Category Archives: music

music of all sorts

Hubby Is 30!

In honor of my amazing, talented, hilarious, handsome, wonderful, giving, loving Hubby’s dirty thirtieth birthday, I’d like to show this little collection of photos…

Before this happened…

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There were these two kids, on the night they met, at a Halloween party (right after the church service they played together)…

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You know, just trying to make scary faces with the cute guy you just met.

They were together a lot after that…

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This is our “college formal” face.

And I mean a lot…

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Our “middle school dance” date. He put a lot of work into that one!

Until one day, he proposed for real…

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This remains the only picture of us from that night. And we’re still making that stupid “college formal” face.

Practiced getting married…

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Post rehearsal dinner shenanigans.

And really did it…

This is totally characteristic of our relationship.
This is totally characteristic of our relationship.

Then we bought a house…

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We bought our house on the way to the airport to go to Italy. Obviously.

Shaved his head for children’s cancer…

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He’s done it several times, but this was the year he also raised $200 for his trashy mustache.

Went to this bar, our favorite bar, for 90 days in a row… three times…

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Finnigan’s Wake will always be home base for us.

And then we got pregnant and had this sweet gal…

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All of a sudden… parents!

I watched him become the most amazing dad…

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They’re still besties.

And then we did that a time or two more…

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I’m a little bit pregnant with J in this one…
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And I’m a LOT pregnant with him here.
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And here I’m a couple weeks away from having D!

With a few breaks for being awesome in between…

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Singing in his wedding band was still one of the most fun nights of my life!
Just a little family partying.
Just a little family partying.

All in all, I wouldn’t do life any differently or with anyone else. Hubby’s my rock. He’s my personal chef, my confidant, my treasured friend, my only lover, my companion, my “I need to tag out!” or “I can’t do this alone!” rescuer. He is my everything, and I can’t wait to spend the next thirty years with him. 30 looks good on you, babe. Happy birthday.

Favorite Lullabies

As the mom of three kids that I still actively put to bed, I have to have a lot bedtime songs in my arsenal. I get requests from Taylor Swift to Disney to worship songs. I even occasionally have to make up a song about a random object. (It’s an “I love lamp.” situation in my daughter’s room some nights.) Thus, my list of bedtime songs is endless, but I’ve compiled a list of some of our current favorites, if you’re getting tired of your old standards.

1. Edelweiss. This is the song from The Sound of Music that is portrayed as the Austrian favorite, sung by both Liesel and the Captain (and the audience at the festival). Both my older kids love it, and it’s not very long, so I learned it quickly, and it’s not some 9-verse song I never feel like singing.

2. Somewhere Over the Rainbow. EK loves this one, mostly because she loves rainbows. But like The Sound of Music, we’ve also watched The Wizard of Oz enough times that all the songs from it are very familiar. This one has a couple verses, but it’s not terribly long either. (Nerd moment: It’s a good way to teach octaves!)

3. Oceans. This is a Hillsong United tune that I’ve sung at church during our service over the last couple of years, and EK loves it. She frequently requests it, and knows all the words. I trim it WAY down – the album version is about 9 minutes long – at bedtime (and at church) and it’s still long. But hey, when your daughter requests that you sing a worship song, you deliver.

4. Getting to Know You. This favorite from The King and I is one of the songs the kids know best. They’ve watched this movie countless times, and still want to watch it sometimes. I think they like seeing all the children!

5. Oh, Mister Sun. This is a kids’ song from way back, and I’m not sure if I even sing the actual words, but I definitely sing it a lot. I often follow it with “Oh, Mister Moon” – a second verse I’m almost certain I make up most of the words to.

6. Disney songs. I know that’s vague, but there are so many that they ask for. Here’s a sampling: Let It Go (Frozen), Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid), I See the Light (Tangled), A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella), Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast), and several. My absolute favorite is Stay Awake (Mary Poppins’s lullaby) and I’ve written an extra verse for each of my children, using their names.

7. You Are My Sunshine. Everyone knows this one, right? Short, easy, to the point, and done.

8. Jesus Loves Me. The kids sing this one at church, so they request it at home. I love it that they want it.

9. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star/ABC. Since these songs have the same tune, when J starts singing it (often without any intelligible words), I go back and forth between which words I sing. Or sometimes I’ll sing them back to back.

10. Colour My World. If you know Hubby and me, you know that we are rock and roll people. So naturally, this Chicago tune had made our favorite song list.

11. Golden Slumbers. This song by the Beatles is a lovely one – from the Abbey Road album.

12. Down to the River to Pray. This bluegrass-y, gospel-y song was featured in Oh Brother Where Art Thou and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. Several verses and multiple harmonies make it all the more appealing.

What are some songs you sing to your kids? Are the slow lullabies, rock ballads, or edited rap songs? I’ve heard of all three!

Things Toddlers Say (aka Family Talk)

Every Tuesday, I like to give you a small glimpse into the linguistic wonders of my family life. I have a hilarious husband, and two wonderful but sometimes misspoken children. I know you will enjoy hearing things I hear daily as much as I do.  

Me, in reference to my belly moving: I don’t think I remember the baby moving this much this early with my other two.
Hubby (deadpan): Maybe we will finally have one with some personality.

EK’s breakfast of choice one morning this week: A brownie from her aunt Lala, blueberries, and sausage. (Weirdo.)

7:15 am, EK, shoving a princess dress in my face (rude awakening, am I right?): Help me! Mom! Help me! Now! (As if her very life depends on getting into that dress right this second.)

Hubby, preparing for his gig, singing T-Pain’s “Buy You a Drank”: Baby girl, what’s your name?
EK: My name’s Ella Kate! (Then proceeds to sing the song the rest of the night.)

My friend Lauren, at our house for dinner: Can you lean out the window and tell Uncle Drew it’s time to go home?
EK, leaning out the window to the porch: Uncley Drew! Time to go hoooooome!

Me: What do you want for lunch?
EK: A soomie. (Smoothie)

Hope you enjoyed today’s little funny sayings. What does your toddler say that’s hilarious?!

Currently 

Welcome to this week’s Currently! As usual, I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy and other wonderful bloggers as we share what’s going on in our lives currently. Join us! We love making new connections!

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Thankful for || lots of friends who let me do laundry at their place. The count of borrowed laundry rooms is up to five. It doesn’t sound like that many, but it feels like a lot. Thankful to have five places we can run to!

Loving || game nights with friends! Hubby and I have a few couples that like to play games with us on occasion, and they are some of our favorite nights! After our kiddos go to sleep, we play Taboo, Catchphrase, Buzzword, Heads Up, or spades (if there are exactly four of us). Looking at that list, it seems we like word games. Ha!

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Excited about || leading worship at two services this week that are a little out-of-the-box for me. One is tonight (I’ve never even attended this one before!) and one is Wednesday. I’m excited to be worshiping with some different people in some other venues!

Listening to || 1989. I’m just now (kinda embarrassingly) jumping on the Taylor Swift bandwagon. I didn’t like her as a country artist, and I don’t like much current pop music, so I just sort of assumed that I wouldn’t like her any more as a pop artist. HOWEVER I do really like her new album. Must be her take-no-shit attitude and I-am-who-I-am sentiment in her music. Cue sheepish grin.

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Counting down || the 24 days (exactly) that I have till Hubby and I have iPhone upgrades. We got our 5s right when they came out two years ago, and we have loved them well. Mine spends most of its time in a Lifeproof case, because I’m clumsy and I have kids, but it still has a giant crack (read: shattered screen) and Hubby’s does too (read: one crack). The memory is full, upgrades take forever, and they’re just plain running slowly. I cannot WAIT to get a new-fangled, enormous iPhone 6.

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Thanks for checking out my happenings currently! What are you up to?

Our aim is love.

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This morning, my band and I were fortunate enough to not need all our allotted practice time, so we made it to the worship team’s small group. The people are mostly different every Sunday, but by now I know most of them as friends, or at least admired acquaintances. They are all musicians, and we are largely similar in that respect (and several others as well; we tend to be a “type”).

Our worship pastor came to us this morning with a Scripture that blew my mind. He said he had been led to it this week, and was really shifting his focus to walk in it. It also happens to pair nicely with the sermon series our church is in the middle of right now… Isn’t God cool like that?!

Anyway, the single verse is from Paul’s first letter to Timothy (I Tim. 1:5). When we are asking ourselves, after striving and trying and loving and helping, sometimes seemingly in vain, this is Paul’s answer to us:

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (ESV)

The aim – the NIV says “goal” – our aim, our goal, our purpose… is love. That’s the main point. Love.

What could we learn, if we just remember that? Love is the goal. It looks different on everyone, and each person needs a different kind, but it’s all about love.

Moving on through the verse, he specifies love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Those are good places for your love to come from. When we let ourselves be cleansed by the blood, we love from a pure heart. When we allow our minds to become one with the Father’s, we love with a good conscience. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we love from a place of sincere faith.

Folks, this should change your outlook, change your life! Or, if you were already there, good for you! This filled me with a desire to let the Father change my heart, mend my mind, and fill my soul. I want to love! I want that to be my aim and my goal. I need it. We all need it. I’m going to let love be my aim and my goal. And then I’m excited to see what happens. Aren’t you?

Currently

I love linking up with Jenna at A Mama Collective and all the other fantastic gals for the Currently series. Here goes nothin’!

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Thinking about high school. I never really reminisce like this, but my ten-year reunion was this past weekend. I saw some great people I haven’t seen in years, and partied with some good friends (and teachers!) that I don’t get to see often. On the one hand, I love seeing people in person and looking into their eyes while we catch up. On the other hand, thank goodness for social media because otherwise I’d have reverted into my awkward, high school self because I wouldn’t have known anything about anyone’s life nowadays. It was actually easier because I knew a little bit and was able to make conversation. Anyway, it was a blast. I loved reconnecting with several people I never get to see.

Listening to Kari Jobe singing “Forever” by Bethel Music. Here’s the link for my favorite video:

This song (we actually talked about in our worship team meeting last week) is a perfect example of a great worship song. Structurally, dynamically, lyrically, and just in the open-ended nature and worship opportunity that the song creates. One of my favorite things is that it all starts with a reflection on the cross. In short, I am digging it.

Thankful for Hubby. I’m always thankful for him, but I’m in a season right now of really appreciating the way he loves me well, the love he has (and shows!) for our kids, and the commitment he has to our family. He is an excellent man, folks.

Loving the fact that TV has started back up for the fall. I know that’s a silly thing, but I am so happy!

Enjoying  my new small groups. Hubby and I are a part of a community group that meets every other Sunday. Six couples, all in different stages of life, and I love it. Such fun people! I’m also in a new women’s small group on Thursday mornings. The gals I got linked with are great, different ages/walks of life, some I know and some I don’t yet. It’s already been fun, and we’ve only met twice! Yay for beginning this year full of great new relationships!

Doing life with my mama friends these past couple of months has been awesome. For instance, this morning, my friend Steph popped in for a cup of coffee after dropping her son off at preschool. We just visited, chatted and watched the kids play. I love being so close to her (geographically and as friends) that she can pop over while I’m still in my pajamas and we can just drink coffee and be.

Join the link up party! What are you up to Currently?

Currently

I’m an avid reader of Kristen’s, over at When At Home. This week, she co-hosted a link party, and we are all sharing what is going on with us currently. I am currently:

thinking about my new role as stay at home mom. I’ve always been the one who worked all day (teaching) and now I’m all of a sudden not the money maker, the worker, or the go-outside-the-house-and-do-things-er. I am reinventing my schedule, my perspective, my identity aside from a job.

listening to a lot of Jesus Culture and Bethel, trying to add some new songs to my worship set lists. I love their hearts, their leading ladies and the versatility of their songs. Mmmm, so good.

reading the Outlander series – specifically, I’m still in the first book. I had friends and family members who had read them ages ago, and have raved about them for years. Now that the tv series is coming out, I figured it was time.

thankful for the stages of life that my kids are in. EK is becoming more and more independent (and curious and brave and insolent, haha) every day. J is really mommyfied (I think my mom coined this term, for me at least) but it’s actually sweet most of the time.

photographing my kids, all day every day. Well, not that much. But they are easily the cutest thing I see all day, and they change so quickly, and do new cool things so often that I feel like I need to document it!

There ya have it! Check out When At Home because I love it and you will, too. And while you’re here, tell me what you’re up to lately!

A Tool for the Gospel

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This keyboard is a tool (a darn good one at that). I use it to make music, to provide accompaniment or melody. As a worship leader, I am also a tool, to be used to lead those around me into worship, into the throne room, into the presence of my God. Sometimes I feel like a broken tool, hurt or jaded or so very needy that I could never lead others. Who am I to stand up there, an exhausted and sometimes frustrated mama who makes an embarrassing amount of mistakes, a too-busy friend, a distant stranger, and usher those sweet seekers of grace to the place of self-abandoning worship of the Most High? Who am I to hammer out the chords, sing someone else’s words, and put my heart out there, when others are surely more worthy?

But I guess that’s the beauty of it. Flawed people do great things. Everyone has a little work to do to further the Kingdom. Moses tried to tell the Lord that he wasn’t good enough. In Exodus, when God called Moses to set His people free, Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt? What if they ask me questions I can’t answer? What if they don’t believe me? ”  God simply says that He has the answers, He will provide the proof… “I will be with you.” Moses will be the tool God uses to do the work, the freedom work, the work for His Kingdom.

If He can do that, then Jesus can take my half-asleep-on-Sunday-morning self, who is insecure about her abilities and worrying about what people may think, and help me let go. He can take my meager gifts and turn them into something beautiful. He takes my simple singing and playing, and touches someone’s heart. Even on a morning that I feel unrehearsed, rushed, hoarse, and hectic, someone will tell me that they felt His spirit, that they were spoken to. If just one someone grows closer to Him, I know that He has used me for His good. What better purpose is there for a person – a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend – to have than to bring forth the Gospel? To bless others? To lead my precious brothers and sisters to adoration at His feet?

And who is changed? Me. I am most affected by His use of me. I am the one who is blessed by blessing others, who grows closer to Him each time I play a note or open my mouth to sing. I am growing and changing and marveling at His love. From there, I can spread that incredible, mind-boggling love to others.

Oceans

I have been a fan of Hillsong United ever since I started attending a “contemporary” worship service (more on why I used quotes there later).  They never fail to make really great sounding, high quality music at the same time as provoking thought and entering into worship.  A lot of “Christian radio” these days is missing out on worship AND on great sounds.  My husband and I often joke about the choices some of the contemporary Christian artists make.  Why use those corny lyrics?  Why use that machine-like drum sound?  Is the song encouraging anyone?  Is it pointing people to Jesus?   Okay – off my soapbox (for now) and back to the main idea of this post.

First things first: Watch this video.  Really, truly watch it.  Stop whatever else you’re doing and focus on it.  Let it seep in.

Now.  How do you feel?  Did those lyrics speak to you like they spoke to me?

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders.  Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”

You know what I’m talking about.  The conviction.  The pull inside you, reaching to your very bones.  Every time I add this song to my set list for a Sunday morning, I know it will reach someone.  Every time, after the service, a different soul tells me how the song touched them.  And in this particular video, it’s just that; a lovely moment of worship is being held by everyone involved.  Did you have a moment of worship?  I hope so.