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Today was a strange day. Christian slept (or otherwise rested) on the couch all day, leaving Eliana wondering what her place in the world was.

Toward the end of the day, she laid herself flat on the arm of a large green chair in our living room with her face buried in the space where the arm meets the back, and whined,"But it's Saturday...Christian is supposed to do stuff and play!" She told me she just wanted to build something, so I reminded her of the LEGOs and she hurriedly brought them into the living room so that she could at least play next to Christian, if not with him.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a more normal day, the ice that has trapped us inside for a couple of days will melt away, and playmates will be restored to full-play capacity.



The pack was so heavy; the stones pulled the straps down so that they rubbed meanly on her shoulders, but the rocks also dug unmercifully into her back with their uneven hardness. Stubbornly, she clung to the straps even as he reached for her bag. Why, she furiously wondered, would he, or should he, take the heavy sack? He hoisted it with one hand from her sore shoulders, and gently loosened her fingers. As he took the pack, she felt such relief that she almost stumbled although she was now without her heavy burden.

To her surprise, instead of dumping out the stones and returning the bag to her, he swung the bag around with a great effort and began carrying it himself. "Come on," he said,"We'll go together. Always together."

The sun chased the night away as it got lighter.


It Ain't Over Yet...

You thought I was all done talking about them, didn't you?

"If you'da been thinkin', you wouldn't 'a thought that."

Here is what happened: I was able to purchase the VIP experience (If you have to pay to be a Very Important Person, can you still call yourself a VIP?) for Michaela and me, and the perks included getting into the concert early (hence the third row seats), a freshly-signed-by-each-member-of-the-band poster for each of us, and a chance to shake their hands and stand for a photo.

I want to squeal, still. 



Each one of them shook our hands, looked us right in the eyes, and asked our names. I even remember one of them asking Michaela where she was from. Michaela will have to tell you what she thought of this, so I will speak for myself for a minute. After asking my name, each one of them looked at me and listened to me say,"Christina," shook my hand, and smiled in a way that made me feel, even if for just that moment, that they not only would remember my name, but that they truly cared! In the end, it was not the extra money that made me a VIP that night. Rather, it was Drew, Chad, Jon, Jerome, and Tim taking the time to make me feel like I mattered, even though I was one out of a thousand people who had shown up for the concert, and one out of another hundred who were waiting to meet them. 

I had many things to say, but I refrained, and kept my comments to a minimum (there was a long line of people, you know). I told Jon that every movie should be like that one (and I wish I could have elaborated, but I hope he knew what I meant), and that after watching it I felt like I knew them. He grinned and said...well, I can't remember if he said,"All right!" or,"Wooooo!" (I'll see if Michaela remembers, for the sake of accuracy and posterity...haha!), and then he gave me a high-five. I high-fived Jon Foreman. And I'm pleased to say that I nailed it (and not in the Pinterest-fail kind of way), and didn't miss his hand and hit Jerome in the face. Although they may have remembered my name for real if something like that had happened...

Meeting them was a wonderful experience, and I hope that Christian and Eliana can have the same chance one day (read: I want to do that again). 


The Finale

"Dare You to Move" was the final song of the show. 

Or was it? 

It was supposed to be, but they came back out for an encore. The Fab Five all gathered together at the front of the stage, and Jon told us that they were going for an intimate, campfire-feeling with the next song.

This one was all acoustic; no one was plugged in.  

Jerome had his accordian (I think that's an accordian. It's an accordian, right?), Drew had his guitar, Tim had a tambourine, and Chad had the snare in front of him. Jon brought his voice, the others joined in with their vocals, and the whole thing was perfect. 

Like, I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

If you've never heard this song, stop reading right now and google it, or youtube it, or something. It's so good.

And the live acoustic version is beautiful. 

As he did throughout the entire show, Jon encouraged the crowd to join in. 

Don't they look like they're having the best time? 

I love it! 

And the show went on! Jon introduced the next song, "Ba55," (pronounced: B-A-5-5) and they just about brought the place down with the next performance. 

I use the word epic rarely, especially in this day and age when it is used so frequently, but this song and this part of the show? 


It is a really fun song to crank up, and I have. Our speakers get loud, yo. I turn it way up when I want to get stuff done. 

Lit. It. Up. 

It was so good. 

And then it really was time for the finale. 

As I've been looking back over my pictures, I've noticed how Jon interacted with the audience; sometimes it seemed like he zeroed in on someone in particular for some reason, he didn't hesitate to reach out. 

And this last song is one in particular that I think hits home for a lot of their fans. 

"Where I Belong" 

This is another song that you have to hear. 

When I listen to the words of this one, I think,"This is Jon Foreman's Revelation Song."

Feeling like a refugee
Like it don't belong to me
The colors flash across the sky

This air feels strange to me
Feeling like a tragedy
I take a deep breath and close my eyes
One last time
One last time 

Storms on the wasteland
Dark clouds on the plains again
We were born into the fight

But I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive

Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Where the weak are finally strong
Where the righteous right the wrongs
Still looking for a home 
In a world where I belong


Feels like we're just waiting, waiting
While our hearts are just breaking, breaking
Feels like we've been fighting against the tide

I wanna see the earth start shaking
I wanna see a generation
Finally waking up inside

This body's not my own
This world is not my own
But I still can hear the sound
Of my heart beating out
So let's go boys, sing it loud

And on the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived 
In a world where I belong

I still believe we can live forever 
You and I we begin forever now
Forever now
I still believe in us together
You and I we're here together now
Together now
Forever now
Forever now
Forever now


And I wish the concert could have lasted forever...

This time it was really over, 

and I wish I had the words to express how wonderful the whole thing was. 

Just incredible. 

It's a night with Michaela that I won't forget until my mind loses all of its capabilities. I hope she remembers it too. 


"Dare You to Move" (a.k.a. When Persistence Pays Off)

After playing a new song (it was the second time they had played it live, I think), "When We Come Alive," Jon stepped to the mic and told us he was about to do something risky.

He went to the edge of the stage, reached down, and pulled up this sign:

"Can I play "Dare You to Move" with you? PLEASE"

Next thing, Jon pulled this young man up on stage and made his night. (Life? Maybe.) I don't even know this guy, and I was yelling and cheering like he was my brother, because COOLEST EVER!! 

The guys had one of their crew get him a guitar...

and we heard the story of a video that he sent to Drew in a tweet asking the same question...

And then Jon shared the stage with him; his name is Scotty Swingler, by the way.

And just for the record, he completely rocked the song! All of them did!

Jon went back and forth between playing his guitar too and just singing.

I mean, seriously? This was all kinds of crazy fun!!

All the guys were so great about it. They looked like they loved every second of making this guy's night. 

Aahhh! Jon Foreman is sharing! his! mic! 

Then he went to him and they did a fantastic rendition (?) (I don't know what to call it...) of this particular part of the song...

The crowd was nuts. 

And the final note(s) was (were) just awesome. It makes me smile just thinking of it. 

These guys are just so amazing. They truly seem to care about the people who have come to hold them in such high regard. 

I keep trying to put into words how great it was...

but it's hard to do. 

One of the things Jon says in the movie is,“If you’re leaving your family’d better believe in what you’re singing.” (I found this quote in an article that was posted on their fan website, so I hope it's right.) (It's pretty much what I remembered from the film myself.) The more I learn about the band members, and how they live with their celebrity, it's clear that they do believe in what they're singing; and the more I admire them and want to support them. 

Here is a link to a video that someone posted of the portion of the concert that Scotty was on stage. If you have a few minutes, it's really fun to watch! (I confess: I watched it several times, even though I saw it happen live!! Ha! It was just so! much! fun!) (Note: the quality of the video does not reflect the quality of the show live...they sounded even better live than the radio/studio versions of their music. I was blown away by the way they sounded, and it way exceeded all of my expectations.)

Scotty plays with Switchfoot!


And guess what?! We still weren't at the end of the show!