No Hard Feelings…

It’s Sunday, and I’m eagerly *insert sarcasm* awaiting the 2nd round of presidential debates taking place tonight. But like a dutiful voter, I will be watching. Despite the emails that have been released this week about Clinton and the newly released audio of Trump and his commentary on women – you bet your ass I . Will . Be. Watching.

Tonight will likely be as messy as the first debate and there’s certainly more dirt to throw around this time. I wonder if any of the issues will be discussed or simply lost in the circus. Let’s face it, this is a train wreck that most of us will watch through our fingers, cringing and even laughing, though none of this is remotely funny. Our future is at stake and it’s just plain sad.

Perhaps tonight Trump will finally lay out HOW he’s going to create these jobs and “Make America Great Again.” And maybe Clinton will tell us HOW we can trust her, when she’s lied for most of her political career and tell me why I should claim “I’m With Her.”

I have to admit, I’m not hopeful at either prospect.

This political year, and the time leading up to this fiasco, has been one testing friendships, ideals, and morals. I fear the backlash for posting this because I cannot say #Imwithher, when there are so many outspoken about that sentiment. And then there are those that want to #MAGA who are either hiding in the shadows or the outspoken extremists.

Let me say now that I respect their (your) point of view because our individual beliefs are deeply rooted. None of us agree wholeheartedly, and that’s okay. It’s what makes America already a wonderful place. But I’m sure you’ll admit that the political climate isn’t the only thing wrong right now. We are not as unified as we should be and we are not as secure as we should be.

Unfortunately, neither Clinton nor Trump represent someone I can stand behind or someone I can see uniting us.

These two cannot be the best of us.

I know not everyone feels this way because each candidate has a loyal following, so I certainly don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but to me, they are both villains in this narrative. And we’re left picking between the lesser of two evils.

The Lesser of Two Evils: I’ve read people saying this is not a valid argument, but isn’t it? These are the choices we are given and to cast my vote for either of them is a punch to my gut.

We had choices. In the early stages of this election, we had some decent choices, and I don’t think anyone could look into their crystal ball back then to see this place we stand now. There was an overwhelming amount of support for Bernie Sanders and yet he “lost” to the Clinton machine. And while the Republican ticket was divided greatly and admittedly a spectacle, there were a couple who would have been great candidates, if only they were given a chance to speak.

So again, we’re left with Clinton on the left, and Trump on the right. And neither is truly and completely the voice of his or her party. Though there are many more Democrats rallying around her while an overwhelming number of Republicans distance themselves from him.

And then comes the bashing that we’re used to in an election year…

You have Republicans saying “She’s ____.” And Democrats saying “He’s ___,” and guess what, maybe they’re both right! And if you like him, you’re everything that’s wrong with this country and if you like her, apparently you want more of the same.

I remember when I turned 18, it was an election year. I was so excited to be able to cast my ballot for the candidate that I felt best represented my vision for the future. I was young, optimistic, and of course I thought I knew everything. I watched the debates…maybe not as keenly as I watch them now, and I prepared to make the biggest choice I had made up to that point. I took this privilege very seriously.

Now, let me stop here to tell you something that most probably know about me…I’m a Republican. Like most of my family, but certainly not all, I more closely align myself with the Republican view. Although, if you were to talk to my very close Democratic friend, he would tell you he thinks I more align with his views. (It’s nice to talk with someone of differing views and you both respect the other.)

But I digress…back to the 18 year-old me.

That year, back in 1996, I cast my ballot for the very first time. And though I was as staunch Republican, I voted for Bill Clinton. Despite his treatment of women, the affairs he was alleged to have engaged in, and his policies, I was one of the over 47 million people who voted for him. I couldn’t relate to Bob Dole because he was old and seemed unwilling to change with the times.

When the Lewinsky scandal came out, it was the first time there was an absolute media circus surrounding the President and his personal life.

Okay, maybe I should correct this to say, in my lifetime – that I can remember. It was embarrassing. But like the rest of the country, I was riveted with the goings on and wondered how his wife could stand by him – time after time. Now, I can’t judge their marriage because that happens behind closed doors. Perhaps she truly forgave him and they’ve made amends. That’s their business.

But what is my business…our business…is the vilification of the alleged victims.

I’ve been absolutely disgusted by Trump and the things that have come out of his mouth. But it’s sad to say, I’m not shocked. Not shocked because we’ve all heard things he’s said before. And, unfortunately, as a woman, I’ve heard worse from both men and women. I’ve heard the talk and heard the excuse that this is how men talk. Maybe not all men, most definitely not all men, but yes, I think it’s more common that we are willing to admit. Does it make it right – ABSOLUTELY NOT. Let me repeat….NOT AT ALL!! I’m not excusing his language or treatment of women, because it’s inexcusable. He is vile. There’s no other way to say it. Has he ever apologized to the individuals that he has victimized?

Now I have to ask myself, is Clinton any better? Okay, so she hasn’t had an audio leak talking about what she can do to a man because of her position, but when her husband cheated, she blamed the other women. And when he allegedly assaulted or harassed women, she claimed they were lying and said awful things about them. She vilified and demonized them. I watched videos and read her words about these women. As a wife, as a woman, I understand the anger and humiliation she must have felt, but when truths came to light, those women were still made out to be the bad guys. Bill Clinton was just as guilty for the infidelity and he also shamed these women as much as his wife, so maybe they share equal blame here. And look, I understand the whole “innocent until proven guilty,” and she was standing by her man…but has she ever made amends with those women?

Both candidates have used their position of power to intimidate and silence those beneath them. To that extent, both are pretty unfavorable…or rather deplorable.

Regardless of all that I’ve said, what it boils down to for me is that neither candidate represents someone I feel can create what I hope and pray will be a stronger, unified, and better America. And as someone who takes my privilege of voting very seriously, even though I do not know that my voice really counts, I hate to admit that I’m not sure if I will cast my vote this year.

I’ve spent the better part of my day reading recent articles and those from years past. I’m trying to educate myself more than I ever have before because it’s important. My daughters are watching because my oldest will get to vote in the next election, and they want to stay current. They are well aware of the mudslinging and even the hot issues. I’m often surprised at how much they actually know. But like I said, it’s important, and I’m glad it’s important to them.

And after all of this, it might be the year I vote for a third party candidate since Gary Johnson is on the ballot. I’d like to hear him debate and see what he has to say, but our system makes it very hard for that to happen. So I implore all the undecideds out there, like myself, to read up…look at ALL the candidates and choose who you think will best lead this country. Not just the one you hate the least. Our future depends on it.

Much love and respect to all. ❤

XO
~T

:/ Listening to No Hard Feelings by The Avett Brothers, because they’re my spirit animal.

Affection…

I haven’t posted in a while on this blog. There’s so much going on in this world and I have so many thoughts, but I can’t seem to articulate them. And I usually feel my voice doesn’t need to be heard. But this morning, a friend shared an article on Facebook (link at the bottom of this post). It was one that I was happy to see because of the message. It’s about affection and the effects of making kids show affection.

When my daughters were young, they were super affectionate. Constant hugs and kisses…constant cuddles. Everyone loved getting the hugs and kisses – hugs and kisses that weren’t prompted by me. I mean, who doesn’t love the squeezes from little ones?!

But as they got older, things started to change.

As someone who grew up in an affectionate home, you would think I would have been offended when my daughter didn’t give as many hugs as she used to. You would think I would be upset and sad…but I wasn’t. In fact, I was happy.

Happy??? Yes. Happy.

Of course, I missed the cuddles. But I was happy because they were setting a boundary, and boundaries are important. I didn’t tell them, “but you need to hug (fill in the blank) because…” and I didn’t guilt them. As expected, some people were sad or offended that the hugs were no longer freely given, but when I explained why I didn’t force it, it was understood and embraced.

Earlier on Facebook, I posted the following:

I’m raising two young ladies, who are sweet, funny, beautiful, and smart.
I’m raising two young ladies who will someday be women.
I’m raising two young ladies that I’m trying to empower.
I’m raising two young ladies that are learning now that they have women’s intuition and that it is something to be honored and heard.
I’m raising two young ladies who will someday be on their own and have to protect themselves.

My goal, my job, as a mom is to equip my children with knowledge…encourage their voice…support them, and to love them unconditionally. And I do, so very much. My daughters are my world and I want them to turn into strong women who can go out into the world and do anything. And I will not undermine who they are turning into by MAKING them show affection. As they are growing up, they’re learning to listen to that inner voice, but more importantly, they’re learning to TRUST it.

And I can add that from my experience with NOT forcing my children to show affection to myself or anyone else, they ARE affectionate. Not to everyone, but to a select few. And for those on the receiving end of it, they should feel special because it is not given frequently, but it is given wholeheartedly.

❤ XO

~T

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE —-> POPSUGAR ARTICLE

‘Tis the Season…

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, especially during the holidays…but man, the world sure seems to be in bad shape. :-/

My news feed on social media it saturated with horrible stories of people gone mad, politicians doing what they do – sling mud, and terrorists doing their damnedest to destroy everyone.

I try to watch enough news to stay informed, but not so much that I’m afraid to live. And some days, that’s really hard.

According to The Washington Post, there have been, 355 mass shootings this year – how crazy is that? Heck, there are only 365 on the calendar, so how’s that for a statistic? Atrocities like those in Charleston (2015), San Bernardino (today), and Aurora (2012) are happening far too often. In fact, it’s becoming so frequent that I have seen many people use the word “desensitized” when news of these horrors are reported. We shouldn’t be desensitized. We should be angry and questioning why it keeps happening.

And then there’s Politics….UGH! You know, I love a good debate. I love learning about candidates and the issues. Hell, I even love that I get to vote. Everyone has an opinion as to who is best for our country, and I respect the differences. I have friends that are republican, democrat, independent, and undecided…and that’s okay. I’m not in the business of trying to change anyone’s views to match my own. Our difference are one of the things that make this country great. But you have the politicians out there, all of them (and I do mean ALL!!) trying to get their ten seconds of air time. And instead of talking about the issues, about the REAL issues and coming up with REAL solutions, there’s nothing but grandstanding and mudslinging. It’s embarrassing. And the sad thing is, as much as I want to believe that SOMEONE can do right by this country, I’m too jaded to actually believe it. Money makes the world go ’round, right?

As for the terrorists, I’m blank. It breaks my heart to see the refugees fleeing for safety, and some of them never finding it. How many lives have been destroyed by the monsters who seek to eradicate anything good, beautiful, and different? The terror and destruction they seek to inflict on their victims is nothing compared to the weakness and fear they, themselves, carry in their hearts. Fear is a powerful feeling, it immobilizes its victims and perpetuates a feeling of helplessness. But the thing is, fear is just a feeling.

I’m not trying to get on a soap box and claim I know any way to remedy what’s happening right now. All I can think to do is pray and hope that a time like Christmas, a season of goodwill, charity, and happiness, will open the hearts of all of us to do something. Perhaps something….one little thing, might have a chain reaction, and if even for just one day, make the world a better place.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa ~ Happy Holidays my beautiful friends and a wonderful New Year. ❤

mother-teresa-quote-we-cannot-do-great-things-on-this-earth-only-small-things

XO
~T 

RT Roundup in Review…

Happy Monday! Today is the first day I’ve been able to sit in front of my computer since the RT Roundup. I’m not sure where to start…so let’s just get to it. Please excuse me if it’s all over the place. This was a year in the making, so seeing everyone and hanging out was high on my list of “to-do” items. 

Highlights:

  1. Amalie Silver – Thursday, I went to Hobby Airport to pick up my friend, co-author, and this all around super awesome chick. Amalie Silver (or Amy as she kept telling everyone)…come to think of it, I’m not sure WHO she really is (J/K). I just love her. I was so ready to get the girls off to school the next day so I could see her and visit and just chill. (No, not Netflix and Chill…just chill.) Spending the weekend with one of my dear friends was exactly what I needed. You know you’re close when there are barely any secrets between you. Lol! I miss you Amy.
  2. Penny Reid – OMG. Penny!! We didn’t see much of each other the couple of days we were there. But seeing her face and hugging her…best! I texted her last night because I knew she was still around. We decided to get together for breakfast and I gave her a ride to the airport. It was all part of my master plan to get some alone time from one of the good guys. Anyone who knows Penny knows I speak the truth here. She is absolutely one of those people who gets it and doesn’t get caught up in the drama out there. And her PA Angie is right there too. I love Angie and wish I could see her more. Shocking we don’t since I’m in CS almost every weekend during football season. LOL.
  3. Sierra Cartwright – Sierra lives close enough that we could see each other everyday. But we don’t. So I have to settle for the now – 5 month – spurts. But seeing her and chatting and getting her wonderful guidance and support is enough to make any girl feel special. I wish Whit had been able to make it in town for this event, but you can’t control everything. I’ll see her sometime soon, I hope! ❤ 
  4. Molly McAdams – ALWAYS a highlight for me. Molly is one of the most genuine, sweet, funny, and adorable people I know. Period. She was there with Cory and their precious little Angel. I wish I had gotten to visit more, but Peese and my mom got to see her, it’s been almost 2 years for them. Yeah….Peese was pretty excited. She took me aside and asked, “Are we allowed to read Mrs. Molly’s books?” Molly and I both said. “No.” LOL!!
  5. Colleen Hoover & Anna Todd – Again, Colleen is someone I always love seeing. She and Anna had tables back to back and I have to saw, Amy/Amalie and I were in awe of the fans waiting to see them. Seriously…crazy long line and so impressive to see them interact with these readers.
  6. Mom, Peese, Sis and Niece – All 4 came to check out the signing and I think Sis and Niece were beyond excited about CoHo! (Isn’t everyone!?!) Peese got to see many of my author friends that she’s only heard of, as well as see some old faces. Best part, loved when mom saw Erin Spencer of SBBB. We go WAAAYYYY back. Lol. P.S. Erin and Katie were also lovely highlights to Saturday!! ❤ I love my family for coming out and supporting me and my fellow authors.
  7. CJ Roberts – Okay, let me say this now…I LOVE CJ! She’s so stinkin’ cute and funny. I don’t think these words do her justice. Charming. She’s utterly charming and had us laughing so much. I don’t know when I get to see her again, but it’s not soon enough! 
  8. Erin Noelle & Kayla Robichaux & Blue – We didn’t get to spend as much time as I’d like, but luckily, we all live close enough to do it soon. Our little trio headed over to a panel where some super sweet ladies joined us as we talked books and publishing. Thank you to all those ladies for visiting with us!! And Blue…you were having too much fun. You need to fix that. LOL! I’m sorry we didn’t see more of each other…and where the hell was my sitter????? I really needed her!!!
  9. Lynsey & SL – When I see Lynsey, she starts out quiet…keeping to herself for a bit. And then BAM! Lol. She is sweet and her smile is contagious. Amalie/Amy and I sat with her at the bar for hours harassing Patrick the bartender and talking all things books. And where Lynsey is, I know I’ll see SL. I think Lynsey and SL have the same disease…they spread smiles…it’s contagious! I will forever be grateful to SL for putting me in touch with her sweet momma who is our travel agent. And I finally got to meet her too!! 
  10. Husband – My husband came to the hotel Saturday after doing all parent duties for the weekend and dropping the girls off with my parents. I don’t talk about him often because he’s special to me and I keep the special for me. But I’m so blessed to have him by my side supporting me. I’d be lost without him. And this is the one time he got to actually be with me and not have to be the DD. Needless to say, we had a blast together and with everyone there. I blame Heather Lane and Sierra for getting me drunk, since they bought me the 2 drinks I hadn’t planned on. LOL!

I’m sure I’ve missed something here, but I’m still trying to come down from this weekend. I loved meeting everyone and thank you so much for the kind words and support. It means more than I can express. 

XO

~T

2 years…

IMG_4532

July 2, marked 2 years since I published my first book, Being There. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that it was a “bucket list” item that I added when I turned 35. And here I am, two years later with 4 books out. 🙂

These two years have been filled with personal growth and, I hope, professional growth. I’ve made some wonderful friends and learned things along the way. It’s been both challenging and rewarding, but it’s also given me something to do…something I’ve always wanted to do but never thought possible.

So…I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned in the last two years:

  1. Allowing yourself to pursue your dreams is one of the most empowering feelings ever. No matter how outlandish it may seem at the time, why not dream big? If you fall flat on your face, you still tried! So yeah, I continue to dream big…and sometimes fail bigger, but that’s all part of it. I learn something every time, and more importantly, my girls see that I’m at trying. Seeing their pride and interest what I do inspires me. Daily.
  2. Support comes in all forms. It may be your family who have known you your entire life. It may be someone who has recently come into your life. And it may even be someone that you have never met. Don’t underestimate the power of supportive people. First step, believe you can do it, second, letting others believe it with you.
  3. Not everyone is going to love you or the things you do. This is true in every. aspect. of life. And it’s totally okay. And guess what, you’re not going to love everyone. If you can accept this, I believe you will be a much more content person. How exhausting it must be to try to please people all the time. 😛
  4. Be open to criticism. And no, I’m not talking about vicious, hateful words that make you crawl into a corn and rocking yourself as you cry. I’m talking about people who you respect and who respect you. The ones that take the time to care about you and what you’re doing. The ones who see mistakes or where you can better yourself and offer their opinion. This is how your improve as a person and a professional.
  5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Ever! The moment you do, you’re bound to fall. You have to have a sense of humor. The tagline on my email has been the same for years…and it’s a line from one of my favorite band, Tripping Daisy – “Laugh at what you did today, it’s all been done before.”
  6. Be humble! OMG….PLEASE.BE.HUMBLE! I’ve said numerous times that the people who are successful, but don’t it let go to their head are my heroes. I’ve not had the success of those around me, but I’m so excited for those who have found it. Many of those have far exceeded their own expectations, but they don’t have an air of superiority about them. If I ever find success, those are the ones I would want to emulate. (I’m talking to you Colleen, Molly, and Abbi. I ❤ you so much!) There are others who have forgotten their roots, the people that were with them in the beginning…I don’t ever want to be that.
  7. Remember that you don’t know everything. Wow…I’m serious. I don’t know everything, but I want to learn. A lot of times, it’s hit or miss for me, there is no “formula” that I know of to be successful. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another, but that’s okay, try anyway. Those that are willing to share their experience and knowledge are invaluable. *Note – It’s important to pay it forward. Do unto others…

I’m sure there are more lessons that I’ve learned, but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment. If you’ve gotten this far in this post….you’re kind of awesome. 😉 As school is starting up again soon, I’m excited to continue working on 5 different books that I’ve started. The 3 month hiatus has been just what I needed…the time with the family is priceless.

My point for this entire thing is both a “thank you” and “how did I get here?” post. This journey hasn’t been the easiest, but I can’t imagine any other that would bring so much joy, tears, frustration, and absolute fulfillment. My husband and kids aside, this is the best part of my daily life. ❤

XO
~T

RT 2015…

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of attending RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas. I saw pictures from last year, but knew very little about it, so being there as a volunteer and friend of Kathryn Falk, founder and CEO if RT Book Reviews was great. (If you have not met Kathryn yet, you are missing out.)

My trip started out eventful from the start. How you may ask? Well, I rode with this woman…

Courtesy of Meme Queen - Blue

Courtesy of Meme Queen – Blue

….Yeah, she’s crazy and totally #inappropriate. So if I were to say it was boring, I would totally be lying.

I HATE…I mean H-A-T-E driving to Dallas. And it’s not because I hate Dallas, I love it. But I hate the drive from Houston. It’s about the most boring drive ever! But not with Blue. We talked the entire drive there about anything and everything. And of course she made the above image.

We got to Dallas and checked in so we could get settled in our room and find the people we were eager to see. It took a while to locate our peeps, but we did. And the first person I saw was my girl Molly. I love her so much because she is one of the most down to earth people in this industry. Molly and Colleen have both been so gracious and have taken time out of their schedule to visit with me…for no reason. Lol. I admire both of them so much and have only great things to say about these two women. They can teach all of us a thing or two about how success should be done. #Humility.

THE Molly McAdams

THE Molly McAdams

After chatting with Molly, we headed upstairs where I finally….F I N A L L Y got to meet Kelsie Leverich who was rooming with my other friend Stacey Lynn (who was on an epic photoshoot at the time). For almost two years, these girls have been among those who have been closest to me in the book world. We support each other, challenge each other, and just listen. (I’m still waiting to meet the rest of the girls, but I was so happy to be with these two.) Stacey and I met in person back in November and she was easy to be around. You add Kelsie and Stacey together and it’s perfection. There is something special about being so close to people online and meeting them in person to discover that the relationship is just as strong IRL.

Kelsie Leverich, Stacey Lynn, and me

Kelsie Leverich, Stacey Lynn, and me

Highlights of RT:

  • Dinner with Molly & Cory. They are so funny together and so adorable! ❤ 
  • Drinks are expensive at the bar, but taste pretty good.
  • Colleen Hoover is too popular. I only got to hug her once. 😉
  • It’s hard not to fangirl over your favorite authors…just sayin’
  • Dinner with some amazing ladies on Saturday was delicious and so much fun.
  • I know there’s more….I just can’t seem to think of them. 

RT had so many people in attendance and so many things to do that it’s hard to pick out my favorite. I will say the highlights included a surprise visit from EL James who was so kind and took time to take pictures with anyone who wanted to….even if we were in our PJs. I should know, I took two!

Some things I took away this weekend:

  • Smile. You are out there doing what you love and people actually want to read/hear what you have to say. Some people are having a crap day and your smile might be the thing to turn it around.
  • Be kind. For the same reason above. What do you get out of being rude or pretentious? Nothing but people talking about it when you turn around.
  • Be approachable. It helps start a conversation…now if you don’t want anyone to talk to you, do the opposite. 😉 
  • Avoid the drama. Yeah, we all know there is drama everywhere and it’s not hard to find if that’s your thing.
  • Ask questions. Ask LOTS of questions. There are so many wonderful people out there who are eager to share their knowledge and experience, why not ask?!
  • LISTEN. O.M.G. Listen!! When someone bestows their understanding of the industry, whether it is this one or another, listen. They don’t have to talk to you. They don’t have to tell you a single thing. But if for some reason they think you are worth it, listen. You can learn so much.
  • You are not better than anyone else. The moment you think you are, is the moment that reality might just slap you in the face. Some of our journeys may be a little rougher than others, or some are just plain lucky…others still work their asses off for it. We are all just trying to make it in this world. 
  • Find the fun in all of it. I mean really…does this need an explanation??

I am so lucky that I got to have this experience and I am so grateful to Kathryn Falk and her amazing RT family who put on this event. The RT Team is full of wonderful people who put their heart and soul into making this a great time for all. Mission: Accomplished!

XO
~T

Soundtracks…

I recently posted this on my Facebook page:

Soundtrack of your life? If you had to pick 10 songs that fit you perfectly….what would you pick??

Here are mine:
1. The Time of My Life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warren (I listed this in my journal back in ’94)
2. At Last by Etta James – (My wedding song)
3. I’ll Stand by You by The Pretenders – (VERY special song to me)
4. Through My Prayers by The Avett Brothers – (No words)
5. Special Angel by Bobby Helms – (Another VERY special song)
6. Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield – (preferably sung by Gidge)
7. I’m Coming Home by Robert Earl Keen – (Hubs was deployed and I listened to this on heavy rotation.)
8. Just a Girl by No Doubt – What girl DOESN’T relate??
9. In the Meantime by Spacehog – I will FOREVER think of my sis when I hear this one.
10. Pride & Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughn – Because simple….he is BAD ASS!!

But I haven’t been able to let it go, so I decided to go a little further into the WHY of my choice for these songs. So here it goes:

  1. The Time of My life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warren. When I was about 18, Ally McBeal was a new show on Fox. I immediately fell in love with the quirky lead and her insane imagination. I had moved out of my parent’s house and was living alone…talking to myself. (Often) I was always a fan of Dirty Dancing, and always loved the song, but something about choosing a theme song for my life caught my attention and I noted it in my journal. For years, that song was on heavy rotation….in my head.
  2. At Last by Etta James. I don’t think we really had a “song” at the time we got married. I was a huge fan of old music. I scoured the internet for ideas of possible wedding songs, and none of them worked for me. I mean…NONE! I’m not sure how it happened, but I found this Etta James song, that I’d heard millions of times before, and fell in love. I don’t think I even told him what our song was until the wedding day. But even now, when I hear it (or play it) it brings the biggest smile to my face.
  3. I’ll Stand by You by The Pretenders. Do you remember that dark day in high school? The one where you thought no one understood? The one where you felt so incredibly alone and scared that there was no way out? I do. That was my senior year. Depression was something I hadn’t experienced before and it hit me hard. So hard, that my mom found me a therapist that I saw only twice and quit when I felt her “advice” to me was total and utter bullshit. BUT, my mom got it. She knew. She was there for me and tried to help me in the lowest point I had experienced up to that point. She had no word, but she had music. This song. This song brought me to my knees in tears and I knew that my mom loved me more than anything. (As if I didn’t already know.)
  4. Through My Prayers by The Avett Brothers. I know we all have dark times. And times where someone slips away before we can tell them what we feel. It’s a real and true fear that someone might leave our lives without every truly knowing everything. I have cried and smiled to this song because it touches on so many feelings for me. It gives me comfort and strength to push. It’s sad to know that we are more concerned or worried for others than they ever will be for us. But you have to stay true to you…whatever that it. ❤
  5. Special Angel by Bobby Helms. This was the song I danced to at my wedding with my dad. I cried. I had to idea what song he chose and it still means so much to me. It’s one that, for years, I sang to my own daughters to help get them to bed. It just makes me smile.
  6. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I will FOREVER love this song because Gidge fell in love with this song when she was 5. She would sing it all the time, even with messed up words. We have a video of her singing when she thought no one would listen. As she’s gotten older, I think she’s realized the power of these words and they’ve certainly become a staple for me. 
  7. I’m Coming Home by Robert Earl Keen. O.M.G. Tears. So many tears. It was 11 years ago that my husband deployed leaving me alone with an almost 2 year old and a barely 3 month old. I learned strength unlike I’ve ever known during this time. I learned the meaning of love. I learned so much about myself, but his words were always there cheering me on. My husband KNEW I could do it, and I wanted to prove him right…so I did what I had to do for my girls and for him….mostly for myself. I would listen to this song because it was his love song to me. And when he returned 6 months later, I took him to see REK at the Norva in VA and he thanked REK for his words.
  8. Just a Girl by No Doubt. BEST. DAMN. GIRL POWER song. This was my anthem in high school and beyond. There are some songs that never age and this is one of them. 
  9. In the Meantime by Spacehog. Okay, so this may seem like an odd song to have listen, BUT there’s a reason. In high school I had ONE boyfriend and we broke up senior year. Every weekend in the summer, my sister and I (and MAYBE another friend) would head to Galveston. We’d drive up and down the seawall in her Tacoma with the sunroof open BLARING music. This song was sure to play and every time I hear it, I think of her. (Have you read MTL??? It’s in there!!)
  10. Pride & Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughn. There is NO explanation necessary. I love all of his music.

So there you have it. My “explanation” for my top 10. What are your top 10 songs??

XO
~T