Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Our Week - The One with Summertime, Week 10 (Dave Matthews Band Concert and The Friends Experience)

What. A. Week.  I don’t think we’ve squeezed this many fun things into one week since before the pandemic!  This is going to be an extra long recap, so let’s get right to it!

Monday, July 26

I kicked off the new week with my bi-weekly grocery shopping trip to Publix, and then when I got home, it was time to tackle the laundry for the rest of the morning.  The kids spent some time before lunch working on another hour of IXL for summer homework, and then we all ate lunch together at home.  Jacob also spent most of the morning putting together all of his Lego sets that he’d received from his birthday.  Like, ALL of them.  Lol.

Olivia had her follow-up with the doctor for her elbow Monday afternoon, so we left Jacob with B since he was working from home, and she and I headed out.  Her appointment went really well, and the doctor said her elbow is looking great.  While we were there, we had him pull up her original x-ray that was taken in the ER right after she broke it because she wanted to have a copy of it to show everyone… gotta have a record of the battle wounds!  And ugh, I’d love to go the rest of my life without ever seeing this again.

While we were there, the doc did warn us that, unfortunately, he does see a lot of “repeat offenders” when it comes to elbow breaks, and he also told us that because Olivia (and Jacob, too) inherited my crazy elbow hyperextension (our arms bend backwards slightly at the elbow whereas most people’s arms are straight), she is more likely to break hers easily.  He said if she didn’t have that hyperextension, the outcome of her fall may have been a lot different… and not so bad.  Sigh.  But anyhoo, we are just praying that she doesn’t become one of his “repeat offenders.”

After we wrapped up our appointment, we headed straight to the library to turn in a ton of books along with the Snap Circuits set we’d checked out the previous week.  Then after we dropped those, it was time to head to Olivia’s dance school to get her registered for the new dance season!!  She was so excited!

She begged to take ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical this year, and B and I decided we’d let her add the extra class this year.  In addition to adding the extra class, we found out that she’s moving up to the next level for ballet, tap, and jazz, so her class that used to be an hour and 15 minutes will now be two hours.  That means she’ll have two hours of dance on Mondays and then 45 minutes of lyrical on Tuesdays.  Now we just have to hope that Jacob’s baseball schedule works out with her dance schedule!

When she and I arrived back home, I made dinner and then we spent the rest of the evening at home catching up on the Olympics.

Tuesday, July 27

Tuesday morning, I got in a cardio workout and then I settled in to finish my blog post for Wednesday.  Once that was done, I got the kids all packed for Pop and Cokie’s house, and then we had a quick lunch when B got home from work at noon. 

Our Dave Matthews Band tickets from May 2020 rolled over to July 2021 after their 2020 summer tour was canceled for Covid, and Tuesday was the night!!!!  They have been my favorite band since I was 12 years old and I’ve seen them every single time they’ve come to Atlanta since 2002 plus in a few other cities for a total of 24 times. 

B and I debated and debated over whether or not to go, and ultimately ended up deciding to go.  He and I are both vaccinated, the concert was outdoors, and Covid cases had been on the decline all summer, so we felt like we’d be pretty safe.  Well, the week leading up to the concert, cases started to rise again, and that made us nervous, but we decided to go since we’re vaxxed. 

We dropped the kids at my mom and dad’s house a little after 2 and then headed to Alpharetta (north Atlanta) for the show.  One of our friends moved to Atlanta last year, so we had arranged to meet up with him and his boyfriend for dinner prior to the show.  We opted for a restaurant called Salt Factory because it was close to the amphitheater and had a good vibe, and it was a great evening catching up with them over burgers and beers. 

While we were at the restaurant, a massive storm blew through and it was thundering and lightning like crazy, so bad that the power went out at the restaurant!  Fortunately, it came back on within about a minute, but we were worried what the future was going to hold for the concert.  A quick glance of my radar app showed that the storm was small in size and would be finished by the time we were done with dinner.

Sure enough, by the time we made our way to the car, the rain had slowed to a sprinkle, and by the time we arrived at the venue it had stopped completely.  And the storm had dropped the temperature from a stifling 95 degrees to a breezy 73 degrees, and for that, we were soooo grateful. 

When we arrived at the venue, instead of heading straight to our seats, B and I opted to stand out in the commons area so as to avoid being too close to other people for too long.  The show was scheduled to start around 7:30 and DMB had been starting between 7:45 and 8 at the previous two concerts, so we made our way to our seats a little before then. 

Unfortunately, since this was a show that had been scheduled for May 2020 and rolled over to 2021 when everything was canceled last year, the show was sold out, so there was no way to social distance.  That part made me super nervous, but thankfully, our seats were near the edge of the amphitheater rather than right smack in the middle.  It was also outdoors and there was a nice breeze almost the whole night, so that made me feel much better.  Had it been indoors, that would have been a dealbreaker for us not to go.  We also lucked out because the four seats to my right stayed empty THE ENTIRE TIME as did three or four seats in the row behind us.  That meant we were able to spread out a little and we weren’t elbow-to-elbow with other people.  Whew.

There was no opening band for this show, I’m assuming because of Covid, so DMB came out at 7:45 and then they rocked the house for THREE HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES, y’all.  They performed 24 songs and that was probably the most songs they’ve played at any of their shows I’ve attended.  It was just incredible and the setlist was stacked… they played so many of my favorites.  And in case you’re not familiar with DMB, they have 10 studio albums + an extensive collection of unreleased songs, so their songbook is HUGE.  Therefore, the odds of them playing your very favorite ones are not very high.  But they ended up playing many of my favorites and I just loved it so much.

I have to say, when they first came out on stage and opened with Warehouse, I teared up.  Seeing live music is one of my very favorite things to do in the whole world, and I’d probably choose to go to a Dave Matthews Band concert over most anything else in the world.  I’ve seen them live every single year since 2002 (multiple times some years) with the exception of 2011 when they took the whole year off, so for that concert to get canceled last year, it hurt.  This was my 24th time seeing them live and, y’all, it just felt so good to be able to do it again after two whole years. 

All that said, the entire time we were there, it was always at the forefront of my mind that we were in an amphitheater with 12,000 other people.  During Covid.  When cases had just started rising again. 

Prior to that night, we thought we’d feel comfortable going because a) B and I are both fully vaccinated and supposedly 94% protected against Covid from said vaccine, b) the venue was outdoors, c) cases had been on the decline in our city for weeks and we were down to only 1-2 new positive cases per day, and d) we weren’t taking our unvaccinated kids.  We felt pretty good about it for a while… and then a few days before the concert cases started to rise drastically again because of the Delta variant.  Ugggghhhh.  Will this ever end?! 

So basically, the whole time during the show, I was split between letting loose and enjoying every single second aaaand silently praying for us to not be making a mistake.  Therefore, setlist-wise this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, but on the other hand, it sucked that I couldn’t fully enjoy it because of my worrying about getting Covid.

The show ended at 11, and we made our way back to the car, taking alternate routes and zig-zagging all through the amphitheater and parking lot to avoid the crowds.  Getting out of the parking lot is always fun after a large concert (sarcasm) and between waiting for that and driving home, we didn’t make it to bed until nearly 2 AM.  It’s always worth the late night, though.

While we were in Atlanta, the kiddos were sleeping over at Pop and Cokie's and having a blast!

Wednesday, July 28

Wednesday morning, B and I both slept in until almost nine, and then I had to get up and get ready so I could pick up the kids from my parents’ house.  Olivia had an appointment with the occupational therapist at 11, so she and Jacob and I headed there shortly after I picked them up. 

The occupational therapist said she could tell that we’ve been doing her therapy at home very well, because Olivia was able to bend her arm 135 degrees which is 15 more than the first time when she was just at 120!!  She said that normal range is 140-145 and she has no doubt that Olivia will make it back there easily.  She did go on to say that the last 5-10 degrees are always the hardest to achieve, though, because the human body knows that it doesn’t need those, so she did say we’ll have to keep working hard at home to get them back. 

She also said that the tissue on the inside of her elbow (where the pins were) had softened up tremendously, too, and we only have to do her tissue massage for another week or so.  Since Olivia had made such huge strides in such a short amount of time, the therapist said there was nothing more that she could do, and she released us!  Now we just have to continue the therapy at home, and we have an open order for the therapist if for some reason we ever need her.  Woo hoooo! 

The rest of the day was spent unpacking the kids and getting things back in order after the concert, catching up on stuff that had been neglected Tuesday while we were gone, and hanging out at home.  I was on the struggle bus all day from lack of sleep, but I did push myself to get in a cardio workout while we watched TV Wednesday evening. 

We finally made the kids get back in their own beds Wednesday night after weeks of sleeping in sleeping bags together on the floor.  School starts August 9 so it’s time to start getting back in the swing of things.  The kiddos got in the bed eeeeaaaarly Wednesday evening (like, at 8) because we were all sleep-deprived, and then we let them read a bit.  Then B and I watched a couple more episodes of Atypical and then we headed to bed, too.

And for the sake of documenting history, on Wednesday, the CDC announced that all school age kids needed to wear masks when school starts back regardless of vaccination status, so our school amended their protocol to include a mask mandate.  I absolutely hate that it has to be this way (for real, everybody just go get vaccinated so we can end this thing!!), but it’s necessary to protect our babies.  I applaud our school for making the right decision and I’m grateful that our kids will be protected better than they would have if other kids had not worn masks this year.

On that note, I am praying that I don’t have to start calling these weekly updates quarantine updates again soon.  UGH.  That seems to be where the United States is heading.  Last week totally gave me March 2020 vibes and I’m so over it.

Wednesday was also hard because the CDC released more info about the Delta variant and how vaccinated people can sometimes contract Covid from the Delta variant AND spread it to others.  Had that info been released prior to the concert, we would not have gone.  So naturally, for the rest of the week, my anxiety was sky-high as I was worried going to the concert had been a mistake… I was on pins and needles all week just waiting to come down with symptoms.  Thankfully, as you’re reading this more than a week later, neither B nor I have.  And hopefully we won’t.

Thursday, July 29

Thursday morning, I did another cardio workout and then at 11, I dropped the kids at my father-in-law’s house so I could visit with my therapist.  B was working in the office, so I couldn’t leave them at home with him. 

We visited in person again (woo hoo!) and then I headed back to pick the kids up.  Jacob asked if we could pick up Chick-Fil-A for lunch, and a lemon kale Caesar salad with grilled chicken did sound good, so I agreed.

After lunch, they worked on more summer homework, and then they played while I worked.  We had breakfast for dinner, and then we watched some more of the Olympics plus an episode of Walk the Prank after dinner, and then after the kids went to bed (in sleeping bags together in Olivia’s room again – because I just couldn’t say no!), B and I stayed up later than usual since he was taking Friday off for a long weekend.

Friday, July 30

Friday morning, I got up before the rest of the fam to get in a 2.5 mile run.  I knew if I didn’t get it in first thing it’d never happen because we had another busy day planned.  After my run, we all had breakfast and got ready, and then B and I dropped the kids off at my MIL and step-FIL’s house to stay with them for the day so B and I could head to Atlanta again for a day date!! 

The drive felt quicker than usual, probably because I was fighting with Google maps for half of it (LOL) and then also because one my friends (who is an old co-worker) called me on the way to chat.  We ended up talking to him for a while, and by the time we got off of the phone with him, we were nearly there.  We arrived in Atlanta just in time for lunch at Tin Lizzy’s, one of our favorite places to eat up there.  We hadn’t been in nearly two years since we haven’t been traveling much during Covid and it hit the spot after being away for so long.  Margs at noon on a Friday?  Yes, please!!

After lunch, B and I headed to the main event, and the real reason we were in Atlanta – The Friends Experience!!!!  Y’all, Friends is my very most favorite show of all-time.  I started watching it when I was 12 years old and I grew up with it until the very end.  I bought all of the “Best of” sets on VHS when they were released, and then bought all of the seasons on DVD as they were released.  Friends was ALWAYS on in the background when I was hanging out in my bedroom, and I’ve seen every episode, probably, 20+ times each… and I think that’s probably being conservative?!  I basically invented binge-watching and all I binged was Friends over and over for years.  Hahahaha.  It was always and forever be my favorite show and I know nothing will ever, ever top it.  And in case you’re new around here, fun fact, my cousin is married to Matthew Perry’s (Chandler Bing) sister.  And yes, I’ve met Matthew Perry and it was the most starstruck I’ve ever been!!

Anyhoo, when I saw that The Friends Experience was coming to Atlanta, I knew we had to go, and Friday was the day my dreams came true.  Hahahaha.  The experience promised to be “Monica clean” and if you watched the show, you know what that means!  Therefore, I knew we’d feel okay about being there during Covid.  Everyone is required to wear a mask at all times (no exceptions) other than when you’re in a designated picture spot, they had hand sanitizing stations and wipes throughout the entire experience, and they kept everyone in very small groups so it was easy to socially distance ourselves from others. 

When we arrived, we were taken into a little room where we watched a quick video about the experience, what to expect, what the rules were, etc. and then we were all sent to the very first set… the fountain with the orange couch!  The entire experience was super organized so everyone knew exactly where to stand in line to take pictures, and there was a designated employee at every picture-taking spot so they could take your picture.  There were also disinfecting wipes just after every photo-taking spot so we could wipe down our phones after the employees touched them.  Y’all know I loved and took full advantage of that!  Haha.

After the fountain scene, we walked through a little hallway with outfits that each of the characters actually wore in some of the episodes, and there was also lots of memorabilia hanging on the walls.  Next up was a wall of wigs of all of Rachel’s hair styles throughout the show, and there were also TV screens throughout the experience playing all of the famous scenes from the show. 

Up next was a giant wall with a blown-up copy of Rachel’s letter that she gave to Ross that he, “FELL ASLEEP” reading, and then came the famous PIVOT scene that we could get in and take a picture!  One of the best scenes from the whole show! 

Next up, was blown-up copies of Ross’s “Science Boy” comics, and then came the scene with Ross and Chandler in the 80’s when they looked like they were straight outta Miami Vice. 

Moving on, was one of my personal favorites… the scene where Joey puts on all of Chandler’s clothes and says, “My name is Chandler, could I BE wearing anymore clothes?!”  I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve used the phrase, “Could I BE…” fill in the blank.  Haha.

There were a few walls full of memorabilia and pictures to look at after that, and then, we moved on into Joey and Chandler’s apartment followed by Monica and Rachel’s apartment where we got to sit in the kitchen and then poke Ugly Naked Guy.  IYKYK.  ;o)

Rounding out the tour was a walk through the famous Central Perk followed by the gift shop!  It was just so so fun, y’all!

While we were doing all of those fun things, the kids were building a “megatropolis” out of wood blocks and Legos and baking and decorating cookies with Nana and Poppie. 

After we finished our Friends extravaganza, B and I made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s because there was one right down the street from The Friends Experience.  I was hoping that they’d have their fall goodies out, but sadly, they didn’t.  We did stock up on all of our regular favorites, though, and then we headed home!

We got back into town a little before 5, grabbed the babies from Nana and Poppie’s house, and then headed home.  I got straight to work reorganizing the pantry with all of our TJ’s stuff, and B headed out to grab pizza for dinner. 

After dinner, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which meant that… I fell asleep on the couch.  Haha. 

After the kids went to bed, B and I finished season four of Atypical, and it was all wrapped up in a nice little bow.  Sure enough, I looked online and we discovered that season four was the series finale.  If you haven’t seen it, B and I both highly recommend it.  It’s funny and heartwarming, and it’s also a quick watch at just 30 minutes per episode. 

Saturday, July 31

Saturday morning, we made waffles for breakfast and then headed straight to the pool.  The temps have been near 100 degrees the last week, so I knew if we were going to get outside at all, it’d have to be at the pool.  We stayed there until 12:30 (I got another pool workout in!) and then headed home for a late lunch. 

The rest of the day was spent hanging out at home, catching up on laundry, and working some while the kids played.  Since positive Covid cases have SOARED in our area, unfortunately, we made the decision to stop going to church in-person again, and instead, we’re doing virtual again.  Ugggghhhh.  Our vaccination rate here is only somewhere around 33%, and our church is no longer requiring masks (even though they’re asking unvaccinated people to wear theirs, but we think most of them aren’t), so we just didn’t feel right about exposing the kids to unmasked, unvaccinated people indoors for an hour.  I absolutely hate that we’re already having in-person church taken away from us again when we just started going back only a month ago, but it is what it is, I suppose.  I’m praying things turn around soon so we can start going back again.

Since we didn’t go to church, we stayed home the rest of the evening.  B picked up takeout from our favorite barbecue place (and they messed up my order again – argh), and then we watched the rest of Pirates 3 followed by some of the Olympics.

After the kiddos went to bed, B and I started the new season of Outer Banks – EEK!  We loved the first season and binged the whole thing right when it came out last year, so we were excited that it’s back for a second season!

Sunday, August 1

Sunday morning was cinnamon rolls and virtual church (argh) and then the rest of the day was spent being lazy at home.  I closed every single one of my rings every single day in July, so on Sunday I took the day off from working out for the first time in more than 31 days! 

Sunday evening, we headed to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner, and my momma made barbecue chicken, rice, and veggies + a yummy dessert.  We hung out there all evening chatting with my parents and my Mama Cass, and before we knew it, it was almost 9 and time to head home.

It was such a full, full week, and I’m hoping it was enough to fill my cup since we’re about to have to start laying low again.  Sigh.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


  1. Wow! What a great week, other than the covid worries! I am nervous now too about transmitting to Simon, although Dave says I shouldn't be nervous because if he gets it it won't be bad...but you never know! I hadn't heard of that Friends Experience, it looks so fun!!

  2. What a super fun week! DMB & Friends experience - nothing will beat the PIVOT couch scene! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  3. Oh my gosh what a fun week and you look so cute in that skirt at the friends exhibit! We love Dave Matthews as well but we’ve only seen him once, I would like to again!

  4. What a super fun week! You guys look like you had an amazing time. The Friends Experience looks amazing and I wish I lived near a large city so that I could go, too! You look like you could be on the show!

  5. Yay for going to a concert again. I can’t wait to do that. We are having to wear masks too in school. I hope we don’t get shut down. We were at the city offices for a permit this week and they said they might shut down again in 4 weeks as everything is getting worse again. So bummed about that. Ugh. But it looks like a good week otherwise.

  6. Such a good week!!! So many fun things, and I just love all the Friends Experience pictures. Looks like you had a blast!

  7. We watched that second season of Outer Banks in record timing and I'm already anxious for season 3! That friends experience looks amazing... as I'm watching friends while reading this! (the episode where Monica and Chandler decide to move in together).

    1. We are so ready for season 3 as well! And YES!! I'm actually watching Friends as I type this! Haha. (The one where Joey's living in his own apartment and Chandler's new roommate Eddie won't leave.)


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