THE CIVIL WARS IN AUSTIN!

Ahem. You’ll have to pardon my capital letters. But… THE CIVIL WARS IN AUSTIN!

With a little over 24 hours notice, I set about making plans to drive the 3.5 hours and to find childcare for the boys. It took pretty much the entire 24 hours to get ready – especially prepping the house/supplies for someone to watch the boys overnight. I finally did it though, and set off on Wednesday afternoon.

I was very excited:

I was a little nervous about driving there and back in the same night, but it turns out this Mama really appreciated all that alone time. On my way there I called and chatted with several people with whom I don’t usually have the chance to talk interrupted, and I jammed out without having to pass anyone graham crackers, find out why someone’s whining, or change the music selection to the Disney storybook CD collection.

I loved it.

Even though I hit a little traffic once I actually got to Austin, Shawn and I still had time to grab our tickets and eat a lovely dinner before we could get into the venue. Downtown Austin is pretty stinkin’ beautiful, and it was pretty awesome to be eating our dinner on the outdoor patio in February:

Then we [very excitedly] waited in line for the doors to open:

Then naturally, we did more waiting. That was okay though, I was still REALLY excited:

As we were waiting for the show to begin, Shawn turned to me and whispered, “You’ll never guess who is standing right next to me.” I turned around and saw Ethan and Casey from TLC’s Quints by Surprise. Standing right next to Shawn the entire time. Shawn introduced himself and quickly told them that we consider their show part of our “how we moved to Texas” story. We were watching Quints by Surprise one evening in North Carolina when Shawn said, “Can you imagine…living in Texas in the heat of August with all those kids? Ugh.” Not but two minutes later, God started working in our hearts so that we would actually spend the very next summer in Texas.

Crazy.

I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the stage from the crowd’s perspective with the boom overhead:

This is Jeremy and Trevor – the two guys with whom Shawn attended the conference. That’s about as excited as Jeremy’s face gets, but they were actually really pumped for The Civil Wars, too:

I took this photo solely so you can see how close we were to the stage. There are all of four rows of people in front of us. I also would like to point something out. Do you see that guy on the right hand side of the stage? We were seriously SO close. And yet, from my 5″2 perspective I could barely see the top of his head. When I’m watching a concert DVD in my living room, I can see the entire stage and the entire artist. Just sayin’.

The concert itself was really amazing and totally worth it! It was literally two hours of just the two of them, an acoustic guitar, and an occasional piano thrown in. And yet it was mesmerizing. In contrast to John Paul White’s pretty stoic stage presence, Joy Williams is well…quirky on stage. She’s pretty much non stop moving, dancing, swaying, and basically acting out the lyrics. I think every man in the audience found themselves captivated by her movements and inexplicably falling in love with her for those two hours.

Talk about stage presence, huh?

Since the use of cameras during the performance is discouraged [and I’m nothing if not an avid rule-follower], this photo was taken after the concert – in front of the stage:

And for all my sound-nerd readers. I don’t know what that thing on the left does, but it looks like something sound-nerd people would be interested in:

Shawn and I spent a few moments together at a local coffee shop [and I got a triple shot of espresso in my drink, thankyouverymuch] before I had to hop back in the car and drive the 3.5 hours home. I may or may not have been so amped up on coffee that I made the drive in 2 hrs. 45 minutes, though.

I’m pretty excited to have been able to give Shawn one of his dream experiences for his birthday, and I have to say – it was not a bad way to spend my Leap Day. Even though I naturally thrive on predictability, lists, and a schedule, there’s part of me that came alive with all the last minute planning. It’s kind of fun to [every once in awhile] abandon the day’s to-dos and just do something crazy. Now if you’ll excuse me, my to-do list tells me I need to do some sewing today!

According to the info I received with my tickets, The Civil Wars episode of Austin City Limits should air sometime in the fall on PBS. If you end up catching it, just keep an eye out for the really tall guy and the short girl craning her neck standing next to reality TV stars.

Hello, life. Sometimes you’re so strange you just knock my socks off.

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