Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's a Brand New Year (Almost)

I've never been big on resolutions. In fact, I can't really remember the last time I made any. They just always seemed like a surefire way to indicate to myself, yet again, how little self-discipline I have sometimes. But this year... it's going to be different. I swear. You believe me... right?

So here it is, for those three (maybe four) people who will read this and help hold me accountable.

Jessica's 2009 Resolutions:

1. Quit saying "no" to the kids so much. Now, please don't misunderstand this statement. I firmly believe in the necessary NO situations. Such as: "Jalyn, NO RUNNING!" or "Jaxen, NO! You can not pretend your sister is a Dark Force clone trooper/ droid/ padawha (whatever all those mean)." I am referring more to the day to day NO's that the kids hear. The ones that refer to markers on the couch, the jug of milk that's about to spilled everywhere, or pancakes at 7 in the morning on a Saturday. Because really, when you think about.. the couch already has marker lines on it anyway, milk can be cleaned up, and I really should jump out of bed to provide basic needs for my children.

2. Less cleaning. The reality of life with two young children is this-- you can clean and pick up and vacuum and do laundry and on and on and on until you are blue in the face. And it's still going to look the same way tomorrow. My goal is to get things a little more organized (or just buy more Rubbermaid bins to hide everything in) so that I can least present myself and my family with the facade of a clean home.

3. Spend more time doing fun things with the family. (See above number two and you will see where I'm going to get all this extra time.)

4. Blog more. I guess that should be pretty evident since it's been about a month since my last post. I like this resolution as well because my progess can be monitored. If you notice me slacking, please send me a friendly reminder of my resolution #4. Thanks in advance.

5. Read more. I already try to fit in as much reading as I possibly can, but honestly I believe there are some sacrifices that I could make so as to get in more booktime. Less Perez Hilton. More literature. A girl's gotta get her priorities in line.

6. Date nights. I almost said MORE date nights, but since I can't even remember the last time that Darrell and I had a date night, that wouldn't really be an accurate resolution. So I'm simply going to say have date nights in general.

I think I had better stop there so that I don't overwhelm myself with goals:) Wish me luck on my quest to have a more relaxed, more FUN 2009! Just remember... there's no day but today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Year Through My Ears

My dear friend DeAnna posted a fantastic blog on her myspace page about the music that has carried her through 2008, so I've decided to steal her blog idea fair and square.

Here we have it, in no particular order... the artists/album/songs that have shaped my 2008:

1. Sharon Little- Sharon was the opening act at the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss show that I attended earlier this year. And WOW! What an opener!! Although she was a total unknown to me, I enjoyed her set just as much as the headliners. Her album is an excellent purchase, and is very aesthetically pleasing as well. The cd actually looks like a record, while the liner notes have beautiful photos and artwork.

2. Kerli- Hailing from Estonia, this beautiful singer/songwriter appears to be quite emo at first glance, but her music actually consists of very uplifting, keyboard driven melodies. I can listen to this album straight through, which says a lot in my book. No skipping tracks on this one--but a standout track that I highly recommend is "Creationist". "Life is my creation, it's my best friend. Imagination is my defense. Whatever happens, when skies are gray, whatever happens... it's meant that way." How can you not love that sentiment?? She summed up my life philosophy in one song:)

3. Julianne Hough- Widely known for her stunning success on Dancing with the Stars, Julianne released her first country album this past year. And although she isn't the best vocalist I've ever heard, she has a knack for picking great story songs that work well for her style. Catchy, upbeat tunes that are perfect for jamming to in the car. And she chose to release a Rebecca Lynn Howard authored song--- now THAT'S smart thinking!

4. Faith Hill- Joy to the World- My girl FINALLY released a Christmas album. And since I can listen to holiday tunes year round, of course I was totally psyched. Faith did not disappoint on this one. Not only did she cover all the greats (O Holy Night, What Child is This, etc.), but she also released a new track called "A Baby Changes Everything" that is outstanding. I dare you to listen to it and not tear up.

5. Jason Mraz- We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.- Ever since my fellow "Backstage Bettie" Shannen introduced me to the Mraz magic last year, I've been riding the musical high that he provides. His newest album exceeded even my high expectations & his live show that I was lucky enough to attend was simply out of this world. Check out his live version of "Beautiful Mess" on youtube.

6. Wedding Mix 08-08-08- Ok. So technically this shouldn't count since it's a mix that I made, LOL, but since our wedding this year was such a huge part of 2007, this mix deserves to be on the list. I don't know if anyone else noticed the fantastic, meaningful tracks that I put together to be playing while everyone gathered before the ceremony, but that's okay.... I'll forever have the cd to bring back the memory for me.

7. Singer/songwriters--- there were many many wonderful singer/songwriters that hit the mainstream this year, so I'm going to lump them into one. Meiko (which I have not purchased yet, so if you need a Christmas gift idea.... *grin*), Lenka, Ingrid Michaelson, Feist... I'm sure I'm forgetting some... but those were my faves.

So there you have it. A musical snapshot of '07 from my life. I'd love to hear yours!! No pun intended:)

In closing, here is one of my favorite videos of the year as well. It's from before 2007, but I just discovered it this year-- that counts, doesn't itI hope you enjoy!