12 months in 12 pics.

well...here it is. each month of 2009 recapped with a single photo...intentionally leaving out the worst news of 09.
(props to annie for being in 7 of the 12!)

january // my roommate/best friend, brooke, gets married. seriously the most beautiful wedding i've been a part of.

february // my coworkers & i take a detour to sugar mountain while in boone, nc for an event

march // the tradition of saturday "lupper" (lunch + supper...aka a meal at 4pm) is born. (as well as our sunday night "family dinners")

april // our "i need africa" art show with amazing africa-inspired art by missy + asher wood.

may // missy and i take on the pacific northwest (seattle + portland)

june // mocha club trip to cape town, south africa.

july // julie & christine visit from GA = one of many summer trips to arrington vineyards.

august // trip to visit the chicago girls (who are nashville girls starting tomorrow!!!)

september // labor day wknd beach trip to seagrove, florida.

october // college roomie reunion in madison, wisconsin

november // fulfill dream of seeing the macy's thanksgiving day parade in nyc.

december // celebrate turning 28 with some of my favorite people.



tuesday tunes - top 9 of 09.

as the last tuesday of 2009, i thought it was appropriate to give you my top 9 songs of the year...

(note that i'm going with popularity here, as in these have all been top songs on itunes... not i'm-cool-because-i-only-like-indie-music-sorry-you've-never-heard-of-these-songs-or-artists... so no judgement, k? k.)

1. party in usa // miley cyrus. you can't tell me you don't get so excited when this comes on the radio..or a dance floor. of course we love yelling the line "this definitely is not a nashville party" as loud as we can.

2. forever // chris brown. even before the infamous youtube video, i loved using this song in my spin classes and you may or may not have found me blasting it in my car.

3. use somebody // kings of leon. there's something crazy about this song that i just can't get sick of it. keep...pressing...repeat...

4. already gone // kelly clarkson. i fell in love with this one when it was the "exit song" on this summer's edition of so you think you can dance.

5. boom boom pow // black eyed peas. as much as i can't stand fergie, when she's with the peas, something just clicks. another spin class favorite.

6. sweet dreams // beyonce. this whole album is killer. and yes, this is yet another one i love for my spin classes. you can't not love it.

7. love story // taylor swift. oh, taylor...how many #1's can one 19-year-old have? this one was definitely one of my favs, though -- i mean, how great is the video?

8. fireflies // owl city. though they do sound a lot like a postal service knock-off...i have to admit that i like this song. sorry 'bout it.

9. rock & roll // eric hutchinson. how catchy is this song? nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah nah...

so there you have it...the top 9 from 09.

now, on another note...who's with me to say "oh-ten"?? just try it...you'll like it.


top 10 shows of the decade.

following in the steps of david, i thought i'd list my top 10 shows of the decade, too. so, in no particular order, here are 10 of the best live shows i have seen in the past 10 years...

1. jump, little children with the charleston symphony orchestra // charleston, sc // october 2005. -- once i saw these guys live back in college, i couldn't get enough and they became my all-time favorite band. for this show, they composed all of their songs with the symphony orchestra, which was truly magical. not to mention it was one of their last shows before the band split up ((tear)).

2. imogen heap at the tabernacle // atlanta, ga // november 2006. -- imogen is an amazing performer, and this show has been at the top of my list ever since. no words would suffice.

jess and i are in anticipation for imogen to go on!

3. nickel creek at the georgia theater // athens, ga // may 2003. -- it was hard to choose among seeing them at the fox in atlanta or their farewell concerts at the ryman in nashville, but seeing these guys at the georgia theater back in the early days is just classic.

4. the swell season at the ryman // nashville, tn // september 2008. -- seeing them live after watching once over and over was so surreal. and you really can't beat the ryman.

5. john mayer at eddies attic // atlanta, ga // december 2005. -- this string of shows for 3 nights is unmatchable. all of his songs to date. in an intimate listening room. yes, please. (though seeing him 2 nights in a row at chastain in 2006 is a close second). oh yah, and eddie's attic is probably my favorite venue ever.
(and yes, i have one of these guitar picks!)

6. dave matthews + tim reynolds at appalachian state university // boone, nc // march 2003. -- though the highlight of my dave days were in high school and early college, i did always want to see dave & tim play together. hence, a road trip to north carolina.
here's "christmas song" from that show:

7. matt wertz + mat kearney at the loft // atlanta, ga // april 2006 -- now, i do love matt & mat...but they probably wouldn't make this list on their own. but this happens to also be the 1st show i ever worked for mocha club, so this show is super special. who would have thought that 3 years later i'd be living in nashville working full-time for them, with a few trips to africa already under my belt? crazy.

working the MC table w/ my friend aynsley

8. mute math at the 40watt // athens, ga // march 2006. -- as i've mentioned before, these guys put on a killer live show. and i can't imagine a better venue to see them in than the 40watt. so fun.

9. copeland at the masquerade // atlanta, ga // december 2006. -- while the masquerade is definitely not one of my favorite venues, and i was surrounded by a bunch of emo kids, i was super excited to finally see copeland play. and they did not disappoint.

10. keith urban + kenny chesney at lp field // nashville, tn // july 2008. -- though i've really outgrown the big arena concerts, a big country show under the summer sky in nashville is priceless. and oh yah -- we had free front row club-level seats. not too shabby.
(note - i actually could have done w/o kenny and had all keith...)

yee-haw, y'all!


merry christmas 2009.

"Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and His name shall be called Emmanuel"

(Isaiah 7:14)

emmanuel = God [is] with us ...consists of 2 hebrew words:
(El, meaning "God") and עִמָּנו (Immānū, meaning "with us")

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!


tuesday tunes - john mayer

so, it's no secret that i love me some john mayer. he was bound to be a tuesday tune sooner or later! (i mean, i was a star in his first music video, afterall...). since my first show at eddie's attic back in 2000, i was obsessed (literally) with his music. when john had his first magazine article write-up in interview magazine, i wrote in a letter to the editor that got published. i was one of the first members of his fan club -- "local 83" (though i couldn't justify paying for it after 1 year). i was at the show in birmingham when any given thursday was filmed in 2002 and i even scored tickets to all 3 nights when he came back to play eddie's in 2005.

i really loved his early stuff off the inside wants out ep...like "love soon" and "my stupid mouth"... then room for squares brought greats like "3x5" and "city love". and of course the unreleased gems like "man on the side" and "sucker" and "covered in rain". but i honestly could have done without the 3rd album, heavier things. and while i did go see them live and i really tried to like them, i couldn't get into the john mayer trio. then john's 4th album, continuum, was ok...but i really only loved a couple songs ("stop this train" and "in repair"). but last year's where the light is live cd gave me hope that all was not lost. my ringtone has even been john's version of "free fallin" from that album for the last year.

and now.... battle studies. i was nervous to buy this new album, because i didn't want to be disappointed. but i actually like it...a lot. (even the duet with taylor swift!!) each listen grows on me more and more.

though i did have to stop following him on twitter (he tweets way to much) my love for john has been re-kindled. but i promise this time i won't be obsessed. :)

february 2002

"back to you, it always comes around, back to you.
i tried to forget you, tried to stay away, but it's too late..."



i went to see the new movie invictus this weekend with some of my friends that i went to cape town with this past summer. if you're not familiar with the film, here's the synopsis from the website:
From director Clint Eastwood, “Invictus” tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country.
Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.
it was so neat to see shots of the the beautiful places and people of south africa that we had spent time with just 6 months ago...of course my favorite was the scene where the rugby team goes to one of the townships to do a clinic with the kids...so precious. and wow, morgan freeman does an incredible job playing nelson mandela. not to mention the messages of peace, unity, forgiveness, and reconciliation in the film are truly amazing,

but the words from the poem "invictus" (by william ernest henley) that mandela quotes to francois in the movie as "inspiration" require a second look. it's the same poem mandela says helped him survive the 27 years he was in prison on robin island. it's just crazy to me that those words were able to give him that much hope. i, too, often think i'm the master and captain of my own life...but then realize the burden that is far too great for me to handle. a sister poem was written to change the point of view towards hope in Christ. see the 2 side by side and the difference between a self-dependency and a dependency on the Lord...

William Ernest Henley

Dorothea Day

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Out of the night that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be
For Christ the conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under that rule which men call chance
My head with joy is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears
That life with Him! And His the aid,
Despite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.

I have no fear, though strait the gate,
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate,
Christ is the Captain of my soul.


the great garage sale giveaway.

so my friend annie has an awesome idea to have a yard sale. but instead of actually selling the things we really don't need...we'd give them away. for free. for people who really do need them.

so our friends pulled together and dropped off a ton of stuff, and we put up signs at the different ministries around town that serve refugees. then we showed up at 7am and got everything ready (and i made coffee & muffins!!) and we spent the morning not only giving our stuff, but also our time and our hearts. my favorite moment was sitting down with a lady from iraq who just lost her mom...and more than she needed a gently-used scarf, she needed someone to listen to her and smile and affirm her hurting spirit.
now that's what giving's all about.

i could go on and on telling you how cool it was, and how it made me love my nashville community even more, but annie made a great video that tells the story beautifully (and yes, i'm wearing my pajamas and have on no make up...it was early, y'all, sorry 'bout it.)


tuesday tunes - one republic.

you might only know of one republic from their single "apologize" (off their debut album, dreaming out loud) ...and maybe only the remix version by timbaland. but there is so much more to this band. and their new cd, waking up, proves it.
i am seriously obsessed with this new album and cannot stop listening to it!!

not to mention singer-songwriter ryan tedder has probably written some of your other favorite pop songs (like leona lewis' "bleeding love", kelly clarkson's "already gone", jordin sparks' "battlefield", and beyonce's "halo"!!)

here's the video for "all the right moves" -- one of my favorites on the new album...


tuesday tunes - a very mocha christmas

i know it's wednesday. sorry 'bout it...it's been a busy week. oops!

so today's tuesday tune is in honor of a little christmas treat that we are giving away to all of our wonderful mocha club members. it features christmas songs from mocha club artists, recorded exclusively for members! it's a token of our appreciation for being a part of this work.
if you're already a member, just log in with your username & password at mochaclub.org, click the album cover to download instantly, and enjoy!

if you're not a member yet, it's not too late...
as long as you join this month, you can download it, too!

{some of my favorites are amy stroup's "you make the cold disappear", michael gungor band's "carol of the bells", and ernie halter's "all i want for christmas is you"}

who doesn't love free christmas music?!


tuesday tunes - glee.

i was super excited for GLEE to start last year. but, honestly, i've been a little dissapointed with the plot line. if it wasn't for these awesome musical numbers, i probably would stop watching.

glee: the music (volume 1) came out a couple of weeks ago, and i've bought a few of the songs from this season. my 2 favorites are "don't stop believin" and "gold digger". if you have even the slightest part of you that enjoys a musical number, definitely give this a listen.

"glee features an amazingly talented and diverse cast from the worlds of stage and screen and a soundtrack of hit music from past to present. each episode of the series features an eclectic selection of hits from genres spanning pop, r&b, hip-hop, country, broadway, and rock & roll..."

and here's one of my favorites scenes...no singing, just dancing. but still great :)