Friday, March 29, 2013


Last year was remarkable in a lot of ways but one of them was that 75% of my vacation days were spent in other countries. Not a bad record right?

But I love love love so many parts of my own country and so this year, I'm trying to take most of my vacation days enjoying the people and places I already love or want to explore right here in the U.S. So when three of my lady friends in California got a hankering for an East Coast adventure, I signed up for whatever that entailed.

Turns out we all mind-melded and everyone wants to do exactly the things on my East Coast adventure TO DO list. We're flying to Martha's Vineyard for a few days of lazy island life and what I hope is an almost unhealthy amount of time on a beach cruiser. Then we'll drive to Newport, RI where I will be attending my VERY FIRST multi-day music festival. We picked one with a boatload of history and a less flashy but super meaty lineup than you find with some of the Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo type festivals. I would like to hit one of those one day but the Newport Folk Festival has been on my list for years. Throw in that some of my dearest friends live just outside Newport and then we're headed to Boston for a crazy 24 hour cap to the trip and well, my heart leapt with joy when I booked the tickets. Beth Orton, The Lumineers, Cold Specks, ANDREW BIRD, Jim James, The Felice Brothers, Hey Marseilles. From artists I have seen in Heather Browne's living room to people who have been on my playlists since before there was an iPod to put them in, add in a venue that is right on the water and a group of friends who will be willing to soak it all up, I feel like I am hitting the vacation jackpot.

The festival posted this video the other day and you can call me a nerd but I got tears in my eyes watching it. America the Beautiful indeed.

A few of the artists I am excited about...

(this song might be in my all-time top ten. i can't listen to it without being right back into my first time living in Boston.)

(this one time, i was at a Lumineers show, and they needed a glockenspiel holder and they picked me. and there were like 200 people at that show. and now lookie. so cool.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oh Hello

I'm inexplicably giddy this week. Maybe it's flying all the way around the world in the space of ten days. Maybe it's nephew time in about 36 hours. Maybe it's two baby nieces on the way. Maybe it's spring coming soon. Maybe it's an influx of great music. Maybe it's too much flirting (but thank goodness there has been some flirting!). I don't know. What I do know is there is a lot of dancing happening in my kitchen lately. Solo dancing mind you, but the serious, like no one is watching, whole soul, shaking it like a polaroid picture kind of dancing.

My soundtrack is really killer.

Brother and sister duo? Yes please.

(braggy sidenote-my super talented photographer friend Dusdin did the cover of this fantastic you must get it album)

I saw these guys play in a coffee shop here in the Springs last night on an old couch sandwiched comfortably between my friend Casey and a very cute fella who was way, way, WAY too young to talk to as much as I did but way way WAY too cute to ignore. The kind of night that reminds me what it was like to be 15. (He was 22 just so we are clear-no actual 15 year olds were involved)

I have a huge crush on Mackelmore. Like I giggle through his songs kind of crush.

Pickwick. I mean, if you haven't gotten on board do it now because they are blowing up. We'll be seeing them Tuesday night in a venue ten times the size of the one they played just six months ago. Get with it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ready or not

After spending last spring and summer in the clutches of the Olympics, I am almost beside myself with excitement to have these two seasons to myself this year. Weekends in Utah, a jaunt to Martha's Vineyard, a Rhode Island music festival, camping with the Young Women in my stake and all the hikes and day trips to fabulous parts of Colorado I have yet to see are just a few of the things on my agenda.

I'm getting a little preview this weekend when I head to Salt Lake for my sister's baby shower. My St. George nephews will be around and we've already planned way, way more activities than we can actually fit into three days. Just the way I like it.

My friend Adam sent me his annual Spring Mix yesterday and although the whole thing is wonderful, this is the song that keeps me hitting repeat. It's 4 and a half minutes of joy. I can't stop smiling.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Learning to Fly

Perhaps the most disappointing part of getting older has been discovering that, contrary to my childhood belief, adults don't actually have all their sh*t together. Even as a law abiding citizen with an education and a good job, I am still constantly learning and making mistakes and then sometimes not learning at all and making the same mistakes over and over. It often feels like the more I think I have figured out, the more I see how much there is I still don't have a handle on. In theory I think that is a good thing-it means that I am not staying in one place, that the bar is ever raising on what I expect from myself. In practice it means that my teenage dreams of knowing everything when I grew up seem more and more naive by the day.

Some days though you get flashes of real growth and get to experience some peace about an experience that was incredibly hard.

Without going into to much personal detail, there was something I wanted for pretty much my entire twenties and early thirties. Something I wished for and prayed for almost everyday. Something part of me knew probably wasn't the right thing but that I continued to pursue even if it sometimes meant ignoring my own intuition.

Slowly slowly I started to question why I was holding onto this dream and began to realize that it actually wasn't good for me. So I let go. At first it felt like I had lost a security blanket and I missed that dream. And then it became clear that my narrow focus had blocked other possibilities. Saying goodbye made space in my life for things I hadn't considered. I mourned a little bit for the years lost chasing a shadow but I felt stronger when I stopped leaning on it.

This whole thing was a couple of years ago and I use it as an example to myself when I'm frustrated about some lesson I think is too hard. I think about all the tears and anguish and frustration and heartache and disappointment that didn't seem fair at the time. And then I look at what true change it brought and I feel thankful.

So that is enough. But sometimes you get a little bonus. A bit of "a ha" information that is almost physical in it's power to confirm that you made the right choice. That what you wanted wasn't what you needed.

I'm writing this from a cozy hotel room in Germany. Earlier this week I was in China. By the time I get back to Denver on Wednesday I will have flown all the way around the world. There are things about my life that keep me up at night with worry and fear and things that absolutely take my breath away I feel so lucky. I suppose that makes me fairly normal. I hope that makes me fairly normal. But I'm grateful for the moments where the lucky outweighs the scary and I feel that much closer to being the person my mother thinks I already am.

This version of a great song cycled through my iTunes this morning and I have had it on repeat. Learning to Fly indeed.