I’ve been busy–it’s been difficult to make time for blogging!  However, my visit to Magnolia Market I feel, is *blog-worthy*.  ? So I’m making time to write at 10:00pm. 

Right off, let me answer the top two questions everyone’s been asking.  Then, I’ll expand into the nitty gritty of my visit.
1. Did I meet Chip & JoAnna Gaines?  No.  I tried to check their appearance schedule and even went as far as to try to schedule a meeting with their public relations team member…but they were busy the week I was there.
2. Is it worth traveling to see?  My answer is to, wait.  Is it worth it?  Yes, but there’s still work to be done, and if you’re traveling as far as I did…you might want to go when it’s more complete.  It was still great, but I think there’s reasons to wait.
If you are planning a trip in the near future regardless of my “wait” comment–I recommend you go in October 6-8th when they are having their Johnnyswim concert event–great music and an appearance by Chip & Joanna.  
Now…for the details.  Before visiting Waco–we hit up the late, Elvis’ Graceland.  Graceland and Magnolia/Silos both had something in common–little gems in the middle of a very run-down area. (We jokingly sang Elvis’ “In the Ghetto” while driving.)  it didn’t seem like a dangerous area by any means–just not particularly pretty.
I was pretty giddy for my visit and my husband kept telling me not to get my hopes up because he didn’t want me to be disappointed…I do that a lot…when you are creative and have big dreams…things can be difficult to knock your socks off!  
The first exit was closed so we came in a back detour, which perhaps might have been part of seeing a dull part of Waco.  The silos can be seen blocks away…(I think I was clapping in my seat at this point).  
Free parking was on the back side of the property.  My hubby prepped the kids with Frogg toggs, hand water bottle fans, a fan on the stroller (yes, we traveled by SUV with three children 6years and under–we Rock!) …I was still too excited to notice that it was 110* outside!!!  Around the corner the famous checkerboard turf greeted us.  We went into the market first. 

While you can use a stroller, the place was so packed with visitors, it was difficult to navigate.  (My sweet hubby juggled the kids so I could enjoy free hands!) Magnolia was beautifully merchandised.  I enjoyed combing through everything.  Everyone was super friendly and happy to be there–so that was nice!  There were two tiers/levels to shop in.  I purchased a few gifts (fragrant soaps), a plater, and a tank top.  Obviously could have easily spent more money…but I was being good. (Wink). Prices were affordable, but it adds up quickly.  The checkout experience was extremely personal and welcoming…In fact, I went back for more items and they remembered me the second time through! 🙂

After that we enjoyed the lawn and swings.  They had food trucks set up around the back.  There was construction going on.  I’m not certain what that part was going to be…but we were asked to move out of the way while struggling to make a bottle in 110* temps so they could move a truck…let’s just say, Chip wasn’t the one renovating in his wildly entertaining manor…

My husband enjoyed the food trucks set up. The food was fantastic–but again, bringing in different businesses brings different personalities…ultimately, I’d love to see them open restaurants maybe “in” the silos or replace the food trucks.  They’d profit better from controlling that space in my opinion.
We ate under a pavilion that had misting overhead to keep you cool.  The white picnic tables were a fresh touch to the outdoor setting!  My kids were for some reason enjoying digging in the dirt because they thought they would find dino bones.  Texas dirt is dry and dusty…not heavy and dark like the midwest…so I think that’s why their imaginations were sparked! haha!  

From there, we checked out the seed supply.  I bought an adorable plant misting can…that is, after my husband decided to practically take a bath in the trough tub they had out front…there’s a little “Chip” in my husband…again, I was a bit too distracted to notice the heat!

The silos are an amazingly photogenic backdrop to the property.  You can’t take a bad photograph there.  Next to the silo/stage is the “#milestomagnolia ranch sign”…so we got our pic…the girl who took our picture was such a doll.  She listened to nearly every joke my kiddos told her, bless her heart!

Lastly, we grabbed a sinfully delicious cupcake from the bakery, before saying goodbye.

So, did it disappoint me? Yes, and no.  Would I go back?  The length of this blog entry should tell you the answer is, in a heartbeat .  I think the magic of “Fixer Upper” lies within the personalities of Chip & Joanna.  I felt their personalities were missing from the “experience” and overall design.  Even a projected blooper reel on a screen would have helped to bring that “fun” to the atmosphere.  There was just something missing…and that’s all I could come up with.
I think people go there for different reasons. Some feel they are getting something uniquely handpicked from Joanna herself.  Some perhaps live locally and it’s a local attraction.  Some see themselves in the Gaines family.  Some are sweet husbands being dragged along with their design-happy wives.  
For me…I’ve been drawn to her story.  Joanna has been pretty open about how she felt God lead her to put her job on hold for her family.  I too left a job for my family…and became a stay-at-home-mom and chose to run my business out of my home.  It was a decision I prayed heavily on and I’ve felt God’s blessings along the way ever since.  I’m a dreamer and I have big plans, but I have to remember to let Him reveal His desires for me. Isaiah 55:9

So, to stand on the property of the Silos, for me,  sparked a light of curiosity within me.  A curiosity to keep seeking the course God has in store for me.  He has my story written–it may not be on the scale of Chip & JoAnna’s earthy success, but it’s all *inspiring*.  Sometimes, as adults we think backwards.  We teach our children to dream and dream BIG and follow those goals…but as adults we view each other as foolish for dreaming big…like big ambitions are meant for childhood only.  Change gets uncomfortable.  Fear and awareness of failure sets in.  It’s terrible and the complete opposite of what we should teach our kids.
So here’s to staying “uncomfortable”. Growing in change and following something bigger than myself!  Letting my kids know that God doesn’t have an expiration date on us.  We are to be used at every age.  May our hearts be in-tune with His and may our feet “move” when we are called.