Monday, November 30, 2009

The Big House

My parents recently moved to Utah from Sacramento, CA. Wanting to retire in the countryside, they bought a large old Victorian home in Sanpete County that accommodates our enormous family. We call it "The Big House."

But THIS is actually my house the morning we tried to pack our bags and head out of town. Yikes.

The drive is very therapeutic for me (if the boys have some form of technology to entertain them along the way).

Jackson took plenty of self portraits in the back seat. Isn't he handsome?

Pocamindas in her head dress.

I don't even know how to explain this.

I think I might know where my memory problems come from.

My Mom always has unlimited quantities of pomegranates on hand during the holidays.

My Brazilian body building brother in law, Alex and his son, Enzo. So precious.

My sister Angi and her husband Ryan brought fresh greens all the way from Seattle. We made wreaths and swags to our hearts' content.


Thatcher spent 48 hours building a fort out of cardboard.

Good thing we brought crazy glasses for everyone, because WHY NOT?

Hope you had a lovely time with your families over the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Thankful Country Concert

I was first told that the sign in this photo reads "The Thankful Country Concert," then was later told that the translation was wrong and that the word "thankful" actually meant "charity." Too late. "Thankful Country Concert" is WAY better.

On Thanksgiving eve I started to blog about how I was strangely lonely and empty even in the midst of a hundred family relatives. After writing for an hour about why I was feeling sorry for myself, I read over my ramblings, felt much better and then deleted everything. Who wants to be self centered on Thanksgiving? Apparently I DID -- for about an hour. While I was trying to distract myself from my melancholy, I came across some photos that turned my hardened heart to mush.

Last March, Sam Payne and I were invited to do a music tour for a handful of orphanages in Bulgaria. Words can not describe how that experience effected me. To say it was amazing sounds so trite, but it was, indeed, AMAZING. The very last orphanage we visited was up in the mountain village of Bratsigovo. I don't know what it was, but there was something very special about that place.


Sam was a child magnet.


This young lady is 15 years old! Many of the children are small due to improper nourishment and lack of stimulation as infants.


SO sweet.


The children were getting there costumes ready for a performance that evening in which Sam and I would sing for them and they would dance for us.

The picture does not do it justice, but I instantly fell in love with this theater. More than a hundred years old and nearly unaltered since the day it was built, the architecture and furnishings were to die for. We were destined to find each other one day. It was love at first sight.


Backstage, I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous young woman in her costume waiting in the wings for her entrance. Her beauty stole my breath and I wanted to freeze the placidness of that moment.

The dancers were exquisite. I wept at the sight.

I have never known an evening more surreal than the one spent at
"The Thankful Country Concert."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Funny Business

In case, you were wondering, the ball in this shoe is Thatcher's Gobstopper which he temporarily put there so he could take a break and jump on the trampoline, then suck on it later.

Latest Funny Business:

1. During a recent funeral for Thatcher's pet mouse, Wheely, he stated in his eulogy, "He was like a brother to me."

2. Three more mice have been purchased and laid to rest since then.

3. Tripped on some steps on campus causing the contents of my backpack to scatter all over the ground, including feminine hygiene right at the feet of an innocent male passerby.

4. Had to return a bra to Target. The only clerk working was a 21 year old fumbling young man. "There's no price tag on this," he said, his voice cracking. "Could you go get me another one?" he asked as the bra trembled in his hands.

5. While using the bathroom, the phone rang. To my chagrin, Thatcher answered it. "My mom is on the potty. She can't talk to you right now." It happened to be the CEO of a major organization. Awesome.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

TAXI!

I met singer-songwriter, Pitch, at the Taxi Road Rally

A week ago I came home digesting a multitude of thoughts from an educational feast at the TAXI Road Rally in Los Angeles. It took me nearly a week to get my groove back after which I attended yet another conference for women entrepreneurs (more on that soon!). If you are in the music industry, or are aspiring to be, I highly recommend the TAXI Road Rally. There were some great classes and some just so-so, but the real value lies in the networking. I met some fabulous people, and got invited to perform for some workshops by Ralph Murphy (VP of ASCAP).

I knew I needed to find a guitarist to play for me for Ralph's workshops, so I wandered on over to the open mic the first night there. After an hour of of scouting, I told myself I was going to bed if the next guitarist didn't knock my socks off. To my great fortune, the next guy was the Real McCoy and I nearly rushed the stage like a crazed teenager after he sang his song, "Skippin'."

Me and Pitch with VP of ASCAP, Ralph Murphy

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "Pitch."

If I could bottle Pitch up and label the ingredients, it would say something like this:

23-year-old San Diego native, student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, 1/4 Japanese, fearless performer, big dreamer, creamy voice, follower of Christ, former Worship Leader for Presbyterian Church, "Christ the King," lives in the "Justice House of Prayer" in Boston, will always devote his life to Worship, mentor and advisor to students at Berklee, loves the women in his life (mom and grandmother).

Thanks for going out on a limb and collaborating with me at the rally, Pitch. Please enjoy this clip of Pitch singing "Skippin'" at the TAXI Road Rally 2009 (but please forgive my borderline offensive camera skills.)

video

Find Pitch on Twitter, Facebook and http://www.myspace.com/pitchmichael

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Flexible


What's going on in this picture?


Looks sort of exciting, right?


This was a shoot I did back in March this year for KBYU television. The idea was to have children interview a professional about their career (that part was pre-taped) and then air it in between PBS Kids segments of Arthur, Word Girl, Angelina Ballerina, etc.

But, GUESS WHAT???

It never aired. It's not like I lost sleep over that, but I have scratched my head a few times, wondering what happened to that footage.

In fact, a flood of events come to mind of instances where I put my heart and soul into something much more emotional than the above scenario, only to later conclude that it just wasn't going anywhere. But now and again, I receive epiphanies from on high that make me realize that my efforts are not spent in vain. For example, this week I will be singing for the vice president of ASCAP. Over the last few years I've sung in the offices of record executives from labels like Columbia, Sony and Interscope. Those meetings eventually went nowhere. But the good news is, I'm not really that nervous to sing for the VP of ASCAP this week. I think I would be if I hadn't been put in those high pressure situations before.

My Aunt Rosemarie said to me a few months ago, "The key to happiness in life is flexibility." I could have kissed her when she said that. In fact, I think I did. Being flexible to whatever comes at you works wonders. So what kinds of things have you invested your whole self into, with little to no results? A relationship? A career path? A financial investment? I'm here to tell you: don't sweat it.

Your ability to be flexible with the outcome will always yield positive results in one form or another.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!



Happy Halloween! Love, The Gledhills