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For weeks, I had accepted the fact that I would have a low-key 26th birthday. Due to my birthday falling on a Monday (and a lack of vacation time from my job!) plus the demands of Andy’s work, I knew we wouldn’t be able to get away for my big day. Plus, it was my first birthday away from my sisters, and I didn’t feel like celebrating without them. On the Thursday night before my big day, I randomly checked my email late at night and noticed an email from VetTix– they were offering free tickets to see Faith Hill & Tim McGraw’s Soul2Soul concert. To be honest, I tend to delete VetTix’s emails because most of the events are on weeknights. Since we are stationed in a rural town and have to travel between 2-5 hours to see a show, we can’t go to weeknight shows and the odds of something we want to attend falling on a weekend are rare. However, the Soul2Soul concert was in nearby Des Moines and on a Saturday night. I reserved 2 tickets for us, and suddenly, we had big plans for my birthday!
It seemed like everything that could go wrong that weekend did. It was one of those “I can’t believe this is happening, so I just need to laugh about it” type of days. It started with our plans of having a date weekend in the city being canceled because Andy had to work Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. (He left for Des Moines on Sunday just 12 hours after we arrived home from the concert.) Then, the Friday night before, Andy started to feel ill. We can’t quite figure out why he was feeling so poorly, but he was determined to still go to the show.
Right as we were leaving for Des Moines, it started to downpour. I was initially wearing white shorts, so our departure was delayed as I had to change into something less see-through. By the time we left town just 15 minutes later, the streets were already flooding! We live in a neighborhood with only one entry and exit point, and it was questionable if we could even get out of our neighborhood. Thankfully, I somehow made it through the giant puddle of water, but I had to drive down alternate streets to get to the interstate as my usual route was under water. There was even hail bouncing off my car at one point!
Nonetheless, we made it to the city and had a quick dinner at Chick-fil-A. Before the show, I managed to FaceTime my family from the parking lot. My family was throwing a birthday get-together back home for my sisters, so I joined in to say hi to everyone. (God bless technology!)
Our seats were on the floor, just 12 rows from the front. We even saw Iowa State’s basketball coach, Coach Prohm! (He was the basketball coach at my alma mater Murray State while I was a student there, but left unexpectedly for the ISU job as it was more prestigious and pays more than Murray did.)
The crowd was… interesting. If you’ve never been to a country concert, I highly suggest attending one solely for people-watching. I mean, if Tim & Faith hadn’t been so great, the show would have been worth it for the crowd alone! The girl behind Andy was cheering with her beer in her hand, and in the process, spilled her beer all down Andy’s back. Andy wasn’t feeling well, so he sat down for a portion of the show. The guy behind him grabbed his arm to stand up because apparently, it’s wrong to sit while Tim & Faith are onstage. Also, the two couples in front of us were really into their dates. I don’t mind a little PDA but holy moly, I felt really uncomfortable because in order to see the show, I had to also see them in front of me.
The show itself was amazing! I didn’t realize how many Tim & Faith songs I knew until I was singing along at the show! It started out with the two of them singing together (primarily songs from their new CD.) Then, Tim went off-stage and Faith sang some of her old favorites. Then, she went off-stage so Tim could sing his old hits. The two of them sang together again before the show ended. For their finale, they sang “I Need You.” Their chemistry was amazing, of course. Tim & Faith really are #marriagegoals
During the show, there was severe weather in Des Moines. No one was allowed to leave the arena until it passed (which, thankfully, was before the concert ended.) When we got out to my car, we noticed there was a giant puddle of water in my floorboard! The weather-strip on the hood of my car was removed while it was in the shop the week before, but we didn’t realize it was missing until it rained in my car! (Needless to say, this was a contributing decision in buying a new-to-us vehicle.) Thankfully, Andy scooped the water puddle out of my car with a plastic cup. By the time we got home, it was 1 am. I am apparently getting old because I was struggling all the next day, even though I skipped church and slept until 10 am!
Even though the day wasn’t perfect, it truly is the thought that counts. I was able to enjoy a free-to-us concert by two of my favorite country artists, with my wonderful husband by my side. I was able to see my family back in Kentucky, thanks to FaceTime. But most importantly, I was able to celebrate another year of life! This spontaneous birthday celebration is one that I will never forget.