It’s official Internet! My new album Anchored is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify for your listening pleasure. Be sure to check out the original artwork, done by my handsome hubby and the awesome folks at Copy Cats Media. I’ve loved seeing all of the beautiful visuals come together and will announce a date and location for the release concert soon! XOXO

It’s All Happening!


Sorry I haven’t posted here recently. I really should have because with the help of friends, family, and fans, I was able to raise enough money for my next album!! It’s going to be called “Anchored.” I chose the name because of the season of life I’ve been in–learning where to anchor myself (to Christ, family and close friends, and my authentic identity) and what falls short (all of the stuff, busyness, people-pleasing, and pursuit of success). It’s being rooted in the midst of the storms of life, as well as life’s joys. It’s being stable, consistent, and playing the long game. Truthfully, it’s more of a vision of how I’d like the be than how I feel I actually am day in and day out.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on being brave and having courage in this way. My current read is Brene Brown’s new book The Gifts of Imperfection:

Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.

I wonder how long I’ve been striving towards who I’m “supposed to be.” I’ve been slowly uncovering truths about how I’ve compromised who I really am for who I think others would want me to be. I wonder how much time it will take to build true courage and set boundaries around my life so I can pursue what I’m most passionate about. The desire is there, but it’s a work in progress. But hey, I’m starting! This album has turned out to be so much more than writing a few songs and recording them. It’s a launch point into my vocation and it’s overcoming years of burying my gifts to avoid being vulnerable with my insecurities.


Last night we saw hip hop violinist Lindsey Stirling at DAR Constitution Hall and she gave a powerful pep talk to her audience, saying “know that you’re good enough, even when people say you aren’t. You have gifts you want to share and need to be shared.” She talked about getting rejected in front of millions of people on America’s Got Talent, as well as the vulnerability of losing a best friend to sickness and dealing with anger in that loss before being “saved by gratitude.” I really understood what she was trying to say–and I totally suspect she’s been reading Brene Brown’s new book as well! But her grit and determination have served her well as she paves a new road. I keep thinking about being the type of person that gets back up when she falls and not letting rejection determine my fate or future. If you know God’s given you a calling or a gift, you have to see it through to the end–and to do this, you have to know your worth isn’t from what other people think of you. And man. That’s. Hard.

Catching the Fever

Music is incredibly collaborative. Even if you’re a solo act, the addition of an audience to perform for, musicians to write with, and others to give input is essential. I always knew this, but the last year has made this fact so apparent. I just had my first rehearsal last night with our church worship band and was completely energized by working through the music with 4 other musicians. I was also very uncomfortable. Using inner ear monitors felt like riding a bike–a very old, rusty, 21 speed bike with slightly flat tires–but it was fun! I wasn’t ready to stop playing and practiced my house concert set when I got home for another hour. I caught the fever again–at least for that moment. Collaboration is fuel to my musical fire.


I’ve been working with my friend Lisa at So Much More Coaching this month, and one of my goals is to put music on my schedule regularly. In addition to church worship, I’m planning to do at least one or two open mics this month before the LA house concert on June 12th. All of this momentum will hopefully lead to working with a producer to make my next album this year! Trying to go it alone hasn’t the best solution for me–having someone hold me accountable for taking the next steps is!


New Chances

So, another year has somehow passed between my journal entries. How did that happen?! I’ll tell you. 2015 ended up being a rather tough year lacking good balance, time management, and clear purpose. I dove into my profession as a photographer and started gaining skills in running a business, creatively, and working with my spouse. This is an important time for any creative professional or artist, but it’s easy to get buried. I pressed the pause button on my intentions for other parts of my life to attend what was most pressing or urgent.


This hurriedness informed every other part of my life. Even visits with friends and family–normally a welcomed break–became infused with stress that carried through from everyday life. Our marriage was also experiencing growing pains. We learned about each other the hard way, stretching ourselves too thin trying to make everyone (except ourselves) happy, and often observed one another at our worst. We started realizing that we would need to be honest and tell each other what we really wanted if our life together was to be a joy-filled, inspired, free one. We needed to create space for our new little family.

In February, we took the month off in Miami and spent some time reconnecting and growing our visions for life, our dreams, and our art. My love and hope for music started to flicker again. I wrote a song or lyrics almost every day while we were away. I also read for pleasure, walked on the beach about every morning, rode my bike, took our paddleboard out, and enjoyed the animals around me. I sat in nice looking beach chairs and didn’t have anywhere to be. It was glorious and restorative in ways I didn’t realize it would be.

2016-02-28 08.55.21

If potential goes untapped or unused, it doesn’t matter how amazing or competitive or impactful you might be. You’re not making. You’re not sharing. You’re not growing or giving a voice to that potential. I started setting goals again to play shows and record some of my songs this year. And thanks to a lot of hard work last year, I believe I can also be successful in my work and continue to grow as a photographer. The first show I’m taking on is a house concert in Los Angeles this summer hosted by Nick’s wonderful aunt. I also joined the National Community Church worship band at our Potomac Yard campus and will be playing a couple of open mic nights over the next couple of months.

I’m reading the Simple Abundance devotional every morning this year. The farther along I get, I realize that achieving dreams requires taking tangible steps to do it each day, no matter how hard or inconvenient that feels at first. I laughed out loud the first couple of months while this author suggested taking a bath, making a discovery journal and a gratitude journal every day, and taking creative excursions every week. But the more I’ve made efforts to implement this approach to self-nurturing, the more I bear fruit personally and relationally. I feel more alive, more excited, and more giving than I have in a long time. Margin inspires imagination, and we all need more imagination in our adult years.

Introducing Martin: Version 2


Last week, I celebrated my 30th birthday…and the week before that…there has been much celebrating. I’m happy for that because otherwise all I’m left to dwell on is that time keeps moving forward and my body keeps aging. In reality, I’m still pretty young and thanks to wonderful family and friends, my 30 years feel more like an achievement of some kind–a right of passage to gaining more life experience and wisdom as I grow.


The hard part of a new decade is parting with the old. My twenties, while filled with ups and downs, were great. I learned so much about myself. Ultimately, it was my decade of discovery. While I expect to learn new things about myself throughout my life, the latter half of my 20’s truly operated in self-discovery mode. I can’t say I was in a hurry to leave them behind. I like the fact that I never felt overly rushed or pressured–I had the blessed illusion of time at the very least.

The nice part of hitting a new milestone/decade is looking forward to the things to come–more freedom, more stability, new trips and opportunities, personal and career growth. I imagine my 30’s to be a decade of evolution and development, where all of these ideas/discoveries I’ve made along the way will suddenly begin to take shape in more concrete ways. I’ll start taking bolder risks and giving and taking better advice knowing what’s most important to me. My music has also been changing over the last decade.


In my late teens, I had completed my first album Caged Angel, which was full of techno/pop/R&B influences–I played with every sound I could think of and had a blast with it. By 23, I toned it down and was writing singer/songwriter ballads inspired by my hopes and dreams and loves. I bought my first Martin Acoustic-Electric Guitar at 24-ish and for 6 years, we have been through the heartache and the joy of self-discovery together. I wrote from the heart so many times with this guitar. I played my first show with Left on Vermont and countless after that. It’s the guitar of my 20’s without a doubt.

Enter: Martin, version 2. To celebrate the commencement of my new decade, my dear husband gave me a gorgeous Nowhere Bear guitar strap and the guitar of my 30’s to go along with it. I immediately fell in love with this guitar (so much that I started crying the second I opened the case). It’s a vintage special-edition model with rosewood, mahogany and spruce woods, pearl inlays, and gold tuners. It even has electronics built into the guitar to keep the aesthetic smooth and gorgeous. And most importantly, it has the most beautiful sound of any guitar I’ve heard. It’s clear, crisp, and bright without being tinny and has an impressive low register for its size. It’s simply perfect for singer/songwriter stuff and it’s a better fit size-wise for me than Martin V1. We played for a couple of hours right when I opened it and I’ve started to resurrect lyrics into new songs and re-writing old songs just because I’m playing it. How often does a new tool land in your hands that inspires you to create just because you’re holding it? Maybe it’s because it feels like I’m holding a piece of art to make art.

Here is Martin (v2) that you will undoubtedly hear in my future recordings:

Writing to a New Sound

The past couple of months have been all about no-pressure writing. Letting go of my 2014 album deadline was a huge weight off of my shoulders. It’s great to have goals, but I wasn’t at the place I needed to be in the creative process to start thinking about deadlines. The music must be written, vetted, and loved first. So that’s where my focus is right now. And I still have a goal for an album–just not this month.

With 3 new songs pretty well formed and a few others part way there, I am started to develop my sound. And not surprisingly, it’s a little bluesy/jazzy. I want to have some fantastic combination of the things I love from Nora Jones’ first album and Rita Coolidge and Joy Williams. Soft, powerful, and passionate. I’m still experimenting with different instrumentation and would love to bring in violin and other strings down the line, but I’m really digging the raw sound I get from the piano and acoustic guitar. It’s like coming home for my songwriting and I wish I was better at it!

I recently met Dutch Landino, a cool hip hop/R&B artist in the DC area developing his sound and artistic vision. We talked a little about the difference between being a recording artist and leaking singles as they are completed. The major difference is that a recording artist creates each album in a related context or concept. I’d love to focus on being a recording artist instead of worrying whether I’m creating enough content for people to stay interested on social media. And that conversation reinforced my desire to write and share music for the right reasons–because I love it and because I want it to mean something to others. Thanks for being patient with me, and asking me when I’m releasing more music, and caring about my songs even if I’m not posting regularly. I promise to keep writing more and to share when the time is right. XO.

A New Music Site

It’s been almost 2 years since the band I was in for several years, Left on Vermont, decided to part ways for new opportunities in our personal and professional lives. Playing with that band was one of the most fun experiences of my life, and of my experience living in the Washington, DC area. We played at bars. We played at festivals. We played at fundraisers and non-profit events. Having that experience opened me up as a musician and as a performer. The people I played with were so unassuming and so talented. I love them with all of my heart and owe so much to each of them.

I’ve taken a break for awhile, playing here and there. Every creative person needs a break, but mine lasted a little longer than expected. My last show in April left me feeling dried up musically. Even with new songs and great support, I wasn’t connecting as much with music. I wasn’t excited about my setlist. I was burned out and reaching for straws. Writing and performing music is as much a communal experience as a personal challenge. I wasn’t sure how being a solo act was going to pan out.

Thanks to my beloved husband, I watched the Netflix documentary Muscle Shoals. It was inspiring and it reminded me that song writing isn’t about perfecting recording tools or solos. It’s about what sticks in your gut and makes you want to sing it over and over and over again with new audiences, experiencing it in new ways. It’s sitting in an intimate live setting, without the mask of huge sound and light shows.

Left on Vermont was a rock band. The energy we poured into our shows was from the heart and we loved entertaining. I keep wondering what that looks like now with my soft voice and sweet love songs. Where do I fit in? But watching Muscle Shoals and a few other great music docs like Fading West and 20 Feet from Stardom made me start to get excited about the possibilities. And they also reminded me that “making it” or “not making it” doesn’t change my need to write and perform.