No Filter Friday

So the last few weeks huh? Lots of stuff going on in America, amiright?

If I am honest, I have had my own stuff going on too…travels, sickness, and the like. Topping it off, I had a great little giveaway last Friday that apparently went awry while I was away from technology for a few days. Not sure if it was issues from my iPad posting or what, but the comments never got loaded so I couldn’t do the giveaway.

So comment below and I’ll pick from those to win a NEEDTOBREATHE copy of Hard Love. 

While I am finally pulling out of the mire of the last few weeks of life in my section of the world, I am finding I need to shake off the dust on the bottom of my sandals. It’s collected and caked up, making me feel gritty and worn rather than how I desired to feel.

Maybe it’s that Thanksgiving is just next week, or that the Christmas season always brings joy, or that I am jamming out to the Hamilton mixtape as I write today…but the dust has to come off. This joy I desire isn’t something I can conjure, I have to trust. I have to choose it. I have to see it in One and not in others or things. Those fade, those don’t last. He does.

So even though there’s no filter on this Friday, and no one’s really been using one for a while now when it comes to airing things in the world, I think I want to unfilter my joy, my choice to shake the dust off and dig back in to the One who is the source of it all.

How are you choosing to see joy in life these days? How are you spreading the joy of the One in Whom all joy is found?

Favorite Freebie Friday!

After this week of just a lot of stuff I think we could all use a place to have just a reprieve for a moment.

I am heading over to South Carolina to see my favorite band, NEEDTOBREATHE tonight. This will be the 11th show I’ve seen in person. (Yeah, I kinda like them…) They released a new album this year and have been plugging away at the Tour De Compadres all fall. My sister and I saw them at Ascend in Nashville (nearly sweat to death too) in September.

So in honor of show 11, traveling to another state to see them, spending time with my sister and her bff, who lives in the town we are headed to….

img_0059I am giving away a copy of NEEDTOBREATHE’s Hard Love today. Comment below on what band you’ve seen the most times live to enter the giveaway. Winner will be chosen by my sister at random on Saturday, November 12th!

Lovin’ It, the Summer Edition

Every little bit I like to share what I am absolutely loving on. As random and weird as I am, you can bet it’s always a bit interesting around these parts. So below is a little rundown of some things I simply cannot stop loving on. So it’s summer, what’s good for summer loving? Check out below.


Maren Morris
Y’all, seriously. I am a bit late on the bandwagon with this one around Nashville as I have seen my peeps here sharing her for a bit. My word it’s so good. She’s country, which I know is so not my style. But let me just say, I cannot stop listening to her. Especially this song.

For King and Country
I know I have talked about my love for them before, but I seriously cannot stop listening to Run Wild, Live Free, Love Strong from start to finish. I have used it to write to quite a bit, and this is me in song form, a simple glimpse into my mind:

Most people don’t know that my favorite band is Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (after NEEDTOBREATHE, obviously). I have long been a Tom Petty fan and his Southern rock sound found in his side project Mudcrutch, which was his original band in the 70’s. They have a new album out called 2, and I have it in heavy rotation, all the way through. That’s the mark of a really good album, that it’s a story from start to finish. Go grab it, or stream it your favorite streaming service. I’m curating some Spotify lists these days so find me and follow along!

Movies & Television

Superhero Movie Goodness
I love a good superhero film. Frankly, I love a bad one too. I am a dork and I freely embrace that when it comes to these big action films with caped crusaders, and villains alike. Captain America: Civil War? LOVED IT. X-Men: Apocalypse? So cannot wait to see it. Did I clap at the Doctor Strange preview? Yes I did. I will geek out at Suicide Squad. Honestly we could probably scratch out Superhero up there and put Action instead. I love a good action movie, especially in the summer. Jason Bourne? Yep, because MATT DAMON y’all. Independence Day twenty years later? Why of course I will see you. This is where my girlfriends get off the bus and leave me be. Don’t get me wrong. I love a rom-com (sobbed at Me Before You screening), but I want fight scenes, big explosions and hopefully some chase scenes with sharp objects involved.

Crime Shows
I confessed some time ago that I have a penchant for crime shows. Some Saturday nights in college you could find me watching Cops. I think part of me wanted to be a cop or FBI agent growing up (I wrote to the FBI at age 8 asking for info on the academy, such a nerd). Nancy Drew was my sister in crime-fighting in my elementary school days. Harriet the Spy was my Halloween costume of choice one year. So it’s fitting that I now cannot stop watching crime-related shows. I part ways at Law & Order, I have never watched it and don’t really ever care to do so. But this summer’s biggest binge? Southern Justice. It’s Cops, in my hometown. I kid you not y’all. It’s on NatGeo channel, and my neighbor growing up has been on there (she was the officer), as well as some guys I went to high school with. It’s insane to see the places I know, roads and sites, and people that I am familiar with on national tv. It’ll give you a good laugh, and a little insight to my App-a-LATCH-an upbringing. If you missed Quantico this season, I encourage you to binge it. That’s my other good summer suggestion because y’all, so good. (It has nothing to do with the guy named Ryan in the least). Not a cop show, but Zoo is also my other summer suggestion. Being a big fan of James Patterson (hi crime novels), this show is fantastically wonderful and back for a second run this summer.

Misc. Stuff

I had an M thing going, and I couldn’t stop y’all.

Food from the Garden
So I started an urban garden this year. I have a couple of herbs going nutso (basil and oregano for daaaays) as well as some tomatoes and peppers starting to pop up. But more than anything I am loving all the stuff from the gardens whether my own or a farmers at the market. Avocados are beginning to be an obsession, along with foil-wrapped corn on the cob with just a splash of EVOO and garlic powder. Grilling peaches for ice cream? YES MA’AM! Fresh strawberries and blackberries with a simple syrup, absolutely. Even last night I whipped up a fun, and mildly decadent, banana pudding to take to a work picnic. No Nilla wafers here, this ain’t yo momma’s pudding we’re talking about. Food from a garden beckons creativity and not treating it like you do in the winter, but giving it life just as it sustains you. It’s nice to get the creative juices flowing again in the kitchen (pun intended).

Workout clothes
I am obsessed with my Danskin workout crops. And the fun shirts that make me want to work out, to run, to get up at 4:30 to get my butt to POUND class. (except this week cause migraine) They were a reward for weight loss and muscle tone, and now I want more…but I have said it’ll only happen when I hit another marker, so I go workout for a couple of hours at the end of the work day when I just don’t really wanna. It’s better than feeling like a lump sitting on your couch though y’all. Get some fun workout clothes, or shoes even, to inspire a healthy attitude.

From theme parks to state parks and national parks, I cannot quit you if you have a park in your name. Dollywood-YES! I have had a season pass for years, years. I hit up Mammoth Cave National Park already, and have a couple of other parks on the list this summer. Also, Holiday World. It’s a thing, and I will be there for my birthday. I cannot wait y’all. Can-not wait.

So what are you loving on right now? What’s something fun you are doing, reading, listening to or watching? What’s a favorite summer activity?

The Rhythm is Gonna Get You

I’m a self-diagnosed music junkie. Anyone who knows me for oh, five minutes, knows this about me. You can blame my parents somewhat for this, as they raised me on the good stuff. Taking me to shows even as a kid. They still go to shows…festivals is actually where they find themselves now. My dad has liked bluegrass before it was cool to like bluegrass. My mom opened my ears to Elvis, the Stones, the Eagles, and the Beatles at an early age. Hmm, maybe that’s why my hearing is so bad now. (I kid, sort of) I remember distinctly rocking out to Cyndi Lauper in the drive-through of McDonald’s as a kid. It was a tape…and I can remember that so vividly.

Music has seemed to mark it’s place in my life at defining times. I navigated through so many stages in appreciating it. Funnily enough, I have eclectic taste now because of it. My car presets for radio stations runs the gambit from Christian to Top 40 to Indie to Oldies. My first record? Yes, record was a 45 of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” that I played on my hand-me-down Hollie Hobbie record player. I don’t remember my first tape, but I do remember sitting by the radio almost nightly listening to the top songs of the day or request line and taping songs off of there. I distinctly recall my first cd, as embarrassing as it is to admit now, I applaud myself for going against the grain and buying a $14 Ace of Base cd. (My taste for international music was wetted there….lol)

Over the last few years, I’ve expanded and found that live music is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, my iTunes is usually open at all times while I’m at home, or I’ve got my iPod hooked up or playing Pandora from another room. Music surrounds me. I love it, I truly do. I’ve learned to appreciate local music so much in the last ten years. I remember my first Left Foot Down show at Campus Pub as a freshmen in college. Wow. That’s where I fell in love with it all. Music is an experience, not just “background noise.”

This last year I’ve seen a ton of shows…much to the detriment of bank account. That’s my Kryptonite. You say, “hey (insert band here) is coming to Knoxville/Nashville/Atlanta” I start trying to figure out if it’s feasible for me to go, then when tickets go on sale. Here’s just a small taste of what I saw this year…with a NYE show (front row) to see The Dirty Guv’nahs still to come:
Seabird….so so so worth it to see them for one song (I was working the show for The Square Room)
WinterJam, where I saw Third Day, Newsboys, Fireflight, Sidewalk Prophets, and Revive
NEEDTOBREATHE (times 3) yes I saw them three times this year, and each show only trumped the last
Mat Kearney and Ingrid Michaelson great show, great vibe on the front row
Will Hoge (times 2) He opened for NTB, then I saw him again in June…would have been three if not for my pesky gallbladder attack the day of his show in October
Chris Tomlin and Tobymac wow, there aren’t words for how stinkin’ great this was to see
Brandon Heath and Jars of Clay another great show to see…

There’s already one show that I’ve got on my “must see” for next year…but I’ll refrain from spoiling that surprise. I hope you get out and enjoy some music today. It’s worth it.