Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry & bright

Merry Christmas! I've said this before, but 2012 went by extremely quickly. It's hard to believe we'll be ringing in 2013 in just a few days, and I can't wait to see what the new year holds. I feel beyond blessed to have stayed so busy touring in 2012 with my wonderful, talented husband and our sweet Lorelei. Although I am so feeling ready to welcome our little boy into the world and into our family, I am savoring each moment we have to focus all our love and attention on our precious girl. She is a joy and a light every day! 

This year we have had much to celebrate, and it's such a blessing to be able to spend the holidays with family and those we love. This year, we are in Puerto Rico with my parents and brother for a few more days, and then we are headed to the icy midwest to celebrate with Jordan's family. Trading the beach for snow drifts actually has me a little bit excited as we haven't seen much snow this year! (Someone may need to remind me I said that in a week when I'm complaining about being frozen.)

I hope that this Christmas is a blessed one for each of you, and that the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ will permeate your heart and mind as we reflect on the goodness of God to send his only Son as a helpless babe for our salvation. The power of that message continues to amaze me, and I am humbled to have such a reason to celebrate. To be free from sin and shame due to the tremendous work of Jesus on the cross is a seemingly impossible gift that my soul rejoices to receive!

This year, I have found this lyric from "O Come All Ye Faithful" to be a particularly beautiful description of the arrival of Jesus. I hope the entrance of Jesus into our world will strike you now as never before, and draw us near to the throne of grace as we enter 2013.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning
Jesus to Thee be all glory giv'n
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing
O Come let us adore Him
O Come let us adore Him
O Come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

Saturday, December 15, 2012

God and grief

I had a hard time sleeping last night in the wake of the events at Sandy Hook Elementary yesterday. Lying in my bed, with my sweet little girl sleeping soundly in her room and an acrobatic little boy causing a ruckus in my ever-growing belly, I couldn't help but feel a small amount of the grief that the parents, family, and friends of the victims must be feeling. While I truly can't fathom what they are going through, I know that in this life, my greatest treasure is the ones I love.

I tend to battle anxiety and a lack of peace, so as I prayed for the families and thanked God for my own sweet little ones, I also had to ask God for a reminder of His heavenly perspective. It's very easy for me to give in to feelings of anxiety and fear, and yet, I know that dwelling there is opposed to the abundant life God promises us in Jesus Christ in John 10:10. I believe that His heart is also broken for these events. For the gaping hole in those families their precious babies used to fill. For the many, many loved ones who lost child and adult yesterday. For the loss people around the world are feeling every day as they endure crisis and tragedy.

We are not overlooked in our need. We are not abandoned to the evil that surrounds us. We are, however, temporarily inhabiting a world in desperate need of the Jesus of the gospel. In my own heart, I felt God gently reminding me that just as He loves and cares for me, He loves and cares for others. My job is not to protect my children from every evil and harm (although I would die doing my very best) or to control every aspect of their life and formation. My job is to love and serve a perfect, all-knowing, gracious God to the very best of my ability each and every day. I am here for the glory of God and to spread the name of Jesus Christ, not to build myself a tidy kingdom here on earth.

As the goodness of the gospel of Jesus' salvation continues to permeate my heart, I am asking that God would continue to give me perspective that outweighs my own limited sight. Too often I judge and condemn others without viewing them as beloved children God has already called, or desires to call His own. This world will bring trouble, but it is not our home. I don't have answers, and I do not wish to trivialize in any way the suffering endured here and now. I can only look to Jesus to fill the void I feel when I am overcome by the weight of such evil. Now, the words of 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 are comforting to me; I hope that you also find comfort in the message of the gospel of Jesus.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

skateboards for all

Possibly the last thing I thought I'd find time to post about here is skateboards, but something amazing is going down in Nashville, y'all, and skateboards are at the heart of it. Check out this video for an introduction to Salemtown Board Co. and see what the fuss is all about!

I may not know much about skateboarding itself, but it doesn't take a discriminating eye to see the beauty in these hand-crafted boards. From the mission to the product itself, great things are happening through Salemtown Board Co. I'd highly encourage you to take a moment to check out this company, founded by some top-quality men I'm proud to live and serve alongside here in Nashville. You can find them elsewhere on the web below:

Thursday, November 1, 2012


It's hard to believe we're already in November! It seems like we start seeing Halloween decorations in August, but it came and went so quickly this year! I grew up carving pumpkins, planning costumes, and trick-or-treating my heart out (followed by a strict dump-and-sort by mom, and probably a little bit of sort-and-snatch by dad). My dear husband grew up celebrating Halloween by picking something out at the toy store, I think. And while I have a strong affinity for pumpkins and all things Fall, I have never been enamored by the celebration of all that is bloody, evil, undead, etc...

Our compromise has been to find ways to celebrate cultural traditions, without feeling like we're dedicating too much time and energy into the things we don't find gospel value in. This year we chose to spend Halloween with some close friends eating a fried turkey and collecting candy at a local trunk-or-treat. To be honest, I was a little skeptical of the trunk thing, hoping it wouldn't be lame in comparison to the usual neighborhood trek. We were surprised on our arrival to realize that we'd conveniently chosen a trunk-or-treat that was only one part of a huge fall festival, hosted by a local church, and it was a blast! We got the kids in and out in a reasonable amount of time (it was way too cold here in Nashville!) and people got really creative with the decor. Just when Lorelei was losing steam, we came upon a woman dressed as a sheep, and Lorelei excitedly yelled, "Sheep! Baa!" right in her face, haha! Reenergized, we happily made our way through the remaining cars. Every so often she would ask us, "Where my bag?" ensuring the candy was safely in our custody.

 Here are some photos of our little "shooting star" in her costume.

Monday, October 1, 2012

a very special announcement...

As I mentioned in my last post, I've had to take a small step back from blogging in recent weeks. A busy schedule is something I've gotten very used to, but on top of our constant travel and busy life, there's a little something else that's caused me to be a bit quieter around here. Those of you who have seen me in person lately know I've been keeping a not-so-small secret for the past few months...

We are so thrilled to be welcoming baby # 2, due in early March! It's been such a sweet time for us as a family to dream about our future with another precious little one, and I have loved being able to slowly tell friends and family the news as we've seen them in person. At 17 weeks, I just couldn't keep it to myself any longer—not that this growing belly will let me (and yes, there's just one in there)! In a few weeks we'll have an appointment to find out if miss Lorelei will be getting a brother or sister, and we're all beyond excited about what's to come.

As is normal, my first trimester was a very nauseous, very tired one, but I am praising God for good health so far for me and baby. I'm still feeling quite tired, but God has been providing for every need as we continue to travel and perform. Of course, we would appreciate your prayers for health and safety as we continue to travel throughout the pregnancy. Thank you to those of you who have already shared in our excitement, I'm looking forward to sharing the blessed moments ahead with all of you!

Friday, September 28, 2012

new music | new video

Hello dear friends!

I've been lamenting my lack of blog posts lately, alas, life has been a little nuts over the past few weeks and unfortunately, I've had to take a step back. I'm working on some new posts and content for the upcoming months, but until then, I am beyond excited to reveal the result of our "not-so-secret" video shoots with Oceanwide Studios. Andy and Brad not only did the video, they shot both of my sister-in-law's weddings in 2011, so they are practically family at this point! I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to work with them and to have such a beautiful video we're all proud to share. You can watch the video here, and I hope you won't be too shy to share it with all of your friends! :)

Tweet about it, share it on Facebook, send a friend the YouTube link, and enjoy the video below!

Monday, September 10, 2012

music monday: shadowfeet

I hope you had a great weekend! We were able to lead music at our church on Sunday, and being with our church family is always such a blessing. Jordan and I are increasingly thankful to have found a church family whose one goal and focus at every gathering is to simply lift high the name of Jesus and make Him famous. This gospel-living oriented focus has deeply impacted our lives on every level, and I'm so encouraged to go into my week with the confidence that Christ truly gives us the power to abide in Him! You're probably familiar with the lovely and talented Brooke Fraser in some facet, be it her work with Hillsong or her stunning solo projects, and I'm sharing a favorite video after the jump!

Friday, September 7, 2012

this weekend...

This week feels like it's flown by! We've had lots going on between Labor Day, my birthday, our weekly COM Group and a few other activities, plus trying to get caught up on errands and housework! I hope you all had a lovely week, and that many of you were able to enjoy having an extra day off on Monday. This weekend we'll be at home, and we're looking forward to spending time with our church family. I have a feeling we'll be keeping an extra close eye on Lorelei as well, as she's been in full two-year-old force this week! Lots of errant scribbles, spills, and stubborn attitudes have been keeping us on watch (and trying to keep from laughing at her cuteness and thus encouraging her naughty behavior!). A few fun links after the jump...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

good things

This week's good things post is a birthday edition, since I turned 27 yesterday! Life has been so busy lately that it kind of snuck up on me this year, and it's starting to sink in that I'm much closer to 30 than I am to 20 these days. Yesterday was so lovely, and it was a great reminder of how much I have to be thankful for! A celebratory good things list after the jump...

Friday, August 31, 2012

this weekend...

Happy Friday! I hope your week was a lovely one. We played an outdoor concert at Cedarville University last night (where I attended for a time) and it was such a lovely night to be outside. Some of the students are friends we've made on the road over the last few years and it was so great to see them. Lorelei had a blast touring the campus and playing with them while we set up and performed! This weekend we're headed back home to Nashville, and it will be our first weekend off since May I think. We're looking forward to a little stretch at home and to be with our church family. Especially because they are just finishing a major renovation project at the building, which will give the church much more room to grow! What are your weekend plans? A few fun links after the jump...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

good things

I can't believe it's already Wednesday! We got in Monday night, and I still have a suitcase full of stuff to unpack/wash/repack for a quick overnight trip tomorrow. At least packing for one night is a lot less time consuming than packing for several weeks! In the mean time, here are this week's good things...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

tour diary

We've spent the last two weeks on the road, and it's been super busy and fun. Thankfully we were near family some of the time and had a place to camp out between concerts (and some eager babysitters!). On the road, the familiar things keep life feeling normal, so getting to catch up with family and friends is always refreshing and encouraging. A few highlights after the jump...

Monday, August 27, 2012

music monday: citizens

As part of the Christian music industry, I am always encouraged to discover artists who are putting out Christ-centric music that is both full of theological truth and encouragement, and also has a musical style that draws my attention and inspires me to think creatively. One of our pastors alerted my husband Jordan to the band Citizens out of Mars Hill Seattle, and we've been hooked on their four song EP "Already / Not Yet". I'm a huge fan of their indie-rock style and original songs, as well as their take on some old favorites.

Friday, August 24, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)

Hello again friends! The last few weeks have been crazy and I was a bit under the weather, so my poor little blog has been a bit neglected. Even though it's already Friday, I thought I'd try to get back in the swing of things! Jordan and I had a lovely anniversary last week and we're looking forward to a busy upcoming weekend/week full of concerts, driving, appointments, and more concerts! Here's hoping this recent stretch of beautiful weather continues to carry us into Fall. I cannot wait for Fall, but I'm trying to be patient and enjoy the last of the summer spirit! Here are a few fun links from around the web...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Our 3 year anniversary in Chicago, 2008
Today marks seven (!) years of marriage with Jordan, and it's seriously hard to believe that much time has already gone by. This time in 2005 we were in Michigan getting photos at the church with our family and bridal party, and I still remember how giddy and excited we were to be getting married. We've had many different ways of celebrating our anniversary over the last 6 years, including the above photo taken in the "bean" sculpture in Chicago back in 2008. Not only did we have very different hairstyles, but my first album had just released and we were just weeks into our new lifestyle as full-time musicians. It's amazing to look back and think about all God has done in our life since the day we said, "I do", and it makes me so very excited for all the anniversaries to come.

Today we're in Des Moines, resting up after a very busy weekend. We opened for Matthew West at Summerwood in Rockford, IL on Sunday and it was quite possibly the most fun I've had on tour yet. The whole event was so well done and Matthew and his crew really blew it out of the water! So our anniversary is starting off with naps for all of us, and tonight we'll hit the town here in Des Moines for a little anniversary date. Oh the joys of being in town where family can babysit. :)

If there's anything I've learned in 7 years, it's that God is abundantly and graciously faithful. Life is messy and rarely what you expect, but when you're on the same team and fighting for the same thing, marriage can yield the most beautiful and transformative rewards. Being Jordan's wife has made me a far better person, and I feel so very blessed to call him mine. Every single day he makes me laugh, and I feel so grateful to spend my life with him and Lorelei doing what we love. Happy Anniversary to the love of my life and my very best friend!

Friday, August 10, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)
What does everyone have planned for the weekend? Other than watching the last of the Olympics, of course! It's been so fun to stay up a little late and cheer for the USA. My favorite is gymnastics, and Jordan gets so into the swimming! I'm always shocked by how young some of the athletes are. It's so amazing that they are so talented, and so disciplined to make it so far! This weekend we're headed back on the road for a few weeks, and we'll see both of our families while we're out, which is always fun! Here are some fun links to take you into the weekend...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

a time out

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)
Sometimes life gets so crammed full of errands and events and celebrations that it's hard to truly incorporate Sabbath into it. Rest is so good for our minds, bodies, and souls and I do my best to take moments of rest whenever they are available. Yesterday I snuck in a little nap, and spent time just playing with Lorelei and enjoying her. Our new mattress was delivered last night and we were beyond thrilled to use it for the first of many well-rested nights! Today I'm planning on taking it easy and getting a head start on packing for a few weeks on the road. Here's hoping you have a chance to take some time out today for a little R&R!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

good things

I'm a little late with the good things today so I'll get right down to it! We've had many blessings lately celebrating Lorelei turning two and God's goodness in our lives, so I'm feeling celebratory!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Last night I had the chance to attend our churches' 7Fourteen Prayer Gathering, and I am so thankful I took the time to go. I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, and we spent most of the day traveling and settling back in at home, so I'll admit I was planning to stay home with Lorelei and offer to let Jordan go. He offered first, and I knew despite being tired, I wouldn't regret spending an hour in prayer. While prayer is a daily, ongoing part of my life as a follower of Christ, it can also feel hurried or restricted when set between the busyness of each day's activities. The prayer gathering was a unique time to freely and openly speak and listen to God that encouraged and strengthened my heart.

Monday, August 6, 2012

music monday: pop perfection

Maybe it's a result of growing up in the era of boy bands, or attending all those junior high dances (before I switched to a private Christian school where dancing was not school sanctioned and generally frowned upon), but to this day there is something about great pop music that instantly gets my attention and makes me happy. Now, the definition of great is probably an ambiguous one, but simple, catchy, fun pop songs tend to get in your head whether you initially welcome them or not! It all started for me when TRL was in it's glory days, prompting teens around the nation to rush home from school in time to watch the music video countdown. The names and faces of pop stars were as familiar as those of friends and classmates. Behold: *NSYNC (with bonus Britney)...

Friday, August 3, 2012

this weekend...

Happy Birthday to my sweet, joyful, energetic, silly, creative, hilarious little Lorelei Jade! I can't believe my baby turns two today. In some ways it seems like the last two years have been full of a lifetime's worth of traveling and experiences, but so often it feels like she was just born moments ago. She is teaching me so much, and I am so thankful for the blessing of being her mama. We're having a little celebration with friends this afternoon, visiting with an out-of-town friend, and playing in Ohio this weekend. What will you be up to? Here are some fun links from around the web...

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Today has me thinking a lot about parenthood. No, not the TV show (although it's one of our favorites!)... Lorelei turns two tomorrow, and while it sometimes breaks my heart a teensy bit how fast time is flying by, I am so grateful for every moment with her. Being a parent has taught me more than I ever thought possible, and I continue to learn and grow with each new day and experience!

Seeing the absolute helplessness and need in your newborn gives you a quick picture of how we stand apart from God. Created in His image, yet, unable to become who we might someday be. Pouring myself out for my little girl, raising her, teaching her to do even the most basic things all helps me realize how much we must be loved by our Heavenly Father. I simply can't put into words the love I have for Lorelei, and knowing that God loves his children with a perfect love, far more intense and extravagant than my own sense of love, is mind boggling!

Being a parent not only helps me understand God better, but it helps me to understand my relationship with him as his child. I see my own desperate need, and the rescue provided by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. I see Lorelei's wonder and amazement at the world, and it propels me to look at the story of the gospel with a new and profound sense of wonder and awe. There is much more to learn through parenthood about faith, trust, and obedience in my future, but as I contemplate the last two years, I am eternally grateful for the lessons God has already been teaching me.

It's crazy to think we just keep discovering more and more about God and who He is as we age and grow. I'm so thankful for a living and active God, molding me and making me more like Him by his awesome power!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

good things

How is your week going? Ours has already included a lot of driving, but we got to see family this past weekend and Lorelei had a blast staying with her grandparents for a few days. She got a few early birthday presents (she turns 2 on Friday, I can't believe it!) and she's been excitedly playing with them since we got home last night. She's getting so creative and imaginative, it's really fun to see. Here are this week's good things...

Monday, July 30, 2012

music monday: beginner tip #5

When you're getting started as a musician, there are endless options on how to get started and what the best path to take is. There's no surefire way to guarantee success, and even those already making a living in the industry are constantly refining what they do and trying to learn  from their experiences. Jordan and I were recently invited to speak on a panel at GMA's Immerse in Nashville and the topic was "Building a Touring Business". Other panel guests were artists at varying points in their careers, a manager, and a booking agent. It was enlightening to think through our own answers, but also to hear everyone else's advice about touring and business. One thing stuck out as a pretty strong consensus, and that little snippet is today's beginner tip #5.

Friday, July 27, 2012

this weekend...

It's the weekend (almost)! I hope your week was fantastic, and that your weekend is even better. We're playing in South Dakota for the first time, then Minnesota. We're sneaking in a few visits with family while we're out this way in Iowa as well, which is always a blessing. Here are some fun links from around the web...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

good things

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I can hardly believe they are already showing "back to school" commercials on television..where is the time going!? We are getting ready to celebrate Lorelei's 2nd birthday in less than two weeks, which is so exciting and also maybe breaking my heart a little bit. She's not supposed to be such a big girl just yet! At least I have my teensy niece to give me a baby fix. It's honestly been a crazy, semi-rough week, but there is much to celebrate and be thankful for! This week's good things after the jump...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the thief of joy...

With so much of our lives being portrayed online through status updates, photo albums, blog posts, and so much  more, we have a unique opportunity in this day and age to control much of what others see of us. Yes, the people who are part of our daily lives get a more realistic picture (assuming we are vulnerable enough to open up a little), but it's amazing to me how much of our opinions of one another are formed or influenced by our online presence. Today's post is about a trend I've seen and recognized in my life and the lives of others: the tendency to create an idealized version of ourselves to represent us online, while in reality, we are struggling with the perceived "perfection" of others and our inability to truly live up to those standards.

Monday, July 23, 2012

music monday: beginner tip #4

Well hello! Last week was a bit sparse on the posting, so I'm excited to be back with this week's music monday. We spent most of the week helping with our sweet new niece and with Jordan's sister, who was having some unexpected complications. Thankfully God has been gracious and she's back home and on the mend. I'd love for you to pray for her as she continues to recover and enjoys life with her new little girl! Keep on reading for beginner tip #4...

Monday, July 16, 2012

music monday: beginner tip #3

I can't believe we're already half way through July! This summer has been flying by—it will be Fall before we know it...This weekend Jordan and I were the worship leaders at Coaches Time Out Great Lakes, and it was such a blessing. It was so great to see the way CTO pours into coaches and their spouses over the course of the weekend, and I'd strongly encourage you to find a CTO in your area if you're a coach of any sport, for any age group! I think I've said it before, but one of my favorite parts of what I do is getting the chance to partner with such a wide variety of churches and ministries, and to see what God is doing in so many people's lives. Today's music monday post features beginner tip # 3: take every opportunity!

Friday, July 13, 2012

happy friday!

Photo by brightideas.com
We're at a retreat this weekend and I didn't have time to round up links, but isn't this cake fun? I've been browsing Pinterest for ideas for Lorelei's 2nd birthday and I came across this brownie cake, inspired by an ice cream sandwich! So fun :)

Hope your weekend is a great one!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

favorite things: voluspa candle

Voluspa candle in Bella Sucre
Candles are one of those things I love having around the house, but they can be ridiculously expensive considering you just burn them up. Since the nice ones are a little bit of a luxury, it feels so special to receive them as gifts. Last Christmas my gift from Jordan included a Voluspa candle in Bella Sucre, a mild, sweet scent with Demarara Sugar, Tiare Flower, and Coconut Milk. The packaging is lovely, and I fell for the scent immediately. Yesterday we lit it after taking a little break from candles during the crazy heat wave we've been having, and I immediately felt more relaxed. It's funny how certain smells take on meaning and bring back memories.

Are there certain scents that bring back memories for you? I love it when you unexpectedly catch a scent that reminds you of a person or place that you love! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

good things

Happy Wednesday! We've been enjoying a quick few days at home before we head to MI for the weekend for a retreat. Having so few days at home usually means we spend most of our time unpacking, doing laundry, running errands, then repacking, but it's always good to be in our own house for a few nights. Here are this week's good things...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

link love: the pioneer woman

Between her fantastic website, successful cookbooks, and Food Network series, The Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond) has become pretty well-known. For those of you that still aren't on the PW train, I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite websites: thepioneerwoman.com.

Monday, July 9, 2012

music monday: beginner tip #2

How was everybody's weekend? Ours was great, except for the very long drive home from Tampa yesterday! We hit two major traffic jams, Lorelei threw up, and we ended with a severe rain storm. We finally rolled in just before midnight, and I have to say, we haven't been so happy to be home in a long time! Thankfully we got home safe and healthy, so we can't complain too much! Today's music monday post is the second in a series of quick tips for "beginner" musicians. Hopefully you'll find them helpful, especially if you're just getting started.

Friday, July 6, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)
I can't believe it's already Friday! Our week of vacation is drawing to a close, and although I'm a little sad to get back to "real life", it's been such a blessing to have this time off. Wednesday we unexpectedly spent the day in the ER with Lorelei. We're pretty sure she was dehydrated after a few days of sun and lots of activity. Once we got her to keep some liquids down she perked up quite a bit, and we were able to get back to the hotel to rest and clean up. Although it wasn't exactly how we planned to spend 4th of July, we were so thankful to have a hospital nearby and for the chance to get in quickly. Seeing my baby sick is the worst! I'm so glad she's on the mend. This weekend we'll be soaking up our last moments of vacation, and then performing on Sunday before we head back to Nashville. Here are some fun links from around the web...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

spotlight: kidco peapod plus

Lorelei demonstrating "night night" in her PeaPod

Life on the road generally means hauling around a lot of stuff. Between the gear, merch, suitcases, and extra kid necessities, the loading/unloading process can be a little ridiculous! We used to use a Pack n' Play for Lorelei, and it worked fine, but it was pretty bulky, and we noticed as LJ grew she seemed less comfortable in it. After using the Pack n' Play for about a year, we made a stop in Racine, WI where we were staying with a couple we'd become friends with after doing several concerts there. Mark represents KidCo, and naturally, told us all about their products seeing as we have a little one! He generously gave us a PeaPod Plus and told us to try it out when we got a chance. We've been using it for a while now and we much prefer it over the Pack n' Play. Check out my review after the jump!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

good things

Happy Fourth of July! This week's good things is my "vacation edition", as we still have a few days left to soak up this precious time as a family. Sometimes life can get so busy we forget to take time out to just be. It's so healthy to get away to recharge our bodies and souls! That doesn't always mean spending money on a vacation (our actual vacations are few and far between with how crazy our schedule is), but simply not overloading ourselves to the point of exhaustion and taking a little time here and there can work wonders. Since today is a holiday, I hope many of you are getting a little relaxation time in too! Here are this week's good things...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

life in pictures

Monday, July 2, 2012

music monday: beginner tip #1

Hey all! How was your weekend? We were at a church in Miami on Sunday (the farthest south we've ever driven!) and though it was a small church, the people there were such a big blessing. I had a chance to talk with a woman whose ability to walk is severely impaired by MS, and her perspective on life and her attitude were such an encouragement to me. We were connected by our faith in Christ and the knowledge that this world is not truly our home, and I will never tire of the way my job allows me to get such a beautiful glimpse of the body at work! Today's music monday post is the first in a mini-series of quick tips for anyone looking to get started as a musician.

Friday, June 29, 2012

This weekend...

Hey all! We stopped in Hilton Head, SC for a few days on our way to FL, visiting with friends that recently moved here. It's too pretty to sit inside on the computer, so no links this week, but I wish you all a lovely weekend! Try to stay cool, especially our Nashville friends (the temps are predicted to reach 108!). Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

summer sun essentials

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Our family is headed down to Florida for work, and while we're there we'll be sneaking in a little family vacation time. We've haven't taken a vacation as a family since Lorelei was born, and I'm excited to have a few days to relax, focus on spending time together, and taking LJ to the beach! Here are a few things I'll be bringing (and some on my wish list) when we're spending our days in the sun. We're hoping to take Lorelei to the zoo for the first time as well, which will be so exciting!

Do you have vacation plans this summer? How about a special family vacation that you'll always remember? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

good things

I hope you all are doing fabulously today! I am still beaming after meeting my precious niece London yesterday. She is perfect, so tiny and sweet and still. We spent the morning eating brunch (I made Swedish pancakes, an Anderson family tradition) and enjoying little London and her parents and it was so lovely. Lorelei was pretty jealous to see her daddy holding another baby, but she seems excited to have a cousin. Obviously meeting London is at the top of the good things list, but I'll share the rest after the jump!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

everyday faves

clockwise: 1 & 2 // 3 // 4

Sorry guys, this post is definitely for the ladies! :) While I am passionate about the fact that who we are and the value we have comes from Christ, not our external beauty, I am still a total "girlie girl". I have always loved playing with makeup, but while I find myself with a whole drawer full of fun colors and extras, I tend to use the same products on a daily basis. With a hectic schedule and busy toddler, I don't have the time to experiment, and no one likes to leave the house feeling uncertain about a new trend! I've tried lots of products since I started wearing makeup as a young teen (including a phase that included lots and lots of shimmery silver/white eyeshadow) and I try to find products that work well without breaking the bank. 

Here are a few of my everyday faves, clockwise from top left: MAC eyeshadow in Retrospeck, a pretty shimmery beige that matches my fair skin; MAC eyeshadow in Tempting, a gorgeous shimmering brown; Cover Girl Lash Blast Volumizing Mascara in Very Black, which I pile on pretty thick thanks to my best friend/former roomate/mascara addict Teresa; and Maybelline Baby Lips in Quench, a clear, glossy balm that has a sweet, fruity smell.

Do you ladies wear makeup daily, or just when you're getting dolled up? Do you have any amazing drugstore finds? How about those special purchases you only use on special occasions? I'd love to hear! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

music monday: artists + fans = :)

It's Monday! The weekend went by so quickly for me...we got up so early (4:30, ack!) on Saturday and drove to the Alive Festival to perform. It was a gorgeous day and the festival was a lot of fun; Alive has an amazing staff and volunteers. We played Sunday morning at Akron Baptist Temple where our friend Sean McNeill is the worship leader and then drove back up to MI to pick up miss Lorelei from grandma and grandpa's house. Today we're headed back to Nashville and I'm beyond excited to meet our new niece! Today's music monday post is about the relationship between artists and fans. Read more after the jump...

Friday, June 22, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)

Happy Friday, and Happy Summer! It's felt like summer since before Memorial Day in Nashville, but this week marked the official beginning of the season. To be honest, I much prefer Fall weather, but there's something so carefree about summer that I love. Lorelei loves to be outdoors and especially loves the water, so we've been having a blast playing in pools and sprinklers with her. She looks so cute in her little bathing suits! This weekend we're playing at the Alive Festival on Saturday (11 am on the Woods Stage if you'll be there) and on Monday we head back to Nashville. I can't wait to see my new niece! Here are some of my favorite posts from around the web...

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Photo taken by D Sharon Pruitt
BFF. Somewhere along the way, the term "bff" became so consistently used it's practically a real word.  The concept of "Best Friends Forever" rolls around early in childhood—especially for girls. I still have vivid memories of my childhood best friends, including secret languages, best friends necklaces, made up songs, and matching outfits. Once my early-childhood best friend/next door neighbor and I went so far as to be found walking along a main road a few blocks from home in pursuit of Greenland, after seeing a commercial on television! Other than the heart attacks we must have given our moms, it's a funny story of two best buddies ready to conquer the world.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

good things

How's everybody's week going? Hopefully you're all doing wonderfully! I'll keep today's post short and sweet and get right to this week's good things after the jump...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

life in pictures

The last few weeks have been a lot of fun. Miss Lorelei learned that sunglasses have an actual purpose (other than making her look super cool, of course). I ate way too much sugar—check out those chocolate high heels! While I didn't make my way through a chocolate shoe, we did sample lots of fudge, eat a lot of ice cream, and of course, some s'mores and roasted marshmallows around the bonfire. Thankfully I counteracted a few calories by biking everywhere this weekend, including an 8 mile bike around the island and some pretty intense hills on our way to the cookout. My muscles are still sore! Since Lorelei stayed with her grandparents this weekend, we celebrated Father's Day on Monday by taking Jordan to our favorite BBQ place here in MI and spending some family time on the lake. And finally, a week after she was due, we got to celebrate the birth of my niece London Rae! Little girl kept us all guessing, and we got news of her birth during our stay on Mackinac Island. I can't wait to get back to Nashville and have a chance to love on her!

Monday, June 18, 2012

happy monday!

We spent the weekend on gorgeous Mackinac Island with Mackinac Island Bible Church and it was so lovely. There are no cars on the island so we rode bikes or walked everywhere. We led worship Sunday morning and again at an evening bonfire for the summer workers. It was so beautiful and such a nice break, I didn't open my computer once! I'm taking a week off from music Monday to enjoy the drive home with Jordan and spend time with Lorelei this evening. Sometimes it's so nice to just free up a day to focus on what matters the most. Also, to let my poor muscles recover from some pretty intense uphill biking...

Hope you all have a lovely Monday, and that your weekend was relaxing and beautiful!

Friday, June 15, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)
It's Friday! Do you have big plans for the weekend? We are headed to MI today, and I'm so excited that tomorrow we'll go to Mackinac Island for the weekend. It's our third summer doing an event with Mackinac Island Bible Church, and it's been such a special time to get away and recharge a little bit. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island (except for the emergency vehicles) and everyone bikes or takes a horse drawn carriage. I'm looking forward to getting back on a bike again this weekend—I hope the weather is good! Last year was our first time leaving Lorelei overnight with her grandparents, and being on the peaceful island with perfect weather made it so much easier to relax!

Fingers crossed that we all get great weather this weekend and can enjoy some time in God's beautiful creation. I'm so thankful to be escaping the heat of Nashville for a few days...Here are this week's favorite links:

A gorgeous home before and after.

How to DIY a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for your family.

Loved this post on flying with a toddler. (Lorelei has been on a few flights, but not since she was an infant. Flying with a toddler scares me!)

I couldn't help but repin this stunning photo. Such a beautiful woman!

One of my favorite things in life is cheesy potatoes. They get me every time!

I would like some giant balloons with beautiful tassels please.

I'd love to make these neon dipped "teacher gifts" for myself, if we were home enough to keep plants alive...

Not at all practical for long-term decor, but this flower wall is so dreamy!

Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

a favorite verse

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

good things

The last week has been so full of good things for me and for our family. It's also been a week where the message of the gospel has been a heavy weight on my heart as I think about the brokenness in our world and in our culture. When bad things happen to friends of mine who have a relationship with Christ, I am encouraged to know that their sorrow is countered by the joy of Christ inside of them. However, when bad things happen to friends that don't have a relationship with Christ, my heart absolutely breaks for the pain they feel. I have so many amazing people in my life, Christians and non-Christians, and my deepest desire is that every one of us would enter into a fulfilling and intimate relationship with the God who created us and so deeply loves us. Lots of prayers in my heart and mind right now, and with that, let's get to this week's good things!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

tech savvy: hellofax


The last time I thought about faxing was when I was in junior high and my parents had a fax line for some rental properties they owned and managed. The only reason I even thought about it then was because it could have potentially interfered with my  dial-up internet connection and instant messenger conversations! That is, until I had to start faxing reports in to the record label. Suddenly I had to figure out how to find a quick and cost effective way to send faxes during busy tours. Thankfully, I'd heard about online faxing services and came across hellofax! Side note: anybody remember the printer paper that came in rolls with those perforated edges? I feel old.

Monday, June 11, 2012

music monday: working hard

How was your weekend? Mine went by so fast! We took advantage of some time to relax, and had a chance to visit with more friends and family before we left. Today we're on our way back to Nashville, and my fingers are crossed that my sweet baby niece will be born this week while we're there. I can't wait to become an aunt! Today's music monday is based on some follow up thoughts to the post about why we do what we do. Once you get past the initial inspiration, passion, and definition of why you're getting started, the next step is just plain old hard work!

Friday, June 8, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)
Happy Friday! I hope it's been a wonderful week for you. I have really been enjoying spending time with family and friends in Des Moines this week, and it's been nice to escape the crazy heat in Nashville and enjoy some midwestern weather. We'll be in the area through the weekend for another concert, anxiously waiting to hear if our new niece will decide to join us! We got a peek at some of the video footage from this week's project and I am even more excited about sharing it when it's ready! Here are some of my favorite links from the week:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

not-so-secret project

Yesterday we got started on a not-so-secret project that I'm super excited about. With the help of the talented Oceanwide Studios and a few of our favorite people, we managed to get a piano into the middle of a field and capture some great footage. I can't wait to share the finished product with you, but I figured in the mean time I would share some snaps from the day.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

good things

How is everybody's week going? It's Wednesday, which means we're halfway through already! We've been having a great time in Iowa visiting with family in between concerts this week. Today we're starting on a fun new project that I'm really excited about, so make sure you're following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for behind the scenes peeks! Here are this week's good things:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

tour diary

As with any artist, touring makes up a huge part of what I do. We are on the road more often than not these days, and constantly performing in new places and meeting new people (such a fun perk of this job!). Many times, people have lots of questions about what life is like for an artist, especially on tour. I thought starting a tour diary would be a fun way to document life on the road, and I'm excited to introduce the tour diary column to WanderLove!

Monday, June 4, 2012

music monday: needtobreathe

Hello friends! After a little break for Memorial Day, music monday is back! I hope your weekend was fantastic. We did a lot of driving and a lot of performing, and this week we're starting a special project that I'm looking forward to sharing with you all. More details on that soon, but today we're talking about an Anderson family all-time favorite: NEEDTOBREATHE.

Friday, June 1, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)
Isn't that photo of San Francisco dreamy? Jordan and I had the chance to visit a few months ago. We performed at a retreat center, but luckily our friend Joey hosted us for a few extra days and had time to show us around a little bit. I'd visited before, but having our own personal tour guide really made Jordan and me fall in love with the city ourselves. By the way, that photo (and most of my Friday photos) was taken by the talented Char Beck, a dear friend we met while serving in Ecuador during the annual Extreme Response Christmas parties in 2010. I'd highly recommend browsing his site and hiring him if you need a talented and charming photographer. Lorelei was quite smitten with him!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

life in pictures

My photography skills are pretty laughable, and I often forget to take pictures altogether. I've decided that instead of spending time learning to use my camera or waiting for a nicer one until I get in the habit, I am going to do my best to document life on my ever-present iPhone.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

good things

It really doesn't feel like Wednesday to me. Even though I can easily lose track of what day it is with all the travel and the lack of routine, something about a long holiday weekend always throws me off! Last week I felt like I was running on fumes, so having an extra day to relax and truly rest really encouraged my soul. Being home for over a week has been really wonderful, and it's given me so much to be thankful for. Just when I think I am so tired I can't even imagine having to repack the suitcases, God fills my heart with encouragement and gives me a chance to rest.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

tech savvy: wunderlist

Wunderlist is my new favorite app. Being a little type-A, I organize all the apps on my iPhone into tidy  folders, but Wunderlist is used so often that it has a special place on the home screen. As a byproduct of my type-A-ness (new word?) I am a total list lover. Full disclosure: I will sometimes add something I've already done to my list, just for the satisfaction of checking it off. I love to make lists on beautiful paper, but the reality is that on the road I usually lose track of that kind of thing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)
Happy Memorial Day friends! I hope you are able to enjoy the day, but more than that, I hope we are able to take time to honor those who have given their lives to defend our country and our freedom. No matter where we fall on a political scale, we are beyond blessed to be the recipients of the sacrifice of so many. I am humbled by the selflessness of those who have given their lives, and as we remember the fallen, I am also so very grateful for those currently serving our country.

Friday, May 25, 2012

this weekend...

Photo taken by Char Beck (www.charbeck.net)

How is it already Memorial Day weekend? I am seriously in disbelief that we're coming up on June. In just over two months Lorelei will be having her second birthday. She is growing and changing by the day and it's crazy how quickly the time seems to have passed. We have some friends visiting from out of town on Saturday, and we're looking forward to being at our home church on Sunday before a long string of weekends out. We're hoping to sneak in some relaxation and get outdoors as well, but the weather is predicted to be in the mid-nineties, which is a record high! At least that might give us a solid excuse to get ice cream (as if ice cream really needs an excuse)! :) What do you all have planned for the holiday weekend?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

across the spaces

A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God was one of the first books I read that really seemed to make an impact on my faith. I devoured it quickly, looking up words I wasn't familiar with, underlining favorite passages, and making notes in the margin. How easily I forget that my life is a pursuit of the one who made me, loves me, and wants to make me more like Him!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

good things

Now that I've gotten into the routine of making my good things list every week, I find myself really looking forward to Wednesday's posts! I hope you all are finding opportunities to see the good things all around! Here are this week's:

The opportunity to catch up with old friends. The joy of seeing Lorelei learning to interact with new friends. The way God always provides for our needs, no matter how big or small. Friendships that endure through the years and have that comfortable feeling that reminds you how to just be yourself. Jeni's ice cream. Free Starbucks coupons. The color yellow. Co-writes and kindred spirits. Laughing with husband. Sleeping in. Performing new music.

I'd love to hear yours this week! Hope your Wednesday is a lovely one. :)