Thursday, October 28, 2010


Fall is here (sort of?) in Texas!  I really miss the beauty of fall in New England, with all of the colors and the cool weather (why do Texans even own scarves?!), but we're having some good times here too!  Earlier in the month, we went out to a pumpkin patch with Ellie.  I also got super mommy-ish/domestic and hosted my first ever playgroup just today - all the kids had to wear their Halloween costumes and it was so fun!

At Bell Family Farm

Halloween costume playgroup.
With Hutch the Giraffe.  It looks like he's pointing at her and saying "Do you see this?!"
And Ellie does look like quite the mischievous lady bug, doesn't she?
Brandt, I think you win for best costume - a YODELER!
As you can see, I loved the fall leaves in New England.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ellie's 7 month video...

Hey guys!  I wanted to make Ellie a 7 month video, but I haven't had the chance to put it all together until tonight... And she's going to be 8 months in like a week! Oops!  Ellie gets more and more fun and interactive every month, and we are really enjoying her so much.

Enjoy the video!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things that Make Us Laugh: Bed Intruder Song

A hilarious (and catchy!) "Autotune the News" song!!! This is kind of old, but if you haven't seen it yet - it's hilarious!  If you haven't seen it before, watch the original news story first, and then watch the autotuned version.  And now are all these offshoots... watch the third video to see what I mean!  :)


Original News Story:

Battle of the Bands...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Writing for FUN

My songwriting friend (and super blogger), Mandy, wrote a great post today.  Here's a little snippet:

"There are things in life that we do because they’re fun. For me, it’s songwriting. I started songwriting as a pleasure – a recreation – a creative outlet. But now there’s a bit of pressure attached – expectations – goals – publisher stuff – co-writing – whatever. These things sometimes make it more of a “have to” and not a “get to.”  So how do we maintain the element of Play? The element of Fun?"

So true.  Like Mandy, I love writing songs.  Last night, I just sat on my floor in the guest room (where my guitar lives) and started writing and singing.  I had so much fun!  Time flew.  

In the recent past, I have worried about things - things like commercial viability or how this song will sound to other people - while I wrote.  Suddenly my "get to" changed to a "have to"!

But lately, I've gotten back to the "get to".  Why?  Well, I have a new little project that I've been working on and am going to announce soon.  This project is supplying so much inspiration that I can't help but write!  But with this project, there is also no pressure for commercial viability or how the song will sound in a concert setting or any of that stuff.  None.

And so, I'm writing for FUN.  Can't wait to share about this project with you, by the way!

Friday, October 15, 2010

5 Years

Today is our 5 year anniversary!  Woo hoo!  For some reason, this feels like a big one.   I want to write something deep and amazing, but my brain is tired from jet lag.  Let me just say that as we recall the experiences and adventures we've had together, the conflicts and the resolutions, and the ways we've grown together as a couple, learning to love each other and love God better... as we recall all of the joys and struggles of the last 5 years, we are just really thankful.  I am really grateful that I am married to Nick, and that together with Ellie we're a family. 
One thing we like to do every year is recall our favorite memories from each year, and I thought I'd share some with you!

Year 1 - Trip to Portland/Seattle & 1 Yr. Anniversary Date in China
After several months of communal living with no AC and not much hot water in what we very much jokingly and ironically referred to as the "Bellagio" (our house in China), we were so amazed and appreciative of a fluffy bed with clean white sheets at the hotel we went to for our anniversary.  Nick's face pretty much says it all. :)
Waterfalls in Columbia River Gorge near Portland.
Year 2 - Yangshuo, China; Phi Phi Island, Thailand; 
& 2 Yr. Anniversary Trip to the White Mountains in NH
Phi Phi Island
White Mtns.
Year 3 - Trip to Maine & Camping with Friends
Vermont with Cumbies and O'Briens
White Mtns with the Hicks and Lehtinens

Year 4: Ellie!

Year 5: We shall see... but Kauai may just be one of them!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kauai Trip!

To celebrate our 5 year anniversary (and as a sort of post-baby babymoon), we took a trip this past week to Kauai, HI.  It was a really good time for us... and we just enjoyed hanging out with each other, getting some alone time, exploring Kauai, and taking in the beauty around us.  Highlights would probably be hiking the Na Pali coast and up to a waterfall and just hanging out on the beach.  Ellie's grandparents took care of her and did such a good job that I don't think she even noticed we were gone.  :)

Waimea Canyon
Lookout onto Na Pali

You can't really see us, but we're under that waterfall :)
Hiked up to a beautiful waterfall! 
Tunnels Beach   

Seeing my oldest friend, Katy, who was there at the same time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

House Concert in Dallas

Had so much fun at the house concert in Dallas last Friday.  It was a perfect night weather-wise, there was a good crowd of people - both old friends and people I had never met, and it was a really cool, intimate atmosphere.  Once again, I am a loser and didn't take any pictures... but sometimes, you just don't want to ruin the moment by trying to capture it, you know?  Thanks so much to old friends and new who came over to Erin and Jonathan's house.  And thanks so much to JH and Erin for letting me use their house, and for promoting the show.  I really appreciate you!

My awesome hosts Jonathan and Erin.
Don't kill me for using this pic, Flare!