music

Writing Fire

Current writing mood... 

Sometimes when I sit to write or paint, nothing comes and I'm left staring at a heap of dry bones. But then there are times when the Muse arrives and she flies past me in a rush, like a passing train, the force of her entrance pushing me back on my heels. I'm then left to chase after her; doing my best to keep her pace, sync my rhythm to hers and attune my ears and hands to what she's unearthing. In she sweeps, bringing words that sit in my heart, at the tips of my fingers and on my tongue, burning hot. She'll invite me to close my eyes and trust my hands as they move across the canvas, ignited by the burn of inspiration. The heat of her presence becomes comforting the more I yield to it, the more I allow it to burn away what no longer serves and what still needs refining. When she goes to depart the bones are no longer just a lifeless pile of brittleness in a heap at my feet. They are instead alive and dancing across my keyboard or across a page, brush or palette knife keeping the beat like a metronome. 

 

"Now I see fire,

Inside the mountain, 

I see fire, 

burning the trees, and 

I see fire, 

hollowing souls, 

I see fire, 

blood in the breeze...

and I hope that you'll remember me."

Ed Sheeran from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug soundtrack

Giving Me LIFE!

Thanks to the invasion and conquering of my body that is the first trimester, I've been feeling like death lately. Fevers, allergies, nasal congestion, round ligament pain, hellacious back and pelvic pain, all day morning sickness, lack of quality sleep yet bone aching fatigue....you name it, my body has been tortured with it the last 8 weeks. We're not even going to talk about what only being on one medication (an anti-depressant that triggers some good ol' rapid cycling between hypomania and depression) has done to my mental state these past weeks. Or maybe we will, but not today, simply because I only have enough energy to type a paragraph or two and then I'm going to go back to being The Blob. What we WILL talk about is the music that's been rescusitating me when my mind and body tap out. Music really IS therapy, and in my case it's been my life support the past two weeks especially.

First up we have Mr. Timberlake...I mean, do I have to say anymore? If you haven't let the groove get in you lately, I highly recommend purchasing The 20/20 experience, closing your windows & curtains, and dancing til your feet fall off.  Even my zombie ass has been shaking it-there have been days I wouldn't have been able to gather the energy to brush my teeth or feed myself had I not put on "Let the Groove Get In," "Mirrors", "Spaceship Coupe" or "Tunnel Vision."

[youtube=http://youtu.be/uuZE_IRwLNI]

I have this thing for Marc Anthony-not because he's physically attractive but because when the man opens his mouth the most beautiful sounds come out. The man can sing, period. His salsa albums are staples in my music collection, so when I found out HE'S BACK WITH A NEW SALSA ALBUM-his first in 10 years, I nearly broke my fingers trying to download his new single on iTunes. This song? GIVES ME LIFE. Gives my hips life too, too much in fact, because after dancing to this, the pain is unbearable-but so. damn. worth it.  Listen for yourself....

[youtube=http://youtu.be/yUv321zEGko]

And finally, THE SONG that has just been KILLING me not so softly every time I hear it is the latest from Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu. First of all: Monae. Badu. Are you freaking KIDDING ME? I'm still in shock that two of my favorite female artists (who are bad ass on their own individually) collaborated on a track together. And unlike LL Cool J & Brad Paisley or Beyonce & Andre 3000, these two have crafted a funk/rock hybrid that's a f---king masterpiece. From the lyrics (especially Monae's rap at the end!) to the music itself, it's just an incredible piece of work, and a welcome relief from the oversexed R&B/hip-hop/pop nonsense that's dominating the airwaves right now.  And the video? Pfffft. S-I-C-K. I dare you not to shake or twerk something to this....but for the love of all that's holy, PLEASE don't record a video of you doing so-the world doesn't need yet ANOTHER video of a female (or male) twerking it in booty shorts. Leave the webcam off :)

Anyway, enjoy the epic-nes that is "Q.U.E.E.N." Pure art & pop genius. WERK IT.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEddixS-UoU&feature=share&list=UUdxFg3dVeT50SsT1v3ptxTQ]

What music is giving YOU life these days?

 

Dance Party Fridays: Song Suggestions

I want to apologize for not having a dance video for you today.... If you read yesterday's post,  then I'm sure you can understand why I'm taking a break today.

BUT

That doesn't mean there won't be one next week...and the week after...and the week after that...

In fact, I have a lot of nifty things I'm working on for Dance Party Fridays this year and I'm really excited!

  • Guest Dancers
  • Linky tool so you can link up your own dance video
  • Dancing contests w/giveaways and a chance to be featured here on 'Confessions
  • a monthly "dance party" hangout on Google +

Next week I'll be dancing to "Moves like Jagger" for Imperfect Momma over at Really? I'm a Mom?....

It's highly probable my two BFFs Tori & Kelsey will be joining me for a little Risky Business a couple of weeks after that...

The always fabulous Joy Tanksley and I will be dancing together...(YAY!) Seriously y'all...she's GOOD!

And I'm already working on concept ideas for "Shake it Out," , and "Raise it Up" by the lovely Florence & The Machine....(think scarves & ribbbons...lots of color!)

So that gives you a glimpse into what I'm planning for the year...But I need your help, friends. I need to know what you want to see! I'm taking any and all song suggestions, ideas, you name it, I want your feedback. I'm even open to doing dance video dedications...know someone who could use a smile, laugh, or some inspiration to get their body groovin? Leave me a comment here or email me your request at bconfessions(at)gmail(dot)com. And if you're a new reader and have never seen a DPF? Well head over to the Tag cloud or categories list & watch :)

I'm serious. I'm looking for all kinds of songs, any genre. As long as I can move my body to it, it doesn't have heavy profanity, isn't hateful, and is inspiring or groovalicious in some way....IT'S ON.

So bring it dear readers. Hit me with your best shot ( Hey, another song idea!)

and now....for some "dance biscuts"

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrUJ5PLLxLQ]

and because I'm obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance, I thought I'd show a couple of my favorites from hip hop choreographers NappyTabs, a husband & wife team :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxfpjbn5YNQ]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yZYOghQYG0]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2UCUD6lFFo]

(I WISH I had their skills, UGH! Fab. So fab.)

Self-Love Saturday: Paying Attention is Everything

"Is there anything else you can suggest I do to find out what goes in my Box? I mean, how will I really know it belongs there? How will I know it's really....ME?"

"Well, I really think the best thing you can do is to just really start to pay attention to yourself when you're in a situation. What kinds of things catch your eye in the store, or when you're surfing the net? What do you find yourself reading? What lifts you out of a low mood? What kinds of things stabilize you? When you encounter such things or are in certain situations, try to take a step back and pay attention to how you feel.  Try to notice the kind of physical and emotional response you're having to what stimulates and depresses you...notice even, where you feel these particular emotions. Are they in your heart? In your stomach? Yea...I think you just have to start really paying attention. Your body will tell you, you just have to listen." 

 That's a snippet of the conversation I had with my VA therapist on Tuesday. Since my focus the past month or so has been on finding out what goes in my Box of All Things A'Driane, I took her response to heart and really tried to focus this week on doing just what she said: pay attention & listen.

Between Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday I learned that......

  • While I want to be a counselor/therapist and help people one on one, advocating for groups of people, learning about people & their experiences, and helping certain populations of people is a passion of mine. The population I want to advocate for the most?  Women-women who are mothers, women veterans, women who have been abused, and women who live & struggle with mental illness. I fit into every one of those categories, so it only makes sense that I would feel impassioned to help those in these areas, right?
  • I have a heart for abuse victims and their rights. The PSU controversy this week left me in a stew of emotions, mostly anger and a yearning to take action in some way so their rights and their voice could be heard. Again, considering my experience with sexual abuse & molestation, it makes perfect sense.
  • I'm not a one dimensional person and have to be around people who are as diverse as I am.
  • I'm a creative person, so that means I'm an expressive person. I like to express myself through my hair (hence the fro and wild colors) and through what I wear. I like wearing clothing that speaks to who I am and my personality. I recognized this when I first colored my hair a few weeks ago, but also this evening when I saw this shirt and my heart nearly exploded in joy:
Very much "me", no?
  • Watching my sons be just who they are, expressing who they are gives me a warm and fuzzy in my heart and a nod of agreement in my gut that I'm doing the right thing as a parent. I wasn't allowed to talk much less be myself growing up, so to recognize that allowing my kids to do something I wasn't helped me see what kind of parent I am and want to strive to be.
So...on my quest to find out what goes in my Box of All Things A'Driane, I've started paying attention: to my thoughts, to my emotions, to how I respond inwardly to what's going on around me. I can honestly say doing so even for just the past 4-5 days has really started to give me a clearer picture of who I am and how I can "feed" my inner self....It's helping me see my inner moxie and even teaching me how to treat myself, which I think is pretty comforting and awesome.
Speaking of treating oneself, since it's Self-Love Saturday, I thought I'd share a couple of things that speak to showing yourself some kindness. The first is a clip from one of my FAVORITE shows, Parks & Recreation.....
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcwxHkXAdmM]
And the second is just a song that makes me feel good. It's addicting, it makes me twirl around and sing at the top of my lungs and it just puts me in a good space...enjoy. And if you haven't done so already, there's still time to "Treat Yo Self" today, so find a way to do so, ok? Make it a "good life" in any and every way you can....
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZhQOvvV45w]

 

 

Quotes & Theme Music

BREAKING NEWS: "Dance Party Fridays" & "Self-Love Saturdays" will be returning this coming week! I was told last night by a very amazing friend that I needed to end my little hiatus and get back to shaking my groove thang & my blogging format, and I agreed. I'm ready to get back on the horse and continue the ride. Juggling blogging, school, LIFE, motherhood & mental health shenanigans won't be easy, but hey, that's why I can blog about it all here, right? Right. So yes. Get ready, cause I've got some pretty cool songs lined up to dance to! Until then, here's a quote to inspire you & me to keep digging deep, shedding our tangles, owning our stories & SPEAKING OUT:

‎"I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more." - C.S. Lewis

 

And a video to help me keep my head up & sing as I continue to get over my break up. Co-parenting with an ex who you still haven't gotten over is no easy feat, people. But I'm doing it. I've been taking the pain of it in stride this month...or rather in dancing :) They say "time heals all wounds," so here's my theme song as October approaches.....

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUe3oVlxLSA]

 

My Weekend Playlist

If music were a drug, I'd be strung out and wouldn't bother going to rehab for treatment. I'm a junkie, it's been a habit I know will be lifelong. What I listen to depends on my mood, but I love a variety of genres...here's a sampling of the artists on my playlist for tonight & this weekend....enjoy :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWE-93AxN_c]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy9mFKFPsDA]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-0eyrNuGL4]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc8fK0ns53A]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LttKbL4sv7E]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt7wnWrortA]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4EPnM62O8A]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0f5bjxmheQ]

Shine.....So I Can See You

My prayer as I start this week.......

(and can I just say how much I freakin LOVE DCB?!!!!!)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8cAU475dQo]

And the promise I'm holding on to as I go into my week...holding on to this knowledge with a white knuckled grip....

(and yes, my music crush on John Mark McMillian is super fierce)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiuPcrW01zo]

A Tumbling Out of Thoughts

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhI4CpAH8wM]

It's been a rough couple of days.....it seems like for every forward step I take, I have a day or two where I take three or four steps back...sometimes it's a series of events that trigger the relapse or regression....more recently it seems as though I'm hyper sensitive; the slightest touch triggers me & sets the pendulum in motion, even if it's just for a few hours....or a day.

Being triggered and having an anxiety attack or falling into a "mood state' reminds me of three things: how fragile my own strength really is, how important it is that I stick to my wellness plan & keep finding coping strategies to add to it, & my need for God....for His love.... It reminds me that He's really the only one who can really bear the full brunt me when I'm like this, and it reminds me that even when I'm at my lowest, He's still there, walking with me, "fixing me" along the way.....

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TsR1yiAe9g]

(you should definitely go to youtube to watch this...trust me it's worth the click)

Taking care of myself & believing in someone outside of myself are the only ways I know I'll make this "manageable" & be able to put it in it's proper place. Under control. So I can live. So I can mother. So I can be the better parts of me more often.

I'll get there. Until then, I'm going to do my best to just.....breathe & keep moving.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEXhAMtbaec]

Thank you #PPDChat mamas (every single one of you-those I talk to consistently in The Twitter & those of you I've never met who sent me hugs & love last night), The Band, & Katherine Stone for being there and reaching out these past two days. Thank you for being that safe place I can go to when I need to just say exactly how I'm feeling without worry or fear of someone thinking the worst of me. You all are seriously the best therapy :) And also to my Pastor....thank you for reaching out, for your prayers, and for your words of encouragement this week. They are always timely & invaluable.

Dance Party Friday: Baby I'm a (Imperfect) Star

This was a tough week for me. Not as tough as previous ones, but tough. I started my semester this week and although I was excited about diving into this new chapter of my life, I underestimated the impact it would have on me mentally, emotionally & even physically. In my mind I was thinking that since this was something good, something positive, something fulfilling even, that I wouldn't experience any type of anxiety; at least not the type that leaves me a hot, sweaty, shaking mess. Boy was I wrong... All day Monday I could feel that I was talking faster than normal, but I couldn't really stop myself. Classes were great but by the time I picked up the boys, got us home & dinner was settling in our bellies, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how I had done any of it. The whole day felt like a blur and by the time I got the boys down for bed, my thoughts were racing, heart was pounding, I was shaking...I was a wreck, even though emotionally I felt good. I was such a wreck I had to force myself to go to bed. Tuesday, I was still a mess, totally debilitated by it, unable to concentrate or focus, couldn't think, felt edgy....it wasn't until I took some advice from my #PPDChat mamas & forced myself to boggie for 20 minutes that I started to feel clearer mentally and actually feel the anxiety finally subside.

When I went to record this yesterday, I didn't feel like it, but I made myself. When I went to edit it, I stressed myself out because I couldn't get the timing quite right, no matter how hard I tried. The perfectionist in me reared her ugly head and I actually considered not posting a video at all today.

What made me change my mind? Realizing that much like life & our own humanity, recovery of any type isn't perfect and doesn't always go according to our carefully laid out plan. You can go to therapy, exercise, take your meds, cross all your t's & dot every i, but sometimes, things just don't go as they should. Sometimes they still end up messy. Sometimes despite all the preventative maintenance we do we still break down and have a bad day...a bad week...or maybe even a bad month.

This week, despite the good that was happening to me, in spite of my having followed my wellness plan, Anxiety still reared it's ugly head. Hypomania still stopped by & hung around for a couple of hours. I had two bad days. Had some bad moments. But I realized that having these moments of weakness isn't a reflection of our character or who we are as a person. If anything, I'm coming to realize that actually embracing the imperfection in ourselves & in our lives is what actually strengthens, heals, & gets us further down life's path. If you're like me and you're wrestling or battling with something in your life, take heart and give yourself a break. Don't let a bad moment or a funky couple of days make you give up on your recovery. Embrace what makes you imperfect & realize that sometimes despite your best efforts, something may go wrong. Instead of letting it discourage you like I almost did, or underestimating it like I did, just grab it by the horns & drag it along with you. Don't let it stop you from moving or believing in yourself. Imperfection doesn't dim the brightness within us, it enhances it-if we allow it to in a positive way.

So that's what this Dance Party Friday is about, what this video symbolizes for me. It's silly and goofy, and totally imperfect and so am I. But baby, I'm still a star :)

Alright enough with the Oprah talk-it's "dancey dance time." :)

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28482825]

Dance Party Friday: Square Biz Edition

Ok. So. Inspired by a chat with one of my amazing Twitter mamas (@momgosomething) I thought to myself, "Self, what makes you feel good?" Music. Dancing. "Wouldn't it be nifty if you could have a dance party with other people online, people like @momgosomething, who loves to crank up the volume and dance in her kitchen as much as you do?" Wow. Yes. Yes it would. I mean people have #Wineparties & Twitter chats, & GNO's on Twitter. Why not have a dance party? On a Friday. Just because it something that makes me feel good. Gets me moving, gets my heart pumping, makes me feel ALIVE and forget about the daily grind I'm in. Makes me forget that I struggle in the mental health dept,and makes me feel free.  Feel joy. Feel good about myself, reminds me that yes, there is a funny, silly goofball of a geek inside who. just. has. to. dance. Why not use dance as therapy? (I am after all planning on becoming a dance movement therapist) Use it as a tool to help me shed some insecurities about myself ? Use it to learn how to love & accept myself in whatever state I'm in or weight I'm at ? Plus they say exercise is a good way to battle depression & other mood disorders. It's a proven coping method.

So. Yes. I've decided to dance. Every Friday, I will post a new video of myself getting down with the get down & groovin to my fave tunes. Any song, any genre, anything that strikes my fancy I will be shaking my fanny to. And you, my dear readers will get to see it. See me make a fool of myself but see me really go after this self-love thing with a vengeance.

But I don't just want you to be a spectator. I want you to participate. They say that if you want to see real change and want to make a real impact then throw down a challenge. So here is my challenge to you: Dance with me. Let's find a way to Skype, Facebook Video Chat, or hangout on Google + and just DANCE. We can pick a song, maybe two and just have a dance party together, in good fun, just to let loose at the end of the week. If you want to send me a video of yourself getting your groove on & want to post it, email me a link: bconfessions (@) gmail (dot) com.

Below is my first video. Don't worry, I'm buying a better webcam, so I'm working on the video quality. And I was super nervous so forgive the deer in headlights serious looks I have at times. Just me fighting the urge to quit and go vomit in the toilet HAHAHAHAAAAA. I'm serious.  Enjoy!

http://www.vimeo.com/28127940

I'd really love to thank Kimberly for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this. You should really read her blog (see how her name's in pink? click on it!) Her owning her story and sharing her experiences helped save my life. Seriously. And I also want to thank Joy Tanksley for giving me the push as well to run with this idea. Not only is her blog awesome, but she posts videos of her boogie-ing too! Check it out.......and then, make urself some room where ever you are & just dance baby. :)

http://vimeo.com/26590850

Happy Friday!

Some Things Just Are Best Expressed Through Song

There are some confessions that need to be said but for certain reasons are best expressed through an art form, so here is one of mine, as told by Sia.....

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSH7fblcGWM]

Help, I have done it again  I have been here many times before  Hurt myself again today And, the worst part is there's no-one else to blame 

Be my friend  Hold me, wrap me up  Unfold me  I am small  I'm needy  Warm me up  And breathe me 

Ouch I have lost myself again  Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,  Yeah I think that I might break  I've lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Be my friend  Hold me, wrap me up  Unfold me  I am small  I'm needy  Warm me up  And breathe me 

Be my friend  Hold me, wrap me up  Unfold me  I am small  I'm needy  Warm me up  And breathe me

What Janelle Monae Taught Me About Motherhood & Mood Disorders

It's Saturday. The day I've dedicated to being Self-Love Saturday. I'm supposed to focus on loving and accepting some part of ME today. And I'm going to try. But I have to confess and say it's going to be a hard one today. It's my ex's birthday and it's his first official weekend with our son...the first of a totally new way of living our lives, with custody arrangements. The reminder of this drives the knife of reality over our separation painfully deeper into the wound that still bleeding...at least on my end. So, SLS is going to be a toughie today. BUT maybe that's part of the point? Maybe there's something here, in this, that I need to work my way through. Gotta deal with and move through it....And nothing reminds me of this more so than singing the lyrics to "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae.  "Whether I'm high or low, whether I'm high or low, I've to tip on the tightrope....."

That's how I was feeling last night, and this morning as I wake up-Iike I'm struggling to keep my balance on the tightrope I'm walking. But Ms. Monae and her song have surprisingly taught me some things about walking on the tightropes in my life, especially the one regarding getting through motherhood with a mood disorder....and I'm blogging about it over on James & Jax today! YAY! That I am extremely excited about & feel very lucky that she's allowed me to share some confessions over in her space of the blogosphere. As I've mentioned before I love talking with Jaime and her blog is one of my top 3 faves. S

Simply put, she rocks, so please pay her a visit today. You can check out my post and her insightful writing. Go head....you know you want to...click here

You can also check out her post from last Saturday's SLS here as well.

I hear my rowdy boys waking up so that's my cue to get breakfast going. I'm off to make pancakes! I'll be back later ya'll.....

Wistfully Nostalgic Wednesday: Disney Movies & Hammertime

I moved into my new apartment today-FINALLY. Although things haven't turned out the way I thought they would or wanted to this summer and renting a place from my new school wasn't what I was expecting, all in all, I'm grateful that God provided it. We have a roof over our heads, and while we need a break from each other, my ex and I are still BFFs. So....to say I'm grateful is a huge understatement. Today was hectic, frantic, and overwhelming. Trying to find a grocery store nearly gave me a panic attack and I feel bad for whoever winds up living underneath me because the sound of my boys' "pitter-pattering" feet sound more like a stampeding herd of stegosaurus' :) Oh well, I'll be sure to buy them lots of gift cards, offer study notes, & give them cookies at Christmas time to make up for it. I did find a Target & a BJ's so that kind of made up for the edginess I felt today.

But, this post isn't about my move. It's Wednesday which means I'm supposed to be telling you what I'm missing in the pop-culture realm from my youth. Because I'm beyond tired, this will be quick:

Disney Movies...not Disney Pixar movies. Don't get me wrong, those are great but I miss the classics like the one you see to the left. Thank goodness they just re-released this one. I used to have em all-I mean ALL....on VHS. 101 Dalmations, Robin Hood, Aladdin...(sigh) yes, my kids  and I need a marathon of these one weekend.

A-Ha, Human League and pre-Kaballah Madonna...you know back when she was desperately seeking attention some chick named Susan and not Brazilian boys men old enough to be her sons? In case you need a reminder:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ipe2L9L0bI]

You can wear all the meat dresses and hatch out of all the eggs you want Gaga, but remember-she ACTUALLY hung out with Warhol.

And since I mentioned A-Ha, feel free to enjoy this as much as I do....

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914]

And since I'm already on an eighties music roll here, I'm awfully nostalgic over this:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtXrVyMbf1A]

While other girls my age were posting New Kids on the Block posters on their wall, and Mark Wahlberg was with some creeps called the funky bunch, I was busy belting my heart out to Prince. If I'm not mistaken this song as well as his Around the World in a Day album was my favorite when I was in elementary school....You know, back in the early nineties when MC Hammer was telling us what we couldn't touch....

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otCpCn0l4Wo]

And before you even ask, yes I still know all the words and moves to this song, and I even saw his movie :)

Welp I'm off to "do the bump" right to my bed and that's what I'm waxing nostalgic about this week, how about you? Feel free to share!

Wistfully Nostalgic Wednesday: Pioneer Writers & Getting Jiggy wit It

See this woman right here? She made me fall in love with books. Before reading her writing I was infatuated with them, but reading her novels took my mind on an escapist journey like none other. After reading her first, I was hooked...her third, I became obsessed, & by the time I reached the last in her series, my addiction was full blown, my soul aching & itching for more once my eyes devoured the last page. I wasn't the first to fall prey to the awesomeness of her stories, I wasn't the only girl to have gotten lost in her 19th century world of covered wagons & petticoats. Her stories are loved by millions all over the world. Her name? Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her books? The infamous Little House on the Prairie series that detailed her childhood, family's journey out west, & would later go on to inspire a television series of the same name, starring Michael Landon as her Pa. There was alot my dad didn't allow me to do as a kid, but reading books was the one thing he did let me do that freed my mind from the crap I lived through daily. As a student who loved english & history in school, reading her adventures was a buffet of both, and fed my active imagination with vivid images of what life was like as a pioneer girl & woman in her day. When we lived in New Mexico & even later back in Texas, my favorite thing to do growing up was lay out in the grass on a spring day, or sit on the corner of the porch in the summertime & just get lost in her world. As I got into junior high & high school I moved on to read books written by her daughter Rose Wilder & finally moved on to classics like Gone With the Wind, Swiss Family Robinson, & The Great Gatsby, but that series of books always maintained a place in my heart & still do to this day. Look, I know Harry Potter is cool and all, but do kids even read classic & iconic books like this anymore? (sigh)

And since my wistfulness brought up favorite summertime to-do's, no summer is ever complete with out an anthem. This, in my book, is easily in the top 3 Greatest:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA]

(sigh) And since we're going to mention Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff, we might as well throw this in the mix

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW3PFC86UNI]

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH remember those days? (And those FASHIONS?!) Even though this eighties baby was only in first grade when it was released in '88, I remember hearing this on the radio in the car & later loving the references to it in the the intro to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air....which would also become one of my favorite shows ever. Say what you want about Will being corny, but I connected with the goofball he portrayed on the show & even when it came to his music, call it "soft" all you want, it made me do two things: Think I could rap & get my body moving. Period. Even when I got older, his music still stuck with me, becoming a guilty pleasure I'd be dying to indulge in.When he became a blockbuster actor, & others were dogging his style & flow,saying he should stick to acting, I was busy flipping the radio dial hoping to catch some Big Willie Style on any station:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4G1L8lV6LQ]

And yes, to this day, at 28 years old, I still know every.single.word. Whether he was rapping, dancing, or chasing aliens in Men in Black, Will made the goofball in me geek out & feel good about it. He's taken on more serious roles in the past years, but I miss the early days when did things like this :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xmu-DOTChE]

But, I understand he's this big action, blockbuster actor, so....I can live with him shedding his goofball geek as long as he keeps making movies like The Pursuit of Happyness & doing incredible chase the bad guys scenes like this

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH83pQCzI7I]

So to Mrs. Ingalls Wilder-thank you for giving my mind a place to escape to & inspiring the writer in me. And Mr. Smith, thank you teaching me how to be myself no matter what the critics say, & helping me tap into my inner goofball-it's given me the ability to laugh my way through whatever life hands me.

And THANK YOU for reading-if there's something from your childhood/teen/young adult years in the pop culture realm that makes you wistful for eras past or wax nostalgic, and you'd like to share it in a guest post, email it to me! bconfessions at gmail dot com.  I'll be posting something relevant to this theme every Wednesday, so submissions/guest posting is definitely welcomed!

Still Standing

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4KiGN1j1No]

"Shadowfeet" Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet towards home, a land that i've never seen I am changing; less and less asleep made of different stuff than when i began And I've sensed it all along fast approaching is the day when the world has fallen out from under me I'll be found in you, still standing When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees when time and space are through I'll be found in you There's distraction buzzing in my head saying in the shadows it's easier to stay but I've heard rumours of true reality whispers of a well-lit way You make all things new.... When the world has fallen out from under me I'll be found in you, still standing Every fear and accusation under my feet when time and space are through I'll be found in you

So much has been going on in my world the past 2 months and my emotions are definitely a little worse for the wear. But my battle weary heart is still fighting with each beat, my aching feet continue to move my body as I strive to dance through the rain that's pouring over me. Listening to this song today reminded me of His promise to me that no matter how much it looks like my world is falling apart, no matter how painful this growing process is, I'll make it, and be who He created me to be at the end. A better woman, mother, friend, believer, counselor, dancer, writer, teacher....and no matter how lonely it may feel, I'm never alone, because He's right here with me, and it's in Him where my refuge & peace are found.

I couldn't ask for a more beautiful battle cry to carry me through....

"When the world has fallen out from under me I'll be found in you, still standing Every fear and accusation under my feet when time and space are through I'll be found in you."

Hurricane Season

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBUn-2Ifso0]

Change. Upheaval. Shifting. Transitions. These are experiences I'm all too familiar with in my life. While I've always desired & have strived for some semblance of stability in my life, especially the last couple of years, this slippery little fella continues to prove elusive. I just. can't. get. my. hands. on . it. But I long for it, especially now that I'm a mother. It's something I want to be able to provide for my boys. But in my journey as a single/co- parent, it's a place I haven't been able to settle in yet. And it's a tad frustrating. It's like every 6 months I'm going through some kind of major shift or transition. I have my theories and thoughts about why this is, where it stems from & all that, but I'm to busy trying to survive the PMDD symptoms that are sucking the life out of me to go there today...

"I'm just a little bit afraid, of where I'm going, and it feels like a hurricane is blowing over...."

What I will say is that for the past 3 years, this cycle of upheaval, change, & transition always seems to kick off in July. I know, this probably sounds crazy, but I promise you, for the last 3 years, since Brennan was 7 months old, all hell breaks loose or major life changing/defining situations take place....In July. And usually lasts until around October. It's like my life enters this Hurricane Season only mine starts a month later & ends a month earlier. It's pure craziness. Emotionally, phyiscally, spiritually, & mentally, every July through October these areas of my life seem to just go haywire. I don't really know why this is, or what if any spiritual meaning this has for me-I mean I've talked to God about it, but only in the "hey God, I've been noticing that my life hits the fan every July-what's up with that dude?" manner. I haven't explored it any further, probably because I'm too busy trying to sandbag, board up & ride out the storms that are wreaking havoc on me. I'm too busy trying to survive the season with my sanity intact....and I haven't gotten any answers, so *shrugs* yea, I don't get what it's all about. When He clues me in, I'll be sure to write about it...

The thing is, when I do experience this season where multiple stressors clamoring are for the opportunity to push me over the edge I often find myself teetering on I often find that my emotions are robbed of the ability to articulate. Or if I'm having a Peter moment-you know, that moment where after you've gotten the courage to jump out of the boat and take a little stroll, you look down at the waters (that suddenly became choppy) and realize, "OMGGGGGG! I'M WALKING ON WATER! AND IT'S DARK AS THE ABYSS OUT HERE! WAIT-WHERE DID JESUS GO? WAS THAT REALLY HIM? OR WAS THAT MY MIND PLAYING TRICKS ON ME?! O.M.G! WALK ON WATER? WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING? HUMANS DON'T DO THIS..."-trying to find words that give voice to my swirling thoughts & emotions is like trying to get my 15 month old, Alex, to eat broccoli-It ain't happening.

That's why I'm so grateful for music, especially worship music or music with lyrics I can identify with. It's in music that I often find the voice my thoughts & emotions need to speak-to myself & more importantly to God.  So today, while cleaning up (something else I do when my life is in transition or upheaval & I feel like cleaning baseboards will take the edge off-and yes, it does) I shuffled through my iTunes library till my frenzied spirit found respite in one of my favorite albums: A Hundred More Years by Francesca Battistelli. Frannie. Beautiful Frannie with her guitar & simple lyrics gave me the words & voice I needed to talk to God today. Even to just take some time & just worship Him. To be reminded of who He is, in my life, & just in general. So even though I think I blew out the speakers on my laptop & probably made dogs howl within a 7 mile radius with my singing, I'm feeling a little calmer having released what my soul was longing to say. I can grip life again a little tighter, the flame of hope that had grown small & puny looking shines brighter & is bigger than it was before.

"I'm moving forward anyway with a promise, You are the anchor for my soul..."

And it's being able to have moments like this that will sustain me during this latest round of hurricane season in my life, as I try to pursue joy over happiness. Oh, as well as help me deal with the cranky Alex I woke up with my bad singing :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv-2SUruayk]