We just got back from our trip to Nashville, and as always we had a blast! Let me back up to a few days ago when I got a call from St. Jude. I was shocked when the person on the phone asked if we wanted to go to the Million Dollar Show. For those that don’t know what the Million Dollar Show is, it’s a concert in Nashville benefitting St. Jude. It is put on by Bobby Bones and his band The Raging Idiots. It was started when Bobby Bones first started raising money for St. Jude. He said when he reached the goal of 1 million dollars raised, they would put on a concert. They reached one million and never stopped. Fast forward 5 years…. this is the 5th Million Dollar Show, and to date have raised over 14 million dollars for St. Jude! It’s absolutely amazing!!!
The best part of the show is that on top of the Raging Idiots playing, they also invite many other country artists and friends to perform with them. If you are a fan of music, especially country music, this is the best because you get to hear so many artists and their hit songs in one night. James and I went to the show on our own last year because we love country music so much and are huge fans of The Bobby Bones Show. So, fast forward to this year, you can imagine my surprise and excitement when they asked if we wanted to attend with Caleb so he could be a part of the show as well. Within just a few days all our travel arrangements were made and we were off to Nashville!
This was Caleb’s first time in Nashville and he was so excited. He loves airplanes and hotels, so the whole trip was super exciting for him. We flew in Sunday night and then spent part of Monday driving around Nashville and just enjoying the beautiful sunny and 50 degree weather. Then we went back to our hotel to rest a bit before the big show!
We went down to the lobby at 6:30 to meet the St. Jude representative and the other family from St. Jude that would be joining us for the night. The other little boy from St. Jude was Colton and he and Caleb were fast friends. Colton is 5 years old and just finished his treatment! Both boys were very excited about the night!
We arrived at the Ryman and entered through the VIP entrance. We were immediately escorted backstage to start meeting the artists and get pictures taken. The first artist we met was Brett Young. He was so tall and very nice. Next, while we were waiting for Eddie and Bobby Bones to come out, Lunchbox came out to say hi (he’s from the Bobby Bones show for those who don’t follow the show). He was so good with the kids and was playing tag with them. Caleb was giggling so hard! He thought he was so funny!
Next Bobby Bones and Eddie came out to take pics. We have met them before but they were very happy to meet Caleb. We took some pictures with them and Caleb made sure he told Bobby he loves the Chick-fil-a song! Bobby told him don’t worry, you’re going to hear it tonight! Ha ha ha!!!
After that we met Rick Shadyac, ALSAC President for St. Jude. Again, Caleb immediately warmed up to him. Rick asked if he and Colton would join him on stage for the beginning of the show and both boys said yes! So James and I, along with Colton’s family, headed to our seats to watch the start of the show! So let me clarify… 4 year old Caleb and 5 year old Colton ON STAGE while we were in our seats ha ha!! It was SO funny to see Caleb on stage in front of all those people! And he even talked, saying “hi” and “Thank You” to everyone in the crowd. I think all of these TV commercials, photo shoots, and fashion shows have finally broken him out of being shy ha ha! He did an awesome job on stage and the audience loved seeing the boys. See the video below:
So we sat in our seats for a little while and watched the first few artists perform. Then as each artist arrived at the Ryman, they wanted to get pictures of Caleb and Colton with them so we headed back stage for more pictures. At some point we all just ended up side stage to watch the show instead of walking back and forth to our seats the entire time. It was so fun to watch the artists that close, see their perspective of the crowd from the stage, and then walk back stage after their performance. Again, after each artist performed Caleb and Colton took pictures with them.
Brooks and Dunn
The other fun part about this show is some of the artists are revealed ahead of time, but there are many surprise artists that are not announced. A couple of the surprises were newer bands, but really good ones. Then as the night went on more big surprises… Foreigner, Lindsay Ell, Old Dominion (MY FAV) and Sam Hunt (also my favorite). I had no idea they were all going to be there so I was so excited. I didn’t jump in for a picture with every artist but I HAD to get my picture with a few of the ones I LOVE! The guys in Old Dominion were so nice and I actually talked to them for several minutes. Sam Hunt was super nice too! Really everyone was so nice and we thanked each artist for being there and doing this for St. Jude!
I didn’t want the night to end. We had so much fun hanging out back stage and meeting everyone. Caleb was talking to everyone and high fiving everyone. He was even dancing side stage to some of the music. He had the time of his life too, and that is the most important thing to us.
As I always say, we’d trade anything for Caleb to have never had cancer. I wish we had never needed St. Jude in the first place. We have no control over what did happen, but now we have the gift of making so many memories. Our trip with him to Nashville, and especially last night, were unforgettable. Caleb gets excited over every little thing… getting on the air plane, eating breakfast in the hotel (hello waffle maker!), and “borrowing some else’s car” (rental car). The big things and the little things are all equally exciting to him and it makes my heart smile when he is happy. His happiness is most important, and I am so thankful for the experiences we had together this trip.
Let me add that after careful consideration we decided not to bring Tyler with us this trip. We will return to Nashville at a later date as a whole family to explore more, but Tyler had school and also gets a little bored when all the attention is on Caleb at times. So all in all we felt it was best for him to stay with family this trip. He had his own fun with a trip to Busch Gardens with grandma right before we left, and then a sleepover for 2 nights with Grandpa and Grebbie, complete with a play date with a friend and many other fun things.
But we couldn’t wait to get home to him last night! We picked him up from school and he was so excited to tell us about the last couple days, and Caleb was so excited to give him the surprises he picked out for him from Nashville. These 2 boys always think about each other. When Tyler went to Busch Gardens over the weekend he bought Caleb some souvenirs and so Caleb wanted to do the same for him.
Grandma and Bruce met us at the airport too to surprise us and welcome us home!
We did have a count check for Caleb this morning, and he still has not met counts yet to start chemo (his platelets are still low). We are talking with his doctor at St. Jude about an updated treatment plan and I will have that information to share with you very soon.
Here are some more pics of the show to enjoy. Photo cred for all professional pics in this post go to Premo Creative. All the pics below are pro pics from the show (in no particular order). Enjoy!!!