Thursday, May 27, 2010

summertime fun.

it may not be summer on the calendar yet.
but it is over 90.
it's summer.

the pool.
the lake.
staying outside till 9p
driving with the windows down.
yes yes. it's summer.

nothing is more summer to me.
than country music.
i know gag right.
i live in nashville.
and i love country music.
it might seem stereotypical.
but it's not.
i love allllll kinds of music.
i DEFINITELY didn't think i'd ever work in it.
and sometimes.
i get so wrapped up in my job.
i forget how much this music made me who i am.
i'm too busy being my job.
i forget that i was a huge fan.
i am a fan.
just like i was when i was growing up.

i grew up in ohio.
we sat around bonfires listening to reba.
we went camping.
tim mcgraw.
kix & ronnie.
they all went camping with us.

i remember the first country song i ever heard.
well the first song i heard that made me FALL IN LOVE with country music.
i was at indian lake.
on my bike.
with my stereo tied onto it.
yeah i was junky.
and "don't take the girl" came on.
and i just stopped.
something was different.
this was the beginning.

growing up.
singing "broken wing" in my bedroom mirror.
in my brush.
strawberry wine..making me cry.
over and over and over.
driving the lawn mower, singing "she don't know she's beautiful"
my dad recently told me "my favorite thing was you mowing the yard. you'd be an acre back, thinking no one could hear you singing! you're own concert!" haha
putting "standing outside the fire" on our softball warm up TAPE.
that was our motivation to be better.
George's "true" & "I cross my heart" ah.
still want to dance to those at my wedding.

then college.
EVERY weekend was a concert.
lawn seats.
jean skirts and cowboy hats.
we were those girls.
blankets on the lawn.
just laying there letting the music decide.
decide if we were going to cry next or get up and dance.

it's funny those songs helped raise me.
good old country lyrics.
about love and loss.
taught me about life.
i had no idea back then.
it would still be such a big part of my life.
or that i'd be here.
a little girl.
from ohio.
God has a funny way of bringing things full circle.

sooo country may "be from the south"
but believe me.
it lives loud and proud in ohio.

this little girl screams country.
fun and beautiful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


random strangers show up.
in your drive way.
they have their mouths open.
they can't believe the site
this is your neighborhood.
they don't even know you.
this is your home.
some of them gag at the smell.
they look stunned and don't even know where to begin.
they start spreading out
"do you need help?"
"how about you? Do you need help?"

They just start walking into homes.
The doors are wide open.
mostly to vent out the mildew smell.
But they just walk in.
to your home.
your neighbors homes.

what do you feel?
do you feel joy?
do you feel shocked that random people would help?
do you feel mad that they're invading your privacy?
do you feel annoyed, "I don't need sympathy!"
do you feel all of this?
do you want them to go away?
"don't walk into my home?"
whomever they are.
you want to say "no thank you, i don't need help"
but you can't
you need help.
whomever they are.
where ever they came from.
you need them.

just pause and think about it for a second.
how in need do you need to be to say "yes, please help."

you need strangers to help rip up your carpet.
you need these random people to help pack up and toss out what is left of your stuff.
you need help to find hope and not just start crying.
you need help in possibly one of the most tragic times of your life.

they go through your clothes.
they decide what is trash and what is worth washing and saving.
they're are going through your photos.
your clothes.
your childrens toys.

another group is in your daughters bedroom.
loading up toys in trash bags.
bleaching the ones that can be saved.
tossing the ones that were soaked in the mud water.

one girl.
in your room.
putting your underwear drawer in a plastic bag.
you want to tell her to stop.
those are personal.
but you can't
because you need help.

another neighbor.
nothing left.
3 cars.
3 story home.
Nothing but a wood frame left.
all your clothes.
somewhere in the river.
asking strangers to fish in the creek to find any jewelry.
while you pull out the rest of your belongings.
from the creek.

one girl is in the corner.
trying to dry out love letters to your wife
while you were overseas.
wedding cards.
your favorite fathers day card from your daughter.

that your family has collected over they years.
once were in photo albums.
now hanging on clothes lines between two trees.
hoping to be saved.

these strangers will never know.
how you feel.
they get to go home.
after a day spent in mildew and mud.
take a bath.
maybe go out with friends.
go on with their life.
you'll keep washing the mud off your Christmas decorations.
the ones you could find in the yard.

you get to continue to stare at your wood frame.
that used to be your home.
your toiletries on a tarp in the front yard.
your front lawn lined with everything.
that used to be inside.
now tore out.
you think "what next?"

i had no idea what to expect.
with this flood.
i can't ever explain what we saw in those homes.
this isn't meant to be sad.
it's not meant to bring guilt.
but in the weeks to come.
when the "city" looks put back together.
remember the homes that are far from it.
this is our town.
our love.
and yes it's sad that opry mills and forever 21 won't be up till Christmas.
but remember there are homes out there.
that will never be up again.
a week of helping out is great.
but do more.
if you don't have time to give.
keep donating money.
if you don't have money.
make the time to give.

keep being hope.
keep asking who needs help.
who needs money.
we can all keep sending money.
somebody's cousin.
a neighbor to your friends mother in law.
find them.
help them.
or email me.
i'll find them.
treat this like it was your family that lost it all.
because it is somebody's family.
keep caring.

We are Nashville.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


she had her own dreams.
then she had us.
she let our dreams become her dreams.
she walked with my dad.
in this thing called life.
and on days when she wanted to quit.
she kept going.
she shows strength that most of the world has never seen.
and she even did it with a smile and amazing grace.

she knew the day i was born she was in trouble.
girl number two.
the "thrower"
the one with the mouth.
she let me eat sand.
she let me get dirty.
she worried because i instantly made every stranger a friend.
but never got too worried because she knew no one would ever kidnap me.
she let me talk.
and talk. and talk. usually let me talk to myself.
but she never said shut up.

she got us all to go to church by bribing us with dairy queen.
she made us know our cousins.
she made us know our grandparents.
she took us to family pot lucks every weekend.
she made us play outside.
she took us camping.
she taught us to grow up with imaginations.
big imaginations.

she never missed baseball. football. softball. volleyball. basketball. wrestling. choir competition.
she was there.
sometimes with a cow bell.

she survived our high school years.
she survived hilda:)
she survived two sisters.
one grade apart.
very different views on life.
she out lasted the fights.
she survived lots of pulled hair.
she grounded us.
she made us share a room.
with pink bunnies in wagons.
she taught us honesty.
which meant more fighting.
but in the end, she taught us how to be great sisters.
she made us into best friends.

she showed my sister how to be a mom.
a brilliant mom.
she somehow is an even more amazing grandmother.
she never ceases to surprise me.

she gave us an amazing little brother.
she taught us how to love him.
she helped us protect him from the world a bit.
she then taught us how to let him stumble a little on his own.
she let us pick on him so he didn't get only child syndrome.
she then tells us when to leave him alone :)
she is making him into a fine young man.
even if she is doubting it all now that he is 16 :)
she doesn't punch my brother in the face when he lips off.
even though he deserves it ;)
she gave us zach which makes all our lives better.

she taught me how to cook even though she will always be a way better cook.
she sings and dances in the kitchen with me while we bake.
she bakes me a redcake every year for my birthday.
she gave me the love of music.
she told me to share it with the world.
she taught me that the only way to be successful in life is to laugh.
and have a lot of faith.
she says "if someone is mean to you, smile at them, it'll annoy them even more!"

she told me i could be anything and go anywhere i wanted to go.
she was there the first day of college trying not to let me see her cry.
she told me to me to dream big.
she never once laughed when i told her yet another big dream.
she pushed her worries and fears aside when i said "i think God is telling me to move to nashville"
she still makes me think of her everytime i hear sugarlands "babygirl"
she still stands in the drive way with my dad everytime i leave.

so thank you mom.
thank you grandma.
thank you joni
thank you susie.
thank you debbie.
thank you kim.
thank you amy.
thank you for all being wonderful moms in my life.
thank you for the advice you gave my mom.
the prayers you prayed for her.
the tears you cried with her.
every piece of you that helped make her amazing.
thank you.