Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: Post Break Up

Just keeping it real over here on all accounts.

First, it’s not Friday. But last Friday, my Wi-fi was down all day due to a crazy wind storm we had and this Friday I have a different post that I want to specifically post on that date. But hey, I definitely jam out other days of the week, so really, it works. #rebelyell

Second, I’m fully aware that it is a bit dramatic to create and share a playlist titled “Post Break Up,” but hey, unfortunately most of us need a playlist like this at point or another. You are welcome.

I’ve been adding songs to this list over the past couple of weeks and it was MUCH harder to keep it under a reasonable number than I thought it would be, which was silly to think because all artists have at least a handful of break up songs to their name. And really, I could have just made the list with only country songs… or only Taylor Swift songs.

So is this list a bit cheesy? Yes, because there was no way I was leaving Dolly out of it. And it is definitely full of angst (my teenage self would be so proud). But it is pretty well-rounded — meaning it covers every stage of a break up and quite a few different situations. So please note, I obviously don’t personally relate to every single song, quite a few are just songs that I enjoy and love to jam out to regardless of what they are about. Enjoy!

p.s. There are a few songs that are explicit, just FYI, if that’s not your thing. #sorrymom

What are you listening to lately?

See past Friday Jam Session posts HERE.

Thoughts and Lessons Learned

The Good Stuff: Winter

To really know me, is to know that I hate winter.
Really “hate” isn’t even a harsh enough word.
I loathe, detest, despise, abhor and execrate it.

Yeah, I went there.

Sure, I might be a bit overdramatic, but at least you’re starting to get the picture
Sometimes I think it’s just because I love the other three seasons so much more, but alas, its not that simple.

I hate being cold, anything peppermint is gross and I’d rather dropkick the chipmunks than listen to them sing. I could write a whole other post just on the reasons that hate the snow, the static air drives me loony and I have this weird complex with cheesy Christmas anything. I don’t even have snow days and a true winter break to look forward too. And did I mention that I hate being cold?

Honestly, the list kind of drags on (as I’m already doing.) So if you still happen to be reading, I would like to share the things that I DO like about wintertime.
After all, that is what the title of this blog is all about.
And two months from now, being able to come back and read this list just might keep me warm enough to get me through until spring.

The Good Stuff about winter…

Wearing scarves. Starbucks #RedCupSeason Holiday Drinks. Giving presents. The smell of spices and evergreen. Basketball season. Getting cozy after being outside in the cold. Rich jewel tones. Christmas lights (NOT over done.) My Christmas traditions with Kayla and Richole. Sour dough cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Wrapping gifts with my mom. Fireplaces.

Irving Berlin’s movie “White Christmas”

Any Christmas music sung by Bing, Dean, Nat and Frank. They’re the exception to every terrible thing I have to say about Christmas music. And George Strait’s “Christmas Cookies.” Don’t ask me why I like it, I won’t be able to explain.

Snow…in the mountains. Or for the first five minutes, when it’s sparkly and I haven’t been out it in yet.

Making cookies with my Aunt Diane. Disney’s “Frozen”. Festival of Trees. The Christmas morning pact that I have with my sister. The yearly banter between my parents about getting the decoration out and putting them away. Celebrating a new year. Winter sunrises. Gingerbread houses. Hooded sweatshirts. Vacations to warm weather destinations (can I go back to Cabo please?)

My mom’s western Christmas decorations

The bustle of the flower shop. Egg nog. A child’s excitement. Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel. Receiving Christmas card and annual letters. My Carhartt jacket. When the tree is the only light in the room. Nativity scenes. Soup. Flannel everything. My sister’s baking. College memories. Chai. Mixed popcorn tins. My uncles’ creative gift wrapping tactics. National Finals Rodeo (I’ll watch it in person someday!)

And quiet, warm moments like this.

What are your favorite things about this time of year?
Hopefully you’re not as much of a Grinch as I am!

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: Fair and Rodeo

I started my week out in New York and I am finishing it back in {unusually} rainy Kansas.
But this week my heart is far away from either of those places.
It’s currently back home at the Umatilla County Fair and Farm City Pro Rodeo.


Sure, the county fair and rodeo is a good time for all. But if you were like me, a kid whose earliest memories include getting up early to clean pens in irrigation boots and basketball shorts, spending more time getting your animal ready for a show than yourself, sweating buckets in the ring {literally and figuratively,} the competition and hard work paying off, tagging along with the older kids until you grew up to fill their shoes, elephant ears and sno-cones, and kickin’ back at the end of the day to a good cowboy show, then you understand what I am talking about. And no matter how much one argues, your own hometown fair and rodeo will always be the best one out there.

{But seriously though, mine really is.}

With everyone back home posting picture left and right on Facebook, it’s hard not to get a little homesick. One of my favorite weeks out of the whole year, the UCF and Farm City is where I grew up and where some of my best memories come from. What I would give to spend tomorrow helping my parents out with the sale, catching up with folks I have known my whole life and rounding it out sharing a Umatilla Booster Club elephant ear with my family sitting in our east-end box at Farm City.

Have a good time y’all! I sure am missing it.

County Fair – Chris Ledoux
A list on county fair and rodeo music is not worth creating unless one takes the time to recognize Mr. Chris Ledoux. This sorely missed country music artist spent his career singing about the cowboy way of life and a good majority of this songs could have found its way onto this list. This one though, encompasses so many of my favorite things about the fair. A few of my other favorites from Mr. Ledoux include:  This Cowboys Hat, Whatcha Going To Do With A Cowboy and 8 Second Ride.

Sold – John Michael Montgomery
When I was a kid I thought I was so cool because I could sing this whole song without missing a beat. Nowadays, with rappers like Macklemore setting the standard, my skills are probably laughable. But let’s be serious now, how many others are now watching this music video for the very first time!? Dance-off between average joe cattlemen {maybe} and….the Amish? Is this really happening? A girl can’t just make this stuff up.

Rodeo – Garth Brooks
Mr Ledoux’s music protege who has, among other things, made Wal-Mart cool and Las Vegas, not so cool. That may be a tad bit disrespectful, and while I don’t take it back, I will say without any reservation that the man is a legend. He is the  face of 90’s country music and helps defines the meaning of a great country power ballad. And, if the sport and lifestyle of rodeo had a universal theme song, this would be it.

I Can Still Make Cheyenne – George Strait
I know this is probably going to kill the great mood we have going on today. But this will always be one of my favorite rodeo-related songs. I can’t even give you a well thought answer, it just is.

40 Hour Week – Alabama
Only if you have attended the Farm City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston, Oregon, are you going to understand my last song. This one is what plays every evening during the opening ceremonies. It’s the kind of song that will always take me to a very specific place and when Alabama sings “Hello, America…” and the last horse and rider bearing the American flag races into the arena, well that just about gets me every time. Gosh, I love traditions.

There are SO MANY others that I could have featured on here this week. What are some of your favorite songs about the fair and rodeo?