It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a music Monday. But there’s no way I can’t not do one for this guy, who I’m SO EXCITED will be playing at The Emerald Thread on August 7th for our 1st Birthday Celebrash.
So as I’ve grown more and more pregnant, I’ve been limited on how I tend to my commitments. My friend Rachel Grubb, a resident musician and volunteer for The Emerald Thread, is holding down the fort and getting ish done for our gatherings. She is the one that recommended Ricky Kendall play for our August gathering, and booked him for the event. I typically don’t listen to any of the musicians before they play for us, either because they don’t have anything hard/virtual to send me, or because I’d really just rather it be a surprise.
I finally gave Ricky a listen last week, and I was pretty blown away. I listened to his song “Family Tree” first, and of course it got right to the center of me. This guy knows how to write a song.
Ricky is a musician-in-residence for UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine, offering musical therapy to patients. The video below with Jamal is one of the guy’s he’s worked with (it got me in the feels big time). You definitely need to read more about what he does with Shands and their patients here.
Check out his website as well! If you’re in Central North Florida around August 7th, come on over to the Downtown Arts Center in Lake City and catch a free performance by Ricky and some other musicians. I promise, you won’t leave disappointed.
I was going to wait until the end of the week to share these with ya’ll, but since my body likes to go in and out of labor, I figured it’s better to get it out now before I push a baby out. After that, I’ll probably be out of commission for a little bit. So, in lieu of Middle School Megan today…
About a month ago, our good friends, The Macarages, drove down to Florida from Washington. Yes… they drove clear across the country for some vacation time with family and friends. We were dying to see them and their two little girls, Harper and Finley, and had a really great visit. Ashley has a photography business, Olive and Mae Photography, and wanted to give us a little family photo session. We’ve never done one before, as all of our “familly” pictures are either phone shots or ones we’ve tried to take ourselves. I was really looking forward to this photo session, as Ashley is great at what she does.
The shot above is probably my favorite out of all of them. I love that she captured the true nature of our little family, as we do laugh a whole lot together. I think Abe was talking about poop and it got us all going. We decided to take the pictures at Alligator Lake Park, where Daniel and I had our wedding ceremony. It’s a beautiful park, but the tricky part was that it closes early, and we needed that good golden hour light (which in the summer, is at like 7:30). It was also raining ALL DAY that day, but the sun came out just in time. We managed to get some really sweet shots. Daniel and I exchanged vows under that tree above in front of all of our friends and family. I can’t believe that’s already 5 1/2 years ago.
I think a year and a half ago, I would have DIED at the thought of putting pictures of my huge, pregnant belly up on the internet for all to see. I think that explains why our pregnancy picture we shared with everyone from Abe’s pregnancy was a goofy one- my insecurity was so strong and I needed it to be funny to distract from the large-ness of my physique. But I wanted to go for it this year. There’s nothing to be ashamed of- I’m growing a human being in there. I looked up pregnancy photos and found a lot of cute outfit options (and a lot of not-so-cute/gross options as well), but I went with this dress from H&M. Green is my favorite color, and the dress was simple and comfy. I got Abe that cute little jean button down shirt at H&M as well, and those moccasins his Mimi brought back to him from North Carolina last fall. They are almost too small, but he was a sport and wore them for me anyway.
It was so hot outside that day, even at 6:30 in the evening. We were all dripping with sweat by the time the owners came around to kick us out at 7. Abe was not the happiest camper, as he thought we were going to just snap some photos and then let him play on the playground- but we didn’t have enough time. I wish they would keep that park open a little later in the summer! Obviously the sun is still way up in the sky. Alas, it’s still one of my favorite places in Lake City.
You guys, this pregnancy has been completely different than my pregnancy with Abe, by far. Except for the recent going into labor a little early (which is what my body did last time as well), I’ve felt a lot less stressed out this time around. I know that comes with being familiar with the territory, and I’m so thankful for that. The first child is hard and scary because from pregnancy and on, you have nothing to reference and no idea what to do. Every decision feels like the fate of your child’s life is in your hands, down to the diapers you decide to use. I know there’s going to be plenty of new challenges I’m met with, as having two kids is completely different than having one (so I hear… I wouldn’t know). But I’m looking forward to meeting squishy Emery Levi and starting yet another new adventure.
I’m also really looking forward to normal pants and whiskey again.
I hate it when I get ahead of the game with my posts and have them done the night before, and then one day of focusing on other things throws me off. I also hate that the last sentence is probably not a well structured sentence.
Blah. Ok. So back to square one (Talk about a Negative Nancy this morning, geez).
So KONY2012… we’ve all heard about it, and I’m sure everyone that has heard about it has something to say of the matter, whether it be good or bad.
Well before I get into it, I just want to first say this (and this is not something I will do often, because normally I appreciate contrasting opinions to my own): If you have something not nice to say about KONY2012, I’d rather you just keep it to yourself as far as this post goes. I understand all the pro’s and con’s and have heard every pessimistic and cynical view in the book about the issue. But until you have a well planned and financially backed solution for the surrender of the LRA, then your negativity doesn’t do any good. I lovingly ask you not to discourage those who have the passion to at least do SOMETHING.
Ok, so now that that uncomfortable part is over… I am super excited for Cover the Night on Friday the 20th! If you haven’t seen KONY2012: Part II, I recommend you go now and watch it. The video addresses a lot of the issues that people had with the first video and goes into more detail about the plan and how we can all do something. The awareness around the world right now about this issue is incredible, and it makes the hairs on my arms stand straight up.
Something someone said in the second video really caught me. I’ve heard a lot about how we need to just stay here and take care of our own country. But one of the guys interviewed in the video talked about how Kony and his rebel army are terrorizing four countries in Africa right now. FOUR. Now according to our standards, that is a threat to the world community and calls for collective action. And personally, the argument that we need to to deal with our own country’s problems has never really made sense to me. Why not do both? The homeless guy downtown and the child being tortured in Africa are just as much my neighbors as my actual neighbor next door. We are all humans on this planet together. It is not o.k. for me to ignore the orphan and the widow in another country simply because I was born in this one. I won’t ever buy that plea, no matter how intelligent the argument may be. Another thing I like about the second video is that they specify that if you want to serve globally, you have to start locally. There’s the answer to that.
So here’s the dealio: I’ve got 250 donated KONY2012 posters that Lake City needs to see Saturday morning, the 21st. That means I need a team of people to help me put these posters up Friday night. Now this isn’t some crazy, illegal stunt that we are going to pull. This will be respectful and non-destructive action. Again, go watch the second video and see how it’s done, or watch the first if you haven’t got around to that one yet either!
Here’s where I get really vulnerable for a minute. The truth is, I am a VERY PASSIONATE person. But I am TERRIFIED of what people think of me, a struggle I am currently being stripped of right now. I know there is the chance that every one of my friends that reads this that lives in Lake City may think I am a complete fool. And if that is the case, well then I am one of millions. I’m gonna choose to be o.k. with that. I’m not special, I just want to take advantage of every chance I get to do something that involves putting my self aside.
This campaign hopefully will be an incredible, worldwide success that results in Joseph Kony’s capture. This is a chance to bring about global unity, even if it is for a few minutes. Sounds like a piece of heaven to me. There’s also the possibility that this could fail. But if that is the case, at least we can say we tried.