The Best News of 2014

Dashing off a quick post because I cannot contain myself. THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING THING. It has totally cured my winter doldrums for at least 15 minutes now. 15 minutes of the same song on loop.

This song, from the upcoming NEW NICKEL CREEK ALBUM.

I know I keep yelling at you. I’m sorry. I. Can’t. Help. My. Self.

There’s no release date quite yet, and they are still adding tour dates. So, friends in the area, if the tour comes near, who’s with me?

7 Quick Takes: The One with Guilt-Free Cookie Recipes

  1. So, I sang exactly one of the six Holiday Pops concerts. I mean, seriously? I sang the opening night performance, and it was quite enjoyable. It started snowing about the time I got home that night, and it didn’t stop until after I needed to leave for the concert nearly 24 hours later. In the meantime, my in-laws got stuck in our nearly nonexistent driveway, and I decided I wasn’t making the drive. I may have been able to get there and back, but it probably would have taken me ages, and I can’t do that with Noah right now. Anyhoo, the only other concert I’m supposed to sing is this evening, and I don’t think I’m going to make it to that one, either, because I have two sick kiddos who need their mommy. They’re not in terrible shape, but they’re sick enough that Noah needs to eat often, and he needs his mommy rather than a bottle.
  2. Last week’s snow made for an absolutely gorgeous, laidback day of cookie baking. We made these and these, and they are excellent – and guilt-free. Sometime this weekend I’m hoping to also make these.
  3. My thumb is basically healed. It’s still a little tender, but that’s no big deal. This week I discovered the providential reason I very strangely sliced my thumb. Remember how my thumb didn’t go numb for the stitches? They told me some people don’t numb as easily as others. Well, this week I had a small procedure on my face. I had a cyst that has become infected in the past, so while we were in this calendar year where Noah helped me meet my deductible, I thought I should get it taken care of. They did the procedure with local anesthetic, and if I hadn’t just sliced my thumb open, I would not have known to tell the doctor I don’t numb easily. He used more than twice the numbing agent he originally planned. Praise God that I was so bizarrely clumsy a few weeks ago.
  4. Wednesday evening Straight No Chaser came to town for a sold out show. I, of course, had tickets. It was my third SNC show, and it was fantastic. They did approximately half Christmas tunes, including their original, “Indiana Christmas”, which I love. For a second encore they put down the mics and sang “O Holy Night” without amplification. It was gorgeous.
  5. My new blogger friend Sarah is hosting a linkup next week(ish) so we can share what we’ve read in 2013. I’m excited to participate with her. If you have a blog, I hope to see you join in! If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate in the comments.
  6. Once I finish work today, I will officially be off the rest of the year. Yeah, buddy! I truly love my job, and the people I work with. But boy, is it nice to have those times when my attention can be home and only home for a while.
  7. I adore the show The Sing-Off. It’s the only televised talent competition I watch, because it’s the only I’ve seen where the contestants and the judges are all skilled and knowledgable. Sometimes I get downright giddy watching the performances, and never more so than with this one. (If you’re reading this in a RSS reader or an email, you may need to visit the site to see the video.)

31 Days: It is Well with My Soul

I’ve mentioned before that I sing the hymn “It is Well with My Soul” to Aria (and now Noah) whenever one or both of us is troubled or afraid. It calms my spirit, and I can see its calming effect on the kids, as well. When we dedicated the kids a few weeks ago I asked my sister to sing the song with me because I wanted to share that part of our lives with our church family, and because I wanted to create a recording so the kids can hear me sing it to them whenever they wish. The production is not good, because it’s a simple recording of us singing live at church, but the recording exists, and that’s the part I care most about.

This is the last day of the 31 Days challenge. I’ve enjoyed the experience even more than I thought I would. I’m glad it’s coming to an end (I’m starting to run out of juice!), but I look forward to the opportunity to do it again next year. I’m honored to leave you with this recording of Jo and me singing “It is Well with My Soul“.

I hope I’ll see you back here tomorrow when we resume our regularly scheduled blogging!

31 Days: Songs for Focusing My Heart

We tend to use the word worship as though it were synonymous with singing, when it is not. Instead, it is the act of showing love, reverence, devotion, to God. Of course, the only way we can do that is if we are focusing on Him. While music is not worship, it is wonderful for helping us fix our hearts and minds on the act of worship. These are songs I listen to when I want to focus my heart for praise, for worship, just for right perspective.

The list isn’t even close to comprehensive. It’s only the songs I can think of fairly easily. I’d love to hear about the songs you return to when you need refreshed.