Shawn’s biggest request for his 29th birthday was to spend lots of time with his family. We celebrated on a Sunday [he would be out of town for a conference on his actual birthday…more on that later!], so after church and naps we did just that. After some shopping and general family fun, we hit up a local park we hadn’t yet explored. I meant to take more photos, but got too caught up in enjoying the sweet moments. Here are my loves enjoying some quality time together:
After the park we had a delicious dinner at Pei Wei [Shawn’s choice], and headed home for some presents and apple crisp [again, Shawn’s choice]. Pretty decent birthday, right?
Yeah, except then I went and knocked it out of the park.
Shawn’s been watching a PBS show for yeeeaaars titled, “Austin City Limits.” He’s always said how amazing it would be to attend one of the tapings, and jokingly mentioned a few months ago that since we lived in Texas attending a taping needed to be on our bucket list.
I filed away that little nugget of gold and started doing my research. As it happens, you can’t actually buy tickets to a taping of Austin City Limits. You have to enter a lottery, and winners are drawn at random. It also turns out that ACL would be doing a taping of The Civil Wars exactly one day after Shawn’s birthday.
Clearly, it was meant to be.
I stalked the ACL blog in the weeks leading up to the taping, and since Shawn decided to attend the leadership conference in Austin I ended up telling him my plan, too. So then he stalked the blog. Then he told the guys with whom he was going to the conference, and they stalked the blog as well. When the lottery for the show finally began, we all entered immediately.
Because of planning Shawn’s actual birthday celebration and then preparing for him to go out of town, the tickets and the taping completely slipped my mind.
Imagine my surprise when I opened my email on the 28th to see an email from ACL confirming that I was a winner of two stage level passes. I called Shawn and tried to be all cool and collected.
Me: “Hey, whatcha doing?”
Shawn: “Uh, just walking around downtown Ft. Worth. We’re waiting on our train. How about you?”
Me: “Oh nothing. I just got an email I thought you’d be interested to know about.”
Shawn: “Oh yeah?”
Me: “Yeah, no big deal. WE JUST HAVE TICKETS TO SEE THE CIVIL WARS!”
I may or may not have needed to change my urine-soaked pants immediately after – I was that excited.
Now, you may remember how little I enjoy concerts. It’s not that I don’t like them, per say. I’m just not sure of the value of spending $45 for concert tickets when [in my humble, non-musical opinion] you can just pop in a concert DVD, turn it up loud, and get the same effect.
Oh, except in my living room I can actually see the concert and nobody is spilling beer on me. But maybe that’s just a personal preference thing.
So my excitement for this concert was less because I have a long-held deep passion for The Civil Wars [I did not], but more because I knew just how much it would mean to Shawn. I knew that these simple tickets and this simple experience would convey something much more important to Shawn – that I care about him, that I care about what impassioned him, that I want to experience life with him…that I know him.
So there I was. The day before the concert, 3.5 hours away from Austin, with two little guys who are just a smidge too young to be home by themselves overnight. And by “just a smidge too young” of course I mean “twenty-three years too young.” With the current track they’re on, I wouldn’t trust even adult Bug and Bear to not tear up our entire house if left to their own devices too long.
So how did I pull it off?
Yeah, I think I’ll make you wait until tomorrow to find out. So you don’t hate me forever, enjoy the most poignant description of marriage ever written: