nashville

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year my friends!  There were sure a lot of inspiration quotes on Instagram today.  And I am sappy enough to love every bit of them.  New beginnings and hopeful perspectives, wondering what this year holds and letting 2015 fly away.  Like this T.S. Elliot quote:  

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It really is a beautiful opportunity the let old things pass away and start afresh.  And let me say-  get your hopes up.  Expect good things!   Open your eyes, ears, and heart to the beauty of the present moment, focus on good things, remind yourself of what you are thankful for, and know that whether this year brings challenges or triumphs, it is a brilliant chance to grow and learn.  So much love and blessing on you and yours in 2016, from your friends Pilgrim.  

xoxo

 

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Behind The Scenes Recording Our EP "I Found You"

Here are some fun pics from our recording adventure... Enjoy <3 _MG_4279 As I've said before, we recorded in our basement apartment, so what you are seeing here is looking through the window (a window between rooms like in a recording studio) into the bedroom, where we are standing in front of our flipped up mattress.  This is, from left to right, my sister-in-law Andrea, my mom Victoria, my sister Menna, and me.  We are recording the choir parts for "Holy Ghost".  _MG_4287 These women are not just family, but all three are absolutely KILLER vocalists themselves, so we were cracking up most of the time, having fun pretending to be cocky about nailing all the parts first try... *brushes shoulders off* *then smiles and hopes you know I'm joking*_MG_4303

Look at those perfect vowels... my high school choir would be proud.

_MG_3528   _MG_3571 _MG_3559_MG_3543_MG_3579 Our producer, Kyle Burns, of the band Forever The Sickest Kids, in his lair of mad skills working his musical sorcery. _MG_3604 Aaron recording _MG_3629 _MG_3615 Stealing a break for sweet baby kisses <3 _MG_3663  _MG_6675 Our freakishly talented and accomplished friend, Zack Casebolt, recording violin on "I Found You" and "You For Me" _MG_6663_MG_6698 Kyle Burns displaying the appropriate nasty face one uses when listening to the sick jams he created. _MG_6689 _MG_6692 _MG_6708 So happy to be recording... _MG_6739 Breaking for lunch with some cool dudes. _MG_6875 Another insanely skilled wonderful friend of ours (so wonderful that he was Aaron's best man at our wedding), laying down some soulful western melodies on "Stop That Foolin Around" _MG_6877_MG_6880_MG_6887_MG_6864

Failure is Awesome

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!

[Plot twist!]

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Snowed In

Snowed In

"Snowed In" | Rise Up Singing Blog #katthomas #pilgrim

A Birth Story

A Birth Story

March 29th, in the dark of the night, I woke up. I was feeling things I had never felt before. I was getting signals that had only ever been described to me. I felt tightening sensations across my stomach and I wondered, is this going to be it? I relaxed as much as possible and dozed as I could. After a few hours I could no longer sleep through them and I was feeling more certain that what I had been waiting months for was now upon me....