Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In It to Win It (an American Idol love story).

I will admit it: I am an American Idol fan. I am that person… the one that sits glued to the tv for the hour or two hours that the show is on twice a week, slyly crossing my fingers behind my back with anticipated hope that my favorite, the person that I have deemed my personal American Idol, makes it through to the next round. While I don’t go so far as to actually calling in my vote to the show I will also make an admission of guilt to going online to try and cast a vote. Once I found out you had to sign in with facebook I closed the web page but I did check it out. Call it what you want: embarrassing, lame, amateurish but I can’t help it. I just love the show.

I know this is not abnormal… after all millions and millions of people do the same thing as I every week but what is different is that I actually dislike the type of music that American Idol typically produces. I can’t stand musicians who can’t write their own lyrics or bands that put out album after album neglecting to add any actual heart and grit into it, so the fact that I am so completely captivated by a show that historically has produced musicians who are basically created to make a quick buck is beyond me.

Music for me has always been about the emotion it produces, especially live music. Most of my favorite memories involve a live show in some way: seeing the Rolling Stones with my dad, watching Bob Dylan in an arena that typically holds 11,000 people, in an absolutely memorizing set when he only sold 2,000 tickets, spending a July evening sitting in the grass with Ryan at Simon Estes watching the Black Crowes when I was seven months pregnant, JJ Cale in a small theater in Petaluma, playing hacky sack with members of George Clinton and the Parliament when I was 15, watching Melissa Etheridge(who to me is a TRUE rockstar- a dying breed these days) at the Civic Center with my mom, taking my brother to his first Foo Fighters show and watching his face light up the first time he heard the infamous Dave Grohl scream, my mom giving up her ticket so I could see Page and Plant from Zepplin with my dad… you get the picture. All of these musicians possess that special quality to me, the ability to write these songs with these lyrics that captivate you, that make you feel what they feel, that sometimes moves you to tears. Songs that make you want to get up and dance anytime you hear it (David Bowie I am talking to you) or that make you want to roll down the windows and blast the sound as loud as your car stereo will go (Gov’t Mule anyone?) or that song that makes you want to move mountains and run a marathon or something (Stranglehold is my “Power” song) or a song that just gets to your bones (Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac). Personally, this isn’t something that any American Idol winner has ever been able to do for me.

I think for me, actually I know for me, American Idol isn’t really about the music. I do enjoy watching the constants grow each week and I like deciding if I would have picked that song for them… I love when the non typical American Idol contestant pops up, someone like Crystal last year or Casey this year or even Hailey when she nailed that killer rendition of House of the Rising Sun. But I think it mainly signifies family time to me. Each week Ryan and Lilah and I sit in front of the tv on the couch to watch together, regardless of what work we have to do or if the house needs to be cleaned. These days life is so busy that it’s not abnormal to skip the truly important stuff. The stuff that keeps families smiling and keeps us from all losing our minds and slipping away from each other. The moments that are about nothing more than just laughing and cheering and debating and just being.

Tonight I may not be writing a novel or saving the rainforest or winning the Nobel Peace Prize or even doing laundry, but I can tell you that I will be sitting there on the couch with my husband and my daughter and possibly even Finn cheering and laughing while we find out who wins the title of this years American Idol. Together.

As Randy would say, I guess that makes me in it to win it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When I need a laugh...

It has been a crazy stressful week already and I am craving a weekend right now. We had 24 people start on Monday,training sessions next week with Corporate and I feel like the mounds of paperwork on my desk are soon going to be big enough to hide behind. Blogging probably isn't the most time productive option for me right now, but lets face it... sometimes we all just need a break.

When I get to the point where I am so stressed that I can't even smile this is what I look at. It gets me every time!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's that time of year again...

Time to vote for Lilah for Parents Magazine Cover contest!!!! Just click on the link below to vote. You can vote once a day for the rest of the week!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Three Little Birds...

For the majority of my life I never thought I would be a mom. I wanted to be a million and one things; a writer, a book store owner, a forensic psychologist, a journalist… I can name you a whole slew of things but being somebody’s mother was never at the top of the list. Even as I got older and as the saying goes supposedly “wiser” I never pictured my self with a baby; changing diapers, singing someone to sleep, sitting at the table with a burp cloth over one shoulder and spit up down my shirt-my eyes glazed over with less than subtle exhaustion. The ideas and concepts that I associated with having a child were ones that I categorized as restricting and as I watched friends and acquaintances settle down and have babies I did the exact opposite and moved down South to New Orleans. Looking back its funny how a move that was meant to embrace the fact that I really had nothing to hold me back from doing whatever I wanted ended up being the one thing that completely and wonderfully changed my life in a way that was previously unimaginable.

When I found out I was pregnant I was terrified. Who was I to be raising a child and more importantly how was I going to raise a child? After all, the previous weekend my roommate and I had spend an entire evening brainstorming our roller derby names (we weren’t even on a roller derby team if that tells you anything) while sipping Abita on our steps and listening to David Bowie. In my mind this wasn’t the behavior of a mother. As selfish as it sounds now I seriously felt like my life, the independent, free spirited, almost bohemian web of a life I had envisioned for myself was gone. And in a way it was.

I was scared throughout my entire pregnancy. All the physical changes, the hormonal changes, there were times when I really just thought it was too much for me to handle. My pregnancy was tough; there was sickness and high blood pressure and low blood platelets. I constantly worried that I wouldn’t have what it took to raise a baby. I didn’t even know how to change a diaper, learning to swaddle was an uphill battle for me. But I was lucky, I had a great boyfriend and now husband to help me through, to talk me down from near hysterics and reassure me that everything was going to work out just fine.

I still question decisions I make when it comes to Lilah and I am pretty sure that will never change. I willing admit that yes, sometimes we may be to lenient with her or we may let her get away with murder when she looks at us with that amazing smile and those gorgeous eyes, but in the end I feel comfortable admitting that I am a good mom. Our daughter is brilliant, hilarious, well spoken, beautiful, full of character, independent and determined and I feel proud of what we have accomplished with her. Being a mom is a tough job but I learned from the best and if I can be even half the mom that mine is then I have a good thing going.

This past week I was reminded of how unexpected life can be, how its here one minute and the next its gone and there is nothing that can be done to prepare you for that. And while I want to do everything and anything in my heart to make sure that Lilah never hurts, never experiences heart break, never loses someone that she cares about I realize that it’s not possible. However I can wipe her tears away and I can pick her up when she feels like she can’t get off the ground and I can hug her until she wants nothing more than for me to let go and I will.

At least once a day I sing the song “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley to Lilah while she claps and smiles and nods her head along. I sing it to her to calm her and as she grows older and life gets harder and things don’t always turn out the way they should I hope she listens and remembers my voice in her head, gently singing;

“Don’t worry about a thing… cuz every little thing is gonna be alright”

Like I said, I sing it to calm her down but in reality it calms me down as well- those words remind me that things are going to be alright and it may not be the way I want or expect but I will get through it. I may not have ever thought or expected I would be a mom but in the end it is the one thing that I feel truly honored to be.

My two favorite girls.

Monday, May 2, 2011