The beauty and total weird-ness of “engaged”

So for those of you that are late to the party… I’m engaged.

Yes, I know.

Start praying to your God because the apocalypse is near.  Ha.

But really.

Thirty-one days ago, I said “Yes” to a guy who kneeled down beside our bed with a big diamond ring.  While I sat there, makeup-less and sporting bulldog pajama pants, completely stunned.  It was without a doubt, the easiest “Yes” I’ve ever given in my life.  Granted, I would’ve much preferred to look stunningly beautiful in some lavish treehouse where stardust was sprinkling from the sky…but hey… it was still sweet.  And caught me completely off guard.  Quite the feat.

And the beauty of it was, I never had even a moment’s hesitation.

Yes.

This is it.

This is my human.  I found him.  And even better…

My human WANTS to be tied with my crazy ass for the rest of his life…like, he thinks HE’S hit the jackpot with ME.  Clearly, he’s insane.  Lucky for me.

And it’s been a blissful month.  Strange, in some regards.  And definitely, a huge reminder to myself (and those around me) that I am rather far removed from the typical girl’s frame of mind with being “engaged”.

First of all, please let me preface this with… I AM SO HAPPY WITH THIS MAN!  He is the only person I could ever say/think/feel ‘forever’ about.  He’s the weirdest, most generous, down for an adventure dude I’ve ever known and he makes me better without ever asking it of me.  I literally cannot believe that someone knows all my bullshit…my hot mess of a past…this “wrecking ball to the self-esteem” dream I continue to chase…the balance in my checking account currently…my obsession with my larger than life family…supporting that I live in another state 50% of the time…the reality that I’ll never love his dog half as much as he does…my inability to apologize most of the time…(you catch my drift)…and yet…

He will stand before anyone and everyone and promise me the best and the rest of his life.

Holy shit, ya’ll.

Just typing that (and the 3 glasses of wine I’ve had) is making me tear up majorly at the moment.  I never thought I’d see the day that I’d get engaged.  And to be completely honest with you, I was more than okay with that.  Because a ring on my finger was never a part of “the dream” (just ask any guy I’ve ever dated/family/friends).  I never envisioned what a wedding would look like.  (Or owning a house.  Or having children.  Or basically, anything that a normal adult would see for their lives.)  Simply put, that was never in my “check” boxes.

So to be wearing a ring of my finger for the last 31 days, and to have not lost/misplaced it yet, is truly wild.  That being said…

Being engaged is fucking weird.

People congratulate me constantly…for what?  I mean, I too am happy that I have this guy and that I’m no longer wasting time getting wasted with douchebags.  Because those that know my story know that it ain’t been the prettiest.  I’ve been through some real shit.

But to congratulate me feels odd…like I accomplished something super impressive…the impressive part was finally allowing someone deserving into my world and loving him back.  The ring is just a beautiful bonus.  But even still…

I’m only part way to the finish line by Pinterest’s standards.  

Because apparently there’s this whole wedding thing to plan/obsess/lose my shit over.

And the unavoidable “so you’re going to have children?” conversation.

Let me say this.

I can’t not roll my eyes at the word “fiancé”.  Nor do I care about a date, a dress, a venue, color schemes, the selection of the wedding party, keeping my nails well-manicured to show off my ring, picking out baby names, or anything else that isn’t about one thing and one thing only…

Me & him.  Him & I.

The ones doing forever.

So yes,  I did wait almost a week before I announced my engagement on social media.  Yes, we still haven’t changed our Facebook relationship status.  Yes, you will have to ask to see my ring because I won’t think to flaunt it for everyone I see.  Yes, it’s true, we don’t have a date or a plan yet and we are totally okay with that.  And yes, if him and I were only thinking of ourselves, we would’ve eloped yesterday.

And yes…the moment I realized I didn’t care about the attention or validation like I thought I was supposed to was when I knew…

This shit is real, this is right…

This is cemetery plots side by side.

Bring it on, baby.

And a whole-hearted “THANK YOU” to the followers of this journey…sweet Lord, we’ve seen it all and I love you for loving me through it ❤

 

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What is mine…

Yards.  Lawns.

People take such pride in them, right?  Mowing, watering, landscaping, gardening.  Personally, I never got into it.  However, I do remember how I enjoyed using my push lawn mower in my first rental house. **See photo below for proof** I was about 21 years old, renting a one bedroom, 500 square foot house on a dead end street in East Nashville.  Mowing my lawn was my way of saying to the world, “Look at me, I’m grown up.  I’m independent.”  Never mind the fact that I was broke, watching the only 4 DVDs I owned on a little 15 inch TV (that had an attached VCR) from childhood.  But hot damn, I mowed my lawn.  That is…until my brand new lawn mower got stolen out of my backyard shed one weekend I was out of town.  How East Nashville…  I never loved mowing the lawn like that again.

It’s funny how seemingly insignificant little memories like that pop up and completely relate to your present-day life.   How, you ask?

Because, in this exact moment, I am not taking ownership of my yard.  Nope.  I’m not tending to it, watching it, taking responsibility for it 90% of the time.  You know what I AM doing?  Obsessing about everyone else’s yard…who should be allowed on it and who shouldn’t be, where they need to water it, how to make it prettier.  All the while, my yard goes to shit.  But hey, at least I’m being a good neighbor, right?

Hopefully at this point, you’re getting my analogy.  If you’re not, maybe you should stop smoking so much weed.  Ha.

Boundaries are a real and essential thing.  A thing that I’m forcing myself to acknowledge, understand, and set firmly for myself, regardless of my past.  Because if we’re being honest here, my boundaries have been about as sturdy as a house burning to the ground.  Oddly enough, I never knew the problem was as severe as it was until the last few months…

The moment I sat still long enough, I felt it.  The weight.  Like a 12 pound dumbbell, just hanging out on my chest.  I can still breathe, I can still function, but fuck… it’s starting to irritate me and upset me in a way that I can no longer talk myself out of it.  And anyone that knows me knows that I can definitely talk myself into or out of anything, ha.  So now we have an issue that has to be addressed or else, I might end up on a episode of “Dateline”.

Factors into this new “boundary awareness”:

  • Being only a 50 minute drive from your family instead of the 8 hours of distance you’ve had for the last 10 years
  • Moving in with my boyfriend
  • Constantly travelling back and forth between Nashville and Michigan every few weeks
  • Trying to remain friends with people I was close to when I was a hot mess
  • Having physical and emotional space to re-evaluate some of the people I surround myself with, and  yet I still manage to get stressed out
  • Adopting a puppy that has NO SENSE of personal space…nope, none.

If I could tell you the countless hours I’ve spent worrying/discussing/trying to find a solution for someone else’s health/finances/terrible exes they keep going back to/drug use/lack of sleep/car situation/relationship with their parents/retirement/toxic friends they hang around/Tinder hook ups and so on…you’d roll up a joint for me. And then hand me some Ambien.

I always justified it as one of the following, “But it’s family…She has nobody else to talk to…I’m the only positive influence he has…If I don’t help, no one else will…She looks up to me…He could have a heart attack if I don’t intervene…If it were me, I’d need someone to help me like this…Oh, she’d do the same for me…” and a million other reasons.

But the truth is…

I’m tired.  People WILL live without me trying to solve their problems.  People WILL figure it out one way or another.  People WILL let me down and not come through for me like I have for them.  I too will live.  Friends/family should not expect me to carry their burdens nor should I so willingly volunteer to do so. 

I’m literally reading a book right now called “Boundaries”.  Real life.  A therapist I went to see a few times, roughly 7 years ago, recommended it to me.  I was grieving from a rather devastating break up (6 months later) so when he made this recommendation, I drove to Borders (yes, we still had one of those then) and purchased the book.  I read the first chapter and then never thought about it again.  Shortly after, I got back together with the ex that pummeled my heart, resulting in me ceasing my sessions with said therapist.  If that isn’t a prime example of boundary misuse, I don’t know what is.  The more I read, the more I talk about it, the more I realize that my boundaries have been blurred my entire life.

That stops.  Effective immediately.

I have a yard.  It has a wooden fence all around it, with a little front gate.  The bad shit needs to be kicked out of my yard.  The good stuff stays for me to tend to, inside my fence.  The gate serves to close & lock on toxic people /situations/ways of thinking that don’t show respect to my yard and my fence.  The gate will only open for love.

I need to own my yard again.  

I need to learn to be the neighbor that smiles and waves and tries to keep her dogs from shitting in your yard.  And even if/when they do, I will still not come over to your yard.  Boundaries, y’all  🙂228361_6078485580_2108_n1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I talked myself out of it.”

It’s 2AM and I can’t sleep.

There is nothing particularly wrong.  Sometimes the brain just wants to create…and in my case, that means I’m writing.

It’s been over a month since my last blog.  I’ve thought about sitting down and writing every single day since then.  I’d take my laptop in the car with me wherever I’d go…including a couple trips to Nashville in December and over New Year’s.  But I talked myself out of it each time.  I’d find myself responding to an email, stalking my Facebook feed, or looking up which crazy-colored yoga pants I wanted to order from Kate Hudson.  While I type this, I realize that the words “I talked myself out of it” feels a bit like a Nerf gun fired to my face.

Because I do that.  A lot. 

**Talk myself out of things, and get nailed in the face with Nerf darts.

Whether it’s going out of my comfort zone to talk to someone I don’t know, sing a song I’m not sure I remember the lyrics to, go inside Chase bank and make them reverse their ridiculous maintenance charges, purchase the plane ticket, wake up in time for that kickboxing class, apologize to my boyfriend, or write a fucking blog.  I’ve probably “talked myself out of” some of the best “could’ve been” times because I didn’t trust it, for one reason or another.

It’s January.
Everyone’s at the gym.  Everyone is swearing to call their Grandpa more, lose 14.8 pounds, read the Bible, quit smoking, etc etc…And I wish them all luck.  When the ball dropped this year, I was still in horror of the Mariah Carey fiasco. (I don’t think I recovered for days afterward, if we’re being honest.)  While enjoying mimosas with a couple of my favorite gays on a New Year’s Day brunch, it dawned on me that I hadn’t made a resolution.  Champagne aided in me never making a resolution that day.  I wasn’t ready. 

Because with this new year/new start, it meant leaving 2016 behind.

There was much to love… I fell in love/stayed in love/am still in love with an incredible man.  My two sisters gave me a baby niece and nephew over the summer.  Two of my best friends got married, and my childhood bestfriend welcomed a baby girl right around my birthday.  I finished filming a music documentary coming out later this year.  I wrote & recorded songs that I’m extremely proud of.  I’ve sang in the studio and on the stage with some of my musical heroes.  My boyfriend and I adopted a sheltie puppy and named her Blanche (Devereaux), after my favorite Golden Girl.  I spent time with the ocean, the Great Lakes, New York City, the West Coast, and got to take my 89 year old Granny to Nashville to see her family twice.  I read more books and wrote more songs/poems/stories/blogs than I have in years.

There was much I could have done without too.
There was death.  There was a cancer diagnosis for my uncle.  There were internal battles within myself that felt like a Target bag over the head.  There were growing aches and pains for the girl and the life I was growing out of.  There were days of crippling self-doubt. There were moments of family drama/crisis that made me feel like I was imploding.  There were career/timeline setbacks.

There was life.  There was loss.

Nothing better portrayed this than my last blog entry.

On December 2, 2016, I wrote a long-winded blog about the significance of my 1st nephew, Nolan and his entrance into this world 6 years ago.  Hundreds of you read it/commented/”liked”…  It felt like such a release to share part of mine & my family’s story with you.

On that same day, December 2, 2016, my boyfriend’s best friend passed away.

We didn’t find out until the following night.

“Unexpected” is what they called it, but it felt much more severe than that.  When you’re having some beer and chicken pot pie at a neighborhood dive bar with someone, and 24 hours later, that person is gone… “unexpected” doesn’t begin to cover it.

EJ Grossi died at 34 years old.

I didn’t know EJ very well.  Him and my boyfriend had over a decade’s worth of friendship.  EJ actually lived with my boyfriend for awhile before/at the beginning of us dating.  When things started getting more serious, EJ moved out and me & my dogs moved in.  My boyfriend and EJ resumed their “best friend status” and were always hanging out when I’d go out of town, mostly just sitting at the house and talking.  He loved our dogs.  EJ was quirky and weird in the best way, super spontaneous, unassumingly thoughtful, and truly loved his people…and always wanted his people to know his people.  Case in point, when my boyfriend & I hung out with him the night before he died, he handed me 2 CD’s there in the bar.  It was music by a couple of his friends and he said he thought of me and that I might enjoy a listen.  He also said if I thought the music sucked, I could use them as coasters, ha.

His funeral was surreal.  There were so many people and never a good place to stand that was “out of the way” of everyone else.  Looking at photos of him on the memory boards was numbing and shocking at the same time.  He looked just like me, just like any of us.  There were tears and laughs as everyone reminisced with each other.  I couldn’t attach to any of it.  I just fixated on my boyfriend the entire time…wanting to scoop him up if I detected any slight sign of an emotional collapse.  I was prepared to save him.  I wanted to save him.

I also wanted to cry.  But I “talked myself out it”. 

I’ve cried since then.  Only a few times, and always by myself.  I don’t know if it’s my distain for crying…or my fear that my boyfriend will sink into depression if he sees how I affected I am…or that I don’t know/don’t want to think about all the things that are surfacing inside of me because of this loss.  I still haven’t figured it out.  Which is why, every time I thought about blogging, I didn’t know where to start.  It seemed inappropriate to write about someone I didn’t know very well or for very long.  Because, as you know, I like to talk myself out of things.

But somewhere, in the last couple days, I started to grasp that it’s okay to speak of things you don’t understand.  Because if you don’t speak it, how will you ever understand it?   I need to remind myself of that.  My feelings are real.  EJ’s presence was/continues to be real.  My boyfriend’s memories are real.

I think if this gut-punching end to 2016 is teaching me anything about what a new year of life to live should really mean, it would be…
Quit fucking talking myself out of it.

Rest in peace, EJ.

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The ultimate “swipe right”

Around this time last year, I was asked out on date by a dude on Tinder, who’s caption read, “It’s getting cold outside.  Looking for a girlfriend for the winter.”  True story.

A girl with my dating track record really had nothing to lose.

I had JUST relocated to Michigan for a few months to work on a music project.  I had no social life outside of my family.  I’d just ended an 8 month turbulent relationship.  Detroit was frozen over and there weren’t enough bulky sweaters or Ugg boots to keep me warm.  I was the perfect candidate for Tinder.

I arrived 40 minutes late to my first date with Jon.
He was just relieved I showed up and that I wasn’t a dude.

It was a pleasant night, especially considering I had low expectations.  Tinder does that to you.  Well, no, dating does that to you,  ha.  We had dinner and drinks and walked to a local vodka distillery in the freezing cold.  When the night was over, there was a hug goodnight and we drove to our separate homes.

When he followed up the next day to make plans for a 2nd date, I won’t lie, I hesitated.  The whole “seeing someone” thing did not appeal to me.  Been there, done that, caught on fire one too many times.  I’m good…I’m only looking for attention.

I know I’m too much.  I’m loud and unfiltered, exceptionally weird as shit AND I work in music.  I like to bare my midriff and bar hop any day of the week.  I casually “date” and own (laugh at) every single dramatic/scandalous/entertaining story that comes with that.  I’m independent, I don’t know how to communicate through any vessel other than sarcasm and I’m too tired to give a shit about guys anymore.  The few guys I ever actually called a boyfriend ultimately ended up royally mind-@#*!ing me and inspiring my entire songwriting catalog.

And yet, there I was in November of 2015…600 miles away from those disasters.  Those stories.  Those bars, that scene, those exes.  I’m older now, it’s starting to feel less cute.  I’m also in a completely different part of the country now.  So what was going to be my excuse?   Did I want the path of destruction to run north and south…Or did I want to do it differently…Am I really not going to go out with this guy a few more times because of who I’ve been 600 miles south?  I was off the hamster wheel.  I was in Michigan.  No hamsters live through Michigan winters.

I’m not going to say I gave Jon a chance.  Because in all honesty, it wasn’t HIM that I was doubting at all.  It was me.  So I will say that from our 2nd date on…I gave MYSELF a chance.  I gave myself a chance to prove false whatever self-defeating thoughts I’d be carrying around in my head and in my heart that I couldn’t be/didn’t want to be “the relationship type”.  

And it truly was a process.
It’s a process to unlearn all the self-sabotaging thoughts/feelings/behaviors.  You can’t silence that inner voice as quickly as you’d like to.  We’d be out to dinner and he’d compliment me, only for me to roll my eyes or make a stupid face and say, “Yeah, ok.”  I’d say that happened for the first 3-4 months, easily.  And every time he’d say, “I’m just going to keep saying it until you start to believe it.”  Seriously, what is wrong with this guy?  He’d do thoughtful gestures like put gas in my car or surprise me with flowers or buy/ship me a Tempur Pedic pillow when I was out of town, and at least half the time I’d say, “Why’d you do that?  You don’t have to do that.”  Like, he was trying too hard or something.  Or even worse, he just doesn’t reeeeallllly know me yet.  Because once he does, this shit will stop.  We’ll both be swiping again soon enough.  Luckily, none of that was true.

Aside from the nice dinners or the thoughtful gifts or the sweet compliments, I was in awe of his patience more than anything.  And I still am.  I know I’m not easy.  I’m still learning.

Jon set the stage for me to look at myself in a way I never had before.  Kind of like “Pretty Woman” only minus the getting paid for sex part.  He gave me an opportunity to be a woman truly worth pursuing…the way my mom, my dad, my grandma always hoped a man would win me over.  And let’s be honest here, they’d all just about given up hope, ha.  I don’t blame them though.  They knew what I’d put myself through in the past.  He showed me that it’s okay to want these things.  It’s okay to think of myself as worthy and deserving of a mountain-moving love.

All the things I used to deem cheesy or unrealistic about being in a relationship were deemed so because I’d never felt it before.  I thought I didn’t want it because I didn’t know it.  So I never hoped for it, I never held out for it, I never asked for it.  I talked myself out of it long before any guy would end up disappointing me.

And Jon just gave his all.  Without question.  And continues to do so.

Not only did he expose me to new way to love…but he exposed me to his larger-than-life (borderline creepy) obsession with his bulldog, Stella, his ridiculous ‘if Danny Tanner were trying to seduce you’ dance moves, his grumpy old man opinions on everything from music to politics, he closet full of nothing more than plaid shirts and blue hoodies, his sappy and sensitive feelings when he’s had more than 3 IPAs, his super intense foot rubs,  his awkward story/joke delivery, and a million other things that I whole-heartedly love.

Who would have thought that after a decade of dating in Music City, I’d wind up with a car dealer in Michigan… Not I, that’s for sure.  But somehow, somewhere our stories blended perfectly.  And shit, we just stood side by side for last 365 days creating a new one.

I’ll drink to that.

 

 

What a difference a year can make.

What a difference a year can make.

Or 89 years, at that.

Yesterday we celebrated my Granny’s 89th birthday.  I want us all to take a moment here… EIGHTY-NINE YEARS OLD!  Taylor Swift was born in 1989.  My grandmother was born in 1927.  Like, whaaaaaa?!

This woman still lives alone in the house that she bought with my Grandpa over 50 year ago. She leased and drives a brand new Buick.  She looks like a damn beauty queen and won’t be seen in public unless she gets her hair done.  I squeeze her butt and give her hugs and kisses when we’re out and about constantly, only for her to say “Now Rachel, people are gonna think you’re a lesbian.” 

Everything about this woman literally takes my breath away.  Even if she’s cranky or not feeling good, or she’s critiquing my driving with every mile we’re in the car together… I’d take her on her worst day than most people on their best day.  I truly am in awe of every minute I get to spend with her.  And I mean that with every fiber of my being.

I’ve made a point to attend almost every birthday of hers since I moved to Nashville 10 years ago.  I put more weight on August 31st than Thanksgiving.  People always say, “Cherish your family… Don’t take the ones you love for granted… Let the people around you know how much you appreciate them.”  I have never demonstrated these thoughts/words/actions more evidently than with my Retha Mae.  IMG_2932

Which leads me to the title of this entry.

Granny’s birthday was symbolic.  Not only because she has blessed this earth for 89 years, but also, because it is an anniversary (of sorts) for me.

Last year, at this time, I made a decision. 

A decision that would root me more in Detroit rather than Nashville.  I’d still split the time 50/50 between the two cities, it’s just that my Tempur-Pedic bed would reside in MI for a time.  I’d be working on a film project in Detroit, and yet still keeping my session work/writing appointments/writer’s rounds in Nashville just as active as before.

A couple of very dear friends of mine had offered their moving truck and their assistance last year, around springtime.  However, that “move” wasn’t to be scheduled until later in the fall of 2015. 

On August 29, 2015, I was sitting in on a show at the legendary Bluebird Café.  I was asked to sing a couple songs, so I did, all while hearing my phone vibrate on the floor beneath  my chair.  When I was done singing, I checked my phone, only to see several messages informing me that my friends were still able to help me move, but it’d have to be THE VERY NEXT DAY, or else they’d be out of commission for awhile.

I immediately called my “boyfriend” at the time (*cringe*), and freaked out.  I had nothing ready to go, nothing was packed.  Instead of heading home and getting to work, I decided to sit in a bar across from the Bluebird and numb myself with vodka sodas.  The next morning, we woke up at 6am and started making piles… KEEP/GOODWILL/THROW AWAY/SELL ON CRAIGSLIST.  A couple friends came over to help later in the morning and there was just no time to second-guess, to have anxiety, to back out.  By 2pm, the moving truck was there and 10 years of my life were in piles.  ***You can see the Instagram video I uploaded of the move here https://www.instagram.com/p/6_DrCzBibT/ 

We loaded up my stuff AND my car (yes, the moving truck was big enough to fit my vehicle inside of it too!) and immediately hit the road.  We drove all day and night…me, my boyfriend at the time, and my friend from OH with the truck.  We spent the night at my friend’s house in Ohio, just 90 minutes shy of Detroit.  The next morning, we quickly made the drive into Michigan, unloaded things into my parent’s garage and basement.  There was no real plan.  I couldn’t leave leave Nashville for another couple of months, so I just needed to put my stuff somewhere.  And when the opportunity to move a lot of your big belongings comes along, you jump.  Or else, you pay out the ass for a U-Haul and try to do all this shit on your own at a later time.  Uh, no thanks. 

And wouldn’t you know, the day this craziness occurred just happened to be my Grandma’s 88th birthday.

I hadn’t planned on being there.  It was a complete coincidence.  You see, I couldn’t get the time off of work (I was waitressing on the side) and I didn’t have the money to make the trip up, so I had chalked it up that for the first time in years, I’d miss Granny’s birthday.

Apparently not.

I got to hug her, sing Happy Birthday to her and my sister (Lindsey’s birthday is the day before Granny’s, on the 3oth), and hang out a couple hours.  After that, we backed my car off the moving truck, my ex and I got into the car, and we drove back down to Nashville that same day.  (He was re-enlisting in the Air Force at 9am the next morning, and those things…well, you can’t reschedule.  Ha.)  On the drive back to Nashville, I was informed by the sports bar that I’d been working at for quite some time, that my services were no longer needed.  No one believed that a moving truck showed up with practically no warning and despite my desperation to call co-workers and my boss to cover my shift, no one did.  So I was fired. 

So to recap:  In a matter of 48 hours I… was told a moving truck would be there the very next day, packed up 10 years of my life in 8 hours, drove 550 miles to Detroit, unloaded my stuff, celebrated my Granny & sister’s birthday, drove 550 miles back to Nashville, and got fired from my job.

And here I am… A year later.

I look back on the madness of a year ago, and I actually laugh.  It was ridiculous and frankly, quite unbelievable.  The stories I have, the shit I put myself through, the hamster wheel that never stopped, the guys I insisted on (and yet was in denial of) wasting my time on…

God knew what He was doing.  As frantic as it all sounds, I never doubted that the Universe did what it did to bring me here.  I can’t believe how much happier I am.  How much more hopeful I am.  How much more motivated and passionate I am about life, my family, love, and of course, music…

I could go on and on and on about all the differences and gifts and awakenings the last 12 months has given me, but this blog entry is long enough.  We will get to it.

Right now, I’m about to pack up the car and drive from Detroit to Oneida, NY with my boyfriend/the best love in the world/not the guy from a year ago, where one of my very best friends is getting married this weekend.  She was my roomie/sidekick for years in Nashville and her story is a lot like mine.  But again, we’ll get to that in another blog soon.

Much love to you all.

Thanks so much for reading.

And hey, call your Grandparents.  They miss you.

RW

 

 

 

 

 

the bright side of 2am leftovers on a pull-out couch.

It is legit 2am.

I have a lot to say, but I’m not gonna lie… I’m tired…slightly buzzed…and extremely full on the Thai leftovers I had from yesterday’s lunch.

I’ll say this though…

Today was a good day.  A really, really good day.

I got to sing background vocals alongside 2 complete, MONSTER vocalists, whom I admire to the utmost degree…Vickie Carrico and Scat Springs.  The artist, Brandon Calhoon, is a friend of mine from here in Nashville but is actually a fellow Detroit rocker.  The album is being produced by my producer, Jim “Moose” Brown.  So overall, it truly was a dream.

A dream, and yet, initially, very intimidating.  Vickie and Scat are the definition of “pro”…their range, their ability the find parts, their ability to always stay on pitch, their ability to create parts that you don’t even know are there… it’s incredible.  I should know…they sang backgrounds on my entire album.

The fact that I was called to sing WITH them was daunting.  It’s crazy how we doubt our abilities sometimes.  Like, maybe we’re not as good as we think we are.  I know I’ve done it to myself plenty of times over the years.  It’s good for us though.  The difference is though, now, I can push through the insecurity and just sing/say/write exactly what comes into my brain and people trust it and follow my lead.  It’s a crazy concept but it’s seeming to work.  Today was magical.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve gotten at this point/age/stage in  life.  I’m thankful that people believe in me.  I’m thankful that I’m FINALLY back to a place where I’m believing and trusting in myself again.  Because there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t.  And it was miserable.  And I was stagnate because of it.  But I’m good.  I’m better than good.  I own my shit and I shouldn’t apologize or speak meekly about it.  No one is ever gonna fight for me like me.

No one is ever gonna fight for you like you.

This week in Nashville has been exhausting on a lot of levels.  Emotionally, I feel drained from giving friends advice and worrying about things that really don’t have anything to do with me.  But I want them to be happy.  So I carry their burdens, regardless if they asked me to or not.  Physically, I’ve been singing my ass off a large majority of the time, and afterwards, engaging in social life talks/wine-vodka consumption til late hours.  So I’m definitely tired.

But overall, I’m just so, so thankful.  Honestly.

I’m thankful that I get these calls to make music.  I’m thankful that people want to write songs with me.  I’m thankful that I don’t have to deal with the dating bullshit/lower any standards/the excuses/the douchebaggery anymore.  I’m thankful that tomorrow morning, I get to load up my car and drive 8 hours north and obsess over my brand new baby niece, and my other sister’s big pregnant belly that’s due in 2 weeks, my beautiful Granny, my boyfriend who is greater than any words will express, and my dogs that hopefully have missed me all week.

For the first time ever, I can sit on a pull out couch, with “Dateline” playing in the background, and my left-over container stinking up the room and say… “Hey, this life is pretty fucking grand.”  And isn’t that the dream…?  It might not look the same to everybody, but if you’ve got it, hold it…build from it. It won’t fail you if you don’t let it go.  IMG_2373IMG_2353IMG_2342IMG_2290IMG_2190IMG_2187

 

 

 

Babies and boob rash.

I should be sleeping.

Or reviewing the songs that I’m supposed to sing in the morning.

But instead of listening to those audio files, succumbing to the Benadryl I popped an hour ago, and resting my body after a 500 mile drive today… I felt like blogging.  Briefly.

In case you missed it…

I became “Auntie Ray Ray” to a beautiful and perfect 8 lb 4 oz, 21 inch long baby girl, named Adalynn Mae.  The reality is that there’s an actual baby, in the world, being held and/or admired by someone right now.  And a few days ago, it was in my sister’s stomach… I mean…I’m still in shock.  And if I’m in shock, I can only imagine what my little sister and my brother in law are feeling.  But I guess that’s how babies work, right?  They live inside a belly, you get to watch your sister’s belly grow and grow, joke about how you’re finally the skinniest sister for months on end, and then…they go to a hospital and push a watermelon through a nostril.

Yeah, that made me cringe a little too.

I’m overwhelmed with love.  Watching my sister waddle around her house in a robe and sit on a donut everywhere she goes.  Seeing her husband talk about how many times the baby has pooped that day.  Watching my nephew, Nolan, snuggle her and give her head kisses.  Seeing my near 89 year old granny’s face light up, talking baby talk as she holds her, and then quickly handing her off once she starts to cry.

And to think… all these moments of love/adoration/terror/shock will be repeated for my family when my other sister gives birth in 3 weeks to my new nephew.

This is real life, people.

There was clearly something in the water, and thankfully, I stuck with vodka.  Who needs water…?

Yesterday was my baby sister’s baby shower.  I made my boyfriend go.  It was quite comical.  And it was excellent birth control.

And then this morning, I packed up my car again and drove down to Nashville.  Several big recording sessions this week, a couple co-writes, and some much needed time to re-group.  However, I have this weird heat rash going on…and my side boob looks like a burn victim or something.  It’s sexy.  The dried up Cortizone cream on my arm pit is even better.  So, if you see me this week, I’ll be wearing turtlenecks and ankle skirts…and reporting home to the compound.  Just kidding.  My hair isn’t long enough for a ‘sister wife’ braid yet.

And shit… The Golden Girls are on.

Thanks for reading my ramble of a blog tonight.

Maybe the Benadryl IS kicking in.

I promise to be more “prolific” next time 😉

Goodnight ❤