Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Am Enough

I think God sometimes allows us struggle to force us into asking people for help.

Don't misunderstand me...I'm constantly asking God for help. I would actually really appreciate it if He would just come help me personally every time I pray - instead of sending people to help me. I get so awkward when I need help from people. It's so uncomfortable. Admitting that we need help to anyone other than God somehow feels like we're admitting defeat, or weakness, sometimes, doesn't it?

Writing 'I Am Enough' was one of those situations for me.

Remember the disappointing phone call I had with Bart that prompted me to write "Possible"?

A similar phone call happened several months later - as recording-time was fast approaching. We had chosen songs for the EP, booked the studio, contracted some of my favorite people to play on the record, and were sitting pretty...or so I thought.

As fate would have it, I was tasked with writing a handful of NEW songs for consideration just a few weeks before we were scheduled to cut the album. 

I knew I was going to need  help from someone...and I was absolutely dreading it.

Enter: the incredibly talented and unbelievably kind Justin Cash. (have you heard his music?! do yourself a favor and look him up immediately. and then be his best friend bc you'll seriously never meet a nicer person.) We had never written together before, but I had performed with him on the Time Out for Women tour and - let me tell you - he is bananas talented. He was gracious enough to spend some time and energy helping me get out of my songwriting funk.

After tons of emails and song ideas being bounced around, I sent him the idea for "I Am Enough" as the hook of a song. 

I wanted to write a song based around the idea of being enough because, let's be real, being a woman who really believes she IS enough these days can be challenging, right?? We're sent so many mixed messages about loving who we are but then we're simultaneously taught to never 'settle' - we need to be more confident, more educated, more spiritual, more desired than the next woman. We often base our worth on how we appear physically - whether we're thin and loving it/hating it, super muscular and loving it/hating it, the clothes we wear, the way our make up looks, our hair, shoes, accessories, etc. If we aren't valuing ourselves on how we appear physically, then it's intellectually or financially that we compare, compare, compare all day long - whether we think we're better OR worse than whoever else. 


We've got. to. stop. it. 

anyone else out there know what I'm talking about??

*note: I'm 100% guilty of doing this and I try everyday to love myself the way I believe God loves each of His children; not only for myself, but for my daughter who will watch and learn how to love herself based on how I love myself.

After mulling the hook idea over, Justin sent me his brilliant idea for the first verse and chorus. It was exactly what I had wanted to write myself but couldn't make happen on my own. I wrote the second verse and bridge and BOOM. Co-writing success story!

You may think it's kind of ironic that a song about being enough was born from a situation when I definitely needed help and, therefore, wasn't - in fact - enough. Haha. I didn't have enough creativity, I didn't have enough energy...I wasn't able to write that song on my own. 

If you read the lyrics, though, that's kind of what the song is all about: even when we're flawed and failing, we are enough because we are His. God created each of us, and believes in and loves each of us. Because of Him, we ARE enough - no matter how much help we need along the way.

If I was a painting
I would be the kind of painting
That you paint a million times before it's right
Brush strokes on a canvas
It's supposed to be a sunset
But it looks like pink and orange had a fight

But greatness doesn't happen overnight...

I am enough
I am enough
Though I'm far away from perfect
There is more beneath the surface
I'm still rough
But I am enough
I am not yet what I could be
But I'm happy just to be me
I'm enough

If I were a sculpture
I would be the kind of sculpture
That looks really great from three feet further back
Coming closer to me
Imperfection is all that you'd see
Chipped and flawed, but learning to like me like that

I'm not there yet, but I'm on the right track

I am enough
I am enough
Though I'm far away from perfect
There is more beneath the surface
I'm still rough
But I am enough
I am not yet what I could be
But I'm happy just to be me
I'm enough

It might be true - I've still got a little way to go
Some ways to grow
But each day I'm better
I keep a skip in my step walking down the road
Each day try a little more
To remind the woman in the mirror

I'm enough
I am enough
Though I'm far away from perfect
There is more beneath the surface
I'm still rough
But I am enough
I am not yet what I could be
But I'm happy just to be me
I'm enough
You, my friend, are enough. 

If you ever find yourself struggling to feel and believe that you are enough, I invite you to join me in listening to this song on repeat to remind ourselves.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Living Water

 Living Water music video shoot

Sometimes co-writing isn't super easy. It can be really intimidating to sit down with a stranger (like someone who makes a living by writing music full-time - now, THAT'S talent, folks!) and say, "Hey! I had an idea about a song. It goes like this...[imagine me playing wrong notes on the piano and getting embarrassed and having to start over five times]." Haha. That's how co-writing generally happens in my life. Sounds fun, right?

I had the opportunity to write with Jeremy Christiansen (He wrote "Don't Let Go" on Gentri's latest album!) for Living Water, though, and he made the entire day fun and easy and super productive. He was even kind enough to sing the back-up vocals on the final recording! (His voice is so dreamy, isn't it?!) Sometimes you sit down to write with another musician and everything just...flows. There's a kind of magic in making music with someone who gets your passion and drive. Writing a song about faith, doubt, redemption, and renewal happened organically as we talked about our testimonies and the power of sharing our beliefs through music.

There have been times in my life (like recently) when I've needed divine help. That's actually kind of an understatement - so, let me rephrase: There have been times in my life when I've needed divine intervention...when I've felt like I need more than just a sprinkling of spiritual fulfillment, I've needed a deluge. A monsoon. A raging river of heavenly help to fill me and wash away the doubt and fear and failure I feel. Living Water is a song about the power of the gospel; the way our relationship with God can completely fill us and our needs, IF we invite Him in. When we turn our hearts heavenward and ask in faith, believing that we will receive, He sends us support and strength - sometimes in unexpected ways.

Like a fire, consume my weakness
Burn His message in my soul
Laying bare a new horizon
Where seeds of faith can grow

Hope planted in a thirsty ground
His grace and mercy pouring down

Rushing, living water
Flowing endlessly
Blessed, living water
Oh filling me

Shifting sand below my feet now
As I reach up, He steadies me
As I walk through this desert
Living water is all I need

And when my strength is wearing thin
He sends His spirit pouring in

Rushing, living water
Flowing endlessly
Blessed, living water
Oh filling me

Cleansing water
Healing me

To all who thirst: Come drink it in
And you will never thirst again

Rushing, living water
Flowing endlessly
Blessed, living water
Oh filling me

He is the source of strength that we each need to make it through the challenges of this life. Jesus Christ is our Savior, the foundation of the living water of the gospel, our life-giving, sustaining force.

To all who thirst: Come drink it in, and you will never thirst again.

I believe that with all my heart.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunshine in My Soul

It seems like some mothers are so naturally perfect. I see them on their social media feeds lovingly preparing healthy snacks multiple times a day, planning adorable coordinating outfits, avoiding television and other brain-melting activities. They're beautiful and organized and probably shave their legs.

If I'm being honest, I only occasionally accomplish any of those tasks.

It isn't for lack of trying, though. I DO try. I also fail, though. Lots. And I guess that's just life.

(I realize that my perception of these "naturally perfect" moms probably isn't an accurate reflection of reality. It's like the cosmetic accounts on Instagram that I follow...put the right filter and lighting on something and BOOM. Flawless!) (question: does anyone know where I can find a real-life filter for my face? thanks.)(follow up question: am I the only weirdo who follows cosmetics accounts?! if I could get Anastasia Beverly Hills to be my best friend that would be ideal.) (ok back to my story:)

I write songs for Violet almost everyday. They generally center around whatever activity I'm trying to talk her into at the moment. For example, here's a song that I sang to V tonight:

Hey baby Violet
You are so stinky
Come here and let me change you
You little crazy twinky!


(I think it's important for you to know that I also do REALLY cool dance moves when I sing her songs like that.) (why am I putting everything in parenthesis tonight!?)

The problem I've run into when I've tried to write serious songs about her, though, is that a lot of our time together has been challenging. If you've read any of the blog posts here from the last year, you know that she's struggled with GERD and, unlike most babies, she hasn't outgrown it. We don't sleep very well at our house, and that means cranky Mom and cranky/sleep-deprived/defiant toddler. It's not always pretty...which makes me feel inadequate and sad as I scroll through my social media feeds seeing the perfect moms I mentioned earlier.

For What Heaven Feels Like, I needed to write a song that captured the JOY of having her in my life while still conveying the struggle of our story. As I sat down with the fabulously talented singer/songwriter Dustin Christiansen and pitched the idea of simply covering Sunshine in My Soul in an updated/upbeat way for the album, he suggested that we weave in stories about Violet into the song itself. Genius!

In no time at all we had written a rough version of what is now Sunshine in My Soul on the EP! As much as I wanted to write a song that would appeal to mothers with children of all ages, I'm happy that it references this toddler stage of her life. The flight of stairs she's always running down, how quickly my exasperation melts away with her little laughs and mischievous face, how much MORE she teaches me everyday just by being alive than I could teach her in a lifetime of planned lessons...even on my darkest days, she brings light and love and laughter into my heart.

Ready set go
She is off and running down
Stairs where she knows
She's not s'posed to go

I reach to scold her
Instead just hold her
She is
She is the sunshine in my soul

Oh there's sunshine
Blessed sunshine
She is the sunshine in my soul
Oh there's sunshine
Blessed sunshine
She is the sunshine in my soul

I'm hers completely and
She completes me even
Even when it feels like I've lost
all control

My one wish would be
To teach her half
Of what she's teaching me
She is the sunshine in my soul

Oh there's sunshine
Blessed sunshine
She is the sunshine in my soul
Oh there's sunshine
Blessed sunshine
She is the sunshine in my soul

And there is music in my soul today
And hope and peace and love
And endless praise

Oh and sunshine
Blessed sunshine
When the peaceful, happy moments roll
Like when Jesus shows His smiling face
There is sunshine in my soul

Oh there's sunshine
Blessed sunshine
She is the sunshine in my soul
Oh there's sunshine
Blessed sunshine
She is the sunshine in my soul

One last thought:
I spent years asking God for this baby. I was afraid that motherhood would never happen for me, and it caused endless amounts of heartache and sadness and frustration in my life. I know there are many women who know exactly what that feels like, and who are carrying that same grief and burden. Can I share with you a talk that helped me immensely when I was right smack dab in the middle of that struggle? Given by an incredible woman who knows this same struggle personally? Here ya go. You are not alone, my friends. You are in company with some of the best women I know.


Thursday, July 23, 2015


I remember the exact moment when the inspiration for "Possible" came to me.
I was sitting in my sweltering, incredibly old, teensy-tiny apartment bedroom. Our apartment was built in the early 1900's, had no AC, and it was the middle of summer in Utah. I felt like I was living on the surface of the sun (if the surface of the sun had been covered in peeling, hideous plaster older than the dinosaurs). My baby hadn't slept in weeks. My husband was working two dead-end jobs (easily 12+ hrs/day) and hating every second of it. I never saw him except for midnight-5AM as I repeatedly got out of bed to quiet our screaming infant in between his shifts. We were struggling in every sense of the word - financially, mentally, physically, emotionally.

It. was. SO. hard.

In the middle of all the chaos, I was working my hardest to convince my team at Deseret Book to let me record a second album. I felt so strongly that the new music I had been writing needed to be recorded and released - but I also knew that there were several major roadblocks in the way. 

I had just gotten off of a phone call with Bart - he's my main guy at Deseret. This phone call had NOT gone the way I had hoped. Haha. I had sent over some demos...and, well...the reviews weren't stellar.

"It isn't that we don't LIKE the songs, Calee," he had told me. "They're great! We just need you to write something...uh...happier..?" 



I knew what he meant, though. The Waiting Place had more than filled the immediate need in my repertoire for slower, touchy-feel-y music. I needed upbeat, peppy songs. Songs that I could use during my performances to break up the make-you-cry songs. Songs that were about the JOYOUS parts of my faith and testimony and life.

The problem is that I was having a tough time writing music that felt peppy and happy. I was mostly writing songs that went "Lalala GO TO SLEEP FOR TEN DAYS, VIOLET...Ooo ooo WHEN WILL A DECENT JOB HAPPEN FOR MY POOR HUSBAND...yeah yeah oooohhh WHY IS LIFE HARD THIS IS THE WORST."

(You're sad THOSE songs aren't on What Heaven Feels Like, right?! Ugh. Everyone write Bart angry emails immediately.)


(please don't do that.)

I hung up the phone and sat there...deflated.

"This is impossible. Everything about my life. I can't keep going on 45 minutes of sleep at night - I'm ready to friggin' lose it. My marriage is going to fail if we NEVER see each other. I might just die from heat stroke before we ever move out of this apartment. There is NO WAY I have it in me to write the kind of music Deseret needs from me right now." (I'm being silly as I tell this story, but I'm 99% sure I was crying at this point.)

I looked out the window.
This is what I saw:

"They may as well ask me to move those huge freaking mountains."

Now, if you're anything like're constantly having conversations with yourself. Whenever I have a doubting moment, or an angry or negative moment, I generally try to pep-talk myself out of it. I try to work through the issue with scriptures that I know, or talks I've heard. If I can't think of any, I go searching for answers. It's pretty exhausting, but it helps me not be so crabby. "Possible" is quite literally the conversation that happened in my head that day.

As I sat there looking out the window, the first line of "Possible" popped into my head.

As I look at the task that's been given me
it might as well be a mountain I can't move.
The fear in my heart keeps me from starting 
and it seems
impossible to do
feels impossible to do. 

But then a small voice whispers to my heart,
"God doesn't give you battles you can't win"
and with that a tiny light of 
courage sparks -
"it's possible with Him... 
could be possible with Him."

And if He can raise men from the dead
He can surely make me whole again
It is possible

If He can calm the stormy sea
He can calm the storm inside of me
It is possible

If I find the trust to give Him
He'll give me courage that I need
to conquer all the battles I've been given
and overcome things that have felt impossible to me
all things are possible with Him.

Things are falling apart all around me now
I feel my fate and failures closing in
I want to believe, but really I just can't
see how
it's possible to win
feels impossible to win

But if He can raise men from the dead
He can surely make me whole again
It is possible

If He can calm the stormy sea
He can calm the storm inside of me
It is possible

If I find the trust to give Him
He'll give me courage that I need
to conquer all the battles I've been given
and overcome things that have felt impossible to me
all things are possible with Him.

Sometimes things in our lives really ARE impossible. 

Sometimes God (or WE) put(s) us/ourselves in impossible situations, and the only way to survive is to surrender our hearts to God through constant humility and prayer.

If we can muster enough strength to trust Him and His timing (easier said than done sometimes, amiright?), He'll give us the courage we need to face each new day and each new challenge. I truly believe that. I've experienced it over and over again in my life.

So there it is. The story behind Possible. 

Truth: I often listen to it on repeat because I need to remember the message and experience behind it. 

For every Bible verse that states all things are possible with God (reading this was like a spiritual Coke Zero for me), click here.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Royals by Lorde LDS Parody Calee Reed

You guys kept asking for it - so here it is! 
The lyrics are listed on the YouTube vid itself, 
so check there if you want to read/sing along!

Monday, July 20, 2015


Sometimes songs come from such a deep, personal place that it becomes difficult to explain them without feeling like you're reading a journal entry to complete strangers. Miraculous is a song like that.

Without going into too much detail (maybe someday I'll be brave enough to tell the whole, full story behind each part of this song), I wrote Miraculous about three different experiences/people in my life.

The second verse lyric is about my step-mom. (note: calling her my step-mom still feels so, so weird. she's more like a friend. she's Violet's 'Gran' and my close friend, Cynthia. that feels better.) She's a pretty incredible person. She wanted a baby for years; she watched all of her siblings marry and have kids, and she became the beloved aunt. She got married and spent years trying, unsuccessfully, to have children of her own. Knowing how badly I wanted Violet all through my twenties, I cannot even imagine the turmoil and hurt and ache that would accompany twenty plus years of pining for a baby. Being a member of the church and listening to weekly lessons on the joys of motherhood, the sacred calling of womanhood and motherhood, etc...would have driven me away from the gospel, I think...or at least have made attending church every week a challenge. Attending church every week when I was single and almost 30 was difficult enough as it was. See? Am I being too honest?

Talking to Cynthia about the heartache of that lengthy trial in her life, I've come to understand that she WASN'T always patient and understanding and 100% full of faith during those years - and that's ok. She struggled and cried and had dark moments. For. Years. She felt angry, she felt confused, she felt disappointment over and over again...*but* that's where the miraculous part comes in. Over the years of hurt and heartbreak, her faith and constant choice to turn to Christ for perspective and comfort changed her heart. Instead of staying in those dark, bitter, frustrated places (which would have been easy to do, I think), her heart was changed as she came to Christ.

"And yet with time, the same heart learns to let go and believe.
It sure sounds like a miracle to me."

Here are the lyrics to Miraculous:

I've never seen an ocean part
Or a mountain moved by prayer
I've never seen sun burn through night
Or an angel standing there
Some may say miracles of faith
Have gone and passed away
But I know there are miracles today

Yes, He moves in us
He is changing us
The way He works in our hearts is

A dream, a life well lived and yet
The sought for blessings pause
The heartbreak, fear and doubt ensue
With understated cause
And yet with time that same heart learns
To let go and believe
It sure sounds like a miracle to me

The one enraged who chooses to forgive
The one who's lost their will chooses to live
Of all the Father's miracles from greatest to the small
The changing, broken heart is most miraculous of all.

A heart betrayed, a broken soul
The ache of shattered lives
Transform that soul til it becomes
Patient, kind and wise
As incredible and unlikely as
A man who parts the sea
It sure feels like a miracle to me.

The kinds of miracles we experience and see most often in our day and age, I believe, are miracles of the heart. We experience growth and change that would be impossible without God and Jesus Christ. He takes our weakness and turns them into strengths. He takes broken promises and shattered lives and abuse and darkness and offers light, peace, forgiveness and freedom.

"As incredible and unlikely as a man who parts the sea,
It sure sounds like a miracle to me."


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What Heaven Feels Like

 Let's all appreciate my amazingly short hair, ok? ok. thanks.
2003 was not particularly kind to me.

Shortly after Mom passed away, I had an opportunity to go on a songwriting retreat up in Aspen Grove. For anyone who hasn't ever been's a fabulously beautiful campsite in up Provo Canyon. 

Sounds pretty magical, right? Trees, fresh air, beautiful mountain sunsets. Perfect spot to write an amazing song, right??



Unless that particular campsite was a place you had spent time before.

Before cancer. Before chemo. Before radiation. Before surgeries and hospitals and chronic pain your life turning upside down into a swirling pool of sadness, disappointment, exhaustion and despair.

I was really nervous.

I was afraid that I would maybe start crying as soon as I got there and not stop. I was afraid that if that happened, people would try to pep talk me out of it - or say sorry and be sympathetic - and that I would have to pretend that what they were saying was making me feel better for the simple fact that I needed them to stop. talking. to. me. immediately. (why is it that sometimes people trying to make you feel better makes you feel worse?! like - you pep talking me right now is making me want to rip out my eyeballs and I appreciate you trying SO much, but PLEASE STOP for the LOVE.)

Or that I would get really angry and dark and that the only things that would come out of me would be angry and dark...both in my music and in the way I interacted with my fellow songwriters. If THAT happened, then it would have been an emotionally exhausting waste of time all around.

SO. I made a beeline for an unfamiliar path as soon as I got there. Everyone wandered around commenting on how amazing it was and asking if I wanted to go explore over here (nope!) or over there (no way!) with them.

I ended up finding a little rock near a stream and sat down. A friend was sitting nearby. (incidentally, that friend now works with me at Time Out for Women! ha!) I tried to just get lost in the sounds of the birds and the stream...tried to immerse myself in anything OTHER than the memories that seemed to be saturating every part of that place.

After several minutes, I looked upstream - and my breath caught in my throat. A little cabin suspended over the stream where I had spent an afternoon taking a pottery class with Mom looked back at me. In that moment, I was flooded with feelings.

They weren't the feelings I had expected or feared, though...

I felt close to her. It was like I was surrounded by all of the happiness of that time spent with Mom. The sun breaking through the leaves and the beautiful mix of silence and the sounds of nature made that place feel almost sacred. Instead of feeling empty or angry, I felt...grateful. So, indescribably grateful for feeling her nearby. I felt whole and at peace and like the huge, gaping hole that had been haunting me everyday since Mom left had disappeared for a moment.

Feeling close to her, feeling whole, feeling at peace..."this must be what it feels like in heaven, when we're reunited with the people we love and won't ever have to say goodbye again", is the thought that ran through my mind. It was an experience I'll never forget.

I believe that we continue on after this life. I believe that families are forever. I believe that in that moment, my Mom was there with me...and I was quiet enough, and focused enough to recognize that she was. I bet she's around me frequently - but I'm too busy with life to sense her. I believe that your loved ones who have passed on spend time around you, too. Whether it be your baby, your teenager, your spouse, your sibling, your parent, grandparent - I believe they're with us...and we can feel them if we take the time to slow down and pay attention.

The lyrics that came to me that day ended up being the title track to my new EP - "What Heaven Feels Like". Here they are:

Running barefoot
Freckled faces, holding hands
With you
Fireside stories
Tired eyes, fall asleep
In your arms

Being in this place and feeling you close by my side
This must be what heaven feels like

Heaven feels like you with me, my dearest friend
Heaven feels like never being apart again
God must feel this way as we come home to Him
This must be what heaven feels like

Older now and I'm
back where we held hands
But you're gone
Memories chase me the
way you used to in the sun

The seasons change
but the patterns stay the same
What's winter now
will be springtime again
My broken heart
will eventually mend
We'll go on forever, and ever
Going on and on and on
and never end.

If you want to know more about my faith, feel free to comment or email me :) Or you can check out

Thanks for reading & for supporting my dreams & music & for not judging me for being really open about how ugly grief was on me (and still is sometimes).

Love you all.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In real life

 …these pictures were taken at 6AM in 35 degree weather. I couldn't feel my fingers or toes, and at one point the photographer wiped snot as it ran down my numb face because I couldn't feel it to wipe it myself. So glamorous.

You'd never know just looking at these shots, though, would you?? There's something magical about beautiful lighting and professional make up and photography. I feel lucky to have been a part of this shoot. Can't wait to show you more when 'What Heaven Feels Like' releases this summer!


Monday, May 18, 2015

This kid.

For anyone wondering - YES…she still has reflux.

She still takes medicine everyday. She sometimes fights it, but nothing like before. She still makes a sour, 'this-is-disgusting!' face haha. Poor kid.

She still wakes up multiple times most nights.

She still struggles with food sensitivities. She gets rashes and belly aches if something has even a hint of dairy, is too spicy, is too greasy, or too yummy. Ok, not yummy. But I'm sure she'll start feeling like that the older she gets.

She spits up sometimes. Most of the time it's during the night…I find it in her crib in the morning. A few weeks ago she spit up during church, though, so…that was fun.

Even though it's been a difficult journey, I'm so grateful we're out of those first several months. The first year, actually, was nothing short of hellish. The older she's gotten, though, and the more she can communicate, the easier things have become. I'm so thankful for medicines, for pediatricians and friends and acquaintances who have been so supportive and kind.

I've met several women as I've traveled the country who's children still have GERD. Like, teenage and adult children!! It's nice to know we aren't alone in this strange, toddler-aged reflux world. It's nice to meet women who are normal and sweet and functional after years of waking up all night. It gives me hope haha (that someday I might be normal, too!). (probably not…)

Sick or not, isn't she so dang cute?!?? Frick I love this child.


And then I peed on myself.

Once upon a time, I was called as ward choir director and I cried sad, scared tears right there in the office with nice Brother Powell. Also I told him NO. Like, 236 times. But somehow I ended up walking out of that office as ward choir director. (more details one blog post back)

A few weeks later, my Bishop told me that our ward had been selected to sing at Stake Conference.

We had three weeks to prepare.

Don't worry - we had about 7 people who were showing up to choir practice at that point. So.

I was freaking out.

By some kind of miracle (and the Bishop guilt-tripping the ward like bananas) we ended up with like 50 people in choir.

Kristina helped me pick out some music, my choir was sounding fab, and all was well.

The morning of Stake Conference, I chose a cute, lacy high-low dress to wear. I felt all MikaRose and fancy. (way to come through for me, Target!)

Right before our second number, I ran to the bathroom real quick. (anyone who knows me knows that I pee at LEAST a million times the day of performances. at Time Out for Women it gets especially ridiculous because I'm on and off stage so many times. I swear I need my own personal port-a-potty. ok, now I'm just getting gross. anyways.)

As I jumped up after using the facilities and rearranged myself, I realized something wet and slimy was clinging to the back of my legs…and I looked down in HORROR to see my HIGH LOW DRESS WAS DRIPPING.


I had FORGOTTEN about the LOW part of the dress…and it had dunked itself…into the toilet…

Cue me gagging and freaking out and trying to not scream as I jumped back and forth trying to keep the skirt from touching me. (this is a moment I will request to watch again in heaven. i'm sure i looked completely insane.)

My mind was racing - I didn't have time to go home and change, we were about to perform again! BUT I COULD NOT get up in front of the Stake with a dripping wet dress!!!! What on earth was I supposed to do?!!

In the seconds I had to think about it, I decided that the only option I had was to dry off as best I could with a paper towel, hold my head high and waltz back into the meeting as though I didn't smell like urine and look like I had fallen into a wading pool.

I went to the door of the meeting and waited for the speaker to sit down. He did.

I took a breath…closed my eyes…took a step into the room…

And the next speaker stood.

I couldn't believe it!! They had skipped the choir completely and had moved on!! GLORIOUS DAY!! Because the speaker just got up and started speaking, I had a few more minutes to go back to the bathroom and rinse/dry off ALMOST to the point that you couldn't tell the back of my skirt was wet. I also found some peppermint essential oil in my bag (I always keep it with me in case I find myself congested before a performance and don't want to take a decongestant that will dry me out too much!) and poured 90% of it on my skirt.

For the record - I can't believe I'm blogging about this. It's kind of like a humiliating journal entry that you pray no one ever EVER reads. I guess I find it oddly freeing to just tell embarrassing stories that make me want to die a little bit.

The second number was beautiful because my choir rocks.

So…the next time you find yourself in a horribly embarrassing situation and you're scrambling and not sure what to do - just know that you're not alone. It happens. Maybe blog about it. You might feel better.

PS I just remembered that I hung that dress back up in my closet instead of putting it in the hamper. Hahaha eeeww!!!! Dude. I need more sleep.

That is all.



It's been a while since I've had a calling (for anyone reading this who isn't familiar with the LDS faith -  a 'calling' is a job your Bishop assigns you…a service, really, since no one gets paid). Between moving a few times and being in Utah where there are a million people in every ward and hardly ever making it to all three hours due to an extremely fussy child…it's just been a while.

When I was finally summoned to meet with a member of the bishopric, I was a little apprehensive. I knew the time had come and my days of no-calling laziness were over.

"We'd like to extend the call of ward choir director to you!" said Brother Powell enthusiastically.

::cue instantaneous tears and freaking out::

::from me, not him:::


I tried to explain to him that I'm not a professional musician. I sing. I love music and I write my own songs and I perform for lots of people and love it, but standing in front 20 people (many of whom have more formal training and education than I do in music) and teaching CHOIR music to them..?? THAT, my friends, is truly terrifying to me. What if I accidentally lead a whole note like a half note?? What if I confuse the C with the D or get lost and tell them the wrong measure or sound like an idiot because I'm pretty terrible at sight-reading?!? YOU GUYS. I was sweating and crying and generally being a crazy hot mess.

Somehow I left that meeting having agreed to be ward choir director. I'm not sure how that happened. I'm pretty sure I told him NO at least a dozen times.

((OK, Ok….I DO know how it happened. After crying for a minute, I remembered that callings aren't extended to the people who are the most talented or qualified; in fact, most of the time callings are given as opportunities to grow and learn and develop new skills. I needed a minute to remember to be humble, and to be thankful Heavenly Father was giving me a new way to stretch a gift He gave to me. Yes, it was still absolutely horrifying and I still get so nervous before choir practice that I feel like I might throw up - BUT! - I'm putting myself out there. I'm doing my best and giving it my all and I can at least feel good about that effort. God wants us to trust Him, to do things that might scare us in the name of growth, experience and development, and to let His approval be the approval we value most.))

They'll probably release me soon. Not kidding. Because I'm really not that good at it hahaha.

But I'll still be grateful for the opportunity, and I'm glad for the reminder that He is most important - more important than my pride, more important than my skill, more important than my fear.

The end.

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