Monday, March 29, 2010

The Grass is Green

Next to me on the wood floor of my kitchen is my sweet almost one year old who is pulling all of the plastic and cardboard out of our recycling pile. Out comes a milk Odwalla bottle...a Sunshine Wheat holder (my husbands favorite beer, TN just got it) empty kleenex box...paper towel role...extra grocery sacks...

He leans his hand on a cupboard and tries to pull himself up but slips. He whines and his little eyebrows wrinkle as he looks up at me to see my reaction.

“You’re okay”, I assure him, still typing. He agrees, and continues his work. Once all of the recycling is unloaded he decides to explore under the wooden shelf against the wall and paws through dust bunnies and dog hair to get to something that has rolled underneath. A ball? A toy truck? Apparently he cannot reach and heads for me feet, pulling at my pants until I pick him up.

“Okay little bug, come here.” nap time.

I change his diaper and he whines until I give him his blankie, and grabbing with one hand, he pops the two middle fingers of the other in his mouth as he does when he’s tired.

We rock for a minute before I put him down. His head lays in the middle of my chest and he strokes my arm and side with the hand that is not in his mouth. I can hear his stuffy nose as he inhales and exhales, his body weight feeling heavier with every breath.

I lean my nose on the top of his head and my memory flashes back to the nursery of the church I grew up in. My friends and I used to sneak in and steal cherrios when no one was in there. James smells just like that nursery to me, some sort of combination of cereal, diapers, baby soap and slobber.

His red hair tickles my lips and I breath in his smell one more time before kissing his forehead and whispering “I love you”. His blue eyes are barely open but he looks up at me and pulls his blankie to his face as I lay him down in his crib. My heart breaks for the first time today. It won’t be the last.

I walk out of James’ room, reheat my coffee, and look out the window of our kitchen. The yellow daffodils are very welcome friends this spring. The pink buds on our cherry tree out front remind me of what was hiding there in the brown branches this whole winter. Any day now they will blossom into little white flowers, just in time for Easter.

I walk out the front door of my warm house and feel the sun on my face for a minute. The grass is greener than it was even yesterday.

I have so much to be thankful for.

Why should I ever think the grass grows greener somewhere else?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Love | Reality

For the last couple years I have spent a lot of my time at home writing songs with and for other artists. I love love love this job, and have had the chance to write with some really amazing artists. I’m excited to introduce you to a few of them this year as their records release.

Today I want to tell you about a girl whose music is just as stunning and inspiring as she is herself. Charmaine intrigued me instantly with her kindness, cool australian accent, and natural beauty. The first time we wrote together I was near the end of my pregnancy and Charmaine and I quickly hit it off talking about the mystery of God and our desire to embrace that mystery instead of avoid it. After 30 minutes of getting to know each other, I was already a fan of her as a person and when she opened her mouth to sing shortly thereafter I instantly became a fan of her music! It was a fun day of writing, complete with lunch at a local hot dog joint (I was pregnant after all)! The song we wrote that day is the title track to Charmaine’s debut record called, Love | Reality. I’m proud of this song and can’t wait for you all to hear it! Thank you Charmaine, for letting me be a part of your story!

Love | Reality is available on Charmaine's website (, where you can listen to our song plus several more from her record. (fyi: if you order it now from her website you get an instant download of the first single, Tokyo) It's seriously a fabulous record with a really unique sound and a genuine depth behind the music. Check it out!!

P.S. You can also watch a video of Charmaine talking about our song in the video section of her site.

from Love Reality:

There is more to the story than this
more than the morning routine
when I open my eyes I can glimpse
pieces of eternity

I can hear a whisper, like a secret
I can see a glimmer, and I know know that

the reality of love, reality of love
is so close to me...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

on social networking and wrapping paper

I haven't been twittering or facebooking (word?) for a month or two...and it's been really nice. When something in my day happens, I am not thinking about how I can fit that moment into 140 characters to share online. I think there is a place for twitter and facebook, certainly. I enjoy them both to an extent. But for now, I'm going to keep my updates sparse. The break has done what I had hoped, freed up some space in my brain. Allowed me experience my days more completely by living moments as they happen instead of taking mental notes about how to tell the story later. I do that enough as a songwriter.

blogging is less restrictive of course and I still enjoy the creative outlet it is for me. However, I haven't been blogging as often anymore because I have a hard time finishing thoughts. I have a folder on my computer titled "blogs" and it is full of incomplete thoughts. My husband is always encouraging me to give up my need to "complete the circle" as he says. I'm not a perfectionist, but I do like things to be wrapped up nicely, even if it's a sloppy wrapping job, at least it's wrapped.

Kirk used to present gifts to me in brown paper grocery bags. I finally told him that I would really love it if he would wrap them (and he has ever since). I feel silly knowing I will just throw away the wrapping, but It makes me feel special knowing he took the time to fold the colorful paper and tape it together at the ends.

and now here I am. I can't even tie a blog about how I can't tie anything together, together.

They say you lose brain cells when you're pregnant... I thought I would get them back at some point but so far they still seem to be on vacation somewhere....I hope they are in California. I like California. And I hope they bring back some citrus fruits for me, I like citrus fruits.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In The Middle Of It

Every man I see looks like a little boy to me now. This was very true earlier this week when I had the chance to watch my friends Don and Lori Chaffer (Waterdeep) play some songs from their new record. I knew it was a grown man I was watching as Don jumped around, shaking his head to the beat, pulling the neck of the guitar up with the high notes, smiling through his beard at the close of every song. I know that he writes checks and mows the lawn and reads books with hundreds of pages in them. But all I could see was Miles, Don's six year old son, dancing around the living room to one of The Who's songs with his hair sticking up in the back and peanut butter smeared on his shirt. Don's water bottle may as well have been apple juice with a straw out the top. The strings of his guitar may as well have been plastic buttons that light up when you press them. Instead of his harmonica, a kazoo (although, I would bet Don actually has played a kazoo live before).

In the Middle of it
by Don Chaffer
(from Waterdeep's new record "In the Middle of it")

Halfway here
Don't disappear
Things might go clear
If I just stay on deck
And don't strain my neck
And get into the thing I'm in the middle of
Just one more time on the fiddle, love
I'm gonna pay attention this time, I swear
At the Loan and Pawn
You can see what's gone
And there's ghosts out on the lawn
if you squint your eyes
And don't look surprised
They'll stare right back at you graciously
And you don't have to get high to see
Just remember when the tire goes flat, to use the spare

I'm in the middle of it
I got everything I wanted and I really love it
I'm in the seat of honor
if you could die from happy, baby I'd be a goner
So sorry when I go dark
it must a been that I forgot about the spark
So sorry when I go lame
I got no reason I should every complain

Old sunshine
it's going all the time
and that's not just a good tagline
Cause every living thing
would cease to sing
if the sun just decided to close up shop
we'd all be lyin' on the chopping block
and in a couple minutes there wouldn't be anyone there
I should never complain (he should never complain)