It’s been years since Ben and I got to spend a day with Tom and Allison doing something fun together (like, maybe this was the last time in 2011) and today we made a trip to Southaven, basically Memphis, because Chip and Joanna were doing a ribbon cutting for a new mall and they’re big HGTV lovers so we thought it would be fun to introduce everybody.
The line just to get in the parking lot was so long and every overflow parking lot was so slammed, I started getting nervous we’d waited too late. We texted the Gaines and Emily who works with them, and Emily responded “they’re already on stage!”
We were the last stragglers to the stage area where we found Phil Bryant, the governor of Mississippi speaking, then Chip and Jo gave a little welcome and told everyone they’d be back in a couple hours to speak. Chip saw Big Ben hovering above the crowd in the very back and gave us a wave, and after the ribbon cutting was over we got a text telling us where to go and that security would let us in. Talk about feeling starstruck! That feeling doesn’t go away, no matter how many times we visit them. Once we were inside their waiting room, all the famous-ness falls away and they’re just regular, good, Texas folks. They have a way about them that makes you feel like you’ve known each other long before any of this happened, like it’s perfectly normal for security to stand outside everyone’s door.
We stayed a while until it was time for them to go out and speak, and while we couldn’t get close enough to hear them because of the INSANE crowds, we hung back with some of the Magnolia crew and snapped a picture before they jetted off back home to Waco as soon as it ended. Chip and Jo are endlessly gracious with us and our families and I wish I knew how to repay them. I just don’t think we ever could.
Afterward we grabbed a late lunch on Beale Street before heading back to Ben’s parents’.
It was a heck of a day trip adventure to share with our family. I just wish everybody we love could’ve come, too!