Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Lonely in this Crowd"

Adam Ryan...singer, songwriter, dreamer complicated, inspired, focused, small town boy. Guided with passion and a love affair for good music, Adam Ryan is out to prove to the world that not all the good songs have already been written. Adam was raised in a small town in the middle of nowhere Tennessee where Hog-eye runs blood deep, folks drive tractors on the highway, neighbors actually know each other, and family values are still taught by parents. Adam's songs are proof of raw existence told with beauty. Even in the darkest of his songs you hear an under toning hope that breathes life into an untold story. The songs are polished, sustaining and undoubtedly smart. 'Lonely in this Crowd' is undeniably a romance of words told with a heated passion and true complexity of the process of life. Adam Ryan is a blazing young songwriter on the Nashville scene and his delivery of 'Lonely in this Crowd' is worthy of lending your ear to.

Here is what the man behind the lyrics and melodies of 'Lonely in this Crowd' had to say about life, inspiration, the music industry, and the up coming release of his debut album. Read the interview, hear the music and then witness it for yourself on October 1st, Douglas Corner Cafe, Nashville, TN at 6pm.

Q: When did you first start writing songs, and what prompted you to do so?

A: I was kind of a late bloomer. It wasn't until I finished playing baseball in college that I actually sat still long enough and learned to play the guitar. From there, I would write down ideas and then learned that I am my own worst critic. I spent several years fighting the urge to self edit and over analyze. When I moved to Nashville, I was fortunate enough to work at Carnival Music. There I was able to learn what a great song is and was witness to some great stuff in the making. I was one of the first people to ever hear "Anything But Mine" written by Scooter Carusoe. He and I actually recorded the first version of that tune... still have it, it's great. Also, "Angry All the Time" by Bruce Robison... another phenomenal songwriter.

Q: Generally speaking what makes a song a hit?

A: Ask Scooter and Bruce. Ah, you know... people have to identify with it. It's so simple but yet so hard. I just try to write what I know and hope that others can relate.

Q: Do you think it is a good or bad idea to try and "go against the grain" of the typical song writing mold?

A: I try not to think about the mold... that feeds the self critic in me. The best writers are there own thing. There's a Rodney Crowell quote that I love, "Ignorance is the enemy of society. Self-conscieness is the enemy of art." That blew me away when I read it, it's so true.

Q: Who inspires you the most?

A: It started at a young age. Steve Earle when I was twelve. Chris Knight, Springsteen... he's something else I discovered late. Owned the Boss box set when I was a kid... not sure why really, just wanted it. But never really dug in to it until a few years ago. I think the best inspiration, for me, happens when I'm tuned in spiritually. I pray God gives me clarity and the peacefulness to hear the stories he wants to tell. I fight to find that space and quietness.... but when it happens, it's a lot of fun.

Q: Which song of yours do you consider to be your best, and why?

A: That's tough. There are different connections to different songs but I guess "Lonely In This Crowd." It's the title track and one that I wrote by myself. It really captured the place I was in at the time. I was sick of the music business, or at least the scene I was in. Was falling for this girl but hated the situation that surrounded it.

Q: Do you co-write often, and do you consider it important to do so?

A: Yes, you should know! Your husband and I tend to get good results. I don't really do the Nashville co-write thing... I tend to comb over things more than that situation allows. I think its good though. There are great writers in this town. Mostly though, I think the best songs come from a real place and not something contrived. Hey, but who knows.

Q: Do you find the struggles of the music business to be worth fighting for the dream?

A: Dreams are always worth fighting for.

Q: Do you believe that music has changed your life?

A: Does a one legged duck swim in a circle?

Q: How do you think your fans view you as a writer, and person?

A: Not sure. Probably like... "Dude, you're hair is so much longer and you look nothing like you did in high-school!"

Q: Why don't you tell us a little about this New EP of yours Lonely in This Crowd?

A: A while in the making but extremely proud of it. Learned so much and can't wait to get back in the studio... I already have the songs. I just need people to buy this one so I can afford to do it! Beyond that, I'd love to hear what other people think about it. I'm too close to it and some of those songs have been around a while. They have changed meanings a few times and are what they are now. Maybe ask your readers to give some feedback. Would love to hear it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pink Cape of Motherhood!

The crazy conclusion that Motherhood should come with an instruction manual, superpowers, and a pink cape for fashion purposes of course. Just think how amazing it would be to clone ourselves at the snap of our fingers. We could get the laundry done, read a book, change a diaper, mop the floor, supervise homework,and cook dinner from scratch without even blinking an eye. I have a feeling this cloning ability would be a favorite of mothers of multiples. But hey lets not sell ourselves short with just one super ability. I mean x-ray vision like Superman would be handy dandy. We would always know what are darling angels where up to no more writing on the walls, mistaking mom's makeup for a paint set, or flushing toys down the toilet. Then there is the putting away every toy, dirty sock, and dish with our Jean Gray/Jedi mind skills. Talk about super clean home! Oh lets not leave out Wonder Women's lasso of truth. Always knowing who really started it!!!! No more spoiled plans with this nexted power. Manipulate the weather like Ororo AKA Storm from X-men. Sunshine on trips to the water park, snow on Christmas, and a little rain to make our gardens grow, perfect weather for every occasion. The last of this little day dream of mine would included Sue Storms ability to be invisible. You know for that five glorious and hard to come by Mommy time. Well we may not have all those super, crazy, human abilities, but we do have some special powers. We make boo-boos feel better with kisses, we can make Superhero capes out of bath towels and rubber bands, keepers of the peace, anANCan fill our hearts with as much love as we need for each of our children, and make more as needed! So you know what I don't need know super pink cape....but a cute pair of Jimmy Choo's would be nice!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Iris Rainbow of Emotions

Winter ugh winter! Winter is fast approaching. I really hate winter. Which is fairly ironic considering I love Christmas, and was born in the month of January. I am just not a snow, freezing rains, wind chill kinda girl. Although I do love my pink pea coat. Anyways I figured since winter is chasing me down, and there is nothing I can do to stop it from catching me. Which is depressing. I should think of something that I love about the warm more pleasant time of the year. So I decided to turn my focus on one of my favorite flowers the Iris. The greek word for Iris is rainbow. Can't get much more beautiful than that. The Iris flower is symbolically carries many different emotions; wisdom, purity, faith, hope, passion, and many more. It's probably one of the reasons I love it so much. It's a complicate flower a lot like the human race, it gets all confused to what emotion it wants to convey, yet still is a thing of beauty. Iris was also the name for a greek goddess the messenger of love in fact, and is probably where the flower got it's name or the fact it means rainbow gave the flower it's name, because it comes in a numerous amount of colors. I am sure the science/garden geeks are still arguing over that somewhere. Either way I don't really care where or how it got the lovely name. I am just glad they exists for me to admire. Purple Siberian Iris are my particular favorite, but I believe that all Iris have a touch of true beauty. I always love admiring my Granny Sadie's Iris garden, and the fact she has them labeled by name is also impressive. There is even an Iris named Skywalker which fascinates my geeky side. My favorite flower carrying the name of my favorite hero. Yes this beautiful, mysterious, dainty looking flower is one of my very favorite things about spring and early summer. So when winter finally catches up to me, I will be dreaming of Spring and Summer and the beautiful Iris it will bring into bloom!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Carter Baby!

Seven years ago at 1:36 in the morning on September 18th a very scared, very nervous, very excited young girl of the age of 20 gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. On that day a Father was given a son, a family become one more member strong, a grandson was gained to spoil, and another Mother was created in the world. Although many women before me have marched to the same tune in their own unique way. This day was my own. It was special to me just like the baby we named Ethan Carter. As over the years he has gone from my newborn peanut. my dancing toddler, my excited preschooler, my reading kindergartner, my helpful 1st grader, and that brings us to this year. The year my sweet little peanut has become a dashing second grader. I look back sometimes and wonder where that bald little bundle of joy disappeared to as well as that scared new mommy. We both have grown so much, and still have many things still ahead to grow from. I am excited for the future, and sometimes miss the past. Today I am grateful for the present, and the simple small fact I can still scoop him into my lap, and love on him. Because I know he will be driving in no time, and friends, girls, college, and so much more will soon absorb his time, energy, and focus. For now in this moment I am happy that he is my dashing seven year old son. I love him more than breathing. He is one of the keepers of my heart, and today when I write his birthday letter, kiss him goodbye before school, and bake his superhero cupcakes, today September 18th, 2009 I celebrate him. I celebrate him the little boy who gave me my Motherhood title. So happy birthday my beautiful red headed Carter Baby!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boot Scootin Zebra Style

Rainy Rainy day in my zebra print rain boots. I love the rain always have. I love the smell before a summer afternoon shower. I love the life a spring rain blooms. Rain brings with her superb opportunity for afternoon naps, curling up with a good book, or an all day marathon of Aubrey Hepburn movies. In my world rain brings the good fortune to wear my rain boots. I have never been much of umbrella kind girl. I just don't mind getting rained on. Plus I have my spectacular boots. I call them my I can't possibly have a bad day boots. You just can't wear loudly printed boots without a smile. These fabulous boots bring out the inner punk girl in me. The I want to put pink highlights in my hair, add a new tattoo, and learn to play bass guitar boots, and at the same time have the magic ability to bring out my lighter child like side. The splash in the biggest mud puddle, and stick out my tongue and catch a few rain drops child. So for me the lover of a rainy day my zebra print trimmed, in pink rain boots just make me one happy dancing in the rain mommy!!! Plus on the more practical side they keep the bottom of my pant legs dry!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Every now and then I read a book that inspires me, and maybe even changes me a little, and this summer a story about a young Mexican girl did just that.
Esperanza Rising this book made me tear up several times. It is such an powerful story about struggles, family, new beginnings, sacrifices, and the strength that love and hope gives. When young Esperanza and her mother leave behind a privileged fairy tale life in Mexico. After tragedy strikes their family forcing them to start over in California as farm workers. It's a tale hope, and the strength people gain when love is shared and unbreakable family bonds are formed. Even in the hardship that this young child faced she never gave up on love, and even found love standing right in front of her. She is guided by her heart, and forced to grow into an adult much before her time. The book is also a remarkable example how the decisions we make can effect generations of our family tree in the branches that are yet to come. I didn't know until completed the book, when I paid attention to the authors name, that it was loosely written about the authors grandmother, it only made the story that much more touching!

This book is beautiful written and I am glad it was a random book I picked up my last adventure to the bookstore. I think I learned some lessons of my own in this book....I recommend this book to anyone!!

favorite quote from the book:
"We are like the phoenix," said Abuelita. "Rising again, with a new life ahead of us."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Movement of Love

A movement of love! The man in this interview I haven't actually seen since my high school years. What I do remember about Jim Florea is his laugh, and the crew he called his friends. They where all stand up guys with hearts for laughter, jokes, music, and Jesus. Always fun to hang around, and they where always on some sort of adventure. So it was no major shock that almost ten years out of high school Jim finds a calling on his life to build a church in Nashville from the Lord. A calling he is obediently following. A calling that will allow seeds to be planted, and steer the people of Nashville to follow Christ. While I have no direct personal connection to this project from the moment I found out about Forward Church. I have felt the Lord's command to pray very heavily for this important piece of God's work, and the people He has called to complete the task of His work. So I decided to spot light Jim Florea man with a calling and a heart to please the Heavenly Father. Here is what Jim had to say about Forward Church and the commands on his own life? Maybe it will inspire many of you to pray for or be a part of Forward Church.

Interview with Church Planter

Q: I hear you have a calling to build a church here in Nashville. Can you explain what that means?

A: It means I'm called to build a church. I don't have all of the answers but what I do know is 3 yrs ago I was called to build a Church in Nashville. Why Nashville? Why Me? I don't know, but what I do know is that God has a plan and I am on board with whatever that is whether I know the meaning or not.

Q: Can you tell us about the team you have supporting this project, and making it come to life?

A: Its pretty hard for me to say that I have formed anything. I don't really know if you are talking about a team of people involved in the Core Group or if your talking about the groups and organizations that are and will be financially supporting us. The River Community Church is what we call our "mother church." They are big financial supporters of us as well as the leadership of our church is a intermediate eldership body for Forward Church. We are also becoming members of TBC and a group called the CPC which are both financial supporters. As far as the Core Group goes, I have spent the last year casting vision with one on ones and with different groups of people to form a small band of people roughly twenty who are in on the vision of Forward Church.

Q: Do you think building relationships will be a key to success of the church?

A: Yes I believe building relationships will be A key to building the Church but not THE key. JESUS IS THE KEY to building Forward Church. Jesus said, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not stand against them." So I am going to spend my time building people and let Jesus worry about building a Church.

Q: Who are your theological or ministerial heroes?

A: That is a tough question. There have been a lot of great men and women that have done great things.

Q: The name of the church is Forward Church correct? Was that inspired?

A: One Day, Patrick Mayberry walked out of my office and there was a sign across the hall that said, "Church Offices" and on it was a arrow (->) pointing to the right. Patrick walked over and placed is hand over "Offices" and said, "Dude, Forward Church would be a great name!" Real Spiritual, I know.

Q: You call this a movement of love can you explain why?

A: And now these three remain: faith hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. That is what Jesus tells us. Now the question is, what is love. Jesus tells us this is Love, that I have layed down my life for you, that you ought to lay your lives down for one another. It is pretty self explanatory, Jesus says love is laying down your life, laying down your dreams, laying down your wants; so that is what we are trying to start, a movement of love. Which means us laying down our lives.
to God.
to People.
to the City.
to the World.

Q: What does this vision mean for the people of Nashville?

A: I think Nashville has a rich history of great churches, great ministries, and organizations. I mean lets face it, Nashville has more churches per capital of people than any other city in America. We are excited to be able to partner with everything God is doing in the City. Our vision is simple, it is the same vision of every other church in the world. We are a band with one song. So as far as the people, my hope is that people would get on board with what God has called us to be.

Q: What does this vision mean to you on a personal level?

A: I don't understand the question. I will try to answer it the best I can.
Two years ago when I was walking in Hillsborro Village I felt the Lord say to me, "This is where you will plant a Church." For quite a long time I didn't understand why in Nashville. The more I learned about Nashville, about how 75% of the city is unchurched, about how 95% of the Churches of the city have platoed or declining, my heart broke for the City. So with that said, I am called to the city of Nashville. Until the Lord calls me else where, on a personal level, I will do whatever it takes outside of sinning to spread the Name of Jesus and to fan the flame that is already here in Nashville.

Q: How do you plan to spread the word of Forward Church?

A: Starting the first Sunday in October, we will start meeting in the upstairs of Bongo Java. we will be doing very little marketing at this point. We hope that in January 2010 we will start doing a once a month preview service, then launch full on grand opening on Easter morning. Starting in January we will be doing all kinds of marketing from crazy gorilla style marketing, to mail outs, and everything in between. Our hope is, everyone in West Side of Nashville will have heard about Forward Church. However, we are not under the allusion that fliers grow a church. The best way is by people inviting people, friends inviting friends. I will do my best to encourage the people that are already intended on bringing their friends.

Q: Is there any thing that has happen you never thought would since the start of this calling to place this church in Nashville?

A: Yes, people are showing up! This is not false humility. I have never planted a Church before, nor do I think of myself as very pastoral. I am pretty blown away every time we meet and people are there.

Thanks for the opportunity to share a little piece of my life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

She Is Head of Her Class

April Baird a guiding light in the lives of the young. Her frank, and sometimes funny style is only part of what defines her. She is a fighter, and a master at rising above life's unexpected moments. She has not let the tough, and sometimes heartbreaking circumstances stand in her way to find happiness in her own life, and in so many of the lives she touches. I dare you to spend 5 minutes with this woman and try not to love her. It's just not possible. She possesses some sort of magical ability to draw you toward her and you just can't help but love her. She has always been the kind of friend I wished I was. So a few years back when she told me she was going to be a teacher I wasn't completely surprised. I mean way shouldn't she pass on her enduring strength, intelligence, and hope to America's youth. Teachers are so under valued in a culture that values education so much. It is why I choose to spot light Mrs. Baird and teachers with a heart like hers. A heart for others. On a little side note to my dear teacher friend, and her charming husband congratulations you two amazing, talented, beautiful people. You are going to have so many wonderful things to teach your own little bundle of joy when he/she arrives!


Q: Have you always want to be a teacher?

A: No, not really. I was a sophomore in college before I switched majors.

Q: Now your teaching job is a little different than most can you tell us why that is?

A: This is my 3rd year teaching at an Alternative school. Our students struggle in the typical school setting. They're usually sent to us for zero tolerance; drugs, fighting, etc.

Q: How do you feel about school attire in the public school system, and should teachers be required to wear the same attire as students?

A: Teachers are typically required to wear the same attire unless it's a standard uniform. I think school uniforms are a great idea.

Q: Describe your classrooms physical appearance?

A: 12 carrels, lots of posters, my desk, my assistants desk, and a few computers.

Q: How would your describe a successful principal?

A: One that hasn't lost touch of what's it's like to be in a classroom. I understand they want to ameliorate the learning environment but they also have to realize that NCLB is not practical or reachable and Japan will continue to pass us if we don't stop trying to utilize NCLB.

Q: What is your greatest strengths as a teacher? Yes I am giving you permission to toot your own horn!

A: Probably how approachable I am and how stern I am. I make sure they understand that taking ownership of their actions is very important along with making better decisions.

Q: What is your biggest weakness?

A: Probably buying too much stuff for my room or kids out of my own pocket.

Q: How do you think your students view you? Have they given you any nicknames that you know of?

A: I think they view me as a valuable teacher. I've had quite a few come back and talk to me and tell me how I influenced them. It makes me feel good to reach a few. I'm not aware of any nicknames.

Q: What the most ask question from your students?

A: Well, considering I have 11th and 12th graders, I get asked "How many credits do I have? How many do I need to graduate?" the most often.

Q: Do you believe you are making a difference in these young lives?

A: I think I make a difference in some. However, contrary to some parents beliefs, I am there to guide and teach children...not teach them all the values and ethics that one should have. Parents still need to do some things. It would amaze one to hear some of the comments I've gotten about their own children.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Interview with a Nurse

Kimberly Little a fiery redhead that walked into my life in the most unexpected way. She fell in love with my kid brother thus becoming my sister-in-law, and very quickly became my dear friend. On the professional side of this high spirited, independent, beautiful women is the heart of nurse. A job Kimberly takes very seriously. Being a nurse in my opinion takes a special kind of person. I have decided that the good Lord gave them hearts of gold. Many days you will find that Kimberly is still at work after hours, picking up an extra shift, or sacrificing holidays to perform her job. Besides the things a nurse has to deal with on a daily basis the job also comes with an emotional attachment that is not easily left at work. Nurses are so much to us. They are our comfort in a painful time, our caretaker, our voice to doctors, a gentle touch, soft spoken voice, and many times our beacons of hope! All in all nurses are important and necessary pieces of the community's puzzle. Shall we find out from Kimberly our friendly neighborhood nurse serving us with a smile what her world is really like.

Q: Why did you choose to be a nurse for your career?

A: It was an accidental occurrence. I started out in my college life majoring in music, and education. Yes I wanted to be that proverbial dorky Band Director. However life intervened and I got sick and missed a lot school and ended up dropping out of college. After a few years of being a server/bartender I ran across an add in the paper that said FREE CNT SCHOOL. I had not one clue of what a CNT was. I called and applied to the school. It was relatively short and was a class about taking care of the elderly/infirm. I am more thankful for this step in my life then most others. CNT (certified nurse technician) is a person who bathes, cleans, assists a person with ADLs (activities of daily living). I did this alot caring for patients in a Nursing home for about a year. My charge nurse Betsy Hill encouraged me to get my LPN, she told me over and over again I was smart and I would make a wonderful nurse. At the same time I was working as a CNT I decided I wanted to buy a house. I had put down a deposit and the finance company had called me back and told me my mortgage was going to be 700$ a month. I realized that most of my house payment would be most of my monthly salary. I took back the deposit and registered for nursing school. the rest is of course, History.

Q: Are TV shows like Er & Nurse Jackie somewhat realistic to the nursing job field?

A: HAH that's assuming i have time to watch TV! In all seriousness, I have seen the first episode of Nurse Jackie and there are alot of parallels in the show that's in real life. For example the Doctors that don't know anything, or Nurses who abuse medications, or tragedy's that break your heart. It really happens. Nursing is not just a career its a way of life. You cant be a nurse just 8 hours a day. Its a job that if a patient is sick, you cant just up and leave, and Holidays are nice, but people are sick then too. Its also not as glamorous, there is no smellavision and if there was, no one would really want the scent of CDIFF wafting through their living room.

Q: How long have you worked as a nurse?

A: 9 years.

Q: Do you find your job fulfilling?

A: I find my patients fulfilling. There is nothing better than seeing genuine appreciation in a patients face for something I did. It takes a certain something to be able to hold a patients hand while they die and whisper to them its ok. The body has this amazing ability to heal itself, to mend a broken bone, a wound to heal and become whole. I get to a birds eye view of it, that's pretty fulfilling. I have 2 dogs and when i come home after work they are so happy they look at me with trust and love and so glad I'm there. I see that in my patients eyes. Its a lot to live up to and they trust I will do it to the best of my ability, so I do.

Q: What advice would you give someone just starting out?

A: Two things. First, take breaks. Sometimes you just have to walk away and remember to breathe. We can get so wrapped up and keep going til we are burned out. That does no one any good, not you, nor the patient. Second, its not how much you know that makes you smart or a good nurse, its knowing where to go to find the answers.

Q: How do you handle the sadness of your job?

A: I don't linger over what ifs. I trust that a higher power knows and understands more than me. I don't work with sick children. I work with mostly the elderly, its easier to say goodbye to someone who has had a long life and i would like to believe a fulfilling life.

Q: What is your take on medical industry has a whole?

A: Tough question with a thousand ways to approach, On my political soap box i think sooner then later the health care bubble will burst and it will be bad for everyone. People have long abused the health care industry and when it catches up and there are no more dollars to borrow my job will be just as much threatened as the next and that scares me.

Q: Are family members of patients on average polite, and grateful for the care you provide their loved ones?

A: For the most part yes. however there are the occasional Sue Happy People, and the ones that aren't quite ready to let momma or daddy go, that can make your job challenging. If i have any advice I could give to a person with an aging parent, talk with them and see what there wishes are do they want quality or quantity?

Q: What is the nicest thing someone has done for you because you are a nurse?

A: Hmm nothing as of yet, I am hoping for a break on taxes or something when i whip out my LPN license one day! Well I take that back sometimes family members send up treats and snacks for caring for their loved ones, I think its because we do a good job, not just because we are a nurse!

Q: Do you believe in what you do, and that it makes a difference?

A: The best way i can answer this is to tell a story of about the 3rd day I was a tech. There was a woman yelling and calling out and so upset on the floor. She would get up and walk around seeming lost and distraught. due to dementia I was unable to figure out what the patients needs was. My charge nurse suggested I take her outside for a few minutes and let her get some fresh air. I did this and she quieted down and seemed to enjoy the walk outside. As i pushed her around the grounds in her wheel chair the distress seemed to melt away in the spring day. It wasn't a long walk maybe 15 minutes long, just long enough. I took this patient back upstairs and she was quiet the rest of the day. I went home and when i came back on my next shift, I learned she had passed away shortly after our walk. I was devastated. I asked my charge nurse how this could have happened? Maybe I should have kept her in and not exposed her to spring air or maybe it had been too much. She told me, Kimberly you made her happy you brought her peace, you took her outside and you made a difference in her life. even if it was only 1 minute or 15 minutes you made a difference. I never forget that, I always try to make a difference even if its as small as holding someones hand, listening to a story, or just sitting beside them. Giving pills to a patient, that's the easy part. Anyone can be taught to do that, learning to care for soul as well as that the body, that's the true heart of nursing.