Monday, May 19, 2014

smile || let it go

Happy Monday :)
Last week was SO busy but I'm so thankful for every day of life. It's so fun to wake up every day and get to do what you LOVE to do. Even though I'm not exactly where I want to end up, I'm still enjoying the ride. I have the best family, amazing friends, cool opportunities and just a fun life. What isn't fun, though, is when I hit a wall of discontentment. A wall of discouragement. A wall that was put up by the devil himself to deter or to rob the joy for life and for Christ that I have.
Living in the world today is hard. Even though I feel like I have a really fun and relatively simple life compared to others, life can still be hard. No, I'm not facing a life threatening illness and I don't wonder where my next meal will come from but sometimes life just gets hard.
Maybe you have a bad hair day. Maybe somebody broke their plans with you that you were looking forward to. Maybe you just woke up on the "wrong side" of the bed.
And maybe life is just hard.
Well, I don't know about you or your circumstances but I want to have more joy for life. I feel like I'm the happiest person in the world but I feel like I can be better. I don't want to give into the world's attempts at discouraging me from having joy.
I let people's thoughts and opinions of me affect me too much at times. I pray that my words don't negatively affect others and if they have, please tell me so I fix it. I cannot stand how awful some women in life can be. It was hard enough for me when I was in high school 5 years ago and it's even harder for girls in high school today. I want to be someone who young girls can come to with problems. I don't want young girls to be robbed of happiness and joy. It's SUCH a blessing to me to get to teach on Sunday and Wednesday nights at church. The girls that I teach are so open and so receptive to the Bible that it challenges me to be a better example.
Jesus has done SO much for me in my life. My dad and pastor helped introduce me to Christ when I was 5. I've known Jesus since I could read and write. He's never disappointed me. He's never left me. From awkward elementary school to eating alone in high school for being a "virgin" and not drinking, Jesus has ALWAYS been there. I've never had to turn to alcohol or drugs or sex to find fulfillment because Jesus has always been my fulfillment. Jesus has done and still does SO much in my life and I want to be overflowing with joy so that others see Jesus in me. I want that to be the impression that people walk away from meeting me with--that I know and am like Christ.
I'm just tired of the world stealing people's happiness and joy.
If you don't agree with someone, instead of talking about them behind their back, address them. If you feel victimized by someone, work it out. Life is way too short to be judgmental and rude. There's plenty of people who don't like me and never will and that's okay. But I refuse to let their negativity bring me down anymore. Cut ties with the negative people in your life. Forgive the people who need forgiveness. Take your issues to God. He listens and he cares and he will comfort you.
BE with those who help your BEING.
Oh wow! How true
I saw this quote on Pinterest today and it just stuck with me. I've tried to be the girl who is friends with every single person I meet. That will never work. There are too many people in the world that I'll meet to ever be besties with them all. But, I can still be kind to them and I can choose who to form bonds with that will help me. And you can too. Choose the people who have joy and help push you closer to Christ.
I've found several quotes today on Pinterest that don't really form a theme other than just smile, be happy, enjoy life and let go of the negativity. So, I know this is random and over all the place content wise but I just felt like I needed to remind myself to be happy and to have joy and maybe someone else needed to be reminded to.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Pray more.  Worry less.
It's my prayer that we all will be more gentle, kind, compassionate, helpful, tender, refined and pure. I'm thankful for each and every girl that reads this blog and emails me for prayer or just for encouragement! And, that's what I want this blog to be along with some fun entertaining posts. If YOU decide joy and Jesus is the answer I promise more people around you will choose the same thing.
Remember that you were created by God and that you're his masterpiece. God loves you more than anyone in the world ever could. That's the happiest and most joyful news I've been reminded of today and I hope it reminded you, too.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

sam hunt & david nail || chattanooga

Thursday was the final show of last week. My sister and I rearranged our work schedules to get to have a mini road trip to Chattanooga. Sam and David were performing at Track 29. It was an interesting venue in that it was a huge warehouse. It was a cool and relaxed vibe the whole show. I've gotten so use to bar shows the past few months that a big airy space like Track 29 was a nice change. My sister had never seen David Nail perform but I have several times when I've been in Nashville. The real reason of us going though, obviously, is because Sam was the opener.
I have NOTHING bad to say about David Nail. He's a GREAT performer with tons of hits and has a good stage presence. I didn't mind paying the 20 dollar ticket price for two amazing acts but I totally would've paid it even it was Sam performing a solo show. We got to the venue early because we never know how early we will need to get there, especially with general admission shows. Well, we got there and got in line and who walks out of the venue? David Nail did. Ha. He was so nice and took pictures and talked with us. Very personable and polite.

I love hearing David perform "Whatever She's Got." It's such a fun and upbeat song that everyone sings along to. A new favorite of his is "Kiss You Tonight." It's his new single and the video for it is also amazing so make sure you watch it.
We also got to see Sam for a just a minute before the show but he's hands down the NICEST artist ever. Him and his entire band and tour manager and manager always treat you with such warmth. Sam makes it incredibly easy to be his fan.
My favorite part about getting to go to all these Sam shows is getting to watch his fan base grow so rapidly. The first time I downloaded his acoustic tape last summer I knew he was the next big thing. From the first time seeing him perform until now, it's been the fastest fan base growth. I mean, even from february to now on twitter his followers have doubled. It's crazy!! The people behind us in line had no idea who Sam was before we went in. Of course, I told them all about him and by the end of the show, they were posting on Facebook that Sam stole the show--and their hearts. :)
Sam is another performer that gets and holds the audiences attention. His entire band is the same way. Josh, Josh and Tyrone are all some of my favorite band mates to watch because they sing along with the songs and just get really involved. Sam literally goes into the crowd for part of his set and it's so fun when artists do that.
Of course, one of my favorites he performs is Cop Car. Once you know the story behind the song told to you by Sam and then hear him sing it, it's amazing. It's like singing story time. All of his songs are like that. I love his new stuff and if there is one album of the year I'm anticipating the most, it's his for sure.

Another favorite of Sam's that I love to see him perform is "House Party." And, if you've never heard this song, here you go. You're welcome. Anyone wanna meet at my house in a few? I feel a house party coming on.

Clearly Track 29 had some intense lighting so I apologize for the brightness of the pictures but you get the idea. :)

Lots of y'all also listened to Sam on Sound Cloud before he had to take all the music down. If you didn't download it in enough time, I have a few CD's left that I'll be happy to send to you. Just make sure you comment here or email me for one. Make sure you leave an email address in the comments, though, so I can get in touch with you.

I had the time of my life and getting to say hey and hang out for a few minutes with the guys always is the cherry on the trip.
Tyrone :) and no there was no thug faces this time. I am sorry to disappoint and had no idea that many people were following our sequence of pictures. We will make sure to do thug faces next time. Haha!
JoshyB. The greatest. LOVED seeing you and your sweet family again. You're awesome.

I feel like I owe the biggest thanks to Sam and his crew so far this year for such unforgettable show memories. Y'all rock every single time I see you. See y'all in a few weeks!! :)

love and theft || birmingham

Wednesday night was the second show of the week. 104.7 WZZK is putting on a series of concerts on Wednesday nights for free featuring some incredible artists. The artist of the night last week was Love and Theft.
I've never seen them in concert before and after watching them perform, I'm not sure why I haven't. They were wonderful to watch! Love and Theft sing a lot of songs that you probably know but maybe haven't ever realized it was them singing it.
 Some of my favorites are: Angel Eyes, Running Out of Air, If You Ever Get Lonely, and Runaway. Their newest song is also one of my favorites out right now. It's called "Night that You'll Never Forget."

Duos bring another aspect to performing that a solo artist cannot and that is simply more harmony on stage. I loved the way these guys played off each other. They also made the crowd feel like they were on the stage right beside them. They have lots of music on ITunes but they also said they are coming out with a new album this summer and there is one song that they performed that I'm dying to get into my music library!

chase rice || birmingham

I think it's funny how at the end of 2013 I didn't think I'd be able to top my experiences this year. It's only May and I've already surpassed ANY expectation I had in my mind for this year. The friends I've met, the shows I've seen, the artists I've had a chance to connect with--all in the past five months--have already made this the year of my life.
It's funny to look back on it all today. At the end of 2013, I had met some incredible artists and seen phenomenal shows. And, if you would've told me that Chase Rice would be the one of the artists that I would see the most of (so far) in 2014, I probably wouldn't believed you. Not because I haven't been a Chase fan for awhile but just simply because I wouldn't ever think that. Well, so far this year, I've had the pleasure of seeing Chase 4 or 5 times already. I've seen him in a bar, in an acoustic set up on a TINY stage, in another bar, and another bar, making a debut at the OPRY and then a huge venue with Billy Currington and Brett Eldredge. And, I have the privilege of seeing him yet again this week in Birmingham at a radio event.
Those closest to me know about my "Top 5." I simply call it that because it's my top 5 artists that I love to follow and watch. It's kind of a secret thing to everyone else because I don't want to discriminate but Chase Rice has NEVER fallen below 3rd in the top 5. ;) He's one of the few artists that I've seen that improves his performance every time I see him.

He's a songwriter and a singer so he automatically gets double points. The feelings and mood that a songwriter singing their own songs can set is unlike any other. Yes, artists who sing other writer's songs are still fun to watch but people like Chase and Sam just connect with the audience like few other artists I've seen can.
Chase performed at the Tin Roof in Birmingham on Tuesday night. It was a free show set up by the absolutely BEST radio station--102.5 the Bull. And, it was PACKED. My friend Anne and my sister came along with me. We met my friend Katelyn there and had a blast! It was an acoustic show so only Brandon was with Chase.

We got to see John before the show started. Always so nice!

PS-Shoutout to Brandon Autry for his awesome guitar skills. :)
I didn't get a ton of pictures of Chase but I'll share some that I did get. As always, I have a few videos on Instagram and I'll get lots of pictures this week at his show.


Getting to say hey to Chase after his set is always fun because he's always so happy. I've seen some artists perhaps have an off day (and I'm sure Chase is bound to have them, too) BUT he's never been anything less than bubbly and excited every time I've seen him. His new album comes out in August and I'm SO proud and so excited to see how fast he continues to grow. From his first EP to now, he's been a favorite to watch. His lyrics sound like a guy I went to high school with or my brother could've written them because of the content. Back roads, riding around, trucks, and just rolling around small towns is what defined me growing up--and still does. I'm SO excited to continue to hear his new stuff and I hope to be able to see him lots more in 2014!!
Chase's songs are also probably some of the most fun to sing. "I Like Drinkin" was our new years eve anthem. We literally listened to it 100 times driving around Nashville that night-so fun. And all we drank was sprite. BONUS fact: the lyrics say "a couple OLIVES in my martini" and NOT "a couple lollies in my martini." Thanks for clearing that one up Chase. "Cruise" is fun because everybody in the history of the world knows every word to every song. Andddd finally "Ready Set Roll" was my FAVORITE this set because you literally couldn't hear Chase singing because everyone also knew the words to this song. Seriously, go look at the video of it on my Instagram. INSANE.
PS- If you have a Top 5, make SURE Chase is in it. :)