I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you were able to spend it with family, friends, and those you love. I thought this song would add a little humor to the end of this traditional family holiday. Hope it makes you chuckle.
Thanksgiving has always been my family’s holiday tradition. I am one of four girls and each one of us has made Thanksgiving with our side of the family the priority and it has been the tradition for probably close to 30 years. As we each got married, had kids, and have now had some of those kids get married, our group has grown … and we have still made it happen! We had 22 of us together this year … only three people missing. That is pretty amazing and I feel very blessed! I love my family – the joy, the laughter, the support, the challenges, and yes … even the drama. ❤
I posted two video versions of this song because you just have to hear Ella’s voice live … amazing. Ella Henderson is a singer/songwriter from England who appeared on X-Factor in the UK in 2012. This song was her first single and it was co-written and produced by one of my very favorites … Ryan Tedder. Does that man ever sleep?
Anyway … I just had my first trick or treaters. Watch out for ghosts tonight!
It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is from one of my all time favorite albums of all time – Tapestry by Carole King, released in 1971.
I grew up on Carole King. I was only a very young child when Tapestry was released in 1971, but in my early youth it became one of my favorite albums and it has stayed on that list. I love every song off the album and I can sing the words to all of them.
I did not know until years later that Tapestry was one of the most highly celebrated albums of all time. The album won four Grammy Awards, including the biggest awards of the year – Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Carole King also won Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Female and Record of the Year. In addition, the album is ranked #36 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. It definitely has staying power and is probably loved by even more people today than it was back then. Carole King is a music legend!
The album has been getting a lot of play time at our home after we went to see the musical, “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” on Broadway a couple of weeks ago. Wow! What an incredible show. I was not the only one who was singing along as the show progressed through Carole King’s repertoire of fabulous music. If you get a chance to see the show, I would definitely recommend it. I loved it!
This is such an incredible song and I love the powerful message. I hope that it might spark you to crank those old Carole King tunes again too.
It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is by one of my favorite groups and is the perfect song for today in China!
I am feeling very lucky to get to be with my Princessin China, and today we are off to see the jewel of China.
We are heading out to hike the Great Wall of China. We are not going to the refurbished, tourist section of the wall, but instead we have hired a guide to take us out climbing and hiking in a much more rugged area. I did a lot of research and our guide came highly recommended by many people who I spoke with from all over the world. (That, in itself, was fun! I reached out to people from all over the world regarding a shared experience and we instantly connected. Friends are everywhere!) Anyway, this sounds like the perfect adventure for me and my daughter. I am so excited and imagine I will have some great pictures to share.
Today’s song just resonated with me for an adventure day in China. I am so excited to be here and the video is an awesome look into the romance and allure of China. “Princess of China” is from Coldplay’s 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto. We saw Coldplay in concert following this album. It was the second time the entire family went to see Coldplay in concert – the first time was at Wembley Stadium in London in 2009 and the second time was in Dallas in 2012 – and so Coldplay is always at the top of my list as a family favorite.
Off to conquer the wall and marvel at a wonder of the world. I am feeling blessed today.
That is how long a direct flight takes from New York to Beijing, China. I know this because I am on that flight right now. For weeks I have been panicking about sitting on a plane for 14 hours. I am not very good at sitting. I bought me some Sleep Well and in an hour or so I plan to attempt sleeping so that I can try to be right ready to jump onto China time. That is probably wishful thinking since they are 13 hours ahead of my time, meaning that I should already be asleep now as it is 3:30 am tomorrow there right now. I know … confusing! I might as well admit to myself now that there is a very good chance I will not be posting on Wednesday. 🙂
I am so excited to visit China. I have never been to China and there are so many things I am looking forward to seeing, but mostly I am excited to see my daughter! ❤ She has now been in China for 10 weeks and still has another 6 1/2 weeks to go. I can’t wait to hear how much her Chinese language skills have improved and it will be so exciting to see China through her eyes, as well as my own. We will be spending a few days in Beijing, which will be new for her, and then I will accompany her back to Shanghai.
I am posting a new song today by Tristan Prettyman. This song is from her new album, Back to Home, which was just released last week on October 27. I have been a fan of Tristan Prettyman’s music for many years. She released her first album back in 2005. I think her music is so pure, raw, honest, and soulful all at the same time. Sometimes it feels light and breezy, reminiscent of her California surfing background, and other times it is just an incredibly deep lyrical song backed by great music. This album has a much different sound than her older music, but I love it! Today’s song is definitely my very favorite from the new album.
I really connected with this song – “Back To Home.” As I am sitting here on a plane off to China it struck me that I am off to find “home.” Home is not necessarily a place; I have learned that over the last 23 years through all of our moves and changes. Home is where I am with the ones I love. Home is where my heart is … and right now my heart is spread far and wide.
I was texting my son right before takeoff and I said, “I am so excited for you to come back home!” He responded, “In like 2 weeks?” I obviously think we disagreed on how close it seemed. 😉 I am just so excited to have him come home and I guess as I am off to visit one piece of my heart, I started anticipating having another piece return back home. I know that home will always be there. Life is a journey and my little family is certainly having a journey, but I find a lot of solace in the line of this song that says,
“All of these roads lead us back to home.”
No YouTube videos for any songs on this new album yet, so I have attached a recording of the song from SoundCloud. I hope you enjoy this new music as much as I have.
Well, I am sorry, but I am jumping on the Taylor Swift bandwagon with today’s song. I honestly have been singing this song since the first time I heard the sneak preview on October 20 from Ryan Seacrest. I love the sound (very 80s) and it just seemed like the perfect theme song for my current life adventure.
Almost a month ago we got an apartment in NYC. As you know, we had some major life changes over the past few months and quite unexpectedly my husband and I became empty-nesters a couple of years earlier than anticipated. (We keep saying that we are either doing something very right … or something very wrong. My daughter left home at 16 to attend college, and then my son left home at 15 to attend a golf boarding school. Holy cow!) Anyway, I realized that the sudden change was going to be more than I could stomach. I just could not imagine myself sitting out in our big, quiet home all by myself. Moving into the city seemed like the perfect plan for a new adventure.
The minute I saw our apartment, I knew it was where I wanted to be. I love the view and I love being in the thick of the action.
I love New York City! I love the energy, I love the diversity, I love the chaos, I love the excitement, and, of course, I love the music. I guess that I would have to say I understand the thrill of the city that this song exudes.
I went to visit my son for his 16th birthday a few days before we were scheduled to move into the apartment and his first comment to me was, “Well, it sure didn’t take you long to replace me!” Ouch! Obviously he understood my reason for heading into the city was in part due to the loss of having him at home. He wasn’t far off, but as it turns out, it has been much more than that. My husband and I have been having a fabulous time. We are certainly enjoying this new adventure together even more than we thought we would. We still have not exactly figured out the logistics of our life, but I am sure that will come. 😉
I have not been very good at keeping up with my blog over the last few weeks. Funny how life gets in the way of things.
Amazingly, I have been at this blog now for an entire year! It has been such an interesting adventure. What I thought would be an easy undertaking was not always quite as easy as I thought it would be. Sometimes it became overwhelming and I have to admit I avoided it, but mostly it has been a fun experiment, a great way to share and explore my passion, and an incredible learning experience. As I evaluate the blogging experience of the last year, I can now begin to set new goals and work on improving.
Thank you for sharing this adventure with me. I hope that you have enjoyed the ride as much as I have, and I appreciate you hanging in there with me. New things are on the horizon. I can’t promise how quickly they will come, but they are coming … just as soon as I get this thing called life under control. 🙂 Speaking of which … so much to share with you in my next blog posts.
I am sharing a fabulous song with you today. It is one that I have liked for a long time from Oklahoma native Samantha Crain‘s 2013 album, Kid Face. I love her voice and her natural sound with that guitar. The words to this song are perfect!
Last weekend I made a very spontaneous decision after learning that my husband’s flight would be coming in late. I grabbed my purse and walked down the street to see a concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. It is a renowned venue in the city and one that I had not been to yet. A show was playing there that night that I had wanted to see and so I was glad that I got the opportunity. Samantha Crain was the opening act and she was delightful. She is a small person and it was just her and her guitar on that huge stage; however, she was able to warm up that audience with her humorous stories, great songs, and fabulous music. Her music was captivating and enjoyable. I loved hearing the songs that I already knew and I heard many new ones that I can’t wait to have released. Enjoy.
With just a few minutes to post tonight, I wanted to give you a great song to help start off your weekend. This is a playful, cool song with a really fun beat.
This song is by Charli XCX (Charlotte Emma Aitchison), an English singer-songwriter who started writing songs at the age of 14. This song is on The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack – which, by the way, is an amazing soundtrack with an incredible list of songs and artists. (I have not yet seen the movie, but I absolutely loved the book.)
My son was playing the soundtrack earlier this week while we were driving in the car and this song just became one of my very favorites. I’m sure this “Boom Clap” will be the sound in my ears when my alarm goes off at 4am tomorrow morning! Yikes!
I love the young English singer-songwriter, Birdy. I have been following her for several years now and just find her to be an incredible, young (only 18 years old!), unique talent.
Birdy’s real name is Jasmine van den Bogaerde, but she uses the nickname Birdy that was given to her by her parents when she was just a baby. They began calling her Birdy because she used to open her mouth like a baby bird when she was being fed, and the nickname just stuck. Birdy began playing the piano at age 5 and writing her own music at age 7. Her mother is a concert pianist and music just seemed to come naturally.
Birdy was only 15 years old when she released her self-titled, debut album, Birdy, in 2011. The album was mostly covers, but it did include one original song. The album received rave reviews and went to the top of the charts in many countries. Her first single was a cover of Bon Iver‘s “Skinny Love” which was a remarkable interpretation of the song and became an instant hit. I actually find Birdy’s version much more captivating than the original.
Eighteen months later, at the age of 17, Birdy released a new album, Fire Within, with some amazing original songs. The album was just released in North America a few weeks ago on June 3, but was released in the UK in September of 2013. I bought the song on my UK iTunes account back in September and shared this song as my daughter’s Song of the Day back on September 30, 2013. Because the album is brand new, I wanted to share the song with you on this page today because I think it is an incredible song. I absolutely LOVE the lyrics to this song, and the music is mesmerizing. I also have to say that the live rendition on the YouTube video below is fabulous and you shouldn’t miss it!
Birdy has had a pretty amazing year. She received a nomination for British Female Solo Artist at the 2014 Brit Awards, and she just finished touring in the US as the opener for Christina Perri. I was not able to get to one of the shows this time around, but I am hoping to catch her when she returns … and I am certain that she will return! I think there is much more to come from the talented young artist and I look forward to hearing more new music from her. Speaking of new music … she is featured in three songs on the new The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. And speaking of music … that is one amazing soundtrack!
I feel so blessed today as we celebrate Father’s Day. I have the most incredible father, and I have an amazing husband who is a wonderful father to our children. As far as Father’s Day goes … I have a lot to celebrate.
My dad has always been my biggest fan. He always believed that I could be anything I wanted to become and he has supported me in all my crazy endeavors. I have so many memories of my dad that make me smile. Probably one of the most touching memories was on my wedding day. I remember being at the altar and glancing over at my dad (who by the way was sick as a dog!) and seeing him look at me with tears rolling down his face. It was at that moment that I realized how difficult it is to be a father and realize you are letting go of your little girl.
My dad was the father of four girls and we all thought he could do anything. He lived on a pedestal so high that it must have been overwhelming sometimes. Another favorite memory is when we had a puppy die and my sister said, “Don’t worry … dad will fix it when he gets home.” We honestly believed my dad could fix anything and make it all better. My dad can fix just about anything – maybe not a dead dog – but just about everything else. He can build, repair, and create anything.
When I was in charge of house decorations for my sorority during Greek Week one year in college, I told him that what I really wanted to create were two 30-foot wine glasses that could move and clink each other. I just remember my dad looking at me and saying, “30 feet?! Do you know how tall 30 feet is?” Obviously I didn’t, but my dad figured out a way to make two 15-foot wine glasses from wood. I don’t even know how he did it, but he did – and they even moved back and forth to clink! Needless to say, we won the award for best House Decorations that year thanks to my dad. He has always been able to do things like that. Even today, if any of us need something fixed, created or figured out, my dad is the man to call.
My dad turns 80 years old this summer! He still is as sharp as a tack and moves like a man half his age. I admire him so much! My dad taught me about hard work, integrity, and commitment to family. His family means everything to him and has always come first. He is opinionated, smart, funny, sarcastic, genuine, and selfless. He has been such an incredible example to me and I love him more than I could ever express.
Then I have my husband. He is such an amazing father to our two kids. He, like my dad, considers his little family the most important thing in his life and he would do anything for his children. He just beams with pride about both of his kids. He loves to spend time with them and is their biggest fan. I know how lucky my two children are to have him as their father and I feel very lucky to have him be my partner in parenthood. I love him and the great example of love, strength, and support he is for my kids.
This song today is from Sarah McLachlan’s new album, Shine On and is a tribute to her father. The album, which is her seventh full length album, was released just last month in May 2014. Sarah McLachlan is from Canada and made her debut in 1988. She is an incredibly talented artist with a beautifully unique voice and incredible staying power. I love this song and the emotion that is expressed when she sings it.