Yo Trippin

Oh yah mamas and papas.
There is dancing at my desk at this very minute.

iTunes shuffle uncovered a little forgotten gem that I now have on repeat, repeat, REPEAT.

*uninhibited desk dancing*


Mmm Mmm funky.

Yo Trippin.

Track 11.

*she dances some more*

Stop reading... go get it.
The whole album.

*she kicks her heels off and gets crazy*


DAY TEN: 10 Days of Gratitude

I'm thankful for laughter.

Nothing feels better than a good belly laugh. Or a baby laughing. Or laughing with someone.

I would laugh all day if I could. Even better, if I could make others laugh all day, I would.

The best part about laughter? It doesn't cost a thing and it gives so much.

On those days when laughter seems a long ways away, we've all got those people who know just what to do.  One of my favorite memories from this past year, was Denice and I reading the DamnYouAutocorrect text bubbles out loud as conversation over the phone.  I was sick of talking about all my crap... sick of everything... and she said, "Let's go look at DYAC." We proceeded to spend two hours laughing our asses off. (Thank you, Denice.)

Seriously, try it. You won't regret it.

Today, I'm thankful for laughter.

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. (Job 8:21 NLT)


DAY NINE: 10 Days of Gratitude

Thankful for Nashville.

12 years... plus infinity. That's how long I'll be here.

In Nashville, I've pursued two careers.

During the day, I get to help come up with solutions for my clients that move the needle forward.  I get to work with teams of incredibly talented people who have a passion for marketing and serving. I'm just home from a meeting in Memphis where we're getting to make plans to move things forward. Strategically. It jacks me up. I hope I get to do this for a long long time. Not only does it afford me the life I lead, but it really helps me know that the last 25 years of my day gig career, I've learned a ton and have the experience to contribute in a way that will help propel things forward... I'm serving and making things happen. By the grace of God, I'm able to make a difference.

Musically, I've found myself in Nashville. From songwriting, to playing guitar, to sessions, to performing, to evolving as a BGV singer,  to meeting some of the most incredible people and friends... I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. By the grace of God, I am here... fulfilling all my dreams.

Day and night.

No matter what personal issues I'm working through, my career, music and amazing friends get me through. I'm a comin' out of the fog peeps... and it is good. Thank you for helping me live my dreams. No regrets.

Can't Nobody but God + more Jeanne vids...

AND, there's more to come. Music City is the place where I continue to evolve into myself and have found my voice.  This chapter is just the next step....

Can't wait.

Nashville is where I was meant to be. I hope I take my last breath here... among the good souls I've met, among the music that is in my soul.

Today, I'm thankful for Music City.

1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT
"That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”"


DAY EIGHT: 10 Days of Gratitude

I'm thankful for the one and only Tank Petersen.

Tanky Tankerton
Look at that face? You can totally see why, right?!

He's smart. He's funny. He thinks I'm the bomb dot com.

And, well, I think he is, too.

Tank's a little ham and provides hours of entertaining distraction with his antics. So many tricks and commands in his arsenal. "Sit." "Lay down." "Wait." "Ok." Those are the staples. He flips treats off his nose and catches them. He also plays dead if I point and shoot him with my finger, catches a frisbee like a badass (and pretty much anything I throw his way). When he gets in trouble, all I have to say is "go to your mat" and he goes. Stays there until I say, "OK".  He even rings a jingle bell hanging on the front door knob to let me know when he wants to go outside. When we go for walks, he heels on command and doesn't drag me all over the place. And, if I even say the word "ride" he goes out of his mind with excitement... He'll do anything for a ride in the car. Most of the time I have to spell it out to minimize the length of flippage. "Walk" in any context gets the same reaction.
Tanky Livn' Large @ the dog park

Tank is also my protector... my built in security guard.  I defy anyone to not be a little scared of his bark.  It's loud, assertive and I have no doubt he's freaked more than one visitor out. Sorry, peeps. But, I don't mind that he's that way. Tanky would totally have my back if anyone tried to bust in the house or hurt me. I'm okay with the occasional delivery person or maintenance person feeling a little uncomfortable. When I had my house alarm worked on last fall, the alarm dude said, "With him... you don't need an alarm." Pretty comforting.

If only they knew that he becomes a furry earthquake at the hint of a thunderstorm. He's chill most of the time... until someone comes to the door.  Tanky loves loves loves visitors. (Thank you friends who've had to work around the first 5 minutes of arriving here... and the obnoxious jealous bark that erupts if we hug goodbye.)

Not gonna lie, sometimes the responsibility of having a dog and three cats can be overwhelming as a single person with a day gig and active music life. (Parents... I seriously don't know how you do it. It's probably best that I never became a Mom. LOL)  But the benefits of having Tank, my loyal buddy, in my life way outweigh the occasional inconvenience.  And, I'm blessed to have Annette and Robin next door for those times when my day runs long or travel plans change.  They have helped me out in a pinch more than once... words can't express how much I appreciate it.

So, today is my Tanky day of Thanks.

GENESIS 9: 14-17
When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I shall recall the covenant between myself and you and every living creature, in a word all living things, and never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all living things. When the bow is in the clouds I shall see it and call to mind the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth, that is, all living things. `That' God told Noah, `is the sign of the covenant I have established between myself and all living things on earth.' 


DAY SEVEN: 10 days of Gratitude

Today... I'm thankful for Sundays.

Daryl. Crunchie on the outside. Soft on the inside.
Cross Point.
Cleaning. Purging my old life.
The Anderson's.
The Walking Dead.
Boardwalk Empire.

It doesn't get any better than this, folks.

Good times.
Good friends.
Hanging with Nashville peeps... Nashville family.

Freakin' good stuff.

I'm thankful for Sunday's.

Genesis 42:11 NLT: "We are all brothers—members of the same family."


DAY SIX: 10 Days of Gratitude

I'm thankful for songwriting.

Spent the afternoon "writing" with my brother in song, Jeff Anderson. We didn't finish a song, but we got some good stuff going on. And, among it all, shared our stories. Cause... well, that is what it is all about, right?!

Bluebird. Can't Nobody but God.
Writing has gotten me through the past 14 months. Some songs no one will ever hear, but the exercise helps me heal.  Here is Music City, we call it songwriting therapy. *smile*

God supplies the ideas... the words... and all I can do is channel them the best I can. It's the ultimate problem solving, writing a song. Figuring out the best way to say what you've got to say in 3 minutes or so. Finding the right melody, tempo, feel.

I'm so glad I live in Nashville. Where the words and the song are written best. I've learned so much... and still consider myself an amateur compared to most of my songwriting friends. But I'm here. And I'll keep writing. Hopefully until my last breath.

I'm grateful that God put songs in me. Hopefully, some of them will help others as much as they help me.

So today, I'm thankful for the gift of songwriting. 

Psalms 119:54 NLT
"Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived."


DAY FIVE: 10 Days of Gratitude

I'm thankful for family.

My actual family... and those in my life who've become family.

I'm thankful to have some really amazing, authentic, loving people in my life who like to talk and laugh as much as I do, who are always up for an adventure, who I would literally die for... and who know me better than me somedays.

Y'all know who you are... Thank you.

Matthew 5:14-16 NLT
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

DAY FOUR: 10 Days of Gratitude

I'm thankful for my parents.

Last night, a friend reminded me how lucky I am to have a Mom & Dad. Not everyone does.  Sometimes I take that for granted. My parents are with us, livin' large and enjoying life.

Next week, they hit Music City. They're driving from Nebraska to hang with me over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We haven't been face-to-face since Christmas 2011.

We may be getting into some trouble around town... so watch out Nashville. Three Petersen's will be on the loose, stirring it up.  (Translation:  Eating, watching TV, going for drives, napping and hitting the antique shops.)

Thank you, Mom & Dad.

Ephesians 1:16 NLT
"I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly"


DAY THREE: 10 Days of Gratitude

I'm thankful for music.

Shocker, right?

It's the thing that really propels me through life. The words. The groove. The melody.

I feel most alive when I'm sharing music.. whether it's performing, a session, a round, writing a song or seeing live music.

Just another reason Nashville is my home.

On any given night, there are so many choices. The hardest part about living here is deciding what not to see.

So... in celebration of music that jacks me up, helps me feel what I need to feel and rocks my world, here are some artists that you need to check out. They aren't necessarily mainstream... but they should be. Maybe this little post will give them all a few more fans. Some are the songwriters behind the songs you love... and they are the sheeot. Some are artists who are true to themselves and their music. Some are both. All will rock your world.

Please go listen... and if you love it. Buy it. K?

Karleen Watt
Lisa Carver
Travis Meadows
Levi Lowery
Eric Paslay
Jeffrey Steele
Jeff Anderson
Will Hogue
AJ Engstrom
Blue Mother Tupelo
Marion Grace
Rob McNelly
Brandi Carlile
Bonnie Bishop
Sam Hawksley
Jedd Hughes
Mingo Fishtrap
John Hiatt
Buddy Miller
Keb Mo
Ashley Cleveland
Emily West
Matt Maher
Hillary Linsdley
Rick Huckaby
Lee Roy Parnell
Dave Pahanish
Lee Roy Powell
Pat McLaughlin
Issac Hayden
Jimmy Hall
Gary Nicholson
Delbert McClinton
Cumberland Collective
Mindy Smith
Blackberry Smoke
Jonell Mosser
Bekka Bramlett

This is just a little sample... no way for me to list everyone.

Just listen. Feel the love.

And, then, support music you love by buying their CDs / downloading them on iTunes.

Cause I love these people and it's how they make their living.

You wouldn't want it any other way.

Thank you to music... for always finding a way to help me feel whole.

Psalms 135:3 NLT: "Praise the Lord , for the Lord is good; celebrate his lovely name with   music."


DAY TWO: 10 Days of Gratitude

I'm thankful for the word "yes".

It's amazing what those little three letters put together can bring into your life.

Oh the adventure of it all.

Of course, sometimes I end up sleeping less than I should. But at the end of my life I don't want to be known as someone who rested well.  I want to be known as someone who lived. Period.

There are so many things I wouldn't have experienced had I not said, "yes." Some of the most obvious are listed below... but what's really important among it all, are the relationships, friendships and stories that go along with "yes". There are so many who would be missing in my life today if I had said, "no."

No regrets on the Yes

Bonnie Bishop, Lisa Gray & Me 
Moving to NASHVILLE.  Freakin' LOVE this place. It's where I really get to be me. 100% of the time.  I love who I've become... and who I'm evolving to be living in Nashville. If you'd have told me 15 years ago, I'd be living here and experiencing all of it... I'd have said you were crazy. Writing songs, doing rounds at the Bluebird, performing on the Grand Ole Opry with Lee Roy Parnell, singing BGVs on stage with some of my favorite artists and people. Recording demos and background vocals on sessions.  Getting to hear my voice on the radio. Getting to tag along on the Paisly / Dierks tour, the LRP tour, Blue Mother Tupelo gigs. Learning to play guitar. Finding my tamborine groove. Singing with the Woodland Street Revival peeps.  And you know what the best part of this adventure is?  ALL of the like-minded, gracious, creative souls I've gotten to know.  Getting to know a some of my heros as friends. Sharing music with other people who love to share music. OMG.  All because we made the decision at the 11th hour to move here instead of Minneapolis.  *praise the Lord* We said yes.

View from the Top
Standing on Mt. Rushmore. That's what I said. You read correctly. ON IT with my friend Ann (Panerio) Deckert. I took the pic on the left myself with a real, film loaded, camera.  Mary (Ann's friend who got us behind the scenes on the mountain) took the one on the right... Ann and Me, sitting on George Washington's head. It was very windy. We climbed up the scaffold left behind by the artists. Scaled the rocks of the canyon behind the monument along side mountain goats. We stood in the "hall of records". These pics have been prominently displayed in every office I've had since 1993. Heck yeah... I'm glad I said yes.

Sunny Side-Up
Hot Air Ballooning. Crewing for Kay West (Prarie Sky) and learning to fly in Sunny Side Up (that balloon winking at you to the right) in the process. Amazing seven years. Every flight is a story... every chase an adventure... and I swear I remember every single one.  Taking skydivers up. Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere in Custer State park. Touching the tops of trees. Splash and dashes. Helping people get engaged. Married. Glows. Balloon races. Ahhhh. It was awesome. All because, in 1993, I said "sure. I'll come crew for you. sounds fun." Met some amazing friends among it all, too. Kay is the most gifted pilot. I still dream about flying... 12 years later.  Yes was the only option.

Cassy Petersen & Jime Lynn
Spelunking.  OMG. *she car high five's Cassy & Jime* It all happened over a bucket list discussion and a Groupon to spelunk at Cumberland Caves. We had no idea. None. Nada of what we were about to do. And there is only one way out folks.. through. It was the most amazingly fantastically frightening thing I've ever experienced. We were swung over a crevis by our guide. We crawled through a space that was less than 12 inches square for almost 20 feet. I was freaked out inside and out most of the way through. *she blacks out*  Oh holy mother of God, never again. But I'm still glad I said yes.

Josh, Me & Jake - Paramore Zippers
Zip-lining in WV.  On a Paramore work trip to Rivermen. AND... I was scared shitless pretty much every time I let go.  Am certain I made a complete fool of myself to my coworkers and the client. Especially when attempting to repel down at the end.  But, I don't care. It was so worth it. I highly recommend it. (If you try it, it's work the trip to Adventures on the Gorge in WV... they are the BEST place to white water raft.  Another thing I must try.) Glad I didn't chicken out.

Getting Hitched.  Seriously. I know it sounds crazy.  I never ever never ever never wanted to get married. Avoided it. Turned three people down in my 20s. Until the persistent one... Bandmates. Friends. Roommates. Spouses. We had an amazing run. We got to live the adventure together for a little more than 18 years.  Partners in crime.  It was totally worth it. Doesn't matter that it didn't turn out as we all hoped it would... it's still one of the best things I've ever done. I will never regret that I said yes.

Heck, yeah. I'm thankful for yes. Without it, I wouldn't feel alive.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT
"So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun."


DAY ONE: 10 Days of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is just 10 days away.  How in the heck did that happen?

To celebrate, I've decided to post something Thankful every day until the turkey hits the table.  

DAY ONE: I'm thankful for the sucky stuff.

Don't rub your eyes. You read that correctly.

Over the past year or so, I've spent a ton of time thinking about the past, the rest of my life and working towards acceptance of where my life is at this very moment. 

My goal is to get better and better at right now. Right here.  Not trying to control the future so much. Not trying to fix the past. Just being where I'm at and being okay with whatever that means.

One of the conclusions I've reached is that the sucky stuff requires the most gratitude. 

Not for the pain (that would be the sucky part). 

Instead, for the opportunity to become better. The opportunity to transform myself and re-record the whispers in my head to something more wonderful. The opportunity to use my experience to help others get through, too. The opportunity to lean into my faith, trust God and remember who's really in charge.  (PS: It's not me.)

There is no denying it. Sucky stuff, you really do suck. But you're lighting the way to a better life and helping me recognize challenges that I wouldn't be tackling had you not sucked. 

So, today... I'm thankful for the sucky stuff. 
Here's big ol' *THANK YOU HUG* from me.
Jeremiah 29:11"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."