This post is long overdue, but better late than never! In case you missed my excessive amount of Instagram posts or my overreaction on Facebook, back in October my best friend and I met up in Waco, Texas for the grand opening of the new storefront of Magnolia Market, a.k.a, the #Silobration. As with most things in life, it took me a while to jump on the Fixer Upper train, but once my Mother-in-law introduced me to the entire first season last Summer, I was hooked. Like, to the point where I really have to watch my Fixer Upper intake or I get weirdly obsessive about it. I have problems.
When the announcement for the grand opening came out, I didn’t think much of it. There was the opening of the store all day, which was free to attend, and then there was a JohnnySwim (heart eyes emoji) concert set to happen on Friday & Saturday evenings at the Silos, which of course cost some dollas. There was ALSO an option to buy tickets to meet Chip & Joanna at this event, which was a lot mo dollas. Because we don’t tend to make room to spend money on these things, I had the half-thought that maybe I could stop by the store that day just to see it. Obviously I was dreaming big here.
Waco, Texas is the closest thing to a halfway point between my best friend and I. We had met there back in January while she was visiting family, so I mentioned the grand opening to her off the cuff. As The Lord would have it, she was already planning to be in Waco that weekend. All the praise hands. (Can’t we just have emojis for everything?) We made tentative plans to get together and visit Magnolia at some point that weekend, as well as Common Grounds, because coffee shops have a natural gravitational pull on us.
Cool. No big plans. Totally chill.
As the weekend approached, the plan was to meet in Waco on Friday, where I would spend the night with Breanne and her family and then we’d do the coffee/shopping/totally calm Magnolia thing on Saturday. Well, since Friday apparently decided to bring Texas some record-breaking rainfall, our drive to my in-laws (where Kip & babes would stay while I was having fun 😏) took 5 hours instead of 3. The highways were backed up, some even closed, and none of us blinked the whole drive. Stressful with a capital S. So, I opted to stay with my family that night and see Breanne the next morning.
That evening, I’m not sure if Bree had an extra cup of coffee or a flood of pregnancy hormones 😉 but she had the idea to see if she could find two tickets to the JohnnySwim concert/grand opening party for Saturday night. Long story short, she’s awesome and she did. She was smart enough to comment on @magnoliamarket’s Instagram asking if anyone had tickets, someone responded, and the sweetest woman who couldn’t go ended up GIVING us her tickets. We were no longer calm. We were ecstatic. Breanne might have cried a little bit, but she gets a pass – like I said, pregnancy hormones. 😏
Saturday came and I met up with Bree while she was wandering around downtown Waco taking her cousin’s senior portraits. I have to say, that city is not what I expected. There are some really cool areas to visit and a feeling of history and community there. Also, I drove past what looked to me like an in-progress Fixer Upper, and I promptly freaked out. I saw Shorty outside and just knew it was the real deal. Then I wondered, “Are the people of Waco just used to this?!” I don’t think I would ever be.
We took some photos on the bridge, drove around a lot, and found ourselves at Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant for lunch, where I stocked up on as many baby cuddles as I could. (Possibly the hardest part of living so far from my soul sister… not getting to spoil eachother’s kiddos!) I started to feel paranoid, because it was getting late, and I thought the silos would close at 5:00. We still had to freshen up and find parking, and it was getting close to 4:00. Breanne reminded me that the store would re-open at 7:00 during the concert, which made me feel like royalty. We were getting to visit the store after hours. Fancy Schmancy.
We waited in the long line at Common Grounds for our coffee, saw our friend Rachelle for a few minutes, and then decided it was time to freshen up for the evening. (I have to note that at every stop around town that day, it was obvious who was headed to Magnolia. We were all basically trying to dress like Joanna Gaines and no one was ashamed. Ankle boots and olive green jackets for days. I love it.) We opted for a bathroom in a random hotel conference center, which felt pretty scandalous at the time. No one seemed to notice two non-guests changing clothes, fixing hair, and re-applying make up in the public bathroom. Whew!
We drove to the Magnolia Market Silos, anticipating a lengthy search for a parking spot, and most likely a long walk from that spot to our destination. What we found, however, was a close spot courtesy of FBC Waco, and a golf cart ride from the lot to the end of the line, courtesy of Magnolia. Such a pleasant surprise, but simultaneously so like how Chip and Joanna seem to be. Hospitable and caring in every way they can think of.
Breanne brought fingernail polish, since we were also anticipating a long wait in line for the doors to open, and we thought we might be semi-productive in that time. 😉 Instead, we ended up talking to the others in line behind us, and we all started moving toward the doors within a few minutes. We were having so much fun making friends with the sweet people around us, the time just flew by! We checked in, got our wristbands, and then it happened: Chip and Joanna came out of the doors and did their super-cute “Are you ready to see our Fixer Upper?”/pull-apart-the-huge-picture thing. I posted it on Instagram and said it was the cutest thing of my life, and I wasn’t lying. My heart swelled with such joy to get to be there.
We had the option to wait in a line that went straight into the store, or one that just went onto the property. We chose the latter, which was absolutely the right choice. We found ourselves on a large, green lawn between the Magnolia storefront and the stage. Beyond that were picnic tables with lights strung overhead, food trucks, a vegetable + flower garden, a pumpkin patch, and the most precious tee-pee for little ones. We walked around, took a million photos, and just tried to take it all in. It was almost unreal.
Behind the store, which I would call a “garage” of sorts, was filled with various booths: a tattoo bar, a cupcake stand, a photo booth, a gourmet popcorn table, and a place to purchase event swag. Every corner of the place was beautiful, even in the simplest of ways.
Instead of fighting the crowds to get into the store, we got in line for a pizza from one of the food trucks. (#Priorities.) This was the only truly long line we waited in, but even then, someone on event staff came to talk to us, just asking how we were doing and obviously trying to just take care of guests who were waiting and getting hungry. Of course we were busy catching up and Instagram-ing a good part of that time, so it didn’t bother us too much. 😉 At every turn, someone on Magnolia’s staff was going above and beyond to ensure everyone was enjoying themselves. Furthermore, it was obvious that they were happy to be there. The buzz in the air was undeniable.
While we were in line, Chip and Joanna announced JohnnySwim and the concert started. It was around this time that I realized I had left my debit card in the car, which was probably the Lord just being my guard. Haha. Breanne had my back for Dinner (thanks B) and we sat down at a picnic table with an older couple to eat. I think we talked their ears off, but they seemed amused by us, and pleasantly surprised that we were both young mothers. JS serenaded the crowd, and we took the opportunity to finally head into the store.
Of course, as soon as we walked inside the store, the Gaines’s appeared on the outdoor stage. Actually, Joanna was on the stage and Chip was repelling down the side of one of the grain silos. Go figure. Breanne went out to see/listen to them, and I took the opportunity to look around the store while it was practically empty, knowing that scenario would probably never happen again. I snapped a few shots, but they were quick and thoughtless because I just wanted to take it all in. Like I said, it was a good thing I had no money with me.
The night passed too quickly. Among what I’ve already mentioned, we tried a Steel City Pop, watched a preview of Fixer Upper’s third season, I met Clint Harp and his wife, Kelly (and took a photo with them that ended up in the Magnolia Newsletter the following week), we got temporary tattoos and mine was crooked, and snapped a quick photo of our muddy boots on the #MagnoliaWelcome entryway. Edit: I forgot to add that just as we were about to leave, we happened to be in the perfect spot for Chip and Joanna to walk right by us, about 3 feet away. We only freaked out a tiny bit. Okay, a lot.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have not only opened a successful store, but they have managed to create an enchanting atmosphere that is inspiring and restful, and throws its arms open wide to families and offers a warm welcome. I still can’t believe we got to be there and be apart of something so wonderful. I can’t wait to go back…. with money. 😉
(Thank you again to Breanne for scoring the tickets and letting me use your photos for this post, to my mother-in-law for keeping my babies, to Mama Judy for letting me crash your family weekend, and to my husband for letting me run off to restore some rest to my soul. I love all of you!)