Sunday, June 10, 2012

Brothers Of The Sun Tour

Last year I was driving home from work and heard on the radio that Kenny Chesney was getting ready to announce a summer tour and it was rumored that he would be in Dallas on June 6. That night I jokingly said to my mom and sister that it's rumored Kenny Chesney is coming to visit for my birthday next year so I think it only fitting that I take the day off to see him, since he's making the special trip and all. I was totally joking and didn't really think much more of it. When the tour dates were announced it was Tim McGraw AND Kenny Chesney and it was scheduled for June 9... Holy Cannoli that's awesome, but I have NO money to go. Much to my surprise my sister and brother in law got me 2 tickets for Christmas AWESOME. I put the tickets in a safe place without even looking at them (I didn't want to misplace them). Well 2 nights ago I took them out to see where the seats were and where we were supposed to park and that's where it all began, Club Level Seats Section 312 Heck Yeah, parking in Lot 10 VIP, Suites parking... Double Heck Yeah.

And so it begins, We got there at 2:15 (doors were at 3:30) and walked up to an already forming line of people. Being the "Disney" people that we are we noticed that there were 3 poles to line up at by our door and people were only lined up at 2 of them, OK you all want to wait in the Sun fine, so George and I started the 3rd line, Really people this isn't rocket science but thank you. We were the first ones in to our section and had AMAZING seats. The view was awesome, the seats were larger than typical stadium seating and leather. We had access to the clubs so there were several concessions locations just waiting for us. As we headed up to get some food this couple walking ahead of us stopped to take a photo and an usher asked if she could take it for them to which the gentleman replied "I use to work at Disney I am so used to being the one to take the picture"... I stopped and said "SO did we", well that turned into a conversation in "Small World"Land. He worked there at the same time George and I did and we have mutual acquaintances, of course we do!

The Brothers of the Sun Tour was AMAZING. It was almost 7 hours long, by far the longest concert (short of Livestock), I can not even begin to tell you that this concert was worth every penny (yes I know "I" didn't pay for it but). Jake Owen went on stage around 4:30pm and much to my surprise, I knew who he was. LOL The name didn't ring a bell but I definitely knew his songs. He put on a really good show and had one SUPER hot guitarist :-) He was fun, playing with the crowd, signing autographs, and taking peoples cameras laying on the floor in front of them and taking pictures with them. The set changes were amazingly quick with Grace Potter taking over around 5:45pm. I must admit I didn't really like Grace Potter, for her style music she put on a great show... just not my style. Then it was time for TIM... Oh Tim, I love Tim McGraw! I have such a special place in my life for Tim McGraw. Kenny Chesney says Music brings people together and there is always certain songs that bring back memories... Well Tim McGraw has a lot of them for me, the most significant being "When The Stars Go Blue" (which he did not sing), as that was the song that was on in the operating room at the time Bryce was born. I also have a very special memory of Tim from my Disney Days that always makes me smile. I was working Parade and was on the bridge by the VIP section. Tim and Faith were on the bridge with their girls. At the time the Day Parade made Parade stops so the kids could come out and play with the characters. When the float stopped they came and took the girls to come and dance and Tim jumped up with them and became the cutest dad I have ever seen... he was laying on the ground, rolling in the grass, everything he needed to do to get the perfect photos of the girls being a part of the parade. It was so sweet! Sorry side tracked. Tim put on an excellent show and Looked AWESOME (somebody has been working out). He was so interactive with the crowd, signing autographs as he passed by taking pictures etc... The funniest part was he had his microphone stand at the very end of the stage and he had wondered back to the band during a solo. As the song was ending the roadie was going to get the stand and he raced him all the way to the end of the stage to grab his microphone before they took the stand and then raced him all the way back. I must admit that George knows me well, he was in charge of the camera and almost ALL of the pictures are of Tim :-) Kenny Chesney was awesome too. He is very energetic, smiles ALL the time and just really seemed to LOVE what he was doing. I can't even imagine having the amount of energy that Both Tim and Kenny have. They were ALL over the place, it is so awesome to see people that really truly enjoy what they do for a living. I hate to say that we left early but, we did. We knew that the encore was going to be Kenny and Tim jamming together and I really wanted to see them together, but I just couldn't do it. After working 6.5 hours and then 7 hours of concert I was TIRED so we left just before the encore. But just before we left Kenny sang "The Boys of Fall" and brought Jason Witten on stage (Dallas Cowboys Tight End) which was SUPER funny. Kenny (5'6" became a Munchkin straight out of Munchkin land next to Jason (6'6")... LOL he really didn't seem short until Jason came out, but I guess next to him everyone is probably short.

And what would a social outing be without "People watching" so here are some of the fun stories that make me laugh. First I must say, if you have never been to a Country Music concert in Texas you just have no clue how funny it is. We saw Rascal Flatts in Tampa and while I saw "some" cowboy boots nothing compares to a Texas concert. People literally dig into the back of the closet to pull out their "OMG we are going out" outfits. Not a lot of Cowboy hats but the boots and the ridiculous hoochiemomma outfits find their way into society, it is an awesome time for the "people watcher". Then there were "The Twins". This party of 3 sat in front of us, I would say early 20's (they were drinking but didn't look too old). At first it seemed like the Girl and one of the boys were together but it soon was determined, by profile view, that they were actually twins (or at least brother and sister) and their friend, who was perhaps the designated driver. Well the twins were SO funny, they were dancing like they were the only ones in the stadium, they were singing every single word to every single song.. TO EACH OTHER, not watching the concert, they were drinking and getting sillier as the night went on, while their "friend" sat calmly and watched the show, almost as if he was not with them. They were really cute but SO funny. Even funnier (and yes we video taped her) was "grandma" rocking it out 2 rows behind us. TOO funny! I love people that don't care who's watching, just enjoying themselves. AWESOME.

This was an amazing evening. It was full of laughs, memories, and good times. I really enjoyed every moment of the evening and am SO thankful that my sister listened to my craziness and took me seriously. I am so glad that George came with me, even though it's not really his kind of music. I am so thankful for an evening to "Escape Reality"

"Reality, yeah, Sometimes life
Ain't all it's cracked up to be
So let's take a chance and live this fantasy
'Cause everybody needs a break from Reality"
~Kenny Chesney "Reality"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Celebration of Life

It is amazing how prevalent the little Purple monkey has become in our lives. This past weekend we went to Florida to host a 6th birthday party for Wade. We ended up having 16 kids at the party which was really awesome. I love watching kids, some of which have never met, run off together and start playing, not a care in the world. I love that even though we had no toys available at all they found creative games to play and had a BLAST.

So, Purple Monkey, you ask... well yes, the Purple Monkey came to the party unexpectedly as well. You see my life long friend Amy has a 5 year old and 3 year old triplets. On the way to the party they stopped at McDonald's for Happy Meals (something I am told they never do). The triplets all got the same little Dalmatian Dog in their Happy Meal but not Madison... NO Madison got a Purple Monkey :-) As they arrived to the party it was obvious they were all toting their new toys, but I don't think anyone really realized what Maddy had. About an hour into the party I was running around taking pictures when it hit me ... it's a Purple Monkey...and the eyes welled up with Tears... Thank you Bryce for making your presence known at Wade's Birthday! It meant a lot to everyone <3

We are quickly approaching Bryce's 3rd Birthday (March 2) and I would like to ask everyone to consider donating $3 (or however much you would like) to my friends at Cirque Du Soleil. The touring show "Ovo" will be holding their 2nd Cirque Du SoBald Shave for St Baldrick's (the same foundation the 46 Mommas supports) in April. I thought this would be an excellent way to honor Bryce's life... by helping raise money to find a cure!

The sparkle of light, the whisper of wings
the fleeting touch that an Angel can bring,
will bring you guidance and surround you with love,
with the comforting presence that comes from above.
A feather, a coin or a butterfly in view,
can also be signs you have Angels with you.
Acknowledge their presence, trust in their care,
and thank them for showing you that they are there."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random Acts of Bryceness

There was a time in my life where I sat and watched John Edward talk about the after life and people watching over their loved ones while he was doing "readings" on a talk show and thought... Hmmmm that's interesting, but there's got to be more to it, he couldn't possibly be "talking to spirits"... I'm starting to believe that he might just be on to something.

I have shared several stories about what I have come to call "Random acts of Bryceness". First there were the text messages at 2am which allowed me one more goodbye before he passed away (at 3:45am). Followed by Shannon and "The Purple Monkey", there was the Book of Hope falling off the top of the boxes when I was having a really hard day, My onion in my salad making the perfect "cancer ribbon" on my fork at Chili's and the song "He's My Son" playing on the radio while I was having a meltdown at the Dr's office. Well... I have another story to share from yesterday as well as one that happened a little bit ago that I never shared.

In December we did the same vacation that we did with Bryce as a family in 2010. We went to Disney World and on the Disney Cruise. Castaway Cay (Disney's Private Island) is kind of our "solace" as Bryce truly loved it there. We don't have a grave site to visit so the hammock that he laid in on Castaway Cay is our "special place" and we were looking forward to going there to be in our little piece of paradise. When we arrived to Castaway Cay Betsy (George's sister) found a cat... totally random right. A Cat on an island in the middle of the Bahamas that is visited only by Disney Cruise Ships. Betsy and Wade sat and played with the Cat for awhile as we wondered where this random cat came from. We continued on with the day and spent some time laying in Bryce's hammock, looking at the sky and just being "in the moment" before we headed back to the ship. A few days later, talking to friends of ours, we mentioned the cat and they said "Oh yes, that's Casey" My heart stopped and I said to myself OF COURSE it is... See, in the book "Heaven Is For Real" (if you haven't read it I highly suggest it) there is a part of Colton's journey where he tells his mom that he met his sister when he was in heaven, a sister he didn't even know about as she was a miscarriage. When his mom says "What was her name" Colton replies, "She doesn't have one, you never named her". That really hit my heart and stuck with me. A couple months ago George and I had a miscarriage and I said we HAVE to name the baby, remembering this part of the story it was not an option the baby HAD to have a name. The name we choose...KC. So here we are on Castaway Cay, our place of solace to relax and remember Bryce and the Island Cat's name is Casey... Of course it is, why wouldn't it be :-)

On to yesterday. George has been having problems with his shoulder. It's been bothering him lately so he went to the Dr to have it checked out. His blood work came back normal and the X-Ray showed nothing so they set up an MRI for it. It could be anything but of course everything runs through your head. As we arrived at the MRI yesterday George was like, I shouldn't be worried it's probably nothing but.... so I could tell it was getting to him. Not 2 minutes after he was called back the front door opens and in walks a husband and wife. As they approach the counter I can not help but think "I know this guy". As soon as the women said her name to check in it hits me it's Sonny Burgess.... OMG really Bryce, Really!!! Sonny Burgess is a Nashville Recording Artist that just so happens to live locally and frequents Cook Children's Hospital. When Bryce was in the hospital Randy Travis, Charlie Pride, Gloria Barron, Jolie Holiday and SONNY BURGESS performed a Christmas Show for the kids. It was a great day for us as Bryce was able to come down from his room and enjoy the event. It is a memory that George and I hold very dear to us... and here at the very moment when we are trying to figure out what is wrong with George's shoulder and a little "on edge" about the MRI, in walks Sonny Burgess... I have to admit, I cried! I sat there trying to be calm and not make a scene, but tears started rolling down past the giant smile that was on my face as I said to myself "thank you Bryce, thank you".

George asked me the other day if I think maybe we are reading too much into these "Random acts of Bryceness" if maybe we want them to be signs from heaven when really they are just coincidental... I said NO. If ever I doubted before... I truly believe now!

"It's not your imagination - sometimes a "coincidence" comes with a lot of Angelic effort."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Angel Reaches Down to Comfort

As we grow closer to Bryce's 1 year "angel"versary I have been having a really hard time functioning. Friday he will be celebrating one year in Heaven. While I know he is surrounded by greatness, it still hurts to think he has been gone from us for a whole year... ALREADY! Another mom said it perfectly today " Somehow over the last 12 months, time has continued to move on at its usual high speed with no regard for the fact that I haven’t kept up with it." ... exactly, who said that time could pass so quickly? The past few days I have felt a huge weight, a sadness so heavy that I can't do anything to shake it. Yesterday I was scheduled to work a double shift. I was at such a low I was not able to focus... I could barely function and decided it would be best if I went home, so I left at 3pm unexcused absence... but it was the best decision for my personal/emotional well being.

This morning my mom and I went to the Dr, the real purpose of the visit was for my mom to get some prescriptions renewed but she made me go with her so that I could ask about getting some type of medical leave or FMLA set up. We wanted to see if there were any options available. We are very close to our family DR so she is very aware of what has been going on and all the stress our lives bring... Right as she handed me a tissue to wipe away my tears Bryce put his hand on my heart and said "mommy it's ok"... You see at that very moment, right when we were talking about his 1 year "angel"versary and how hard it has been for me... I heard, ever so faintly, over the conversation, the radio from the hallway, and stopped mid sentence... I said "shhhhhh"... my mom and the DR both thought I was nuts as I started to cry and then got a great BIG smile and said... Everything is OK, I am OK.... You see the song that was on was "He's My Son" by Mark Schultz. It is a song that we used at Bryce's funeral and a very powerful and emotional song.... One that I have NEVER EVER heard played on the radio... One that I never expected to hear on the radio... and here it was right then, right there, right as I was having a meltdown and trying to figure out how to make the heartache bearable... Like a Purple Monkey (for those that remember the Purple Monkey story) coming right out of Heaven and saying ... "Mommy it's ok, you're ok, I'm here with you" Yes Bryce... You are here with me Forever and Always!

For those of you that might not be "believers" or have a hard time finding "faith" What can I say... No matter how you look at it we have had so many "moments" since Bryce passed away, moments like this that can't be explained other than to say ... An Angel (our angel) reached down to comfort us... AGAIN!

God not only sends special angels into our lives, but sometimes He even sends them back again if we forget to take notes the first time! ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

"He's My Son" by Mark Schultz
(for those that have never heard it)