Monday, February 28, 2011

Mean People Suck

Happy Monday, friends! If you're anywhere near me, you're probably willing to part with an extremity or two in exchange for being at home and back in bed. Regardless I send my apologies to Karen Carpenter, because this rainy day and Monday isn't getting me down. I'm all moved in to my new place, and moving day went as smoothly as could ever be possible. The weather was beautiful, nothing was damaged, and I never lost it. Not once.

So to start off your week, head on over to The Uncontainable Truth to check out my first guest post, all about mean people, why they suck, and who I'd like to kick in the shins at the moment. Enjoy!

(banner c/o Raleigh Price)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome!

To the readers of The Uncontainable Truth... welcome!

To the others, an explanation: My friends Raleigh and Christen Price write an incredibly inspiring and informative website/blog based on faith, family, and, well, life in general, and they have quite a following. I've known the pair since we were mere youngins, having grown up in the same hometown. Clad in maroon and gold, Christen and I shared the bond of cheering together in high school. We all went on to study at Auburn, continuing to cheer from the sidelines. They are truly two of the kindest, funniest, and just all-around best people I know. The kind of people who bring a smile to your face and make your heart happy. And they also are not afraid to talk openly and honestly about their struggles with faith and ongoing relationships with God.

So the pair dated for what seemed like forever. All through high school and college. Finally got married. I'll never forget the moment in their wedding when they asked the preacher to tell their loved ones to have patience, that it's worth the wait. Don't Settle. Trust in God's Plan. I took it to heart. 

Fast forward a few years. Christen gets pregnant. It's TWINS! Crazy. But then something happens. The twin girls come early. Too early. They're struggling. Christen and Raleigh are struggling. And Christen, perhaps purposely or perhaps not, begins writing. Her everyday blog turns into this testament about faith, feelings of pain, anger, and fear, all the while holding tight to a steadfast belief that God has not abandoned her or her babies while they fought to survive. Again, with the patience. Their gut-wrenching honesty and optimism inspired me daily.

Survive they did, and now, ten months later, the girls are up and (almost literally) running. They're doing well, and Christen's "little blog" enjoys quite a large number of readers. They've added book and music reviews, entertainment suggestions, and general thoughts about parenthood. I especially enjoyed Christen's ramblings about how she could possibly still be cool and rock a (now necessary) minivan at the age of 26. Next on their list... guest posts. And I have been asked to write. 
Me with Raleigh and Christen at their wedding in 2007

Adeline and Maralee Price

So check back soon, as I will be sharing a link to my first guest post from The Uncontainable Truth. I'm beyond honored and flattered, and I hope not to disappoint. 

Stagnant

Life has been crazy lately... but not necessarily mine. As I said in a previous post, I'm looking forward to several weddings this year, and not just because of the parties, food/booze, and gathering with friends. I get to witness and take part in the weddings of people who are important in my life. I'm honored to have been asked to read a verse from Ephesians in one, while in another I'll stand right up there as a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding. In another, for a good friend with whom I share this impeccable music taste, I've been asked to help with music selections (she flatters me). I anticipate going through a lot of Kleenex in my near future.

In addition to all of the weddings, I've had three friends announce pregnancies, all due the same week in September and all unplanned, but everyone is excited and welcoming these new little nuggets with open arms and happy hearts. I'm thrilled for my friends, and I have realized two things lately: 1: The rhythm method is NOT to be trusted; and 2: By the time I have babies, all of these kiddos will be around to babysit! Score!

With all of this going on around me, I can't help but feel my life is a bit stagnant. When I bump into someone I haven't seen in a while and they ask "what's new?", my response comes as a mumbling of "blahblah work blahblah moving blahblah concerts" and the like. I'm 28 and single. Stable. Doing well. Plugging along. All that jazz. But I think this is ok. I'm happy for my friends. I love my friends. And I genuinely want to be there for every bit of the festivities possible. $3.29/gallon gas prices won't stop me from driving South. I can't express what it was like to be there with my best friend as she made the final decision on which dress she'd wear on her wedding day. Cheesy as it is, these are those moments.

I tend to be a narcissist. It came very much be All About Me sometimes. It terrifies me to think of how many times I use the words "I" or "me" in my blog writing or speaking. Moving into my own place excites me, not because I want to walk around naked or not worry about someone else's dishes, but mostly because I want to have MY space filled with MY things. Me me ME. It's something I (attempt to) keep in check. And I'm long overdue on a post about the implications of this in my spiritual life. I struggle daily with replacing the thought of "What can God do for ME?" with "What can I do for God?" Daily. It's relentless.

But right now... it's not about me. It's about them. It's about Him. It's about soaking it all in and sharing this crazy life with all of those people around me I love. Birds are falling from trees, people. The earth is quaking. Auburn and Alabama fans are working together for a common good. This could very well be the end of days.

And I have a feeling 2011 will have some surprises in store for me as well.

"Here it come, that Heavy Love"

I'm ashamed to say the first time I'd ever heard of Bright Eyes was when I read a few years ago in People magazine that Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz had danced to "First Day of My Life" at their wedding. Looked up the song and loved it. Then later randomly downloaded a Conor Oberst song, "Cape Canaveral," not realizing he was the Bright Eyes frontman and supposed lyrical genius with a cult following similar to that of my dear Ryan Adams.

"First Day of My Life" from I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

"Cape Canaveral" from Conor Oberst (solo album)

Steadily over the past few years, they've shown up more and more on my radar, but I'd resisted. I partake in enough cult-like followings, thankyouverymuch. But then, once I realized my friends who share the same intense Ryan love (HH4L) actually have similar obsessions with Conor/Bright Eyes. He was their Ryan before Ryan entered the picture. These are good people with good tastes. I trust them. And on a whim, I bought tickets to join them in Atlanta next weekend for a show, following last week's release of The People's Key.

So I've been listening. Taking it all in. Conor's warbly voice took some getting used to. He can be a downer in that beautiful kind of way. (Plus, let's face it... from Damien to Ryan to now Conor... I dig the downers.) But all of his songs are not about love (or loss). And every album is incredibly different. But he's a solid songwriter, and I like that he mixes it up. And he's quirky. I like quirky. I have some favorites to share for any of you not familiar as I once was, from past albums and the latest. The People's Key took a while to grow on me... it's a bit more mellow than I'd like for these gray winter days, but it's a solid album. Highs and lows. Good writing. Plenty of quirk.

I'm very much looking forward to the show next weekend. It will be my first time seeing a show at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, and I'll share it with some of my favorite people on this planet.

"Arc of Time (Time Code)" from Digital Ash in a Digital Urn

"You Will. You? Will. You? Will. You? Will." from Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

"At the Bottom of Everything" from I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

My favorite (and first release) from the new album:
"Shell Games" from The People's Key
I love the stanza that begins at 3:16.


Plus, he's pretty. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Swell Season

You may recognize The Swell Season from 2008, when they made themselves kinda famous by winning a bunch of Grammies and an Oscar for the song "Falling Slowly," from the movie Once. The duo, Irish singer Glen Hansard and Czechi Markéta Irglová starred in the movie, and consequently fell in love and dated during the filming. Which makes the movie and songs so much more gushy and happy. I love stories like this, much like Alexander and Jade of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They too, however, have broken up since. (I never will understand how people can fall in love and pour their hearts into music and lyrics with someone and then continue to play the songs together once it's over as these folks do...)


Anyway, I've listened to The Swell Season a good bit off and on over the past few years, but they've recently (thanks to a Van Morrison kick) landed back on my radar. Check out their cover of "Into the Mystic" (my favorite tune from Van):


And here's "Falling Slowly," from Once: 

And "Low Rising," from their last album (2009), Strict Joy:

I think this one is my favorite of all of them (cool video, too). I love the feel of it. Love his voice. Love the lyrics. Love the horns and the "lalalalalalalalala" at the end. (I guess I do hear a  lot of Van Morrison influence there.) I don't want to discredit Markéta, but Glen Hansard is just a badass. A friend of mine ran into him on the street somewhere random in Europe this past fall and said he is a real sweetheart, too. 


Enjoy! 

Oh...

This feeling is wonderful. Don't you ever turn it off.


Love this song. Love the quote.

Things are feeling pretty wonderful right now. And I do apologize for my lagging in posts. But I do have tons of exciting things going on. Lots of best friends getting married and having babies. Lots of shows coming up. Lots of pretty snow here in Nashville (I think I'm the only person left in the state who still oohs and aahs over the snow falling... I blame a childhood in scorching South Alabama). Plus I'm in the process of moving to my very own place. I'll be living alone for the first time in my 28 years, and I'm freaking excited!

Updates and other ramblings coming soon!