Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Self Realization #9

I'd really like to be the kind of girl who is completely comfortable wearing hats.  In public.  Even if Kathleen Kelly thinks that almost all hats turn out to be mistakes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Song I'm Digging This Week

And you will go to Mykonos with a vision of a gentle coast...

"Mykonos" - Fleet Foxes

Monday, August 20, 2012

Song I'm Digging This Week

There are things that drift away like our endless, numbered days...

"Passing Afternoon" - Iron & Wine

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I love, love, love this, because it's so true:

found here

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Won't you be my neighbor?

image found here

I'm moving in nine days (yikes!), and I realized yesterday that I really don't know my neighbors at all.  I've lived in this apartment for three years, but unfortunately, I've never made the effort to get to know anyone in the building.  We all seem to have really different schedules, and we all just seem to keep to ourselves.  Maybe at my new place, I'll make friends with my neighbors and we'll be just like "Friends."  And I can be Rachel.

I do know a few things about some of my neighbors:

Lady across the hall from me: She has said "hi" to me maybe five times in three years.  She always seems to be in a bad mood, probably because I think she works the night shift somewhere.  I often hear her leaving around midnight and then coming back home just as the sun is coming up.  She does have a penchant for Frank Sinatra and old swing-type music, so she can't always be in a bad mood.  She also cooks a lot of bacon.

Guy right below me: Honestly, this dude makes me uncomfortable.  He seems really secretive.  If we're both coming into the apartment building at the same time, he'll hurry to get in before me and make an effort to shield me from seeing what's in the grocery bags he's carrying (seriously -- what's in those bags?).  He also "accidentally" opened some of my mail once.  I don't trust him.  He has all the makings of the unassuming serial killer that lives below me.  Bah, ha,, ha (that's my evil laugh).

Couple across the hall from the guy right below me: They're about the same age as my parents, and seem very nice.  Unfortunately, they love to eat boiled cabbage, which smells exactly like 50 bags of garbage.  After they'd been here about a month, a gel air freshener mysteriously appeared on top of the mailboxes in the hallway.  They also decorated the communal front porch with really awful silk flowers.  I've been tempted to make those mysteriously disappear, too.

How about you guys?  Do you know your neighbors?  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Books by Color

I've always organized my books by the author's last name -- I'm sort of like a library that way. 

But lately, I've been seeing all these pictures of books organized by color.  I'm digging the way it looks -- sort of like little pops of color for your shelves. 

I've got six boxes of nothing but books packed already.  Surely I could get some sort of color scheme going.  Surely.

Here are some of my favorites from my Google search for "color organized bookshelves:"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Song I'm Digging This Week

 "Last Known Surroundings" - Explosions in the Sky

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I'm Watching

I don't have a lot of time to watch TV these days (what with the whole opening my own studio stuff going on), but I have gotten caught up in a few shows this summer.  Of course, since I sent my couches off to an estate sale over the weekend, I'm having to sit in a straight-backed kitchen chair to watch TV -- not the most comfortable seat.  So I've been reading a whole bunch more the past couple of days.

But here are some of the shows I'm into lately:

"The Newsroom"

Ok.  I'm actually surprised that I really like this, because I'm the least politically minded person that I know (literally).  I get completely uncomfortable when people start debating news topics around me.  I hate awkwardness in any format.  But this show is so good.  Every episode makes me all proud to be an American, and it makes me wish my mind worked as quickly as all the different characters' -- the witty banter is fantastic.  Some people have told me I should check out reruns of "The West Wing," which was head writer Aaron Sorkin's other supposedly genius show.  I think I will, since I love this one so much.  (Warning: it's on HBO, so the language is a bit graphic.  So adults only.)


I've always been a sort of "why does the brain do that?" geek.  I really hated most of science in school, but I really enjoyed any psychological studies.  This show centers around a college professor (played by Eric McCormack -- Will Truman to all of us 90's "Will & Grace" fans) who has schizophrenia, but has been able to channel his disability into an amazing tool for the FBI.  He's able to help them solve crimes because his mind literally works in a completely different way than everyone else's.  I think part of the reason this show fascinates me is that my maternal grandfather also had schizophrenia, and I feel like it's giving me a small peek into what his life was (sort of) like.


I only watched this show because Holly Jo told me that the lead character, Michelle (played by Sutton Foster), had the kind of dry and sarcastic humor that I would love.  She was right.  Lots of great one-liners and wordy, snappy monologues.  I shouldn't be surprised, since it was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the lady behind another dear and departed show, "Gilmore Girls."

"House Hunters International"

I have about 34 episodes of HHI saved on my DVR right now.  Even though, in some ways, it sort of depresses me to watch all these insanely rich people getting to buy a dream house in a dream location and know that I will most likely (unless I win the Publishers' Clearing House sweepstakes) never be able to do that, it's also really fun to get a little inside look at exotic locales.  My favorite episodes have been based in London, Paris, Spain, and Australia.  Can we say Pied-a-Terre?

What are you guys watching this summer?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Design Inspiration

I'm moving in about three weeks, and I'm pretty excited (and a tad stressed) about getting to choose a new, more "who I am right now"-type style for my new place.  I'm selling my old cream colored couch and loveseat and tired black recliner, and I think I'm going to go for a brown leather loveseat with some patterned armchairs.

I'm also obsessing about paint colors, curtains, bedspreads...the list goes on.  Ashleigh keeps reminding me that I don't have to have all these things when I move in, but I want to have a plan.

So I've been scouring design blogs and magazines for the past couple of weeks for inspiration, and I came across this house in Nashville (via Design Sponge), and I promptly swooned.  This is the closest thing I've found to my exact style, down to the brown leather couch and cat:

I'm not sure about the color in the dining room -- I love it in these pictures, but I'm thinking about going with a light coral since I have a lot of turquoise accent pieces.

I just love the simplicity and vintage feel of this design.

What do you guys think?  What's your style?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Song I'm Digging This Week

You're like a party somebody threw me...you taste like birthday...

 "The Party" - Regina Spektor

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Faves

image found here

This weekend is going to be crazy.  Tonight, I'm covering the Michelle Malone concert for Event, and then on Saturday, my dad is coming up to haul away some old furniture that I'm selling.  I can't wait to get all the packing, painting, furniture picking, and moving chaos behind me. 

What are you guys up to this weekend?

A few of my favorite things this week:

*Tips on asking your friends to help you move on Apartment Therapy

*How cute would this striped dress look with a bright cardigan?

*Help us raise funds to find a much needed cure for cystic fibrosis by Moving for Madelyn!

*Check out Joanna's adorable bathroom makeover.

*I lived in a motor home for over seven years, but it wasn't nearly this cute.  If it had been, I'd probably still be there.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

July Reading Recap

1.  The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I wish I had liked this book more.  Most of the other reviews I read just raved about how thought-provoking and life-changing it was, but I just felt like it was...blah.  I did enjoy getting a peek into wealthy Parisian life, but I just felt like the main characters thought waaaay too much of their own intelligence.

2.  Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker
This is a collection of short stories by the author of Dracula (the first really spooky book I ever read).  I have to say, these stories passed the shiver test.  They still made me feel like I needed to look over my shoulder, and I think "The dead travel fast" is one of the greatest lines ever.

3.  Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker
As awful as this sounds, I really feel like most Christian fiction is poorly written.  It's like the authors can't get a "normal" publishing contract, so they become Christian writers, where the competition isn't as fierce.  I'd heard good things about Dekker, but sadly -- it's still poorly written fiction.  It actually wasn't too bad until the last couple of chapters, when it seemed like he just couldn't figure out how to tie the story up neatly, and so he just wrote a really hurried ending.

4.  Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
This was a Kindle Daily Deal, so I bought it on a whim.  I think it's a pretty fascinating book, especially since it's told from a child's perspective.  I didn't read anything that I felt didn't coincide with the Bible, and I hope that the Burpos' story is legit, because it really is a supremely comforting book.

5.  The Accident by Linwood Barclay
This was a pretty good standard thriller.  The story centers around a married dad, Glen, and his eight-year-old daughter Kelly, who are recovering from the sudden death of Glen's wife, Sheila, who was killed in a drunk-driving accident.  Unfortunately, according to the police, Shelia was the one who was drunk and caused the accident.  Glen refuses to accept the police's explanation, since Sheila didn't have a drinking problem, and he knew she would never have gotten behind the wheel while she was under the influence.  And of course, he's right.  There was a pretty good twist towards the end, so I'll check out some more of Barclay's work.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Day, New Me

Today is a pretty big day.

Today is my first day as a self-employed person.

That's right -- I finally quit my church job and I've opened my own music studio.

I'm excited and terrified all at once, but I know with absolute certainty that this is what God's leading me to do.  I'm still about five students away from being able to breathe fairly easily, but I'm so unbelievably pumped about getting things started.

I know I haven't blogged in forever, but now that my mornings are less tied-down, I'm going to be on here way more. 

I feel like a lifetime's worth of stuff has happened since I last posted anything here:

1.  Of course, the big deal moment -- I turned in my resignation in May after a whole bunch of prayer.  I actually went to Donald Miller's Storyline Conference in March, and it completely knocked me off the fence about the decision.  I felt like every topic was aimed directly at me. I know this sounds very dramatic and cliche, but the conference was a life-changing moment for me.  Lots of tears, prayers, and "YES!" moments.  And yes, I'd still like to marry Donald Miller.

More than anything, the conference solidified what I've really known deep down my whole life -- I want to create - not just every once in a while, but all the time.  I want to sing, write, play, and inspire.  I want to get so absorbed in creating that I forget to eat dinner.  I want to work with students and help them discover a passion for music -- I want to witness that amazing lightbulb moment when a kid realizes that they can play a song that they love and that it can sound the way it sounds in their heads.  I want to be there when someone hears a song that changes the way they'll look at music forever. 

I want to create.

 2.  I have a niece!  Madelyn Grace was born on May 24th, and she's the sweetest, cutest baby ever.  And I'm not biased at all.

3.  Madelyn was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in June.  We were all shocked and devastated, and for a while, it felt like Madelyn had five names: "Madelyn Who Has Cystic Fibrosis."  But she's undergone such an amazing transformation since her diagnosis (she's nearly doubled her weight in a month!), and she's such a smiling, laughing, happy baby that we've all begun to see her not as a "sick" baby (because she's really not at all since she's been taking her medication), but as just an adorable baby.  I'm blown away by the grace and love that Alex and Holly Jo have shown every day since Madelyn's diagnosis.  They're going to be (and are) the best parents ever.

4.  I'm moving!  To make a really long story short, since I'm going to be teaching music full-time from my home, this little apartment just wasn't going to cut it.  In a "nothing else but God" moment, I actually met a lady at I-Hop (that's right - I-Hop) who happened to have a condo for rent that she hadn't even put on the market yet.  And it's perfect.  I move in about three weeks, and I can't wait to start decorating.  I'll post lots of pictures soon.

5.  I went on my first date in, oh, almost four years.  It definitely wasn't love at first sight, and I don't think we're going out again, but hey, it's progress. 

I feel like I'm beginning to actually live for the first time in a really long time.  I can't wait to see what's coming.