Friday, December 31, 2010

friday photos: the last of 2010

thanks to technology, this is a "live blog", blogging from my phone a picture of what i'm doing at this very moment. i can't imagine ending the year any other way than with some great local music:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in review

favorite blog post: undefined
what i read: "confessions" - st. augustine
best live music event: 12th & porter's healing haiti benefit concert on 1/27 with matt ridenour, heidi rojas, melinda doolittle, matt wertz, josh hoge, dave barnes, tommy sims, marc broussard, and jonny lang. jonny.freaking.lang. i waited 12 years to see him live, and i got to do it from front row of a small intimate venue. i dig.
summary: january was a month full of the promise of new beginnings. though i didn't make any specific new year's resolutions (i never do), i had hope that 2010 would be a year of growth.

favorite blog post: questions and coffee
what i read: "to be told" - dan allender
best live music event: the help haiti benefit on 2/27. not only did it include some of my favorite artists (the lineup: brandon heath/matt wertz/dave barnes/mat kearney/needtobreathe/jon foreman/alison krauss and union station/jars of clay/big kenny), but it was at the ryman, one of nashville's most beautiful and historic venues.
summary: i learned a lot about myself in february. i revisted my past and looked ahead to my future. i stepped out of my comfort zone in a few different areas, and while things didn't always turn out like i expected, i'm glad i put myself out there.

favorite blog post: identifying my boston(s)
what i read: "to be told" - dan allender (it's not a long book, but it's heavy, and must be read slowly)
best live music event: the three amigos [steve moakler, andrew ripp, ben rector) at 3rd & lindlsey on 3/21. these boys are all incredible on their own (though andrew ripp can't sing worth a darn [insert sarcasm font here]), the energy they had on stage together was memorable to say the least. what a fun bunch of guys and a fun night out in nashville.
summary: looking back on march 2010, i remember feeling disappointed that things didn't fall into place like i had hoped they would. but i was able to look beyond that and was reminded that my maker knows what he's doing and that things will work out in the end. i reminded myself that i really want what he wants, whatever that may be.

favorite blog post: living my story
what i read: "to be told" by dan allender. yeah. (see: this month's favorite blog post)
best live music event: i'm cheating and picking five. because all five were part of the same week-long event: hanson's five of five. five albums in five nights.
summary: planning for and being excited about our road trip to new york for the five of five concert series previously mentioned.

favorite blog post: buses, music, bombs, and floodwaters (part 4)
what i read: nothing. it was a busy month.
best live music event: andy osenga, stacy lantz, and eric vinson at 12th & porter on 5/27. i'm picking this one because y'all really need to check out my very talented and beautiful roommate stacy. and this was her first show in nashville in several years.
summary: on may 1st & 2nd nashville suffered from a 500-year flood. but we didn't suffer for long in that we rose above the flood waters and came together to help our neighbors. when i think of may 2010, i think of nashville defining community, and as such i fell in love with this city all over again. i was also busy moving amongst all the post-flood chaos.

favorite blog: so many thoughts, so little time
what i read: "no compromise: the life of keith green" - melody green
best live music event: "3 out of tenn" (trent dabbs, andrew belle, and andy davis) at 3rd & lindsley on 6/12. just check these boys out for yourselves, and you'll understand.
summary: change. living in a new house with new roommates, i found that june was a month of change. some change was directly related to the move, some not. some were conscious changes, some were not. but they were all good and necessary. i feel like i grew up a lot in june.

favorite blog: a lesson from the bachelorette
what i read: "the irresistible revolution" - shane claiborne
best live music event: mat kearney at rhythm and brews on 7/31. mat's hilarious. i had no idea.
summary: july was very relaxing in a busy way. i house-sat for 10 days and i went on several weekend road trips. granted it was hot, but i really enjoyed the month.

favorite blog: wanderlust and dreams undreamt
what i read: "journey of desire" by john eldredge & "sacred romance" by brent curtis & john eldredge
best live music event: any of the four hanson shows i saw during the month.
summary: august was a month of travel. i was gone almost every weekend. i loved it.

favorite blog: i'm a hypocrite
what i read: "wild at heart" by john eldredge, "tom sawyer" by mark twain, "captivating" by john & stasi eldredge, & "a cry for mercy" by henri nouwen
best live music event: it's a tie. erick baker & andy davis at 3rd & lindsley on 9/12 - erick blew my mind away with his voice, and andy always puts on a fun show. also, lots of inside jokes were created that night and it was a night full of side-splitting laughter. also andrew ripp at 3rd & lindsley on 9/19 - andrew is stupid good. the end.
summary: a lot of music. a lot of reading. a few healthy changes in life. freaking hot for being almost fall (up until the last week of the month, we were still in the mid-90's).

favorite blog: look for me on the big screen
what i read: i started re-reads of both "unstoppable force" by erwin mcmanus and "blue like jazz" by don miller but did not finish either
best live music event: todd cary/seth philpott/nathan angelo on 10/9 at 3rd & lindsley - i had never heard todd before, but he was great. it was my first time seeing seth after his long absence from music city, and nathan always puts on a great show. it was also a fun night hanging out with old and new friends.
summary: october was one of my biggest "music" months, and i also squeezed in two road trips. october is always my favorite month and this year was no exception.

favorite blog: the fear of no fear
what i read: i finished "blue like jazz" and read some more of "unstoppable force" but still didn't finish it. it's a good, slow read.
best live music event: the means/clayton graham fike/stacy lantz on 11/20 at the darkroom. the darkroom is a new venue in town, and it was a great night to just sit back and watch my friends do what they were made to do.
summary: november. what a whirlwind of a month. many hours were spent as an extra on the set of the "blue like jazz" movie. my car broke down just before thanksgiving, which also happened to me last year with a different car. thankfully this was easily fixed at a decent - though still very much painful - price. thanksgiving was spent with family and the whole month was very reflective of all that god has given to me. even the trials.

favorite blog: "an open letter to me, from ten-years-into-the-future-me"
what i read: finished "unstoppable force" by erwin mcmanus. also read "humility" by andrew murray
best live music event: tyler bryant and andrew ripp at 12th and porter on 12/16. that much talent in one room should be illegal. it was also a goodbye party for a really good friend.
summary: december definitely went by way too fast (the whole year did). i would sum it up the way most decembers are summed up: full of christmas festivities, memories, and trying to make the most out of what little time is left in the year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the music of 2010

last year i told you how i went to a bunch of shows. this year i went to exactly 100. (well, i've been to 99 and friday, new year's eve, will be #100). if you actually read this list, be sure to check out some of these artists.

1/8 andrew belle & trent dabbs
1/8 parachute musical
1/12 tom yarbrough & regan
1/13 kelleigh bannen
1/20 tim schurrer & andrew belle
1/26 dave barnes, brandon heath, matt wertz
1/27 matt ridenour, heidi rojas, melinda doolittle, matt wertz, josh hoge, dave barnes, tommy sims, marc broussard, jonny lang
2/6 seth philpott/steve moakler/andy davis
2/9 seth philpott/rob blackledge/andy davis
2/10 trent dabbs/tyler james/ks rhoads/erin mccarely
2/19 seth philpott/ben schofield/seth jones/ricky braddy/heidi rojas/matt ridenour/jason eskridge/rachel lampa/brendan mccarthy/k.s. rhoads/civil twighlight/tyler bryant/leroy powell
2/22 seth philpott
3/16 alvin love/seth philpott/ben schofield/seth jones
3/21 rey fresco/andrew ripp/steve moakler/ben rector
3/25 boot hill and the paramount ship
3/26 graham colton/stephen kellogg & the sixers/needtobreathe
3/27 eikon/nathan angelo/steve means
3/30 rhett akins/scooter carusoe/brandon heath/lee thomas miller
3/31 victoria shaw/gary burr/mark hudson/south of eden
4/1 marc broussard/drew ramsey/shannon sanders/tommy sims
4/1 barry dean/natalie hemby/tony lane/ben schofield
4/3 dave barnes/don chaffer/jennifer knapp/amy stroup/charlie peacock
4/7 stephen gordon/heidi rojas/seth philpott/marc scibilia
4/9 seth philpott/griffin house
4/11 andrew ripp/dave barnes
4/13 will solomon/adam james/ben schofield/seth jones
4/16 andrew ripp/ben rector/steve moakler/dave barnes
4/17 andrew ripp/ben rector/steve moakler/dave barnes
4/26 hanson
4/27 hanson
4/28 hanson
4/29 hanson
4/30 hanson
5/1 relient k/hanson
5/5 eric wilson and empty hearts/kopecky family band/how i became the bomb/paper route
5/6 holly williams/michelle branch/brett eldredge/matt wertz/coldwater jane
5/12 andy davis/will hoge
5/27 andy osenga/stacy lantz/eric vinson
6/5 jon mclaughlin/needtobreathe
6/10 andrew ripp/steve moakler/cary barlowe/shane stevens
6/12 jt sprangler/trent dabbs/andrew belle/andy davis
6/13 terra naomi/madi diaz/landon pigg
6/16 shel/andrew belle
6/17 clark richard/parker welling/joey hyde/stephanie lambring/steve moakler/andrew ripp
6/18 the bridges/mikky ekko/keegan dewitt
6/30 rob blackledge/the co
7/9 ben schofield/heidi rojas/sinead burgess/tyler bryant/damien horne
7/14 rachel goodrich/young the giant/steel train
7/15 karissa la cour
7/31 jane carrey/mat kearney
8/3 jeffrey james/rooney/hanson
8/8 the kopecky family band/griffin house
8/11 andrew ripp/ben rector/steve moakler/dave barnes
8/13 wes kirkpatrick/rooney/hanson
8/14 happy go lovely/rooney/hanson
8/21 acalasia/rooney/hanson
8/23 pico vs island trees/matthew perryman jones/peter barbee/eric wilson/tyler james/boss of nova/andrew osenga
8/28 westbound rangers/michael logen/ali rogers/keenan hunter/courtney jaye/drew holcomb
8/28 brice ash/jon troast
8/28 ronnie lee twist and the future cats
9/2 dc and julia/brendan mccarthy/sara beck/allie hays/rachel lampa/derek webb
9/12 erick baker/andy davis
9/13 rob blackledge/heather bond/ferrier/reed pittman
9/16 glossary/dr dog
9/17 ninja gun/samantha crain/murder by death
9/18 the kingston springs/the family tree/andy osenga/the co/jason eskridge
9/19 andrew ripp/robert francis
9/21 john lefler/mike dunn/kevin griffin/tyler bryant
9/24 marrow/nathanael mehrens
9/25 danny salazar/michael logen/alvin love/kazike
9/25 josh hoge/will hoge
9/28 the roy jay's/the small pond/stephen kellogg & the sixers
9/30 sixpence none the richer/jars of clay
10/5 dave barnes/jonathan singleton/thad cockrell/matt wertz
10/7 karissa lacour/stacy lantz
10/7 band of horses
10/9 big surr/natalie prass/evan p. donohue/the carter administration
10/9 todd carey/seth philpott/nathan angelo
10/11 the lonely forest/margot & the nuclear so and so's
10/12 joel rakes/jenny & taylor/jon troast/jeanne richardson/karleen watt/jamie prosser/aimee romero/katie schaefer bell/daniel romero
10/14 cori lecain/ben ewen/warren whitten/erin mckaskle
10/16 clayton graham fike/stacy lantz
10/23 emily deloach
10/23 ben schofield
10/25 buffalo clover/the future/clayton graham fike
10/26 the kinn/barefoot truth/the alternate routes
10/28 regan
11/4 amy courts/carolina story/katy kinard
11/9 dave barnes/brandon heath/gabe dixon/jon mclaughlin
11/20 the means/clayton graham fike/stacy lantz
12/1 micah dalton
12/6 reed pittman
12/7 regan
12/9 curtis peoples
12/10 space capone
12/15 madi diaz
12/16 ben schofield/andrew ripp/tyler bryant
12/18 drew holcomb/dave barnes
12/21 nick flora
12/31 brenn/honeymoon thrillers/kyle andrews/mikky ekko

Monday, December 27, 2010

my predictions for the new year.

around this time last year i told everyone i had a feeling 2010 would be an amazing year. i obviously had no idea what specific things would take place, i just had this feeling it would be great. and it was indeed an incredible year.

but for 2011, i have a different feeling. i have a feeling that it will be a hard, trying year. but the good kind of hard... the character-building kind. and if that's the way it turns out, then i'm prepared for it and i'm ready to face what challenges may come. if it's going to be another great year, then i'm ready for that too. of course i can't say for sure, but either way, i'm excited.

i think this quote might be my theme though:

"and then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - anaïs nin

Thursday, December 23, 2010

brought to you by the letter p

remember last year, when i posted about christmas with libby? that year, we had pre-planned our party for this year. and we were true to our words. and we planned next year. once again, it will involve pairing pajamas (we'll buy matching sets at thanksgiving), pizza, presents, and "the pony" (richard simmons), plenty of points in taboo (for libby and i anyway, currently at 101, our parents at 73, the game is on pause until next year). next year we will add sharing private previously penned thoughts from our personal journals.

hopefully unlike this year, it will not include putrid poopy poofalating perfume from pepper, our puppy. too much information? perhaps.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

wednesday wisdom #9

"god wants to do more for us than we could ever ask. we can never say that our dreams are too big. it is god's desire to take us where our imaginations can soar. sometimes we forget that dreams require change. if you are not willing to change, you are not willing to venture to the place where your dreams can come true. people who do not change in the end become people without dreams."
-erwin mcmanus

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

an open letter to me, from ten-years-into-the-future me

dear almost-28-year-old-holly,

you're an adult, one who is way past the "semi-adult" stage. you're a full-fledged grown up and it's time to start taking responsibility for yourself. remember 10 years ago when your room was always a disaster? you've grown up from that. your bed is made most mornings, your clothes are kept up off the floor, your dishes are in the sink or on the drying rack. congratulations. now take what you've learned from that and apply it to the other areas of your life. start with small steps, but don't be afraid to dream big. god's placed those dreams in your head and your heart and he has a purpose for them, even if things don't turn out quite like you hope. i know you want to change the world, and chances are, you have and you will. it might not be through your day job, and that's okay. i know that you're hoping that i'll tell you that you have a husband and some babies. and maybe you do, maybe you don't. i won't say. but know this - either way, those things have worked themselves out. don't be afraid. of anything. get rid of your excuses, chase the dreams you deny having, and really just don't be afraid to speak up and have a conversation with that boy you think is cute. but most importantly, as you continue to search for your story, just remember that it's not your story at all. it's god's. seek to glorify him in all that you do and things will be just fine. 2010 was a good year for you. just wait until you see what lies ahead.


Monday, December 20, 2010

lyric of the day

"with all that idle sitting you might as well just quit and dig your grave wherever you land" - samuel gregg

Friday, December 17, 2010

friday photos #8

saturday, december 11

fancy pants dinner party place settings for sixteen friends.

sunday, december 12

the first "real" snowfall of the season resulted in this snowman.

tuesday, decmeber 14

opryland hotel

wednesday, december 15

katie (23) and baylor (1) have the same hat.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

11 in 11 part 2

in conjunction with tuesday's post, here are 11 things i want to do, or begin to do, in oh-leven:

1. be more active in my ideas. (stop just talking about change; create it.)
2. exercise regularly
3. have coffee with someone i look up to
4. take at least one picture every day (i have tried this several times and always fail)
5. get to know one of the pastors at my church
6. create when i don't feel like it
7. visit at least one city i've never been to before
8. live on a budget
9. visit radnor lake regularly
10. journal at least once a week even if i feel i have nothing to write
11. have a theme verse for the year

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

wednesday wisdom #8

"you don't let a "feeling" decide if you'll work or love a spouse today. why let it decide if you "feel" like creating art?
-jon acuff

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

11 in 11 part 1

disclaimer: i've heard many people call 2010 "oh-ten". that being said, i hereby declare next year to be "twenty-oh-leven". anyway.

11 things to get rid of (or work towards ridding of) in oh-leven:

1. debt
2. excess weight
3. fear
4. excuses
5. masks (being a different person around different people)
6. routine
7. unread books (aka read the books i own)
8. shyness
9. journals (aka sell more)
10. a box of stuff i collected in high school (post on ebay)
11. a specific "other" that i don't think needs to be shared with the entire blogosphere.

Monday, December 13, 2010

it's that time of year

when we all start to wind down and reminisce over the past 12 months and look ahead to the future. while i'll save my year-end review blog post for a bit closer to the end, tonight i was prompted to summarize my 2010 in one word. and i think for me, it would be growth. growth in pretty much every aspect of my life... friendships, responsibilities, community, my relationship with god, and self-awareness (for lack of a better term). it's been a great year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the best way to spread christmas cheer... singing loud for all to hear.

today will easily make my list of "top 2010 moments". it started out as most sunday mornings begin - church at midtown. and today, being a few weeks before christmas, was the day the children's choir came out to sing. too adorable.

and it's been snowing all day. we don't get a lot of snow here in nashville and so i get excited over every little flake. but this was a (relatively) significant snowfall with accumulation. jess, katie and i took advantage of the wintry weather and went caroling for friends and neighbors. we scored some free hot chocolate from frothy monkey and free brownies courtesy of annie's roommate.

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

in case you were wondering...

today my roommate was making a cake and asked me where i put the mixer.

my response was that it was in the bathroom behind the giant bird head.

and yes. that's really where it was.

Friday, December 10, 2010

friday photos #7

friday, decmeber 3

candy-cane shaped ufo, or the nashville christmas parade?

saturday, december 4

babysitting my friend's 21-month old. she insisted she wear her hat and mittens with her pajamas.

tuesday, december 7

typical day at the office.

wednesday, december 8

bought my copy of annie's book.

thursday, december 9

oh tannenbaum

Thursday, December 9, 2010

a numbers game.

last night i was asked, on a scale of 1-10, how much do i open up to people about what's really going on in my life, why i'm struggling with, what questions i'm bringing to god, etc. i said i was a 2, at least when it comes to social settings in groups (which is the context in which this question was asked of me). but i'm not a 2 because i don't want to share; i'm a 2 because i don't know how. it takes me a long time to process my thoughts answers to deeper questions, and sometimes, like when i was afraid, it can even take weeks before i know how to share my thoughts. and so i think that's what this blog has been for me lately: a place where i can be more like a 6. i can see my thought written down and edit them before they are really out there. and most of what i share on here comes after several days of planning. (but it's all written in one sitting.)

and i do have a few people i can be 9s and 10s with, but they are few. i think none of us wood survive long in this world if we didn't have at least one person to be a 10

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

wednesday wisdom #7

"humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others, it is the root of all, because it alone takes the right attitude before god and allows him, as god, to do all."
- andrew murray

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

from head to foot

check this out. my friend annie just released her first book today! it's called "from head to foot: all of you living all for him" and you can get it on amazon by clicking on that link. there's also a preview of the book available so you can know what you're getting yourself into. which, btw, you're getting yourself into awesome. this is a memoir/bible study directed towards teen and college-aged girls. so if you fit into that category, or know anyone who does, or if you're a youth leader or just a human, i highly recommend you check the book out. you should also become a regular reader of her blog. it's the perfect blend of humor, honesty, and general awesomeness.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

close enough.

it snowed today. kind of. i miss the snow i had as a kid; several feet of snow perfect for building snowmen, snow forts, and igloos, and going sledding down the dunes. this will be my fifth christmas season in nashville, and it's still weird and kind of hard to get into the christmas spirit without snow. but today, it snowed. a few flurries and then what became really more of a sleety-like precipitation. i was helping my friends michael and jenny move into their new home this afternoon. michael referred to it as "dip-n-dots" falling from the sky. so it wasn't really snow, but it was close enough. for now.

Friday, December 3, 2010

so here's a question

what do uncle sam, reindeer, cowboys, and snow white have in common?

the answer: the nashville christmas parade.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

will you join me?

i have three plans for the month of december, and i would like you to join me in all of them.

1. blog every day. i attempted this in 2008 & 2009, and did not succeed. but each year i blogged more than i typically average in a month, and really that's the whole point.

2. the book of luke contains an account of the birth of christ. there are 24 chapters in luke. will you join me in reading one chapter each day leading up to christmas day?

3. my final plan for december is to squeeze out every last ounce of goodness that 2010 has had to offer. it's been a great year, but it's not over yet. let's go.

Monday, November 29, 2010

it's beginning to sound like christmas.

first of all, my apologies. life has thrown some financial, emotional, spiritual, and holiday-ial(?) curve balls over the last couple weeks. things are fine, actually they are more than fine, but sometimes the little flubs of life get in the way of some routines, like blogging.

as an apology i would like to point you all in the direction of some good, free christmas music. because i love christmas music and i love free. and while i say it's beginning to sound like christmas, it's currently thundering here in nashville. which is very much unlike any christmas i grew up with in michigan. moving on.

1. andrew ripp - "christmas tunes". andrew is by far one of my favorite voices. that's really all the explanation you need. (and feel free to check out his non-christmas albums on itunes)

2. the civil wars - "tracks in the snow". these two have harmonies like no other. watch for their debut album coming in early 2011. i'll remind you.

3. slugs and bugs - "christmas sampler". midtown's old worship leader randall has created an album of christmas tunes for kids. and my roommate stacy rocks the bgv's on a few songs, including "building a gingerbread house". despite the album being for kids, stacy and i definitely listened to it on our thanksgiving drive home.

4. the atlas - "christmas music". ryan and rhett are friends of stacy's, and she played these songs for me on our drive as well. i downloaded them at work today and couldn't get enough. simply put, it's gorgeous.

5. dave barnes - "very merry christmas". today and today only this single is free. get it while you can. if you are reading this after today (november 29, 2010), you can still get it on itunes and it'll be worth every penny. an instant classic. in fact you should actually just buy the whole album. i've determined dave barnes was created for christmas music. or maybe christmas music was created for dave barnes.

and on that note, here's one of my favorite christmas videos, featuring dave. (but no, it's not what the album sounds like.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

monday meals: sausage and squash stew*

last week i just kind of threw some ingredients together and out came a lovely fall dish full of all kinds of colors - orange, red, purple, green, to name a few. (i should start taking pictures to post.) here we go.

1lb package of italian sausage
1 acorn squash
2 15-oz cans of white beans
1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of fresh baby spinach
1/4 c small red onion, chopped
salt, pepper, & ground cumin

heat the oven to 350. cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. lay the two halves cut-side down in a small pan with a little bit of water. bake the squash for about 30-45 minutes, until soft.

while the squash is cooking, cook the sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until the meat is cooked through and the onions are translucent. add the beans, tomatoes, and spinach and let it stew for about 10 minutes.

when the squash is done, dice it and mix it in with all the other ingredients. add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.

*i'm sure there are better names for this dish, but i can't think of anything. suggestions welcome.

Friday, November 12, 2010

friday photos: week 6

friday, november 5

playing with a new lense on the hipstimatic app, i took a picture outside the car window in the black of night. this was the result.

saturday, november 6

adrienne, brad, kirsten, natalie and i went to the guest's cabin in maggie valley, nc. this is what we woke up to this morning.

sunday, november 7

this was the view on the way up to clingman's dome in the smokey mountains.

monday, november 8

another day on the set of "blue like jazz". i waited in line and went up and "bought" these tickets from tania raymonde to vote for my new pope.

tuesday, november 9

one of nashville's iconic venues. myka, jeff and i went to see dave barnes, gabe dixon, brandon heath, and jon mclaughlin.

wednesday, november 10


thursday, november 11


Thursday, November 11, 2010

a weekend in the mountains.

i know that tomorrow is photo friday, but this post would not do my weekend justice if i did not include pictures.

my roommate is a nanny, and the family she works for owns a cabin in maggie valley, north carolina. so a group of us went out there to spend the weekend away from the city, away from the busyness of our lives, and away from internet and phone service. it was incredible.

we got to the cabin late, around midnight friday night. when we woke up saturday morning, this was our view:

thankfully, all five of us loved snow. we were acting like kids on christmas morning.
this was the walkway up to the cabin:

after our pancake breakfast, we all headed into the mountains to go for a hike. we hiked the boogerman trail. it was so snowy and gorgeous.

and we were all acting a little silly...

on our way out of the park we drove through a meadow with about two dozen elk.

we got back to the cabin, made a fire in the wood burning stove, drank wine, and played clue (it was colonel mustard with the rope in the hall).

sunday morning we cleaned up the cabin and headed back towards nashville. we drove through the cherokee reservation and then went to the top of clingman's dome - the highest point in the smoky mountains.

it's been in the 70's this week in nashville, and i already miss the snow. being out there this weekend made my roommate and i want to come home and decorate for christmas. (but don't worry, we haven't... yet.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

wednesday wisdom: #6

"it is one thing to be set free. it is another thing to become free."

-erwin mcmanus

Monday, November 8, 2010

monday meals: chicken curry

five years ago, my friend melissa went to sri lanka for a couple weeks and came back with this recipe.

2 lb chicken breasts, diced
3 tsp salt
1/2 c oil
1 1/2 c finely chopped onions
1 tbs minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger (fresh)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 c water
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbs fresh lemon juice

springle chicken with 2 tsp of the salt. in a large skillet, heat oil over high heat. add chicken in batches, browning on both sides. transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

add onions, garlic, and ginger to the remaining oil. saute for 8 minutes over medium-high heat. stir in cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, 1 tbs of water. stir well for 1 minute. add tomatoes, 1 tbs cilantro, yogurt, and remaining salt (1 tbs).

add chicken and any accumulated juices. pour in remaining water. bring to a boil, turning chicken about to coat with sauce. sprinkle with garam masala and remaining cilantro. cover skillet and simmer for 20 minutes.

serve over white rice.

Friday, November 5, 2010

friday photos: week 5

friday, october 29

deanna's little girl rachel came to work at the end of the day. she kept saying "cheese" for me, but wouldn't look up at me.

saturday, october 30

cori, karissa, and natalie all came up with this idea to have a "mad men"-themed cupcake/bonfire party. we went all out.

sunday, october 31

"blackbird singing in the dead of night..." karissa wearing her halloween costume.

tuesday, november 2

my parents got this wok for their wedding or an anniversary or something... and never used it. for years i asked my mom if i could have it. she kept saying yes, but it's not easy to take on a plane. since i drove this past chirstmas, i brought it back with me. but i also never used it. until now.

wednesday, november 3

there is no better way to spend a rainy fall night than having a fire in the fireplace with good friends. thanks, dan, for having us over!

thursday, november 4

myka asked if i wanted to go to the bluebird with her to see carolina story. i had never heard of them before, but i went. and i loved them. totally added them to my long list of "music i would like to obtain when i have money"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

i'm so famous.

(please note the title of this post is dripping in sarcasm sauce. someone invent a dang sarcasm font already, please?)

anyway. check it out. npr used one of my photographs for an article. much thanks to my friend jace for finding this and sharing it with me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

wednesday wisdom: #5

"dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. living for something is the hard thing. living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. we live for what we believe."
-donald miller, blue like jazz

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the fear of no fear

you know what i think my biggest fear is? getting rid of fear.

because when we get rid of fear we have no more excuses.

a few weeks ago in my small group, we talked about what names we feel like god is telling us to put down/give up. and i didn't think about the question at all beforehand and then when we were sharing i just kind of blurted out "coward" and i don't know where it came from and i didn't really think about it until the next couple of days. and now i'm realizing how true that is for me. fear has played a large role in my life.

sometimes i think i'm afraid to chase after my dreams. there is the fear that i'll get into it and maybe realize that's not what i want and then be more confused about what to do with life than i already am. fear that i won't measure up. fear that i don't have what it takes.

but the scariest part is getting rid of those fears because they make for good (bad) excuses.

Monday, November 1, 2010

monday meals: white chili

this is so easy. and good. are you ready?

2-3 chicken breasts
3 15-ounce cans of great northern (white) beans
1 15-ounce can of black beans
1 jar of salsa
1/3 block of pepper jack cheese
1/3 block of monterrey jack cheese
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper

cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and cook in a skillet over medium heat until they're no longer pink. throw all the ingredients into a crock pot and let it cook for a couple hours. the end.

Friday, October 29, 2010

friday photos: week 4

friday, october 22

i passed this tree while going for a walk to meet up with some friends to head to a happy hour party. i couldn't resist taking a picture.

saturday, october 23

a fall saturday night in nashville = wine, fire, and music.

sunday, october 24
our friend dan works at a flower shop and brought these over to our house, just because. (i think they were leftover from a wedding.) they're so pretty and fall-y and match our dining room perfectly with its red walls.

tuesday, october 26

the wind was so crazy on tuesday. see that picture frame on the floor near my bed? that's where it was when i got home from work. it used to be on top of the radiator next to the window.

wednesday, october 27

i spent all of wednesday on set of the blue like jazz movie as an extra. we weren't allowed to take pictures, so i took this real fast as i was leaving. i know. it's an exciting picture and you can totally tell it's a movie set.

thursday, october 28

my friend regan played a show at the darkroom in edgehill village. this was her first show in months. she's pretty great.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

look for me on the big screen

about six years ago, a group on my college campus was giving away copies of don miller's "blue like jazz". i thought hey, why not, and read the book. and it changed my life. this book helped me realize that it was okay for me to question my beliefs, to challenge the christian ideologies i had grown up with. this isn't to say i ever stopped being a christian, or doubted the existence of god. it was more of a "do i believe in god because that's what i was told to believe or do i believe in god because i see the evidence of his existence in my life and in the world" kind of doubting. and it was hard. and it was good. and from that, i grew. i don't think it's possible to grow without questioning.

and the thing that i liked about the book was this raw honesty. and don's writing is so conversational, it makes for a quick easy read. my friend and i always joked that it felt like we were sitting down with him over a cup of coffee and just having a conversation with an old friend.*

well, a few years ago, some filmmakers from here in nashville approached don about turning this book into a film. so they worked together and changed some aspects of the book to turn it into more of a storyline, and hired actors and a crew. and then about a month ago, they announced they no longer had the funding to go ahead with the filming. until two guys started up a kickstarter campaign on behalf of the film. they set the goal low - with as little as $125,000 they could scrape together what they needed to get rolling. but records were broken and at the end of the campaign (which was this past monday), they ended up raising almost $350,000. and they began filming yesterday. and i got to be an extra.

so really i spent all day yesterday sitting in a lecture hall pretending to be a student at reed college. we sat in that room for about 10 hours, which will translate to probably 10 minutes of film. and though it had it's boring moments, it was still exciting, especially knowing the story behind the whole thing. and the actors were all incredibly nice. marshall allman is playing the lead character, and as a huge fan of lost, i was totally geeking out over the fact that tania raymonde was brought in as well. and of course, don was around for the whole thing.

so when this movie comes out, keep your eyes peeled for yours truly. there's maybe an 80% chance my shoulder will be seen. if you're lucky, i might sign the dvd when it comes out.

*ever since then, having coffee with don has been on my bucket list. so if anyone reading this knows anybody or has any strings they can pull, please, hook a sister up. he'll be in town for about a month.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

wednesday wisdom: #4

"and i watched the leaves fall all of the way to the ground. and i knew that that was what love was, to die so that it could be found."

-ben rector

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

mistakes and frivolity.

god doesn't make mistakes. and as i write this, i'm reminded of what that means. it means it's not a mistake that i'm where i'm at in life, in my career, in the world. i think it's fair to say god also isn't frivolous. i think these two things mean so much more than they seam. it means i was born on february 21, 1983 with a purpose. there is a reason i was born that day, and not the day before. there is a reason "glosli" by sigur ros started playing as i'm writing this. there's a reason i'm in nashville, a reason i live in the house i'm renting with the girls i have as roommates. there's purpose behind my job, even if it's hard to see. he doesn't make mistakes. he did this for a reason.

the question is: what am i going to do about it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

monday meals: chickpea pasta salad

this recipe is the result of a late afternoon trip to the grocery store sans shopping list, and me trying to throw random things together with what i already had at home. it ended up making a lot of food - i ate off it for a week, which made it that much cheaper.

the ingredients in this can easily be altered, which i think makes it even better. throw in whatever you have lying around the house. for example, i think peas and water chestnuts would be awesome, but i didn't have any.

1 15-oz package of whole wheat pasta (i used rotini)
1 can of chickpeas
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
salt to taste
1/2 c black olives, chopped
1/3 c raisins
1/3 c sliced almonds
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
balsamic vinaigrette

cook the pasta according to directions on package. meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. drain the can of chickpeas, and sautee with the salt, basil, and oregano for 20 minutes. when the pasta is done, drain the water and pour the pasta into a large bowl. mix in the chickpeas, olives, raisins, almonds, and apple cider vinegar. chill over night.

just before serving, add in a bit of balsamic vinaigrette for some extra flavor.

Friday, October 22, 2010

friday photos: week 3

hopefully i eventually get better about taking a picture every day. here we go. week three.

saturday, october 16
remember my perfect weekend? here's a four-in-one photo from saturday. the lighthouse, the pumpkin patch, the vineyard, and stacy lantz's cd release show.

sunday, october 17

day two of the weekend: the cabin stacy's dad built, kirsten fishing for the first time, and the silo we all climbed.

tuesday, october 19

this peaceful pond is over near my office, and i often go there on my lunch break to walk or to read.

wednesday, october 20

a typical day at the office.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

hindsight is 20/20

the thing about hindsight is you can look back and see exactly where one small decision led to another decision which led to a life-changing decision. here's one example in my life:

-spring of 2004 i made the small decision to go to my friend angie's church.
-fall of 2004 that church planted a new church and i made the small choice to go with my friend jenna.
-spring of 2005 i made the decision to be a part of the internship that church was having in the summer.
-summer of 2005 that internship totally changed my life (which is a post all of it's own)
-spring of 2006 i chose to move to nashville, which probably wouldn't have happened if not for the people i met during that 2005 internship.

and when i reflect on moments like that, it makes me wonder what small decisions i am making today that will change my life a few months or years down the road. it's kind of crazy to think about sometimes. i guess it's sort of along the lines of the movies "the butterfly effect" or "sliding doors". will my life have a completely different outcome depending on whether i choose to go to frothy monkey or fido to get my daily caffeine dose? i would say most likely not, but you never know.

i think this is just a reminder that god is in control. if he wants to use a cup of coffee to change my life, i'm all for it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

wednesday wisdom: #3

"we are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, but we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself."

-deitrich bonhoeffer

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a perfect fall weekend

this weekend past weekend will go down in the history books as one of the most perfect weekends. it was a combination of everything i love about nashville, about fall, about my hometown, and about road tripping.

roommate kirsten and i each took off work a little early on friday afternoon for a raod trip north. we stopped by fido to grab some coffee for the road, and to say goodbye to our roommate karissa, barista-extraordinaire. while waiting to order our coffee, we noticed the guy in front of us. the first thing i noticed was how short he was. yours truly stands at a measly 5'1" on a good day, and this guy was at most the same height as me, if not shorter. definitely not taller. next i noticed he was fairly attractive (though he was there with his wife and infant child), and then i realized he looked really familiar. i turned to kirsten and before i could say anything, she whispered "i think that guy was on some show we watched as children."

we spent the first 15 minutes of our road trip googling and imbding various 90's sitcoms and finally figured it out. the guy we saw was jason marsden. (not to be confused with james marsden). jason played jt's best friend & dana's boyfriend on step by step, eric matthew's friend on boy meets world, and dj's boyfriend on full house. he seemed nice and we actually talked to him for a whole 30 seconds after i miraculously caught the coffee beans his wife almost knocked onto the floor (i never catch anything).

we arrived at my mom's house in michigan around midnight and talked with her and played with the dog for a bit before hitting the sack. kirsten had never been to michigan before, so after breakfast we hit the krasal art center, silver beach, walked out to the lighthouse, met my grandma for pizza, visited an apple orchard and pumpkin patch, went to a cider mill which had cider tastings, and then a vineyard/winery with wine tastings.

then we went back to my mom's house for some pumpkin pie and apple crisp, then drove down to mishawaka, indiana. which was the whole purpose of this trip - our roommate, stacy lantz, was having a cd release show near her hometown, which is conveniently near my hometown. after the show, kirsten, stacy, the boys in her band, and i headed out to her parent's house. they have a lot of land, and her dad built a log cabin in the woods where we slept for the night. us girls woke up much earlier than the boys, and stacy's dad thought it would be fun to wake the boys by blasting led zepplin on the sound system while shooting off his shotgun. so he did. only they didn't wake up.

after they finally woke up, we went fishing in their pond (though we didn't catch anything) and climbed their silo. it's a 60-foot silo. dan and clayton made it all the way up, and kirsten and i chickened out after 6 feet or so. and scott didn't even try.

then we loaded up the trailer and cars and drove back down to nashville. the whole weekend was amazing. we did so many things in a short amount of time, but we never felt rushed and it was all just very relaxing. and it was peak fall colors up in michigan, and in my opinion, it was the perfect temperature at 65 degrees.

Monday, October 18, 2010

monday meals: pumpkin spice granola

i love pumpkin. y'all know that by now. i've also been on a kick lately of having granola for breakfast, so i decided to make my own and to make it pumpkiny. this is so easy and so tasty.

2 cups oats
2 tablespoons pumpkin butter
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raisins

preheat oven to 350*. in a medium sized bowl, mix the oats, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. in a small saucepan, mix together the pumpkin butter, pumpkin puree, honey, and brown sugar over low heat until warm. pour the pumpkin/honey/sugar mixture over the oats and mix well. spread the mixture into a 9x13 baking pan (lining it with aluminum foil & cooking spray makes it super easy to clean up). bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and adding the almonds and raisins in for the last 5 minutes. cool before serving/storing.

Friday, October 15, 2010

friday photos: week 2

i forgot to take a picture on friday 10.8.10, but i'm getting better at remembering :)

saturday, 10.9.10

todd carey, seth philpott, & nathan angelo at 3rd & lindsley.

sunday, 10.10.10

despite the 86* weather, it's definitely autumn which means pumpkin granola! (stay tuned for the recipe, coming on monday)

monday, 10.11.10

my roommate stole my phone and put a password on it. i had to sing "kumbaya" (with emotion) before she told me what it was.

tuesday, 10.12.10

gracie reached this milestone on my way home from work on the 65 north ramp off 440 west.

wednesday, 10.13.10

taken earlier in the year at radnor lake, this was edited using new apps i downloaded today.

thursday, 10.14.10

this silly photo and horrible photoshoping is brought to you by boredom at hotel indigo while waiting for our friends to play a writer's round. we were playing with the cinnamon, and my roommate sent me a text saying, "oh my gosh where's lumier and cogsworth? i can't believe it's real!"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ipod playlists, revisted

back in august i mentioned that i needed more playlists on my ipod. and i'm getting there. here's what i have:

8th & walnut - songs that remind me of the summer of 2005. a very life-changing summer. this list pretty much consists of coldplay, ben folds, and gorillaz.
falling for autumn - songs that mention or remind me of my favorite season.
favorites - self-explanatory.
flashback to younger days - self-explanatory.
get off your butt and do something with your life - songs that inspire me.
i dare you to just sit there - songs that demand to be danced to.
nashville artists - self-explanatory.
new music - an ever-changing playlist, where i stick new music until i learn it well.*
praise be to jeevus - songs about god, whether that was their intention or not. "jeevus" is a joke with my small group.
say no to miss kitty cause kitty go to dabbs house - the name is based off a joke with some friends, but this is a playlist of cheesy love songs.
slow jams for slow days - self-explanatory.
sometimes you have to move a little bit - songs that make you move, but not quite as much as the "i dare you to just sit there" playlist.
sometimes you need a little kick - songs that are a bit "crunchier" than what i normally listen to.
sunny happy driving with the windows down - self-explanatory
the evolution of a band - all of the songs by my favorite band, in chronological order.
the sky is falling - rainy day tunes.
there is no good category for songs like this - completely random, some of which just make you go "what just happened?"
this playlist is full of all kinds of awesome - a more picky version of my favorites
welcome to the south, y'all - i don't typically listen to country, but i have a few songs i like, or a few that are borderline country, and they all go in here.

*new music playlist currently consists of: grant terry, jon troast, and matt haeck. what new music have you been listening to? what playlists do you have?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

wednesday wisdom: #2

"real religion, the kind that passes muster before god the father, is this: reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world."

james 1:27, the message

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

childhood memories.

i have a few memories of my grandpa (mom's dad). he passed away when i was three, so these are some of my earliest memories. i remember eating ice cream with him, and getting it all over my nose. i remember i would sit in his lap, and i would lean backwards and point my foot up, and he would lift me up so my foot touched the bottom of the lamp that hung from the ceiling over the chair. and i remember the one time he cut my fingernails, and nipped the corner of my pinky and it bled... after that, i was terrified to get my fingernails trimmed.

do you ever wonder why certain memories are the ones that stick with you for forever? what was so special about those moments?

Monday, October 11, 2010

monday meals: pumpkin turkey chili

yeah. kind of weird. that's what i thought when i first saw this recipe over at but i love everything about fall, including both pumpkin and chili, and i'm pretty brave when it comes to trying food, so i figured worst case scenario, it would be disgusting and i'd make something else for dinner. well, it was far from disgusting. the first thing you taste is sweet, and then the heat from the spices. a very interesting combination indeed, i was pleasantly surprised. i will be making this again. i also made some jiffy cornbread in the cast iron skillet - another fall favorite, and i paired it with some winzerwald schweizer spice wine, or as they refer to it, "liquid pumpkin pie". unfortunately for me, this wine is not available in nashville. i have one bottle to last me through the fall, and i will treasure it.

i adapted the original recipe (linked above). this is my version:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large can of libby's pumpkin pie mix

seasonings (i didn't measure these, but let's just say that i like it hot) :
chili powder
ground black pepper
cayenne pepper
ground cumin

heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute onions and peppers until onions are near-translucent. add the ground turkey and brown evenly. drain the excess grease. add the tomatoes (drained) and pumpkin, as well as the seasonings. stir and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

easy, quick, delicious, and definitely unique. and all things autumn. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

friday photos: week 1

last week i mentioned that i'm trying to start taking at least one picture, every day, for a year. well, i already forgot two days, but that's okay. here's what i have from this past week:

friday 10.1.10

friday after work i traveled up to indiana to attend my college homecoming. one of my favorite parts of the drive up north is the massive amount of rock face in kentucky. as a kid (living in michigan), we often traveled south for vacation. i remember fighting to have the backseat with my brother - the backseat was easier to nap in. i remember at one point i wised up and realized if i got the backseat first, i could nap through the corn and soybean fields of indiana, and then be awake in the middle seats for the pretty rocky hills of kentucky.

saturday 10.2.10

saturday was homecoming. this is the on-campus coffee shop. i basically lived here my senior year, and it was in this room i decided to move to nashville. many haikus were written here, as well as crosswords completed, and i consumed many free lattes courtesy of my good friend sara.

sunday 10.3.10

this is the mercy house, which i blogged about tuesday. they meet in an old elementary school building. and that's my friend matt speaking.

tuesday 10.5.10

i joined some friends at fido for some coffee and journal-making. a simple moment. those are my favorites.

thursday 10.7.10

my roommates, karissa lacour and stacy lantz, sang some songs while i sold journals at the hillsboro village art walk. thanks to cori at social graces for the opportunity!