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michael played a show on friday and performed one of the songs he wrote for me! can’t wait till i get to see him play live in person, but for now, video (and a few private showings!) will have to suffice:

isn’t that so sweet?! reason #283 why i love him!

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“All Around Me” by Flyleaf

My hands are searching for You
My arms are outstretched towards You
I feel You on my fingertips
My tongue dances behind my lips for You

This fire rising through my being
Burning I’m not used to seeing You

I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel You all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healing

My hands float up above me
And You whisper You love me
And I begin to fade
Into our secret place

The music makes me sway
The angels singing say we are alone with You
I am alone and they are too with You

I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel You all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healing

And so I cry
The light is white
And I see You

I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel You all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healing

Take my hand
I give it to You
Now You owe me
All I am
You said You would never leave me

I believe You
I believe

I can feel You all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healed

I love the business I’m in: On Friday we’re having a brainstorming meeting…at IKEA. Yep. We’re cool like that.

In other news, I have been free of cicada attacks ever since returning back from Michigan. (in my head I’ve been chanting, “Ding, dong, the cicadas are dead!” with much enthusiasm.) when I left work on Friday I even took the long way around our parking lot so I could stay away from the trees infested with the little buggers and I climbed into my car only to hear a buzzing coming from inside my tote bag. I hit it, and sure enough one of my crunchy little friends popped out and latched onto my door handle. I imagine it was pretty entertaining to my coworkers to watch me open the passenger door and yell, “GET OUT! GET OUT!” as my newfound travel buddy just sat there like a bump on a log. I ended up having to find a stick and make a little bridge so he could climb out of the console in my car door. Perhaps he was so appreciative that he decided it was time to stop tormenting and left over the weekend?

Regardless, I’m glad to be nearing the end of that season.

OK, my apologies for a worthless post. More importantly, last night was mates of state which was AMAZING. I highly encourage everyone to check out the band they’re touring with, Headlights, who couldn’t have been more fun to watch and bop along too (see below). Mal and I totally danced our hearts out. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Tuesday night!

Michigan recap to come. Thanks for being patient my friends!

this has nothing to do with God or relationships or anything whatsoever deep in the least. but still: what could be more perfect than yo gabba gabba + mates of state? really.

that’s all 🙂

p.s. happy birthday miss cathy baker. here’s to cheesecake factory goodness!


Psalm 92
A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
1 It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name, O Most High,

2 to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,

3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.

4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
I sing for joy at the works of your hands.

5 How great are your works, O LORD,
how profound your thoughts!

6 The senseless man does not know,
fools do not understand,

last night I went over to my parents and we spent a good portion of the night outside, scouting out different plants around the yard and clipping flowers and putting them into vases. I took a big bunch of lilacs home with me, which sat on my nightstand and woke me up every once and awhile when I’d catch a waft, which was soothing and seemed to remind me: breathe in, all is good.

and it’s true. all is good, because i feel like i’m breathing deeper these last few weeks.

i think there are two parts to this newfound feeling:

part one
the whole grand rapids thing, where i have so much peace that it makes me wonder if maybe it’s too good to be true? but aside from praying that if this isn’t what God wants that he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure to tell me/stop it from happening, then i’m trusting in God’s nature as a peace-giver and as unchanging. even if this did seemingly come out of nowhere, i don’t want to sit on my hands if i feel it’s a good thing. and i do.

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Don’t be terrified. Don’t be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

I’ve been going through bouts of feeling scared about whatever the future might hold, because it’s so far-off and so indeterminable. The fact that it would mean leaving many good things behind (church, friends, work, youth group, family) in exchange for…i’m not yet sure what. That makes me scared, so I keep praying that God will be with me and to “not hide your face from me,” that I will know his will and be strengthened to forge ahead with it. i woke up the other day and one verse from a Hedley song was rolling around in my head, “If you don’t believe me, watch and I will make it happen.” i really felt like that was God reassuring me, that he will make it happen. he won’t pull me this far and then drop the ball and walk away. another song lyric that spells the same thing to me: “you are safe, child, you are safe.

Isaiah 43:5-7
5
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.

6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-

7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.

plus i’m reminding myself that if this is what God wants, he’s not going to purposefully make it hard or arduous; He WANTS it to happen and so He will help me do that. He did that for me when it came to breaking up with Paul (I was prepared to do it, but Paul ended up coming over and finishing things); when I moved to Alabama I had 2 weeks to relocate and find a place to stay for 5 months and God provided that along with an awesome roommate; then with Cincinnati He totally set me up with a great church and great friends and a great job. So I have to keep reminding myself of those blessings past, and that because God’s unchanging, that He won’t stop doing that—he’ll continue to guide me and provide for me along that pathway.

Psalm 25:4-10
4 Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths

5 guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.

7 Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD.

8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.

10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant

* * * * * * * * * * * *

part deux
which brings me to my second point which is the book i’ve been reading of late: Breathe. it’s pretty phenomenal and one that I barely convinced myself was worth buying; I only did so because it was half-price. it was well worth it.

the book is very grounding and encourages us to put our purpose and focus on God and to do so with our time and resources. it encourages us to simplify and say “yes” to the things that draw us to Him and to say “no” to those which don’t. while i know that my priorities aren’t nearly as tangled as a parent’s who has multiple other people to keep in mind with decision-making (the book is intended for mothers), i want to become aware of these struggles now. because if i can be aware and intentional and deliberate now, then it will become a practice/discipline which will serve me well as i move forward–and on into those next stages of life.

i like that the book gives you permission to say “no” to people, causes or activities that draw you away from God. this has been revolutionary to me and quite liberating. i’ve decided to let go of my TV-watching because i can see how it not only wastes time but also wastes words–when i spend time recapping tv shows with my friends and coworkers. it prevents me from digging deep into conversation. so i’ve started abandoning that need to “fill” my time with things like TV. now i just let my friends recap the shows for me, which cuts my investment time down to 5 minutes or less and frees up at least 15, a pretty good exchange if you ask me. (although I do foresee making room and allowing for “Heroes.” no matter how great a storyteller you may be, I don’t think anyone could recap that show with justice!)

one challenge they give in the book is about looking for opportunities to shave down your obligations, and then not fill them. Today I did that on my lunch break by breaking free from my desk and rushing to a nearby park to sit quietly and read more from the book. Being quiet isn’t an easy task or discipline for me, so this book is especially fitting. I need to invest in this ideal more and more, because I know I always complain about not being able to easily “hear God” but I think that’s because I’m not patient enough with the quiet to listen. I’m also hoping that our upcoming trip to IHOP in Kansas City will be enlightening and insightful for that, too!

i’m also hoping that in this decision to follow God to somewhere new, that hopefully that’ll draw me nearer and keep teaching me to connect with him and get to that point where i can hear and where i can really find my purpose and place.

life has been good lately. yes, there have been blips that have challenged that but more and more those dips and ebbs haven’t been nearly as lasting or as crippling as they once were. instead, there’s more peace and joy and fulfillment.

i can barely sit still long enough to type anything in here. which is why instead of droning on and on, i’m just going to leave you with this song that has been keeping me company the last few days. it could not be any happier and i totally want to hang out with these guys:


“the best in me” by sherwood

and i’m alright now, and i’m alright now
and i was blind and hypnotized; i could not see
you had me wrapped up in this mess again
but i broke free…

it’s the apple macbook air song, to begin with. but then, when you get to see the video for it, it becomes even more endearing. i’m in love with it.

that is my idea of a dream come true…
(“new soul” by yael naim)

a website that always makes me smile and perk up is fredflare.com, because of all the silly things they carry on there (i’ve tried a couple times to get their products featured in our magazine, but sadly they’ve never really fit what we were looking for, like when i did the office products story).it’s really quirky/kitschy; they have things like a skillet that has the face of a panda painted on it, a candle holder that looks like a miniature camp fire, all kinds of cool Lomo camera accessories, gnomes paraphernalia, silly notecards/books of the ilk you’d find at Urban Outfitters.

however, one of my favorite things at fredflare.com is a little jukebox where different staffers make mixes that you can listen to (look on the bottom right of the main page if you’re having trouble finding it). this was actually where i first came across (and fell in love with) Tegan and Sara. so i owe them a lot! i think “Julie” has my favorite taste in music (case in point: her latest mix includes a Tegan and Sara song + my favorite Built to Spill one!). if you’re bored, give it a try and perhaps discover some new tunes!

jukebox.png

…making our whole existence worth something, so we sing:

(i love this song.)

amped because these next two weeks are pretty (ahem, prepare yourself for a string of musical puns) jam-packed.

(sorry, i can’t help it. really. it’s what i get paid to do.)

for instance:

monday night: date night with Holly. now that our lives are going more smoothly (meaning i’m not stressed out 24/7) i’m quite looking forward to having both a roommate and a BFF Lovely back again.

tuesday night: Lovelies night, as per usual. and if all goes according to plan, i believe this will also include my favorite Dylan-monster who i’m sure will keep us more than entertained. he’s the coolest 4-year-old i know.

wednesday night: small group, also as per usual! which means lots and lots of girl talk and analysis and suggestions and…yes…starbucks.

thursday night: where the “amped” comes into play: MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK + ANBERLIN + MAE. seriously. talk about an amazing line-up. i’d never listened to anberlin before, only seen them on the cover of Relevant, but Holly, being the daredevil that she is, was able to get her music-snatching little fingers on a copy for me. and yes, i’m in love. see for yourself:

this is the show i’ve been looking forward to since July when we saw MCS last. i’m already whispering to myself, “i’m on fire, and now i think i’m ready to bust a move, check it out i’m rocking steady!”

friday night: Lovelies annual $5 gift exchange. if last year’s can set the stage: I received a book of examples of “Big Hair” (there were even ones with women whose hair was braided all over their face to look like masks!); gnome-ish socks (and if you don’t get it, then You Don’t Gnome Me); and, the gift that took the fruitcake: a set of postcards that featured catalog pages of menswear from the 70s (think polyester jumpsuits and neck scarves and ever so appropriately posed tighty whiteys).

saturday night: a roadtrip to go to a play in Dayton (The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever). i love the movie, so am pumped to see it come to life!

OK, that’s enough looking forward. i wish it weren’t so gloomy outside, but at least i have all that spirit-making to look forward. plus i only have one more present left to buy. how splendid is that?!

when becky and i went to birmingham for liz’s wedding, she told me about the band sea wolf. we listened to the cd in the car but inevitably we were distracted by games of MASH (i ended up marrying Kappy from “Greek” and living in a shack) and all sorts of catch-up chat. it made for great background music, but i didn’t give it a wholehearted listen until today when i’ve been listening to the cd on repeat.

here is one of my favorite songs:

Well I’m so sad tonight
And the words won’t come out right
It’s been a long day on the track
And its stamina that I lack

So won’t you run to me tonight?
Tonight we could pretend we’re just lovers
But I’ll only ever be a middle distance runner

Well my heart is beating hard
And I’m off with a shot at the start
And my legs tremble from strain
But by the finish line I’ll drain

So won’t you run to me tonight?
Tonight let’s not talk about next summer
Cause I’ll only ever be a middle distance runner

Well I’m so proud tonight
Of the woman you’ve become
And I’m just too tired to fight
So my darling, I’ll succumb

But you’ll have to run to me tonight
Tonight I will love you forever
But I’ll only ever be a middle distance runner 


tegan and sara: back in your head

good charlotte: keep your hands off my girl

of late, i’ve been celebrating a sort of Christmas-in-August.

the other week i came home to a cute little polka-dot print package from a roasty-toasty Miss Kristin out in phoenix. inside?

jewelrybox.png

a (…poor picture of a…) cute wooden jewelry box (green on the inside) full of old costume jewelry that she found at an estate sale and thought of ME.

then, on sunday, i came home from a long day spent being lazy at my parents’ (and catching up on every last miami ink and bridezilla episode) and holly had a present of her own for me: a soundtrack for our new little life. with it came a lego that she’d gotten from church as they were talking about the need to be connected.

i’ve been loving the cd ever since and when i brought it to work on monday, could hardly pay attention and accomplish anything because i was determined to learn every word to “walk it out.” (still working on it.)

here’s the playlist:
playlist.png

(look what my roommate’s trying to do to me with all these explicit songs. i don’t know if my angelic ears can take it.)

top it all off, yesterday my manager (with whom i have daily hot chocolate breaks) gave me some extra kings island tickets she had. me, bee and holly will be putting them to use on saturday. i haven’t been in years. backwards racer, here i come!

so, long live August! (i feel loved.)

there are two cds that i’ve been listening to on repeat lately and that i shuffle between, both of which make me feel very teeny-bopper-ish but for which i’m not embarrassed: avril lavigne and hawk nelson (even though this cd, letters to the president, is actually pretty old–sometimes it just takes me awhile to give some bands a chance; that’s the pessimist in me not expecting them to be any good).

whenever i get a new cd, i can tell that i really love it–that i can even call it a favorite–if, upon popping it in, i listen to it on repeat, over and over again. if i keep going back to the same songs and can’t bear to skip ahead because i like this one so much. the same was true for mates of state, the brunettes and, most recently, jack’s mannequin. and yes, that has happened with these two recent discoveries.

but there’s a part of one hawk nelson song (the title track) that’s really resonated with me as of late:

if i was brave, i’d write a letter to the president
and have him give it to the leaders of our parliament
but for now, i won’t say nothing

now, i realize that in this song, he’s talking about something big and political and trying to help society. the reason why i like the song so much and empathize with it is for nothing so grand as that. it’s because i love how he says that to speak up, to say “something,” is a brave thing to do. and i feel that way a lot and am trying to be better at it.

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it’s wednesday, but it so feels like monday. that’s because on monday i put in four measly hours and then sped up to cleveland. the 3.5-hour drive wasn’t too bad; i listened to a bunch of avril lavigne (which i know is so teeny-bopper of me) and of course more than enough motion city soundtrack. because that was the purpose of the trip. they were playing at the agora ballroom with sherwood, the higher and the forecast.

the show was really good although it was super hot: my jeans were stuck to my legs but i was too scared to wipe the sweat from my face because the place was so grimy. (am i getting hyper-hygienically old or what?) we found a spot on the side in time to catch the higher, and the lead singer reminded me of Zack from Gilmore Girls, although it took me 24 full hours to finally pinpoint that. Sherwood was very good–sounded just like their CDs and i saw the guy who we’d chatted with last year at warped tour. they seem like a very nice band; the kind of guys you’d want to be friends with, which i think is the ultimate compliment, and the one i think i’d want to receive most.

and of course, then you had mcs. they played three new songs, one of which i’m pretty amped about. (the title has something to do with “real.” it was totally catchy.) by halfway through their set though, nicole and i had to climb down to the dance floor (we’d been sitting on a railing so we could see) because it just wasn’t the same if you weren’t dancing and singing with all your might. their last set song was “the future freaks me out” and the encore, much to nicole’s delight, was “perfect teeth” which always, always makes me think of her.

All the things I remember
Were they worth writing down
Bury me in memories of CK1 and tight white T’s
Like air guitar in muscle cars with “perfect teeth”
The way we are

we left, happy and hungry and so made our way to denny’s which was a really good nightcap to the night. good laughs and good food. and a good ending to a good evening, all around.

oh, good!

P.S. september 18 for the new MCS and NFG albums. i’m counting down…

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