The other day my 3 year-old niece, Janae, squeezed me as tight as she could in her little arms and declared possessively, “My Beemoo!”

I scooped her up and relished being in the ownership of such a charming adorable little individual when she informed me, “Beemoo’s a girl.”

“Oh, right. Good job! What is Janae?”

“Wanae a girl.” And then she continued, “Gamma a girl, Hannah a girl, Mommy a girl. Daddy a boy. Gampa a boy. Wevi a boy.”

“Wow! You are so good!” I affirmed excitedly. Just then her brother Landon breezed by. “What’s Landon?” I asked.

“Nannon a boy… No….” Her brow furrowed deeply in concentration. “No, he a dude.


img_4016.jpgReality strikes can be frightening, especially when you’re 200 miles away from home, in a bustling, crowded, unfamiliar city with heavy traffic and most of what you’ve known and all you’ve ever cared for were the country towns that didn’t even have a traffic light.

So there I was, trying to navigate through vehicles, hoping to have a chance to turn on to the correct crowded street as soon as I should happen to locate it when fact intercepted on the recesses of my overloaded cranium. “Britt, you have GOT to be the craziest person in the world!” And in crashed reality. I mean, really, exactly who in their right mind would undertake such a venture with little to no preparation time? With a sick feeling ever growing more acute in the pit of my stomach I calculated the extensiveness of this craziness.

  • My older sister took 3 months to practice one song on the piano. She performed it live (at her wedding no less) and still managed to mess up once (oops, the secret’s out now). I had two days to practice for two CDs, and now here I was on my way to a studio to record piano background for seventeen songs.
  • For six of the songs I had the words and a rough sketch of the chord implantation—penciled in at 11 PM the night before. The other eleven I would have to wing, relying on nothing but my ear.
  • I had the grand total of the hours in a mere afternoon to accomplish the recordings, and in two different studios.
  • I had never recorded before and had no idea what to expect, other than a producer telling me to do it again and again and again and again.
  • Green Bay was a large, unfamiliar town… And rush hour was taking on new, fresh meanings.
  • My one passenger and directional navigator (my younger sister) was having a bad day when it comes to retaining wits around her. How many times can a person look for their sunglasses in a day—especially when they happen to be perched on their own head? Could I really trust her?
  • And just to top it all off, I had but a few hours of restless sleep the night before, dreaming about the CD projects being fouled, getting in an accident, and everything else that was sure to happen.

Let’s just say I was trying not to freak out too bad here. I needed to keep hold of my cool, calm and collected composure because my mom was already worrying herself sick about me. It wasn’t helping that my sister had left part of her brain still sleeping on her pillow back home.

It was a moment of sheer desperation.

God, please don’t ask me what I’m doing, because I sure don’t know. Don’t tell me I’m crazy—I realize that, and can’t do much about it anymore. I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know where this is going, I don’t know how things will end up. All I know is that I’m at the end of my own resources, my rope is fraying and I’m pretty sure I’m going under. I thought You were the One putting me up to this anyway, and I jumped in feet first figuring You were going to catch me. I’m doing this for You. I want You to be glorified even if I manage to fall on my head. Please give me grace to accept and deal with the failure that’s sure to ensue.

Not the most saintly, spiritual, faith-filled prayer ever prayed. But that’s exactly how I felt, and since God knows my heart I figured it wouldn’t work very well to pretend I was full of confidence in this undertaking. I have to admit, it did help me feel a wee little tiny bit better.

Arriving at the first studio, the musicians I was playing for introduced me to the producer as Stephanie. We were off to a good start. For goodness sake, nobody can keep my name straight! “Um actually, I’m Brittney. Nice to meet you.”

A little over an hour later the producer deemed it a done and excellent deal while the musicians were complaining of facial muscle aches from smiling. They declared it was way better than they even expected and were thrilled with the outcome.

What? God, did you hear that? This is really done? This was actually a success? I mean, I believe in miracles and everything, but this was outstanding! Did this really happen?

The next studio was a little more challenging, with equipment that wasn’t as high-tech as the previous one and I’m pretty sure the ill-fitting, un-adjustable headphones put a few extra creases in my ears and a couple dents in my skull. I didn’t so much as have a sheet with chords to follow either and was playing strictly by ear. I had to do more retakes than at the previous studio but thanks to technology and the ability to edit and “punch in” (a producer term) I didn’t need to be there until midnight just for the first song.

It wasn’t long after 4 PM that we were walking out of that studio, with even some mandolin recording (cheers to the girl who can’t keep track of her sunglasses!) for three songs.

I was home before 9; having spent around 450 miles on the road, 4 ½ hours in studios, and dinner out thanks to Bud and Tom. My mind was reeling with the tangible evidence of God’s hand in my entire day—from holding the steering wheel, keeping me awake, to guiding my fingers on the keyboard.

The moral of the story is, never underestimate the outcome of crazy moments with God.

::Photos of the Day::

Shelton’s Love Song. Special thanks to Rachel Marie for the Hat Tip

{S W E E T}

 Today marks the end of the brutal cold spell we’ve been having. It seems almost hard to believe that we can finally anticipate some warmer weather here in this frozen wasteland known on the map as Wisconsin.
I have been pining away for Spring ever since the first time the thermometer touched the -50 mark many moons ago.  
 I realize maybe some of you may be even farther north than myself (a special hello to you arctic dwellers who read my blog!), so I really do hate to rub it in that we’re getting warmer weather. But if the following numbers in the forecast seem a mite depressing for you (because we’re getting it before you), go make yourself a nice warm cup of coffee. Believe you me, java has been my lifeline through the last several months of plummeting temperatures. (Maybe you should set the pot to brewing now before you read what’s to be read after the following picture of a freezing horse known around here as FaLize.)
So I checked the forecast this morning and there’s a warm front moving in. Today will be all of (get this, folks…) Four Degrees. Yes, you heard right! And that would be four degrees above zero, in case you might happen to wonder. Sure, there’s a chance of snow, and there’s still that windchill that knocks the dew-point to -12°F (-24°C). But really, it’s not that big of a deal, because the official technical temperature stands above zero. Could this be a record high? And what’s even more, there’s a heat wave rolling in on Wednesday, according to the weatherman (of course, he does have that reputation of dashing our hopes, but it’s nothing more than a mere damper on the excitement). They are predicting a high of 22° fahrenheit. Who wants to hit the beach with me?

15-11.jpgMy current occupation entails the combination of aunt and nanny-hood. That means my hair is subjected to regular sessions with big green combs, eager fingers, and very interesting conversation. Tonight was one such session.

 “Why does it make tracks in your hair, Britt?” Landon asks me as he pulled the comb through my hair. I try to explain to his three year-old intellect the facts of life when it comes to combs making tracks in blonde tresses, inserting a few “oooh, be careful, that hurts!”

(Allow me to interject a slight disclaimer–he is actually pretty gentle when combing my hair, just has a slightly painful episode every now and then…)

He wrenched the comb through my hair again. “It’s stuck, Britt. You can be tough.” Followed by a violent jerk and a quick change of subject. “You should really go to the doctor.”

 “What?” I exclaimed, suddenly concerned he may have partially scalped me. “Why do I need to go to the doctor?”

“Well, if you have a baby. You should go to our doctor. She can let you hear the baby’s heart beat. It goes, ‘tchk, tchk, tchk’. She pokes it into your tummy like this,” he climbs around to be in front of me and demonstrates by jabbing his hand under his rib cage, “And then you get to hear your baby’s heart beat.”

He returned to his combing post and continued his train of thought. “How many more months until you have a baby, Britt? Three? Four?”

 He paused for a split second, and then he added sympathetically, “God should really give you a baby.”

by Katie Marie 

Living in Wisconsin for the past 18 years I’ve learned a lot about our “Frozen Tundra”!

I wrote last July about the different categories of cold in my post “Coffee and Cold”.

 Today I will expound on the varying levels of winter driving.

 Indeed, there is a big differences! There is the minor category, and medium category, and then you have the more treacherous level I will call White Knuckled Driving.

That is what we’ll focus on today.

Ah yes, WKD (White Knuckled Driving). I got a chance to drive in some of that last weekend when a two day storm blew through our area.

It started out with Minor winter driving with rain and then rain turned into thick rain, to freezing rain, to wet snow, to nice large fluffy snow to itty bitty icy snow driven by gusting winds. 

By this time conditions were well into WKD weather.

I had to work the weekend. It is a 30 min drive one way in good weather. Saturday, like I said, was minor. But by the time Sunday came around we had a a good foot of snow with large drifts and roads slicker than snake snot.

When I came home most of the roads had not been plowed and there was a layer of ice beneath the snow. I knew the instant I got out of the parking garage and onto the road
that it was going to be a WKD drive home.

Its like this:

You pull out of the parking lot and turn your blinker on to turn out onto the road and slowly put on the gas. Your wheels spin before gaining traction, once traction is gained you turn out onto the road with the back of your car sliding out sideways. Once you gain control of your vehicle you slowly plow through the snow till you have to stop at a stop
sign. Giving yourself twice the stopping room you hold the brake down and let the Anti Lock Brake system do its thing. Once coming to a sliding stop you make your turn. And since you slid into the intersection already you just turn your wheels and keep going. Once you hit the interstate you hit the plowed roads. Your speed creeps up to 40-45mph at the most so you can make it through the drifts. Once in a while some fool driver with 4 wheel drive who thinks he’s invincible will come flying past you. The wind blows your car sideways, as your going 40-45mph.  Your already white knuckles clench tighter and an intake of breath is taken and held until you feel your tires have traction again.

 Then the fun part.

 Getting off the plowed, glare ice interstate you get on an exit ramp. An unplowed exit ramp.  Again, as you fish-tail a little you remind yourself to breath. Once coming to a brief halt at the intersection you pry your fingers off the steering wheel to let some blood take residence in the capillaries.

Stopping to get gas in fun too. Praying mightily that you won’t hit the pump, you slide into place. Pushing the door open against the screeching wind your breath gets blown away. Once the gas tank is full you feel confident that if you should slide into a ditch somewhere you won’t freeze to death.

The rest of the way home is similar to what I have already described.

Once home, you again pry your fingers of the steering wheel and give thanks to God that you made it!

Believe it or not, I am not exaggerating! But don’t take it for complaining! I love this stuff! It is mighty exhilarating! I may not say so if I actually did end up in a ditch somewhere, but hey, it would be an adventure! I love WI and winter!

Given an option, I would take WKD ANY DAY over city driving!

img_0062.jpgKatie Marie is an active young lady with a heart for the Lord. She lives in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, particularly enjoying the outdoors and EMS work, not to mention her own sweet pair of darling nephews.

submitted by Katie Marie


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