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Friday, May 31, 2013

Rough Days....

We all have them.  Days that maybe aren't what we had hoped.  Days where maybe things just kinda suck.  Today had pieces of that.  Today I had experiences with people that I love, and I know love me, but I also had experiences with people that were not my biggest fan (at least not today).  Today I experienced some wonderful highs with amazing moments, and some rather lousy lows.

Today was a rough day.

On my rough days, I like to find my happy place.  My ideal happy place would be in a car, driving near salt water, with amazing music blasting through the stereo.  While I couldn't quite pull that off, I did manage to see some great friends, drive through town with the windows down, with amazing music playing.

I know that sometimes, life just has to suck.  If life was always easy and wonderful, how would we ever learn to appreciate the good times?  And really, that's just life.

So on those terrible days, I recommend that you find your happy place.  It needs to be something simple, something that you can pull off almost anytime.  And when you find it, you know...

My song of the day is "Shake it Off" by Teddy Geiger.  Check out the video.  It says everything I would want to say for today.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Who I Am...

Song of the Day: The Story by Brandi Carlile
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true... I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do and I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what I've been through like you do
And I was made for you...

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true... I was made for you

Oh yeah, well it's true... that
I was made for you...

Amazing song. If you haven't heard it, you need to. 

We all have stories. We all have pieces of us that we may not share with the world, but they make us who we are. To truly know someone, it takes a lifetime. I'm pretty convinced that most of us don't even know ourselves. 

Nonetheless, I appreciate being able to share pieces of myself in this fashion. If we don't explore who we are, we won't be open to knowing others. If we don't share the stories of our past, those around us will never be able to understand who we really are. 

So today, open yourself to someone you love, give a little more, and allow them a safe place to express themselves. At least that's my goal. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Favorite Things...

One of my absolute favorite things is finding new music.  My friends laugh at me because they regularly hear me say “Oh, I found a new album for you to listen to.”  I find it from all over the place.  The radio, friends and family, television shows, and lately social media.  I started my Twitter account so that I could follow some of my favorite musicians.  In the short time that I have had it, I have found so many new artists (or at least new to me!).  Sometimes they have added me, sometimes they have commented on tweets of those I am following, sometimes they are tagged in posts I see.  Whatever way I find them, I love finding them.  I love that I can pull almost anyone up on iTunes, listen to a bit, then in minutes have their whole album.  I love that I can instantly have a new favorite.  I love that I can share my love of music with those around me, with almost no transition time.

So today, I found a new artist.  He was retweeted (is that a word?) by Tyler Hilton, one of my faves.  They were playing a show together.  His name is Curtis Peoples.  I figured that if he was doing a show with Tyler Hilton, then he was worth a listen.

It was SO worth a listen.  I downloaded the album and spent all day listening to it.

So my song of the day is “The Fight” by Curtis Peoples


there's a strength
in your eyes
and it's keeping me going tonight
if I fall or back down
you're there helping me up off the ground
all the dreams that I've fought to keep
start to feel like I just can't hold
I'm torn apart and you can see
I'm losing control
when I'm down you're there to say
I won't let you walk away
so I promise baby, I'm not letting go

I'm still gonna fight
I may fall but I'll climb
I won't ever, ever, ever give up tonight

you're the flame
in my heart
and you're keeping me out of the dark
you believe
in me still
even when I've lost my will
to keep pushing through the walls again
I never thought it'd take so long
all the doubt I'm battling
but I wasn't wrong
all the years were not a waste
you showed me that it's all ok
so If I'm crashing, I'm going down strong

It's crazy the love that we have
your love, will always remind that

So, lesson for the day: Always keep your ears open for new music.  You never know where you will find it, and you never know if it will change your life.  And check out Curtis Peoples’ album The Fight.

Best Part of Summer

I love summer.  For so many reasons.  I love the warmth, I love going to the beach, I love being able to be outside.  And since I have been living in Grand Rapids, I love the summer concerts that happen.
On top of what seems to be an increase in awesome concerts in the area, in general, there are a ton of concerts that happen weekly.
First, there is Jazz at the Zoo.  My friend Amanda introduced me to this last year.  There is a free concert series for 2-3 months every Monday evening outside of our local zoo.  We bring food and drinks, and then there is great music for a freewill donation.  Amazing.
Second, there is the Tuesday Concert Series.  This is at Meijer Gardens.  This is my first year that I plan to attend a lot of these.  You need to either purchase tickets to the Gardens for the day, or have an annual membership to go.  My husband and I just bought our first membership, and I am excited to see more of these concerts.
Third, there is the Summer Concert Series.  This is also at Meijer Gardens.  This year there is only one that I am going to, Indigo Girls.  Cannot wait!
Fourth, there is Grand Rapids Symphony's Picnic Pops.  This is a four week series.  My family attends all of these every year, for over a decade.  Lots of food, lots of drinks, lots of friends and family.  They are a total blast.
With all of these in mind, I decided to make a schedule of my concert plans.  Most would likely laugh at me for this, but being who I am, it is not a surprise.  I made a spreadsheet with the concerts I plan to attend, if I already have tickets, and when they all are.
*Sidenote* I love spreadsheets.  I love being able to organize my life in this way.  I have a spreadsheet for practically anything...and they are normally color coded.  By the way, I think it is a genetic thing, as my mother and sister are pretty much the same.
Back to my story.  Below is my spreadsheet with what I am planning for this summer.
I am extremely, incredibly, immeasurably happy about this plan. :)

Concert List
Tickets Bought?
May 5, 2013
Tyler Hilton, Teddy Geiger, Olivia Millerschin, Ryan Cabrera
June 3, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Northview High School Jazz Band
June 10, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: The Paul VornHagen Quartet
June 17, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: The Tom Hagen Summer Swingers
June 24, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Max Colley III's Sextet
July 1, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Randy Marsh Quintet
July 2, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Kelsey Rottiers & Lucas Wilson
July 8, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Fred Knapp Quintet
July 9, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Cabildo & Serita the Black Rose
July 12, 2013
Picnic Pops: Classical Fireworks
July 15, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Evan Hyde Group
July 16, 2013
Tegan & Sara, Fun.
July 16, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Andro & Kent County String Band
July 19, 2013
Picnic Pops: Natalie MacMaster
July 22, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Paul Keller Quartet
July 23, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Monica da Silva & Asuma Johnson
July 26, 2013
Picnic Pops: Gotta Dance!
July 29, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: The Mark Kahny Group
July 30, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Nicholas James Thomasma and the Band Wagon & Kari Lynch
August 2, 2013
Picnic Pops: Abba
August 5, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Michelle Covington and Company
August 6, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Bennett & AG Silver
August 12, 2013
Jazz at the Zoo: Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra
August 13, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Robin Connell & Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra
August 20, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Afro Zuma & The Soil and The Sun
August 27, 2013
Meijer Gardens: Ralston and Friends
September 5, 2013
Indigo Girls
September 14, 2013
Twenty One Pilots, Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy
November 29, 2013
Straight No Chaser
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