i've discovered another manifesto... (here's part one).
i started this last year with the top 9 of 09, so i'm going to continue with my TOP POP songs of this year...
the TOP 10 of OH-TEN!
(again, these are POP songs, so no judging...)
1. "firework" // katy perry. yes, most of katy perry's songs are trash. but this song is actually good. and it shows off that she can really sing! tell me you don't want to dance to this song in your car when it comes on the radio.
2. "cooler than me" // mike posner. it was a tie between this song and his new one "please don't go"... this recent duke grad is doing pretty well for himself. (and check out this jazzy cover from the sing off!)
3. "hey soul sister" // train. train had been in hiding for a couple of years before this most recent album (and i honestly haven't really missed them) - but this song is super catchy and reminds me of the train from my high school days.
4. "dj got us fallin in love" // usher. oh, usher. he just keeps getting better. this song is definitely a favorite for my spin classes (and my car stereo).
5. "just the way you are" // bruno mars. bruno arrived on the pop scene this year & has taken over. i love this song - and his whole album is stellar.
6. "the only exception" // paramore. hayley william's softer side.
7. "dynamite" // taio cruz. a dance floor definite. this one's got a beat you can't deny.
8. "the time (dirty bit)" // black eyed peas. this is the first single off their brand new album, and i love it. a remix of an old classic (dirty dancing, anyone?)
9. "only girl (in the world)" // rihanna. my favorite rihanna song to date (and i'm a fan of most of them). this is a great one for the gym... i don't even like to run but when that chorus kicks in, it makes me wanna sprint!
10. "somebody to love" // justin bieber. i admit it. i have bieber fever. this song is so. good. and it takes the cake as my favorite of the year...
each month of 2010 recapped in a single photo...
january // the nashville blizzard - aka the city shut-down & everybody was on house arrest for a few days.
(side note - this is my only picture from january... must not have been a very exciting month!)
february // trip to vail, colorado to visit betsy! snowboarding in some of the best powder ever.
march // one of my best friends, julie, gets married in athens, georgia.
april // when our friend hillary wanted to go to gatlinburg for her birthday weekend-of-fun, we of course said YES! the cherry on top? dollywood.
may // a trip to visit autumn in los angeles was the perfect way to kick off summer. here we are hiking in the pacific palisades.
june // riding bikes (and getting lost) in pitlochery, scotland... uk 2k10 trip!
july // midtown trip to gulu, uganda - this is on top of murchison falls.
august // allie's west virginia wedding - a beautiful story of love & redemption.
september // beach weekend with mom! reading down by the ocean = one of my favorite things ever.
october // fashionABLE launches!! definitely sums up this month (and the next 2) :)
november // weekend trip with the college girlfriends to boston - a wicked good time for sure.
december // what is december without christmas parties? we of course found the photo booth.
tonight is christmas eve. the next 24 hours will hold a variety of emotions for all of us. there will be moments of pure joy, laughter, gifts, and love. but, if your family is anything like mine, there will also be moments that are hard... arguments, disagreements, and disappointment.
it's not a secret that the holidays are work. but, i'm trying to see it as a labor of love.
one of my favorite christmas traditions is andrew peterson's behold the lamb of god- specifically the song "labor of love"... it paints such a realistic picture of the birth of Jesus. and reminds us that it wasn't easy for mary, either. there was pain, there were tears. but there was also grace and beauty.
through mary's hard work, the King was birthed into our story that night. and He continues to enter into our story every day. His presence is with us. He is Emmanuel - God with us.
here are the lyrics (and you can listen & see jill phillips sing it here)...
it was not a silent night, there was blood on the ground
you could hear a woman cry, in the alleyways that night
on the streets of david's town
and the stable was not clean, and the cobblestones were cold
and little mary full of grace, with the tears upon her face
had no mother's hand to hold
it was a labor of pain, it was a cold sky above
but for the girl on the ground in the dark, with every beat of her beautiful heart
it was a labor of love
noble joseph at her side, callused hands and weary eyes
there were no midwives to be found, in the streets of david's town
in the middle of the night
so he held her and he prayed, shafts of moonlight on his face
but the baby in her womb, He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith, that could make the mountains move
it was a labor of pain, it was a cold sky above
but for the girl on the ground in the dark, with every beat of her beautiful heart
it was a labor of love
for little mary full of grace, with the tears upon her face
it was a labor of love
well, another year, another birthday.
and honestly? i wasn't really looking forward to yesterday. i haven't felt much like myself lately, and all of my energy has been far beyond completely spent at work. so when my friends asked what i wanted to do for the big two-nine, i didn't even want to go there.
but, being the amazing friends that they are, they took matters into their own hands and planned a beautiful celebration...
the day starts with me waking up to constant alerts on facebook, tweets & texts - all wishing me a wonderful day (one of the cool things about technology - it's almost impossible to forget birthdays!)
i wander out of my room and encounter the smell of homemade banana bread that my sweet roommate, sarah, made- complete with a candle and a note. i work from home for a little bit in my pajamas (which always makes work better), and then venture down to the office late in the morning. after dropping off some things, and receiving birthday greetings from all of my fantastic coworkers, i head to a coffee shop to work/read (which was a lot of working, and not much reading... oh well, i attempted).
and then i get treated to a fun lunch with a couple of great friends.
i hit the gym post-lunch & then get ready, because all i know is i'm getting picked up at 4:45, and i can't be tardy for my party...
annie picks me up and takes me back to her & laura's house, where my precious girlfriends continue to flow through the doors. there's a spread of my favorite foods, wine, and of course- a cookie cake. there were even some gorgeous flowers from betsy and meredith, two of my nash besties who have both moved away.
after mingling and munching, we gather in the living room. annie and laura asked all the girls to bring an ornament that reminds them of me - something to refresh & encourage me. as i opened each gift, the giver offered words of praise and truth. and yes, i cried. (duh). it was a tender moment where the Lord reminded me just how blessed i am with these women who know me deep and love me well... and how quickly i can forget that.
next up, 10 of us traveled to a swanky asian place for dinner (suzy wong's house of yum...and it was yummy.) as any great meal should be, we left with full hearts and full bellies.
phase three of the evening was heading to a local venue to catch a couple of awesome dudes perform... andrew ripp (you remember him) and tyler bryant. they were stellar, per usual, and the room was packed with our friends, singing & dancing along.
then, to my surprise, we kept the party going at whisky kitchen down the street.
more friends. more laughs. more good times.
i went to bed full of gratitude and in awe of a God that meets us right where we are. when i am in a place where my deepest fear is being alone, God provides friends who go above and beyond to remind me how loved i am.. when i don't have the energy to plan or execute one more thing, He gives me the gift of just being a participant, and receiving the intentionality of my community.
so here's to a year of believing the truth of who God is and who He says we are.
here's to 29.
well, i missed last week's friday flicks. and it's 11pm on friday and i almost missed today's. so, there's a little insight into how hectic my life has been!
but, never fear. your friday flicks is here.
i'm sure a lot of you have already seen this, as it was quite the hot youtube video a few weeks back. but if you have not (or just want to watch it again) -- here's a flash mob (i still really want to do one some day!) of the hallelujah chorus in a mall food court. this hit home for me because for years growing up, at this time every year, i myself was singing the hallelujah chorus every night as a part of the atlanta symphony's christmas concerts. ...brought back the memories :)
this week's tuesday tune is audrey assad.
to keep in line with my holiday tunes this month, first i give you audrey's christmas song - "winter snow" (that's chris tomlin singing with her):
but, what i really love is audrey's entire full-length album, the house you're building.i have been playing it on repeat and just can't get enough. i even said the other day that i feel like her song lyrics are just ripped right out of my journal. they're so raw and genuine and full of every emotion we experience, cries of joy and pain and confusion and wonder. and the melodies are beautiful and unique. and did i mention she has the voice of an angel?
seriously - listen to these songs... my favorites from this album: "carry me", "restless", "show me", & "known". (and it was hard to just pick 4!)
i really do strongly suggest you head over to itunes and give the whole album a listen... i promise you'll get these charmingly melancholy songs stuck in your head!
so, part one of "story stuff" was about having a good editor.
part two (once again, a stolen idea from don): create memorable scenes.
i just love this idea, and it's really what a million miles was all about... how we won't remember the times where we just sat on the sidelines and watched other people live out a great adventure... but what we'll remember are the times we engaged with the people and world around us, when we stepped out of our comfort zone, when we took a chance on someone or something and participated in the extraordinary.
trust me, i know that it's so easy to get stuck in the rut of the normalcy of a day-to-day schedule of work:eat:sleep - maybe with some gym or tv or time with friends thrown in here and there. i am the first to admit that i am guilty of craving the comfortable and get scared of breaking up my routine. but then i remember the scenes i've had a role in that give me the most joy. when i've fought fears and practicalities and not just traveled on the path of least resistance- those are the ones i remember.
and i want the Story God is writing in my life to be one i remember. filled with art and adventure; risk and relationship. i want to see the beauty of the unordinary, the thrill of the unknown.
but to really live in those scenes, it takes some conscious decisions. it means choosing to trust uncertainty and a God who walks with us every step. it means acting more carefree than careful. and i think it means not doing it alone- every truly memorable scene i've had has been a shared experience.
so as you think about your story, what are the scenes you imagine living in? where do you want to go? what dreams do you want to chase? what relationships do you want to pursue? ask God to let you play a role in a Great adventure...a memorable life.
we interrupt this regularly-scheduled-tuesday-tunes to remind you that ANNIE'S BOOK COMES OUT TODAY!! if you didn't get the package i told you about yesterday - head over to amazon to order one today! and spread the word to every teen girl you know :)
ok, so still keeping with the christmas tunes... next up:
hotel cafe's winter songs - "a compilation of both original recordings as well as classic holiday tracks sung by a lineup of female singer-songwriters..." 2008 was dubbed "the year of the female singer-songwriter" - and this album was the cherry on top.
i've been obsessed quite a while with the title track, "winter songs" - co-written & recorded by ingrid michaelson & sara bareilles (two of my favs)... but there are bunch of other great songs on the album, too. there are a few good classics, but i particularly love the originals, like "mistletoe" by colbie caillat, "the heartache can wait" by brandi carlile, and lenka's "all my bells are ringing".
it's definitely a festive album to add to your christmas collection!
the actual video for "winter song" is precious, so check it out. but here's a behind-the-scenes video of the song...
ok, guys. i have a few gift ideas for you. and you can purchase all of these right here on the ol' world wide web... ready?
first, fashionABLE scarves. i've told you once, i've told you twice - these beauties create sustainable business for women in africa and are just really cool. done and done.
second, the mocha club store is having a "crazy christmas sale" this week - everything is 50% off! yah, i told you... crazy. so go grab you some gifts that give twice!
third, the one i'm most excited about... (drumroll,
please) annie's book from head to foot comes out tomorrow! if you have any teen or college ladies in your life, i suggest you grab them a copy. can i just say it again? annie.is.a.published.author. (squeals of joy!!!) i've had the pleasure of reading through from head to foot and it is so beautifully and candidly written - you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love it.
i guarantee it.
i've read & enjoyed all of donald miller's books in the past (he's best known for blue like jazz), so i was pretty confident that i'd enjoy his latest, a million miles in a thousand years (see a quick video of don talking about a million miles) - but i had no idea how much i would really love it. it came out this time last year, but i hate hype (i'm what some-might-call "stubborn") and didn't want to read it while every other person in nashville was reading it, so i waited it out. i really wanted to wait for paperback (something about hardback books is annoying to me), but they pushed back the paper release, so i decided i'd go ahead and give-in and start it.
and y'all, i finished it in under two weeks- which is saying a lot considering how crazy my schedule has been this last month.
i think what don really wants is for every reader to walk away from the book asking themselves "what kind of a story am i living?". i just love the idea of thinking of our lives as a great story. and yes, ultimately God is the author of it all, but we definitely have a role in living it out to the fullest.
i'm going to break down my thoughts on story into a couple posts, because i just think this stuff is too good (and this would be super long)...
so, here's part one: find good editors.
from what (little) i know about writing a story, i do know that you need a good editor. take my friend annie, and her new book coming out this week (so exciting - more on this in a couple days!) - she has probably read that thing a hundred times, to the point that she almost becomes blind to any errors or typos. so, enter: adria (you remember - my old roomie). adria is a very talented editor and was able to offer a fresh pair of eyes, and the honesty to give correction and direction where annie just couldn't see it. could annie's book have told a story without adria entering into it? sure- the beautiful content and characters existed before she ever circled a typo. but now the story can be told in a far grander way, without the distraction of run-on-sentences and font flaws.
and it's the same with the story of our lives. we can have every intention of appearing polished and error-free, but there will undoubtedly be things that we are blind to- those weaknesses that we just can't see. and sadly, it's those defects that scream the loudest. so even the most beautiful story can be overshadowed by the mess.
don talks about this concept on his blog, too - how we need people around us to point out little character flaws and sincerely want to help us grow in our weaknesses.
it isn't always pretty, and usually very humbling, but i'll choose a
editor friend who can be honest with me and love me enough to speak truth even if it hurts over a warm-fuzzy friend any day.
so as you ask yourself what kind of a story you're living... consider how much grander it could be with a few honest
editors friends by your side.
so - i started this series and then kinda forgot about it. #oops.
i know, i know... "credit card terminal" doesn't sound very fun, but prepare to be amazed...
so, we all know that fashionABLE scarves rule my life these days (in a good way). one of the things we've been doing is selling them at events and trunk shows. we knew we'd do a lot more sales if we could take credit cards, and so the research began.
and of course, there's an app for that: inner fence's credit card terminal.
as long as you have an authorize.net account, you can sync up your iPhone to your payment gateway, and voila! ...you can purchase a fashionABLE scarf in the palm of your hand. the app has you type in the credit card number & info, but we took it a step further & purchased a little device you attach to the bottom which scans your card, too! oh - and then after the transaction, it immediately emails you a pdf receipt.
our customers are genuinely in awe of this thing... we often hear "man, these scarves are pretty sweet, but WHOA, are you using an iPhone to charge my card? so cool!"
here's an action shot of me from an event at belmont last week...
i loved these ads last week for their 2-day sale - this lady is hilarious. (thanks to madison for pointing out the youtube page - there were a few i had missed on tv!)
my favorite: carol of the cards.
honorable mention: tip #6 (yes, there are multiple tips)