we’re in england!

hello from beautiful england!  we’re sitting in my brother’s house right now trying to get over this jetlag.  yesterday we could hardly stay awake–my brother and sister-in-law kept us busy until 8pm and wouldn’t let us fall asleep–but tonight, we’re wide awake.  we’ve been warned not to stay up too much later.  we’ll see how that goes.

today we went into london and visited the british library.  seriously, it’s one of the coolest places ever.  the library houses original manuscripts from authors like jane austen, the bronte sisters, and shakespeare.  and it has the codex sinaticus, the oldest complete compilation of the new testament.  looking at the books was really amazing.  after that we went to westminster abbey and wandered around the little church that stands next to it.  we ate some lunch that we packed outside the abbey, it was seriously a beautiful day.  after that we wandered around covent garden, had some starbucks, and road the train home.  we were tired this afternoon.  jet lag is really kinda hard to get over.

tonight we grilled out with my brother and sister-in-law.  the weather is seriously perfect here.  it stays light out really late, and it’s not too hot, but not cold at all.  everything is really green.  tomorrow we’re going to a really old church that’s built around some roman ruins.  seriously, this is old stuff!  i’m really excited!

well, that’s all from here in england for now.  we’ll post pictures soon.

-jenny

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today is another day…

It’s a gorgeous day here in Delaware.  The heat wave we’ve had going on for the past week seems to have subsided with the crazy storms we had last night and it’s actually really bearable to be outside.  I’m sitting here in Starbucks picking up Panera’s wifi.  I actually drove here with my windows down.  Gorgeous!

Today is officially my last day at my job here ad I’m pretty thrilled.  I’m ready for something new.  And more immediately, I’m really excited about England!  We’ve been preparing for camp that we’re doing worship for and planning out what kind of things we want to see/do while we’re there.  More than anything I’m really looking forward to seeing my brother and sister-in-law.  My brother and I have always had a special bond, and Joanna really is the big sister I never had.  It’s great.

In other news, we played an awesome show at a teen camp in the mountains on this past Tuesday.  We drove up to camp just north of Gibson, PA, played an hour show for a bunch of teens, had some great conversations, and stayed the night.  After the show we signed so many CDs for the kids—something that I’m not really used to doing.  It felt kinda surreal to have people wanting my signature on their CD.  We stayed in a guest room at the camp that night.  Just before going to bed Tyler and I looked at each other and had one of those, “Is our life really this cool?” moments.  It’s fun having so many adventures and being in multiple states each week.  (not that it’s hard to make your way into different states around here–hence the “tristate area”.  It was a blessing to be able to play the camp and we had a great time.

We will have one final show in the area in August.  More details to come.

Enjoy the lovely day.

-Jenny

Beautiful mornings…

It’s morning time, which means it’s time a for a good cup of coffee and a little pondering, which usually takes the form of reading or writing for me.

One of the perks of staying with the in-laws is that they have a beautiful view from their backyard.  Their yard overlooks a field of rolling hills surrounded by lush trees.  A gigantic tree sits in the middle of the yard with a little swing hanging from it, and when the light shines through the leaves in the morning or in the evening the colors are perfect–yellows, golds, light greens, blues.  It’s really amazing.  We didn’t have this view from our little apartment.

Speaking of apartments, I’m really excited because we have one in Nashville!  We’ll be leaving here on August 21st to make the big trek down there.  Oh, and our apartment is half of a duplex so we have a big porch and I guess we share this really big back yard.  (Oh, and it’s just a short bike ride/longer walk away from Portland Brew East, my favorite coffee shop).  Maybe I’ll get to spend mornings writing on my back deck down in Nashville!

Well, I should probably start getting prepared for this weekend.  It’s going to be nonstop, but a lot of fun.  Hopefully we won’t fall over completely exhausted at the end.  Tonight we’ll be down in Rehoboth hanging out at the Underground and then playing at Arena’s.  We’ll get back here by about 3:30am so that we can both go to work tomorrow morning, and then we get to play at White Clay Creek!

Hope to see some of you there!

-Jenny

Humbling shows are good shows.

Last night was one of the funniest/most humlbing shows we’ve played in a while.

It went like this:

6:15p — we show up at Starbucks Glasgow.  There are 5 people there while we’re setting up and we get into a pretty lengthy conversation with 3 of them.

7:00p–we begin playing American Dream.  After the first verse all 3 of the people we’d been talking to get up and leave.

7:05– the other 2 people in the store leave.

We played to an empty store until 7:30.  It was pretty hilarious.  The folks working at Starbucks just hung out at the counter and listened, which made it a little better.  We used the time to practice playing some of our newer songs in “public.”

Something that struck as particularly funny throughout the whole 1/2 hour was that there were actually people hanging out outside Starbucks.  I think that something like 4 or so people were sitting outside in the heat (it was really hot out!) to avoid hearing us inside.

Finally at 7:30 a woman and her little boy came in and listened and 4 teenagers came in and were really fun to play for.  We ended early at 8:15 because our little audience had to go.

All in all, quite a humbling experience, especially in comparison to last weeks Ocean City show.

If you’re in the Newark area tonight come out to Borders!  We’re playing with our buddy Rod Kim.  Hope to see you there!

-Jenny

change is in the air….

My mom is coming to visit me today here in Newark…it may be her last visit here before we move to Nashville!  I’ve been excited about moving to Nashville for a while now, but lately the sadness that comes with leaving people and places you love has really been taking its toll.

I’ve moved many times in my life.  Someone asked me the other day how many times my family actually moved, and I came up with 9.  This time, moving to Nashville seems really different.  I think it’s because Tyler and I are moving on our own.  My parents, the moving experts will not be coming along.  It’s a good thing.  It’s definitely testing my ability to trust God in every circumstance.

The other day I drove past our old apartment, which is funny to say seeing as Tyler and I have only been married a year.  I love calling it the apartment we lived in “when we were first married.”  Hehe.  A bunch of old memories came rushing back.  A couple times last summer we camped out in our living room (the only room with a window air conditioner unit) to beat the heat, and walked over to BSM for “air conditioning breaks.”  It’s funny how things that seemed so uncomfortable at the time, bring back such great memories now.  I should really remember that for the future.

Anyway, we have a little less than 3 weeks before we leave for England and then we come back for 9 days before we move.  This Sunday will be our last week leading worship at OBC.  It’ll be bittersweet.

-Jenny

Ocean City Show = A Success!

This past week has been a whirl-wind of craziness…so much traveling, tons of writing, and loads of family.

Tyler and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary on June 30, and as our gift to each other we went on a little trip.  This trip combined fun vacation stuff, family visits, and of course a show.  Overall we had a great time, but came back pretty exhausted.

On July 3rd we played at the Ocean City boardwalk in OC, NJ.  The story behind this gig is pretty amazing and really demonstrates God’s provision and providence at work, so I thought I’d share a little….

This Spring Tyler was trying to book shows and our friend Bethany Bracht suggested that he try to get a night at the Ocean City boardwalk.  After 5ish phone calls Tyler got to the lady who was booking the shows, directed her to our website, and was able to book the show for July 3rd—possibly the best night other than July 4th to play in Ocean City.  Seriously, thousands of people were out on the boardwalk, it was insane.  Anyway, we got the gig and were under contract to play with a percussionist/djembe player.  The night before the show we realized that if our usual guy Paul came to play the show, he’d be driving 6 or so hours in one day through beach traffic.  Paul agreed to face the traffic, but we knew it would be better if we could find someone else.  As soon as Tyler got off the phone with Paul about the situation he thought about calling our friend Chris Zwakenberg.  Tyler called Chris and before he could even ask him about playing the show, Chris mentioned that he saw we were going to be playing in Ocean City and that he was going to be staying in Sea Isle that night and wondered if he could play with us!  It was crazy–and truly providential!  Paul wouldn’t have to play, and we wouldn’t be in breech of our contract—problem solved!

We were told at the beginning of the week that we would not be allowed to sell our merchandise or put out a tip jar on the boardwalk.  We were kinda bummed, but still thought the gig would be worthwhile.  We brought our merchandise just in case, and I’m really glad we did.  Chris’s mom suggested we partner with a vendor and try to sell our stuff in a shop on the boardwalk.  I thought the idea to be pretty far fetched, but my salesman husband (I love that about him!) decided to give it a try.  And wouldn’t you know it, but our gig was about 50 feet away from the only CD shop on the boardwalk.  Tyler went over and was able to put up our whole display in the shop, and the owner only asked to take 25% of the sales.  At the end of the night we sold $400 in merchandise—such a blessing!!!!

This is a minor detail, but it meant a lot to me—we played across the boardwalk from a Kohr’s Bros. and at the end of the night the girls selling ice cream liked us so much that they gave us all the ice cream we wanted for free!  Yum!

Anyway, it was an amazing night and we truly felt blessed to be able to play the show, have so many people hear the music, and walk away with some compensation at the end of the night.  Shows like these allow us to keep playing music as much as possible.

Thanks to everyone who came!

This weekend you can catch us at:

Starbucks, Glasgow, DE @ 7pm on Friday

or

Borders Bookstore, Newark DE @ 7pm on Saturday.

-Jenny