Thursday, January 21, 2010

LIVE... Finally!

*Disclaimer* My pregnancy and my blogging have not exactly gotten along. I used to love blogging. I would sit down to write and the words would just flow. It was so fun. These days I will sit down to write and nothing comes. I just get frustrated, give up and find something else to do. So blogging has taken a back seat for the moment. But this is a post that I need to write about. Yes, it is a month over due. I have sat down to write this post a couple of times, but I just can't find the words to describe what I experienced. So if my pregnant words don't do this justice, just know that Saturday, December 12 ranks up there as one of the best nights of my entire life!

Now on to the good stuff...

Growing up I remember our family room being filled with music. It was the only room in our home that had a CD and tape player. Yep, that is right tapes... remember those! We loved listening to Wilson Phillips, Milli Vanilli, Ace of Base, and I even remember a Michael Jackson song from the Free Willy movie soundtrack that we would rewind and listen to repeatedly! It was in the family room of that house on Natchez Trace Circle in Naperville, Illinois that I grew to love one particular man... Garth Brooks! We listened to his No Fences album and I fell in love while listening to The Thunder Rolls, Friends in Low Places and Unanswered Prayers.

And then one day and I cannot remember where or from whom I was told this, but I was told that Garth Brooks was even more incredible LIVE! And that was when the dream began. I could not wait to grow up so I could go to my very own Garth Brooks concert. But in 2001, at the age of 14, my dream was dealt a devastating blow: Garth Brooks announced his retirement. I thought that I would never get to see him perform in person.

By this time we had moved out of our house on Natchez Trace and had moved to another house on the other side of town. Tape players were almost non existent and almost every room in our house had some sort of CD player, plus portable CD players were on the rise. I was starting high school and I went to High School in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago. Chicago is not exactly known for its country music, nor was country very popular. So with all the peer pressure and the freedom of listening to my own music in any room in my house, plus knowing that my childhood dream was down the drain, Garth and I took a break. I do remember listening to him occasionally during my high school years, but only if I happened to be in the car with my mother.

It wasn't until college that Garth and I got back together. I will never forget that night my freshman year that my next door neighbor introduced me to a Kenny Chesney CD. I have been hooked on country music ever since. I also knew at that time that I needed to get reacquainted with my old friend Garth. That is exactly what I did. I made multiple mix CD's of all of Garth's songs. Those CD's were a life saver on numerous occasions. I remember a 28 hour road trip that my mother and I took. We were driving my car from Illinois to Idaho so I could have it with me at college. On about 97% of that trip we listened to Garth. I also remember a semester in college where I worked at KFC. It wasn't exactly my proudest or skinniest semester but Garth got me through it. As I would go to open the store every morning I would play Garth to get me pumped up for the greasy chicken filled day ahead.

Even with all of the good times that Garth and I were having there was always the depressing knowledge that I would never get to see him perform live. That was until last October. One day I received an email from my husband. It was titled "Garth Brooks" and when I opened it there were no words, just a link, this link Of course I clicked on it, and I could not believe my eyes! Garth Brooks was coming out of retirement!

By some magical amount of luck, we were able to secure tickets when they went on sale... it took several hours of being on hold along with 2 computers feverishly refreshing browser windows, and the ticketmaster elves let us through to purchase tickets for Garth's opening weekend.

So about a month ago, Aaron and I headed to Vegas for what will probably be our last out-of-state adventure before the baby comes. It was Saturday, December 12 and Aaron and I headed to the Wynn Encore Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip for the least-typical Vegas show that has ever existed. We walked into the very small theatre. It fit only 1500 people. On stage was just a bar stool and nothing else.

Then Garth walked out on to the stage. It was just him and his guitar. He was in jeans, a sweatshirt and a baseball cap. For the next two and a half hours we just hung out with Garth. He told stories from his childhood. He sang his favorite songs from singers like James Taylor, Billy Joel and George Straight. And then for an hour he took audience requests. Whatever we wanted to hear, he sang. There were songs that he admitted he never learned to play on the guitar, so he just sang. His voice was incredible. I got teary eyed during "To Make You Feel My Love." Aaron commented after the concert that I was glowing throughout the entire show. (Not the pregnancy glow either, I don't seem to have that) I really don't think that I stopped smiling once during the entire thing. I could have sat there for hours just listening to that man. He finished by bringing his wife on stage (Trisha Yearwood) for an amazing finale.

(This was the only picture that we got from the concert. They were super strict about not letting you take any photos. We almost got kicked out for this.)

Silly dream? Maybe. But it sure was exhilarating experiencing my childhood dream become reality. And Garth mentioned that this is just a warm-up for the second half of his career. So maybe this wont be the only time I get to see him live! In honor of this I have officially dubbed it Garth Brooks week on my blog. I have narrowed down my top 20 Garth songs. I still can't believe I narrowed it down that far. They will be playing all week. So if at anytime this week you feel the need for a little Garth in your life, just head on over to our blog!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Look at our Christmas

Christmas at our home...

Christmas morning at my parents home...