everything's right.

here's wertz's new video. it's super fun, b/c it's all my nashville friends as the extras. so where am i? sadly, i was in dallas. i got the email about the filming, but was 1000 miles away. so yah, that seriously contributed to my ATMS. they told me they'd bring a cardboard cutout of me...but alas, i see that didn't make it into the final edits... (how random would that have been?)
oh well, i'm excited it turned out awesome.


what's DOVE got to do with it?

dove (noun)
1. a bird with a heavy body, small head, and short legs (this definition just makes me laugh!)
2. a gentle, innocent person
3. an emblem of peace (think: the flood + noah's ark!)
4. a line of beauty products committed to "real beauty" (what does that even mean?!)
5. an award given to those who demonstrate exceptional talent in the gospel music industry (definition mine)

"gospel music" is such an interesting genre, with a very wide variety of stuff going on. and i'm not gonna lie -- in my opinion, a lot of it...well...sucks.

but i'm thankful there are artists out there that fall under this genre that are actually producing good music, and aren't trying to fit into some pre-determined mold.
mocha club works with a few bands in this industry that are trying to do just that. addison road (they were nominated for best new artist of the year!), sanctus real, and the michael gungor band just to name a few.
some other artists i love that would be in this genre are brooke fraser and kari jobe, two of my favorite female vocalists. even my nashville friends jars of clay just released a really good album last week.

so last thursday i got to experience this industry in all its glory, at the 40th annual awards show.
the mocha club girls got all dressed up and enjoyed our complimentary center-of-the-balcony seats... (we wish christine could have been there with us!)

some favorite moments...
- i was proud of nashville's own brandon heath ...he walked away with 3 awards - including male vocalist of the year and song of the year
- the standing ovations for steven curtis chapman after both his performance and after he won artist of the year (the last year has been so tough for the chapman family...)
- sinbad (yup, that's right) was a presenter ...his daughter is apparently in a new group called press play. crazy.
- chynna phillips (from my favorite early 90s group wilson phillips!!!) was a presenter and she has a new group?!


a million lifetimes (me, too!)

i read my friend jamie's blog and the whole time kept saying to myself, "me, too....me, too!"
she blogged about how sometimes it feels like we need a million lifetimes to do all of the things we want to do. so i'm jumping-in to that thought as well...

i've always wanted to live in a big city...like new york or boston or chicago. i want the bright city lights to glare at me out my bedroom window. i want to ride the subway to work, and then as i walk to the closest stop, i want to grab my breakfast on the street on the way in to the office, and on the way home stop in the local grocery (trader joe's!) to buy the food for dinner i'm going to cook in my tiny studio flat. i want to fall asleep to the sound of taxi cabs and sirens (yes, i know i'm weird.) i could use my advertising degree and work in a big agency.
...or i could live my dream of working on broadway. (side note: in high school, my best friend and fellow brunette lauren and i wanted to grow up and be double-cast in a show, and work every-other night...giving the other one the free time to enjoy life....well, she's currently in Wicked on broadway. ...i didn't hold up my end of the bargain.)

but i also love the idea of living in colorado. i'd have a job that would allow me to hit the slopes after work, and of course my weekends would be spent on the mountain. winters would be all snowboarding, all the time...and summers would be full of hiking and biking, camping and climbing. i'd actually need to own my SUV.

and then there's my obsession with the pacific northwest. [have you ever been there, marisa? well...no. but i just have this feeling that i'm gonna love it. i've got a trip planned to seattle + portland for mid-may, and i can't wait!] i'd have a job that would allow me to sit at a coffeeshop all day, and meet all sorts of interesting people. i'd be a short car-trip from the beach and the mountains.

and yet, my heart is in africa. i would love to spend extended time with the people we serve. i would bring a team of all of my favorite people and we'd do community in africa...away from schedules and cell phones. i'd connect deeply with my friends there, on a level that only happens when you're living life together. we'd dream and wait for the day when every child gets a chance at an education, and every person gets to drink clean water. i'd fight for justice and live for peace.

maybe i would be a world traveler. i'd love to travel atleast once a month -- to someplace new, someplace unexplored. i'd have to keep ordering new pages in my passport, because i'd have too many stamps. i'd fall in love with people from every culture, every nation. i'd keep a journal that could turn into a book about the simple joys and great lessons from each adventure.

there's the part of me that wants to own my own coffeshop. it would be in a big house, with comfy couches and little nooks to escape from the outside world. we'd host live music and art shows and book clubs. it would be a gathering place for friends new and old.

i would love to sing backup (you know, BGVs, for you industry peeps!) on all sorts of records. i love how the days turn to nights, as they're spent in the studio. i love finding the perfect harmony, and watching a song come together. i love the way music connects us, and moves my heart. i don't even have to get paid or get recognition....i just want to SING!

i'd love to plan parties, and constantly host events. i want to host my small group from church in my living room...and plan and host the inauguration ball for the president...and everything in between. i want an unlimited budget to decorate and design every last detail. an empty room is my canvas, and i love creating a home.

maybe i'd really pursue film and television. i'd start out in commercials, and slowly work my way up to primetime. preferably i'd be a host on TLC or HGTV shows like clean sweep and get organized...combining my love for the camera with my passion for organization.

and of course there's having a big family (a couple of my own + adopt from orphanges around the world). i'd follow in the footsteps of my mom, who so selflessly gave of her time to every extracurricular we did...she was on every board, volunteered for everything she could, and was the official carpool queen.

BUT. even with all of those things in my heart, i really do love living in nashville. i love my community. i love my job. i love my condo.

so i think i'll be thankful for the present, for the life i do have....right where i am.


any day now.

as usual, nashville has had SO. MUCH. GOING. ON.

work-wise, the last week has been nothing less than crazy with this event here in town...connecting, mingling, and workin' it in one of the industries that we partner in...and it will conclude with the doves tomorrow night. (i hear we've got some killer seats...and hopefully i'll get a story or 2...)

this huge marathon is here this weekend -- you know, 30,000 people run it...no big deal. it goes right through my neighborhood, so i'll vicariously run 13.1 (let alone 26.2) miles...ummmm...wait, no thanks.

[i am super bummed i'm missing this event tonight...nashville musicians + africa? duh.]

but i did get to break away last night to go see a film at the nashville film festival.
i've blogged about them before (more than once) ....nashville's TEN OUT OF TENN.
well, they created a documentary from their time out on the road, called ANY DAY NOW. and the premier last night felt like such a family affair -- all of our friends packed into a sold-out theatre, as we entered the story of these 10 local musicians on a journey to bring authentic stories, incredible music, and raw talent to life. especially knowing some of those guys personally now, it just made me proud to live here in this community, and was yet another moment to be so thankful for where i am.


8 weeks.

so...8 weeks ago today this happened.
and today? after lots (and lots) of searching...i bought the replacement.
(oh yah -- and thanks to everybody who voted!)

here's a couple shots of my new black beauty...


war dance.

i've had a copy of war dance for a while now and haven't gotten around to watching it. the film follows the stories of children in a refugee camp in northern uganda and their journey to a music competition in kampala, the capital city. the war has stolen their homes and their parents...but not their hearts or their spirits.

i've been thinking a lot about my achioli brothers and sisters i met in uganda last summer. i feel this connection in my heart with them that is unexplainable, and watching this film tonight brought me back to those faces and the stories that each one told. their stories are ones of victory, triumph, and hope...in the face of death, sorrow, and despair. i need my sweet friends to continually teach me to fight for joy and hold out for hope.

speaking of needing africa...
we had an "i need africa art show" thursday night, which was amazing to see come together. inspired by a trip to ethiopia with mocha club last summer, my talented friend missy (and her husband asher) took her photographs and cranked out some awesome art. we raised a ton of money, and our hope was for each person who came to catch a glimpse of the need for africa in their own life.
missy put up some of the art still for sale here - check it out!


it is Good.

i'm so thankful for having today off from work to rest + reflect on this weekend. and the first song that comes up on my iPod today? phil wickham's "true love" ...perfect.

here's the lyrics of the chorus:
the earth was shaking in the dark
all creation felt the Fathers broken heart
tears were filling heaven's eyes
the day that True Love died, the day that True Love died
when blood and water hit the ground
walls we couldn't move came crashing down
we were free and made alive
the day that True Love died, The day that True Love died

so, today is a GOOD friday, because of the end of that song...because it doesn't end there...Jesus is alive. He is risen. we are forgiven. we are free.
and that is so good.



wow..i've been kinda absent lately...lots of work, a wedding, and...well...winter has come back to nashville (yah, it snowed today -- what the april?)

but i thought you should know that it's official -- i'm a tv star. well...kinda.
so you remember this? i got my first gig! (gig? shoot? filming? job? not sure what they call it in the biz yet...)

best part? i had to bring 3-4 wardrobe options for "business casual". i had a minor freakout last night as i started looking in my closet, scanning for what could possibly fit into that category.
you see -- if i "dress up" for work -- that usually means i actually take a shower, and don't have on a hat and/or hoodie. business casual? you mean...professional attire? yikes.
fortunately, i had a stint last year where i worked at an after-school program at a private school and racked-up on the cardigans. they'd have to do.

so i show up this morning, they pick my wardrobe option, and get me into hair & makeup. then i enter the room with the producers. i stand on a mark, in front of a green screen, and they feed me lines as i say them into the camera.

i. loved. it. every second of it.

and i believe the words they kept using were "one take wonder". man, i was born to do attorney commercials.

sadly, they will not air in tennessee, so you nashville people won't get to experience my mad skillz. but atlanta peeps? get excited...i'm coming to a tv near you!