Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trip to Uganda!


The first week of September, I'm going to be traveling to Uganda with Compassion International. I have been working with Compassion for a couple years now and cannot say enough about how wonderful they are. They know exactly why they are doing what they are doing, who they serve, and the best way to serve them.

I will be there 10 days and will be blogging EVERY night of that trip that I have internet access (which should be most nights). We just got a video camera so there will be some video blogs as well. I want to let you know now so you can make sure and check this blog during my trip. You can also sign up on my email list if you want a reminder.

I'm more excited than I can tell you, and hope that you can experience a little of Uganda with me!

Rocky Recap

It's been fun being at Rocky Mountain High again. I had such a fun time getting to know some great folks from all over the country. Thanks to everyone who was so encouraging to me throughout the week. God always reveals himself to me through other people. Thank You!

I got to hang with some great bands as well, Remedy Drive and Vota. Check out their music, they all have such great hearts and it was fun getting to hang out with them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oso's Cousin

Like us, my brother and sister-in-law are also in the pre-kids stage where our dogs are our children. We love them. :) This picture of Oso's dog cousin makes me pretty happy so I thought I'd share it with you. I know it's not halloween yet, but seriously, is this not the most awesome dog picture you've ever seen?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Rockies

I know this view well. The brown lodges that dot this valley and the evergreens that clothe the surrounding mountains. I’ve eaten in these dining halls and touched pine cones that rest on the ground under these trees.

Mountain mornings are unlike mornings elsewhere. I love to move my hands through this air and watch the swiftness in the flight of these birds.

I’m in the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO. Since 96 I’ve spent a week out of every third summer here for a youth conference my family has been involved in. We set up shop just before the Christian Artists Seminar swoops in, and I’ve often overlapped my time at both. People come here for conferences, sure, but mostly I like to think they come because they are drawn here.

And I know some’ll tell me it’s the elevation...but I also like to think that I am more aware of my breathing up here because I am more aware of my aliveness. more aware of the gift i’ve been given to breath, to taste and to see.

I know some’ll tell me it’s the time change... but I like to think it’s the nearness of God’s creation that opens my eyes early in the day, to awaken me wholly.

Right now there is a baby crying, some band playing in a nearby lodge, a dog barking, and the conversation of a family sitting in the bench beside mine, but that is okay. It still feels quieter up here. Internally, anyway.

I blame the mountains. They are louder than any noise I could make.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Your Spanish Dance

(For my friend, you know who you are.. :)

your life is worth a million songs
I don’t know where to start
maybe with the way I move
from hard to softer heart

for everybody has a space
to hold inquiries pose
behind the brown and hazel eyes
a steady fire glows

you fill the gaps with green and blue
a waking with the light
or sleeping till the dinner bell
and dancing late at night

the way you take a bitter day
with ease and changing chair
no matter rock or dirt or sand
the ground is always there

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Politicians, my Uncle Bob and Billy Joel

What do they all have in common? My new soul-audio blog. :)

If I stand back and evaluate my blogging, I've found I write a lot about my observations of human nature. This mostly stems from the good bad and ugly I find in myself, and this new soul audio blog is no exception. I think I would have liked to study anthropology, maybe I still can one day.

Zach asked about Soul Audio and to answer I'll direct you to their 'about us' page which has a brief description of who they are. They seem to have a nice objective view on music and I enjoy reading their interviews and artists blogs, of which I participate.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Caffeine, a Reintroduction

I've given in. I'm not sure how long it will last and I'm already getting some headaches but...I've taken up caffeine again. It's just sort of neccesary. I'm not sure how I've lasted 4 years without it! 4 years! That sounds ridiculous. On the night Kirk and I met the topic of caffeine came up somehow.

"I just stopped drinking caffeine"
"me too!"
"O yeah? Well maybe we could get some decaf together sometime".

Actually I made that last part up, but it was probably something like that. We did spend a lot of time talking over coffee in those days. Both of us have taken it up again in the last few months. This is due in part to this coffee shop and Rachel's amazing espresso drinks. (try the cuban, you'll never go back) And also in part to our lives getting busier and requiring a little help.

Does anybody have any energy tricks that don't involve caffeine? Mental energy is what I need the most. Is there some secret I don't know? Don't tell me it has to do with waking up early and running. Ok fine, if it does, tell me. But don't expect me to be excited about it. :)

Secrets? Do tell...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Walt Rogers (the other Mr. Rogers)

We all have many titles that we stand under. Many names that we go by and answer to. You can call me by my nickname or my full first name (Allison), my maiden name or my married name, or some combination of them all. You can call me Kirk's Wife, Oso's Dog Mom, etc.

One name I have had since birth, and one that I am always proud to be called is "Walt's Daughter".

I respect my dad so highly and will always look up to him. He's andventureous and practical, a risk taker who is full of wisdom, a man who stands for truth and justice and lives to serve God in everything he does. Which is why I am so proud that he is running for the Iowa state senate.

I'm sure I will post more about him as we approach November. Check out his website!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Remind me... (Soul-Audio #4)

What's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.
-Frederick Buechner, From Godric

I have been mulling over this quote by Frederick Buechner lately. Frederick says he would like to have it on his gravestone. I think I would like to have it tatood on my hand or something, for how often I need to be reminded of the truth that love will prevail.

I wrote more about this in my new Soul-Audio blog called Memory Tricks. Read it here.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Noise Trade- Free Music!

It is a day to celebrate freedom, not only in our country, but in music!! Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage,

Since It's launch a couple days ago, I have been downloading music like crazy! If you enjoy finding new music like I do, you will love noisetrade. some of you may recieve my email updates and have already read this, but if you haven't here is what I wrote:

I'm writing today as an artist, but also as a music fan. I believe in the power music has to speak to a heart. It has been a constant source of peace and clarity in my life and as a singer/songwriter, I can only hope that my music inspires others the way so many have inspired me.

For this reason, I am extremely excited to tell you about NoiseTrade, a new website dedicated to getting music in the hands of listeners, for FREE! I am giving away songs off of all of my records for FREE! You can share the music with friends, or donate a few bucks for support if you'd like, you can even post the NoiseTrade widget on your own blog, MySpace, Facebook page, etc with just a click of your mouse. This is a win win for music lovers and artists.

A couple of months ago I asked for your help to spread the word about my music which you have been so gracious to support. My hope is that through NoiseTrade you now have the tools you need to do it. Please check it out today and tell your family, friends, anyone you can think of that would want to hear the music. Thank you so much, I couldn't do any of this without your support!

Check it out!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Listening Back

We should try to be the parents of our future rather than the offspring of our past. -Miguel de Unamuno

I've been finalizing some new chord charts these last few weeks from my 3 records. Putting the G's and the C's and the A minor's in their correct spots above the correct words. It has also required some listening of the songs, which is so strange to me. I haven't listened to Always Eden, my first record, in maybe a couple years. At least not entire songs. I really love that record, what it means to me, what we captured, how we captured it, it will always be my favorite record for the organic nature of those early days. However, my voice sounds completely different and I find myself cringing at the way I sang things, or how I phrased something. It's so funny, how the past is all laid out there like a train track, and how the future is all swimming like a river.

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other
ages you've been. -Madeleine L'Engle

I feel like I understand myself better as I listen to those old songs. When I read lines I wrote so uncensored, snug up next to the sound of Joseph's upright bass on songs like Right From Wrong, which is one of my favorites, and the only song I've written that has generated zero feedback. Which is fine, I meant it, I wrote it, I sang it. And if it was just for me, I think that is ok. An artist is surely allowed a couple paintings that are for their own room.

Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in
writing. It's one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period. -Nicholas Sparks

I am afraid of beginning... are the first words you hear out of The Day of Small things, my second record, and that was never more true than when I got that record back from the printer. I had told Kirk once that I wanted to make a CD that looked like the inside of a soybean. All green and happy. And there it was in my hands, my silver soybean. Would people like it? Would they like me?

It's been fun to look back and listen and remember the process of creating, the times when I am somehow still guarded from the inevitable cringe of critique and opinion. It is okay, I tell myself. I can learn from the rocks in the train tracks, and move with the current all the same.