Archive for June, 2011

Bitter Betty Whats-Her-Name.

June 30, 2011

Writing has always been therapeutic for me. Whether  it is writing songs or writing a blog, they are both helpful ways for me to process. Yet, sometimes writing a blog or song can be very vulnerable because you lay prey to everyone seeing what’s going on underneath the outside. Sometimes it’s heartbreak, sometimes it’s observation, sometimes it’s a funny story that needs to be told. Well, this blog will not be putting my best foot forward. It’s not going to paint me in the best light, but, it is real and because it’s helpful for me to be forthright and honest in my writing, I’ve decided to share my latest thoughts.

Ever heard the expression “Bitter Betty?” well…yeah…I have. A couple of weeks ago I was in a funk. I was Bitter Betty Whats-Her Name. Like a major funk where you are annoyed by EVERYTHING. You know the scene from FRIENDS when Rachel is pregnant and is annoyed by Ross’s breathing?–she snaps at him for “breathing” too loudly. Haha. Yup. I could relate. But alas, she had crazy pregnancy hormones to blame her irritability on and oh wait, I did not. But the funny thing about this funk was that there was no reason for it. I didn’t just get broken up with, I didn’t lose a job, I didn’t fight with a friend…I was just in a BAD mood. And everything irritated me. I couldn’t get out of it. It was also the type of funk that makes you start listing all of the negative attributes of yourself and then those negative thoughts just keep circulating and make you fall further into the funk. Not so fun.

Poor Jill…she, being my BFF, took the brunt of the funk attitude I was handing out. Let me tell you…I had no trouble communicating my thorough annoyance around the clock. I wouldn’t have blamed her if she would have slapped crazy on my forehead and gotten the heck outta dodge. I was the wicked witch from the south. Except witch is not the right word…it rhymes with witch and starts with the second letter of the alphabet. Yup. There you go…that was definitely more me. Wicked bitch from the south.

I don’t know what got into me. All I know, is that I started to feel so badly about myself that I was close to tears several times a day. Around that time, we were asked to play a couple songs for a group of people at a conference. We played three songs, and immediately I walked off stage and had to hold myself together with all I had to wait until I was in the car to unleash the tears that had welled up in my eyes. The funk had reached my core & it affected how I felt onstage. Yikes. This was not good. It had nothing to do with our actual performance. We received nothing but kind words and rave reviews of our time onstage…but for me it was the little negative thoughts/lies that had been lurking around during the funk that I was starting to believe. The red light flashed in my head that this was seriously not okay for me to be thinking/believing these things. Warning. Warning. Warning.

It wasn’t that I thought I had done a horrible job or thought I’d failed. It was the fact that I was in a funk, with no reason to be in a funk. And then I would get more upset with myself that I was in a funk instead of enjoying life to the fullest. It was a sick cycle. I was upset, then upset that I was upset. Grrrr.

After the performance I was supposed to go to the movies with some friends but opted out. I headed home and was emotionally exhausted. I put on some comfy sweats, made some of my favorite snacks (popcorn and a plate of dark chocolate & fresh strawberries…and YUP…I ate it all) and climbed in bed and watched some Army Wives. Nothing like over-dramatic television to make you cry when you are already in a not-so-great place. I cried but I kept replaying the words of my dear friends. I was okay and it was okay to be in a funk.

The next morning I woke up with a little less funk in my trunk. HAha. Had to make that joke. No seriously, the funky presence was a little bit less present. The next day a little less…and so on and so forth. So, what can I blame my funk on? A myriad of things: the weather, my hormones (I am a 28 year old woman you know), the fact that I don’t have my own island to vacation on or the fact that sometimes you just hit a funk. Now, I’m not saying that there is a magic fix to this funk. For me it’s just eased its way out of me. But, I needed to take responsibility for my less than sunny display of attitude. I needed to apologize to the people I was short with. I needed to thank my friends who took time to call and see how I was that next morning after the show. It’s friends who help you out of these times. They tolerate your bad attitude and then go the extra mile to encourage you that you haven’t lost all sanity and that things will be okay.

At the end of the day when you find yourself in a funk, I think you need to remember the things that are true about you. If your bad attitude is not necessarily tied to a specific situation (like mine was) remembering that YOU are in charge of your own attitude can help get you out of it. No one else. You have the ability to look at something and get upset/frustrated OR you can not make a big deal out of it and get over it. And if your bad attitude is related to a specific situation, I recently heard a friend of mine say that often times situations surrounding us cannot change but we can change our attitude. You can still be in the situation but have a better outlook on things.

So, there you have it. Those are my thoughts. Thanks for letting me share.

-kate

Oh Hey Nashville…

June 26, 2011

Oh hey there Nashville friends.

We are playing a little show this coming Wednesday night at the CMC Music School (that we went to way back in the day) in Brentwood. We’re playing for a conference they are having, but it’s open to anyone. And it’s FREE!

We want to see you there, so come one, come all…and hang with us Wednesday (June 29) at 8pm in Brentwood, TN. We will play some tunes, chat, maybe eat some candy or something. Who knows!? All we know is that it’ll be tons o’ fun and you don’t wanna miss it.

The address is:

The Contemporary Music Center

559 Church St. E

Brentwood, TN 37027

8pm!!

Excited to play on our own stompin’ grounds!

-j&k-

Encore

June 22, 2011

Sometimes we do funny things. Like, play a show and then go to the sidewalk and play another song just because we didn’t play a certain song that someone really wanted to hear. Recently we did this. Someone who was gracious enough to capture our little venture on the streets of NYC posted the video somewhere and it made us smile so we thought we’d post it here (thanks btw to whoever filmed this & put it up on Youtube. Aces.).

There are a few funny things you need to note while watching: 1) the sound of loose change being thrown at us and hitting the ground 2) the nice lights that just go completely off over our heads about halfway through 3) the laughter that is trying to be contained by both of us as drunk on-lookers stumble about yelling asking if they’ve missed “something amazing.”

So. Watch. Laugh. Listen.

-j&k coming soon to a street near you-

Father’s Day VLOG

June 19, 2011

So, we have great dads. Yup. We both do. Seriously…we both genuinely enjoy spending time with our dads and wish they lived closer to us so we could hang out more often. They are both examples of strength, honesty and courage & we COULD NOT be more thankful for them. We did a special video for them…a j&k Father’s day edition vlog… Enjoy. xoxo j&k

 

Greg & Jill

Bill & Kate

New Song on June 17th, 2011

June 18, 2011

Sorry we are a wee-little-bit late posting this 🙂 Here is our new song called “Breakdown.” Let us know what you think!! -j&k-

BREAKDOWN

We’re holding it together
Eventually it has to get better

Doesn’t it

Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to go
We’re forcing out these smiles

Eventually we’re gonna get tired

Aren’t we
Doesn’t it already show

It’s all coming crashing down
We’re about to all find out
We’re not as strong as we tell ourselves we are, we are
Bottles laying on the ground
Our tracks are all over this town
And all the signs we see are leading us out
But we’re still here
We are, we are
We’re still here
We are, we are

Our heads hang low
Our weakness shows
Our pride keeps turning us back
Don’t you think everybody knows
If we don’t get this figured out
It’s sure to break us down and we won’t ever find
Our way back home

Breakdown
We’re headed for a breakdown
Breakdown
We’re headed for a breakdown
Breakdown

(c) jillandkate, 2011.

Saying NO.

June 15, 2011

Sometimes taking care of yourself is a lot of work. A lesson we both have been learning recently is that saying “no” to things is A-okay. Sounds funny, right? “No” is like the first thing you learn how to say as a child…well…first might be “mine”, but second is definitely  “NO”. But as we get older, we get busier and busier…constantly pursuing dreams, relationships, adventures, etc. and we forget how to say no. We’ve been talking a lot about how hard it is at times to smile and politely decline. To say no. It is especially hard when “no” means saying no to someone that is asking of your time or needs your help….because who doesn’t like to help? Helping is great. But at times it is VITAL to say no. To look out for yourself and your sanity.

As we get older, saying no to someone can be really difficult. We are afraid to disappoint. We are afraid to let down. We are afraid of looking like we wont have it all together. Sometimes we don’t have the time to help a friend, or sometimes we just don’t want to….and as we’ve been dialoguing the last few weeks…we think that’s okay. Sometimes putting yourself as a priority is important…and if you do…. it can be SO freeing. Sounds borderline selfish right? Or at least that’s what some small voice screams inside of us from time to time when we try and say no to things. But, after mustering up some strength…saying no feelings so incredibly good. It’s like taking a bath or a long walk or breathing in  fresh air after sitting in a smoky bar–saying “no” is is like saying no to everyone else and saying yes to yourself.

So, don’t be afraid to politely decline running an errand for someone if that interferes with YOU time. Be okay with saying, “That doesn’t work for me.” It is okay to say no. Please don’t misunderstand us…we are all about people helping people and selflessness and all that good stuff. But it’s all about balance. If you aren’t taking time for yourself, you can start to feel worn out, exhasuted, etc. Saying no to stuff from time to time allows you to recharge and gear up for the next time you do say yes. It’s all a cycle.

Love. Rest. Put yourself on the list…you’re worth it.

Promise.

Does anyone else have a hard time saying no to things? Fill us in.

xoxo

-j&k-

NEW: Houses of Hope Africa Website Launch Week!

June 6, 2011

If you frequent our blog, you probably know that we do a lot of work in Southern Africa working with orphaned & abandoned children. If this is the first time hearing us talk about that, click here or here to read about some of our trips over the past year. Or click here to read about the awesome friendship bracelets that our friends/readers of this blog made and that we hand delivered to the kids in August of 2010 🙂

Today we are so excited to share with you the BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW website for Houses of Hope Africa. Please click here & browse around the new site. A big thanks to Todd of Todd James Photography for doing the site.

To celebrate this exciting milestone we are auctioning off items from the “A Night For Hope” benefit concert last year (If you don’t know about #anightforhope click here to read about the awesome concert we had last December). We will be auctioning the items via eBay & all of the proceeds will go directly to help the kids in Southern Africa.

Since we have been doing so much work on the website and looking at which pictures to put on the site, etc. the kids have been heavily on my mind. It seems every conversation I find myself having I find someway to bring it around to Africa…and the kids…I cannot help but think about it all the time. I thought I’d share one story about why I believe in the work that HOHA (Houses Of Hope Africa ;)) does…okay…well….actually two little stories.

The first story is this:

Our last day of being with the kids last March was a Saturday and we were having all sorts of fun playing with the kids–it was a beautiful, hot African day. We were making such a ruckus that many of the surrounding neighborhood kids came to play with us as well. When I looked around at some of the neighbor kids and then looked at some of the kids living at HOH–I compared a bit. I wondered if the kids at HOH were in better hands…I knew they were getting three meals a day, they had a warm comfortable place to sleep, they were getting their AIDS/HIV medicine if they were positive, they were seeing a counselor once a week, they were going to school, they were involved in a church, etc. As I looked around and surveyed for a bit–the kids at HOH were happy. Don’t get me wrong, these are kids that have seen horrific nightmares I cannot begin to describe or imagine, but because of the work that HOHA’s are doing…they are doing better. Possibly better than some of the surrounding community children. Right then and there on that Saturday it hit me…WE NEED TO BUILD MORE HOUSES!!! There are SO many children that are displaced…and we can have a place for them.

Okay–second story–when we went last August to visit the kids, a little thirteen year-old girl had been dropped off at the home hours earlier. Both of her parents had died, she has AIDS, she was living with a relative who was raping her and physically abusing her and finally had been brought to one of Houses of Hope. She was frail both emotionally and physically. Her cheeks were sunken in and she didn’t have much meat on her bones. I kept thinking to myself–holy crap–hours ago those terrifying things were a reality to her and now she’s here. Safe. Warm. Fed. It was haunting to me that she had just been to hell and back and now she was standing in front of me. The week with her has stayed with me and I’ve re-told her story to many people because these are the stories of many of these kids.

But the story doesn’t end there. When we recently went back in March, she was still there and I almost didn’t recognize her. Seriously. She has gained weight so her cheeks have filled out, she was generally arm-in-arm with another girl as they giggled and laughed at pretty much everything while walking across the property. I seriously could not believe my eyes. Seven months at one of the HOH’s had changed this girl. She is getting medicine to help with the terrible disease her body is fighting, she was surrounded by new friends, she had a warm bed every night. I seriously cannot express how different she not only looked, but acted.

As I left in March, tears abounded from my eyes and down my cheeks. Every time I have to leave the kids it makes my heart ache, but the tears this time were also happy ones. These kids were doing well. They were happy. They laughed. They sang. They hugged. This was working. Houses of Hope were truly living up to their name and giving hope.

I once heard someone say, “If you have hope, you have everything.”

So with those stories I’ll end my  blog. Please consider bidding on one of the auction items or just donating to this amazing, life-changing project.

Much love,

-kate (and jill)

Newsletter or Not-so-new-letter?

June 4, 2011

So remember that time last year that we did a cutesie, little j&k publication newsletter of sorts? Well, remember how we did it and then forgot to post it so the “news” section wasn’t exactly brand new information? Do you see where we’re going with this?? Yes, yes you do. We did another one of these adorable Newsletters earlier this winter and FORGOT to post it. WhhhhhOOOpsie. Oh well. Read it now. Pretend like all of the things haven’t happened. You know you want to. Haha.

Newsletter2

Thanks to all ya’ll who watched the StageIt show last night. We had a BLAST!!!!

Happy Saturday folks!

-j&k-

PS. Check out our adorable little “FOLLOW” button on the right hand side bar…that’s right…one little click there and you can follow us on twitter….how fun is that??

Jason Halbert, this blog’s for you.

June 3, 2011

Jason Halbert is near and dear to us. He is such a good friend and we’ve had the pleasure of working with him/knowing him for the past 4.5 years. Jason is one of the best people out there…hands down…no contest. Also, his talent is ridiculous. Musically, he’s pretty much just insane. He is also one of the most fun people to be on the road with. We are so thankful that today is his birthday and because it’s his birthday we thought we’d share some of our favorite JH moments over the years:

We do a lot of flying & quad-camera-ing…Jason taught us about Quadcam #forevergrateful

This was in an airport somewhere in the world…we laughed because that was the number he got to retrieve his coffee. Jason always finds good coffee #smallestnumberever

Oh yeah…great white shark diving. Been there, done that & didn’t throw up on the boat. CHECK.

One of the funniest things ever…transportation broke down twice  on the way to a show, so we had to walk out of traffic and hike to get picked up.

This is where we all waited for the third van to pick us up…the dude peeking out the door is a great example of what the people were like inside.

This was a fun night…Jill’s birthday in Chicago. #yesthatisahannahmontanacupcakeinhishand

Guiding us through the streets of Amsterdam…on bikes…see below.

That was fun…we even encountered a little kid yelling profanities at us. What the?

Boredom in Germany leads to throwing a snowball directly at us.

Haha. This is when some of us flew and the others took the bus…

Thanksgiving Halftime Cowboys Game…this was in fact the time Jill also fell down the stairs. Mental note: have we told that story ever?

Standing on the streets of China.

Again with the Quadcam.

No seriously…we use Quadcam a lot.

Painting an orphan house in Africa.

Recording some pure magic 🙂

Hotel lobby piano jam sessions…THESE ARE THE BEST…this was in South Africa.

Practicing for a j&k show last year.

Barbados show..we are #1?

This was Jason’s b-day in Australia a couple years ago…’nuff said.

And oh yeah…we’ve been on OPRAH together. Word.

Someone says it better.

June 2, 2011

Sometimes you come across another blog post & you couldn’t agree more with what’s being said. We felt this way after reading this blog post by the lovely Bethany Joy Galeotti. Go read it.

xoxo

-j&k-