Flashback/Photo Dump Friday

Last weekend my sister and I attended our fourth concert in two months. We have had a blast with Finding Favour, Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, Jamie Grace, Tedashii, Matt Maher, Crowder, MercyMe, Mr. Talkbox, Colton Dixon, Matthew West, Rend Collective, Tenth Avenue North and Chris Tomlin.

I thought I would share some of my favorite snapshots from these recent events.

2015-02-20 19.13.32

2015-02-20 19.46.15


2015-03-28 19.45.09



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2015-04-10 21.46.44

2015-04-25 19.57.02.


Just a random question for your Friday…

If you could only listen to ten songs for the rest of your life, what ten songs would you chose?

Today, my answer to that question is (in no particular order):

  1. Delaney Talks to Statues (Jimmy Buffett)
  2. The Impossible (Joe Nichols)
  3. Strong Enough (Mathew West)
  4. American Pie (Don McLean)
  5. MMMBop (Hanson)
  6. Do Wah Diddy Diddy (Manfred Mann)
  7. Your Song (Elton John)
  8. Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley)
  9. Drops In The Ocean (Hawk Nelson)
  10. Greater (MercyMe)

Motivational Monday (Songs Part 5)


“Beautiful” – Christina Agularia

I am beautiful no matter what they say.
Words can’t bring me down.
I am beautiful in every single way.


“The Fighter” – Gym Class Heroes

Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life ’til we’re dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me,
This one’s a fighter


“A Good Day to Run” – Darryl Worley

Wide open down a two-lane highway
It’s about time that some things went my way
Throwing troubles out to the wind and
I’m praying that they never catch up again
I’m gonna say my worrying days are done
And this looks like a good day to run


“Beautiful Soul” – Jesse McCartney

I don’t want another pretty face
I don’t want just anyone to hold
I don’t want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul

-Dance Day, Friday-

“Do Wah Diddy Diddy” – Manfred Mann

There she was just walkin’ down the street
Singin’, “Do wah diddy, diddy, dum diddy do”
Snappin’ her fingers and shufflin’ her feet
Singin’, “Do wah diddy diddy, dum diddy do”

30 [Cheap] Things to do When Bored

After being iced in for two days this week, I decided to draft a list of things to do when you are bored or experiencing Spring Fever in the Winter.

  1. Teach yourself something new (to knit, origami, an instrument, dance routines, etc). YouTube and Udemy are great resources for tutorials.
  2. Clean out/organize your closet. Occasional de-cluttering is essential. In the end your life (or at least closet) will be organized and you will have helped others (if you donate old clothes and shoes you do not wear anymore).
  3. Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
  4. Exercise. Ride a bike, go for a run, try yoga, shoot some hoops, go for a hike.
  5. Get crafty. Doodle.
  6. Start a collection. Rocks, bottles, stamps, Christmas decorations…
  7. Watch a movie. Make it a marathon.
  8. Call a friend or relative. Even better, Skype or FaceTime a friend or relative.
  9. Learn some American Sign Language. is a great resource, it has a video dictionary and quizzes.
  10. Write a letter to a loved one. While I was in college my Grandma wrote me a letter each week and after my Grandpa died I made it a goal to write to her every week too. I love getting real mail (not credit card applications), I am sure I am not alone in my excitement for snail mail.
  11. Take quizzes, for fun. Visit and get lost in their plethora of fun quizzes (more added daily).
  12. Host a game night with friends/family.
  13. Try a new recipe. Pinterest is full of interesting recipes, and you need to eat anyway, have fun with it.
  14. Write. Draft a story, poem or song.
  15. Volunteer at a local organization.
  16. Visit a museum. Many museums have free days or hours.
  17. Take in a local play or musical. For a cheaper live theatre experience check out high school and community playhouse productions.
  18. Put your iPod or Pandora on shuffle and sing along.
  19. Dance.
  20. Read a new book (via the library, Amazon or Half Price Books) or, re-read an old favorite.
  21. Work a word search, crossword or Sudoku puzzle.
  22. Window or Pinterest “shop”.
  23. Commit a random act of kindness, i.e. feed a stray cat, take your neighbor’s newspaper to their front door, hold the door open for someone…
  24. Plant a garden.
  25. Write a bucket list… Places you want to see and things you want to do in life.
  26. Create a vision board (physical or on Pinterest). Vision boards have been proven to help you meet goals and manifest what you want.
  27. Plan a vacation. You don’t have to book airfare or hotel rooms, just plan where you want to go and what you want to do there.
  28. Create a care package. Dollar Tree has lots of great things to include in a care package. Make one for a friend or family member or make a few and take them to your local nursing home.
  29. Create a time capsule.
  30. Make a list of the top ten books you have read that you would recommend to someone else.

Motivational Monday (Songs Part 1)

I recently made a playlist of the most motivational songs in my collection… I [happily] came up with so many I will be breaking this post into several parts.

I hope these five songs (one for each day of the work week) bring you some joy, motivation and/or inspiration this week.


“Always Love” – Nada Surf

“To make a mountain of your life
Is just a choice
But I never learned enough
To listen to the voice that told me…
Always love
Hate will get you every time”



“Meant To Live”– Switchfoot

“We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside”



“Who Wouldn’t Wanna To Be Me” – Keith Urban

“I got the one I love beside me
My troubles behind me
I’m alive and I’m free
Who wouldn’t wanna be me”



“Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor

“Rising up, straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive”



“It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi

“Better stand tall when they’re calling you out
Don’t bend, don’t break, baby, don’t back down “
“It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
(It’s my life)”

My 25 Favorite Christmas Songs

25. All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) (The Chipmunks)

24. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Gene Autry)

23. Auld Lang Syne (Celtic Woman)

22. What Child Is This (Martina McBride)

21. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Sugarland)

20. O Holy Night (Faith Hill or Martina McBride)

19. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Frank Sinatra)

18. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas (Bing Crosby)

17. Go Tell It On The Mountain (Dolly Parton)

16. A Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)

15. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy Williams)

14. O Tannenbaum (Vince Guaradldi Trio)

13. Do You Hear What I Hear (Martina McBride)

12. Baby It’s Cold Outside (Dean Martin)

11. White Christmas (Bing Crosby)

10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (MercyMe)

9. Joy to the World (Dolly Parton)

8. Silent Night (any version)

7. Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)

6. Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24 (Insturmental) (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

5. Mary Did you Know (Clay Walker)

4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Frank Sinatra)

3. Born on Christmas Day (Brad Paisley)

2. We Three Kings (Dolly Parton)

1. Little Drummer Boy (MercyMe, Josh Groban, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, really any version – I just love this song)


What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

The Sound of Music

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading an amazing book that was first published in 1949 by Maria Augusta von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. I absolutely loved every bit of this book.  The faith of the von Trapp family, and especially Maria was so inspiring.  I felt the whole spectrum of emotions joy, fear, awe, loss, excitement, worry and I laughed aloud many times too.  I highly recommend this book.  It was written in first person by the matriarch herself and tells a more detailed, real and longer story than the (wonderful) 1965 film.

After finishing the book, of course I had to re-watch the movie The Sound of Music.  This is my mother’s favorite movie so I have seen it many times before, but I saw it with fresh eyes this time.  The 174 minute film only represents the first 126 pages of the 312 page book that inspired it.  The book goes on to tell about the family’s travels to America, their singing tours, music camp and more.  It is not a boring autobiography. It is inspiring, enlightening and humorous.

On another note, on September 5th I wrote a post called “Music in Life” in which to told y’all about my left hand’s adventure learning to play the piano along with my right hand… I am pleased to share that I have memorized and mastered Edelweiss on the piano. With my reading of this book, watching the movie and discussions of my family’s German/Austrian ancestry, I thought this was a great song to sit down and teach myself to play properly.

Music in Life

Music has always been a big part of my life.  I’ve been howling with the radio since I was 8 months old.  I grew up in a house with parents who listened to music; they both played an instrument and encouraged me and my sister to learn to play something as well. (We were obviously musically inclined and unafraid of embarrassing ourselves; we used to sing Spice Girls songs on the front lawn.)  My sister went for the piano. My mother grew up playing the piano and taught lessons when she was a stay at home mom. I always enjoyed listening to piano music and tried a hand (literally one, the right one) at it a few times, but I felt the guitar was more for me. I received an acoustic guitar and started taking lessons when I was in the fifth grade.

I stopped taking lessons the following summer due to my extended hospital stay and never showed any real interest in continuing the lessons after that.  Since graduation from college my guitar has been sitting in the corner of my bedroom reminding me I how much I enjoyed playing. I have recently started picking out some little ditties, and set a goal to learn to play the piano properly, with both hands.  I have noticed that when I mess up, on the guitar or piano, I tend to make grotesque faces (which is not terribly surprising because I am extremely expressive).

I was thinking about music again lately when my mom, sister and I bought my dad a new iPod… I loaded it with some songs for him and I found it slightly amusing how similar (yet different) our tastes in music are.  Jimmy Buffett was a given. Some songs we had heard on Sirius XM’s “The Message” (Jeremy Camp, Mercy Me, Building429, Steven Curtis Chapman). I also added some Tom T. Hall, Righteous Brothers and Elton John. On the other hand I added some of his favorites like Meatloaf, Dan Fogelberg and Bob Dylan. In the end he said it is a good mix.

Oh, and speaking of howling, “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs is still one of my favorite songs.