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Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

Today I celebrated my 25th Christmas, and what a great day it was! In looking back over those past 25 holidays, I tried to pick out what I remember most from those days and what helped to make Christmas my favorite holiday. I came to the conclusion that the answer was much what the answer would be if I asked the question, "what made today so special?" There are a few answers I could share, one talking about the "reason for the season" and the birthday we are celebrating on December the 25th, however I am going to save the more spiritual thoughts for another day.

Today the answer to that question is going to lie in 3 words: family, friends, and music. These three things have always been a part of my life and have always made holidays (and most every other day) special. 

I had the opportunity to sing with my family in a Christmas Eve concert my family does every year. This year I sang a song my Dad has written, however I wanted to share with you the song I sang last year. The song is called, "Red, White, and Blue Christmas" written by some good friends of mine in Nashville. It focusses on our military and their sacrifice, especially at Christmas time. Click on the link below to get to the song.

"Red, White, and Blue Christmas"
Written By: Brad Hull and Tom Worth

Just got home from midnight mass, we sang "Silent Night" with candles burning
Father Ryan said a prayer, for you and all those over there serving
The kids have hung up stockings, they're in bed, but still awake
They're getting all they asked for, wish I could say the same

Oh we got Drew a BB Gun, you know he's always wanted one
I'm not sure who will show him how to use it
And I hear good men are losing lives, but that's not the only sacrifice
It's moments like tonight that you're missing 
On this red, white, and blue Christmas

Now's the time that you and I would exchange our gifts and kisses by the fire
But Jimmy Stewart in black and white is the only thing that breaks the night time silence
And as I write this letter, it's starting to snow outside
We've both got our battles, and I'm fighting mine tonight

Oh we got Kiley a kitchen set, but it's not put together yet
If you were here, it'd only take two minutes
And I hear good men are losing lives, but that's not the only sacrifice 
It's moments like tonight that you're missing 
On thie red, white, and blue Christmas

Now I know that I should wrap this up
Just know that we miss you so much
But I'll sign off for now, with hugs and kisses
On this red, white and blue Chirstmas

Have a red, white and blue Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Song!

This post is going to be short and sweet! 

One thing I love about living in Nashville is the opportunity I have to meet and work with amazing singers, songwriters, and musicians. I have written more songs in 2011 than the rest of my life combined, and it has been SUCH an amazing, and fun process! I have had people ask me when I am going to put out a new song ... so here it is!! I wrote this song earlier this fall with a VERY talented singer/songwriter named Nikki Fernandez. I played it at a writer's round in Nashville and thought I'd share it with the rest of y'all. I hope you like it! 

(Click on the link for the video)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last Christmas I was surprised by a present I had to wait almost a complete year to enjoy! 

A trip to the 2011 CMA awards!

I spent January-November 8th in anticipation of November 9th and FINALLY the day came! 

I started by picking a date (and why not choose the guy whose parents gave us the tickets right?!) ;) 

... and after hair, makeup, and a few dresses (for me anyway) we were ready to go! 

The first stop was somewhere I had never been 
before, but had heard a lot about ... 

After an AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS dinner of salads, vegetables, and different kinds of steak and shrimp (sounds like my kind of meal!), we headed through the BITTERLY cold streets of downtown Nashville to the Bridgestone Arena for the show!

The show was amazing, but how could it not be, when you have performers like ...
Blake Shelton
Brad Paisley
Carrie Underwood
Chris Young
Eric Church
Faith Hill
Grace Potter
Jason Aldean
Keith Urban
Kenny Chesney
Kenny Loggins
Lady Antebellum
Lionel Richie
Luke Bryan
Martina McBride
Matt Nathanson
Miranda Lambert
Natasha Bendingfield
Rascal Flatts
Sara Evans
Scotty Mcreery
Taylor Swift
The Band Perry
Thompson Square
Zac Brown Band

... what a list! And I'm sure I'm missing some! 
We had a great view of the stage, so we didn't miss a thing!!

What a GREAT night and an AWESOME concert! Definitely a night I'll remember! 
It was fun to see the show and almost equally as entertaining to see 
the mix of people who were in attendance!! 

I hope y'all were able to see it (in person, on t.v., or online), definitely worth looking up!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


"In early Autumn of 1621, the 53 surviving Pilgrims celebrated their successful harvest, as was the English custom. That 1621 celebration is remembered as the "First Thanksgiving in Plymouth."

Thanks to those Pilgrims 390 years ago, I was able to drive to Maryland, from Nashville, and celebrate Thanksgiving with my family! And what a GREAT Thanksgiving it was!

My family has many holiday traditions. The first Thanksgiving Day tradition is to watch 
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

I always love seeing the balloons that return year after year, and the new ones that are added each year!  My family also loves to see (and hear) the entertainment (esp. the musical theater snippets). 
Breakfast is a MUST while watching the parade and the Cinnamon Rolls we had this year were DELICIOUS! We also had a little additive this year ... Orange Rolls! I have always loved them and much to my surprise, my sister made a special trip so I could have them this year! What a great family I have!

After the parade, we got ready and headed to my Uncle's house for dinner. It's always nice to be around family, especially around holidays. I spent Thanksgiving with family I don't see very often, so it was an extra special Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite (I'm a sucker for Turkey I must say). Here are my favorite Thanksgiving dishes ...

First ... the Thanksgiving Turkey ... need I say more?! Probably not, but I will! I LOVE Turkey, and the best part is usually there are a bunch of left overs, which means ... turkey sandwiches for the next week!! Happy Thanksgiving!  

Next ... Corn Pudding. Corn what now?! It's the best thing! I love it (though I must say I didn't try it 'til a few years ago because I was afraid I wouldn't like it). It's a family tradition, and it's amazing! If you haven't tried it before, or have never heard of it - it's pretty easy to make ... go try it!! 

Last but CERTAINLY not least on my list of favorites is pie! I have always been a cake person myself, and the traditional pumpkin pie has never been my favorite. So what's a good alternative you ask? Chocolate. (The answer's ALWAYS chocolate)! Ok, I also like Apple, but this year ... I went for the chocolate pie, thus it made the blog! 

Though these are the dishes that made my list of favorites, I also love: Mashed Potatoes (as long as they are real potatoes. Don't get me started on the potato pearls or flakes ...), Sweet Potatoes, Green Beens, and Rolls. Who could NOT love Thanksgiving dinner?!

This Thanksgiving was especially great because we turned it into a vacation. On our list of stops, we went to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC and also made a trip up to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and where the Liberty Bell was hung and remains today). Looking back, the Thanksgiving weekend of 2011, for me, was centered around freedom and that is DEFINITELY something to be thankful for!

"Who are we not to be ..."

"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God." 
                                                                                  - Nelson Mandela