Fall 2016

Fall 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Places I've lived (And my favorite so far.)

It's kind of neat to catalogue this and think about the people and things that have impacted me in each of the places I have been able to live. So we will go in chronological order. 

I was born in Grand Junction, Colorado. I lived there for a few short months before my parents moved to Denver in the Summer of 1984 for my dad to work. I don't think they really wanted to move away from their families but they now had 3 kids and they needed to support us. So, I don't remember living in Junction. But I came back. 

I grew up in Broomfield, Colorado. I lived there from infancy until I was 18 and graduated from high school. I loved growing up there. So many green open spaces and parks. Looking up at the Rocky Mountains every day was a luxury I never really thought other people didn't have. I loved to be so close to Denver and all that it offered while being able to go to the mountains and visit our family in Junction with all that it offered. I loved Broomfield Days and going to my brothers football games and baseball games. I loved 4th of July breakfasts at church and I loved my friends and family. I loved playing kickball for family night and I loved watching movies with my sisters. I had my first jobs there. I benefitted from so many relationships with my adult leaders at church and teachers at school. I learned so much about who I wanted to be. I was so close with my siblings. I looked up to Jen and wanted her to like me so bad! We fought a lot at times but I only ever wanted her to think of me as her friend. That happened but not until much later. I loved going to high school with Adam. He used to be so protective and in tune with me. We were in choir together and shared a love of music. I marveled at his confidence and popularity. Not things that I excelled at at that time. He took me to a movie one night cause he could tell I had had a bad day. I love that about him. I was close with Holly and we hung out a lot in high school. We both sang and had some friends in common. We would go to activities together and had lots of talks in the car and at friends houses. I looked up to her so much for her intelligence and sense of humor and confidence. Lisa and I got super close in high school (and college). We even had a few classes together. It was so fun for me to get to know her. We worked at summer camps together. We share a love of music and we would go to movies a lot. She came with me to drop me off at college and I was so grateful to have her presence at such a transitional time. Kelli and I shared a room. We laughed a lot and we fought a lot. Mostly about how messy she was. Haha. We would do fun things together and I loved having her around. She was 10 when I moved away. 

I moved to Grand Junction for College. My college years shaped me in ways that I couldn't have imagined. I loved having some independence. I lived in the dorms for 2 years and made some amazing friends. I was very involved in church groups and in the music and communications programs at MESA. I enjoyed strengthening my relationships with my family who lived in Junction. My Unle Dan used to pick me up on Wednesday nights from the dorms and take me out to dinner. I got to know him so well. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and got to know them so much better than when I was a kid. I went home to Broomfield for the summers too. I lived with my grandparents for the last 2 years of college. Again, my relationship with them grew so much and I am forever grateful for the late night talks with grandma. Watching a movie and eating popcorn for dinner on Thursday nights with grandma while grandpa was at the Archery course. I loved listening to my grandpas stories and having him laugh at my shenanigans. They came to my concerts and recitals and were as proud as any  parents could be. Grand Junction also brought into my life the most important people. My best friend in the world, Christopher, and my husband, Matthew. We currently go home to Grand Junction where we have a lot of family still. 

Matt and I lived in Junction for 1 1/2 years before we moved to Nashville. Almost 7 years and 3 kids later we love it. We have an amazing framily! Matt's career is going really well. We love the arts and music, we love the zoo and the parks and the family atmosphere. We love downtown and we love the river and the scenery. We love the fireflies and the colors in the fall. We love the people and we love our little house. 

I have to say, my favorite place to live is Nashville. Probably because I have given birth to all of my kids there and all of our sweet family time and memories have been made there. I love it. It took a few years but I really do love it now. I am grateful for the places I have lived and the people who have shaped me. I am happy with who I am and who I continue to become and that has to do with the places and people who have been a part of my story. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Favorite time wasters

me again. Hi.

This one is pretty standard. I like cruising Facebook. I love Instagram. I like to watch marathons of Fixer Upper. I like to watch movies after my kids go to bed. I like to read occasionally. Most of my time wasters take place after my kids are in bed. I do check Facebook and insta about 3 times a day. I use both for my business as well so it's time wasting and it's work.

Someone I admire

hey everyone! Long time no type. My sisters and mom and I are doing another set of blog challenges. I hope not to get too behind. Life is a bit full at the moment but I am looking forward to an excuse to sit and think about something besides mom-ing.

I have a hard time picking just one person that I admire. There are so many people I look up to for very different reasons. I feel like there are multiple categories. Celebrity, friendship, women, men, church leaders, kids, and so many more. (I'm stalling, can you tell?)

Ok, I decided who I am going to write about.

This person is one of the most self-motivating people that I have ever met. They have built their own business from the ground up putting themselves out there and building a clientele all on their own. They work constantly. Have you guessed it yet?

It's this guy.

Yep. My husband. He never ceases to amaze me. His patience with me is astounding. His love stretches so far for me and our girls. He works constantly and is always trying to better himself. It's interesting when the person you love utilizes a specific talent and makes it work for a living supporting the family solely on his own merit. It's a unique lifestyle for sure. I wouldn't want it any other way. When we got married I knew he had goals that would take us outside of our hometown in Colorado. He has always been someone who wanted more. He is always looking ahead to the bigger and better things. I told him I could get a job anywhere and I would support him in following his goals. I am so grateful. He has taught me so much about love, unconditional love, patience, happiness, parenting, motivation and so much more. I sure love him.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My sister told me to blog, so...

I guess it has been awhile since I blogged. July is like 3 months ago. Honestly, it feels like it's been a lot longer than that. I think that has something to do with the fact that we cram so much into our daily lives that it's like we live twice as much as we actually do in time. I told her I haven't blogged because I have been a little pessimistic lately. I have been focusing a little but more on some of the negative things around me and not seeking for the positive as much as I should. It's just a phase. I am working on it. So, I'm going to give a quick family update along with a few thoughts. 

Michaela started school in August. Pre-K. She is a rockstar. She loves school. She can read. Like, she sounds words out and she reads simple sentences and books. She also is constantly asking me how to spell things and writing out little sentences on all of her drawings. She has grown a full inch since May. Her long and skinny chicken legs are just about the cutest things ever. She also gets more gorgeous every day. She is ridiculously hilarious. She likes to make songs up. Random songs about whatever is passing at the time. She will sing her own melodies or she will sing different words to the tune of songs she already knows. She loves Hello Kitty. She is always asking if we can go do "something fun." She loves to be out and active and doing stuff. I have come to the conclusion that it is an instinct to be active. We teach kids to stop moving and  our general health as a whole suffers. Kids love to move. Anyway, back to Michaela. She wants us to call her Michaela, not Miki. I love her name. I always have called her both names interchangeably. But now she tells is that we need to call her Michaela. She doesn't like to be called Miki. I thought we would be safe from this until she was like 12, but apparently that's not the case. I still slip and call her Miki a lot but she is nice about it. Seriously, I love that she already is so strong-willed. She also has this amazing evil cackle that she pulls out when she is being random. It's so hilarious it just makes us laugh. She is such a nurturing soul. She always is wanting to help take care of Lucy or me or Matt. Or everyone. She is so observant. She will talk about things that literally happened like 2 years ago. Memories from her own perspective. She will remind me of things that I have forgotten. Her mind is like a steel trap. She doesn't forget anything. Just this morning on the way to school I was like, "remember when we went to South Carolina last year?" She goes, "yes. We went to the beach. We stayed at Jerry's house. Remember he had The Little mermaid movie? I didn't like it very much but we watched it anyway." All if that was true and it was a year ago exactly. She amazes me. 

We love the Nashville Zoo!

Lucy. She is 2 now. She talks all day long. Just like her big sister, (and her mommy... But whatever.) she is so smart. She loves to play with baby dolls. Her favorite colors are "boo and geen." She loves to play sporty games. Anything with a ball makes her happy. She loves to climb and she loves to swing. She will swing for hours. She is more of a tom boy while miki is more of a girly girl. But they both really can't be completely categorized. She also loves her "parkwy" (sparkley) shoes and she likes to dress up. She likes to color and play with play doh and she LOVES Dora. She is always up for an adventure but she also loves to snuggle on the couch and read or watch a movie. She is a lot like me. And Michaela is a lot like Matt. She is sassy. She will pick on her big sister a lot more than she gets picked on. I am glad she is not the oldest. She loves to dance and sing. She sings all day long in her car seat or the house. She is my little shadow. She follows me all around everywhere. It's cute and slightly annoying at times. But I would much rather have my kids want to hang out with me than not. They both hate it when I leave and are the happiest greeting party when I get home. I love hearing their little voices yell "mommy's home!!!" And run over to give me hugs. Life is pretty awesome for them and they constantly remind me to slow down and enjoy the moments. 

Cute little buns and some snacks. 

Mommy and Lucy time while Michaela is at school is the best. 

Girl time! 

Silliness at the Zoo. 

More of her awesome personality. 

Some things I have been doing:

I run. For exercise and fun. (Weird, I know.) 

I have been doing 2-3 LuLaRoe parties and events each week. 

I ran my first ever 5K. Time: 33:51.3. I was super proud of myself. Michaela also ran the kids run that same day. 

I am now doing 10K training. 

I sing a lot. With the Nashville Belles all-female acappella group and in the Nashville Symphony Chorus. 

I have lost 14 pounds and lots of inches since June. 

I miss my family. 

I have been reading a lot lately too. 

At the movies with my friend, Becky. Rocking some LuLaRoe. 

One of my Favorite dresses. 

After the 5K! 

I model my own clothes a lot. Love this outfit. 

Date nights at home with a movie are a regular occurrence. We love after bedtime hang out time. 

Matt uses me sometimes for his demos. It's always a good time. And it's also rare which is good cause it's not my favorite thing to record vocals. 

Another date night. 

Also, my husband. He is awesome. He has been a trooper lately. Gigging late nights 4-5 times a week and also keeping up with his demanding schedule of client demos during the day at his home studio. He also has been sick for like a month. Bronchitis-like symptoms and lots of allergies. Multiple trips to the doctor, shots and antibiotics and he finally seems to be getting better. He also is doing a 30 day juice and shake cleanse/diet. And he is starting to run. Hoping we can do a 5k together in December. He is one of the most hard working and self-motivated people I know. He also continues to get better and better at his craft. He is an incredible singer. He plays the guitar like nobody's business. He is always trying to improve in his musicianship. I look up to him in so many ways. 

We are blessed. We love our life. I think the biggest thing I would wish for us is that we could be closer to our family. But we are grateful for FaceTime and social media so we can be a part of each others lives on an almost daily basis still. 

I am grateful for this time in our lives. Our kids are amazing. We love each other. We are happily busy and we also get lots of quality time together. We live in a cozy house and we love Nashville. It's a beautiful place and a dynamic city. 

We hope to add to our family sometime in the next year or so. We will see how it goes! 

Much love. 

Here is a picture of the Matte Gray Band performing at the Tin Roof on Broadway. 
Like I said, my hubs is the man. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I spent some time this afternoon with some great friends. Lots of families with lots of loud and boisterously joyous kiddos. It was chaos and it was so great. I am so happy and grateful that I am surrounded by so many fun people. 

I was watching my fellow mom-friends fill up their plates with food only to end up giving most of that food to their kids. I watched us all jump up as soon as the kids games got too loud or someone started to cry. I sat in the basement with my friend and about 7 kids while the dads and other adults that were there with no kids played games. And I realized something. Realized it again I guess. Motherhood is synonymous with service. Motherhood is service. We serve. From sunup to sundown and sundown to sunup we serve. We lose sleep. We sit up late with sick kids taking temperatures and cleaning bedding. We eat last. We eat less and than we finish leftovers. We eat macaroni and cheese for lunch that is cold on the stove. We walk around on tiptoes for 2 hours a day so we don't wake up sleeping kiddos. We get up early and fix breakfast while daddies sleep off late nights of work. 

We clean up after everyone. We do piles of laundry over and over and over again. (Sometimes, we even fold it.) We potty train. We clean up all sorts of bodily fluids and various other fun things. We rarely shower. We dress up only to get covered in peanut butter right before leaving the house by tiny fingers. 

Why do we do this? 

Love. Service. 

I never knew what it was to serve someone until I became a mom. The buck stops here. You are it. You are the one who makes decisions. Says "yes" or "no" and has to deal with the whining and crying that comes from standing our ground. 

I believe we are given a gift. When our children are born, or they join our family in any way. We are covered in a blanket of love. Heavenly Father gives us a small piece of the love that he feels for us and shares it with our children. 

So we serve. We brush their hair and teeth. We wash them and feed them. We tuck them in and sing to and snuggle them. And in return? 

They love us. They light up when we come in the room. They ask for us when we are gone. They say things like, "mommy, you are the best mommy." "Mommy, I am so glad you're my mommy." "Mommy, I love you." 

They squeeze us tightly when we pick them up and they give us sweet and sloppy kisses on the cheek. 

And one day, they will grow up. And I would like to think that they will be my best friends. The way my sisters are, I want my daughters to be. And I know it's a bumpy ride along the way. But I am so happy to be on the ride. 

I am happy to serve. I am happy to love. I am grateful to have the gift. 

Thanks to my mom. And so many moms taking such good care of their families. I am inspired by so many of you. 

We are all in this together. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I am starting to realize that I may raise my voice a teeny bit too much at the dog. I realized this when Lucy, who is almost 20 months old, started yelling randomly at her when she is doing things like walking or laying down. 

Today, I realized that I meant to put the pants I am wearing in the wash last night. I realized this when I wiped a little bit of Lucy's snot on my pant leg earlier and remembered doing this about 4 times yesterday. That is a pretty accurate representation of my life right now. 

I tell people I am a stay at home mom. But I am a variation of this. I babysit other people's children and am, therefore working every day from about 7:30 till 5:00. And I am at the mercy of other people and their schedule. My family's plans center around all of this and the schedules of the people I babysit for. So I feel like I work full time and am a stay at home mom. 

I was looking through old pictures the other day. My kids are almost always covered in stickers, markers or temporary tattoos. I am glad that they get to enjoy life so much. They are both so creative and easily pleased. It makes me slow down and be happy with stickers and temporary tattoos. And time spent with the two of them. 

Also, I have noticed that if I want to sit on the couch in a blankie and read all day when I'm feeling tired and/or cranky that my kids do the same thing. That's a good way to stay active. I don't like seeing them just sitting around all day. In my defense, I don't usually have days like that and I think it's ok once in awhile to have a day of snuggle time. 

Random musings for today. 

Lucy. Notice the stickers. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


This week has been very busy. I have had the privilege of singing in 3 concerts and I have another one this afternoon. I sing as an alto in the Nashville Symphony Chorus and we had rehearsals and performances for Handel's Messiah this week under the direction of British conductor Matthew Halls. It is actually the first time I have ever sung Messiah in its fullness. We used to do the Hallelujah Chorus every year when I was in high school but that's it. It was such an incredible experience. The music wasn't even the best part. The best part was getting to work with such an amazingly talented conductor and musicians. The symphony was smaller than normal. More a chamber orchestra. But we did our full chorus which is somewhere around 200 singers. Sitting on the stage at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and participating in such an event is truly a highlight of my holiday season this year and of my life. I love singing in this chorus. It has made me stretch my musical muscles which has been somewhat dormant for a few years what with moving to Nashville and having 2 kids. I have an excuse to get out of the house at least once a week, (we rehearse on Monday evenings), and interact with other adults. It really is a great outlet for me. I can forget my stress and really just enjoy and challenge myself. What a blessing! 
This is outside the Schermerhorn the other night after our concert. 

Another group that I participate in is the Nashville Belles. We are an all-female a Capella group. We perform classic and jazzy a Capella pieces around Nashville. We sing at assisted loving homes and the library and anywhere else we possibly can. Including the Sounds baseball game National Anthem. I randomly met a fabulously talented mom named Christina Watson at the park one day and we got to chatting. Found out she was a singer and teacher and we talked about music. I told her I sang in the symphony chorus.  We found each other on Facebook and a few weeks later she posted about openings in her group that she conducts, the Belles. I told her I was very interested as a Capella has always been one of my favorite things to sing. That was back in March and I have been singing with them ever since. It is so fun! The ladies are all so welcoming and happy to have more people. We meet once a week on Sunday afternoons to rehearse. It's really great. 

Well, last night I skipped out on the Messiah performance so I could participate in the Belles Christmas concert. Christina's husband is Swedish. And she had the idea to put on a traditional Sankta Lucia Christmas concert for the Swedish-American families in Nashville. There are a large amount of them. So we partnered with the First Lutheran Church downtown and did a lot of traditional Swedish Christmas music. It was so amazing to see the Christmas traditions of a completely different culture. We invited anyone who wanted to come sing with is to do so as they all know the music from singing it while growing up. Quite a few people participated and the church had a great turnout. We were all standing there with lit candles and singing Stille Nat or Silent Night in Swedish. I got emotional just really realizing how the spirit of love and of Christ really transcends language and speech. What a blessing to have the knowledge of Jesus Christ and to have an extra reason to celebrate Him and His life each year. I was also touched by how grateful all of the Swedish families were. They all said that they usually have to do the Santka Lucia at home. They were emotional while expressing gratitude that we were able to bring these traditions to life for them here. I was so blessed to see the appreciation in their eyes. Their children were dressed up as Angels all in white and we all wore crowns of tinsel. It was so great. 

I love the opportunity I have to have moments like this. Music has the ability to connect us to each other and to heaven in the quietest and simplest ways. As soon as the beautiful notes of an aria or hymn begin I love the complete silence that descends on the room. The most powerful manifestations of the Spirit have happened to me while singing or listening to inspiring music. I am so blessed to appreciate good music. I hope my kids see how hard I seek out those moments and how I love to participate in any music that I possibly can. What a great week of music! 

This is inside the First Lutheran church. 

Also, let me just say, I was having a rough day yesterday. I am missing family and Matt is out of town this weekend. Miki and Lucy are tired from mommy being gone so much this week. It wears on me emotionally. It was one of those days where everything was going wrong. I was feeling left out of a lot of things. But then I went to the church, put on a halo and added my voice to a beautiful concert and tradition. I left on such a high and came home to put my sweet girls to bed. I counted my blessings. My cup runneth over.