Put Yourself On The List

Hey friends…

It’s winter where I am. This means gray skies, some snow, cold temps and if I’m being honest it’s sometimes a real fight to stay out of the depressed zone during these months. I am slowly still coming off my post Christmas holidaze...what, you mean it’s not normal to have dessert for breakfast and start drinking festive cocktails at 3pm? Ah yes, back to reality.

I kind of let myself go in the winter.

Like, what’s the real importance of shaving your legs in the winter anyway? Or why do I need to get off the couch and go for a walk outside? It’s cold out there people. I sort of hibernate. But, that never makes me happy. So I am trying to not have January suck this year.

I had this thought the last few days. We blogged about it towards the end of December and the thought is this: TAKE IT BACK. Whatever you’ve let go--take it back.

For me, January in Nashville is gray and I sometimes get into a funk. I have prayed and worked really hard at taking my January back. Not letting the gloom get to me and as an added bonus it’s actually been pretty sunny this January. Woop woop.

Oprah said it best, “Sometimes you need to put yourself on the list.” Do something for you. Take yourself back. Yesterday I got my eyebrows waxed. This might sound silly, but it was something that I wanted to do that would make me feel better about myself. I know it can be a frivolous expense but I was doing something for me. I was putting myself on the list.

Maybe you need to put yourself on the list and take something back? Maybe it’s your joy. Maybe it’s your sense of adventure. Heck, maybe it’s just soaking in a tub and shaving your legs. Whatever it is, I encourage you to take it back. You can’t control everything in life, but you can control yourself and your mindset.

Put on your power pants and say to yourself: I GOT THIS. I AM TAKING IT BACK. Now go and put yourself at the top of the list.

Much love,

Kate

 

 

Failure Is Your Friend (Part 3: 3 things We've Learned in 13 years)

 

This is the final segment of the blog series today: Three things we’ve learned in 13 years of being independent musicians.

Here is our #3:

3. Success will likely not look how you think it will look and failure doesn’t mean you’re finished.

 

Let’s start with the failure part. Failure is not a sexy word, but guys, WE HAVE FAILED SO MUCH (and we will continue to fail as we continue to grow.) You might remember our blog about how we went to law school and told a bunch of law students about our biggest epic fails. We had a long list of them! Failure exists and you will experience it. But, it’s not the end! It feels like it sometimes, but often it’s just the beginning.

Sometimes failure can be your greatest asset.

We look at our last year and in some ways we felt like we had failed along the way. Or that we were failures. Getting fired, wanting to give up, feeling adrift. But what we got out of those experiences went way beyond our expectations. We were able to share our experience with so many people, stand up against body shaming, and meet people along the way who have changed our trajectory in a big way. Don’t look at failure as the end. See it as the beginning of something new.

When it feels like you’ve failed, instead of focusing on what can’t be anymore, ask these 2 questions:

 

1. What can I learn from my failure?

2. What does this make possible?

 

Asking yourself these questions will change everything. It opens up a new world of possibilities. The only failure that you can’t recover from is giving up. Pretty crazy right? You can only be stopped, if you stop.

And now onto success...wow. When we started out, we thought success maybe looked like becoming the next Dixie Chicks or Destiny’s Child (who doesn’t secretly want to be #QueenBey?) Or having a huge smash hit on the radio? Or maybe having our own reality show? It hasn’t looked like that for us. We have had, and continue to have, our own unique story and our own unique successes. The amazing part is, we could have never dreamt them up.

We didn’t know that success would look like...

...traveling the world as backup singers. We NEVER even thought about being backup singers. Like, we didn’t consider it once. Ha! Then all of a sudden, there we were, at the Daytona 500 in front of 250,000 people singing backup for one of our favorite singers, which led to over 6 years of touring as backup singers. Didn’t see that one coming.

We didn’t know that success would look like...

...playing house shows in your living rooms and backyards that would be some of the most rewarding shows we could ever play. The connections we have made with so many people have been truly encouraging and enjoyable.

We never imagined success would mean...

...we’d be on tour opening for one of our favorite artists ever, Jann Arden, traveling around Canada singing our songs and then getting to listen to her sing her songs every night. We had “pinch me” moments all tour long. We still do when we think about it.

We didn’t know that success would mean...

...that in 13 years we’d have relationships in our lives that have kept us breathing when we’ve wanted to stop, filled us with hope and laughter, and given us our greatest memories. Nothing beats that kind of success.

If success had looked how we thought it would look, who knows if we would have ever had these incredible relationships and experiences or if we would have even made it 13 years at all.

You have your own story...it will likely not look like anyone else’s. Don’t limit your success to looking like someone else’s success. It can and will be so much more special and unique, because it’s yours.

So those are 3 things we’ve learned in our 13 years on this crazy journey. To recap:

 

1: Be thankful for small beginnings.

2: Never sacrifice a relationship for an opportunity.

3: Success will likely not look how you think it will look and failure doesn’t mean you’re finished.

Maybe you thought we’d write about how we learned to use ProTools or what kind of vehicle is the best to tour around in. Maybe you thought we’d write about how the internet has changed how we do business or what microphones our voices sound best on...how to record an album independently in your basement. Or what it was like performing on Ellen for the first time! How and what REALLY goes on behind the scenes at SNL. Not this time around. Yes, we have learned all of those things and will share them with you soon, but these are three of the most important things we’ve learned along the way.

Thanks for being part of our story..and if you’re reading this, count yourself as a part of our success. We are counting you with grateful hearts.

Let’s all get started on the next 13 years: thankful, holding relationships close and loving failure!

Much love,

j&k

Living In Tension (Part 2: 3 Things We've Learned in 13 Years)

Today we want to tell you why we've tried to live in tension for 13 years. It might sound miserable, but it's not. It's a tension we hold dearly to. Read on and we'll explain what we mean...

Yesterday we gave you a little history about how we got started 13 years ago. We also shared one thing we learned.

1. "Be thankful for small beginnings."

Today we’re sharing a second thing we learned. This one is CRUCIAL to how we run our business, our personal lives, and how we navigate all of our decisions. We've learned it the hard way sometimes and have seen how it can hurt us when we do it wrong. We've also been in this long enough to see the benefits of doing this the right way. So here it is:

2. Never sacrifice a relationship for an opportunity.

This is perhaps the most important thing we have learned. At the end of the day, all we have are relationships. We’ve messed some up along the way, that’s for sure. We’ve lost friends, screwed up dating relationships, and have experienced loss both personally and professionally by choosing opportunities over relationships at times.

Opportunities come up and sometimes they sound like they’ll change your life. Maybe they sound like a good networking opportunity or maybe they pay really well. Sometimes that’s great. Those things are needed to keep your career alive and moving forward. It’s often right to say yes to good opportunities. But we cannot think of an opportunity that we’ve been offered or that could arise in the future that would outweigh the benefits we have in having strong, healthy relationships with friends, family, and in business. You just can’t replace that. It sounds trite or like it’s “the right thing to say.” But we’ve lived it, learned it and found it to be true.

So, invest in relationships. Yes, take opportunities that come along...you have to. Life involves balancing so much, but always consider the whole picture first. If an opportunity will compromise or take advantage of a relationship, take time to consider what’s more important. What we’ve found is that for us, relationships trump the opportunity every time.

Remember how we said in our blog yesterday that we drove from NH to LA with our 2 friends...here is a pic to prove it :) August 2006. Pitstop in Vegas. Ha! Great memories.  

Remember how we said in our blog yesterday that we drove from NH to LA with our 2 friends...here is a pic to prove it :) August 2006. Pitstop in Vegas. Ha! Great memories.  

Our professor Warren at The Contemporary Music Center has been a guide and a mentor for us throughout our career. He is someone we still go to for advice to this day. Early on, we were preparing to go out on one of our first huge tours and he was talking to us about business and life. We were concerned about staying grounded, keeping level heads and not getting swept up in the hype of it all. He told us this:

"If you are aware of the tension, you're probably okay. If you've lost the awareness of that tension, then you're in trouble."

He was saying, if you're still worried about being swept up in it, it means you're not swept up in it yet. If you’re concerned about asking for that favor from a friend that could boost your career and are debating it heavily, you’re probably perfectly living in the tension. Keep that tension. As soon as you're swept up in it, or ask for favors without a second thought, the tension is probably gone which means your perspective might be gone too. You will start valuing opportunity more than relationships.

That's why we've spent 13 years trying to live in the tension. This word can be so negative, but we are talking about a positive, healthy tension. The tension of caring more about people than opportunities. The tension of trying to have integrity and strong character over “success” according to the world or industry standards. We try to hold this tension even if it feels uncomfortable and we try to hold it in every decision we make.

Relationship investments look different than opportunity or business investments. We’d venture to say that the relationship investments will always pay off in the long run...whereas opportunity investments might pay out quickly but may not last. We want to build lives, legacies and business that lasts...even if it takes longer. And yes, sometimes we've missed out on opportunities because we weren't willing to make the sacrifice. As we look back, we are always glad we did. 

What are you investing in? Do you need more of the “good tension” in your life? That’s been one of our biggest lessons the 13 years has taught us. Tomorrow we’ll share one more thing  we’ve learned in our 13 years...things aren’t always as the appear.

Until tomorrow...

xo

j&k




 

3 Things We’ve Learned In 13 Years

You might be new to us or maybe you’ve been journeying along with us for several years. Either way, here’s what you might not know: We met 13 years ago today (January 11th) on a tiny island off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard. You might be thinking, 13 years?!? You were only 10 when you met? Thank you. You’re very kind. That’s right. ;)

We were in college and we both decided to spend a semester of our junior years studying music at The Contemporary Music Center. Green as can be, we each stepped off the boat (you have to take a ferry to get there) and showed up in our new digs, a rustic cabin, where we were randomly placed together as roommates. Jill, a shy basketball player from a small New Hampshire town, and Kate, an outgoing California girl who loved makeup, matching outfits and had grown up all over the world. We were as different as could be, but something clicked.

One of our oldest pics together...please note Jill's MV hoodie :) We're thinking this MUST HAVE BEEN a middle of the night rehearsal because we look SOOOOOO tired!

One of our oldest pics together...please note Jill's MV hoodie :) We're thinking this MUST HAVE BEEN a middle of the night rehearsal because we look SOOOOOO tired!

The first time we sang together was for a class assignment for which we had to co-write a song. When we started singing, we felt like Joey from F-R-I-E-N-D-S when he finds his identical hand twin. We had a musical chemistry that just worked and we formed a duo pretty much right away.

Thinking back on that time, it feels like a million years ago and sometimes we wonder what the heck we were thinking, going out into the world trying to make it in the music industry. But you never know the dreams you will find in your heart and how God will direct you towards them. We spent 4 months writing, harmonizing, recording, and planning our big jump into the world of music. Then off we went to chase the dream.

We’ve learned a heck of a lot in those 13 years and we are learning more today than ever. One of the greatest pieces of advice we ever received when we started out was to “Be teachable.” Always be willing to learn new things and never think you’re too good, too smart, too famous, too experienced, too rich, too old to learn from anyone, anything or any situation. So we wanted to share with you 3 things we’ve learned along the way. Here we go:

  1. Be thankful for small beginnings.

After we recorded our first album (which we did mostly ourselves to save money) we decided to move to LA to try to get our foot into the pop world. We had no idea what that meant, but it sounded good to us at the time. We drove from New Hampshire to LA with two of our other best friends. On the way out, we stopped by Jill’s great aunt and uncle’s house to say goodbye. They gave us an envelope with $100 and sent us on our way (thanks Callie + Bill.) It felt like 1 million dollars to us. We got to LA and shared an apartment with another friend we knew there. We shared a room and a bathroom, living in very close quarters.  We worked tons of weird, boring, odd jobs to pay the bills and we learned how to live off of very little (and a couple credit cards...thanks Amex...#sorryDaveRamsey.)

The first shows we played when we started out were coffeehouse open mics or hole-in-the-wall bars where no one listened and we were paid in beer, which we hate. (Give us some wine and now we’re talking.) But we were getting experience by playing in public. Testing out our songs, working on our show.

There were times down the road where we had much more. We eventually got bigger apartments where we didn’t have to share a room or a bathroom. We booked shows that actually paid us in money, not beer. We got to have jobs that were the opposite of boring and mundane. Dream jobs. We had more than we needed. (We paid it off, Dave Ramsey!)

We have also had times where things have been slow again, where we’ve had to go back to saving money and living off of very little. But guess what? We knew how to do that because that’s how we started out. We didn’t even mind it because we learned how to appreciate both extremes. Thankfulness is everything. Learn how to find it in whatever you are experiencing because it will change you. Small beginnings are the best beginnings.

Tomorrow we'll tell you a second thing we've learned in this 13 year journey...it's something that has drastically changed the way we navigate opportunities. Tune in tomorrow. 

Much love,

Jill and Kate

PS. If you need us for the rest of the day we'll just be partying -jumping up and down cause t's our Friend-A-Versary! A-wooo-hooo!

PPS: In honor of 13 years, we are offering 10 EXCLUSIVE packages, for a limited time only. This package is our ENTIRE catalog of physical albums (all autographed) including Finding My Own Way which will only be available digitally from this point forward. The package also includes a t-shirt, a journal and pen set, and a handwritten note from us. Get yours here!


Take It Back (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Well hello last day of 2015…how is everyone feeling?

2015 has been a crazy year. One of the best things to come out of this year for us both personally and professionally has been learning/feeling/carrying the word perseverance.

Perseverance is defined as:  “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”

As we reflect on 2015, there were many dark days, nights and weeks. Nights so dark that the haunting, dark voices spoke loudly calling us to give up, that it was “too hard” or that is was just “not in the cards for us.” Yes, they were hard, BUT two things made a difference:

 

People + Hope.

 

Friends and community came alongside us to gather up the broken pieces and to tell us we will be whole again. Hope that came from on high that reminds us that we have a purpose.

It’s funny because we really should think of 2015 as an awful year...but we don’t. There were so many gifts to receive and lessons to be learned in the dark times. Out initial reaction is to want to be out of them, but when we were knee deep in them, we decided to try and learn. And learn we did. We learned so much about ourselves, God, friends, the music industry...that we are looking back at 2015 as one of the best years. The gifts of learning are truly so great that the hard times pale in comparison. Would we want to live it again? No. But, did we learn more than we ever thought possible? Yes.

So, as we head into 2016 we are urging you to embrace this theme with us: TAKE IT BACK. If you lost something in 2015, take it back in 2016.

 

Take back your confidence.

Take back your gratitude.

Take back your joy.

Take back your dreams.

Take back your wonder.

Take back the control you have over your own mind.

Take back adventure.

Take back loving yourself.

Take back positivity.

Take back valuing others.

Take back your family.

Take back friendships.

Take back your health.

 

What have you taken from yourself? What have you let others take from you? What has been taken from you without you even noticing?

That’s the gift of a new year--a blank canvas of endless possibilites. Do you know exactly what December 31st, 2016 will look like? No. None of us can know that. But we have this gift of life and this year, we can give a gift to ourselves...we can TAKE IT BACK.

We could give you a list of goals/dreams/ideas that we have for us individually and for “Jill and Kate” but we’re not going to right now...we’ll share more details as the year unfolds. But, since we are all in this together, we wanted to tell you about TAKING IT BACK so that you’ll join us! What do you need to take back in your life? What are tools that are going to help you do it? Who are people that have done it before you? These are all ideas that we’ll be exploring throughout the year.

We’d love to hear what you are taking back in 2016!

This concludes our #31DaysOfBlogging...man, that was fun! Probably the most memorable one yet! Thanks for following along, being part of our story, and letting us be part of yours!

Stay safe tonight in all of the celebrating...we are believing in you for 2016!

xo
j&k

Shots! Shots! Shots! (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Making the LULLABIES album was definitely a highlight of 2015. You can read more about how we got the idea to make it here, but now we wanted to tell you two fun side-stories about LULLABIES….

1) 

Our friend Jenny (who we made the album for) needed shots once a week for 12 weeks of her pregnancy and she asked us if one of us would learn how to do it so she didn’t have to go to the hospital once a week for an appointment just to get a quick shot. Now, we all know how Jill feels about needles or blood or anything medically related….she is NOT having it.

So, that left me, Kate. Nurse Kate, apparently. I went to the Dr with Jenny and Nurse Donna taught Nurse Kate here how to give a shot {insert all the fear and emotion here.} Not only was I going to have to stick a needle into my freind, I also had the pressure of not paralyzing her in the process. The shots went into her “lower back area--upper gluteous maximus” if you get my gist. The first time I did it, my hands were shaking and I reconfirmed that my calling in life is music, not nursing. OMG, how do you guys do it? Mad respect.

Anyhow...we made it through...the process got easier and let’s just say that only one time did I almost give her a shot with the wrong sized needle. Oopsies. And by almost, I mean I definitely stuck her with the needle, panicked, knew something was wrong, and then stopped. OMG. But, all the other times it was great and there is definitely a new bond that forms with a friend after going through something like that together.

Here’s a picture of our last shot on Tuesday...just 2 days before we surprised her with the album.

So, if any of you ever need a shot--I’m your gal. Well, probably not. I’m kind of glad that I don’t have to do it anymore. But, I didn’t know 2015 was going to be the year that I learned how to give shots. Who knows what next year will hold?? Nurse Kate, signing off

2)

We wanted to tell you a bit about how one of the songs was written. We were at a conference and we heard a friend, Jami Nato, speak. She has an incredible story--she’s writing a book and we cannot wait to read it because it’s going to change people's lives. Follow her here and stay up to date with all of her goings-ons because she’s amazing. That's Jami upfront, next to Jill in the rockin' shades. And our other BFF Whitney in the back with Kate.

Anyway--she spoke at the conference and she said something that really moved us. She is a mom to four littles and she said she doesn’t tell her kids to “be brave” or “be kind.” She tells them to ask God to help them to be brave or be kind. That we can’t do it on our own. That we need God to fill the gap, to change our hearts when we can’t do it on our own. YES. We love this thought and concept. It’s simple, but it’s huge.

There are so many things that we think we can do in our own strength, but we can’t. Not on our own. We need to ask for help. So we wrote, “Love Be Near.” It’s a prayer asking for God to be near us and to help us hour by hour, day by day.

Below are the lyrics. We hope they are a reminder of a small prayer we can all sing in our hearts.

Who can believe tomorrow is the last day of 2015?? Wow.

Much love,

Jill and Kate

 

LOVE BE NEAR

Help me be brave

Help me be strong

Help me choose right over wrong

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Help me not fear

Help me to grow

Help me to know I’m never alone

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Help me be kind

Help me be free

Help me always see what you see

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Love be near

Love be near

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

 

Help me to sing

This song in my heart

Be a light in the dark

Love be near me now

Love be near me now

© Jill and Kate, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Chicago & Stories (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

In November we had the opportunity to go to Chicago to attend a conference called Storyline. This conference is put on by Donald Miller and it has been going on for 6 or 7 years. We have always wanted to go, but have never been able to make it work. 

This year, we knew a bunch of our friends were going to be there and our calendar just happened to be open! :) Again, anytime our friends are going to be somewhere, it doesn't take much convincing to make a plan to be there!

So we hopped in the car and headed to Chicago. It's about an 8 hour drive and the weather was perfect. That almost never happens when driving to Chicago, so we knew this was bound to be a good couple of days. 

And that it was. 

This conference is 2.5 days filled to the brim with inspiring people, challenging ideas, and fun times. It came at the perfect time for us...we were mostly recovered from the hard-knocks that came earlier in the year and we were ready to be inspired and start planning for what was ahead. And it wasn't just planning. We were learning from some of the greatest thinkers/world impacters around. We were trying to absorb as much as possible so that we can become better writers/speakers/humans, etc. Sometimes you just need to step outside of your own world...out of your own head...and hear some fresh ideas and perspectives. We always want to be open to being taught. We are never done learning.

(We were so fortunate this year to have a few opportunities to do this---remember we got to hear Brene Brown speak a few weeks before? And we got to go to another conference with our friend Whitney and meet so many inspiring people there. All of these experiences refreshed us and got us excited to do new things in the world of J&K.)

Storyline is a place where creative people all get together and learn how to live a better story. Don took us through the art of story and it was fascinating. He taught us that great characters in stories TAKE ACTION. Yes. We love that. Guys, we all write so much of our own stories...but not all of it! There's so much out of our control. But at the same time, we have a lot of control in how we deal with the ups and downs of life. How we use the negative turns and make them positive.

There's a lot in life that we get to choose.

Remember "Choose Your Own Adventure" books from when we were kids? That's life sometimes. Especially in this country and in this day-in-age, we are free and able to do so many things! We can turn to pages that we pick...they aren't always picked for us. We don't have to be stuck. We can have dreams. And we can chase those dreams. And more importantly in all of this, we can choose our attitudes...how we approach this life that we get. Now, we don't know about you, but we think that's HUGE.:) 

While at Storyline we also got to play a few songs for the conference attendees. That was super awesome. We love playing wherever we can and it was cool to be in a room full of so many dreamers getting to play some of our songs for them.

We left after those couple days in Chicago and drove back home with full hearts and full minds. We were full of new ideas and renewed dreams. 

Tomorrow we'll tell you about how/find/who/what/where and when we decided to record LULLABIES.

Until tomorrow...

xo

J&K

 

An Open Letter To Adele (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Hello!

Kate here. So, did anyone else absolutely lose it in November when Adele released the 29 second teaser of “Hello?” No. Just me? It’s cool. I’ll own it. I lost it. I literally listened to it about a million times...which PS. ...thank you Nicki Manaj for filming it and tweeting it. After listening about 15 times, I cried. I did. I went up to my room, laid down on my bed, listened to it over and over and cried (not dramatic at all, right?) I cried because something in me resonated with the pain in her voice and with the simple words. But it felt like the words were resonating from so deep within me. It’s what I have felt so many times. “I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet. To go over, everything. They say that time’s supposed to heal us, but I ain’t done much healing.” Ughhhhh, it hit me so hard. I listened. I cried. And I could not wait to hear the rest of the song and the whole album.

So the week the album came out and I listened from top to bottom, I wrote this letter to Adele and I thought it’d be fun/awkward to share it with you. Haha. Allow me this nerd-fan-girl-moment if you will. 

An Open Letter To Adele:

Dear Adele,

Thank you for making music that makes me feel like something is broken inside me and yet is being fixed simultaneously. The songs shed light on the darkest crevices of my heart and pour warmth back in, all at the same time.

Thank you for sharing your stories with us and reminding us that we’re all in this together. That we’re all living similar stories and feeling the same things. Thank you for being honest with your truths...I think it makes us all braver in telling our own truths.

Thank you for having a smashing, literal-record-breaking career and only having a 9 week old Instagram account. Thank you for not having distracting bells and whistles. You remind me that the best way to bring my art into the world is to be myself. To not bend to the status quo or “what has worked before," but to be me. Thank you for being you. All you. Your talent is bettering the world because it is authentically you. I know it couldn’t have always been easy, so thanks for easing the path for others.

Thank you for not sharing your each and ever-loving thought with us while you’ve been “off the grid.” Thank you for having a life, and living it, because of that I feel like you’ve been able to give us these songs. I don’t know what you ate for lunch two weeks ago, I don’t know what vacations you took over the last year or what other celebrities you’ve bumped into. Thank you for living your life. Thank you for not making your job suddenly “being famous.” Thank you for taking the time to fully live and letting these songs marinate and be birthed. You’ve set a good example for me. From living, is where the songs come from. The heartache, the joys, the surprises, the losses...if we aren’t living, we’ll miss all of this.

Thank you for singing. You’ve always sung and you’ve made people realize what a gift vocal chords are. You’ve honed your craft. I remember seeing you play to a sold-out crowd in Boston at the Orpheum Theater. You were so present and engaged on stage. You honored the audience. You stood there and sang...and it was wonderful.  

This new album is my favorite so far. The whole album has an effortless cool. It feels original and authentic and somehow familiar. And those alter-melodies...good God, they’re glorious!!! Well done! They remind me that while we think one thing is going on in our lives, there can often be a totally different thing unfolding simultaneously--sometimes we push against them but ultimately they make it better.

Thank you for making music that I can’t wait to play for my children someday. Thank you for being a classic.

I hope you keep living life to the fullest and writing songs that bring emotion to the surface.

You are a National Treasure Adele and I am grateful for you.


With much love,

Kate

 

The Gift of Adventure (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

This fall we finally got back into our groove after the chaos of this year. We started writing a lot more...and we were working on a secret LULLABIES album this fall too. But we weren't just writing songs that were lullabies. We were also writing songs that reflected on our experiences throughout the year. We told you a few days ago about "Quit Worrying" which was a song that came out of the trials of this year. 

But after we wrote that song, we wrote a song that was inspired by the adventures of this year. We got to have a lot of adventures this year. We went overseas to play for the troops, met tons of new friends in Canada where we got to do things like jump off cliffs and swim under waterfalls, went paddle boarding for the first time, went on last minute road trips, became adjunct law professors, and so much more.

Adventure is a gift. It can change your mindset, your morale, and your momentum.

So in November, we wrote this song called "We Go Running" all about adventure. It's about being tired of the mundane and needing a change. It's just a fun, feel-good song and we had fun writing it. 

Writing songs is what we love to do. We love how therapeutic and healing it can be. We will continue to blog through the year this December, but as we begin to approach 2016, we will live by a line in the bridge of this song that says:

The best days are in front of us...and we won't stay, where we're stuck..

Maybe you need to join us in living by this motto? The end of a year/beginning of a new one is the perfect time to leave the past behind, learn from it, and move on. 

See you tomorrow!

xo

j&k

Run Club REVIVAL (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

If you’ve noticed anything about us it’s that we like to do fun stuff and we like to do that fun stuff with friends. Friends make everything BETTER. Always.

A few years back when we were out on tour with Kelly Clarkson, we started “run club” with our BFF Jason Halbert. We've been friends with Jason for about 8 years now and he's the best. He and his family are like family to us. We are soooooooo thankful for him. He's kind, ridiculously talented, will show up when you need him to….we could go on and on about him but…back to run club :) At this point none of us were "runners" so we started slow….and this pic was pretty much our motto…hahaha...

We started by running for a few minutes at a time and then walking, running a bit more, then walking...you get the idea. It was fun on tour because we felt like we were getting to see different vantage points of cities and countries that we were in...we’d tuck some money into our running belts, run for a bit and then end up at a local coffee shop or breakfast joint. It was SO FUN. Thinking back on these memories...they are truly some of the best.

Run club in action…we think this was in Australia somewhere!

Run club in action…we think this was in Australia somewhere!

We’ve run all over the world together (which is crazy.) Over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, along the water-front Opera House in Sydney, Australia and in our very own neighborhoods here in Nashville, TN.

San Francisco!

San Francisco!

Running across the Golden Gate…yes this was a true action shot…note Kate's finger. Ha!

Running across the Golden Gate…yes this was a true action shot…note Kate's finger. Ha!

{sidenote: you might be reading this and be thinking...”well isn’t that just convenient that they could just go run across the golden gate bridge. must be easy for them.” we never want you to get the idea that things just easily fall into place. for "run club" to happen we all had to commit. we had to make a plan, and we all had to take a cab to near the bridge so we could run across it. we had to take a cab back to our hotel. most things that might look easy breezy generally have a great amount of planning and effort put into them. that shouldn’t discourage you--just be willing to put in effort and some planning.}

Sydney Australia!

Sydney Australia!

So in November of this year we decided to kick it off again. Since we all still travel, it can make it tricky to coordinate schedules, but we met up this year and re-booted “run club.” We’re SO pumped about 2016 and all the “run-club” adventures we are going to have :) Maybe you should start a run-club with some friends in 2016? Just saying. It’s good times.

Run Club 2015!!!! 

Run Club 2015!!!! 


We also created and did our very own 70 day challenge which ended yesterday on Christmas. Jill’s goal was to run 70 miles in 70 days and she did it! Kate’s goal was to finish her 10k training app...and she did! Woohoo! We’ve loved challenging ourselves in a new way this past year. We are feeling stronger and proud of ourselves for accomplishing those goals.

What goals are you setting for yourself in 2016? We'd love to hear some. 

Much love…see ya tomorrow. 

j&k

Playing The Bluebird (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

 

Nashville really is a magical place. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that when you live here. It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life...running errands, paying bills, the grind…and you forget that it’s a city of dreamers, creators, and a place where anything can happen...

   

 

 

Like where anything can happen at the drop of a hat. Where a friend can call you and say, "Can you play a few songs at the Bluebird on Saturday?"

"HECK YEAH, WE CAN."

See, we have never played at The Bluebird. We've been there to see plenty of shows. And of course we've seen it a million times on the TV show, Nashville. But in our 8 years of living in Nashville, we had yet to play our own songs at The Bluebird...until this year. 

But here's what's so awesome about this town. People are friends. They call each other and say, "Hey, let's do a show" or "Hey, will you come play a few songs at my show?" and it happens. This is what happened when our friend David Bradley asked us to play a few tunes at his round at the Bluebird in October. We had met his fiance a few weeks before and she is AWESOME. She showed our music to David and he asked us to come play a few songs. 

David is an UNBELIEVABLE songwriter. Like, yes, we know that incredible songwriters are all over this town, but David is extra special. (We cried our way through his set. His songs will hit a nerve inside of you and they won't let go. Go listen to Hard Time Moving On right now and tell us you are not a complete mess...)

He is from the UK (hello, one of our favorite places) and we all hit it off right away! 

So we got to play two songs (What Do You Say and Nick + Jess) at the Bluebird thanks to David and his fiance, Basak, and it was a highlight of this year! It is truly an honor to play at this venue!

 

Nashville is a place where dreams become a reality, heartbreak becomes songs which become anthems that people sing worldwide. What a magical place. Playing at the Bluebird was one of the coolest parts of 2015 for us! We hope to play there again in the coming years. Thanks David and Basak for giving us the opportunity to play at this historic venue!

Merry Christmas to everyone on this lovely Christmas day! See you tomorrow! :)

xo

j&k

It’s Okay, To Be Not Okay, Even on Christmas. (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Merry Christmas Eve!

We are both at home with our families...Kate is in Colorado and Jill is in New Hampshire. We’re having a great time but wanted to take time out to say a few things:

  • Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hope that this season is filled with joy that lasts longer than a day and that you are surrounded by love and light.

 

  • We are incredibly thankful for you. See, you’ve been giving us gifts all year. Listening to our albums, sending us tweets, commenting on our Facebook messages, coming to shows, supporting Houses of Hope Africa, sending us REAL post office mail, etc. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks for teaching us about kindness and bravery. Thank you for listening to our words, whether in song or on our blog....thank you. You remind us daily that we’re all in this together.

 

  • We also know that the holidays can be a realllllly hard time for people. It has been for us at times. We don’t say that lightly. We know it. If you want proof, I (Kate) wrote the majority of our song “Don’t Feel A Thing” on Christmas Eve while balling my eyes out locked in my brother’s bathroom. True story. The only holiday cheer I was bringing was bright red, puffy eyes. Chew on those lyrics for a minute and you’ll quickly see that I was not okay. Whatever the reason that makes the season or this particular day difficult...we’re sorry and we send you our warmest hugs and love. It’s okay to not be okay...even on holidays. It’s okay to say no and to honor what is best for you. It’s okay to cry, even on Christmas. This time of year can sometimes bring up the deep, dark stuff we try and push down the rest of the year. If you’re feeling down, look for someone to talk to. A trusted friend, family member or therapist. We’re so happy that the negative stigma of seeking help has pretty much gone out the window. Everyone, and we mean EVERYONE can use someone to talk to. If you’re really in a funk--try helping someone. Help an elderly person at the grocery store. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Hand out food to homeless people. Call a friend and offer to babysit for free. Make cookies for your neighbor. Clean the house for your mom. Play with puppies at an animal shelter. Anything helpful. Seriously, it changes something. Also, remind yourself of the truths you know to be true. You are loved. Your life matters. You have a purpose. Hold your hand up to your chest...feel that thing beating? That means that you still have a purpose. You are a world changer. You can do anything. You are special and one of a kind. You are beautiful and worthy of love. And if you’re in a funk...you’ll get out of it sometime soon. Unfortunately sometimes the only way out is through...which is hard, but keep going. You’ll get to the other side.

 

  • The Christmas story is all about the birth of Jesus. Jesus is called Emmanuel which means GOD WITH US. Don’t you just love that? God is about combatting loneliness...that’s why he sent us Jesus. God with us. We truly are never alone. Thanking God for that amazing gift.

 

Okay, those are our Christmas Eve thoughts for you. Te recap: Merry Christmas, thank you for your gifts to us, it’s okay to not be okay on Christmas, thank you Jesus for being born.

 

Love you all so much. You really have no idea. We talk about y’all all the time.

 

Sleep tight.

 

xo

j&k

Hearing Brene Brown (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically

Another definite highlight of 2015 was in October when we were able to hear someone speak that we greatly respect and admire. Her name is Brene Brown and she studies shame and vulnerability (just the light, fluffy stuff you know?) She is an author, researcher, speaker, wife, mother, BFF to Oprah and so on. We LOVE learning from this woman.

I (Kate) had discovered her book “I Thought It Was Just Me But It Isn’t” about six years ago and knew immediately that this woman’s writing was different. The things she was talking about were topics that not many people were talking about. It was the hard stuff. She wasn’t just talking about shame, she was researching it, scientifically. She wasn’t just talking about science though...she was talking about how shame and vulnerability had played out in her own life. After devouring that first book, I started reading “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Again, another book that spoke to some deep issues that I didn’t feel like a lot of other people were writing about.

Flash forward several years and Brene has exploded onto the scene (WOOHOO!) Her TED talk has been viewed over 22 million times (no joke) and her two latest books “Daring Greatly” and “Rising Strong” have sold like crazy and been in almost every.single.book.club.ever.

When we heard she was going to be 4 hours from us speaking at a conference our friend Tyler runs, we knew we had to be there. We got up at 4am and drove to Atlanta so we could see her speak. 

Hitting the road before the sun came up….

Hitting the road before the sun came up….

You guys. She was so lovely. She was speaking to 10,000 people and made you feel like she was talking just to you. She spoke with quiet authority, she made jokes, she shared her own failures...it was wonderful.

Brene speaking and laying it down. 

Brene speaking and laying it down. 

There are a million little take-aways that we learned that day and we want to share just one. “If you’re leading, you WILL fail.” Not maybe. Not on an off chance. You WILL fail. And failing is a part of the journey. It’s a vital part of the story.

Ain't that the truth. We have failed SO many times and we are learning that it is not only OK to fail, but necessary to fail in order to grow. Wow. That sucks, but is also awesome. It continues to be a theme this year for us. Failure...and how to accept it, learn from it, and recover from it. (Remember how we talked to a bunch of law students about our biggest failures earlier in the year?)

This is a picture of us capturing the time...it's 9:30pm and we are driving BACK to Nashville after hearing Brene and others speak. Hardcore of us. 

This is a picture of us capturing the time...it's 9:30pm and we are driving BACK to Nashville after hearing Brene and others speak. Hardcore of us. 

There really is so much more we learned, but truth be told, we left our journals that we wrote all of our notes in back in Nashville and right now we are both at home with our families in Colorado (Kate) and New Hampshire (Jill). Hahaha...just telling it like it is. We took about a hundred pages of notes between the two of us during Brene's talk, but we wanted to leave you with just one today. 

Now, go enjoy Christmas EVE EVE...and while you're at it, buy one of Brene's books for yourself or as a last-minute Christmas gift for someone you love. You won't regret it.

See you tomorrow as we continue blogging through the year!

-j&k-

Annie's Arrival (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

You guys. We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of blogging through 2015 to share this news:

Our best friend Jenny, who we wrote the LULLABIES album for, HAD her baby yesterday morning.

Holy love fest....her name is Annie and she is perfect. I (Kate) was supposed to leave on a 5:30am flight but ended up changing my flight last minute so I could meet her before heading home to Colorado for Christmas. Best decision of my life. Hahaha....no seriously. We got to meet her an hour after she was born and she is absolutely perfect. Our BFF Jenny was a champion and we are so proud and excited for their newest addition to their already incredible family.

Here’s the thing. We wrote the whole Lullabies album with Annie (and her brothers Jackson & Micah) in mind and here’s the fun part: If you have the album, song #3 “You Light Up Every Room” is just piano...well, that’s because we actually wrote a whole song with lyrics too but couldn’t reveal her name...If you want to hear the FULL version of “Annie (You Light Up Every Room)” you can listen soon! 

So, picture this:

Annie is born. John texts us. We jump up and down and go with Jenny’s mom, and Jackson & Micah (her new big brothers) to the hospital. We meet Annie. We get all googly eyed because she is HEAVEN. And yes, we did the most Nashville thing ever. Jill brought her baby Martin guitar (pun intended) to the hospital and WE PLAYED ANNIE HER SONG. We played Annie, Annie. Ahhhhhh!!!! We cried and we laughed and we celebrated this amazing new life. Life is such a gift.

Here we are going into the maternity ward with a guitar...hahaha. #onlyinNashville

Here we are going into the maternity ward with a guitar...hahaha. #onlyinNashville

We are so excited that we just HAD to share with y’all.

Ok, that’s all. We Hope that your December 21st was as memorable as ours was. Back to our regularly scheduled #31DaysOfBlogging tomorrow!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

j&k

When In Rome With Whitney

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

In early October, our friend Whitney came to Nashville for a visit and stayed with us for a few days.

Whitney is one of the amazing new friends we met in Canada earlier in the summer. This chick is BADASS. Can we say that? Yes, yes we can. Because she is.

She started this company called Day Designer and maybe you’ve seen them, I don’t know, IN TARGET. (She’s like royalty in design circles, which we’ll get to in a minute.)

She’s also a mom of 3 cuties, married to the best guy ever, and the definition of a solid, quality friend. Plus, she’s wicked smart and has so much business advice for us that we actually RECORD our conversations sometimes, (with her permission of course.) We learn so much from her every time we get together and also we have such a great time. So we were excited that she was coming to Nashville to hang & stay with us.

The three musketeers. 

The three musketeers. 

We sort of unloaded on Whitney (sorry Whit) about our year and how we felt a little bit overwhelmed with what to do and how to navigate the road we were on. Whitney was headed to speak at a conference in Georgia after she left us in Nashville...and being the spontaneous, helpful person that she is, she said “COME WITH ME.”

We were like, “Whitney...that’s cute and all but, no. We can’t crash your conference.” But sometimes in life you just have to trust the company you keep and TAKE A FREAKIN’ adventure. So we hopped in the car with her and headed to Rome, Georgia.

The gorgeous setting where the Pursuit conference was held. Can you say gorgeous? 

The gorgeous setting where the Pursuit conference was held. Can you say gorgeous? 

Now, we were not really supposed to be at this conference. But, we were kindly welcomed by everyone we met. We watched Whitney speak and KILL it….and then she asked us to play a few songs after she spoke. It was such an honor to share our music with these new friends.

Whitney speaking… #likeaBOSS

Whitney speaking… #likeaBOSS

Playing a few songs...

Playing a few songs...

Group shot of new (and old) friends….

Group shot of new (and old) friends….

And friends we did make! Jami, Kelli, Vanessa, Karen…..We were in a rough patch and it was so nice meeting and speaking with other women who were honest, vulnerable and real. Sometimes just being in a space where vulnerability and honesty are the norm is what helps draw it out of you. We are so thankful that Whitney had the crazy idea to take us along on this roadtrip with her. It was just what we needed.

Back to the fact that Whitney is design royalty...everything she does is BEAUTIFUL. It was so fun seeing people get excited to meet her...CELEB STATUS y’all :) Like, seriously go follow her on Instagram right now. And get a Day Designer because she has created something that is not ONLY beautiful, but will help you organize your days and your life with ease.

Thanks Whitney for being someone we can look to for advice AND adventure!  To many more adventures together! xo j&k

Why We Quit Worrying (#31DaysOfBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

If you have been following us for a bit, you know all about Song On The 17th. We started it almost 7 years ago and it’s become a J&K tradition that is one of our favs. Is "favs" a proper word? Dunno. :)

We took a little break from SOT17th over the past year because we just needed to. Sometimes you need to change things up. (PSA: Remember that and don’t be afraid of it. Is there something you need to take a break from in your life? Do it. It’s such a relief sometimes.)

We were doing a lot. Touring with other artists. In talks of doing a reality show. Recording albums. Trying our best to live balanced lives. And SOT17th became a point of stress that we needed to just step away from for a bit. So we took 9 months off from it. 

Then in September we wrote this song called “Quit Worrying” and decided, ya know what? It’s time to freaking BRING IT BACK. So we did!

The story behind Quit Worrying is so simple. It came out of a conversation we had. We realized that worrying had been sucking the life out of us recently. And we didn’t really feel like having the life sucked out of us. Even though we had circumstances surrounding us that definitely even warranted worry, it's not good for our bodies or souls and worrying WILL GET YOU NOWHERE. So, the answer was to just quit worrying. Simple enough, right? (Ha!) Right. Small steps, combatting one worryful thought at a time. When a worry creeps up, make a mental note to yourself: this is worry and I have decided to quit worrying. Make a list of affirmations/truths and keep them on your phone or write them down and keep them in your pocket. When worry pops up, fight it off with truth. Go through the affirmations. Remind yourself (lovingly) that everything will be OK. Take a moment to pray. Start listing things that you're thankful for. This, you guys, is the kicker--gratitude is such a good antidote to worry. Unlike worry, gratitude changes things.

So we started listing things we had been worrying about, then we tried to tell ourselves why it wasn’t worth worrying about such things and reminding ourselves of there truth we know:

“I’ve been worrying about everything, like if it’s right, the place I’m in....BUT IF IT’S WRONG, THEN I WILL TRY AGAIN...so I’m gonna quit worrying.
“I’ve been worrying about everything, like if I can bring enough money in...BUT MONEY WONT MATTER WHEN I'M SIX-FEET IN...so I’m gonna quit worrying.”

Like, guys. Anyone else freaked out because you take a look at your life and you thought that maybe you would be married with 2.5 kids because when you look around most of your peers are in that place and you aren't? So you begin to sink into worry about the choices you've made. Ah, but what's the truth? We are exactly where we are supposed to be in life. Having a husband and a kid doesn't make you a "whole" person.

Or--anyone else freaked out about money? Paying bills? 401k's say what? Again, reminding ourselves of truth. We are educated people. We aren't going to live on the streets. We have families that love us and won't let us starve. Plus, money doesn't make you "whole."  Crazy times when you realize your own worry is your own worst enemy. 

This song was just a message we needed to tell ourselves and then once it was finished, we realized it was for everyone. Because most of us are worriers! 

A lot of people emailed us about this song...a lot of people shared it on Facebook...and it was so nice to see people relate to it and feel like we were not the only ones. It’s why we do what we do...we hope to connect with other people through our music. We hope people don’t feel alone. We hope we don’t feel alone. We hope we all find one another and realize we’re all in this together. It’s so relieving to feel not alone, after thinking that you are.

We also decided to call our friend Ali Nelson to see if she would handwrite “Quit Worrying” in her amazingly cool handwriting so we could put it on shirts & hoodies and spread the message. She did this and it was AWESOME. 

1.jpg

Whenever we feel like worry is creeping back in, we throw on our QUIT WORRYING hoodies and all is well. You can get one too...or a V-neck tee if you prefer...hot or cold, worry be gone. 

We are glad to be back with SOT17th. We feel refreshed and ready to keep the fav tradition going. Really, think about your life and if there’s something you need to step away from for a bit, consider it. A little time away can be the renewal you need to feel fresh again down the line. 

Tomorrow we’re talking about how we said YES to another friend who asked us to take a random road trip with her on a whim....find out where we ended up! xo j&k

Down By The River (#31DaysOfBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Booking was wacky for us this year because of the whole issue with getting fired and having our whole schedule change. Fun times!

In a perfect world, we would’ve played a bunch of J&K shows all over the place all year and seen each and every one of you in person, but we just couldn’t. Mostly the issue was that we didn’t plan on having so much open time and we didn’t book ahead, so opportunities were lost. But the other issue was that we really couldn’t afford to tour. We had to cancel a few shows (SORRY, we HATE doing that) in Michigan and the mid-west because we just couldn’t afford to lose money on them, which is what was going to happen. (Remember our $8 show!? hahaha, it is what it is.)

So, that being said, we didn’t have a TON of shows this year, but the ones that we did have were AWESOME

One of those AWESOME shows was right here in Tennessee...just about an hour outside of Nashville. It was at a festival called Riverfest and it was so much fun. 

We were stoked to have this show because it was close enough to where we live that there wasn’t a lot of overhead to get there plus, it was a really cool festival. So one day, we were looking at the Riverfest website trying to find directions or something (yes, we’re super prepared), and we noticed that our crazy talented friend, Charles Esten, was headlining the same night that we were playing! We texted him to tell him how pumped we were, and he said, “Come do a song with me!” 

Um, OK CHIP. WE WILL. (Chip, Charles...he goes by many names, but one of them that you may recognize, is Deacon Claybourne (Freakin Deacon)...the character that he plays on ABC’s show, Nashville. *swoon*

Chip is one of the kindest, most genuine people you will ever meet. Seriously. We do not say that lightly or flippantly. He’s wonderful. Also, he will make you laugh so hard, it will hurt. 

So we played our set at Riverfest (it was so windy, by the way!) and then headed over to Chip’s bus to work on a few tunes he had sent us. 

Side note: We recognize how freaking lucky we are here, guys. The friends and people we know in this town and in this industry who have opened doors for us, asked us to play with them, sing with them, open for them...we recognize how blessed we are to know these people and get these opportunities. We pinch ourselves on a regular basis.
This was us playing at Riverfest. What a beautiful backdrop!

This was us playing at Riverfest. What a beautiful backdrop!

So we got up on stage with Chip and his band, Sixwire, at Riverfest and we had the time of our lives. He is such an energetic performer. He gets everyone SO into it...and he never misses a note in the meantime. What a blast singing with him. Here’s a picture from that performance: 

What a night. We were thankful to only have a short ride home. Also, we were really hungry which seems to be a common theme after our shows...maybe we should be more prepared with snacks or something. But anyways, we went to the Wendy’s drive-thru on our way back home like the classy ladies that we are. :)

Can you say VALUE MENU?? Holla. 

Tomorrow on the blog, we’re back at home writing songs about worrying and how we quit it.

xo

j&k

From a Sketchy Hotel To Law School (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

So…Where’d we leave off? Ah yes--we had just finished up the $8 dollar show in San Francisco. Yippee. So that night we made it about half-way to LA and stopped at a (somewhat questionable) hotel off the 5 freeway. We were SO tired that we only brought our computers and guitars upstairs with us. WE DIDN’T EVEN BRING OUR TOOTHBRUSHES. We know that’s gross and normally our oral hygiene is top notch but sometimes, the road wins. No judging friends. We were tired and the thought of making another trip out to the car at 2am to get more stuff seemed ludicrous.

We slept. We woke up. Ate some free breakfast and hit the road...we had no plans for the day except to get to LA, get Coffee Bean & go to our next hotel. Literally, that was our agenda for the day.

We were about an 40 minutes outside of LA and posted this tweet:

"2 thumbs up for being in California! Thx for coming out last night San Fran! LA, good to see ya. #tourlife #jillisdriving"

"2 thumbs up for being in California! Thx for coming out last night San Fran! LA, good to see ya. #tourlife #jillisdriving"

About 5 minutes after that we  got a call from our friend Bob Goff. He said:

“Hey...saw your tweet. if you guys aren’t busy, come teach my law class with me at Pepperdine. It starts in two hours. Want to meet me there?”
Ummm...law school? Bob? Absolutely. We were in. We told him we’d meet him there in about an hour.

Only problem was that since we thought we’d just be driving straight to our hotel, we didn’t exactly get “law school ready” for the day. Well, actually, we didn’t get any sort of ready for the day. We weren't even "gas station attendant ready." We just got in the car in our sweatpants, messy hair and drove.

So, we pulled into The Coffee Bean (as per the plan), grabbed some clothes out of the trunk (like the classy people we are) and changed in the public bathroom. Yes, okay, fine...we brushed our teeth there too. *reminder no judging (Sidenote: We can’t tell you how many public bathrooms we've have changed in this year. It’s kind of weird.)

We grabbed our iced beverages, avoided eye contact with anyone that had just seen us do a “quick change” in the bathroom, put on makeup in the car and drove over the canyon to Pepperdine which is in gorgeous Malibu, CA. We met up with Bob and talked about what the plan was for the class. Bob is such a gem. He’s got this infectious way of making you think about ordinary things, turn them into extraordinary things by DOING SOMETHING. If Bob has taught us anything it’s that you’ve got to move. Take action! He has the biggest heart for loving people. This day & spending time with Bob ended up being such a highlight of the trip for us.

We asked Bob what we could possibly teach to his law students? Last we checked neither of us had passed the bar. He said, “ I want you to talk about some of your most epic fails. Like, the times when things have really gone wrong or you’ve really messed up. Then I want you to talk about some things that have gone really well. Will you talk about that to my class this afternoon?”

Ha! What? Epic fails? You mean, get up in front of a smart group of strangers and talk about how we’ve FAILED. We laughed and thought about the VERY night before..our $8 dollar evening. Yup, we definitely had something to share...and something that was fresh :) We then began to think of all the other times we’ve royally messed up...we made a list in fact.

We got to Pepperdine and would be totally lying if we didn’t make an Elle Woods reference before getting out of the car. Walking into the building was a tad intimidating but everyone was SO KIND. We sat in Bob’s class, listened to him teach, then it was our turn. It was so awesome standing in front of these young, brilliant minds and sharing some stories of how we’ve messed up. We held up our $8 envelope and told them the story. We told them other stories of how we have epically failed. Then we shared some success stories. It was GREAT!

We loved the lesson we were learning in that classroom. Life is full of epic fails and successes. You will have both. But, that’s how life goes. You have to keep moving forward. Your successes don’t define you. Your failures don’t define you. We all will fail and sometimes we want to hide our failures to seem more “credible” or perfect. But, hearing Bob share some of his failures and thinking back on other times we’ve had people share failures with us, it actually makes us trust them MORE.

Our visit to Pepperdine that day was maybe the furthest thing from what we could’ve imagined our day would look like that morning when we woke up in a sketchy hotel on the 5 freeway. But isn’t that cool? Anything can happen. And yes, we were "guest speakers" in the class, but really, we're pretty sure we learned more than anyone that day. 

SAY YES. You never know what could happen. You could become an adjunct law professor like we did that day. HAHA! "Yes": what a powerful word.

See you tomorrow, ladies and gents.

-j&k-

SUNSHINE (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Hi friends!

Another thing that made 2015 kind of crazy for us is that we stopped doing Song on the 17th in January. If you're new you might be thinking...what the heck is song on the 17th? For the past 6 years, every 17th of the month we post a song to Youtube/FB...either it's a new song we've just written or it's a cover...we've posted songs from backstage dressing rooms, kitchen floors and anywhere else you can record a video...haha...it's been a really fun way to share our music with fans. But, in January, after 6 years, we needed to take a short break. So, we did. 

Then in September we started it up again...woohoo! If you're super bored, go to our YouTube page and cruise through the Song on the 17th playlist...there are a bunch of vids.

So, here is our SOT17 for this month: SUNSHINE!

We hope you like the song! It's on our brand new #LULLABIES album which you can DOWNLOAD right this very second. Or, if you are in need of last minute Christmas gifting, you can buy physical copies and they'll arrive before Christmas...but hurry--the deadline is tonight at midnight. 

Tune in tomorrow...the blogging through 2015 continues!!!

Love,

j&k

San Fran Shenanigans (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

First of all, it’s KATE’S BIRTHDAY….so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BETTER PART OF JILL AND KATE!! I, Jill will be blogging today...so, no Kate did not just write that about herself. I know what you were thinking. #HumbleBrag

ANYWAYS. Here we go...continuing through our year. Isn’t this fun? We think so.

We've been to California SO many times and played SO many shows there, but never had we ever played a J&K show in San Francisco...until August of this year!

We got invited by our buds Two Story Road to play a private show in Pebble Beach with them and a new friend Josh Roberts in mid-August. (On a side note, we had a blast playing at a private event to raise money for Parkinson’s disease with these guys. It’s so fun doing shows with your friends! Especially when it's for a great cause. Side note, Side note: Two Story Road just released a new EP and it's AWESOME. You should download it.)

Blurry pic but we we're having fun!!!!

Blurry pic but we we're having fun!!!!

At the gorgeous country club where the fundraiser was held with our lovely hosts Sam & Tricia!

At the gorgeous country club where the fundraiser was held with our lovely hosts Sam & Tricia!

We decided, since we were going to be out there already, that we should finally play in San Francisco! So we finished up in Pebble Beach and headed to the Golden Gate Bridge-ish.

We were going to be playing at a little venue and we were so stoked to play our first show ever in SF. Okay, remember earlier in our blogs, we told you about how we get to play all different kinds of shows which keeps us on our toes? This was one of them!

First of all, let us just tell you that we had a freaking blast on stage. So many of you guys, our loyal fans, came out to support us...you sang along to EVERY WORD which was so incredible. It honestly makes it all worth it. And we really needed that because that night was hilariously frustrating in other ways.

We don’t always feel the need to share all the ins and outs of our shows, but in the vein of being honest with you about our year, we’re gonna tell you about this one.

There was a Giants game that night, so the town was hoppin’. We parked outside the venue at a meter which cost $17 to park at for the evening. Luckily, we found a spot RIGHT in front of the door. #Blessed ;)

...Because the guys who were playing after us parked down the street and the owner told them they had better move their car because there was a 100% chance it was going to get broken into where they parked it. Yikes. So we were grateful for a good, albeit expensive, parking spot.

We played the show and had a blast...and we got to talk to many of you afterwards which is always the best. Some of you have been following us for MANY years and to see your faces in the crowd, in your own town, well that was awesome.

But after that, we needed to hit the road. We were driving to Los Angeles (6 hours) and we were hoping to get a few hours, if not the entire drive, in that night. So I went to the door guy and asked if we could get the money we were owed for the night. (FYI, this is my least favorite thing to do, EVER. But somebody’s gotta do it and that “somebody” is usually Kate, so it was my turn.)

The door guy was sitting by the door, playing Solitaire on his phone. He would not look up at me. Here’s how the conversation went:

Jill: “Hey, how’s it going! We were just needing to hit the road so I was wondering if we could settle with you for the night.” (Easy-breezy)
Door Guy: “I can’t right now.” (Still playing Solitaire on his phone.)
Jill: “Okay, cool. When do you think you’ll be able to?”
Door Guy: “I mean, maybe I can in like 10 minutes.”
Jill: “Okay, great. I’ll come back in 10 minutes.” (#PeoplePleaserJill)

TEN MINUTES LATER

Jill: “Hey, just coming back to settle with you."
Door Guy: (Still playing Solitaire) “It’s busy and I can’t just leave the door.”

----No one was coming in or out of the door and no one had been for 10 minutes----

Jill: “Ok, well we need to hit the road so we really just need to settle and go if that’s cool.”
Door Guy: “Look, I can’t leave the door. I would have to go behind the bar and find the manager and I can’t do it.” (Still playing Solitaire. BY THE WAY, how long can one PLAY Solitaire without looking up to make eye contact? #askingforafriend)

So, this went on and on...and then I went to get Kate to see if she could get him to pay us. She has the ability to be a little more ASSERTIVE than I am, so it was worth a shot. Hey, at least I can say that I tried. (Another Adele reference, please and thank you.)

Kate: “Hey. We really need to get paid and get on the road. It’s 11:30 and the show is over.”
Door Guy: “Look, I don’t even know who you are!”
NEW FAN Who Overheard This Convo: “YES YOU DO KNOW WHO SHE IS. SHE’S KATE AND SHE’S AWESOME!”
(THANKS new fan for standing up for us….you rock!)
Door Guy: “Look, I can’t help you. I don't know who you or that other girl even are. You have to wait til it’s less busy.” 

Guys, there were like 30 people there. No joke. If you were there, you can verify that. So we laughed and kind of went, "WELP, guess we are just staying here for a bit."

The funny thing is, we knew we weren’t going to make much money from the night. It was a new market for us and there were no local bands on the bill, so it was a very small show. We thought maybe we’d end up with enough money to put some gas in the tank and drive on our way to LA. So it wasn’t about the money, but we did need to get whatever we were owed and just get on the road.

The back and forth went on and on with the door guy. Bless his soul. FINALLY, Kate got the manager involved and he was super helpful. He figured it all out, walked us to the door and handed us an envelope. As he handed it to us, he said, “I’m really sorry.”

We were thinking, Oh, he must be sorry about how the door guy was acting.

"ALL GOOD!" we said.

We try to be low maintenance. This isn't life or death. This is a simple club gig. 

Then we looked on the envelope and it said “Jill and Kate -- $8.”

That's why he was saying sorry.

Decided it was worth documenting the infamous $8 dollar envelope the next morning. PS. We never have taken the $8 out…and we probably never will. 

Decided it was worth documenting the infamous $8 dollar envelope the next morning. PS. We never have taken the $8 out…and we probably never will. 

HAHAHAHHAHAAHA! We went back and forth forEVER over EIGHT DOLLARS. Remember that our sweet little parking spot cost $17? We got in the car and laughed and sort of cried.

We were out 9 bucks (haha) and we were so tired. We made our way down to Los Angeles, frustrated and tired, but still feeling filled up from the show. You win some, you lose some. It was a good reminder to us that how much money you make doesn't define you. The show itself that night was amazing. The time on stage was energizing and soul-filling. So, we still feel like we won.

San Francisco, WE WILL BE BACK! And we will invite that door guy to our show...maybe he'd be down for a game of cards beforehand? Seems he'd enjoy that! 

Tomorrow on the blog, we are back in LA...and we get a call from a friend that changes the course of our day....stay tuned!

xo

-jill

PS. Hi friends. Kate here. Cute story about SF huh? Ahhhh life...you've got to laugh or else you'll miss out. I wanted to take a second to say a HUGE (wink wink) thank you to everyone for all of the birthday love (and love in general over the past week.) It's only noon and I'm already overwhelmed with the kindness and warmth of so many of you. THANK YOU. I have a very deep sense of gratitude for the lovely souls God has placed in my life...and that includes you. We read every single comment and tweet and message and email and snail mail...so YOU are included in my life. So thanks for making a difference. You really do  make a difference. You are rocking my world and that makes this birthday girl incredibly happy. Go tell a friend how awesome they are. Go hug someone. Buy someone a coffee. You, my friends, are brave world-changers. LOVE LOVE LOVE you all. xo