los angeles

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.


When we were young (#31DaysofBLogging)

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

This blog is going to be about how we went to the Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATHE show in August at the Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, but first we need to tell you how we got there….

See, when we lived in Los Angeles, (way back when), we had 2 friends named Scott and Isaac, who we affectionately call STIX and IZZY. We met met Stix and Izzy at the music school in Martha’s Vineyard where we met in college. They were go-getters...brilliant and charismatic, hard-working and straight-up FUN dudes.

Stix and Izzy decided to move to LA to get into the music business and they stayed with us for a little while until they were settled in to the big city. We all knew how to rock a good time together, living it up in Los Angeles, when we were young. (Adele reference, please and thank you.)

Oh snap. What is even happening in this pic? Feb 25, 2007 ladies and gents. HAHAHA.

Oh snap. What is even happening in this pic? Feb 25, 2007 ladies and gents. HAHAHA.

They put in their time, worked their butts off, and made their way up the ranks in various positions in the industry. These boys are the best.

In January of this year, we got a call from Izzy saying he was going to be in Nashville so we decided to get together for a grown-up dinner. We all met when we were in our EARLY twenties and here we were, all grown-up, doing big people jobs. We went out to dinner, and Izzy told us that he (and his beautiful wife Brittany & son) were going to be moving to Nashville! Why? Because he was going to be the GM of the new amphitheater that was being built downtown! In other words, he was a big dog now.

We reminded Izzy of the times he slept on our couch, how we showed him around LA, cooked him dinners...haha, we all had a good laugh and then he said, “Don’t worry guys, I remember...and I’m printing you guest passes so you can go to any show at the amphitheater that you want to go to.”

SCORE. (Love you, Izzy.)

So when we looked at the schedule for the year, we saw that Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATHE were playing and we knew we HAD to go to that show. For one thing, Switchfoot. HELLO. A Walk To Remember? Dare You To Move? Enough said. But really, so many good songs from them. So many good albums…and they are genuinely good guys. 

And if you know Kate at all, you will know that she has this little habit of becoming majorly obsessive over songs. Like she will find a song she loves and play it over and over and over and over and over and over…...you get the idea.

Well one of these songs that she is obsessed with is “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE. You guys, this song has been played *3,037,492 times in her iTunes. (*approximately)

So we headed downtown, hit up Bakersfield (with our friends Tim & Katie…it was Katie's birthday….yipeeee) for some tacos and queso (OMGSOGOOD) and headed over to Ascend for the show. Both bands were so good. It was so inspiring be sitting outside in our own town, listening to really GOOD music. The show was phenomenal. These bands write good meaningful songs, they are excellent at their instruments, and they put on a great show.

It’s amazing how as a musician, seeing a good show can inspire you to be better at your own craft. These bands made us want to be better. To write music that matters. To have fun while doing it. 

It was a great night. Seeing Izzy running the show #LIKEABOSS was so much fun. And let's not forget about Stix. He has toured the world doing all sorts of things with some HUGE names...(Van Halen, ONE DIRECTION, yeah, we know...*googly eyes* 1D) and Stix is now the drummer for this INSANELY good band called Shiny Penny. PLEASE check them out. Their music is so good, their live show is phenomenal, and they are really great guys.

They say it takes a long time to grow old friends. We have been friends with Stix and Izzy for 10 years...and we will be friends with them forever. Some of the best dudes around. Again, it all comes back to relationships...that seems to be a common theme in our year and for that we are grateful. 

Coming up tomorrow, we head to CALI, CALI for some fun times! Also, tomorrow is Kate's BIRTHDAY.....just sayin!!



Now What Does This Make Possible (#31DaysofBlogging)

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


We got the call that we were fired while we were in Los Angeles to play our own show.

There’s nothing quite like waking up in sunny LA after a stressful few weeks (Afghanistan, being called HUGE, etc.) to get FIRED in a 1 minute phone call. 

But if we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that life doesn’t always make sense….that ambivalence is present in almost every situation that you face and it is better to embrace it than to get freaked out by it.

So, we woke up in LA in our AirBnB in West Hollywood, got a phone call that we were fired, and then drove to Santa Monica to sit on the beach and drink Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf! Because when you have an Iced Vanilla Latte and a ridiculous view of the Pacific Ocean, life’s pretty darn good....fired or not fired!

We were there with our friend Chris (you remember Chris from earlier in this series) and we all decided to not let anything get us down. We were in LA, playing the Hotel Cafe the next night, hanging with friends, and we wanted to enjoy every minute.

Los Angeles has been such a significant city to us in our career. It’s where we got our first big job in the industry. It’s what inspired some of our most meaningful songs….(if you have no knowledge about this, check out our song, Burn It Down.)

It’s where we performed on shows like Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, The AMA Awards, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, Ellen….

This city is full of incredible memories for us. Some good, some bad. It’s where some of our best days and some of our worst days have happened. So it’s significant that all of this craziness that had happened in the past few weeks came to a head while we were in LA.

We were a bit thrown off by getting fired...confused, angry, scared, upset,...the emotions were running rampant. There is nothing quite like that feeling of having been treated unjustly. But again, we didn’t want getting fired to affect us negatively. We had songs to write, shows to play, things to do! We knew we had to stay level-headed for our show at The Hotel Cafe.

We LOVE playing this venue. We’ve played it twice now, but we’ve also seen some amazing shows there. (One of those shows was Patty Griffin who you may know is one of our favorite artists of all time. To play on the stage that we had seen her play on a few years ago is always surreal.)

Okay, let us have our geek out moment here for a minute…(remember, we’d had a rough day the day before, we had NO idea what our year would now look like, and we needed something good to happen.)

Then…...Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman came to our show at The Hotel Cafe!

Guys, PARENTHOOD. Gilmore Girls. The Duff. You get the idea.

Talk about 2 of the coolest people around? These two.

(Most-joy-to-ever-be-had in a selfie…ever. And yes, we are sweaty and gross but you guys, it was so hot in there and sweat + nerves will run their course…as displayed in our hair.) 

(Most-joy-to-ever-be-had in a selfie…ever. And yes, we are sweaty and gross but you guys, it was so hot in there and sweat + nerves will run their course…as displayed in our hair.) 

See, we had written a song earlier in the year called “Someday, Someday, Maybe” after reading Lauren’s book. (READ IT!) We were so inspired by the story that we wanted to write a song about it. So we sent it to her and she actually listened to it and liked it!

We got to play the song live at our show that night in LA with her in the audience and that was pretty cool/scary/awesome/*enter every other emotion here*.

We also got to talk to so many of you guys after the show which is one of our favorite parts about doing what we do. We love meeting you all and hearing your stories. This show was such a good distraction from all the other crap that was going on in our world at the time. Just know that your support in coming out to the show, bringing us gifts, telling us your stories...those are huge encouragements to us!

We stayed in LA for a few more days after the show and started to think about what the rest of the year might look like for us now. We had planned on being on tour with the other artist for the rest of the year and because of that not happening, we now had a huge blank calendar in front of us. We had no plan and no income. But at the same time, anything was possible! We had a wise friend/counselor (Al Andrews...LOVE you Al!) say to us: “Focus on asking yourself the question ‘Now...what does this make possible?’”

So that was the question we began asking ourselves as we started to think about where we were headed this year….

If you're stuck with an unforeseen road block or upsetting situation in your life that you weren't planning on…maybe now is a good time to ask yourself….

What does this make possible?

The journey continues tomorrow...tune in and follow along.



PS. Thanks for all the love and support over our blogs the past few days. We knew we needed to share our story and the fact that you all are sharing it, telling us your own stories and helping spread a positive voice about being brave is bringing us so much joy.

Tis the season indeed…