Thursday, December 31, 2009

the oh's.

well. a new decade is upon us (in approximately seven hours, central time).

so. i should sum up the oh's. if i can.

i was sixteen. got my driver's license, bought a blue '91 pontiac 6000 from my brother. i remember thinking i was such an adult for going on a shopping trip with sara and abby 45 minutes away from our hometown. i still worked at dairy queen.

graduated high school. went to community college. i started working in a church office as an assistant to the secretary. i loved that job. 9/11.

finished up my first year at communtiy college. traded the pontiac in for a '93 toyota camry. left home for anderson. made many dear friends.

finished up my first year at anderson. all of my closest friends from that year didn't come back that fall, so i had to start over. but that brought me to even more friends, most of which are still some of my closest friends. my roommate was from japan, which was a fun experience.

year three at anderson. it was a good year, living with two of my good friends. classes were tough, but it was exciting. i started going to a brand new church - the mercy house. ended the year in jamaica.

started the year in jamaica. also went to london. interned at the mercy house. that internship was my first glimpse at real community. i realized i no longer was interested in my major, but decided it was too late to change it. i learned how to make the journals i now sell. i met stacy, who is still one of my closest friends. thought for sure i'd be moving to boston in 2006 (however, i still have never even visited that city). ended the year in italy.

started the year in italy. went to japan, and was able to visit my former roommate. finished up school at anderson. moved to nashville. big changes.

started the job i'm at now. slowly fell in love with nashville.

a tough year with lots of changes. but an amazing year with more new friends. i also traveled a bit around the country. for the sake of live music.

the best year yet. by far. i just summed this up yesterday, so for details, clicky.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

my life in oh-nine.

i guess it's time for ye ole obligatory year recap. here we go.

there isn't much i remember about january, other than knowing that at that point, i made two major decisions: (1) i was not going to move away from nashville. (2) i was going to move out of my apartment. i also took on a hefty student loan payment for '09, and i feared it would result in me not having a life. not that i had much of one at the time. this was primary motivation for moving out of my apartment. i needed roommates to save money. i also needed roommates to save my soul. i was lonely.

i found a house to move into. february also began my obsession with local coffee shops. i mean, i had loved them for years, but at this point i became a frequent fido customer. i turned 26. i started to find community through a few friends at church. i resurrected this here blog. old faithful needed a new transmission. i saw ben folds live for the first time. i was introduced to the wonder that is andy davis. i became a tweetaholic.

the biggest event of march was moving into my current home. i went from a one-bedroom apartment in the almost-ghetto to an old 4-bedroom house with tons of character, nestled between my two favorite nashville neighborhoods. many of my favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques where i can't afford anything are within a one-mile radius.

let's see. i met some girls from australia who were in town for a few weeks. my favorite band came to nashville for a music festival. i went to wisconsin for the first time. joined a small group at my church, which was long overdue since i've been going there since i moved to nashville in '06. and i finally gained something i had been missing for awhile: a life. i was hardly ever home in april.

biggest and best may event: tulsa road trip. some friends and i loaded up the car and headed west to see our favorite band. they had a special event in an intimate setting where they recorded, live, some new songs that were later put onto an ep. the show was amazing, the songs were incredible, the jokes and memories from the road trip? priceless. now i feel like a master card commercial. moving on.

i met a few new friends in june, which have turned out to be some of my closest friends here in nashville. i volunteered with ellie's run. finally joined mocha club. saw andy davis again. celebrated two years at my job, which is just weird to think about. i hosted a walk to raise money to build water wells in africa. i discovered a new coffee shop - one that is only two blocks from my house and now quite as hipster-run as fido. frothy monkey. it's just so cute and adorable and everyone there is friendly. and let's face it. the location couldn't be any better.

july. july will be one of those months that i will never, ever forget. i finally decided to start making journals again. i got drenched on the 4th, and loved it. however, i feel as though the best details of july will have to remain a mystery to you blog readers. so you just have to trust me when i say it was a good month.

in august i celebrated my 3-year nashaversary. and my mom and i travled to orange county to visit our cousin. it was easily the most relaxing vacation i have ever had. usually my vacations are go-go-go. while i got to see quite a bit of orange county, la, and the surrounding areas, there was much time spent in the pool and hot tub, sipping mojitos. it was just what i needed.

september was another good month. i spent a lot of time making journals, which stirred up the creative and more introspective side of me, the part of me i had ignored for far too long. i had the opportunity to catch up with some old friends. i realized, for the 320948209438th time how incredible 2009 was turning out to be. i realized, for the 320948209438th time that i had finally found the community i had ached for in 2008. i embraced autumn and everything that it stands for.

october was my travel month. indianapolis. chicago. charlotte. myrtle beach. atlanta. why? because i love my favorite band, my friends, any excuse to travel, and i'm a little bit crazy.

i thought a lot in november. i thought about the whirlwind of 2009. about god's grace, and his promises. about hope. about myself, my story, god's story. about what the next chapter will be.

here we are. the past few years have had a trend, where each year is better than the one before. though every year i'm blown away by how that could even be possible. but there's something about 2010. i just have this feeling that something big will give birth in 2010. and that's what's been on my mind the most this month. i guess i just feel like a lot of the events from this year have lined up in a way to prepare me for what's to come. i guess we'll see.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

i barely recognize my own home.

i moved into this house in march. at the time, the front and back yards were both somewhat jungle-esque.

in april or may some landscapers came and spruced it up. it looked lovely.

this summer, they came and planted some new shrubs.

this fall they took away one of the shrubs.

about a month ago, they took away everything on the left side of the house. so many trees and bushes that they had JUST planted earlier this year.

today, i came home to find a new, rather large, tree. and big trench.

i'm so confused.

Monday, December 28, 2009

i'm not big on resolutions.

i've never been big on new year's resolutions. i feel like every day is equal opportunity for a new beginning.

so, my today's resolution? i sort of stole this idea from libby. she said one of her new year's resolutions is to make better use of her mornings. and i would like to do that as well. and better use of my nights.

instead of just getting up, getting breakfast, checking twitter, and going to work, i want to take time to wake up my mind, my body, and my spirit. i want to take time to stretch. read a chapter of the bible or offer up a simple morning prayer.

at the end of the day i usually just throw on my pajamas and hop into bed. i want more of a nighttime routine. i think this will help me sleep better at night (though i haven't had problems lately, i have in the past). time to unwind. read a little before bed. stretch. relax. i also want to try to teach myself to sleep on my back, as i've heard several times that it's the "healthiest" position. (currently, i'm a stomach-sleeper.)

so. there we have it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

i've never been a big football fan

and tonight, i'm even less of one. i left michigan at 8:30am eastern time. the snow followed me all the way down through mid-kentucky. i had no problems with traffic or anything, i was making good time considering the weather. it was also foggy and hard to see, so at times everyone was going about 5mph under the speed limit. no big deal. but then i get to tennessee. two miles before hitting the border i'm stuck in traffic going 5mph. there were three accidents within the first 15 miles of tennessee. i blame good ole tennessee drivers [sarcasm], but i mostly blame the traffic from the music city bowl. darn you football!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

long drive home

i have a 500-mile drive from michigan to nashville. i've compiled a playlist for such an occasion. here we go:

1. blue sky christmas eve - andrew ripp
2. kiss it goodbye - andy davis
3. where my head is - andy davis
4. passing trains - andy davis
5. new history - andy davis
6. hard to believe - andy davis
7. sentimental christmas - tyler james
8. you don't know me - ben folds
9. free coffee - ben folds
10. raise the tree - trent dabbs
11. prelude - the decemberists
12. the hazards of love 1 (the prettiest whistles won't wrestle the thistles undone) - the decemberists
13. a bower scene - the decemberists
14. won't want for love (margaret in the taiga) - the decemberists
15. the hazards of love 2 (wager all) - the decemberists
16. the queen's approcah - the decemberists
17. isn't it a lovely night? - the decemberists
18. the wanting comes in waves/repaid - the decemberists
19. an interlude - the decemberists
20. the rake's song - the decemberists
21. the abduction of margaret - the decemberists
22. the queen's rebuke/the crossing - the decemberists
23. annan water - the decemberists
24. margaret in captivity - the decemberists
25. the hazards of love 3 (revenge!) - the decemberists
26. the wanting comes in waves (reprise) - the decemberists
27. the hazards of love 4 (the drowned) - the decemberists
28. white christmas - ben rector
29. finding grey - stephen kellogg
30. colorado songs we've sung - stephen kellogg
31. the rock in the crossroads - stephen kellogg
32. when she leaves - stephen kellogg
33. lady sunflower - stephen kellogg
34. chasm and cross - stephen kellogg
35. pain comes - stephen kellogg
36. over fortunate - stephen kellogg
37. protected by angels - stephen kellogg
38. watching grace collide - stephen kellogg
39. who am i? - stephen kellogg
40. samuel samantha - stephen kellogg
41. uninspired gambling - stephen kellogg
42. such a way - stephen kellogg
43. livin' on a prayer/the politics of religion - stephen kellogg
44. little drummer boy - erin mccarley
45. until you - dave barnes
46. when a heart breaks - dave barnes
47. on a night like this - dave barnes
48. i wanna be your christmas - andrew allen
49. wake up - everybody else
50. always - everybody else
51. ten bucks - everybody else
52. the kill - ben rector
53. the sophomore - ben rector
54. associated - ben rector
55. the feeling - ben rector
56. ready for change - ben rector
57. need you tonight - ben rector
58. after all - ben rector
59. early morning riser - ben rector
60. when she comes around - ben rector
61. thank god i miss you - ben rector
62. untitled - ben rector
63. hank - ben rector
64. all will be well - the gabe dixon band
65. merry christmas baby - hanson
66. what christmas means to me - hanson
67. at christmas - hanson
68. christmas time - hanson
69. silent night medley - hanson
70. white christmas - hanson
71. here i go again (whitesnake) - madi diaz
72. dark hotel - k.s. rhoads
73. the gentleman - k.s. rhoads
74. dead language - k.s. rhoads
75. the bayonet and the cigarette - k.s. rhoads
76. new york in winter - k.s. rhoads
77. could this be love - k.s. rhoads
78. turn me on, turn off the light - k.s. rhoads
79. i wanna be your lover - k.s. rhoads
80. send a ship - k.s. rhoads
81. darkness, in the year of our lord - k.s. rhoads
82. a wonderful world - k.s. rhoads
83. the last goodbye - k.s. rhoads
84. closer to love - mat kearney
85. new york to california - mat kearney
86. never be ready - mat kearney
87. city of black & white - mat kearney
88. nothing left to lose - mat kearney
89. a little bit of love - joy williams
90. more than i asked for - joy williams
91. these walls - hanson
92. use me up - hanson
93. waiting for this - hanson
94. world's on fire - hanson
95. make it out alive - hanson
96. what child is this - matt wertz
97. make it right - seth philpott
98. nothing wrong - seth philpott
99. falling for you - seth philpott
100. heartbreaker - seth philpott
101. someday soon - seth philpott
102. lo how a rose e'er blooming - mikky ekko
103. heartbreaker - matt wertz
104. 5:19 - matt wertz
105. naturally - matt wertz
106. capitol city - matt wertz
107. everything's right - matt wertz
108. waiting - matt wertz
109. christmas time - andy davis
110. hold on - seth philpott
111. here with you - seth philpott
112. a world you're not in - seth philpott
113. only in dreams - mikky ekko
114. sedated - mikky ekko
115. sad eyes - mikky ekko
116. it's only you - mikky ekko
117. i love you (i always have) - mikky ekko
118. thank god the year is finally over - paper route
119. int he bleak midwinter - paper route
120. wish - paper route
121. she is love - parachute
122. should have known better - rob blackledge
123. early morning riser - rob blackledge
124. your city, my city - rob blackledge
125. cinnamon & chocolate - butterfly boucher
126. shelter - sherwood
127. maybe this time - sherwood
128. make it through - sherwood
129. you are - sherwood
130. hey guys! it's christmas time! - sufjan stevens
131. the winter solstice - sufjan stevens
132. santa's lost his mojo - jeremy lister
133. i feel weird - steel train
134. kill monsters in the rain - steel train
135. firecracker - steel train
136. quite often - trent dabbs
137. january lights - trent dabbs.

phew. 8.5 hours of music. and i'm sure none of this was a surprise to most of you readers.

Friday, December 25, 2009

so here i am

i'm curled up on the couch at my mom's house. we're sitting by the tree, watching polar express. i love this movie. christmas is one of my favorite times of year, and today has been no exception.

i don't want to spend the evening writing up something profound, so let's just leave it at this:

merry christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

my mom's a cheater.

she just informed me that when i was a kid, she would find a toy on sale, and then convince me that it was a cool toy, and so then i would ask for it for christmas.

cheater cheater, pumpkin eater.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

christmas with the temps.

i met libby when i was three. i don't remember not knowing her. we were inseperable in elementary school. when she moved to ohio in junior high, i was devastated. three years later, her family moved back to michigan. we have contintued to stay in touch throughout college and beyond. our moms are best friends and have been since about 1986. that's a long time.

so for the past who-knows-how-many years, libby, sue (libby's mom), my mom and i have gotten together at christmas to exchange gifts (this probably started that first year they were in ohio).

it's always good to catch up with people who have known you for so long. as has been the tradition for awhile now, we went out for a nice dinner and came back to the house for coffee, cookies, and gifts. (libby got me an adorable clutch, complete with a matching coin purse and a dollar. she owed me the dollar because i knew a quote from home alone.) anyway. i'm not going to tell you all about our christmas gathering. instead, i'm just going to refer you to libby's blog, because she always has words of wisdom and wit. i'm particularly fond of this post.

p.s. we already planned christmas 2010. it involves pizza, pajamas, and richard simmons.

2009 on a loop.

one of my first memories of 2009 involved hanging out with my old college roommate and her husband, who came down from indiana to visit me for the weekend. we went to 3rd and lindsley to see erin mccarley and andy davis.

two days ago, the same old college roommate and her husband came down from indiana to visit, and we went to a show sunday night(seth philpott and evan mcchugh - i highly recommend them both). then, tonight i went to (what i assume to be) my last show of 2009 - andy davis at 3rd and lindsley. and who joined andy davis on stage? erin mccarley. (and jeremy lister. and molly jenson and k.s. rhoads opened. check them all out too).

so anyway. my last few days of 2009 are very similar to some of my first memories of 2009. it's been a good year. and now i must go to sleep so i can catch my plane in the morning. michigan, i'm comin' home!

Monday, December 21, 2009

project 09.

[#best09 blog: my best project from 2009]

this is an easy one. though i have neglected my own journal for far, far too long [i don't think i've written in it, aside from sermon notes, since my birthday. which is in february, by the way], i started making journals for others. i learned how to do this years ago from a friend, and i used to make them all.the.time. but then i moved to nashville and life happened. for awhile now i had been wanting to start making them again. so, late summer/early fall i pulled out my supplies and got down to it. it's been a great source of extra income [thanks to frothy monkey for selling them in their shop], but more importantly, it's been an outlet for my creative side. a side of me that i often neglect, and had neglected for a long time. when i decided to sell them, i had to think of a name.

hope sewn journals.

'cause they are journals. and i sew them. and they are designed to inspire hope. they are the result of my own journey towards hope.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

christmas spirit.

i have to say that i have not really been in the christmas spirit this year. christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year, but i just wasn't feeling it this year. i don't know if it's part of getting older, stressing about my car, or just giving into the busyness of the season. well, that all changed last night.

a friend and i headed on over to one of our favorite venues in town. a smallish venue at 300 max capacity. we were going to see drew holcomb and the nieghbors. neither one of us were familiar with his music, but i had heard good things about him from other musicians in town. and i trust their opinions. so, we went. i had purchased my ticket online a few days beforehand. my friend, however, had not. so we get there to find out the show had sold out. dang.

i was standing there inside the venue trying to figure out what to do. do i stay, and make her wait out in the cold car? do i forfeit my $12 plus fees and go find something else to do? well, just then we lucked out. someone had an extra ticket. and didn't make her pay. score!

so we found the.last.table. in the place and waited for the show to start. and friends, let me tell you, i love this band. i'm kind of sad that i hadn't known about them earlier. andrea nailed it on the head when she compared them to the sixers, so i know some of my faithful readers will want to check them out just for that fact.

they played a normal set, and then took a break and played a christmas set. it was advertised as having surprise guests. so they brought out a couple dudes i had never heard of, but enjoyed. then they brought out dave barnes, which wasn't that big of a surprise to me, because i knew they were all friends. and then amy.freaking.grant. i used to be obsessed with miss grant, back in my junior high days. [you can imagine how i acted when i saw her buying cheese three years ago. my first celeb spotting after moving to nashville.] she of course sang tennessee christmas, and it was of course, perfect.

and if that wasn't magical enough, we walked out of the bar at the end of the night to discover that it was snowing. snow! now, i grew up in michigan. went to college in indiana. twenty-three years of midwest winters. i know snow. this was no real snow, by any means. but for nashville, and this early in the season, it was something to be excited about, and the perfect way to end a christmas concert and finally get me in the spirit.

merry christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

hypothetical question:

is it worse to do something wrong and not believe it is wrong, or to do something wrong even though you know it's wrong?

Friday, December 18, 2009

money. and music.

another #best09 blog: where did all of my money go this year? concerts. so.many.concerts. well. some were free.

i really wanted to compile a list of concerts i attended in 2009, but i can't remember them all. i guess i can do the ones i do remember.

2/21 griffin house/matthew perryman jones
2/22 ben folds
2/28 andy davis/erin mccarley
3/31 al anderson/sarah majors/megan mullins/mark s. sanders/jennifer hanson/tony martin/mark nesler/deric ruttan
4/2 roger brown/sidney cox/heather davis/steve diamond
4/3 gary burr/hanson/mark hudson/victoria shaw
4/16 charity daw
4/21 andy osenga
5/2 brian lee & his orchestra/mikky ekko/paper route
5/15 sister hazel
5/16 hanson
5/30 gabe dixon band
6/6 mikky ekko
6/14 jesse ruben/parachute/andy davis
6/17 curtis peoples
7/9 sandra mccracken
8/1 tim brantley/josh hoge/andy davis
8/25 micah tawlks
8/29 oscar anthony & the westfolk band/the hollywood ten/madi diaz/mikky ekko/space capone
9/3 ten out of tenn/american bang/toadies
9/11 joy williams/andy davis
9/15 seth philpott/rob blackledge
9/24 thad cockrell/matthew perryman jones/dave barnes
9/26 matt wertz
10/4 carbon leaf/stephen kellogg & the sixers
10/9 sherwood/steel train/hellogoodbye/hanson
10/11 sherwood/steel train/hellogoodbye/hanson
10/12 sherwood/steel train/hellogoodbye/hanson
10/18 ben rector
10/22 sherwood/steel train/hellogoodbye/hanson
10/23 sherwood/steel train/hellogoodbye/hanson
10/27 sherwood/steel train/hellogoodbye/hanson
10/28 sherwood/steel train/hellogoodbye/hanson
11/10 mikky ekko
11/12 the civil wars/thad cockrell
11/18 push play/ingram hill
11/19 les paul tribute
12/10 ben rector
12/13 ten out of tenn christmas

phew. and that's just the ones i remember!

i also have three more coming up for the rest of the year:
12/19 gabe dixon band/drew holcomb & the neighbors
12/20 evan mccugh/seth philpott
12/22 andy davis

Thursday, December 17, 2009

it's a small, small world.

stealing the topic of this blog from here. what phrase captures 2009 for me? simple. "it's a small world." it seems everyone i met or came across this past year, knows someone i know, or knows someone who knows someone i know, or something along those lines. nashville is a small town for such a big city. even if i don't know the people, i recognize faces almost everywhere i go. it's crazy, but it's kind of fun too. it's getting to the point where i need to overcome my shyness and step out of my comfort zone and start those small talk conversations with the people i see, but don't yet know, on a regular basis.

bring it on, 2010.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


tonight i was asked what i am most looking forward to about 2010. heading into 2009 i knew that there were a handful of big things coming up. i knew i'd be moving from the suburbs to the city. i knew that i'd be going from two years of solitude to roommates. as of now, i don't know anything that will happen in 2010. but i know it will be a great year. i don't know what it is exactly, i just feel this sense of anticipation that i have never felt around new year's before. and i've heard several others voice the same thing. it should be interesting at least.

what about you? what are you most looking forward to for 2010?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


i was going to include a mouth-watering picture, but i got lazy. so you get no picture. but i made these delicious treats for the office holiday treat party tomorrow. a friend made these back in october and i begged her for a recipe. hopefully she doesn't mind me blogging it.

1 1/4 c. corn syrup
1 c. peanut butter
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 1/4 c. sugar
6 c. Rice Krispies
1 1/2 c. butterscotch chips

in large saucepan, cook corn syrup and sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to boil. remove from heat. stir in peanut butter. mix in cereal.

press in buttered 9x13 pan. melt over hot (not boiling) water chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, stirring constantly until smooth. spread over cereal mixture. chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

my life in pictures. part two.

it's that time again: my life in pictures. this might become a semi-regular occurrance on days i can't think of anything worth writing about. [if you missed part one, here ya go.]

merry christmas! this is at my grandma's house twenty-some years ago.

my first ride.

growing up, our family often took trips from our small town in michigan to visit nashville. this was taken at the opryland hotel. who knew then that some day i would call this place my home [um. the town. not the hotel. and it's okay to be incredibly jealous of my brother's sandals.]

ten out of tenn christmas

i just got home from the last show on ten out of tenn's christmas tour. you all know i love live music. you all know i love nashville music. you all know i love christmas music. so putting them all together - so. much. fun.

so, if you haven't checked these people out, please do so. now.

erin mccarley
andy davis
katie herzig
ks rhoads
tyler james
matthew perryman jones
trent dabbs
butterfly boucher
jeremy lister
andrew belle
griffn house (yeah. that's eleven. but he made a special appearance for this show.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


[a. i give up on the trending topic thing. they are just too ridiculous. b. this post counts as the post for december 12th. i left my house at 8:30am and just got home. it's 2:08am]

i spent the first half of my day volunteering over at help portrait. and it.was.beautiful. it was just so moving, and another reminder that all it takes is something small. a portrait. hope was the soundtrack to the morning [i escaped to the bathroom because i was brought to tears]. there was even one woman who said it was the first time in her life she had ever felt pretty. that is huge. HUGE! i needed that moment, that moment to remember that i am a part of something bigger than myself. i am my community.

i spent the second half of my day at my second christmas party of the season. a group of friends gathered together for dinner, wine, and white elephant gifts. laughter was the soundtrack to the evening [i was brought to tears]. i thought of how far i had come from this time last year. and i remembered that it wasn't me. it wasn't about me. i am a part of something bigger than myself.

and it was beautiful.

Friday, December 11, 2009

#ifsantawasblack, or rather, #helpportrait

really, twitter world? i'm breaking my rule. i'm not going to blog about "if santa was black". come on now.

instead... let me blog about tomorrow. because i am super excited about it. jeremy cowart (nashvillian photographer) founded this thing called help portrait. he planned to get a group of professional photographers together to take portraits of people in need. to allow these people to receive something special for christmas. not just a photo of their family, or a photo of themselves to give to their family, but a token of hope. help portrait is going to be a huge event. huge. there are going to be events happening in 50 different countries.

tomorrow morning i will be volunteering with the event. i don't know what this will entail, but i'm excited. this is what christmas is about.

[for more information about help portrait - check out their website. or read this wonderful article written by annie]

Thursday, December 10, 2009


barbies. peanut butter and jelly. koolaid. play dough. piano lessons. flute lessons. ballet. tap. country music. southern cooking. love. family. friends. god.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


that some of these twitter trending topics are just ridiculous. who comes up with these things? really now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


well. day two of my "blog about the top trending topic on twitter" series. so. now playing. i guess this is where i would blog about the music i'm currently listening to. at the moment... i'm listening to my christmas playlist. the specific song playing right now is brenda lee's rendition "rockin' around the christmas tree", which always reminds me of home alone. which i have not seen in a very long time.

i love christmas time and christmas music. i seriously have 276 christmas songs on my itunes.

my top five christmas albums are:

#1 hanson - snowed in. there are just so many good memories from this cd... 12 years and counting.
#2 relient k - deck the halls, bruise your hand. another cd with great memories. in college, sara and i would drive home for christmas break together (a three hour drive) and we would sing along... loudly... and horribly... to this whole cd. i love that girl, and i love that memory.
#3 sufjan stevens - songs for christmas: volumes i-v. a set of 5 christmas ep's. sufjan's style is just so unique. there's really no way to describe this other than to tell you it's amazing. and it comes with a singalong book and stickers.
#4 james taylor - at christmas. instant classic. enough said.
#5 now that's what i call christmas. two discs of various artists. classics and contemporary. what more could you ask for?

Monday, December 7, 2009


so, i just made a decision that this week, i will do a twitter blog series; blogging about whatever the top trending topic is on twitter for the day that i am writing the blog. at the moment, the top trending topic is #musicmonday.

so here is my music monday recommendation for you:

the gabe dixon band.

why gabe, why today? well today is gabe's birthday. so friend him on facebook, follow him on twitter, send him a happy birthday message.

but most of all, check out his music. it's amazing, and far far underrated.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

it's a new day.

while it wasn't the main point... actually, it wasn't even a minor point... but today in church i was reminded, once again, that today, just like every day, is a new day. a day given for a fresh start.

here we go.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

r.i.p. old faithful

april 2002, i purchase a 1993 toyota camry. i.loved.her. she was cute, had very low mileage for her ten years (69,000ish), and a sunroof, which i really loved.

i had a lot of good times with her. she took me back and forth from college to home for long weekends and holidays. she took me to kentucky, pennsylvania, ohio, south carolina, florida, oklahoma, and many places in between.

in 2006 i packed her up and moved to nashville. as she made the trip successfully at 14 years old, i named her old faithful. and then she started to not live up to her name.

today, i sold her. with over 160,000 miles, she lived a good seventeen years.

old faithful, may you rest in peace.

Friday, December 4, 2009

my life in pictures.

i couldn't think of anything to write about today, so i decided to share a few photos with you. here we go:

i mean. how many people can say that they have stood on their head at stonehenge? well, i can.

and how many people can say that they have pinned themselves on a map at a pirate-themed hostel? well, i can.

and how many people can say that they have met up with a former roommate in her home country of japan, and while doing so, ran into a real sumo wrestler at the subway station? well, i can.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

why wait.

why wait until new year's to make resolutions?

there are a few areas of my life i would like to improve. why wait a month? i'm starting now.

-i would like to implement a monthly budget and stick to it. i tried this once before. it lasted about three weeks.
-i would like to read more. even if it's just a paragraph out of a book or an article in a magazine, i want to read something (not on a computer screen) at least five days a week.
-black coffee. i don't know why, really, but i want to learn how to drink coffee black. (i'm currently a two sugars kind of girl. sometimes with cream.)

these might be small things in the bigger picture, but it's a start. there are a few other things as well, but not everything needs to be shared in such a public forum. but i think getting these things out there will help keep me more accountable.

okay. here we go.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

it's beginning to look (and sound) a lot like....

christmas, of course.

last week the roommates and i put up our decorations. we put up a pretty tree with all blue lights in the living room, and we lit a cozy fire in the fireplace. i went home to michigan for thanksgiving, and came back to nashville to find many of my neighbors had put up gorgeous decorations. love love love.

christmas is one of my favorite times of year.

to celebrate with all of you faithful blog readers, i'm going to direct you to some free nashville christmas music, as well as tell you a bit about how i first discovered each artist:

sandra mccracken: i had heard through the grape vine that she had been to a songwriter's retreat with one of my favorite bands. i had never heard of her, so i googled the name, and immediately loved what i heard. (she is also married to derek webb, another talented nashville fellow).

joy williams: one of my all time favorite nashville artists, andy davis (while we're at it, head on over to his website for a non-christmas free music download), had a show earlier this fall. the civil wars (yet another non-christmas free music download lies within that link) were scheduled to open for him, but half the duet, john paul white, had fallen ill, so the other half, joy williams, sang some of her solo stuff. and i fell in love. if i were a dude, and she were a dude, i would call it a man crush. but calling it a girl crush is just weird, so let's just say, she's adorable, sweet, and charming.

mikky ekko: back in the spring, some friends and i went to the cd release show for paper route. mikky ekko opened. and i was blown.away. seriously. if you ever get the chance to see this dude live, do it. and here's his contribution to christmas.

merry (early) christmas, with love,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it's simple, really.

today is world aids day. aids is a huge problem. with simple solutions.

donate a dollar to give clean water.

give up two mochas a month.

buy a pair of shoes, give a pair of shoes.

walk a mile.

buy a song.

just. do. something.

what will you do?

"often the people who make the greatest impact on the world are not the smartest or the luckiest, but they are the bravest. they are the people who have the gall to believe that they can do something extraordinary." - taylor hanson

Monday, November 30, 2009


what is #bedd? it's 'blog every day december'. it all started when jennifer decided to 'blog every day april'. at the time, i thought it was a good idea, but i didn't join her. i did, however, join her for 'blog every day september'. i missed a few (six) days, but that's okay.

here's to 'blog every day december', or, #bedd.

i've gathered up a handful of other bloggers to join me - as you can see by the list to your right, appropriately labeled "#bedd bloggers".

so. will you join me for #bedd? (er. that didn't sound right. but you know what i mean.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i. love. airports.

i'm sitting here at good ole bna with about four hours to spare. not because i'm overeager or thought i would need four hours to spare, it's just the way things worked out today.

and i'm okay with that.

because i love airports.

i think i love the stories that are in airports. not that i know anyone's story here, (heck, i don't even know my own) but just the thought of so many people from so many places all colliding... i love it.

[on a side note: i don't consider myself a frequent flier, but i do fly several times a year. after three years of this, you'd think i'd have an airport celebrity encounter by now. but, nope.]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i kind of feel like a hypocrite, but...

i highly recommend that you buy seth philpott's new ep off itunes. now.

so, one may wonder, what about that makes me a hypocrite? well, i haven't bought it yet. 'cause he's got a show here in nashville soonish and i'm hoping he'll have a physical ep i can pick up there. and if not, then i'll buy the ep. but i already own a different three track ep, "the busted souls ep" he gave out at another show a few months back. so i know how amazing he is, and i know that you'll love him.

[edited 12/22/09: so seth had a twitter contest giving away his e.p. and i won. so i got a digital copy of it. and and then he had a show in nashville and i bought a physical copy. go old school.]

Monday, November 23, 2009

my story, or, what i want.

several months ago i finally got around to joining a community group in my church. a few gatherings in, one person suggested that we each take turns, one person per meeting, telling our stories.

and then i panicked.

not because i didn't want to tell my story, but because i realized i didn't know what it was.

what is my story? what is any story?

last week i read "a million miles in a thousand years" by my favorite author, donald miller, and later that week i got to hear him speak on the book. the book talks about how to tell a better story with our lives. in it, don defines (well, actually, his roommate defines for him) what a story is: "a story is a character who overcomes conflict to get what he wants." don goes on to explain that the story is only good if what the character wants is interesting. for example, he says, no one wants to watch a 2-hour movie about a guy trying to buy a volvo. we don't care.

so. back to my story. if my story is a character (me) overcoming conflict (let's not get into that now) to get what i want.... wait. what do i want? i don't know. i don't know what i want, and perhaps that's why i don't know what my story is.

Monday, November 16, 2009

i'm sick.

church was intense on sunday. dave mentioned the things that we make idols in our lives... what we let control us. he said the best way to tell what is an idol is to look at what fills our imagination, our time, and our money.

so i thought. and i looked. and i was disgusted with myself.

the things that i let consume my life aren't necessarily bad things by themselves, but to realize how i put those things up on a pedestal, while trampling all over my creator... it's gross.

i'm sick.

it's a good thing he did not come for the healthy.

Monday, November 9, 2009


a couple of bloggers i follow (meet annie and marisa) blogged about home today. turns out, one of their bloggy friends is asking bloggers to do so, i signed myself up.

so. home.

over the past twenty-something years of my life, i have moved 17 times (13 different houses/dorms/apartments). that being said, i lived in the same house for over 16 years, and i have only lived in three towns. let's just say i moved a lot during my college years. and i've had 30 roommates.

i consider all three towns to be my home. i do not, however, consider all 13 dwelling spaces to have been my home. some of them were very short-term (a few were two weeks, but rent was paid, so yes, i lived there).

anyway. i'm getting off topic.


i'm going home for thanksgiving in a few weeks. this is the house where i spent the majority of my life. i have a lot of childhood memories (and adulthood memories too). while i lived in two of the three bedrooms (i stole my big brother's room when he moved out), i no longer have a room to call my own. at the moment, there's a guest bedroom, which is considered my brother's room (though he no longer lives there, he visits more than i do and he has a lot of personal effects in the room). the room i lived in last has a computer desk, and that's about it. regardless, it's still my home. home doesn't mean having a place to call my own.

i lived in eight different places in my college town. yes, eight places in four years... six of those places were in the last two years. anyway. i more or less think of the campus/town as a whole my home, rather than any specific place. with maybe the exception of two places: the intern house, and the mercy house.

the intern house. i lived there for two months. with six other girls. and we all got along the entire two months. that's not to say things were perfect... things were definitely not perfect. with the five other interns (all dudes), our pastor, and a dozen or so other member's of our community coming and going as they please. it was beautiful. those two months of my life were the best definition of community i have ever experienced for myself. i need to move on, as that could be a blog of its own. maybe it will be some day.

the mercy house. it wasn't even a house. it was my church. it wasn't even a "church" as one would call a building. the building itself was an elementary school, until the church moved in. then it became our meeting place, as well a dorm of sorts for some of the guys in the church. we were a new church... our internship started only months into the life of the church. while i never lived there, i still consider it my home. even now, when i visit that place, i only recognize a handful of faces, but it still feels like home.

nashville. my current home. there have definitely been times over the past few years where this place seemed like the furthest thing from home. but now, i can't imagine living anywhere else. this city has so much to offer, and i love every little thing about it.

this might sound contradictory to what i just said, but there is somewhere else i belong. i don't know where that place is, but part of me has always felt homesick for a place unknown. this world is too large to live in one place for forever. whether it's short- or long-term, i know i have somewhere else to discover someday.

actually, this world is not my home. i wasn't made to live here. i'm meant for something more. we all are.

Friday, October 30, 2009

fare thee well, october.

i didn't blog much in october.

i traveled. a lot. over 4200 miles in 20 days. three separate road trips to destinations such as indianapolis, chicago, charlotte, myrtle beach, and atlanta. all for the love of music, and excuse to see good friends from all over the country.

summer 2010. are you listening?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


i've blogged about this before, but last fall i was not happy. i wouldn't go as far as saying that i was depressed, but i definitely wasn't where i wanted to be. i was frustrated, hurt, angry, confused - about a lot of things. i tend to have theme songs for various times in my life, and at that time, the song of choice was "watch over me" by hanson. i had the opportunity to hear them perform it live at that time, and it was quite the emotional moment for me. i didn't start crying like a baby or anything, but it was a moment of release... a time where i could scream the lyrics at the top of my lungs - a cry for help.

monday night, i heard it performed live again. only this time... this time it was a moment of celebration. a recognition that i made it through. i didn't give it, i overcame. and i couldn't be happier right now. this year has been incredible, and it amazes me how far things have come.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

home on the open road

i love me some nashville, you all know that by now. i blog about it all the time.

but still, sometimes you need to get away. away from your routine, away from what you call home, away from life.

and so, a road trip is in order. tomorrow after work i'll be heading north for the weekend: chicago, via indianapolis. the forecast calls for cold weather. very cold weather. which i love.

the open road is calling my name.

it's where i feel alive.

Monday, October 5, 2009

the moments where you belong.

do you ever have one of those moments where you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be? a brief feeling that everything is right in the world, every problem is far away, a time of escape.

i had one of those last night. my friends and i headed over to exit/in to see one of our favorite bands, stephen kellogg and the sixers.

i always have a hard time actually saying "one of my favorite bands", because there are a lot of great musicians out there that i love dearly. but stephen kellogg is by far one of the greatest lyricists of our time. i'm not exaggerating.

and he puts on one heck of a fun show.

and last night i just got completely caught up in the moment with friends, the energy of sk (how in the world the man can sustain running in place while singing is beyond me), and the release of lyrics that speak to my heart.

so for the very, very few of you who read this and are not familiar with the sk6ers, please go check them out.

most of you know by now that i love live music. therefore i find it fitting that i leave you with these lyrics from stephen:

somewhere east of that solo and a little bit west of the bridge
is the singular kind of moment you remember as long as you live

Sunday, October 4, 2009

point of view

yesterday, my friend myka and i spent the afternoon photographing an old building in downtown nashville. this morning i was looking through my photographs, and her photographs.

take two different people, with two different cameras, and you get two different photographs of the same object. here's an example:

(for the purpose of this blog, it doesn't matter who took which one.)

these two pictures are the same set of spiral stairs. (they were lying on the ground outside of the building. odd.) and yet, the pictures are completely different and each portrays a different feeling.

i think this is a reflection on life, as well. you take two different people, with two different backgrounds, two different points of view, and you get two completely different results, even if you're looking at the same object, the same circumstance, or the same god.

in life and in photographs, this does not make one better than the other. just different.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


hello october, you're my favorite. i was recently sitting outside on my porch swing, reading a book (st. augustine's confessions, if you must know) enjoying the gorgeous fall weather we're having here in nashville. i heard some girls talking over yonder, so i looked up and saw that it was my two dear friends, stacy and erin. i yelled at them and they came on up to my porch to take a break from jogging.

i hadn't seen them in awhile so we were chatting a bit, catching up, when stacy turned to me and said "you look peaceful."

that's not a word i think of very often when describing my emotions, but now that she brought it up, i would have to say i agree. i have felt very at peace over the past few days. weeks. dare i say months?

i don't think there is any particular reason for this, but i take joy in it, especially compared to last year. after all, around this time last year, i was ready to call it quits. on my job, on nashville, on everything. (well, not on life. it wasn't that bad.)

so, here's to you october. may you be another month full of peace. and not just peace, but excitement. i have a lot of cool things happening this month. stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


i have a question for my faithful blog readers (all two of you [hi mom]).

what does "hope" mean to you?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"it's already better"

last night i went to a meeting to hear about a trip some people from ellie's run took to africa this summer.

there was one particular story from the trip that stuck with me. there was a school which had the words "it's already better" written on the walls. i'm not sure why, but that really struck a chord with me.

it's already better.

they have hope. a hope that i will probably never experience for myself. a hope beyond measure.

it's already better.

i want to go to africa. i've had this desire for the past four years. i believe i will make it there someday, and i know when i do, my life will never be the same.

Monday, September 28, 2009

a fresh start.

call me crazy, but i actually like monday mornings. maybe it's because i don't have to go to the office. but anyway...

monday mornings are like a fresh start. i almost get that same feeling most people get around new year's. on monday mornings, i set goals for my week. things i want to accomplish, ways i want to better myself, etc.

here's to your monday: may it be a time of renewal rather than dread.

and on that note, it's time to make coffee; my work day begins in five minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


i'm on a strict budget for the next two weeks. i've been spending too much money eating out and such the past few weeks, and i have a lot going on in october that will cost me more than what i usually spend. that being said... strict budget.

today i spent $10.73 on groceries that should last me the next two weeks. i'll be enjoying a healthy diet of oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly, soup, tuna, and egg salad sandwiches.


Friday, September 25, 2009


sometimes i just get so caught up in the moment, it seems that all i can do is just cry. i didn't cry tonight, but i tell ya, i was close.

tonight was the fourth installment of live on the green, a free outdoor concert series downtown nashville in front of the courthouse. this was my second time attending this event, and tonight's performers were thad cockrell, matthew perryman jones, and dave barnes. (please check out all of these great artists if you aren't already familiar with them.)

i go to a lot of shows in nashville, and the artists (especially the locals) all tend to make the same joke about performing in nashville: that when it's time for crowd participation and singing along, that it sounds like a choir with all the different parts and harmonies. i mean let's face it, i'm a minority here in that i'm not a singer. and the joke is funny because it's true.

so tonight, in the middle of the set, dave began to perform "when a heart breaks". during the bridge he had us all sing, and all of the musicians quieted down, and that joke became reality. it really was like a choir singing along. and hearing these beautiful words being sung so powerfully by all of my neighbors (we share this city), watching dave soak up the moment under the starry autumn sky, something magical happened, and that's when it hit me: this is home. this is my life. this is where i am right now.

no matter the stresses, no matter the worries, i will always have music, i will always have my city, and i will always, always have hope.

(i feel as though i just babbled on and on and did not do this night justice by any means.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


remember when i said i needed more silence in my life? yeah. i haven't been too good about that. in fact, i've been going on a whirlwind of activities involving lots of music, coffee, conversations, and friendships. none of which are bad things, at all. but there does come a point when it gets to be a little much. and i think it finally caught up to me.

sunday is supposed to be the day of rest, right? well let me tell you, i rested. a lot. i put in a movie around noon ("secret window") and fell asleep in the middle of it. it ended around two, at which point i moseyed on up to my bed and fell back asleep. until seven. and then i went back to bed at 11pm.

good thing my body knows when i need rest, because sometimes my head doesn't.

but what about the rest for my soul? i finally took a small moment of silence today. as i headed to my coffee shop, i walked in silence and in solitude. granted it was only for two blocks, but it was a still, small moment in my life that i needed. it was a break from the rain (we're drowning here in nash, but it has let up a bit this afternoon), a break from the noise, and a break from reality. and while it's still hot and humid as heck down here, the sound of the leaves crunching beneath my feet was a reminded that fall is on its way. a reminder that as the seasons change in nature, so they will in my life.

this season of my life has been great. i don't know when the season will change, but it will. and i hope that i will embrace it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


sometimes, you just need to escape. get away from your own little bubble of life. this doesn't always mean you need to go far.

nashville has a lot of coffee shops, and i love all of the ones i have been to. which is quite a few. but i tend to frequent the same one or two places. on friday, i went to one on the other side of town, just to mix things up. and it was refreshing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

use me up

i don't typically like to have an entire post be song lyrics, but sometimes you come across something so beautiful, you have to share it.

Somebody let me down
Somebody show me love
I wouldn't care much either way

I'd rather the sticks and stones
Than draggin the ball and chain
What if the world wont take me

Even if the holes should crack
Even if the blood flows red
Nothin could be worse than numb

Use me up
Just want any one
To use me up
No one ever does
Use me up

I've carried it all too long
The fear and the pain it brings
Feeling the panic building up
I'd rather the broken heart
Than living in the empiness
What if the world won't save me

Even if the bough should break
Even if the blood runs cold
Nothing could be worse than numb

Use me up
Just want any one
To use me up
No one ever does
Use me up
Use me up

Treat me somewhere cruel
You can throw me away
As long as I feel it
Show me something real
You can't decieve me
I am yours to use

Use me up
Use me up
Use me up

i was lucky enough to hear this performed live as it was recorded back in may. those of you who know me will not be surprised to learn that this is a song from hanson.

Friday, September 18, 2009

there's a first for everything

well kids, tonight i attended my first hockey game. i have to say, i really enjoyed it. i don't know that i would ever say 'hey, let's go to a hockey game tonight', but i would not be opposed to going again.

the preds won, 5-0. and because they scored 5 goals, everyone got free frosty's from wendys.

and we even saw a fist fight break out.

and i'm pretty sure everyone i know in nashville was there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the thing about community is...

sometimes, you think you are the only person dealing with something. and then when you open up and are honest about it, you realize everyone else has the same shit you do. and that, my friends, is beautiful.

life in nashville...

is keeping me broke. entertained. and sleepy.

'cause i keep going out and spending my money supporting local artists and discovering great music.

that's okay. maybe someday those artists will buy one of my journals to write their music in and complete the circle.

but for that to happen, i need to actually sell them.

and to sell them, i need to make them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

space. part two.

so i didn't blog yesterday. but that is because i didn't come home yesterday, which i didn't expect to happen.

but anyway.

remember when i talked about finding space? i found it today. and it was beautiful.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

a place unknown.

recently, a friend of mine questioned whether he was the only one who felt like he was a million miles away from where he was supposed to be. as it turns out, he is not the only one. several people responded, and they all felt the exact same way.

i love nashville. you all know this by now; i talk about it a lot. but there is still a part of me that feels... homesick. but not homesick for michigan (where i grew up). not homesick for indiana (where i lived for four years). but homesick... for a place unknown.

maybe this is because i have always felt as though the world is much too big to live in one place for forever. maybe it's because i have such a strong desire to travel (if only my funds were as equally strong).

or maybe, just maybe, it's because we weren't designed for this world.

and so it happens again.

another blog that's technically a day late. it's 2:24am, but i just got home. so this is friday's blog.

today was another reminder of why i love nashville so much. great food, great company, and even better live music.

for those of you not familiar with andy davis, please, please check him out. in the words of jeremy cowart, "he's just dumb talented." (and he's even better live.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


i am not in the mood to blog today, but i agreed to participate in "blog everyday september". so, here i am, blogging.

it may be a small feat, but still, it is perseverance. which is actually something i've been thinking about quite a bit lately. i don't have enough of it. i need more in so many areas of my life.

we rejoice in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.romans 5:3-4

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


this might come as a surprise to some of you, but there's a nature girl inside of me. now don't get me wrong... i love living in the city, and at this time of my life there is no place i would rather be. and i hate bugs. hate. i'm shivering at the thought of them.

but anyway. i love nature. i like camping. i like hiking. (well, day-trails anyway. i've never attempted the "carry your tent on your back" kind of hiking.) i love having that big open space to just.... breath.. and to feel... significantly insignificant.

when i think of the peaceful moments in my life, i think of nature places. the precipice of chimney top in the smoky mountains. deep in the woods of warner camp. nighttime on the beach back home. driving through the vineyards of southwest michigan, or the cornfields of indiana. watching the sunset from the bluff of st. joe.

these are the places that speak to my heart. these are the places where i can go to get away from life, from the noise. the places where i can find the silence i mentioned yesterday.

and i've realized something. i don't have any of these places in nashville. i've lived her for three years now. i think it's about dang time i find space to breath. and i think i found it on accident a few months back...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


i do love coffee. you all know that by now. but why do i love coffee?

i love the taste, and i love the caffeine. but that's not the point. for me, drinking coffee is almost more of what it represents. it represents community, and solitude. conversations, and silence. busyness, and stillness.

does this make sense, all of these opposites? maybe. if i live in the tension between the two.

Monday, September 7, 2009


this weekend i got caught up on my friend chris's blog. one day he decided that he would start to drive in silence during his commute. rather than spending the 12 minutes listening to a few songs, he chose to spend that time in prayer.

upon reading this, my first thought was "that would not be very peaceful if i turned off the music in my car."

for those of you who don't know, last year someone attempted to steal my catalytic converter. they didn't take it, but they did saw into my exhaust pipe. it has been welded, twice, but it's just a patch. it's not really fixed, and therefore my car is loud. and i mean l o u d. so i drown it out by blasting music.

i hide the noise with music, and the noise is the telltale sign that there is a problem with my car.

i could say the same about my heart.

it still counts, right?

i'm supposed to be blogging every day in september. i guess technically it's monday now, since it's 12:55am, and i did not blog on sunday. but i just got home, so it still counts, right? since i just now got home. and it's still sunday in half of the country's time zones. well, 1/4 of the country only has five minutes left.

anyway. my labor day weekend has turned out to be much more glorious than i anticipated. friday was a very relaxing evening at home with the roommates, watching a movie (love actually). last night and tonight both involved dancing up the town with some old college friends, and tomorrow a few friends are hosting a "s'moregasbord bon(d)fire" at their home.

staycation vs. vacation. it still counts, right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

community. part two.

as promised, here is another blog on community.

what does community mean to you? i have seen it in its various forms, and i think it really just comes down to one thing: love. to me community is like a family, in the sense that there comes those times when you have to chose love, whether you feel like it or not.

and then one may ask, what is love?

(you are now bobbing your head to the tune of the haddaway song, aren't you?)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

nashville, i love you.

i talk about nashville and my love for this city a lot. but i can't help it. i just love it so much.

our mayor recently decided it would be cool if we could have some live music and drink some beer "right outside his office". so, we did. the local independent radio station (and other great local businesses) have started up a program called live on the green, and tonight was the first night.

so, there was live music. and beer. and food. all right in front of the courthouse. i mainly went to see ten out of tenn, but american bang and the toadies also played. (however, we did not stick around for the toadies.)

and i don't think you could have asked for better weather for an outdoor concert. perfect temperature, clear skies, and an almost-full moon.

oh, and it was free. even better.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


i just got home from my community group. we spent the majority of the night asking each other what we think community is, and what we expect from community.

it's late (i'm old) so more on that later. in the mean time, feel free to answer that question yourself.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

being known.

on my way home from work friday, my best friend (stacy) called to vent about her work day. my commute is less than fifteen minutes. before i had reached my home she had come to the conclusion that she was going to drive the five hours down to nashville to visit me. thirty minutes later, she called to say her husband didn't want her to leave on such short notice. thirty minutes after that, she called to say he got over it and she was on her way.

sunday evening, stacy and i drove up to the suburbs to visit some of our other friends from college, amanda and amanda. (i will call one of these "puff" to avoid confusion. that was her nickname in college.) amanda had moved down here with her family a couple years ago, and puff just moved down a few weeks ago. they are now roommates, so we went to visit them.

during this visit, we were able to catch up on each others' lives, as well as reminisce about the past. puff is going through some tough things right now, and she mentioned that it was good to be around people who knew her. and that got me thinking...

about how i had known these girls for six years. about how i was such a different person six years ago. and how we have watched each other evolve. i then realized that most of the people i surround myself with on a daily basis have known me for less than a year. some a few years, but most only a few months.

there is something refreshing about being around people who know you so well and have known you so long. don't get me wrong - i absolutely love meeting new people and making new friends, but there is a comfort with those who know your story. in fact, i feel as though they may know my story better than i know it myself. but more on that later.

(sidenote: a blogger friend of mine has encouraged me to 'blog every day september'... so here we go.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ahh vacation.

sometimes you never quite realize how badly you need a vacation until the whole thing has ended and you return to normal life. my vacation was perfect. a pleasant mixture of discovering new places, seeing new sights, and relaxing in the pool and jacuzzi, cocktail in hand.

i mean just look at these places...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

the past three years

three years ago today, my mom and i packed up my camry and headed south (after a stop to bob evans for breakfast, of course). that's right... i have called nashville my home for the past three years. i will try my best to briefly summarize my thoughts and feelings about living here since my moving day.

i was excited. i had known for several months that i was going to move to nashville after i graduated college, but i didn't know where i'd be working, or where i'd be living. i didn't even know why nashville. i just sort of... picked it. thankfully, my good friend stacy had moved here a couple months prior, so i at least had a place to stay temporarily, and more importantly, a friendly face. i came down here with whatever fit in my little car (sidenote: this trip is where she was finally given a name - old faithful) and still allowed room for myself, my mom, and my mom's luggage. it was a sunday. monday morning we hit the road and started looking at apartments and i put my resume in who knows how many day cares. tuesday, more of the same. by wednesday morning i had signed a lease (which i couldn't move into for another month) and accepted a position in an infant classroom in cool springs, and my mom flew back to michigan.

looking back i can easily see god's hand at work in all of that... a job and a place to live within three days?

that month before i could move into my apartment, stacy and her roommates (lovely ladies... regan and erin) allowed me to sleep under stacy's bed on my (deflating) air mattress. i fell in love with their home and their neighborhood (and their personalities, of course).... and their coffee shops. oh, their coffee shops.

that first year was trying. i absolutely loved living in nashville (well, i technically was living in a suburb on the southside of nashville after i moved into my apartment). i also loved the area of cool springs, where i was working at the day care. i met a lot of great people at the day care. co-workers, parents, and children alike. but after almost a year... i couldn't take it anymore. my infants were turning into toddlers. they grew from a class of eight to a class of twelve. i was working almost 60 hours a week at times, with no lunch break. it was too much. there were many times i considered turning in my two weeks notice.. but i chickened out. and then i was let go (the reason is a long story... which you can ask me about if you know me. i promise you i did not harm any children or break any laws or anything horrible like that). again, looking back i see god's hand working in my life here in nashville. i wanted a new job, but was afraid to leave the one i had. so he took me out of it himself. and three weeks later, i had a new job.

i was also adjusting to living on my own. i had roommates all throughout college, and now here i was, by myself. for the most part i enjoyed it, though it was boring at times. and i was far away from everyone and everything i loved in nashville.

year number two. i started my job as an admin assistant and six months later was promoted to accounting clerk. i worked. a lot. a lot of overtime. and i learned. a lot. (both thanks to an audit.) and i was making quite a bit more money than i had been at the day care. overall, life was good. i guess that's all i really feel i have to say about that year.

this past year has been by far the most interesting. late summer of '08 i had several friends move away from nashville, all within about a month's time. it was hard to say goodbye, though i knew i would still be keeping in touch with them (well, most of them anyway). later that fall i started to feel really discouraged. i was frustrated with many things, and come winter i was ready to give up. i had seriously considered moving back home or back to anderson when my lease was up (in march). then came january.

with the new year came a renewed sense of spirit. i finally began to get to know people at my church (which i had been going to since i first moved). i had (finally) joined a small group, i got to know another group of friends and joined them for lunch almost every week (at the same little mexican joint every time), and they brought other friends (not from our church) to lunch with them. i also began to meet more people in random ways. i started going to the coffee shop more (read: at least two times a week). things were looking up. and then my lease ended, and i moved into a house with roommates and near the neighborhood i fell in love with when i first moved here. i finally began to feel like this was the nashville i belonged in. close to friends, close to the places i love, close to coffee (my fido love is being taken over by a coffee shop which is only two blocks from my home). having roommates again, being able to walk places... i am so much happier now than i was eight or nine months ago. a year ago. two years ago. three years ago.

nashville, you're stuck with me.

live is good.

and i guess that wasn't brief after all. oh well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

a glass can only spill what it contains

sunday in church we talked a lot about conflict. i had always considered myself as one who tends to avoid conflict. but leave it to randy to turn things upside down on me. he started talking about how there are people who say they hate conflict and so they push everything down inside until if finally explodes. in the past he has used the illustration of trying to hold a beach ball under water... you can only hold it there for so long before it jumps back up and breaks the tension of the water's surface.

and that, my friends, is where i am in most of my relationships. obviously some relationships are healthier than others, but i can count several specific times when i have held everything down until i couldn't contain it any longer.

so there you have it. my confession: i need to learn how to confront in love.

a glass can only spill what it contains. what does my glass contain? love?

in other news, i want to congratulate my old* friend libby on her recent move. i it is a breath of fresh air to live in a place where you can really feel at home.

more on that next time... when i blog about my past three years in nashville.

*libby is not old. she's just an old friend. i believe we are going on 23 years of friendship now. crazy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

30 (i don't remember six).

no, not the age. the people.

a new girl is moving into my house today. this makes 30 roommates that i have had. 30. kind of nuts. all since starting college.

3)stacy h.
11)stacy l.
13)jen e.
14)jen b.
16-21)i don't remember their names*
24)sarah p.
27)sarah b.

*i don't remember their names. the summer before i moved to nashville, i sublet my friend rachel's room for two months. there were seven other girls living in that house. i remember kristin, because we were acquaintances before i moved into the house and we had both gone on the trip to japan with our college. but i don't remember the names of the other girls, and as i think back (three years ago), i don't think i even knew all their names at the time. how horrible is that. i lived with these women for two months, and i don't know their names.

i guess that's all.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

hope enough (to make a grown man cry)

i've been thinking about hope a lot lately. in anticipation of writing this blog i went back and listened to the podcast of an old sermon from midtown (sidenote: i love technology.... by old i mean 19 months ago)... i re-listened to the first part of a 2-part sermon. i brought out my journal and looked over my notes from the first time i heard it. on that page i had written the phrase "hope enough".... i wrote the title of this blog entry before i pulled that journal out. "hope enough."

i had remembered that dave (the pastor) had played this music video - the song "glosoli" by sigur ros. and then he cried. this video represents hope to dave, and to myself. hope enough (to make a grown man cry).

i am not going to define hope for you in this blog. i think it is something we all need to define for ourselves. i will, however, give you a few of my favorite quotes regarding hope.

"hope is like the beat of that drum." (dave burden)

"i find hope and it gives me rest. i find hope in a beating chest. i find hope in what eyes don't see. i find hope in your hate for me." (hanson, great divide)

"we are prisoners of hope, y'all. you are going to die full of it. if you think you can escape it, and if you think there is something you can do to quench it, you're wrong." (dave burden)

"if hope were a person, it would be a child. no matter the tragedy, circumstance or misfortune, its true nature always seems to find a way." (taylor hanson)

"hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. you wait and watch and work: you don't give up." (anne lamott)

"every day of your life is a battle for hope." (dave burden)

"hope deferred makes a heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (proverbs 13:12)


hope enough.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

whispers of who i am - the spider web.

i should probably start this off with a disclaimer -

i have a couple things that i need to say just to get them out of the way and help me focus on the main issue at hand. here they are:

a) it's storming. only a few short years ago i would have been pretty uneasy right now. i'm not sure what caused the change, but now i love storms. i'm hoping it lasts long enough for me to fall asleep to the sound. (let's be honest. it's almost 9pm... it doesn't need to last too long. 'cause i'm old. i have an early bedtime.)

b) i stumbled across this blogger named annie. today she blogged about her one-year "nash-versary". in a few weeks i will be looking at three years in nashville. her blog got me thinking about the past three years, and even more specifically the past year. more on this later for sure... probably on the date of my own "nash-versary" (8/20 if you're wondering).

anyway. onto the "meat" of tonight's blog -

over the past few weeks, randy (the pastor of my church), has been reminding us all that god speaks in still, small whispers. today, i heard his whisper.

as i was heading back into the office after my lunch break today, i saw a spider web. now let me just say for the record i am the biggest wuss when it comes to bugs. however, i looked at this spider web and saw beauty. and then i remembered a story i had heard several years ago. at the time (spring 2005) i was attending a church in muncie, indiana. one sunday morning, guy (the pastor) told us a story of when he was starting to question what god was doing with his ministry. here's a quote from the story as it is written on the church's website -

As a beautiful web began to emerge from what had originally appeared to be a random mess, he began to understand that there was something intentional this spider was doing. This thought broke his former line of questioning and he asked a new one: "God, how does this spider know how to create that precise web?"

And the still, small voice of God's Holy Spirit spoke clearly to him, "That spider is doing what I put within it to do."

"That's nice," he concluded, satisfied with the answer, but not making the connection. "But God, what have you called me to do? Are you going to do something here?"

God replied, "Guy, I shaped you and formed you in the '70s and I made you who you are. I put within you to do what I want done here at MAC. You're about to give it all up and throw it all away."

Later that overcast morning as he walked to the church from the parsonage, the sun was burning off the fog and up in a tree he noticed another spider web. This one was covered in dew drops and as the sun shone through it, the drops sparkled like diamonds. The brilliance caught his eye and in his heart, the Lord asked, "What do you think of this one?"

"It's beautiful, Lord."

"I put that there for you to see this morning."

(i suggest reading the full story here)

this afternoon i saw the spider web, and i was reminded that i am who god created me to be. i might not always like (or even know) what that means, but it's truth. i need to live in that truth. over the past several months i've been trying to remind myself of my own story, trying to remind myself of who i am. this is a journey that will likely never end, but i feel as though i finally embarking upon it for the first time. this spider web was a gentle whisper.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

i'm sorry, so sorry.

i would like to apologize to.... well.... all two-ish of you who read this thing.

i did not blog at all in july. oops. it was kind of a whirlwind month. let me give you the brief lowdown.

a. 4th of july was fun. i got drenched, but enjoyed running around downtown barefoot in the downpour.
b. i dog-sat for a co-worker and stayed at her house as i did such. this lasted about a week and was sort of like a mini-vacation, just in that it put me in a semi-new environment for a bit.
c. those hanson guys were in town for two weeks mixing their album. ran into taylor and isaac at starbucks. fun times.
d. lots of trips to lots of coffee shops. i drank a lot of coffee in july. not that this is 'news' to any of you.
e. i'm starting to make journals again like i did in college. i'm hoping this will be a good creative outlet as well as a source of extra cash.

well. there was more than that but that's the gist.

in other news, let's look at what's really going on in my life right now. church was good this morning, and it provoked a conversation with my good friend erin at lunchtime. we talked a lot about finding that line between living in god's grace and the freedom that we have in him and becoming legalistic. i don't want to go into a whole religious spiel on here, but there are two definite extremes there. and along those lines i've realized this past month (as i have been importing, and thus re-reading, my old [read: 2004 and 2005] blogs) that i have become fairly cynical and jaded towards a lot of things. so i am going to try to spend the next chapter of my life uncovering why... what happened... where do i go from here... and with that, remembering (or maybe truly discovering for the first time) my story.