Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MN Girls Road Trip||Concert&Wedding

The epic adventure commenced at 6am on Friday morning. 
True to tradition, I got lost. instantly.
As in..I couldn't remember how to get to the Casey's in Amana 
(where we were picking up Amanda & Hannah)
I was oh so organized as in that I was just planning to type it into the GPS.
Alas when the GPS "wouldn't recognize" the address.
After several phone calls to get us on the straight and narrow...we finally hit familiar country and I recollected where we were and how to complete the journey to Caseys.
We arrived 15 minutes late (not bad, its been worse), picked them up, and headed to Marion, where we met up with Tia & Ruth. Lilly was the last addition in Cedar Falls, and then we headed north to the great land of St. Cloud, Minnesota!
The first rather large adventure of the day occurred barely two hours into our trip. 
It just so happened that we really wanted to do the trip with as few stops as possible.
So no one said anything about the bathroom stop we were all inwardly hoping for.
Finally I said we were stopping. (whereupon I got a carload of agreement)
We got off at a cornfield type exit that had a sign for a gas station.
Two miles later...we pulled up to this gas place/truckers joint/guy hangout. 
One look at that place and I knew we would have to be moving on.
Unfortunately we were literally in the middle of a bunch of cornfields, in this tiny little ghost town type place. We drove down the completely desolate main street where all the buildings had "closed" signs in the windows. 
Someone sighted a sweet little park.
I wasn't very hopeful that a little town park like this would have restrooms but we were desperate so we stopped and looked. and behold!
There was this very very little and sketchy looking bathroom.
Small and un-ideal though it was, we were thankful. =)
We managed to get stuck in road construction traffic and so had lots of extra time to chat while creeping along the interstate. =)
Finally, we did arrive in St. Cloud. 
It felt like we were coming home, since we had spent all of the previous week there doing the conferences
We kept driving by familiar places and that was so fun. =)
We spent the afternoon at two thrift stores and the mall. 
At the mall we managed to lose part of our group but finally we all were reunited at Target.
We were running late (it was 5pm and we still needed to get supper before heading to the concert)
so to save time, Alli & I went out to drive the van up for everyone else. 
Upon arrival at the van, I turned the key and there was a profound sputtering and then nothing.
My heart sunk to my toes as I began to envision us stranded in this big town, missing supper and the concert, and spending the night in the Target parking lot.
Several seconds into this train of thought Alli ventured "did you leave your lights on?"
Whereupon I instantly knew what our problem was.
Because our van lights aren't automatic..I'd turned them on when we left that morning in the dark, and had never thought of turning them off. 
So they'd been on all day and then all afternoon while we were shopping.
I was so mortified-this has never happened to me before and of all times I would have to be stranded like this, it would have to be in a strange town where I didn't know anybody.
I called my dad. He was as helpful as he could be under the circumstances, which was actually very un-helpful. I don't know what I expected him to do....or why I called him even. I knew that I had got myself in this fix and I was going to have to get out of it.
Alli had this brilliant idea that I should pop the hood and she would get out and look helpless and some nice person would come along and help us.
Said procedure was not effective.
By now all the other girls had come out which helped for moral support but not much else. 
Everyone got in the van and I got out to go find help. 
A family next to us was loading up their groceries so I went up to the Mr. and explained our predicament. 
He hesitated, looked at me, then at our van, and finally said okay. 
Quite unwillingly, but what could he do? I was quite obviously being truthful.
At this point I really just felt like crawling in a hole.
But instead I went back to the van...and he came and jumped the van for us. 
What a relief to turn the key and hear the van start. 
I offered to pay him but he said "no problem" and we both headed our merry way.
I am so so hoping I NEVER have to go through that again!
We had just time enough to stop and grab supper before driving to the church.
We finally did manage to arrive at the concert, which was held at the same church we did conferences at the prior week.
We all marched right in with our duffel bags, acting as if we owned the place. =)
We felt a little out of place since nobody else there had duffel bags and looked like they had been traveling all day. =) 
Having been at the church before...we knew which bathrooms were on the far end of the church and the most secluded/least likely to be used, so we headed for those.
(the conferences were actually how we found out about the concert-we saw the poster on the church bulletin board and thought "hey, we could go to this since we'll be up here anyway!" the lady who coordinated the Bright Lights conferences and attended church there even gave us a special discount on our tickets, since she knew us from the conference. We thought that was pretty special.=))
We all agreed that it felt very weird to be attendees, instead of staff. =)
We had picked out the perfect seats when we were there the prior week. The middle of the balcony. It was ideal-we could see everything that was going on, from an elevated view. 
I had fun looking at the stage and how they set everything up, before the concert even started.
(being in a band myself makes me always analyze and observe these things =))
I loved the lamp and candle they had on stage-made it seem so homey and personable.
And as soon as I saw those bluegrass instruments (banjo, mandolin, & fiddle) 
well, I got even more excited. =)
We had adventure right from the very beginning as we ended up sitting next to a rather sketchy-type gentleman who met us and then promptly proceeded to text his grandson. 
(we all know where this is going...)
Next he told us why he had texted his grandson---to tell him what (or rather, who) he was missing out on meeting. 
(namely, our row)
goodness...the things some grandparents come up with.
we were unappreciative at best. 
Keith & Kristyn Getty and their band blessed my soul so much. 
seriously-I knew it would be good but I was completely blown away by the passion they had. 
All of them (even the band!) were so excited about what they were doing. You could tell-it was so evident. 
Being a musician myself who knows what its like to be on tour for weeks on end, I was just really blessed by their freshness and their obvious joy at being there and worshipping Jesus again, even though they'd been through the "routine" of concert so so many times before.
The one thing especially that we girls were talking about afterwards was how different their songs were from the "norm" of new songwriters today.
Their music was filled with truth, life giving hope....even doctrine and theology were weaved into the lyrics. It was so powerful!
I was also super encouraged by how they really put emphasis on the concert being a worship experience, not just a performance. 
All of the lyrics to their songs were up on screen while they were singing, and they invited the whole crowd to stand and sing with them multiple times.
I felt like we were just having one big worship jubilee together!
If you ever get a chance to hear the Getty's, or get their music...I cannot recommend them highly enough. You will be blessed, I promise. 
I'm excited about taking some things I learned from their concert and incorporating them into my family's concerts. 
Stay tuned, because I got one of their cds for a giveaway here on the blog soon! =)
the guitar player guy was unbelievable. So much fun to watch his fingers fly. =)
the Getty's live band did a couple of instrumentals.
and they were incredible. 
afterwards the band came out in the lobby and jammed for a while. 
it was super informal and laid back and I thought it was a great idea.

All of us at the concert. Two of our friends who live in Minnesota and had been Bright Lights leaders at the conferences the previous week, were working at the concert that night. So we got a group picture with all of us.
next we had a stop at Caribou to ensure us all staying awake until we arrived at our hotel.
We got to our hotel in Princeton (about an hour from St Cloud) around 10:30pm and met up with two other friends who were already there.
The girls from the other room came over and we all sat around enjoying our scrumptious hotel buffet (above), doing nails, and talking.
We all brought so many yummy snacks and weren't even that hungry so they ended up being great comfort food for the trip home on Saturday.
Due to our very early mornings Friday morning, we were all exhausted so we went to bed much earlier than we might've otherwise, and got a great night's sleep.

the wedding was Saturday. Alli & I & Hannah went over to the church early, because Hannah was assistant photographer, Alli was doing bridesmaids nails, and Alli & I were doing hair for mother-of-the-bride and the flower girl.

this girl could work in a salon, she is that talented.

check it out! is this little lady not just the cutest thing ever?

loved this part of the stage decorations!

the beautiful friend Nickie, who was a bridesmaid.

the lovely bride, Abby. She wore her grandmother's wedding dress!

Her almost-husband sang a song that he wrote...

All of us Bright Lights staff that were at the wedding-
Bekah, Kelly, Alli, Grace, Sarah, Abby, Nickie, Lilly, myself, Tia, Amanda, Ruth, & Hannah
Abby is definitely a much-loved woman, to have all these friends come from afar for her wedding!
Around 10pm we had just passed the cities and we were getting drowsy so a coffee break was due.
Thank-goodness for the ladies of our group that had smart phones! They were constantly on the lookout for coffee shops and thrift stores. =)
Above photo...ah yes. we were tired. 
tired enough to adore the very ridiculous stuffed bear in the cute little kiddo section at Caribou.
Seriously, ladies...
That Caribou stop will go down in history as..something else.
Or actually, maybe it's the barista that will go down in history. =)
Will never forget it.

 to these amazing women, my fellow road-trippers (and the other adjective that describes us that I won't list here =)).....
you girls are the best.
 -for all the joy you each contributed.
-for your patience with me all those times I almost turned the wrong way into a one-way lane.
 (WHY does Minnesota have so many of those? agh!)
-for enduring my heavy foot and the bonus rumble strips. =)
-for laughing til we CRIED about the whole "smokin' hot" episode. I'm so thankful the Lord protected us-I was laughing so hard I could barely drive. 
-for breaking into my reverie and alerting me to the way too friendly camo-dressed guy passing me on the interstate who was almost wrecking his truck trying to...what WAS he trying to do? 
Not sure-he was waving and grinning and carrying on like crazy. And I am 100% sure that I did not know him. So I guess that makes him another one of those people who haven't learned that when driving on the interstate it is best to focus on who is in your own car and not try to check out girls in the vehicle next to you. 
oh spare me...
-for singing with me at the top of our lungs, in the middle of the night, on the way home.
-for just everything. I'm blessed to know y'all!
and thank-you Lord for bringing us safely home. 
the end.
(ps..I haven't read Hannah's post yet but she told me she posted on the trip today so be sure to hop on over to her blog and read her version, which is guaranteed to be totally unique since we both wrote ours before reading the other's! and thanks to her for contributing some of the photos in this post! maybe by the next wedding road trip we do, I'll have my own smart phone and won't have to always be borrowing all of her pictures)

see y'all back here tomorrow!


  1. that trip was seriously so amazing...despite all the unpredictable moments! (aka--the van dying). to your credit, you are one of the best drivers around and I would totally have left the lights on or something else bizarre if I was the driver. :) we're all indebted to you for getting us up there and back, girl. and I think it was only 3 rumble strips..no big deal. :P I've said it before, but you & Alli have a gift with hair, etc! Everything you guys do always looks so awesome..love it. and the 'smokin hot' episode will go down in infamy, as well as the 'sketchy barista.' SERIOUSLY. #whatistheworldcomingto :) love your recap. we need someone else to get married now so we can do it all over again. ;)

  2. Something tells me a road trip with Chels as driver has no hope of being anything BUT an adventure!!! ;) Looks like y'all had a blast.... thanks for sharing! And I LOVE the Gettys! :)

  3. Looks like you all had a great time.:) Thank you for sharing pictures with us. ~ Ashley

  4. oh yes!!!! that trip. It was epic. totes hilar. amazing-ness itself!!!! loved doing every minute of it with you was an adventure. love you girl.
    -the seester Alli

  5. Oh my goodness, girlfriend road trips are the best ever!! :) I just LOVED doing that. :)
    And you went to a Keith & Kristin Getty concert?! I LOVE them!! I've never been to a concert, but I love their music, and their authenticy to worship, not just to perform. So neat you got to be there!

  6. Looks like you all had an exciting, adventurous trip! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful wedding. I enjoyed the pictures of it.


  7. Lovely post Chels!!:) It looked like an amazing time!;) I love girls trips even though I've scarcely gone on any!;) (I really believe that we all should do one to CO! Yes!!;)) And the concert sounds amazing!!:) Love you!!:) ♥Rhoda

    1. yes rhoda. we do need to go to colorado. I agree. =)

  8. Thanks for sharing your trip with us! I'm sure that concert was amazing! Every time I listen to 'In Christ Alone' I get teared up! Our church praise team plays a few of their other songs that I love as well. Glad you had a good time and made lots of fun memories!

  9. Chelsy,

    It was pleasure to meet you and Allison at the Gettys' concert on Friday. We were laughing on the way home to think that we actually met some of y'all at a random concert - one of the furthest places from our minds! :)

    We look forward to the time when our families can connect and spend some time together. God's blessings to you all.

    -Taylor for TGF

    (Oh, and I love the road stories. Makes me want to head for our local Caribou right now... :) )

    1. Hey Taylor...it was awesome to meet you all too! What a random place to meet you all after having heard to much about you guys. =)
      Yes, looking forward to our families meeting someday, Lord willing!

  10. I love, love the Getty's! I'm sure the concert was amazing! this sounds like a fun weekend. When do you want to come over for iced coffee and a chat with your Auntie?

    1. soon!! as soon as possible! will let you know. =)

  11. Um, yeah, so I'm behind on commenting, but had to say that I loved this post! =) And that I adore how you write out the many adventures you have...ah, these awkward/awesome stories definitely brightened my day - I can definitely imagine those things happening. :P Yay for memorable adventures with sisters-in-Christ! =)


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