Wednesday, April 15, 2009

i'm back and it's EASTER!

To begin with, the cutest Easter present I've ever gotten!  Well, second.  When I was five I got a "REAL LIVE BUNNY!"  I was very excited, I've seen the video to prove it.  But, Chris got me these adorable too cute to eat baby ducks!!!!

SO cute....Well, it's been forever since I updated...well, forever and a day!  Happy Easter!  I had one of the best Easter's ever, so much joy, so much love and so much closer to Jesus.  I feel like I took some really big "baby" steps to Jesus.  It was a beautiful Lent and ended with a beautiful Triduum weekend.  Loved it.  This weekend is Chris and I's first anniversary so I think I'll spend some time this week sharing our story...oh, where to begin...!  :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a different story

This article mentions me briefly, and it also served a great purpose to get me really thinking about where my songs come from.  I'm full-fledged in the process of writing again, though I haven't completed a song for the upcoming album.  But, I'm thinking and brewing and jotting things down all the time.  And praying....lots and lots of praying!!  In the past writing has been an incredibly tedious and somewhat painful process for me.  I'll admit, I'm really hoping that things are different this time.  I really am.  

But, regardless, the article has me thinking about where my songs come from and how they (essentially) get here.  Every song has a different story -- kinda like children.  From the time we're in our mother's wombs' our stories begin and they are always, always, always different from our friends, siblings, strangers...they make us unique!  A friend of mine is giving birth today, and I'm anxiously awaiting to meet the little one.  But, we had a great conversation a few weeks ago about how her feelings and responses were different than they were with her first child.  But, it makes sense...this little tyke's story is beginning and it's already completely and totally his (or her) own.  Amazing, so that's my reflections on my songs.  They're kinda like that...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

my writing assignment

I was asked to complete a writing assignment for some promotional pieces.  We're currently doing a radio promotional campaign you can check out here.  It's taken me all week, or, rather a few weeks I suppose, but I finally finished the devotional.  I'm going to post it below, it's roughly a mission statement for my ministry and music.  Enjoy.

We are called to shine! Each and every one of us has different gifts, dreams, and desires. I used to think that doing God's will meant I needed to be suffering, and if loved what I was doing then it must not be God's will. I still remember the moment my Dad sat with me in a moment of desperate confusion and told me that, more than anything, God wanted me to be happy. It was like a light bulb went off in my soul! The gifts He'd given me were how He wanted me to serve others. He wanted me to use my gift of song, and the joy I had in doing so meant I was on the right path! It may seem so simple, but it truly rocked my world. I had been set free to find my own path and follow His will for my life.

Every part’s a little different, every heart beats its own way
He has given us the freedom, use our gifts to radiate
Free to be, free to shine, free to give our entire lives
Oh nothing is by chance,
Yeah, Yeah, let’s shine our radiance

These lyrics from “Radiance” rang true at a concert recently while I was performing. It was an intimate setting, and the people present ranged in age from 3 to 83. I was so touched by God's beauty in the diversity and was aware that everyone there brought with them their own gifts, dreams, desires, hopes, concerns, and fears. The 83-year-old woman came an hour early to the concert because she was concerned if she went home she wouldn't get out again... there was a three-year-old that played my tambourine and made everyone smile... and there was a man who wept when I mentioned the economy and encouraged those struggling with unemployment to trust that God has a plan for our lives even, and maybe especially, in the midst of our pain. No matter where we are, who we are, or how old we are, God has a plan for our lives and calls us to shine His light!

Friday, February 27, 2009

7 quick takes friday

1. Stolen
Last night I watched "The Changeling."  I saw that Angelina Jolie was up for best actress and it sounded interesting.  A woman loses her child and he's not the same when he comes home.  I was intrigued.  Instead, I feel like some of my innocence was stolen.  I probably should have stopped watching it because it upset me so much, but instead I distracted myself with Wurdle on my iphone when I was feeling scared.  More disturbing that it was a true story.  In the 1920's apparently the LAPD were real jerks and full of power.  They locked women up in mental facilities (horrible ones!) whenever things were inconvenient or when they needed to save face. The side stories were too horrible to repeat...On one hand I could hear someone saying that it was educational, but it's now on the list of movies that I wish I had never ever seen.  The only moment I can compare it to was when I was a freshman in high school - a friend said that the movie "Seven" was awesome.  I knew nothing about it, and at the end of a horrible two hour event where my eyes were closed most of the time I declared, "WHY did you let me watch that?"  I don't think she got it.  Next time I'll be more careful what I choose to watch.

2. Mother Teresa
I redeemed my evening by reading some of the latest book about Mother Teresa.  It is incredibly good and unbelievably refreshing.  It's drawing me closer and closer to a greater desire for holiness.  Just what the saints usually do!

3. Chuck E. Cheese
Chris and I are watching our friends kids for the night tomorrow and we're super excited!  My good friend is pregnant with her fourth baby and she's going to go downtown for a night away with her husband.  Maybe it's because we don't have kids of our own yet (though I don't think so, we LOVE these little guys!!!)  but we are super excited to have fun with them for a night.  We're going to go to Chuck E. Cheese with them and accomplish a whole list of other fun things.  The oldest and I made the list together.  WE are going to be BUSY!

4. Keeping our Priests alive
I'm having two of my favorite and dearest priest friends over for dinner tonight, and it also happens to be one of their birthdays we're celebrating!  So, I had quite the challenge.  It's a birthday (feast day) so it needed to be special, it's Lent, so I no meat.  One is allergic to shellfish and the other to citric acid.  If you've never heard of such a thing check out the labels on just about *every* canned item.  Not to mention tomatoes, lemons, etc...  I don't know how he does it, but I'm not going to be the one to send one of them to the emergency room.  I think I've got a menus that will work, pray for me!

5. My first quick take Friday.
This is it, I think I like it.  Or, I'm running out of quick takes...

6. Songwriting.
I need to turn some of these ramblings into songs.  I'm starting to feel panicked that I won't get inspired ASAP.  That's one of the main offerings for Lent from Chris and I as a married team...we're writing at least one night a week.  It's overwhelming...but more on that later.  

7. Man Cold
Chris has been sick most of the week, he just started feeling better last night.  I shouldn't tease him as much, but this youtube video as been a source of a lot of joking since we got married.  It's hilarious, I think...  But, I DO need to be more sensitive to him.  He's sweet and courageous and more often than not rallies through everything in life.  Everyone should be allowed a time to "meltdown" and be free to heal.  He CERTAINLY gives that to me with utter sincerity and compassion.  But the video is still hilarious.

Okay, now go check out Jennifer at  She hosted this way fun excercise!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

Tomorrow is Lent and I'm certainly ready for it.  I feel unfocused and un-sober in my waiting and watch for God's presence in my life.  I know that I often turn to worldly things when my heart is seeking to rest in God alone.  Like, when I get that late afternoon slump and I often think, "Maybe I should quit working at the computer and take a moment in prayer..." or even, "maybe I should take a rest and read a bit..." or even, "maybe I should take a small rest..."  And instead, like a productive American, I reach for my friend to the left...  

I love diet coke, I do.  It gives me a boost in the afternoon that I often need (or think I need, perhaps I would be way more energized from a short time in prayer) and is more often than not the answer to my sweet tooth when I'm trying my very best to eat healthy.  I read all the time that water would make one less hungry, have more energy, sleep better, and in general help the body run much more healthfully.  I would rather have a diet coke.  I told a group of kids last night (at a Lenten concert) that it isn't candy or soda that is bad, or even not good --  but Lent is for taking the time to know that the good things in life have their place.  And that place should be WELL below our priority of God.  So, when I'm wanting  a diet coke I'll be thinking.... "oh goodness, I sure love diet coke...but God, I love you more!"  So, diet coke is my fasting.

As for alms giving and prayer, no less important, I am recommitting to finding a fixed time once a week to spend in adoration.  That's prayer.  And when I go to the grocery store I'll be buying baby food (one of the high desired items) for the food pantry.  That's alms giving.  I've prayed about this, and as is typical on every Ash Wednesday I will beg God one last time that if I'm to do something different He will tell me ASAP.  

I have some more ideas and thoughts, but I'm going to pray about them a bit more.  I tend to start Lent out in an over-zealous, "I'm going to change it all in the next 40 days...!!!!!" and then I fall flat on my face by the first fish fry.  So....easy does it.  I'll let you know if I add anything else. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

weekend frustrations and comfort food

This weekend was good, it was...but yesterday I hit a stubborn wall of frustration and anxiety. Sometimes I don't know why, sometimes I do...other than some indicators of the weather (spring, where aaaaaarrrre you?) and hormone shifting I didn't have a great reason. It was one of the first weekends in a very long while that wasn't booked or planned out the wazoo. And, it will be the last for some time as well. Friday night we had some great friends over for pizza with their little boys (5 altogether) and though it was rambunctious, it was fun and a great time to spend with people we love. Chris and I really do love hosting gatherings, of all kinds. Saturday I got a chance to spend some time with three very amazing, wonderful, wise, dear, dear friends for mass and breakfast afterwards at one of my favorite places and then Chris and I hung out at home until venturing out to buy a water filter for the fridge and walking around the mall for a bit. Then we met my family for dinner and watched a movie. Relaxing, no stress...yesterday was much the same but somehow I got really down and frustrated with lots of things. It's a tough balance between allowing myself to have the feelings I have regardless of how seemingly NOT delightful they are, and moving forward to choose to do something semi-positive with them, or rather, despite them. So, I made risotto.

It takes a long time, and involves standing by yourself for over half an hour stirring constantly. I don't make it often because the part that makes it the best is when you dump a couple handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese in it. But, it was cheesy and warm and delicious. It gave me an opportunity to be creative, make something special for my husband and lift my spirits just a little. It also (along with the glasses of red wine it accompanied) lured me into a nap while watching the Oscars. Then I went to bed, and I'm really trying for today to be better, mood-wise.

But, I just paid bills. Chris and I just got married in April, and before that I was a single and independent living girl with her very own modest townhouse. It was (and is) adorable and was perfect for me. Then, we wed and I moved into his ranch. We now have two houses. And the market is terrible. And, I forget about this stressor until the end of every month when it comes time for me to write some checks...the mortgage, the home owner's fees, the insurance, the utilities. It's such a bummer. I know it won't be forever, but I do hope it sells soon. In the meantime, maybe I'll go bake something and forget about it...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Left out and Love day '09

So, these beautiful roses were feeling a bit left out on the blog since they were here first and I posted about the slick deal 99 cent flowers. THESE (amazing, beautiful, perfect dozen) roses were sitting on my doorstep last Friday. I knew they were from my husband immediately (I hoped so, I didn't want any other Valentines on the National Day of Love and Catholic feast day) and I was right. Attached was the sweetest note that made my heart soar! The only thing I found even the teensiest bit sad about it was that Chris couldn't see the profound look of delight and joy on my face when I saw them! It's been almost a week and they are STILL so beautiful. You'd think it was truly springtime in here, anything I can do to trick myself, I love spring! I'm so ready for it.

So, Chris gave me roses and an amazing purse and I was SO excited to give him his gift! It was something we'd been talking about for a long time now, and I knew he was budgeting for and planning to get, but I really wanted to be the one to initiate it. Well, here it is! At least, it's in the box... It's a left handed guitar and I'm so excited to hear Chris play it! He's had a very basic Yamaha for some time now and the electronics have started to become rather unreliable at concerts and what not, so it was really getting to be an eminent purchase. I wanted so badly to buy him a guitar as a wedding gift, but I just wasn't sure which one to get and with him being a lefty I wasn't sure what the return policies would be. So, I was excited when he found one he loved, heard and it sounded amazing and that it also came in a left handed version and could be ordered at the nearby Guitar Center. So, Friday night (the day before Valentine's Day) after a great dinner I told him where to go and where to turn and we ended up at Guitar Center. He was so excited, and so was I. I think this will be a great motivator and inspiration for us to start writing some more songs, but that's a story for another day.

Take two.

Take two tastes creamy and delicious, but has the consistency of snot. I'm not sure I can stomach the texture. But, I'm closer...or closer to taking the machine back and buying yogurt at the store.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yogurt, take two.

So, I just finished making my first batch of homemade yogurt with a yogurt machine I found at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20.00 because they didn't have the box or directions to go with it. I hope I'm doing it right...but, it tastes awful. I mean, sour and terrible like nothing has tasted to me before. Gross. Maybe I left it in too long, I'm not sure. I was told that it sometimes takes a few shots to get right. I'm thinking for sure it does! I'm disappointed, but trying not to lost hope, I think I'll try another recipe, this one was just skim milk and a "starter" which is a tablespoon of a store-bought yogurt. Some others call for dried milk instead, so I'll try that. Here's to my next yogurt attempt...and if it doesn't work, maybe I'll go back to enjoying this kind.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First real and official, committed post and some 99 cent delight!

Welcome! I have "started" blogging about a million times now. I would start one, then leave it alone for a long time then forget my password, then realize I'd forgotten what username I used. Then, I'd sign up again and use a "special" e-mail then forget again, etc... But, here I am. For real. I spend of a lot of time lurking on blogs. I want to live in the light, the truth. I want to show you all that I'm here! I have never been exactly sure if I was meant to do a wife and mommy blog, I love reading about them. But, so far, I'm solely a wife. I wasn't sure if I should do a music industry blog or a Catholic/Christian blog and focus on solely faith or solely Christian music and writing... I've been held up a zillion times because I haven't been able to box myself into one thing. But I think I've realized how great that is. I can't be boxed in, or, I won't be! I am all these things...a Christian musician, a Catholic, a wife, a lover of the Lord, a friend, and an "I hope one day soon" Mom. So, these are the stories of the everyday life of me. Every day's a little different, I can tell you that...

And, as a welcome gift, please enjoy these delightful and amazing flowers! They were just 99 cents at the grocery store, so I had to have them. Valentine's leftovers are my Feb. 17th surprise gift! I can't wait to keep writing...see you soon, I promise.