This week’s Jam Session is all about songs that motivate me, some that are upbeat that you can workout to and others that are slow and maybe more calming and uplifting. Both typically have positive messages. I’ve said a few times lately that my attitude just hasn’t been the best and so music is definitely one of my main go-to’s to help change my mood or help me get through things. This list is fun because there is a good mix of newer songs that have been on my radar lately, and a few of them are older, and are some of my all-time favorite songs to help motivate me and change my outlook. There is also a really good mix of genres, which is just a reminder and how vast my music taste is.
A few playlist notes…
If you played high school sports in the late 2000’s you’ll probably agree with me on Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and I couldn’t count the amount of times that my sister and I rapped through the whole thing on the way to school. Speaking of high school, I included an early Taylor song, which really takes me back! I tried to not duplicate any of the artists, but my favorite Christian rock band, NEEDTOBREATHE, snuck in there with two songs, because to be honest, almost all of their music motivates me. There are three songs that have the word “Arrow” in the title, though they could not be more different. Ed Sheeran is one of my all-time favorite artists, but I was a bit surprised that I managed to still include him on this list. I don’t know if I’ve ever considered any of his other music to be particularly motivating, but this one definitely hits that point. I hadn’t heard Pink’s song until the Grammy’s this year and am still think back about the impact of her very simple performance. Hope you enjoy this week’s playlist!
So it has officially been a month since I last blogged.
Oops. I’ve been doing so well over the past year, but I was bound to have a dry spell again, and it definitely won’t be the last time. To be fair, 2016 has already been a whirlwind, and when I wasn’t busy, I really wasn’t motivated. So today will really just be about catching up a bit and sharing what I have been up to so far this year.
Extra points for those who aren’t related to me and didn’t just close the web browser.
Homeward Bound Again
In the almost 8 years since having left Oregon, I usually always go a few months in between my trips home. This time though, work sent me back just two short weeks after I had been home for Christmas.
This is also where I should note that over those past 8 years of a LOT of air travel, I have a pretty good track record. Only once have I had to spend the night in an airport. I have had to run to make a connection maybe 2 or 3 times and again there has only been one time that I had to get a hotel because of a missed connection due to delays. But my flight to Portland on this trip? I missed completely because I slept in. Let me tell you, the feeling of dread when you wake up and see daylight through the window when you should have been at the airport before sunrise, is not something I want to feel again. I was able to catch another direct flight later in the afternoon, but I am still pretty embarrassed.
My trip to Portland was to participate in a PNW Wheat Marketing Tour with the Idaho Wheat Commission, to experience the wheat supply chain from start to finish. I really value anytime that I get to spend quality time with our farmers and I especially enjoyed seeing a city that I grew up near through a new set of lenses. I won’t go into to much detail, but I did write a short article about my experience, “Pacific Northwest Grain Industry Tour Reveals Source of Quality, Reliability”that you can read here. My favorite part was hands down, was the opportunity to ride on a tugboat that was pushing a barge up the river. I didn’t know it was possible to nerd out that much over a tugboat, but friends, IT WAS SO COOL. Even though I grew up watching tugboats and barges on the nearby Columbia River, transportation in agriculture is one of the sectors that I know the least about. Life on the tugboat is a unique line of work and I now have a much better appreciation for that part of the supply chain.
I was in Portland Sunday through Wednesday, when my sister drove in to pick me up and take me back home to Eastern Oregon. As always I packed as much as I possibly could into my time at home. On Thursday I went to my old high school to speak with two groups of students. My audience ranged from freshmen to seniors so instead of just focusing on same old college and career prep that they are going to endlessly hear from someone else, I chatted with them on the importance of your “own personal brand” and the role it plays — whether you have an online presence or not — in both college and the start of your career. I shared with them about some of my personal experiences, how I’ve handled both success and failure and a few real life tips. The one student that I personally knew assured me that it was a really good presentation, and I definitely wasn’t lame. .. to be honest, I was just really pumped that I was able to tie in both a Harry Potter and Doctor Who meme into my key messages. #adulting.
I spent some time with my family, watching the high school boys basketball game that my Grampy coaches, and on Saturday my whole family went to our local annual variety show, which was complete with a cast iron-cooked dinner. This is the first year that I have been able to go, and it certainly reminded me why I love my small hometown. The highlight of my weekend though, was being able to attend my best friend’s baby shower. Richole and Dustin are due mid-March, and when they heard that I would be back home again, Richole’s mother-in-law agreed to move the shower date just so I could be there. I have a few friends with babies now, but Richole is the first of my best gals, and that meant the world to me that I could be there to help celebrate.
Winter Storm Jonas
A few days after I got back from Oregon, the East Coast was hit by Winter Storm Jonas. Now I’ve grown up with snow in the mountains and there were blizzards in Kansas, but this storm and experience was UNREAL. My college friend Jancey had been in town that week for a conference and was planning on staying through the weekend for a fun tourist weekend with me. Instead, she ending up snowed in with me and couldn’t get a flight out for another 2 days. The snowfall lasted for about 36 hours straight and accumulated an average 17 to 26 inches throughout the area. My office was closed for two full days and there were many more half days and delayed starts. When I first moved hear people tried to explain that the city pretty much shuts completely down. Of course, until I experienced it first hand I couldn’t quite grasp what that meant. Grocery stores were empty, and I had a carton of eggs stolen out of my cart the day before storm! A reporter I know back in Kansas even referenced it in a article she wrote #thingsyoucantmakeup. Jancey and I watched A LOT of movies, ventured out a few times when visibility finally cleared up and participated in an epic snowball fight outside of the Clarendon Metro Station. Oh and I had a leak in my kitchen ceiling. I might have some good stories, but its definitely an experience I am not looking forward to having again anytime soon. I really wish WordPress would get its act together and make it easier to attach videos without first putting them on YouTube, because there are a few on my Instagram and Facebook that capture quick looks at our long, crazy weekend.
Met up with my friend Kylie for brunch
Finally got to fit in a few tourist things for Jancey.
No we did not build this snowman
Out to clean off my car in between white outs
Favorite pic of the weekend.
Josh Abbott Band
In college I built my budget around being able to go to concerts of all sizes and genres. But Aggieville, the bar district in Manhattan, KS, is where I fell in love with red dirt/Texas country music. Since moving to DC I hadn’t sought any of the music scenes yet, so when a friend told me she heard JAB would be in the area, there was no way that I was going to miss it. The venue, 9:30 Club, was great, and apparently one of the more popular small venues in the area. A K-State friend who is a student at Georgetown Law tagged along, and while it was great to hear some of their new music, I was really excited to hear most of my old favorites that made me fall in love with the genre and really, Kansas, in the first place.
A lot of my busy schedule recently was due to the winter board meeting at work. While our summer and fall meetings are always at other locations, the winter one is here in DC. Between the holidays, travel and the winter storm, by the time I reached the week of the board meeting, it felt like I hadn’t had a “normal” since about mid-December. But even though this meeting had a different pace because the staff doesn’t travel, I really enjoy board meetings. I love the collaboration and hearing about what the different parts of our organization are working on and accomplishment. And of course I really value the opportunity to interact with our farmers and state staff. Outside of the DC office there are so many quality people who contribute to our mission, and getting to know those people personally adds so much more purpose to my career. I was especially excited though, because we recently brought on one of my good friends as a freelancer for the communications team and she was able to make it up to DC for the meetings. Nicole and I both call Northeast Oregon home and vaguely knew each other through FFA, and then ended up becoming friends as ag comm majors at K-State. It’s always nice when the world feels a bit smaller and I am so excited that our paths have continued to cross back and forth.
Thanks for catching up with me. Next week I will be back to a regular blogging schedule. I am pretty excited that end of winter is in sight! So far my spring calendar includes National Ag Day events, a girls weekend NYC trip with my best friend Megan, a quick work trip to Kansas, searching for a new apartment to move into at the end of May and HOPEFULLY a quick trip to Georgia to watch my sister play in the NAIA Women’s Golf Championship!
One of those was that I love the “fascination that country music has with singing about summer.”
It’s romantic, care free and fun. There’s a reason that authors and song writers alike, can pull so much from those themes. Every summer I make a playlist that is a mix of my favorite new hits from that season and old ones that are always a staple in my summer adventures. There are honestly a million different ways that I could categorize a summertime music playlist. But this time around I am making it simple. Today’s Friday Jam Session features a few favorites that are specifically about summer and a few others that I consider staples on my summertime playlists. For me, that means most of them are country songs because that’s what best describes my perfect summer. But hey that’s just me. What songs describe your summer?
Oh and because work came first last Friday, today’s list is a double-feature.
Summertime by Kenny Chesney
The King of Summertime has built his entire career around his own theme of beach bum country jams. This song never gets old.
Drunk On You by Luke Bryan
As reigning Entertainer of the Year, Luke is the biggest thing in pop country music right now and has given summer tunes his own flair. I think a pretty strong argument could be made for this being one of the biggest songs on the radio in summer 2012.
Runnin’ Out of Moonlight by Randy Houser
Summer nights. Enough said.
Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard
No this is not country and no, it is not about summer at all. But let’s go back to the summer when my best friends and I were 16, and our driver licenses’ were hardly broken in. THIS was our favorite song to belt out at the top of our lungs with the windows rolled down going down good ol’ 395 HWY. And years later it still remains on my summer playlist.
Barefoot Blue Jean Night by Jake Owen
Besides being a great summer song, for some reason that we’ve never actually been able to determine, this was the song that my AFA team labeled as ours. Regardless of the reason, because of them it will never be skipped and always have a special place in my heart.
That Summer by Garth Brooks
I spent a long time when I was younger liking this song before I actually realized what it was about. Whoops. Oh well, now that I do, I still love it.
Road Trippin’ by Josh Abbott Band
What’s summer without a road trip, long weekends or Boone’s Farm?
Night Train by Jason Aldean
I’m a very critical, and conditional Aldean fan. But I do really like this one off his most recent album.
Brighter Than The Sun by Colbie Caillat
Another non-country, favorite from Summer 2012. Normally not a huge Colbie Caillat fan, but this one is fun, catchy and meets the shades on, car windows down criteria.
Fishin’ in the Dark by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Hearing the first few chords to this, is the only introduction it really needs. Let’s put it this way. There are two things that I am sure of… 1.) Without this song, I’d bet that country music and summertime just wouldn’t be the same 2.) We can’t be friends if you don’t like it.