Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my 26th birthday. Your present to me can be hanging in their through the first half of this stream of consciousness. Your party favor will be seeing the fun photos at the end!

Two months ago it was a Saturday morning and Taylor's cell phone rang. He was talking vaguely and I kind of thought he was talking to our friend, Kate, but I couldn't decipher what it was in regards to. (As it turns out, Kate was in on the secret birthday plan and had called to tell Taylor that tickets had just gone on sale.) A little while later he had me stand in front of the computer monitor and said, "Happy Birthday!" On the screen was a video advertisement for the Soul2Soul 2007 tour. I SQUEALED with delight! I clapped my hands! I hugged and smooched my husband! This would be the dreamiest birthday ever.

And so it seems that the whole story of Monday should be entirely dreamlike. And I've contemplated posting just the dreamy parts. But I've thought a lot about this whole blogging business, and I think if we don't all tell the honest to goodness truth, we are all a bunch of fakey-pants and what the heck is the point of that? So I'll tell you the whole, true story. It started out as a normal Monday. Took a walk with Blaine, cleaned the guest bedroom at Grandma's house. Blaine was a bit whinier than usual, but it wasn't so bad. Went to a meeting for work. Everything was still fine. But then I came home and something snapped. Blaine was being whiny to a level that I couldn't cope with. I have one child who is almost never whiny. So yes, I am pathetic. But I just couldn't get a grip. Thus began tantrum #1. "I can't take this! I can't be in this apartment! This day sucks!" Exit Anne. Taylor doesn't get upset about almost anything. But if there's one thing that makes him crazy, it's his TREMENDOUSLY BLESSED wife acting like her life is tragic and terrible. Re-enter Anne. Taylor: "Well, aren't you excited about the concert?" And logical Anne was saying to herself, "Of course I am! This is such a treat--Taylor is so amazing! Why in the H-E-doublehockeysticks am I having a nervous breakdown and ruining this special day?!" But the out-of-control Anne was seriously struggling to get it together. We talked. I breathed. I apologized. Tantrum over. I went to get ready. I stood in front of my closet and felt it mounting again. The tantrum had taken too much time and we needed to hurry. But NOTHING in that closet would work. Nothing! Yep, felt it it was coming...there it was--nervous breakdown #2. Throwing shirts everywhere. Freaking out. Hyper-ventilating. (Do you all think I'm exaggerating to make this an interesting story? I'm not. I'm really this crazy.) I settled on my white Target v-neck cable knit sweater. Still in a fragile state, we drove to Grandma's neighborhood to drop Blaine off with our friends. I ran into Grandma's house to retrieve my camisole from her laundry room. Sweater off, cami on, sweater back on. In that process I had stretched out the sweater. "Stupid target clothes!" Nervous breakdown #2, part B. "Taylor, can we please stop at home on our way? I have to change again!" At this point I wonder if Taylor was regretting giving me such a generous birthday present. I also wonder if he was regretting becoming my lawfully wedded husband. He didn't say a word. Drove to our apartment. I changed. And off we went, with some tension headache Excedrin that had been necessitated by NB#1 and NB#2. "I just couldn't find the right outfit!" I whined. "What's the right outfit?" my ever-patient husband replied. "Well, when you go to a Tim and Faith concert, you should look like a cute cowgirl!" "Well, sweetie, you don't have anything like that. You would have needed to plan ahead for that." It would be OK though. I was calming down. Stop at the Sinclair station for gas. Taylor pumps the gas then runs inside. What was he doing? He runs back to the car with...a straw cowgirl hat for his wife! He put it on my head and said, "Now you look hot!" And off we went. I spent the 45 minute drive to Salt Lake City apologizing and evaluating what the heck my problem was. And apologizing some more. The night wasn't ruined. I could get it together and make the night wonderful. That is what I did.

We parked the car and ran up to Costa Vida to share a pork salad and a coke before the show. We were late, but knew there was an opening act. Then we walked from the Gateway (the big outdoor mall where we ate) to the Energy Solutions Arena (much more of a mouthful than "Delta Center"). As we walked across the street we saw the whole TimandFaith entourage-- semi after semi and bus after bus--all parked outside the arena. We went in and found our seats at the PERFECT time. The opening act had just finished and Faith was coming up through the stage singing "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. (I know, didn't see that coming--but it sounded awesome.) Tim came up through the stage next and joined in. I squealed and clapped my hands and smiled at my dreamilicious husband. I couldn't believe we got to see them live! And it was such a production! Heaven help me if I didn't have tears in my eyes and goosebumps! It was practically a spiritual experience! The whole night was incredible. INCREDIBLE. They started together, and then Tim disappeared while Faith performed. You can see in this picture how great the stage is. They move all around and face everyone at different times so there's not a bad seat in the house.

The stage is also like a giant digital screen--shows all kinds of graphics, words, pictures, etc. So cool. Faith is a serious hottie. She wore this sparkly outfit and looked great. Honestly, can I look like this hot at almost 40? She sang lots of her great new stuff, plus greaties like "This Kiss," "Breathe," "Cry," "The Secret of Life," "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart," and "Wild One." Let's talk about TALENT people. This woman can BELT it out! Such a fabulous live performer!
Cute faith said that she and Tim love coming to SLC because the crowd is so friendly. As she was singing everyone would cheer and wave and she would smile and wave at individuals--really connecting with her fans. She said "thank you so much!" after every song and curtsied. How cute is she? (I was watching her thinking, "I'll bet Faith Hill doesn't throw tantrums and treat her husband like crap! I need to be more like Faith!")

Wouldn't we all just love to have these seats down in front?! Faith and Tim are so great about getting right in there and touching all the hands they can. So fan-friendly.

After Faith sang, Tim joined her again. They sat on chairs, back to back, and they put down this huge circular screen that looked like a giant mosquito net. Super cool. They sang "Angry All the Time" and "Like We Never Loved at All." Then Faith disappeared and Tim went to town. (And the crowd went nuts!) Oh man! Tim McGraw, you are one sexy man! And while we're on the subject, here's what I have to say. Tim and Faith are two of the sexiest humans on this earth. They seriously work it. But what I love is that all of their songs--their whole show--is so clean. You could totally take your ten-year-old to this show (just bring ear plugs). I love that, you know? And that's what makes them so loveable-not just that they are great performers, but that they are so in love and so faithful to each other. Wahoo for them! Tim sang so much great stuff. The thing is, when you have a million greatest hits and a bunch of fab new songs as well, you just have a killer lineup!
Yes, Tim wore this white shirt with nothing underneath. It was unbuttoned way low and he had chains around his neck. Yes, chains. And he had on the tightest jeans ever worn by a male. (Any other man on the planet dresses like that and I want to vomit, but Tim is absolutely cool enough and hot enough to pull it off!) Top it all off with the classic black cowboy hat and you've got one good lookin' man.

Check this out! Tim took time to pose for a picture with me! Tim sounds fabulous live. And he is SUCH a performer. He opened with "Space Cowboy" (by the Steve Miller Band) and sang tons of great old ones like "Indian Outlaw," "Something Like That," "For a Little While," and "Everywhere." He also sang a lot of his new stuff, which I am loving. "When the Stars Go Blue," "The Cowboy in Me," "Last Dollar (Fly Away)"-(speaking of which, his cute daughters sing in the end of that song, which is so darling-have you heard it?), "Live Like You Were Dying," "Real Good Man"--so many great songs! Tim also took a minute to pose for a picture with me and Taylor--again, so great with his fans!

So after Tim sang for a while, Faith reappeared in such a pretty dress-black and long and feminine-and they sang a bunch of duets. This, for me, was the pinnacle of the concert. They sang "Shotgun Rider"-a new one on Tim's new CD- which I LOVED. They both played the gee-tar on that one, which was fun to see. Then they sang "It's Your Love." This is probably my favorite duet of theirs and the first song I ever heard by either of them, as a matter of fact. For those of you who have been to either a Cropper or Hall family talent show, you've heard Taylor and I sing this. So it's a tender one. :) After they sang that one, they hugged, as pictured below.Come ON! Is this not the best job ever?! Singing with your gorgeous spouse for tens of thousands of adoring fans (who each paid a premium to be there)? Sign me up for this life! Of course we all cheered like mad after they sang a few more things and disappeared, so they came back up through the center of the stage and sang one last song--"I Need You"--their newest. They were sitting together like this. (I KNOW!) "I Need You" has some unique lyrics, but I LOVE it. It was beautiful and then they smooched it up at the end. It was hot. So that's it--that's my review of Soul2Soul 2007. I highly recommend it to all of you. I also highly recommend not having nervous breakdowns over ridiculous, stupid stuff. And I also highly recommend being nice to your husband. Especially when he does amazing things like taking you to your dream concert looking like a cute cowgirl.


liz said...

I must comment, just to show that I managed to actually read this entire post, Anne! I am glad you got such a great birthday gift from your cute husband -- how great is he to buy you a hat at the gas station after that tantrum? Your enthusiasm almost makes me want to start listening to country music. Almost.

Katie said...

I'm with your sister! As much as I loved your post, and as cute as I think Faith and Tim are, I just can't listen to their music! Your husband is seriously sweet for doing that for you. Way to go Taylor!

And Happy Belated Birthday! I hope your 27th year is a great one. Love ya.

kate said...

Oh Anne, you make me laugh! What about the part at the gas station that Taylor pretended to pump gas...and then went to get you the hat as a surprise. Is that still true? If so, way to go Taylor... I'm glad you two had so much fun! and I am jealous of Tim and Faith... I want to be a country rockstar with Mark! How much fun!

Anne said...

Kate, I was wrong about the gas fake-out. I had seen the receipt for just the hat and thought, "Oh, he didn't even pump gas!" But then as I was asking him about it I realized that he'd paid at the pump with his credit card--different receipt--duh! Still cute, though!

jeanine said...

So glad that you had a good birthday!!! What a fun concert to go to. (And I'm glad that I'm not the only one who throws tantrums over silly things!)

kira said...

Ah. Tim and Faith. It sounds like it was awesome. It's okay to have nervous breakdowns, especially on your birthday...we all want it to be perfect (and by that I mean we need to be perfect) and that isn't going to happen - so no worries...a little breakdown is good therapy.

Amy Jean said...

Happy Birthday! Oh I can relate to your breakdowns...and I have a similarly great husband...on my bday last week I walked across the kitchen and sighed, "I'm not even going to have a cake or candles this year!" One hour later, there was an ice cream cake in the freezer. But was I grateful enough? No, because there were only 3 candles, and not 25. I missed out on my chance to enter the "second box of candles" experience. After this fit Ryan proceeded to say, "Do you want it to be your birthday again tomorrow?" Sorry for the long comment, but I just wanted to say that we're all nuts and I am grateful for my great husband!

Sugar... said...

Sweet! What a fun birthday! And I don't find you the least bit repulsive for your tantrums. I for one know all about those, as I'm sure most, wait, ALL women do, and you're one of the very few to admit to it on your blog! BRAVO! It always seems like I blow up on days that I'm trying to get something done. Give me a day that I can completely focus on the kids, and we're good, but give me a day where I'm trying to get ready for a date, wedding, shower, anything and the kids fast become my enemy. I think it's great you love Faith and Tim, I like them here and there, but I have to admit that if Jeff and I were expected to sing to each other face to face we'd probably start laughing our heads off. We are hopelessly irromantic (I don't think that's a word)! Although I'm not such a Faith goo-roo, I wouldn't mind owning her hair or legs. HAIR!!! Why didn't anyone convince me it was a bad, bad idea to cut my hair!

lori said...

I love you! What more can I say!? The drama of this post was heartwarming and so very relatable!

And looks like the concert was a complete riot! SOooo glad you could go!

Sugar... said...

Oh, lame, and did I forget to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Sheesh, I'll say it again to solidify it...


Traci said...

Anne Marie oh how I love thee! Ha that rhymes! Happy B-day. You may think I am lame but all day I kept thinking that I was forgetting something. (it was Emmas Hap Bir the same day as your birthday) So if it makes you feel better, you and your birthday were in the back of my mind all day and I didn't even know it ;)!
Now to your tantrum...... as a witness to an Anne tantrum before, I believe that they are PURE comedy! I read your post and couldn't help but see you sprawled out on the bed in your best "Whoa is me" position!! (I have a pretty good one myself, I might add) And I could hear your "End of the World" statements, and they made me laugh. Isn't it funny that when you love someone you especially love these things about them! Well I do you and thus your tantrums!!!
I also love that you blogged this because I made Mark read it and I said "See Mark? I am not the only one who throws tantrums!! And Anne got a Cowboy hat for hers."
Now, The concert.....Don't you just LOVE the energy of live music. There is nothing like it. I love that you got to see this concert and I know that when you come home this summer I will get to hear more details as you will still be talking about it!!
Rock on Anne Marie, Rock ON!

Sarah said...

Oh Anne, I wish I knew what it was to throw a tantrum, but since I'm practically perfect in every way, I'll have to live vicariously through you! All I know is that you're one lucky girl to have a date and a special themed tantrum reward! Maybe Taylor should conduct wonderful husband seminars!

Jill said...

Happy Birthday Anne.....late b-day card of course not forgotten and in the mail.

And, by the way, you have an amazing life and an amazing husband. Lucky you!

And, by the way, by the way, you are amazing too!

Fun concert! Jealousy-Yes! BUT, amazing Brian is taking me to the amazing TOTO tomorrow.

Lucky me:)

b. said...

Hi Anne,
I found you through EmilyAnne.
I went too.
Third row.
Faith waved at me...(I KNOW!!!)
Tim was HOT!!
How'd ya get such great pictures?

40 ain't that old ;)

Your husband rocks!
GREAT post!!