back, and a beautiful song called Already Home.

We danced and fell even more in love with these three boys.

They came back out and sat down answering some fan questions.  I LOVE that they are so personal with their fans.  An awesome moment happened too.  There was a funny question about monkeys, and Zac referenced bonobo monkeys.  Well, I had seen this video, and did the monkey climb move…and he saw me in the audience. He pointed to me and said “She has seen it!” ha!  Noticed by Hanson…I die.

After the Q&A, sadly, the concert was over.  We headed back to Arkansas.

I just feel so blessed after this weekend. It is crazy to think the first album came out in 1997.  I was 10.  Now I’m 25, and still in love with these boys and their music.  Not in the same way I was then.  Back then, I loved dancing around to “Where’s the Love” with my friends.  Now, I adore the deep lyrics and their ability to create something so original.  They still make my heart go pitter-patter, but like any “relationship” you are in for that long, it evolves into something much more.

A coworker said to me, “Good thing your favorite artist isn’t Justin Timberlake or something.  You’d never get to do all of this with him.”  And he is so right.  While I would love for everyone to LOVE Hanson the way I do, I’m thankful that they can make music and be personal enough with us.  Personal enough to let a thousand of us in their hometown to hang for the weekend.  It is awesome.

I am going to see them twice in the fall, and I can’t wait.  I can’t wait to hear this music live again.  I can’t wait to see Zac smile after a great song.  I can’t wait to dance next to some amazing friends and take in the moment.  I can’t wait to share in that again.  It is more than three cute guys.  It is more than just the music.  It is honestly the whole experience that I love.  And I’m so proud to be a Hanson fan.

Weekend Recap: Movie, Musical, and More!

I had a jam-packed, super fun, awesome weekend!  It all started Friday after work.  
(Exciting! I went to TWO places on my 30 Before 30 list this weekend!  Woohoo!) 
We took some dresses to the Prom Fair at our local high school to try and sell them on Saturday.  (sadly, the  turnout was poor and they sold very few dresses…and none of mine!).
After dropping off the dresses, mom and I headed back to town and we went to Movie Lounge! They were hosting a panel on the movie “West of Memphis.”  I’m really into the West Memphis 3 case, and they had three lawyers who worked on the case there to talk and answer questions.  VERY enlightening!

Author Mara Leveritt was also there.  She didn’t speak, but she was selling and signing her books “The Devil’s Knot.”  The book is about the WM3 case…and she was instrumental in the development and investigation of the case.
This was her signing my book.  But funny story….she addressed it to me, wrote “For exhoneration!” dated it…and then didn’t sign her name. There is a squiggly line under it all, so maybe that’s her signature.  Or maybe she doesn’t actually sign her name.  Or maybe (since I was the second in line) she just forgot.  I dunno.  Pretty funny that I have a signed book without a signature.

After the panel, we went into the theater for dinner and a movie.  We saw “West of Memphis” which was REALLY good. And the food….ohmygah. SO good.  It is really neat to sit in the comfy seats and pull the table around to you…and eat right there in the theater! 
I had a yummy greek salad, mom had a gyro, and Tyler had some AWESOME tomato crab soup with a grilled cheese (made with jalepeno cornbread for the bread!). We also shared some delicious crab hushpuppies. YUM!

On Saturday, mom and I went to NWA to shop.  We hit up Loft and got some goodies…had lunch at Chipotle, and then went to the Walton Arts Center to see “Memphis” the musical.  The cast was SO talented!  The show was great!  One of my favorites that I have seen.
We came back to Fort Smith after. Dad drove up from Hot Springs to spend the night…so all of us went to the Red Barn for dinner.  It is a really neat old place on the north side of town.  It is an old horse barn turned steakhouse.  You literally sit at a table in a horse stall.  This was us in our stall.  The waitress comes in and swings the stall door to get in and out.  We had some extremely delicious steaks and their AWESOME biscuits.  GREAT dinner.

Then we came home and mom helped me clean out my closet.  These are all the dead soldiers from the cleanout.  I got rid of things that were too big, too worn, stained, or just that I wouldn’t wear.  Very successful.

And dad napped on the couch! ha!

Sunday, we went to church and lunch…then mom and dad headed home.  Tyler and I headed to the gym.
And shocker of the century…TYLER CAME TO MY ZUMBA CLASS.  All these years, he would never Zumba with me (even when I was a Zumba student).  But he decided to come.  He did great and he really enjoyed it!  He said “I can see why y’all love it so much!” ha!  And I made his legs sore! 🙂  
When we got home, I went for a run…and came home to my favorite sight: Tyler sitting in the recliner reading his Bible.  I am SO thankful for him being the Word. (excuse the fuzzy pic…but I was trying to be covert).

We had dinner, watched a movie, and rested.  A GREAT weekend!  
How was your weekend? 

Weekend Recap: Christmas Lights and Christmas Party!

We had our 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Swap party this weekend, so we spent a good part of the weekend doing party prep. Friday night, I made breakfast pizza for dinner…and we cleaned and cooked.  It was great to get so much done!
Saturday, I met Brandy at the gym for some Cardio Dance Party in the morning, and then I helped Tyler at his shop.  I came home and took a GLORIOUS nap, and then woke up and finished party prepping.  Saturday evening, Tyler and I drove into town for our little town’s Christmas light drive through.  They line the park with some cute light displays! 
One of our favorite was the fishing Santa!
We also liked Santa and his reindeer!
Sunday, we had a GREAT time at church.  Lots of good conversations at Life Group, a GREAT sermon…but then right after church, we came home for our party!
For our cookie swap, I make lots of lunch foods and everyone brings cookies. I only took these three pictures.  I got so busy chatting and laughing that I never picked up the camera!
We had probably 20 or so friends…and about 15 kiddos…ranging from this sweet 3.5 week old Nora …to pre-teens.  It was SO fun.
My MIL got her baby fill!  She spent time holding and loving on every one!  She even took the bigger kids outside to play on the tractor and look at the pond!
We all just eat and talk and laugh.
The guys like to hole up in the dining room where they can have some more quiet conversation (when they aren’t taking turns watching their babies!).
But the real action is in the kitchen with all the food and goodies!  It made my heart so happy to have a home full of friends who we love so much.
It is hard to see with the backlighting…but there were like 15 people in our kitchen at this point! ha! I love a full bustling house!
When we moved here about 1.5 years ago, I just prayed to make some friends.  I knew Tyler knew lots of people (this is his hometown, after all), but I prayed for opportunities to be intentional about making friends. God was good and gave me lots of chances to make friends. And these people just welcomed me into their hearts and families.  Some are Tyler’s high school friends who quickly became MY friends too…some are friends from church…but either way, I am so blessed. 
The cutest time was when Tyler took his RC car outside and all the boys (big and small) went outside to watch. One of the little ones, Noah (age 4 or so) ran inside and yelled at his mom Kacee “You HAVE to see this!  It is so cool!” They were eating it up! 
Tyler is on the left driving the car…and then there are 5 little boys watching…plus a couple babies who were mesmerized…along with a few dads too! So fun!
The party prep was SO worth it.  I enjoy all the cooking, and the cleaning needs to be done anyway…so it is totally worth it to have a house full of blessings. 
I love all our friend’s babies. There were 4 new babies born this year….three who were in tummies last Christmas at the party! And there was one in a tummy today.  Our circle of friends is growing all the time and I couldn’t love it more! It is so fun to be a part of these babies’ lives as they grow.  So fun to play with them and love on them.  Life is so good. 
I feel like this party is what Christmas is about.  Loving one another and just being together.  There were no tacky sweaters, no gifts, no gimmicks…just food and fun and friends.  We are so blessed.
After the party, we got Mikey from my MIL’s (he doesn’t do great with crowds or kids, so he spent the afternoon over there) and then we came home and watched Gone with the Wind.  It was my first time watching it!  My mom has the VHS tapes, but we only watched it on days I was home sick (when else do you have 4 hours to watch a movie) so I would sleep through it….but we watched it all and I LOVED it.
I normally wouldn’t post a picture of the TV, but watching this movie was on my 30 Before 30 list…so I had to document it! ha!
I hope you had a good weekend, too!