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