August Playlist || The Rap Edition

Sunday, August 28, 2016

July 2009
One of the most shocking things that people learn about me is that I'm crazy about hip hop. If I'm in the car by myself (or with a willing or not so willing passenger), there is one kind of music that you can expect to hear blasting through the speakers.

Summer is the season for mixtapes. If I was going to make one, these are the songs that would be on it right now! Each one features one of my favorite rappers bringing TRUTH to their listeners...

I'm A Believer - Tedashii

You Will - Andy Mineo

Cling To You - Trip Lee

This Songs for You - Tedashii

Hello Change - Sho Baraka 

I know...It's not for everyone.

What would be on your mixtape based on the songs you've had on repeat lately?

On a more serious note...A rapper is nothing without a DJ. Cross Movement was my introduction to Christian Hip Hop and their DJ, Nelson Chu, went on to work with many of the new names who were coming to the stage. Please, pray for this man's family. He stepped down from his role a few years ago because of health issues. He recently passed away after complications from a lung transplant. I praise God for his life and his gift. It's an honor to pray for his family and to ask you to do the same! 

July In Pictures pt. 2

Friday, August 26, 2016

Before summer ever even began, there were a few things jotted down on the calendar. My sister's trip to SC was the first, then there were the summer jobs, two plays, and getting our other house on the market.

It wasn't much, but we knew we were going to be BUSY. And we have been. July, was an especially hectic month. With work and rehearsals and performances and church there was very little time for much else. I mentioned that I got roped into costuming one of the plays they were in and today I have pictures from it. My Mom did FAR more than I did, but this is what we were working on.

The actors in this show were fantastic. During the first night of rehearsals, I called to check in with my Mom and she overheard them singing one of their songs as a warmup. She asked if she was hearing a track playing and I told her that, no, it was the actors singing together FOR THE FIRST TIME. My favorite moment in the actual show wasn't during a song or a dance or a moving scene, but when my brother got to eat cheese on stage. This boy LOVES cheese and theatre. It came together on a huge stage and it was almost more than I could take. God is SOOOO good.

My sister had several roles during this play...I didn't get very many great pictures of her, but the ones during this sequence are some of my favorites!!! That shirt she's wearing??? It's a men's dress shirt that my Mom turned into a peasant shirt! She's AMAZING.

And my sister's ability to do WHATEVER they ask her to and to switch roles and characters and costumes and smile the whole entire time is truly something to admire. She pulls it off soooo well and I just know that she is a quiet blessing to all those acting alongside of her. Scroll down and you'll see a couple of pictures she took backstage...

From a lady to one of the sons.

To a ghost...She does it alll!

My brother and sister call me their personal paparazzi. And they love it. They're always saying, "Take pictures!!!" or, "Make sure you get a picture of ____, when _____ happens." or "Did you get a picture of _____?" and I love it. Mostly, I just have my camera handy and quietly take my pictures and they pretend like I'm not there. Well, every now and then, they spot me. When I was taking this shot, I realized that my brother knew what I was doing. He's looking right at me and making a face....So, I did what I do and zoomed in for a close up!

When he was little we would do this thing where we would stare at each other and make faces. Usually I would make an angry face and then he would make it back and then I would make a super smiley face and he would make it back and we'd go back and forth with this until it ended in laughter....

Here's the face. No smile, big eyes. I SEEEEEE YOU!

And that's round two of the pictures in July series. This play ate up soooo many nights and weekends and entire days. The memories will be with us a lifetime.

Currently: August 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Another post coming to you from the drafts folder because I wrote this and want to be able to read it again sometime. It's from August 9th...
August 2, 2016 (Photo Credit: My youngest brother.)

Summer is officially winding down. FAST. I'm sitting in my Mom's chair by the window as a big storm is happening outside. We're talking thunder, lightning, and wind. I'm sure the clouds are going to give way to more rain any minute now. It feels like full on FALL. As always, I'm nowhere near ready for summer to end.

The potluck game is still going strong. A new season of auditions will be kicking off in a matter of weeks. We've been settling in with our "new" group of friends and meeting up with them throughout the week. And...Our house, the place that we've called "home" for almost 8 years is currently under contract.

I'm currently...

Hearting: My family. They are amazing. They go after things and try new things and push the limits and don't care what people think or say. They have made new lives for themselves in this town and I'm IMPRESSED. And my brother in SC is one year into his job and continues to amaze me with the life he has made for himself.

Watching: The latest season of The Great British Baking Show. I'm only on episode 3 and I'm pretty sure the guy I'm rooting for is barely hanging in. I better find someone else to cheer on! My brother also took me to see The BFG last week. SOOOO cute! It was a big surprise and the thought he put into it meant so much to me. I love Roald Dahl and that's the ONE movie that I really wanted to see in theatres this summer. Check and check.

Exploring: Plans for fall. New homes. Strategies for focusing on God and leaving my worries behind me.

Creating: Sentences and essays.Witty and lovely notes for the lunches I pack for my brother, sister, and mom. And bouquets of my zinnias that are still going STRONG.

Eating: Fresh sugar snap peas, watermelon, and reese's cups. I'm craving a good hamburger. And the first cucumber (they're REALLY late this year.)

What about you?

July In Photos

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I've got a four part series set aside to cover the major happenings in July. These are the kinds of things I should have been posting...but from now until the end of this month, I've got a goal to get this stuff cranked out. So, here goes!!!


At the beginning of July we gathered together for a day of birthday surprises for one of our new friends. The birthday girl and her family were some of the first people to reach out to us, include us, and invite us to anything and everything. When the birthday girl's brothers announced what they had up their sleeve, we were all in!

They told their sister that they were going to the park for a picnic and some frisbee. Meanwhile, a big group of us took our places at different locations in the park and planned to go out to meet them bit by bit. Eventually, there we were standing in the middle of the field wishing her a happy birthday. She had nooooo idea what was happening.

After everyone was accounted for, we set out for a hike.

I did all of my hiking in the southeast (Chimney Rock, Grandfather's Mountain, Mt. Mitchell, and Battleground were my FAVORITE places to go). We would pack lunch, take our time, play in the waterfalls, and my grandma kept up in flip flops. I LOVE that kind of hiking. We'd stop for fudge or ice cream or to poke around at any spot that looked interesting. I've learned that very few people hike the way I grew up hiking....

This hike was fun and totally doable, but it started out with one step up a super steep hill after another. I started at the back of the line and just kept zooming around people. No talking. I had to get to the top. I was afraid if I went too slowly or stopped I would die. It was one of the hottest days we had had and I had no idea how long the hike was going to be that intense. It turned out, that the intensity lasted JUST until we made it to the top and then it was all downhill and meandering after that. I had nothing to be afraid of.

We stopped for a water break and pictures and more visiting before making our way back down and around the mountain. The views were pretty gorgeous. I stayed near the front of the pack, but my "I'm going to have to be carried out of here" panic was long gone. I took to chatting and even stopped to snap a few shots.

After the hike was over, we said our goodbyes and she thought they were finally going on their picnic and were headed to watch their dad's softball game. Well, little did she know, the rest of us rushed back to our houses to get our potluck dishes before heading to the very same park. There was more hiding in the bushes...

There they are, having their "picnic". Meanwhile....They are surrounded.



This day will go down as one of my favorite days from the summer of 2016. Not only did we get to celebrate and totally surprise one of our dearest friends, but we also got to spend an entire day with some fantastic people. I met several people whose paths I hadn't crossed yet and got to catch up with others that I just don't see enough. The birthday girl's brothers did a FANTASTIC job at coordinating everything.

Hiking and frisbee and eating and music and visiting made for a wonderful day!

When 26 Is One Month Away

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Well, I almost made it through "No Blog August", but you can all thank my sister for her reminders that things are quiet and that that is simply unacceptable. I'm back with a piece I wrote back on August 13th. Enjoy...

We were at a kick off party for a brand new theatre last night when I looked down at my watch and realized that my birthday is exactly one month away. In that moment I left my place in the crowd of strangers and friends to let the realization sink in.

I've been thinking a lot about how I'm the only one in my family who hasn't jumped up and made a new life for myself in this town. I've tried. But, the thing is, doing the same old same old is just a lot easier. It doesn't get in the way. It doesn't put anyone out. And it's safe. When we moved here, I knew it was for all of us, but that it was mostly for my brother and sister. Letting it be for them and helping them settle in and make the most of it was enough. And most days, it still is. But sometimes - like last night and this afternoon - it gets me in a panic.

They're all doing things and making names and starting over and I'm basically missing everything that moving here required of me.

This summer, I've spent a lot of time at home alone with God and with our animals. I thought I was going to get a lot of reading and writing in, but mostly I filled my days with errands and cleaning and gardening and laundry. I put on Pandora's Early Jazz or Cross Movement radio because long periods of absolute silence make me crazy. I did A LOT of thinking while my hands were doing whatever it was they found to do. I didn't get a single thing ready for submission or even come up with a list of places to submit my writing to. I didn't finish planning the literature class I was building. I didn't add any extra books to my summer reading list.

Now 26 is a month away and I'm doing my yearly inspection of where I am and who I am and what I'm doing. This year, I'm really proud of myself. I've learned to be okay with being alone. I've been flexible and spontaneous and a lot less worried. I've gone through the cycle of being super excited to meet new people, to being ready to crawl into a cave, to being willing to put myself out there again. I've started and kept a garden even though I had no idea how long it would be here for me to tend. I've seen things I am totally disturbed by without letting my pride grant me the right or the responsibility to handle them.

And then there are things I want to work on. I want to work on the weaknesses of my temperament. My personality comes with a tendency towards irritability. That's one of my least favorite things about myself and Packer's book showed me that I don't have to give into it. I want to be thankful.  I want my mouth to be a fountain of living water and now I have a real hope that it CAN be. I want to care a lot less about what people think. The older I get, the easier this is, but I'm having a hard time with this where my decisions are concerned.

26 is one month away and I'm feeling like Dorothy at the end of the movie just before the hot air balloon takes off without her. Chances are, I'll wake up on September 12 feeling just like I did on September 11 and August 13. I'll be 26 instead of 25, but that will be the only real difference. I'm trusting that the work of trusting God and keeping my commitments will be just as rewarding and beautiful and fruitful as it always has been.

The most important things about life never do change. Wherever I find myself this time next year, I'll look back grateful for the lessons 25 taught me. I just know it.