My life consists of a series of events that repeat every day. Over and over and over.
And then over some more.
Don’t misunderstand-I love this repeated series. I am thankful for this series and blessed by those I repeat the series with each day. However, some days I get to the end of my series- the awakening, bathing, dressing, cajoling, feeding, eating, packing, shuffling, prodding, double-checking, sending, working, working, working, receiving, talking, convincing, fixing, preparing, cooking, cleaning, debating, washing, straightening, drying, folding series-and need a way to unwind and forget about the series before starting the series again.
Anyone remember the movie Groundhog’s Day? My life.
A bit of low stress television followed by an evening devotional typically does the trick. Although the devotional should ALWAYS be focused on conflict resolution since Matt and I have about three shows we can agree on without debate. Fortunately, Fixer Upper is one of these shows.
If you haven’t seen Chip and Joanna Gaines work their magic on their HGTV show, it’s worth a watch. They renovate unsightly homes in Waco, Texas and turn out magnificent showpieces. In addition to the renovation, Joanna decorates the home in her signature farmhouse style using airy palettes and many re-purposed and vintage pieces.
I adore the show for likely the same reason many others watch…..the simple fact that I can relate to the Gaines family. I know many of my friends have joked that Chip and JoJo, as her husband calls her, are their best friends. They just don’t know it yet!
On air, the couple is funny and lighthearted and seem to thoroughly enjoy harassing each other. They are also parents to four young children and don’t cover up the fact that their life is hectic but joyful. More reasons I can relate!
I find myself a huge Fixer Upper fan because it’s an opportunity to watch someone bring to fruition what many of us view as a dream. Be it building a business, owning a store, working with your spouse or simply renovating a home, the Gaines encompass many ‘dream come true’ scenarios. Their family values and faith based mission appear to be at the heart of all they do. I find them to seem so approachable and down to earth that I root for them and want to support their endeavors!
With recent sales training for my new job, I spent nine days in Dallas. I’ll be honest in saying that nine days of conference room views was not my idea of exciting. Granted, I always meet nice people and learn a lot BUT training in itself ain’t grand. I was relatively unenthused about the entire experience until I realized I would be within close range of some cool people. My dad’s cousins, who are the funniest, most precious people you could ever meet, live in Waco, Texas. The thought that I could possibly see them added some excitement to the itinerary. With that came the realization that I could swing by Magnolia Market, the retail space carrying so many items seen on Fixer Upper! When I mentioned this to a few new training friends, a group began to form.
Five ladies, all new friends forged by the bond of a new job and training torture, decided to take a Fixer Upper day trip to Waco. On the agenda- visiting Magnolia Market and Harp Studio, eating some great food and investigating the shopping scene in Texas!
The drive down to Waco brought about its own excitement. You can read about it here.
Magnolia Market is painted crisp white and presents itself with such stark contrast to the surrounding buildings. Traffic increased as we approached the cross streets near Magnolia and we began to notice signs for paid parking provided by local churches happily cashing in on the Fixer Upper popularity. We found a nearby spot and headed towards the store.
Be still my beating heart….what is that awaiting us? Could it be?! Why yes! It is multiple Magnolia employees, recognizable with their coordinating shirts emblazoned simply with the word MAGNOLIA, carrying giant trays of the most elegant cupcakes you’ve ever seen. Little beauties giving us a taste of the fabulocity that awaits us inside.
Joanna’s love for baking is the catalyst behind the Magnolia Flour bakery set to open this year. These cupcakes were fantasmagorical. My friend Annie just kept saying, “Butter. They were butter.”
In my world, and apparently hers, butter is a very good thing.
As we headed towards the door, a tiny wisp of a woman approached us asking where we were traveling in from. We told her our respective Indiana, Illinois, California responses and I asked if she was a local. She politely said, “No, I’m Joanna’s mother and I’m just here to check on the customers.” We had the nicest little conversation and jumped at the opportunity to take more pictures. Nan was incredibly kind and beautiful but did not present the ‘left leg pop’ photo pose we had seen with Trooper Casey during the infamous (to us) traffic stop. So I’m guessing it’s less of a Texas trait and more of a Trooper trait.
We scoured every square inch of the market and grounds. The property is an experience rather than just a quick shopping trip. There are food trucks that surround a lawn where kids were enjoying all sorts of lawn games.Adults were enjoying their cupcake along with drinks from the coffee truck. It was a pleasant, calm scene in spite of the unbelievable crowds. I think the way in which Chip and Joanna have created their business, focusing on family, kindness and community, leads people to keep their cool in the hot and crowded environment. This intentional marketing, coupled with the fact that you’re browsing at merchandise with powerful Bible quotes and sweet sentiments, keeps everyone on an even keel. It’s hard to get irritated about a crowded shopping area when you’re trying to decide where to place this in your own home.
And crowded it was. The masses had shown up in Waco that morning. The shoppers were so thick, and the merchandise flying off the shelves so quickly, that there were multiple employees with one simple job. These individuals, wearing the MAGNOLIA t-shirt uniform, moved swiftly back and forth from the stock room to the retail floor replacing the items that had just been snagged by a customer. This went on non-stop the entire duration of our shopping trip. The line to the register was roughly 75 people deep at one point.
Again, no one seemed to be upset about the wait. I’m gonna be real honest and admit that I’m super impatient. And I was rather warm while waiting in line to buy my Magnolia Market goodies. But I just kept thinking that Chip and JoJo might be disappointed in me if I seemed disgruntled while experiencing their market. Listening to 90 minutes of inspirational/ Christian music while shopping also created a subconscious belief that Jesus might not be real happy with me for being cranky either. It worked, Gaines’s. Well done.
The highlight of my Waco weekend actually followed my visit to Magnolia Market. My dad’s cousins met me and drove me to a tiny barbecue joint. The place has likely been there for decades…although the facade might lead you to believe that it has existed for centuries. Don’t let the concrete block and old signage fool you, though.
The BBQ was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.
Tommy ordered for us, promising the best. Brisket, fried bologna and baked beans.
Don’t judge me. I had a salad one time. Like six months ago. It all balances out.
I wanted to post a picture of my heaping mound of food but my husband informed me it didn’t look terribly appetizing. I almost threw him out of the house….but in the end chose to heed his advice and not post. Instead, I may use the image to create wallpaper to hang throughout my home.
I know I promised many of you these pictures weeks ago. Forgive me for the delay. You all know how it goes with me….as Emily and also as TickingTimeMom I am consistent in regard to two things:
1) I’m consistently inconsistent.
Ok, that’s just one. But you get my point.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Waco excursion. I’ll have some highlights from our visit to Harp Studio, the creation site of many Fixer Upper custom carpentry pieces.
Last but not least, my friend Stacey managed to get us inside one of the Fixer Upper homes! A rather unexpected and awesome way to finish our Waco excursion! Fun was had by all!
Details to follow. While you wait, please sign up for my newsletter. No spam EVER! Just updates on the blog and tips on how to get pace yourself for your very own cardiology appointment at age 38. Two words.
P.S. HUGE shout out to Stacey, Fatemeh, Lyn and Annie for being the best new travel gals ever! Also big thanks for the images they shared which made my own photos look like they’d been taken by a three-year-old. You girls are great!