Inspiration

Music...It Gets Me

There have been a few moments in the last few weeks that have really hit me. They are moments that will stay with me for a long time--etched in my brain. They have displayed the power of music and re-affirmed in me a love for what I do. I wanted to share a few of them with you. The first was at a fair in Montana.

We were singing with Trace and there was a girl in a wheelchair in the center section right in front of the stage. It was evident that she had some sort of disability, but that did not keep her and her friends/family from pushing her to the front of the crowd to get her as close to the stage as possible. They raised up her wheelchair and she sang along to every song she knew. Her friends would help her raise her arms and wave along to the music. It was such a beautiful moment. I actually had to look away because I started to tear up so much. It was a powerful image of how people connect to music and how it moves the soul. She beamed with light. I will never forget her face.

The second was at our last show in Hyannis, MA. It was at a venue unlike any other I'd ever performed at before. It was in the round and the stage spun slowly as we performed. If you need a visual, here is the website (http://www.melodytent.org/)

The cool thing about the stage rotating is that you could get a really good look at all of the faces in the crowd. A few songs into the show,  Trace recognized an Army unit that had family at the show. The unit was serving overseas so Trace took time to acknowledge them...and the entire audience applauded. The next song in the set was "You're Gonna Miss This" and as the song started I saw two women holding a sign with their soldiers' unit numbers and tears were flowing down their cheeks. They sang along and cried and I wanted to walk right off the stage and hug both of them. Ugh. Plus, the lyrics to that song just seemed to articulate that moment perfectly. Right after that, I looked over and saw a man, probably in his late 60's, bent over and sobbing. You guys, if there is something that breaks my heart into a billion pieces, it's older men crying. I can't handle it. I wondered if he'd lost a child in that unit serving overseas. My heart just broke. I kept my eye on these precious people throughout the night and watched them cry and then smile and laugh as the show went on. Trace is such a wonderful entertainer--it was amazing to watch him take these people on a journey. Forgetting about their circumstances...lost in music. Ugh. It did my heart so good. I loved every second.

I have always believed that music brings people together. It speaks a universal language. It can transcend mood, obstacles and distractions. It can change you. These moments the past few weeks have shown me that over and over again.

Music just gets me.

Every time.

-k

Sunrise

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This picture was taken Easter morning on Martha's Vineyard in 2007. It was so cold but so beautiful.

Sunrises are so great. Their complexity has both a physical and emotional element. The colors that peek out over the blackness changing from purple-blue to red to orange...it's physically stunning to watch. But, there is also an emotional side to sunrises that captivates us.

Whatever yesterday held is no longer. It's in the past. The slate is wiped clean. All of your day that got messy or ruined  yesterday is dipped in black, wiped clean and the sun arises to show us a new day has begun.

We all need second chances. Heck, if you're like us you need one hundredth, one thousandth chances and so on :)

A new day is just that. Whatever you are holding onto from yesterday, let it go.

Today is a brand new day...with endless opportunities within reach.

xo

j&k

 

Strangers We Love

To us, one of the greatest things about social media is the way you can get to know total strangers you would otherwise have zero interaction with. You might have never crossed paths with this person otherwise but because of social media platforms you can literally follow someone's journey through life...sometimes quite intimately. Weird concept right?

Well, we kind of love it. Here are a few people we are thankful we've gotten to know via social media because we've never met any of them IRL (in real life):

Monica Potter.

This woman is pretty stellar...and not just because she's on one of our favorite TV shows Parenthood. We've known her for her acting work throughout the years (who didn't love her in Head Over Heels w/ Freddie Prinz?? WE DID!) but because of social media we've seen a whole new side. She is a mother. A gardening buff. A cook. A hostess. Her social media presence is so full of joy and happiness...it's a serious bright spot in the twitter feed y'all. She does these #tuesdaytips full of helpful ideas that fans submit. She also just recently launched this A-DOR-ABLE website called mrspotter.com and it's full of crafting ideas, recipes, gardening tricks...she just seems like she is being herself. Another win for us...she posts pictures of herself without gobs of makeup on...which we value because it helps us remember that we are all normal. Sometimes social media can trick us into thinking that everyday life looks like a photoshoot 24/7...full hair and makeup and well, that's not reality. So, thanks Monica for keeping it real. Keep doing your thing.

Team Kicker

This person is relatively new to us...and it's definitely been awesome getting to know this little dude. His name is Caleb aka "Kicker", he is 3 years old and he is fighting leukemia. We've never met him but found out about his story through a mutual friend. Now, we are invested in Kicker's story. We follow along with his parents and older sister as they navigate these tough days. We pray for them. We get excited when he's having a good day or test results come back positively. Which is so interesting to us to be able to somewhat share this intense journey with people we've never met. Again, the wonders of social media. Because of Team Kicker we also learned about the coolest organization called Gamerosity. They crowd-fund for kids fighting cancer to buy them iPads to play with during chemo treatments. Watch their video on their website & try not to cry. Kicker got a hero package recently and his mom said it has been SUCH a HUGE help. Technology for the win.

Riawna Capri

We aren't even sure how we found this gal. Does that ever happen to you? You somehow start following someone cause you got lost on a long rabbit trial on the inter-webs or Instagram but we're glad we did :) She is a celebrity hair-stylist by trade but she is a full-throttle boost of positivity & kindness in our world. What we love about her is that she encourages other people. We saw her recently teaching a group of fellow stylists about a successful haircut she'd gotten lots of press about. She didn't keep her successful hair-cutting-secrets to herself...she shared it with others. How cool is that? Super cool. Plus, she posts other positive messages and encourages people to live life to the fullest. We know nothing about hair but always look forward to seeing what adventures she gets up to. Plus, she looks like she's having A LOT of fun with her friends...and that's always a nice reminder :) Go adventuring with your friends. Laugh a lot. Thanks for reminding us of that Riawna...even though we aren't sure how to say your name outloud :)

That's just a few peeps that we are happy to follow along and support what they are doing.

Who are people you've never met but are happy you follow?

xo

j&k

 

What We Learned From David Ramirez (Day 12)

We got to see David Ramirez play in Nashville a few weeks ago. Actually, we almost didn't get to see him because we were fools and tried to buy tickets at the door. Rookie mistake! The show was sold out and so there was a 2.5 minute window of sheer panic and near tantrum at the thought of not being able to get in. But, we ended up buying tickets on our phones while we were standing outside because they were refusing people who hadn't "already purchased tickets." Don't mind us while we work the system :) And sidenote: AWESOME-SAUCE that he is selling out venues. That is freakin' stellar. So, it's not a surprise that we love him--we tweet and blog about him frequently...pretty much because we are obsessed with his voice and his songs. He is such a talent. And watching his show, we both learned something.

1) Your songs are enough. Sometimes we fall into the trap that we need something other than the song. We want to dress it up or over-perform it. He just stood up there and gave us his songs. And it was AMAZING. He earned the respect of the room and EVERYONE was listening...to every song. Now, that's hard to do in a bar. But he and his band delivered his songs.

2) Say something. He reminded us that as songwriters and artists we are to communicate something. To say something. To present an idea. A thought. A feeling. Not to get caught up in hype and trying to write "the hits" ...but to say what's in your heart and mind. To move people in the direction of what you are thinking. Say something.

Good stuff for us to be reminded of.

If you aren't familiar with his stuff...check him out here: David Ramirez

xo

j&k

 

Take A Chill Pill, Jill. (Day #4)

Every once in a while I need to be reminded to calm down. I lose perspective. I think about ME too much and get all caught up in things that don't matter. There's so much going on that I don't stop and reflect at all. I just go, go, go. So I need to tell myself....or be told, to do this:

TAKE A CHILL PILL, JiLL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w41e9C9FEE

I genuinely miss that phrase. I used to wear it out in Junior High. I. Wore. It. Out. Ah, the good old days.

I don't know about you, but I can start getting worked up and stressed out and act all crazy. Ain't nobody got time for that. Chill. Sit down. Close your eyes. Take a minute.

Here are the top 5 chill pill options:

1. Find total silence and sit in it. 

Oh man, this is hard. Hard to find and also hard to actually do once you do find it. But it's amazing how my mind settles down once I find that silence and accept it. Totally worth it.

2. Put on some relaxing, soothing tunes. 

My go-to for this scenario is Rosie Thomas. Or this time of year, Amy Grant's Christmas album.

3. Bake.

This is therapeutic for me. I usually make cookies. Sometimes cupcakes. Sometimes I'll try out a new Pinterest recipe that looks delicious or fun. And the bonus to this one is that you also get to eat whatever you bake. Win, win.

4. Read a book. 

I am reading "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown right now. It's not what you would call LIGHT reading, but it's all about vulnerability...something I sometimes struggle with...and I'm learning a lot. It's a good book for taking some time to reflect.

5. Go for a drive on quiet back roads.

My car is my safe, happy place. Something about the open road, being alone, and having the ability to just go somewhere...even if there's really nowhere to go. I love to drive. It stabilizes my emotions.

 

There ya go....a few things I like to do when I need to calm down.

So what did you learn today? Advice from Jill: Take A Chill Pill.

Much love.

-j

Don't Be Lame Fridays

We can't talk about our friend Will Gray enough. If you are sick of us talking about him--deal with it. When you have someone who is that dynamic of a thinker, who has that kind of a heart...you wouldn't stop talking about him and his ideas either :) So, this morning as I sit here and drink my coffee, he just sent me this text: "Just keep on rocking! Don't be lame."

He is referencing a story told here about not being lame.

So we are deeming this: Don't' Be Lame Friday (has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?)

We all have the tendency to be lame. To relax in our cubicle of comfort zones. I know I am. Guilty, party of one, your table is now available. We all do it. But if we think outside the box, maybe give more of ourselves and we could all benefit. We could do something awesome. We could do something that changes someones life. We could make someone smile. People need people. Reach out. Give something away. Hold someone's hand when they need it. Go on that crazy adventure you've been pinning about planning for years. If you always go left, turn right this Friday. It's DONT BE LAME FRIDAY. Go, do, be, LOVE. Who knows what could happen!!! Our friend Bob Goff calls this Love Does... :)

What are you going to do to not be lame on this Friday?

We are gonna give away some t-shirts. Why? Because we don't wanna be lame. And who doesn't love FREE stuff?

shirt

It also happens to be the softest t-shirt we have ever felt. It's SO SOFT YOU WON'T WANNA TAKE IT OFF.

So, leave a comment & we will randomly pick a winner from the comments section.

#DBLF (Don't Be Lame Fridays)

Love you guys.

-j&k-

 

 

30 Things

This is Jill...today I turned 30. YIKES! Actually, I'm excited. I've heard that your 30's are better than your 20's so I guess I'll find out if that's true! Here are a few things I've learned over my 30 years...also they are things I want to remember as I continue on in this crazy world. In no particular order: 1. When things are ridiculous, laugh.

2. You are who you surround yourself with.

3. I always feel better after a workout. But that doesn't always motivate me to actually go do it.

4. I really have never used anything I learned in geometry/trigonometry in real life. Ever. So when I yelled at my math teachers in high school and said it was useless, I was right. I feel satisfaction in knowing that. :)

5. Africa is magical.

6. Hearts can be mended.

7. People will always let me down even if they have every intention not to. God will never let me down even if I have every expectation that He will.

8. Forgiveness is hard. Forgiveness is necessary and life-giving. Usually the necessary, life-giving things are hard.

9. Being around kids brings joy. It keeps you feeling young too.

10. The ocean is my happy place.

11. I'm a major introvert. That's okay.

12. When all else fails, find some chocolate.

13. I have a LOT to learn.

14. Seasons. They exist. Remember and accept that when it's time for a new season. "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1

15. Most people are driven by insecurity. Try not to be one of those people. Learn to recognize those people and don't let them get to you.

16. Happiness is a choice.

17. I'd like to think I'm more creative than this, but I could wear jeans, a black hoodie and flip-flops or converse every day of my life and be content. Heck, I pretty much do that. Who am I kidding?

18. The Sound of Music never goes out of style. It was my favorite movie as a child and it still is now.

19. Family is the most important. Your real family and the family you choose. Treat them well.

20. Don't take yourself too seriously.

21. Trust your instincts. They are usually right.

22. Write notes to people. I learned that from my mom.

23. Be generous. I learned that from my Dad.

24. Pray. Talk with God. Listen to God. Communicate with Him however it is that you communicate. I learned that from both of my parents.

25. Don't be easily offended. (This is hard for me.)

26. Appreciate other people. Don't just put up with them or be indifferent. Learn to genuinely appreciate them.

27. Time FLIES. Be here now. Enjoy the moments.

28. Drink a lot of water.

29. Have a go-to karaoke song and own it.

30. Always be thankful.

 

Thank you for all of your birthday messages, tweets, etc. I had the best birthday! Here's to my 30's! :)

-j

30 Things to STOP Doing to Yourself

A friend of ours sent us this blog article & we thought it was too good not to share. So click on the link & read away.....

http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/11/30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself/

We thought this one was especially great:

Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others.

Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.

-j&k-

Be.

Good morning. We are in Florida right now on tour and we are trying to fully take advantage of the sun and the beach especially since we have been up in the northeast for the past few weeks. This morning, Kate, Cory and I got up early to go out on to the beach and watch the sunrise. It was one of those great moments in life when something is so simple and yet so mind-blowing at the same time. We watched the bright pink/orange sun push its way up over the ocean and break through the clouds like it was nothing...but it's not nothing! It's incredible and sometimes I forget how beautiful and amazing this world is.

Sometimes I forget to stop and just "be." I forget to go outside and breathe in the air and soak in the sunshine. I get busy or maybe just lazy sometimes, but I forget how therapeutic it can be to stop and enjoy the small moments in life. Be alone with my thoughts. Talk with God. Listen to the ocean. Watch the birds. Stare at the clouds. Be. Today was a nice reminder.

-jill-

Thanks.

Friends...thank you for all of your kind and supportive words from my last post. It means the world to me to read all of your comments of encouragement :) Y'all are the best. Honestly, I was blown away by the number of comments of people having had similar situations or know someone that has had something similar happen. I'm glad I wrote about it--cause I honestly hope that someone reads it and will tell a friend about it. Only together can we help prevent this from becoming an even more common occurrence. It's Saturday and we get to head to NYC to perform with Kelly on Saturday Night Live tonight so tune in if you feel so inclined!

Happy Saturday.

kate and jill too :)

It Could Never Happen To Me

So I had an experience last year that was scary, traumatic & definitely changed my life. It changed my life because it almost took my life. Sounds so dramatic which I hate cause I'm all about no drama in 2012 but it's true. So here's the story. It was late July...super hot & humid in Nashville. Jill and I had worked two days straight shooting a promotional video (which we are releasing soon...YAY!) & I was headed to a show with a friend that evening. It was a celebratory unwinding from two days of exhausting shooting & long hours. I was really looking forward to watching Bon Iver play at the Ryman. I had some drinks at the show and after the show ended (it was a phenomenal show btw) we decided to walk around  the corner to one of the honky tonk bars to have a couple drinks.

The bar was pretty crowded--we got drinks from the bar & pretty quickly found some seats with some guys (all men that were older than me) that offered to share their table. I'm a pretty friendly person by nature, but put a couple drinks in me and I'm even more chatty. The group of guys were funny, making my friend & I laugh a lot...we were having a great time! I clung close to my friend...who was a guy...to make sure the guys knew that I wasn't interested in any of them...just out to have a good time.

So, in the essence of having fun & a good time...after a little while of hanging with the table of guys, they brought over some drinks...and I took one. We left shortly thereafter...we had already planned to take a cab home & we got right in one, I gave my address & we departed. Roughly ten minutes into the ride I started to feel sick. Not oops I drank too much sick. Like...holy crap...my head is starting to cave in on itself & I started feeling SUPER nauseous. After that, things are completely blurry for me. The last thing I remember saying was "Pull over. I need help."

The next thing I remember was waking up in the Emergency Room three hours later.

Honestly the next few hours I remember almost nothing. I don't remember getting to my house, or being driven to the ER. I faintly remember hearing voices but nothing more than that. Jill and some other friends helped me piece back together the hours that I missed. Apparently this is what happened...

I started throwing up...like violently...unfortunately...all over the cab...after a few stops along the way (for me to throw up) we made it back to my house. My friend who was with me (freaking out) called Jill and asked her to meet us at the cab because I was totally unconscious & he couldn't get me out of the cab. I've never so much as fainted before so this behavior was very unusual. Jill especially thought this was really abnormal for me...thinking possibly I'd just drank too much...but when he asked for help she knew something had to be wrong. Once she got to the cab she started to FREAK OUT. They got me out of the cab (which was a difficult task because I was totally DEAD weight) and laid me on the pavement. The cab driver started pouring water on my head...Jill was slapping my face, yelling at me...but I didn't respond. At all. I faintly remember the sound of panic in Jill's voice. I guess that's what happens when you know someone that well...I could hear the nuance of sheer terror in her voice...but I couldn't respond or process anything at all. She kept yelling and slapping my face...but I couldn't respond.

This is where the story gets graphic...my apologies for those reading that don't wanna know but...full disclosure is generally my policy. You're welcome. I was totally unconscious....but I was still throwing up...and I was flat on my back on the pavement...and because of the vomit...I'd stopped breathing. Jill had to reach into my mouth and scoop the vomit out of my mouth. (I know, I know, super friend award right there.) My other friend was pumping my stomach & another friend was on the phone with 911. They decided to move me to the grass since the pavement was SUPER hot because it was mid-summer and still 80+ degrees out...you get the idea. This was one thing that I remember weirdly...I remember feeling the grass under my arms and remember thinking that it felt funny. But again...it felt like a weird dream. On the grass, my friends continued slapping me trying to just wake me up --making sure I was breathing. Nothing.

At this point the dispatcher from 911 told them it would be faster if they took me to the hospital instead of waiting for the ambulance. Again, they had to transport me (dead weight) to the car and then they drove me to the ER. It took four of them to get me into the car and drive me to the hospital.

Once I was on the table in the ER I vaguely remember them pulling my eyes open asking me if I could say my name, or respond at all...but I couldn't. I remember wanting to...really trying but I couldn't get any words out. I remember hearing a ton of beeping and a lot of hustle and bustle...people rushing around but basically felt in a dream-like haze....I felt far away.

Flash forward three hours...I started to wake up. Feeling totally out of it...and like a bus hit me...I was pretty scared...I woke up with all sorts of tubes, IV's and things that beeped surrounding me. I was relieved to see Jill & my two other friends there. They started filling me in on the details since I had no idea how I'd gotten there or what had happened.

The ER doctors admitted me into the hospital because my levels were so out of whack and they wanted to observe me for the rest of the night. It was around 4am that I was wheeled into the "Special Care Unit." The first thing the doctor asked my friends and me was what drugs had I taken? My friends kept telling the doctor that that was NOT my style. I'm all about having a good time with some drinks but I don't do drugs. It's just not my thing. Once they believed me the next thing they wanted to know is if I took a drink from a stranger? The only reasonable explanation for what happened to me was that something had been slipped in my drink. Within 15 minutes of taking that drink from a stranger I collapsed.

My blood alcohol level was low--so it wasn't a case of having drank too much. The only other possibility was that I had taken some allergy medicine earlier in the day and that my body didn't respond well to the mixing of the allergy meds & alcohol. But, after much deliberation with the doctor, he was certain that something had been slipped in my drink.

I never thought that could happen to me. I think of myself as a pretty responsible adult. I like being in control. I don't consider myself a "partier" and I rarely find myself in a bar--unless it's in a hotel lobby while on tour. But even then, I'm not one to go crazy...

They released me from the hospital later that afternoon. It took some major recouping to feel back to normal. But the thing that was the hardest to get over was the fact that I felt so shocked that it happened. That I took a drink from a stranger. When I started talking about my experience people all had the same answer..."OH MY GOSH...you took a drink from a stranger?" Most people made me feel kind of like an idiot for doing it--which was embarrassing and hurtful all at the same time. But I began to think...how many of those same people have ever done that? You are out...having a good time...almost everyone I know has taken a drink from a "new friend" they meet in the bar. Most times, people are just being nice when they buy you a drink, but there's always the chance that there is another motivation.

Not to say that I haven't learned...because I have...and that's why I'm writing this post. I'll never take a drink from a stranger again. Please don't take drinks from strangers or "new friends." Please don't set your drink down and leave it unattended. The statistics on drugs being put into drinks is staggering. It's happening more and more. It happened to me. It can happen to you.

-I was at a bar 10 minutes from my house

-I was with a guy that I trust

-I was in a "safe" part of town

And it still happened. Some of you reading this might have had something similar happen to you and I'm sorry for that. It's a horrible feeling to be out of control and so vulnerable. I am so thankful that I wasn't alone and that I had loving friends surrounding me and caring for me. Seriously...I cannot imagine if I were alone that night.

This was a pic I snapped of my wrist after I got out of the hospital. Life is fragile. And there are bat-shit-crazy people out there.

Please be careful.

Much love.

-kate-

A Letter To Yourself

So we started something last year...hopefully we will to do it every year and it will become a New Year's Eve tradition. Who knows...maybe you could start doing it too? On December 31, 2010 we sat down and wrote letters to ourselves and sealed them (with fancy red wax stuff) to open exactly one year later...on December 31, 2011. See exhibit A:

So here we find ourselves. Exactly 365 days later. On the eve of a new year. 2012. Who knows what exciting things this year will hold??

Don't be afraid to set goals because you think you cannot reach them. You can. And even if you don't reach them...trying for them might be better than thinking about them. You can do it. DREAM BIG. BIGGER.

We are excited to open the letters and see what we wrote (we have NO idea...ahaha....memory loss...yikes!)...and YES....we will be writing new letters to open on December 31, 2012...

This post concludes our 31 days of blogging...boy it's been fun...but don't stress...one of our goals for 2012 is to spruce up our blog. So stay tuned. Exciting stuff on the horizon.

Please don't drink and drive. Stay alive.

Much love to the bestest friends/fans these girls could ask for.

-j&k-

A Bit Of Inspiration.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

-Maya Angelou

You don't always have to have the answers.

It's okay to not even really know what you're doing or why.

Do what you like to do.

Make the best choices you know how to make.

Surround yourself with good people.

Love well.

Give yourself a break.

Sing the song that's inside of you.

Much love.

-j&k-