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Welcome, and thank you for visiting my daily blog! My name is Stephanie, and I'm a wedding + lifestyle portrait photographer based in Warrenton, VA. Feel free to browse around and check out some of my recent work!

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JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market, Texas Adventure

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

What a week! I was excited when JMU won the semifinals in December to move forward to the FCS National Championship! During my years at JMU, one of the best football years happened in 2008. I will never forget that season… But it was also a sad year when Montana beat us in the semifinals. We were very hopeful 2008 was going to be our year. Fast forward to the 2016 season and we ended up with the best team of the year with an overall score of 14-1. The one loss was a bigger conference team against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Understandable! So the planning began for the trip to Frisco, Texas for the National Championship.

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Originally, I had planned to road trip down to Texas, visiting Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Unfortunately, an ice storm came through a majority of the travel route, so I was so glad when I was able to get a last minute flight with my parents! WHEW. Some continued their road trip to Texas, like the MRDs, but it sounded like a long and not-so-pleasant 28-hour trip through the ice and shut down highways. Kudos to them for bearing through that!

My family and I arrived in Texas and the fun and exciting journey began!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

The day before the Championship, we squeezed in a quick trip to Waco, Texas to visit the famous Magnolia Market. My mom and I were SO excited since we are huge fans of Chip and Jojo. But really, who isn’t a fan of them! The timing worked out because I started their “Magnolia Story” book on the airplane and I was about done when we visited. :) We weren’t expecting to “run into them,” but couldn’t wait to see what they created in the heart of Waco! Apparently, we came on the COLDEST day yet! With a wind chill of 8 degrees, it was almost unbearable outside, as if my nose was going to fall off. Haha! Apparently, the day we arrived was the slowest day for them because of how cold it was outside. I’ll run out in the cold if that means fewer crowds. ;)

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas AdventuresFCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Of course, they had the cutest things! My Dad was occupied in JMU conversations because other JMU fans were running around the store and stopping us to talk all things football. I’m glad we didn’t have to worry about entertaining him while we were shopping. ;) Oh yeah, my mom dyed her hair purple for the JMU game. LOL! Although she is a UVA Alumni, she loves supporting her brothers and me! Turns out she was Miss popular with the hair because EVERYWHERE we went, she was complimented on her hair. I even saw her handing out business cards at one point because of the conversation taking off.

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

My favorite part of the Waco trip … We spotted Jojo’s mom!!! She was the sweetest woman and surprised us when she walked up to my mom and me to chat! After taking a quick photo, we hung out and talked to her for a while. It was cute hearing what she had to say about [her crazy, fun and always late son-in-law] Chip and [her sweet and darling daughter] Jojo. That time meeting her made our day and made me love this family even more (as if that was even possible)!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

I left my camera at home and traveled with my I-Phone! Whoops on blog quality!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Yummy, cupcakes!!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas AdventuresFCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas AdventuresFCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Soooooooo … On our way to a JMU pep rally, we hit an ice storm and ran into this traffic. Just for reference, to get from one side of the city to the other, it easily takes an hour without traffic. With traffic, well, we lost track of how much time we spent in the car. But, the trip to Waco was worth it!!!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

GAME DAY!!!!!! My mom and I made these shirts for the occasion! So much fun! ;) “The Catch of the Year” is a fun play off from a catch the Youngstown State made during their semifinal game. FCS called it, “the catch of the year!” Haha!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

The stadium was not big enough for the JMU fan base … The Championship game sold out quickly and Youngstown ended up selling thousands of seats to the JMU fans, which ended up with a 75% JMU, 25% YSU ratio. Haha! Within the first couple of minutes, we ended up with our first touchdown. :) Pretty sure the National Championship won’t allow streamers at future games. HAHA! WIN!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Our friends pointed out that our section made it on ESPN during a winning celebration at one point of the game! Towards the end of the game, we were laughing so hard when we looked across the field to find the ESPN camera man on a stand being celebrated with streamers. Lol! At least he wasn’t upset, he kindly turned around, smiled and waved to the JMU crowd. :) During the final minute, we all lined up to flood the field and celebrate the title!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

I’m glad I was able to get my uncle out on the field!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

I’m not sure how I managed to find Abdullah for a quick photo before he accepted a trophy, but that was exciting! Right after this photo, he leaned over to a little kid and gave him his gloves. So sweet!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

#godukes!!!! My Dad partied way too hard. Haha!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Time to celebrate!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Admittingly, we had to check out the incredible Cowboys stadium … andddd then sneak in a quick photo! ;) I love you all, Cowboy fans!!!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

So many purple drinks!!!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

Our final day was short, so we made sure to visit a local museum. I found myself choking up remembering 911 after seeing this steel beam from the World Trade Center and the news videos of all of the plane attacks. Whew … That was heavy!

FCS JMU National Championship + Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas Adventures

The trip to Texas was short and sweet, but one to never forget! Way to start the year out strong!

J … M … U …. DUUUUUUKKKKKEEEEEESSSSSSS!

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  • This looks like such an awesome trip!! Also, your mom is adorable! I love her hair!! Glad y’all had a great time!!

  • Cyndi Messick

    LOVE your summary of the trip! Just perfect!! And yes, the purple hair was (and still is) a hit with everyone!!