Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jude & Ellie: Then & Now

My friend Ginger just sent me a few more pics from New Years Eve and I just had to post one of her son Jude and our little daughter Ellie.  Baby friends for life, yo.

Ellie around 2.5 months and Jude around 3 months.
Ellie (10 months) & Jude (10.5 months) on New Years Eve.  I love the little hand holding going on!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Concert Recap (Tazza 1/20/11)

I played a concert at a venue in Tyler, TX called Caffe Tazza on Thursday night and had the best time!


Jar of Clay
Right before the concert, I was really anxious about my voice... just a few days before, I had no voice to speak of (literally and figuratively!) and could only whisper.  I was nervous it wouldn't play out so well with a 4 hour concert!  Much prayer and prescription drugs were had prior to the big event.  Pulled out the big guns, I'm telling you.

I often remind myself that I am just a "jar of clay," and little cracks and creases like a weak, croaky voice only make the treasured message that I'm trying to sing about shine the brighter, even if my reputation decreases a bit.  Turns out, the concert went fine.  My voice held out throughout the concert - all 4 hours of it! - and I only croaked once or twice. :)


The Support of New Friends
So many friends came to the concert that night... friends I see all the time, friends I've only met in the last few weeks, and new friends who are more like friends of friends, really.  I love sitting in my little chair, singing into the mic, and watching all of these friends talk and laugh and drink coffee and have a great time together.  There were babies and parents of high schoolers and 20 somethings and grandparents and little kids... and even our head pastor and his family were there.  What really amazes me is this... just a few months ago, I didn't know any of these people.  And now we are surrounded by supportive friends.  I am grateful. 

     
And a big thanks to my friends the Heatons who took some amazing pictures at the concert.  Just for fun.    But it still made me feel like a rock star, ya know?  Anywho, I big THANKS to all of you who came out.  I hope you had a great time!  I definitely did.  Thanks for all of your support.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ellie is 10 Months!

Ellie turned 10 months on Jan. 6.  So hard to believe she's only a month and half away from being one.  Woah.  When did this happen?

This month, Ellie celebrated her first Christmas, played with lots of cousins and friends, got to see old friends, laughed and talked a lot, and has started to learn how to "walk" with lots of support.  Her favorite toys right now are her bouncy balls, her bath toys, and anything else that's not really a toy at all... like a pile of Christmas cards and things that she can pull out of the drawers... or even out of the trash (yuck).  She definitely knows who her mom and dad are now, and that makes us feel great.  I've been trying to sing hymns to her at night as part of her bedtime routine.  My new favorite moments with her are when I'm comforting her after she's been crying or wakes up in the night, and she leans her head on me and falls back to sleep.  Wow.

Here's a little video of what Ellie has been up to this month....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful

41.  This beautifully written and God-centered blog: A Holy Experience.
42.  Finding a new songwriting community online
43.  Days to write and create
44.  Talented photographer friends
45.  Ellie's company
46.  The way she crawls into my arms
47.  Sweet Reunions
48.  Skype dates with old friends
49.  Time with the Cobb family, all together
50.  Nieces and nephews

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Art & Scripture

Makoto Fujimara, an accomplished and well-known contemporary artist in New York, has recently released an amazing project called "The Four Holy Gospels".  He has "illustrated" the four gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - using his art.  An introductory video is posted below.  Many of you may have seen this, but I wanted to make sure you did!

I love the part in the beginning where they speak about the line between worship and art, saying that the modern view is that you cannot do both together.  But with this project, Makato proves that you can.  The result is "connecting truth to beauty."  

May I never separate my "jobs" as mom, wife, homemaker, and songwriter from worship.  May it all be worship!  When I write a song, when I change a diaper, when I make a meal, when I run an errand, may it all be worship.  May I connect truth to beauty and beauty to my everyday and my everyday back to truth.


Makoto Fujimura - The Art of "The Four Holy Gospels" from Crossway on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New on Caroline Cobb Blog: Sexy Songs

What am I even talking about? Go here to find out more...

Sexy Songs

Just thought I'd grab your attention with that title.  Did it work?!

Here are two songs that I've recently posted to The Scripture to Music Collective, one based on the story in the book of Ruth and one from Song of Solomon.  These two songs are definitely a bit "sexy", especially the one from Song of Solomon (yeesh!).  I hope you enjoy them.  You can download them for free!  Go to the Scripture to Music site to check out the lyrics.

Strong as Death (Song of Solomon) by Caroline Cobb


Where You Go (Ruth) by Caroline Cobb


10 books down, 56 to go!

New Years

This is a little late, but I wanted to write a quick post about New Years 2010, since I don't want to forget it!  Amazingly, many of our seminary friends were able to be in Houston for NYE, so we ended up having a reunion of sorts.  There were new babies that we had never met and kiddos we hadn't seen in 6 months (a lot of growing happens in 6 months!). Most people there hadn't seen Ellie since she was about three months, and she's definitely changed quite a bit!  Needless to say, it was a great time to be with these old friends again, although it didn't last long enough.

The next day, we got to go to brunch with the Hicks, the Laedings, and the Wolfes.  It was such a great time, and we sat for a few hours just talking.  It was a great start to 2011. 

The newest additions: Felicity Hicks and Noel Lehtinen

The girls with the kids.  We have DEFINITELY multiplied in the last year!

At lunch on New Years Day.  I love these girls.
Ellie loves Aunt Rach.
Social little kid... She loves eating out.
Ellie also loves Aunt Ja.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ellie's 10 Month Photoshoot


On Saturday, we went out to Lake Tyler for a photoshoot with our good friends the Heatons.  They are incredibly talented, and we are so thankful that they would do this for us.  The pictures turned out so wonderful, and I know we'll really treasure these for a long time.  If any of you Tyler people need a photographer, call up the Heatons!

I put a slideshow below of some of our favorites.  Thanks again, Heatons!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

5 Creativity Killers

What kills creativity?  Here are five things that really dry up my creative juices:



1. Jealousy - I started following a few of my favorite songwriters recently on Twitter, figuring it would help me understand their creative process, etc.  But suddenly I found myself envying them - the community of artists and musicians and songwriters that they have, their freedom to do the creative thing full-time because it's their job, their gifts and abilities, their connections, and the fact that their identity equals "artist".  Not only is jealousy just plain wrong... it also makes me feel inadequate and kills my desire to be creative, to dream, to write a song.   

2. The Fame Disease - This one is loosely connected to jealousy for me.  The question is this: "If I'm not a well-known songwriter, am I still a songwriter?"  At what point does dreaming of being a "real songwriter" become discontentedness, and at what point should I stop dreaming and be satisfied with what I am right now? Heck, what does "well-known" even mean anyway?  Why do I so want someone who is somewhat famous to sing one of my songs?  I think the only prescription for the fame disease is faithfully "blooming where I'm planted" while still hoping for even more....  Oh, and more cowbell.    


3. Self-critique - While some self-critique is undoubtedly a good thing, for me it stops me in my tracks before my creative juices really start to flow.  I really need to let myself write and finish a song before I start picking it apart, or else I'll never finish it at all.  Time-sensitive goals like the Scripture to Music project create urgency and help me get over this hurdle.


4. Audience Awareness - Again, a little bit of this is a good thing. But there is an order to things... first, I need to give myself space to write, even if the song only ends up being so-so and I'll never play it at a concert. Letting the audience "judge" me before they've even seen or heard me is a big creativity killer for me.  I think this would be a problem if I ever became a staff writer.  


5.  Distractions - Twitter and Facebook and Web, oh my!




Your turn: what are your creativity killers?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010

We had a great Christmas this year - our first one with Ellie.  Even though Ellie doesn't really "get" the meaning of Christmas quite yet, it was fun to experience Christmas with her.  Jesus' birth! Such an amazing gift. I can't wait for next year when she'll understand a little more.

This year, we got to spend time with Nick's family on the 18th (sorry, I have no pics!), spent Christmas Eve just the three of us (really special!), and then went to the Dallas area to be with my family on Christmas day and for a few days afterward.  My parents took us to Great Wolf Lodge as our Christmas gift and it was really fun to be there with everyone.  At Great Wolf Lodge, Ellie had a great time with her Cobb cousins and splashing around in the baby pool (even though it freaked her out at first).  My highlights this Christmas were spending Christmas Eve as a family, opening gifts with Ellie, getting to go to our church, and seeing Ellie with all of her cousins at both the Smith and Cobb Christmas celebrations.

Here's a video and some pictures from Christmas 2010!

Here is a video of Ellie during the Smith family Christmas.  She loved being in the middle of all the present unwrapping and cousin craziness!  Her cousin Brianna took a little bow and put it on her head, and she crawled around obliviously.


Ellie in her Christmas dress


Playing in the baby pool at Great Wolf Lodge
The Cobb cousins and Mimi and Papeaux

Family pic