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Category Archives: my rockin' friends

I’ll Cover You

“Live in my house, I’ll be your shelter.
Just pay me back with 1,000 kisses.
Be my lover, and I’ll cover you…

Open your door, I’ll be your tenant.
Don’t got much baggage to lay at your feet.
But sweet kisses I’ve got to spare,
I’ll be there, and I’ll cover you.”

-jonathan larson

It’s hard to make yourself vulnerable.  Opening yourself up to the possibility of rejection, and failure, is scary.  But sometimes, in order to be able to live with yourself, you have to take that calculated risk. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you wish it would.  Knowing that you can, and most likely will be hurt, doesn’t make the pain any less when it actually happens.  But…there is a sense of pride that wasn’t there before.  A little voice saying, “Good for you!”.  Even if your heart is a little sore, a little more bruised than it was when you woke that morning – at least when you lay your head down at night, you’ll know that you were one hundred percent, whole-heartedly, without any reservations – true to yourself.  And fully in the moment.  And you gave it all you had.  Really…is there anything more you can do?  I think not.

Your loss, for not recognizing… or appreciating.

And when you do walk away, shaken, and disbelieving at how easily you could be sucked into that vortex, you have friends to hold your hand, guide you back to yourself, and whisper those three words that always mend your spirit:

I’ll cover you.

 

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Friends, Love, Music, my rockin' friends, RENT, Song Lyrics

 

Dear 2011

Dear 2011:

I can honestly say that I am not, in any way, shape, or form, sad to see you go.  You have, without a doubt, been one of those most difficult years of my life.  But you did have some redeeming qualities. Let’s focus on those, shall we?

I will forever remember you as the year of my sister’s car accident.  And although the heartbreak and pain that came with that were at times unbearable, you did teach me that I am made of stronger stuff than I thought.  And in all honesty, you did do me a favor by providing me with the opportunity to spend more time with my sister than I have since I moved out when she was seven years old.  A blessing definitely in disguise!

You also taught me this year that I can not solve, fix or carry the weight of the world all by myself.  By forcing me to be honest and open with my husband and others in my life about some struggles I was going through, I came out on the other side knowing that even in all my imperfect glory, I am loved…deeply.

This year I also learned of the power of friendship, and how even if we don’t speak or see each other often, when needed – friends will come running to your side.  Sadly, our dear friends lost their teenage son in a car accident this summer.  Even under the horrific pain of that loss, it warmed my heart to see the support and love that they received.  My friends are, and this is no exaggeration, the best in the world.

On a lighter note, you excelled 2011, by giving us Adele’s album “21”.  Literally a life changing record for me.  All I can say is … that’s mah jam!

I’m looking forward to facing 2012.   I’ve got new knowledge on my side, and we all know that knowledge is power.  I’ve got family & friends that support me, even in all my imperfect glory.  I have a husband who (even if he doesn’t often tell me)  thinks I’m pretty cool, and children that light up my life every single day.  I’m blessed to have a job that I enjoy, and a roof over my head.  I’ve got a couple new wrinkles, but also a few laugh lines that weren’t there last year.  Life, as always, is one big balancing act.  So let’s do this 2012.  Let’s laugh some more. Love some more.  Learn some more.  But let’s lay off those wrinkle, shall we?   Umkay?   Thanks.

Adieu, 2011.
-Jess

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Dear 2011, my rockin' friends, New Years, Sarah Barah

 

Bareilles Bound

Let me preface this post with the small little tidbit of information that I’m a HUGE fan of Sara Bareilles.  Ok – now that’s out of the way.

Today my bestie DeAnna and I hit the road for Dallas, about a 3 1/2 hour trip south, to attend the Sara Bareilles concert being held at the Palladium Ballroom.  We loaded up the MILF-mobile, packed up our sign for Sara and waited three hours for DeAnna’s huband to make sure that would encounter no car trouble along the way.  Ok, maybe not three hours…but it felt like it:)  (Heart you, Mr. DeAnna!  Thanks for keeping us safe!)

And to be honest, even with all the excitement of the evening, I still can’t find the words to describe how freakin’ amazing it was.  The show was opened up with a short set by Javier Dunn, Sara’s longtime friend and guitarist.  I’ve had a mad crush on Javi for years, and may or may not have watched youtube videos of him over and over and over.  So when he announced that he would be signing autographs after his set, of course, I played it totally cool and calm and collected and very “un-stalkerish”.  *snort* Right! 

He was totally gracious and uber-cool, as expected, and was suitably impressed while I wowed him with my knowledge of his solo career.  Um, not. I couldn’t form a stinking sentence without tripping all over my tongue!  (Um…did I mention how cute he is?? And cool?  And tall?? *sigh*)

Next up was a set by Greg Laswell, who I was unfamiliar with at the time, but sure am glad I was given a chance to be exposed to his music.  Lord, this guy was funny! And so, so talented.  Really– who would have ever envisioned a man, performing an acoustic, slowed-down version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and it WORKING??  Not me…but it certainly did. 

And last, but certainly not least, Sara Bareilles came onstage (did I mention we were front row center!???) and rocked.our.freakin.faces.off.  Seriously.  Her albums obviously show her talent as a songwriter and singer, but she really shines in person.  It’s like a cloud of heavenly musical goodness just surrounds her. 

After blowing our mind, Sara was gracious enough to come out and meet those of us who had waited outside her tour bus in the freezing windy cold.  (And yes, I’m THAT kind of fan.)  The beautiful sign we had made for her had been confiscated before the show, so we showed it to her when we met her, and she was suitably appalled that they hadn’t let us hold it during the show, and autographed it for us. 

Sara…you are the bees knees.  And elbows.  And legs.  Thank you for making our night so stunningly spectacular.

 

Escaping the Heat/ Entering the World of Oz

This weekend we spent some wonderful time with amazing friends.  Friends who let the kids and I invade their cool home as our air conditioner was struggling to cool our little heat box of a house.  These days of 100+ degrees are quickly getting old.  But when you can sneak off to create memories with those you love — well, a hot house isn’t too much of a big deal, I guess.

This is Jalyn with her dear friend Alyssa (the daughter of my dear friend, Renea).  I call them Dorothy1 and Dorothy2.  They proceeded to put chairs next to each other and conduct a talk show entitled “Talk Time with Dorothy”.  Alyssa was the hostest, asking Jalyn questions like, “So…how did you feel when your house blew away in the tornado?” and “Where in the world did you get those darling red glitter shoes??”.   Absolutely priceless.

Next up, a little twirling from the Dorothy(s).  Because really…who doesn’t love to twirl??

Of course, the Wizard of Oz isn’t complete without the other characters as well….

After the WoO  was complete, we headed over to Alyssa’s grandparents’ amazing new home for a quick swim.  Our “quick” swim turned into 8 hours of fun in the sun and stars. I’m a sucker for nighttime swimming, and you pretty much have to twist my arm to get me to leave a place this beautiful.  I think it’s quite possible we overstayed our welcome, LOL…good thing our friends love us.

[And since I’m writing this post in retrospect, I can safely say that many more fun-filled days like this one occurred this summer.  Although the first one, as we all know, is always special:)]

 

1R

When it comes to music, the term “groupie” doesn’t really fully describe the levels of fandom that I’m capable of hitting.  I will cyber-stalk my favorites until I know everything about them.  I will post blogs about them in the hopes that others will be able to hear them as I do.  I will travel near & far to support their live performances.  I will create inside jokes with my friends so that if I say “I’m a backstage Bettie waiting on my rocket to come!”, they will know what I mean.  This being explained…. I’d love to share with you my newest obsession, OneRepublic.

A few years ago, OneRepublic was discovered on youtube, and their amazing song “Apologize” was famously remixed by Timbaland (I swear, everything that man touches turns gold!).  It went on to become on the biggest pop hits of the year, and was covered by many, many artists all over youtube.  The only thing that really bugs me though is that the mix is always titled “Timbaland- Apologize ft. OneRepublic”.  I’m sorry, but I think OneRepublic is featuring YOU, Mr. Timbaland. Just sayin’.  Anywhoo….here is the mix version of Apologize, as well as my favorite version of it, taken at an acoustic show performend in London recently.  What I would have given to be there for that.

And for those of you are dance fans, I also had the pleasure of seeing Jabberwockeez from America’s Best Dance Crew perform to this song when they opened for New Kids on the Block.  [Yes, I said New Kids.  And yes, it totally rocked.]

After Apologize, 1R, as they are known their fans, released other successful singles, including “Stop and Stare.”

I enjoyed OneRepublic’s first album.  There’s no doubt about that.  But a couple weeks ago, when my girl Dee called me up and said, “Jess, you’ve GOTTA listen to this!”, well, I listened.  She knows me well, and has never strayed me in the wrong direction musically.  Here’s what she wanted me to hear- the lead single off of 1R’s new album titled “Waking Up”.

How could anyone NOT love a band that has a cello player??  *sigh*  Speaks to my heart, I tell ya.  I’m a sucker for a good lyric (“Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces?).  Add some strings and it’s on.

It probably goes without saying that I rushed right out and got Waking Up.  I haven’t been disappointed in the least.  And I think it’s safe to see that it’s leaning towards being my favorite album of 2010.  For whatever that’s worth:)

I’ll leave you with my favorite track from the album.  And don’t laugh too hard at the host’s pronunciation of Beyonce.  I hope that you’ll take the time to click on these videos [if you have to pick just one, go with this last one:)].  I hope in the deepest part of my musicwhore heart that you hear these songs as I do and develop a fellow love for them.  I’ve given “all my secrets away”.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2010 in Addiction, Music, Muzak, my rockin' friends

 

1: A Decade in Review

Happy New Years to everyone!!  I hope you all rang in the New Year in a safe fashion, yet just the way you wanted, surrounded by those you love.  In lieu of posting the normal resolutions (aka goals) that I usually make each year, today I’ve decided to share a brief review of the last decade of my life.  It’s been a big one– lots of firsts.  Lots of heartache.  But even more importantly, lots and lots of love!

2000:  I rang in this new year with a small party at the apartment I shared with my college friend Erica.  I remember lots of party hats, poppers, and dressing up like Britney Spears and performing “Hit Me Baby” for my friends.  Wow…how my celebrations have changed:)  In March of this year, I lost my best friend.   But in August of this same year, I began to hang out with my current best friend.  God certainly knew I needed some strong friends in my life!

2001:  In January of 2001, I almost lost my dad.  Long story short, his doctor had put him on two types of medication that were apparently fatal when combined.  His kidneys and liver shut down, and the doctors said that he would have died within 24 hours if we hadn’t gotten him to this hospital, because his heart was beginning to shut down also.  Without a doubt, the scariest time of my life.   While my dad was in the hospital, his father passed away.  My dad obviously couldn’t be with him as he was passing, but thankfully, with the use of a cane, he was able to attend the funeral service, which my sister and I sang at.   In April of this year, I met Darrell, although we didn’t actual begin “dating” until September.  I remember him calling and asking me on our first date on September 11th (I had already left town to go stay with my family during the days following the terrorist attacks).  This was pre-caller-ID days for me, and he didn’t leave his phone number, LOL.  How was I supposed to call and accept his offer?? :0)  This was a VERY tumultous year in my life.  I’m not embarassed to admit that I spent a large part of it intoxicated.  Also in April of this year though, I met another of my very best friends (although I didn’t like her at first, LOL!).

2002:   Still drank a lot, but that quit when I became pregnant.  I vividly remember crying on the 4th of July because I didn’t have any pants that fit. I thought I was getting so fat (alcohol does bloat you, ya know!), but apparently, I was almost three months pregnant.   When I was seven months pregnant, I was also laid off from my job for the first time in my life.

2003:  February- I competed in a local contest, and was named Oklahoma Country Idol.  Too bad the sponsoring radio station went under and I never did get any of my prizes.  March 27, 2003- birth of my precious son, Jaxen.  Life was never the same after that.  Especially when I began to suspect I was pregnant again about seven weeks after giving birth.  I was in such denial that I wouldn’t even take a test until August— sometimes you just know!  I began working at a local bank during this time, and although I loved the job, I hated the people I worked with.  I’ve never been surrounded by so much negativity in my life!

2004:  March 15, 2004- birth of my beautiful daughter, Jalyn.  My life suddenly became VERY busy with two kids in diapers & still on bottles.  I still found time to sing, and this was FINALLY the year that I was named Best Female Country Singer at the national Talentquest Singing Competition in Laughlin, NV.  $3500, a big ass trophy, and still one of the proudest moments of my life!  In October of this year, I began working at the law firm that I’m currently still with.   And if I recall correctly, this is the year I met my favorite gay at our annual A.S.S. Christmas show.  He was worried I was going to upstage him:)  (Maybe it was ’05???)

2005:   Busy, busy with the kiddos, but got a promotion at work– woot woot!  AND,  my sister-in-law had her first baby, I became an auntie for the first time (although technically I was already by marriage) , and became engaged to Darrell!  Darrell began his electrician apprenticeship program, and in May, we bought our first house.  It was a good year.

2006:    My little sister had her baby in September.  Almost as exciting as having my own children, I cried & cried because I was just so happy for her.  Young– yes, but she stepped up to that motherhood job like nothing I’ve ever seen, and became an immediately amazing mom. 

2007:   In April, I became an auntie again!  (My sis-in-law is a baby making machine!!).   On the same exact day, my car blew up, and I had to face the situation of purchasing my very first car by myself.  Scary, but exciting, and definitely monumental.   I also lost my beloved grandmother this year.

2008:  Guess what?? I became an auntie again!  (I told you she was a baby making machine, LOL!).  And a mere few weeks later, I became Mrs. Darrell Hall.  Other than the birth of my children (obviously), the BEST day of my life.  One of the highlights:  watching Darrell’s brother try to make his best man speech, and crying so hard he couldn’t speak.   Darrell worked a lot this summer, driving to and from Lawton almost every day for two months, so the kids and I spent the summer making lots of fun outside memories–and Mom read a LOT of books!  J-Bo and Sister Bear started school this year, and yes, I cried.   In January of this year, I also began at my current position at work.  Scary, scary, scary–but thankfully they were patient with me, and forgave me the huge learning curve that I had yet to obtain.   Ohhh….and the Overflowing Bookshelf began this year as well.

2009:  Still at the Firm.  Kids busy busy with school.  Jaxen started soccer this year, and lost his first tooth the day after Christmas.   Both kids learned to read this year, but especially Jalyn– she’s my little bookworm.   Closed out the decade by falling asleep at 9:30, kids falling asleep shortly thereafter, and missing the ball drop for the first time in my life.  Amazing what a difference a decade can make.

I’m glad that I’m no longer who I was at the beginning of this decade.   I’m a content, happy mom of two, with a wonderful husband, and the best friends a girl could ever ask for.   Obviously, I couldn’t touch on every single milestone that occurred in our lives.  The above-mentioned ones were just the biggies that popped in my head first.  And also, there are apparently many stories I could tell that include events in my friends lives as well, but hey—I’ll let them use them on their blogs:)

Here’s to 2010–may it be blessed with even more wonderful memories!  In closing– here is my favorite photo of the decade.

 

That’s just how my friends roll….

Surrounded by water cooler talk today, I kept hearing the word “concert” which of course led to me interrupting the co-workers’ conversation by saying “What concert???”. Turns out that Robert Plant and Allison Krauss were scheduled to perform a show in Houston tomorrow night, but due to lovely Hurricane Ike, the show could not go on. With their big hearts wide open and their bank accounts closed, RP and AK decided to come to the OKC Zoo Ampitheatre instead (which is an awesome venue, btw) and put on a Hurricane Ike Relief Concert. 100% of the proceeds go to benefit Hurricane Ike victims. RP and AK are scheduled to perform this weekend at the ACL Music Festival (which I’m still bummed that I’m not going to be at:(), so I’m assuming that OKC was a logical geographical location to have this show.

Of course, I was totally psyched about this development and called my fellow concert-going pal DeAnna to see if she wanted to maybe get tickets. Well, turns out that she’s going to be gone this weekend on a Boy Scout trip with her boys…which totally takes precedence over a concert, that’s fo sho. So I just mentally chalked it up as a no-go. I hadn’t been certain I could afford the tickets anyway since I’m trying to stockpile some money for Christmas.

As I’m driving home, DeAnna calls to tell me that she has called into a local radio station and won two tickets to the show… FOR ME!!! Seriously– my girl Heather MADE my wedding dress and now Miss Dee is GIVING me free tickets!! How awesome are my friends????

I am so so so so so excited, my dear bloggy friends!! Not only is this going to give me a night out that I’ve SOOOO desperately been wanting, but I’m going to see two absolutely legendary performers. And drink some Zoo size beers while I’m at it:) Hmmm… maybe I should steal Heather’s strategy of sneaking in liquor in travel size shampoo bottles under her boobs. Oh hell… I just remembered that I don’t have any. Boobs OR bottles, LOL!

Watch out Zoo Amp! Here I come!!!! And for those who have not had the pleasure of enjoying a RP/AK collaboration… check out this video. Musical genuis, I tell ya!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2008 in AK, my rockin' friends, RP