We are officially working on some acoustic recordings for our lovely friends and fans! We knew we wanted to create something that would give you the sound that many of you enjoyed this summer on our house concert tour, and when an opportunity arose to get together with grammy-winning engineer Phil Harris and play around with some stuff, we said we'd be right over.. The set up was simple and perfect. Aaron and I seated across from each other in the middle of Phil's living room, with his adorable pups lounging on the leather sofa and palo santo in the air. The walls held tie-dyed fabric, a lithograph print of native americans, and portraits of Nashville legends- some of which may very well have sung into the vintage mics that were placed between Aaron and I. The right moment, the right song, the right vibe. Everything came together as we sang "I'm ready to live, ready to give everything I've got to give"- a new song that we cannot wait to share with you! We are planning to record a whole album of these raw, organic sung-stories that we believe convey the essence of the music that Aaron and I started writing together in that little house with that little baby crawling on the floor. We can't wait to share it all with you. Enjoy these photos we captured while we were there, and look out for a video of our in-studio performance coming soon!
This whole adventure of transitioning to tiny living in an airstream trailer is no joke. Its definitely an adjustment. Nothing has gone according to plan. But all is working out in its own crazy way. Its been exciting, intimidating, overwhelming, fun, invigorating and scary. All at the same time. Now, I'm the kind of person that wants to be way more outdoorsy than I actually am. I enjoy a hike in the woods, a swim in the lake, a picnic... and then a nice shower. Still reconciling this part of my personality with our decision to live in a CAMPER. Hmm. Fortunately there a few little luxuries that Aaron and I carry with us that bring the comfort, style and feeling of home we need to keep the pep in our step. Here are just a few of our favorite things. 1. American Apparel Unisex Long Sleeve Denim Shirt- the perfect shirt for all the time. He can steal hers; she can steal his. Wear it layered in winter or roll up the sleeves and throw it on over your swimsuit. Can't go wrong.
2. Stadler Form Jasmine Aroma Diffuser- we always have something yummy misting into the air. It brings peace and makes the trailer feel like home.
3. DoTERRA Lavender Essential Oil- it really is essential. We put it in the diffuser, on our feet at night (diluted), in the bath, and wear it as perfume. Can't get enough.
4. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet- we adore our cast iron for absolutely everything. Find out how to use this naturally non-stick skillet correctly! (Link)
5. Bailey Wardell Hat in Dark Olive- a hat like this usually ends up being the accessory of choice when showers are scarce. But whenever you choose to wear it, guys and gals both look adventurous with this topper, not to mention a little more protected from the sun (which is pretty important to this ginger family)
6. House of Marley Chant Portable Bluetooth Audio System- small, portable, wireless. A necessity for listening to our Weekly Pilgrim Travel Playlists.
7. Quest Super Cruiser Artisan Bamboo Longboard- Aaron's preferred mode of transportation. Brings him back to the old days when he was a punk skater kid (if only I'd have known him then..)
8. Blenheim Ginger Ale- our favorite! This is the best ginger ale ever. But beware, it has a legitimate kick to it!
9. Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle- every member of the family has one. We carry them everywhere and pat ourselves on the back for saving the environment and our wallets.
10. CafePress Canvas Grocery Tote- a canvas catch all tote like this one goes everywhere with us. Snacks, groceries, toys, clothes- whatever's needed.
11. Catstudio America Pillow- I admit this is a WANT. I have not laid my hands on it yet but I have laid my eyes and I do declare nothing would be more fitting for the centerpiece of our airstream sofa. (Sponsorship catstudio??)
12. Super Natural Cooking Cookbook- this book is a wonderful introduction to a more natural way of cooking. When I first got it, I read it like a book, cover to cover. It was super interesting and helped me to adopt new staples like medjool dates and coconut flour.
These things and an ever-changing array of other stuff we adore available in our Pilgrim Shop!
Or what happens when you take all those pinterest quotes seriously......
We left our house.
We loved that house. Thinking about that big backyard and the way our daughter would explore it brings an ache to my heart even still. But there was such a burning at the time. We couldn't shake the need to break out. We were falling into a rhythm that didn't match the beat of our heart.
"For what its worth: Its never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope that you have the strength to start over." F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Why not go out on a limb? Thats where the fruit is." -Mark Twain
"If you want to take a step you have to give up your balance for a moment."
So we left. We gave up balance. We gave up things. Nearly all of them. Just stuff. No big deal. We had each other.
We moved into a small windowless basement in Aaron's parents' house. We were thrilled, if a little nervous. The amazing part was that the basement was all set up as a recording studio, ready to go. It didn't take long for dots to connect and the perfect producer to come across our path- an old friend who had the skills, the vision, the feel and the interest. He just needed the space. We had the space. Aaron's mom was happy to spend time with Magnolia while we recorded. Things were lining up. We had so much fun creating our six-song E.P.
Then, right after we wrapped up recording, certain events (which I may take the time to describe later but not right now) forced us to leave that place pretty quickly and unexpectedly. We spent a couple weeks at Aaron's sister's house, then a couple months at my sister's house. Letting go of so much, giving up home, bouncing around and facing challenge after challenge, even cutting my long hair as a symbol of the change and our commitment, was leading me on a journey of growing and learning. The goal was and is- non-circumstantial peace. I've written about this before. To grow in inner strength to the point that external forces cannot shake that peace or determine my happiness. Ultimately, though I kicked and screamed at moments, I reveled in the challenge, like a weight-lifter endures the pain knowing that the muscle will be built. I felt like a caterpillar in a cocoon. My mind was blown at discovering what happens to a caterpillar during metamorphosis. Everything that was the caterpillar disintegrates into a liquid, the only information remaining being the "imaginal discs", from which the butterfly- a completely different creature- is created. I was ready to be made new.
"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." -Nelson Mandela
"Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place."
We began to consider a move to California. We felt a draw out west. So we took a trip. We had a few meetings- they went great. Label interest, publishing interest, movie placement possibilities. Oh yeah and Aaron got a job as the video director for the 2014 Tom Petty tour. Things were feeling right again. We were high and higher. Driving around L.A., the whole world was laid out before us on a platter. I guess that's the nature of that beautiful temptress of a city. I adore high moments like that though. I let those feelings blossom to their fullest, when they decide to appear. You know those moments. They make you dance, they make you sing, they make you scream. And I let them. I love them. Regardless of the inevitable mundane that was to be my next three months.
There was no hollywood glamour involved in moving back in with Aaron's parents when he went out on the three month long tour. There were, however, a lot of simple, slow, beautiful summer days with my daughter. Going to the park and my mom's house over and over and over. Talking, painting, reading, giggling. And more chances to grow. Some very long nights. Lots of lonely evenings. A gentle fog of sadness at missing my love. Doing all the things myself that I had learned to rely on him for. Melting, morphing, growing.
When he finally returned, we drove straight to TX and bought our airstream. We were wind-in-your-hair and sun-on-your-face happy again. We began to develop our plan. Our dream. Traveling, playing music, living life, going slow, being together, meeting people, filming, creating. We decided to keep the renovation to the trailer minimal in order to get on the road as quickly as possible. January 1st was the goal. The new year came and went. There was more to do. March was the new goal. Came and went. Unexpected issues with the trailer. Had to dig deeper. Waiting, changing plans, adjusting, more growing.
"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest."
"If your dreams don't scare you they aren't big enough."
It was taking as much courage as I could muster to dive into such an unknown adventure, but then on top of that, all this start-stop business had me almost tearing my hair out! Almost.
We continued pushing forward. Working hard.
April. Spring. Here we are now.
After all of that. Everything we had been working and building towards. The highs, the lows, the expectations, the learning, the working, pushing, resting, praying, holding open our hands, believing... We find ourselves here. And what here feels like is a big fat failure. Even as I write this I kinda know, all is not lost. But man, it doesn't feel great. Without going into all the details, it seems as if we may actually have to start over on the trailer. Many people gut and completely rebuild these vintage airstreams- we chose not to because, like I said, we were rarin' to go. We simply built it out to a livable extent and called it a "work in progress". But now, we may have to start over. Its not clear how we will move forward. We have no bearing on what this will take. Our resources are tapped. Our plans have flopped. We're still living with family. We gave up so much. What do we have to show? Failure.
But then I remember...
"The master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried."
"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."
"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."
"Those who dare to fail miserably, can achieve greatly."
"When something goes wrong in your life just yell 'plot twist!' and move on" (new personal fave)
"Failure is proof that you tried. Now go try again."
Oh, inspirational quotes by famous and unknown people, you've done it again. You've filled me with gumption. Ok, here we go. We will find a way to replenish. We will find a way to start over. We will find a way to keep going. There is no other option. We are still working on our new plan, but we know we will make it to the shows we've already booked. We will do what it takes to get the airstream road-ready and we will live this dream of ours. We will see this accomplished.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far. Along with Pinterest quotes, we'd be lost without the wonderful support and encouragement we've received from our friends and family. We love you!
I can see it now. Waking up as light floods the Airstream, or my daughter climbs into bed with us, whichever comes first, stretching and moving towards the french press. Folding up the sofa bed and pushing open the Airstream door, feeling a rush of fresh air and pure morning light as I step out into nature in my pajamas. I see sipping my steaming coffee as Magnolia rushes to begin playing in the outdoors. I grab a sweater for the cool morning air, and then I'm playing with Magnolia, stretching, praying, planning the day. I can see it now. And it looks like peace. It looks like being in the moment. It looks like slowing down, feeling well, living. I stop myself. That WILL be great. But what about right now? I realize I am living for the future and merely enduring the now. Something that Aaron and I often say to each other when we find ourselves looking to some kind of future plan as our salvation, is "Do you know what its going to feel like when we reach x,y,z ?" ... "Like this." Meaning that life has a way of always just feeling like life. Its easy to think something like "everything would be different if I could just.. (make more money, have a better job, have a partner, live in an airstream, or whatever it is that you are looking forward to)". But the truth is while accomplishing a goal CAN change things, and make you feel better for a while, for the most part, you will still feel like you, life will still feel like life, with its ups and downs. There will be new challenges presented even by this new wonderful thing. This is not to say don't go after anything but it is to say, if you cannot be at peace right now, don't expect an accomplishment to create that for you. Your ability to be at peace, be happy, live in the moment, ect. will be exactly what it is now.
With this understanding, we've been challenging ourselves as we work on the Airstream and set up all the details of the tour, to fully embrace where we are now. This moment is all we have. So, even with all of the elements at play that are potential stress-producers (and successful stress-producers I have to admit), we are trying to experience the same in-the-moment, peace that I imagine myself experiencing as I step down from the Airstream in the early morning light, smelling the beautiful fresh air laced with the must of last night's fire.
These pictures of from our trip to Los Angeles this summer :)