TEXAS PART I – Arrival & Waco

Our trip to Texas for the IF Gathering was a trip I’ll treasure forever. It was so special to have people from different spheres and stages of my life all together and the way the Lord connected everyone, even those just meeting for the first time, was beautiful! It is not lost on me how kind Jesus was to me in allowing me the opportunity to experience this trip alongside these 7 precious women.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5

The trip started off with Amanda, Holly, mom and I headed to the airport where we met up with Susan, Lindsey, and Robin for our flight from Charlotte to DFW. Caitlyn was flying in from Boston and met up with us as soon as landed in Dallas. Our flight had some turbulence, but it wasn’t too bad and I didn’t have anyone in the seat beside me, so I was able to relax and spread out a bit 🙂 I listened to Tauren Wells’ new album and it’s SO.GOOD.

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It was a late night as we had to take a shuttle bus to the rental car place and then we all headed to Kroger to get some groceries before heading to our AIRBNB. Eight ladies trying to quickly figure out what they all need from the grocery store was quite funny and then there was only self-checkout but we made it happen! We split up into our separate rental cars to head to the AIRBNB and our car (mom, Holly, Amanda and I) had quite the “adventure” missing our exit approximately 47 times it seemed and kept going in circles until we finally were able to find a way to get there without the interstate because we were on the struggle bus. Thank goodness for sweet Holly and Amanda, who took charge and helped diffuse the mother/daughter frustration due to my less than wonderful navigation skills 😉 We finally made it to our beautiful AIRBNB in the Bishop Arts District, about 5 minutes from Downtown Dallas. We chowed down on some late nights snacks of chips and guac and got ready for bed. Some of my favorite moments of the trip were each night in the living room, as we stayed up talking together and laughed so much with the conversation going from deep to absolute silliness at the drop of a hat.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6

We got up bright and early the next morning to make the 1.5 hour ride to Waco, Texas – the land of dreams coming true (for me, at least! Ha!) Luke and I spent much of our first year of marriage watching Fixer Upper in the evenings, while it was still on live. It was a show we could both connect to and we loved to dream about our future home, admire their work, and laugh at Chip. It was sort of surreal to visit all of the places they have created and see the way they have transformed and employed so much of their community. You hear stories about how busy it can be/how long the wait times, etc…but a Thursday in February turned out to be the perfect time! We were cold..but it was such a beautiful, sunny day and everything went perfectly.

We started our day at Magnolia Table and only had to wait 15-20 minutes. We shopped around in the little gift shop, took a lot of pictures and admired all of the beauty and intentionality – even the bathroom doors were gorgeous. I bought a cute mug that says “The Good Ole’ Days are Still To Come” That phrase along with “Where everyone has a seat at the table” were on all their mugs and shown in different ways throughout the restaurant. They sat us at a community table that sat 10, but since there was 8 of us, there were only 2 seats left. Soon after we sat down, a college gal joined us at our table and different members of our group had really awesome conversation with her. It was so wonderful to see the Gaines’ mission of people gathering and connecting serving its purpose. The food was outstanding! The table shared some lavender lemon donut holes and then mom and I shared eggs, bacon, tater tots, pancakes, and Jo’s amazing biscuits that came with strawberry butter and sausage gravy. UNBELIEVABLE.

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We then made our way to the Silos/Magnolia Market, which is pretty much the hub of most everything they’ve created. The market is large, but not as big as I envisioned it. We took about an hour or so browsing and shopping! They have everything from home decor to journals to apparel, signage, etc. Everything was of course, so beautiful. It was a good thing I didn’t have much room in my suitcase to bring things home, because I could have spent a pretty penny! I got a tshirt for both Luke and I, a spoon rest, some baby cacti, and some LE PENS (now obsessed, and they were perfect for note taking at the IF Gathering). Every single employee we encountered was precious and so excited to serve us and talk with us. It’s just obvious that the people Magnolia employs truly love their jobs and that makes all the difference.

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After the Market, we walked around a bit outside on the greenery, which I’m sure is usually bustling on the weekends where there is live music, food trucks, etc. We headed to check out the Seed and Supply store, which was a little building with everything you would need to plant a garden or tend after plants. It was precious, but I bet it’s even more beautiful in the Spring time.

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After we had walked a bit, we headed to the Silos Baking Co. and bought some #TREATS. The line was not long at all, but they give you a little card with all of the options on it and a pencil to fill out your order and everything runs incredibly efficiently. I got a lemon lavender cupcake and a chocolate chip cookie. Both were HUGE. I could only eat half of my cupcake (but don’t worry – ate the other half later) and saved my cookie for later as well. They were two of the best tasting desserts I’ve ever had. So so yummy.

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We had our treats boxed up to take over to the brand new Magnolia Press coffee shop. I could not help but admire all of the details – literally nothing is left untouched in regard to design, function and beauty. We all got coffees/teas to have with our cupcakes and sat down at a big long wooden table and enjoyed each other’s company for about an hour.

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Right across the street from Magnolia Press was a store called The Findery. There are now a lot of shops that have similar vibes and inventory as Magnolia all around the Silos and the Findery is one of them. We went in and shopped for a bit and it was a really cute store with stuff ranging from baby clothes to furniture to women’s clothes to home decor. I actually bought a cute blouse there!

Little by little, all of us were acquiring quite a few brown paper bags filled with goodies. We headed back to our cars and drove just a few miles to The Little Shop on Bosque (Magnolia’s first store location), which is where they have out of season/discount products. It was very small, but still really cute and fun to look around. I had almost bought a Christmas ornament at Magnolia, but they had ones I liked even better for more than 60% off at the Bosque store, so that was exciting and I bought one for myself and a few for gifts. Caitlyn, Lindsey, Robin and Susan also took a quick detour at the Dr. Pepper Museum. We closed out our day in Waco at Harp Design Co. and it was a really fun store as well where I bought a cute macrame garland for my mantle.

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We headed back to Dallas to eat dinner and ended up eating at Coco’s Fire and Ice, an #authentic Mexican food close to our AIRBNB in the Bishop Arts District. It was an EXPERIENCE. And a hilarious one at that. The common thread throughout the weekend was Jesus and laughter. Oh my goodness gracious did we LAUGH. It was so good for my soul. More conversation, dancing and singing ensued when we got back home and then off to bed we went!

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