Happiness.

So, I don’t think enough people actually read my blog for this to be necessary, but just in case I have millions of secret followers who are just obsessed with the sporadic ramblings of my life, I wanted to let ya’ll know I’m changing things up a bit!

I started this website with the intention of it being all about my music. I had all these ideas for adding a downloads page, links to my YouTube, a calendar for upcoming gigs, that kind of thing. But my music is still a work in progress. RIght now, my LIFE is what is happening. Motherhood, wife-hood, and music is there, too. But what I’m more passionate about right now, even more than my music, is HAPPINESS.

I am a happy person. It hasn’t always been that way. I have worked SO hard to get to where I am now, and I know I have a long way to go. But I have spent the last few years making changes to all aspects of my life, and it has helped me live a much happier, more fulfilling life. So I want to share my “happiness secrets” with you.

I’ll still be sharing songs I’ve written and all that, but most of my music is about trying to be happy anyway!

I truly believe that God wants us to THRIVE, not just exist. We should treat our bodies like they are the only ones we get. We should feed our spirits with positive, uplifting messages and knowledge. We should always try to be better than we are. We should overcome fear and let faith take it’s place.

I wrote this song a while ago, while I was pregnant with Amy. I was having a hard time handling my morning sickness in combination with my severe phobia of throwing up (emetophobia, it’s a thing). Listening to the song now, it seems kind of mellow dramatic. But this song turned into being about so much more than that one challenge for me. Writing the words to this song was so therapeutic and helped me see how much God loves me and wants me to trust in Him, even when I hate waiting around in the dark. It’s uncomfortable and scary to not know how long trials will last, or when they will come, but I know that whatever we face, it’s for our good. Every hardship we face is BECAUSE HE LOVES US! Isn’t that crazy? If we could just remember that when things get hard, so much fear could be replaced by faith and reassurance, knowing that it will ALWAYS be ok in the end.

So here’s “It’s Worth it.” And I hope you continue to follow along for help in becoming a happier, healthier person.

 

 

Ramblings.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, so excuse me while I just unload the contents of my frazzled mom brain.

I love being a mom. It’s amazing. It is so hard, but at the end of the day, I feel so fulfilled.

But being a mom is not exactly “glamorous” per se.

There are days when I feel like a super lame mom. Days when Jake watches two (or more) whole Pixar movies. Days when I don’t get to shower. Or remember to shower. Or remember to pee. Like, I literally have to remind myself to pee. And eat. And feed the cats. Cause mothering is a NON-STOP job. If one kid doesn’t need me, the other does. And then on those glorious moments when both kids are sleeping at the same time, it’s like a race to see how much I can accomplish, or I just collapse and waste that precious time taking a shower or sitting down to eat. It’s so crazy and SUCH a busy life.

I fantasize about having a perfectly run household. Having an exercise routine. Having meals planned out. Eating only whole foods and actually having the time to prepare them. I’ve recently discovered that white sugar/flour is a no-go for me (it’s probably a no-go for everyone, really) because it makes my anxiety/irritability way worse, so it’s just not worth the temporary satisfaction that is sugar.

I have all these things I tell myself I have to do, and when the day is done and I barely managed to keep my kids fed and happy, sometimes I feel like I’m failing.

But I know that’s a lie. Nobody cares if my house is Pinterest-perfect or if we eat organic or if we sat down and bonded over home-made crafts. We just do the best we can.

And for goodness sakes, I just had a baby four months ago.

On another awesome note, I FINALLY figured out a way to make time for my music. I now switch off babysitting with a friend so we each have a three hour block each week to work on our creative outlets KID FREE. It’s amazing. Thanks to this new arrangement, I may just have a new song to put up on YouTube for the first time in a year or so. So yay!

Also, we’re in the process of buying a house! WHAT?!

It’s the house we’ve been renting for three years. So it’s not exactly as exciting as like, buying a house normally is. But it’s about to be ours! Which means I can paint the kitchen cabinets! 😀

Life is good. Busy and crazy and messy, but wonderful.

Now it’s time to get Jake down for a nap, she says with peaceful solidarity.

Last Hurrah!

This Thursday (8/25/16) will be my last gig for a while. I LOVE playing live, especially at Fralo’s. But i’m coming to a new chapter of my life.

This next chapter will be about an ever-expanding uterus, the disappearance of my ankles, and even more consistent Braxton Hicks contractions. I will be focusing more on nesting and resting than my music.

And then I will have a needy newborn and a needy toddler and the holidays will be here and life will be wonderfully nuts for a few months. I probably won’t perform again until next spring. Hopefully sooner, but let’s be honest. It’s hard to breast feed and play piano at the same time.

So come on out to Fralo’s this Thursday! I’d love to see some familiar faces there for my last hurrah before my life changes like crazy. 6:30-9pm ish. Fralo’s has the best pizza, is kid friendly, pet friendly, outdoors and super fun. It’s up past the Rim/La Cantera a little ways, but totally worth the drive! Come check it out! And be serenaded by a large pregnant woman who will be eyeing all of you with envy as you eat your carb-loaded pizza.

And on that note, I just want to say I can’t WAIT till I don’t have Gestational Diabetes anymore. Cauliflower pizza crust just isn’t the same, folks.

Need a new favorite song?

I want to share some music with you. But not just my own.

I think I have pretty good taste in music. I grew up banging my head to Quiet Riot (mostly cause my dad is buds with their drummer). I grew up singing country Vince Gill songs (mostly cause my dad was buds with his guitarist). And cause my dad is buds with David Foster, I grew up listening to all the stuff he produced; I made my barbies dance along to Celine Dion’s epic long tributes, day dreamed listening to Enrique Iglesias, table danced to Whitney Houston, went through a Christian Boy band phase (Plus One), among many others. My dad was so involved in music as I was growing up, it was hard not to love it. From the cheesy jazz he had playing in the background at all times in our house to the full-production band concerts we went to every year while he played electric guitar for the army band, it was everywhere. And then my bff in high school was an aspiring opera singer, so I got a lot of that under my belt, too. And my husband basically just listens to Chris Brown. And Justin Bieber. So there’s that, too.

Basically, I’m pretty well rounded in my taste in music. And I want to share some of my favorite songs of all time with you guys.

These are songs that have inspired and impacted my life, been blasted in my car, been cried to, been played on repeat. These are songs that never get old to me. Some are popular. Some are kind of random. But I can almost guarantee you’ll be glad you heard them.

Music these days is a lot of trash. Everything is about sex, or big butts, or drugs, or just stupid pointless stuff.

But there is still music that has a message. Music that makes you think. Music that just feeds the soul.

So here’s a few songs. Enjoy! I’ll try and keep posting a new favorite every week, but these should get things started.

Matchbox 20- Unwell 

Most people know this song from a ways back. But I still play it frequently. The banjo in this song makes me so happy. As soon as this song comes on, it puts me in a better mood.

Athlete-Wires 

You’ve probably never heard this song before. It’s kind of random. My friend in high school used to look up songs from that show One Tree Hill, and she would pass on the songs to me. Some of the best music I’ve ever heard were the random songs she found. This is one of them.

I used to blast this in my ghetto mp3 player while at my local park, while swinging on swings, at night. It was amazing. The tempo of the swing would be just spot on with the song, and around 2:50 when the key changes, I’d get chills every time.

It’s a pretty sad song. I think it’s about someone attempting suicide and then being okay? Not totally sure. But the song isn’t creepy or depressing. It’s epic.

Savage Garden- Two Beds and a Coffee Machine 

Remember Savage Garden? They were all the rage in the 90’s. This song has always been a favorite. It’s sad, but hopeful. I love a good piano ballad. I’ve known a few people who struggled with their families, whether it be because of abuse or divorce or whatever it was, and this song always makes my heart hurt for them. But it’s a beautiful song, and worth hearing.

Enjoy! And try not to get too depressed. Some of the best songs out there are a little darker and sad, but they’re real. And that’s why I love them. I hope you do, too.

And in case those bummed you out, here. This video always brightens my mood.

Spongebob and Repentance.

Guys. I used to be one of those people that were too cool for the pineapple under the sea.

Then I married Mark. And I discovered that the super sexy stud of a man I was engaged to was actually an 11 year old boy.

And I’m hooked.

We used to watch a little here and there back in the day, but took a break.

But now we’re watching it again. With Jake. And oh my gosh. It’s hilarious.

Maybe my sense of humor has changed now that I live with boys. But goodness. I love it.

Anyway. My website is working again. Thanks to my IT nerd husband, who essentially turned it off and then on again.

I’m in the process of getting some MP3’s on here for you to download. So that will be fun!

OH, and remember that coffee table I got for $10 off craigslist forever ago? I’m sure you don’t. But I did a poor job painting it, barely doing any prep work, and definitely not priming. I thought ceiling paint would work for that. Nope.

And no matter how many layers of polyacrylic I lathered on, the paint kept peeling off whenever I put things on it.

So I finally gave in, and got the stuff to strip the paint off and start over. Months ago.

And today I decided I would just “strip the paint real quick” during Jake’s nap time.

Holy cow. It’s a job.

It’s taking a LOT of work. I didn’t know my fingers could sweat, but they did, all cooped up inside the chemical-proof gloves I had on.

But I’m planning on making it a chalk-board table for Jake. So hopefully it won’t take TOO much longer.

Also, isn’t that kind of like sin and repentance?

If I had just waited and prepped/primed/painted like I was supposed to, following directions, and taking my time, I wouldn’t have had such a messy, miserable project on my hands now.

But thank goodness we are given ways we can fix our mistakes. There’s no coffee table so crappily painted that some paint stripper and sweat can’t fix it, and no problem is too messy for our Savior to clean.

Does that make sense? It does to me. Makes me want to do things the right way the first time, cause repentance is hard work! But thank goodness we have that to fall back on, because heaven knows we don’t usually do things right the first go around :)

Anyway. I’m gonna go put on some LuLaRoe leggings and watch spongebob. After getting Jake into his Star Wars jammies.

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

So, I wrote a new song a couple weeks ago, and finished it last night. I’m already failing at this “one video a month” new years resolution, but hey, It’s only February. I can still catch up.

This song started coming to me on a bad hair day. I was feeling insecure about my short, thin, scraggly hair, and I started picturing all those chicks on Pinterest with their long hair in waterfall braids or other fancy up-do’s, and naturally started feeling insecure about the rest of me, too. I’ve never really been happy with how I look. And I know I’m not the only one.

We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves, and it can be a challenge to not compare ourselves to others who we feel have it all. But we need to stop it!

I am awesome. You are awesome. Just as we are. But for those insecure bloated bad-hair days, here’s this song. Might not make you feel much better, but it helped me as I was writing it. I just kept thinking “Gosh, why am I so mean to myself? I wish I could go back in time and stop this negative chain of negativeness.”

So, here’s the lyrics to Mirror, Mirror, and the link.

 

I wish I had long hair
down to my waist
in cascading waves
or waterfall braids.

I wish I
had a slimmer waist,
a prettier face,
skinnier legs,

I wish I
didn’t feel the need

to always compete
with those around me.

I wish I didn’t have these

Self destructive tendencies
Unrealistic fantasies,
expectations I can’t reach
that feed on all my insecurities.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
stop being so critical.
Show me I’m not so bad after all.

I wish I could go back
and tell younger me
that I was pretty
enough, don’t worry.

I wish I
had learned back then
to be confident
inside my own skin.

I wish I could go back
but since I can’t,
I’ve gotta find a way
to stop living with these

Self destructive tendencies
Unrealistic fantasies,
expectations I can’t reach
that feed on all my insecurities.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
stop being so critical.
Show me I’m not so bad after all.

Mirror, show me, help me find
the beauty that lies behind

Self destructive tendencies
Unrealistic fantasies,
expectations I can’t reach
that feed on all my insecurities.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
stop being so critical.
Help me see I’m not so bad after all.

 

The Crystal Girls.

That was the name of a “band” I was a part of. When I was 10 or so.

Laura, Jennifer, and I would get together for band practice, write lyrics together, take turns singing (and trying to sound like Christina Aguilera, as many young girls do), and of course, we practiced our dance moves.

But one day, my friends started talking about going on tour and sharing our genius with the world.

I panicked. I told them I did not want to be the next Jesse McCartney or Aaron Carter. I wanted to be young and carefree and not living on a bus. Cause you know, that was obviously a real possibility.

They were upset with me for giving up on our dreams. The band broke up.

And then we were friends again later that day.

And over a decade later, I am starting to get to the point where I really, really want to get out there and share my music with others.

So lets do this!

[cue “Friends Forever,” which was the title of one of our “hit” songs]

I want to connect with you. Whoever you are reading this. So I want to throw out this offer.

What is going on in your life? Are you happy? Sad? In love? Broken hearted? Hungry?

Message me, comment on here, whatever. Tell me a story that I can turn into a song for you. Something you can listen to that is literally meant for you.

And….Go!

Katy & Wiz.

Last night I performed at Fralo’s. And it was a reminder of why I go out there in the first place.

There was a birthday party going on, and there were a few little girls who kept coming up and asking me to perform various Katy Perry covers.

Side note: I pretended I had never heard “This is How We Do” because I really didn’t want to figure out all the words to that one. And I also said I didn’t know T.G.I.F. cause I didn’t feel good about singing about hangovers. Is that bad of me?

Another side note: I keep getting asked to perform “See you Again.” Do I look like Wiz Kahlifa?

Anyway, I basically had back-up dancers the whole night, and it reminded me of when I was their age, dancing around at my dad’s Army Band concerts in while we lived in Alaska. I had no shame. I just wanted to be a part of the fun.

One of the girls kept insisting that she sing a song of her own. She reminded me of me a little bit, and I hope that one day, she gets to be the one on stage. She had such a sweet little voice, and I admire her bravery. I surely couldn’t have gotten up in front of strangers (or even my family or friends) at that age.

Also, the free pizza gives an excuse for Mark and I to eat delicious pizza way, way too late at night.

 

Toe Tappers.

We have one of those baby rear-view mirrors so we can keep an eye on Jake while we drive.

Yesterday while out and about I started blasting that “nah, nah, honey I’m good” song, and I noticed Jake started raising his arms up and moving his little body as much as he could in his seat. And it made me so happy.

And it reminded me of why I do what I do.

Music is such an important part of our lives, and the soundtrack to our lives should be fun and happy and beautiful and something you can tap your toes too. It should also have music that moves you, and relates to you, and comforts you.

But it made me sad as I thought more and more about the music that is on the radio these days, realizing that the messages in the music are not things I want my children to honestly relate to. Sure, “Honey, I’m Good” is a fantastically catchy song, and technically the message of it is that he wants to avoid drinking too much so that he doesn’t accidentally cheat on his girl. Or something like that. So it could be worse.

But still. Is that the best we can do?

I want to make music that makes people feel good–good about themselves, good about life, and good about the messages they’re hearing.

I’m still trying to balance family life with my growing music career, and it can be a challenge. But I hope you stay with me through the journey!

and P.S. Playing at Fralo’s pizza tonight from about 7-9:30 :)

 

Choosing to be Happy.

I just finished a book (well, there’s like 2 chapters left, so close enough) called “You Can Be Happy No Matter What” by Dr. Richard Carlson. My sister-in-law gave it to me a few years ago when I was struggling with anxiety, and I finally got around to reading it.

Side note: Anyone else read in their bath tub? I feel like I can’t read anywhere else. I have read so many books accompanied by bubbles. I highly recommend.

Anyway. This book has changed my life and inspired me in so many ways. I have struggled with anxiety, OCD, crazy mood-swings, hormonal issues, a bad temper, you name it. But reading this book, it finally clicked in my head–Happiness is a choice. It’s not something that will happen if I get to a certain place in my life. I am always “one thought away” from being a happy person.

I have always strived to be happy and positive, but it isn’t always easy. Some days its like I just WANT to dwell on negative thoughts and be miserable. But being happy is so much better! And since happiness is a state of mind, why not just switch gears and be happy instead?!

For instance: Today at Ross, I had to wait a while for the one and only handicap dressing room (the only dressing room that could fit my stroller). After a good long time, a teenager came out. And I felt my natural instincts kick in. I wanted to be like “Uh, how about saving the big room for people who actually need it!” and I felt myself feeling more and more irritated. But then I stopped, and recognized that what I was feeling was a result of my own negative thoughts, not the girls’ choice to use that particular dressing room. So I cleared my head, and was happy again. Bam!

Seriously, go get this book. I have been such a happier person, and it has impacted the whole spirit of our home. When mama’s happy, everyone’s happy. And it’ s such a more pleasant way to live!

I wrote a song about it too, of course. In the works of recording it so I can share it with you, incase you’d rather get the message in 3 minutes rather than 30 bathtub sessions 😉