Growing up. And beauty.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop at the University of Delaware – my alma mater. It always feels a little surreal to be back here. I wrote a song this morning out on the north green outside the building I lived in sophomore year. I know I’m not old, but I felt a little old sitting there watching students (so glad I never did a summer session!) stroll by. They look so little. I guess I look little too. I kept thinking, they’re 18. I’m 18. No, I’m not 18. I’m 25. Weird.

I went to the beach in southern DE with my best friend yesterday. It was wonderful. We were at the same beach we used to go to when we were 6 and 7 and later when we were 13, and 14, and 15. We swam in the same ocean. But we weren’t talking about boys (well maybe a little about our husbands and how wonderful they are) or school, or our parents…we were talking about mortgages, and getting moles removed (TMI? I’m supposed to be 25 not 60!), and starting families, and real life things. It was wonderful and it was crazy. When did I grow up? I don’t feel very grown up.

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in Maine last week. It was beautiful. I kept telling Tyler that if you were someone who grew up in the south and you came to Maine for the first time, you wouldn’t believe that it could be part of the United States. Not that the culture or the people are all that different, but the landscape is crazy. Mountains, lakes, ocean, sky, so much green, and wild blueberries! We picked a bunch on our hike up one of the mountains in Acadia. Mmmm… They taste so good.

We rented a tandem kayak one day and spent the afternoon on Long Pond (more like a lake). It’s amazing to kayak on a lake with a mountain in the background and green trees all around. There were lots of lily pads along the shore. We sang worship songs a’cappella outside, on the water. It was truly lovely.

Now we’re hanging out in DE in anticipation of our friend’s wedding this weekend. We’re playing lots of music. Should be fun.

I hope all of you are having a delightful summer day.

The Sound of Silence & Tour Dates!

You guys. I’m getting excited. Seriously. Why? Two reasons:

Firstly, (I think that’s a word? I know that secondly is) we had a blast this week recording The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel. If for some reason you’ve never heard this song, or Simon & Garfunkel (gasp!) you should check it out:

I think our version is going to be pretty cool. I’m pretty biased. We had a great time recording anyway. We tracked everything in our little apartment, meaning we had to get a bit creative with our space.

We made a special vocal booth between our mattress and futon:

The control room/our closet:

And my personal favorite, tracking snare in our bathroom (clearly I don’t know how to play):

So much fun. Instrumentation for the song: clarinet, glockenspiel, acoustic, mandolin, epic choir, upright bass, kick, snare, and hopefully some trumpet.

On to the second reason for my excitedness:

Our late summer/fall tour is really coming together. We’ve got shows confirmed in:

Simpsonville, SC
Arlington, VA
Baltimore, MD
Avalon, NJ
Wilmington, DE
Wildwood, NJ
Little Rock, AR
Shallotte, NC
Boiling Springs, NC
Dahlonega, GA
Kansas City, MO
Marshfield, WI
Waco, TX
Naperville, IL
Livonia, MI

We’re waiting on just a few more confirmations. We’ll let you know asap. Check out all of the details:

thoughts from yesterday

I went shopping yesterday. I was looking for a cheap dress to wear to a couple of weddings I’m going to this month. The trip was unsuccessful. There weren’t any pretty, cheap dresses to be found. I went to Anthropologie the other day (let the drooling commence) to look at the gorgeous clothes and found the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen. If I had a few extra hundred dollars maybe I’d buy it…

But back to yesterday. I went to TJ Maxx, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory. They’re all pretty cheap shops, and they’re all in the same shopping plaza here in Nashville. In the hour I spent shopping I probably heard at least 5 different languages being spoken. I realized at one point that I was one of only a few white people. I thought about my trip to Anthropologie and Whole Foods earlier in the week. I think there were only white people in both of those stores. I’ve known for a long time that we still segregate ourselves in America, whether racially, religiously, socio-economically, etc. It just hadn’t been thrown in my face in a while.

I also realized that I live in a bubble. Totally. When I was in college I had lots of friends. Some were Christians. Some were Jewish. Some were black. Some were Asian. Lots were white. Now all of my friends look and think the same way I do. It’s easy. But easy isn’t always good. It actually seems like it usually isn’t.

There’s a lot of diversity at our church both socio-economically and ethnically. We all love Jesus, but we all look and live very differently. But the fact is, I’m not really friends with most of these folks. I’m not “doing life” with them. I just show up.

After my unsuccessful trip yesterday I stopped at a coffee shop and wrote my thoughts on a napkin. I wrote about how the afternoon had made me feel, and at the end I asked myself two questions: First, what am I going to do about this whole bubble situation? Second, do I actually want to do anything about it?

I think it will take more than an afternoon to figure this stuff out…if indeed there is figuring out to be done. Perhaps it’s time to get uncomfortable.


mailing list comments

Every couple a days (or weeks depending on how lazy I’m feeling) I go through our mailing list sign up emails. For those of you who have joined the mailing list, you may remember that on the sign-up form there is a place to send us a message. I read all of the messages. I respond to the folks who ask questions or want to book shows or share something really awesome. Usually people write similar things. I don’t grow tired of reading encouragement, in fact, we really appreciate it. However, today, I’ve come across a few exceptional messages that I thought I’d share. Some are funny. Some are sweet. One is plain weird. Here we go:

” well. your music is kinda cool. just thought i’d throw that out there. its like sunbathing on a summer day except the sun is a giant speaker and the rays of sunlight are the wonderful tones of your music. to put it simply, its cool.”

” Keep up the good work! A 16 year old gal and older dude make a perfect group! I’m kidding :)”  (ummm…awkward?)

“Discovered your music while googling a strawberry peach pie recipe 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more of it.” (yay for the blog!)

“You guys are great! This is my favorite kind of music! Important question: What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” (An important question to be sure. You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite ice cream. Mine happens to be peanut butter & chocolate, or chocolate & peanut butter.)

” I love your music! As I dancer, it is some of my fav. to choreograph to.” (LOVE that folks are dancing to the music!)

Anyway, these made my day a little brighter. Love to you all.

Last in Gym Class

When I was a kid, I was always picked last in gym class. No lie. I’m just not very coordinated. Anyone else experience this? Oh, gym class. I remember some of those moments so vividly. The silent prayers offered up to heaven during the picking process, “Please God, not this time!” Quietly pleading, “Please! Pick me!” Inevitably, I was picked last. I’d walk with my head down over to my team, knowing what they were thinking: “Man, we got stuck with her AGAIN!” I was put in the out field for softball games and tried to get out as early as possible during dodge ball.

This weekend, all of that changed. I discovered something new about myself: I rock at pool volleyball. Seriously. Maybe being among friends made me less nervous, or maybe I’m just awesome. Either way, it was exhilarating. People actually wanted me on their team. And I had FUN! Oh so much fun.

Maybe I shouldn’t be afraid of sports anymore. Maybe just land sports?

A few years ago Tyler wrote me a song about being picked last in gym class. It’s a punk song. In my opinion, it’s pretty stellar. Have a listen yourself. The lighting in the video sucks, but I think the performance more than makes up for it. This is from a camp we played in Cornwall (that’s over in the UK) back in 2008. It was awesome. Oh and the “Tom” I mention in the video is my older brother, who happened to be the youth pastor on the trip.

Yesterday was a very good day.

It’s hard to believe that June is over. I feel like it came and went so fast. I had a dream last night that it was snowing here and I kept saying to Tyler, “It’s snowing in July!” It was so exciting and disappointing at the same time.

The last day of June happens to be our anniversary, so we had great fun celebrating together yesterday. I really can’t believe it’s been 4 years already. And it’s crazy to think that I met Tyler 7 years ago. It doesn’t feel like it could’ve been that long. But at the same time, it’s actually hard to remember what life was like without him. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s actually true.

Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff. We had the privilege of hanging out with a group of students from Wilmington, DE (our hometown!) serving in Nashville this week. We hooked up with a ministry group called CSM here in Nashville at the beginning of the summer, and it just so happened that a group from DE, led by one of good buddies, was coming to town. It was so fun hanging out with them. We went on a little prayer tour of the city and I actually learned a lot about Nashville. CSM has been playing Faint Not at the end of all of their prayer tours and it was really cool to hear our song played after praying for social justice issues throughout the city. It was interesting to be on the receiving end of the song. I felt like it spoke to me in a new way. We sing Faint Not so much that it’s easy to just sing it and not truly connect with the words in the way we want to. It’s also easy to sing it and not live it out. But I guess that’s why songs are often prayers. Faint Not certainly is.

In other news, our Fall tour seems to be coming together nicely. We’ll post dates soon.

Have a lovely day friends.