April 27, 2013

Idol Recap

I had a total blast Thursday at American Idol. I'm going to try not to do one of those lengthy posts that I normally do after an event like this; just going to keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Dim the lights, here we go!

We got to CBS Studios around 10:30 or so and waited ALL day long practically, and I decided to wear a denim jacket, which was not the smartest move, but I dealt with it, because it wasn't too hot, just a little warm after waiting so long. We met up with one of our friends who lives down in that area and talking with her passed the time off a little quicker. They let us into the studio around 3 or so, and we did a little more waiting, but this time we could finally sit down, and had a chance to go to the bathroom and grab a snack to keep the energy up. Closer to 4, we headed inside the soundstage, and I'll admit that I definitely still teared up and had chills as I saw the American Idol lit up brightly on the stage. It never gets old, because I'll always remember being a little girl and dreaming of being a singer. Heck, I still dream about it now. While I may never have the opportunity to sing for thousands around the world like I always thought I would, being in the audience, I feel like I get to live out that fantasy through the contestants in some way.

As we were waiting, Angie's mom walked in front of us, so my mom tapped her on the arm and said hi. We ended up talking to her for a few minutes; she asked us how we got tickets, where we were from and how long we had been waiting. When we said since 10:30, she was like,"wow! That's dedication!" We said that we'd be voting for Angie and she thanked us, then went up into the audience to talk to Angie's grandparents. She was really sweet!

Finally, the show started, the show is exactly what you see on TV, since the film straight through! However, what you don't see is all the running around, the talking between the judges, a little interaction with the fans, etc. I have to say that the results shows are a little more crazy than performance night, which I thought would be the opposite, but I think it all has to do with timing. So, I'm here to fill you in on a few of those behind the scenes moments:
  • Randy Jackson waved to me as the judges were sitting down in their seats.
  • Keith waved to our section because of the ladies behind us yelling to him!
  • Pretty sure Nicki waved to me at one point during the show
  • During one of the commercial breaks, Keith was making videos on his phone, and when he realized we all saw, it looked like he turned sort of bashful and just laughed about it.
  • I could have been in the pit, but since I'd done it last time, I figured I would just hang out in the regular section instead. Well, Keith has been jumping into the pit for pictures to post on Instagram, and he did it again that night. I totally would've been there for that!
  • The top 4 girls were so cute to watch as they messed around with each other or held hands during the videos and reviews of their performance that each had.
  • You can feel the tension in the room during the results show, because everyone is super nervous about what's going to happen! I can only imagine what it's like to be one of the contestant's or a family member waiting to hear the fate.
  • I'm pretty sure I shook hands with one of Amber's friends or relatives! He seemed nice!
  • Nigel sat in front of us, and he's definitely in charge of everything that happens, because he kept running around to tell the contestants and judges what to do and when they needed to do it. He's definitely the boss man...
  • I almost shook Drake's hand, because he came up to the people next to us in the audience, but then they started dragging him off, where he sat in the audience for the remainder of the show and said a few words into the mic, thanking Nicki for asking him to come!
  • I was extremely disappointed that they didn't send anyone home! After all, it was our first results show.
  • As we were leaving, we got to meet Keith, because he was talking to people in the pit and signing for them! He signed our tickets and I was SO happy... So was my mom!
After the taping, we walked outside and had to pick up our cell phones, and we passed Angie and Candice's family! I think it's so weird that they make family of the contestants check in their phones, but what can you do? We said bye to Candice's parents (who also seem incredibly nice), got our phones, then started walking towards our car. As we were walking down the sidewalk, we ended up seeing Drake in his car...He obviously wanted to be recognized, because he had rolled the window on his SUV down, so everyone was waving and yelling to him. We waved to him just for the heck of it since he was there, and I'm no Drake fan, but that was still cool!

We decided to go over to The Grove after, because the Idols are known to go over there for dinner with their families after the show is done. We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, which was delicious; we were starving after not having eaten all day and that sounded yummy (When does it not, though?) I had a skinnylicious burger and it came with a small garden salad; I highly recommend it, because it tastes like the regular burger and not as many calories. While we were waiting to go inside, we also saw DeAndre from last season and said "hi" to him!

We walked around a little while to scope the place out after dinner, since the Idols were probably done with press, and were hoping to see someone, but we didn't. Finally, we called it a night and came home. You would not believe how exhausted I was after all of that! It's all worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but wow....LONG DAY! In case you're ever in the area and want to go...DO IT! But, come prepared to stand for long periods of time (unless you rent a chair from the guy on the street) and bring snacks. Most importantly, come with a lot of energy and excitement, because you will have a blast no matter what!

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

P.S. I'll be posting more pictures from the day very soon!

April 23, 2013

Homesick for Nashville, even though it's not my home...

It's a crazy town full of neon dreams
Everybody plays, everybody sings
Hollywood with a touch of twang
To be a star you've gotta bang, bang, bang 
Bend all the strings til the Hank comes out
Make all the drunk girls scream and shout;
Love it, hate it, we're all just trying to make it...
In this crazy town!

i miss Nashville.
i miss driving around, listening to country music in the heart of it all, while seeing lightning bugs lighting up from the side of the highway.

i miss the humidity at night, as weird as that sounds.

i miss hanging out with good friends from all over the country or running into people I know throughout the week!

i miss seeing Carrie Underwood just about every day of the week during CMA Fest! 

i miss the Opry!

i miss Sweet CeCe's yogurt...it really is the best.

i miss nightly concerts.

i miss wearing cowboy boots with shorts and dresses just because...

i miss hearing music everywhere, and country music at that.

i miss not feeling like i have to rush, and that things are going to be okay. simple as that!

i miss feeling like I know where i belong.

i miss the hospitality of everyone. Even the people you don't know...

i hope to go back soon. 


Last week, I went to the Catalyst convention in Orange County with one of my closest friends, Febe! We went last year with our church, and it was such an incredible time that we decided to go back, even though some of the group couldn't make it. We decided to go the day before to get settled in a bit and not have to rush down there the day the conference started, which was nice! It gave us a chance to hang out at the beach and just stop before all of the craziness and excitement ensued.

I could go on for days about exciting Catalyst was! As overwhelming as it can be at times, because there are so many speakers and so much information, I learned SO much on what it takes to be a leader from so many great pastors like Andy Stanley, Jud Wilhite, and Matt Chandler, as well as other great speakers like Jim Collins, Tom Shadyac, and Christine Caine. After each session, I felt more inspired than the one before. But, it's not just about feeling inspired, it's about actually applying what they give to use in our everyday lives and DO something about the callings that God has given each of us. That's the hard part, when you're away from everyone who is on the same page as you are, coming together for the same goal. It's about going for it, even though everyone might not understand what you're wanting to do. One of the biggest things that I gained from this is about ministry, especially now that I'm diving in deeper with that. It's not going to be easy, and there are going to be plenty of times when I don't know whether I'm prepared or can handle it...But, you know what? God can. He knows what I'm capable of, and He's not going to leave me hanging.

  • If God tells you to run through a brick wall, start running! God will make a hole.
  • Part of leadership (or most of it) comes from unexpected opportunity!
  • We have to commit to the what and figure out the HOW later. Too many times we get caught up in the how, and we psych ourselves out from doing what we're called to do!
  • You don't learn much on wrinkle free days. It's when things are really messy that you see how God works and what you're made of. 
  • The only mistakes you can learn from are the ones you survive.
  • No matter what the conditions are, you just have to keep pressing on towards the goal.
  • "God knows..."It's really as simple as that. He knows what you've been through and He knows what's to come. That gives me peace!
  • Stay a little crazy for Jesus!
  • "If I'm a leader, it's because I am a follower and go wherever God is calling me."
  • On my worst day; God loves me and cherishes me, even when I'm less than what I could be.
  • Your calling will never change, even though your responsibilities will
  • God is good, whether or not life is good or people are good
  • With God, you are equipped 100% to do whatever He has called you to do! 
  • Easy doesn't come from the outside, but the inside. And when challenges face, you'll be able to handle them easier, because you have peace.
We got to see so many talented musicians like Hillsong, Israel, and the David Crowder Band lead worship. And we were surprised by visits from Kid President and Rainn Wilson, which is something I will never forget! I guess the look on my face was pretty priceless too, judging by the way people were looking at me...HAHA! I was excited!!!

On our way home, we had planned to stop in Hollywood to check out the Hollywood sign and a few other things, but by the time the conference ended, we were pretty wiped out and just wanted to get home. We did talk about possibly doing another trip down in that area or go a day or two earlier next year to do some sightseeing and hanging out around the area. 

It was such an amazing experience of getting to hear and share stories, and to inspire one another. Now, hopefully we can all take the lessons we heard from others to apply them to our own lives and our own dreams in the future.

That's all for now,

April 21, 2013

Last Saturday

Last Saturday was wonderful! I just really wish that more days could be like it. I was able to sleep in, did some things around the house, and a little later our family came over for dinner! We had ribs, salad, bread, desserts, etc. I love having big family gatherings, but we tend to not have them as often as I'd like, just due to schedules and life, because everyone is so busy. You all know how that can be, I'm sure. Anyway, I got to hang out with my cousin, Carissa, and we talked a lot about some big changes coming up in both of our lives...Hers with her boyfriend, and their future together, and mine with working towards becoming an entertainment journalist/writer down the road and some of the projects I'm involved with right now. 
We decided to take a walk after dinner, because the weather was incredible, and it gave us a chance to get away for a bit, since everyone else was talking or watching whatever game was on at the time. It reminded me so much of when we were little, and we used to daydream and pretend what life would end up like. As a kid, you have quite the imagination, and I guess I still do, which is where I am where I am. We talked about our "husbands" and jobs...And it's funny to be having a full circle moment. Although, I'm nowhere near getting married and I don't have a job. I guess this is how I thought my life would turn out or I see that I fit what's going on for right now; studying and still dreaming impossible dreams.While other girls are finding their "match", I'm just focusing on my dream and I'm the closest that I've ever been, so why would I let anything get in the way of that now or shift my focus? It's cool to see how far both of us have come and I think we're going to end up where we're supposed to be. 
We came back to my house and had dessert with the rest of the fam and hung out for awhile; we took pictures, talked, and of course, all of us sat around the table, while looking at our iphones and ipads. Typical night! HA!
Later that night, I also found myself thinking about the future (AGAIN...Because I don't do that enough, right?) and how I want my life to be. Most importantly, who do I want to be? All of a sudden, I was restless, trying to figure everything out in that moment, which is obviously impossible, and had some trouble getting to sleep. I have a rough time with change, if you couldn't tell before. 
All in all, it was a fabulous day and helped me gain some perspective, which I can always use :)

That's all for now,