Tag Archives: Austin

A Songwriter’s Pickin’ Party

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I love updating y’all on what’s going on here in Austin! Texas is so unique and fun, I enjoy sharing stories with you. This one’s about music.

Jeff and I have always loved music.  Especially the folksy, singer-songwriter kind of music.  One of the things we love most about Texas and especially Austin, is the music. Texas has a rich tradition of raising up talented song writers from all over the state.

I love the song “writer” part of it.  I love to picture other writers doing their thing. I picture them in coffee shops and bars and around campfires.  I picture them drinking whiskey and staying up late and hanging out in little joints strumming guitars and telling stories.  Their songs make me dance and sing and think and pray and feel and cry and hope. Also, I picture all the characters on the TV show Nashville because to me, that’s what being in the music industry looks like.

My kids say all country songs are about trucks and beer. I like the ones about hometowns and farms and Jesus.

We were blessed to attend a cool event this weekend for the Texas Heritage Songwriter’s Association. We heard songwriters sing their songs.  This isn’t always the case.  They often sell their words and someone else sings them.  It was amazing to hear them interpret the songs in the way they wrote them.  It felt personal and intimate.

The three people that sang on the first night were Rodney Clawson, his wife Nicolle Galyon, and Raul Malo.  If you look these people up you will see what songs they have written and who has sang them onto the charts.  It’s pretty incredible.

This event was two nights and both were incredible.  The second night we were at ACL and I don’t have any pictures (I was too busy singing and dancing!) but here are some of the first night.

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Please note girl in back with cute dress and cowboy boots! LOVE IT!

It should also be noted we were greeted by a red carpet lined with Longhorn Cheerleaders! And the whole night was named after a beloved Longhorn football coach, Darrell K. Royal.  So, it was typical Texas. Football and Guitars and Boots. Amen.

It may be obvious at this point that Jeff got himself a signed guitar.  He’s so excited!

As for me, I’m thinking I may start writing some songs. I’m sure that’s not hard at all…

Here’s one we heard live…the video is terrible because I’m not good at it (it’s really bad-it will make you dizzy) and I was lost in the music so just close your eyes and listen.  This song was written by Rodney Clawson (the guy singing) but was recorded by George Strait. Maybe you know it. 🙂 Also…the guy on the left…Raul Malo…I’m in love with him. He rocks! On the second night,  he sang again and he brought the house down. Truly…my new fave.  Seriously, get on Spotify…STAT.

©2016 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Party!

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Front porch of the Hatmaker house!

 

Maybe you watched them renovate it on “My Big Family Renovation” on HGTV.  I know I did.  I watched and laughed and cheered them on.  Jen Hatmaker and her family are fun and real and hilarious and Jesus lovin’ Texas Rock stars in my book.

Here’s the thing.  The house. The family. As good as they looked on TV, they are a million times better in person.

I had a chance to go to their house for the launch party for the book, “For The Love” because I was on the launch team.  (See earlier posts and millions of Facebook updates.)  This team not only launched a successful book – hello number 1!! But also connected women (and 4 men #bandoffour) across the globe who love Jesus and writing and books!  This launch team ended up raising money for all kinds of things and supporting each other in prayer.  It would take months to tell you all the details but to sum it up…this group was kind and generous and supportive and helpful and holy.  Jen  brought us together to help launch her book and then we ended up launching each other and ourselves.  That’s what good leaders do.  They remind you who you are in Christ…worthy, called, redeemed, ready…and then they launch you off to do your thing.  To play your note.  To shine your light.

I tried to take some good pictures for y’all but I was also trying to be in the moment.  There were people taking pics and Periscoping and Tweeting and Facebooking all night.  I posted several on Facebook with friends so if you want more, tune in there.  Here is a picture of the farmhouse.  This is me and my friend, Erin, over to the left.  Isn’t the house so cute!

 

 

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Jen took time to talk to EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. THERE.  She has to be absolutely exhausted.  She is darling.  She would not say that.  She would say she is SPICY.  I say she is warm and kind and comfortable and doing her thing like a boss.

Can I just explain?

Her whole entire family was there.  Husband and kids and brother and mom and dad and more! And do you see the TV behind us on the porch?  The UT game was on.  There were actually two TV areas outside.  This is Austin friends.  This is how they do things.  Faith, Family, Friends, Football. It felt like we literally were just her friends invited over to hang on a Saturday night.  Her kids are adorable and her mom.  I can’t. You know I love my mom.  Moms are so amazing. I was talking to her mom and I said, “You did good”.  And she said, “Yeah, she’s pretty great.”  And I pictured my mom, always thinking I’m great no matter what. LOVE THAT. As a mom, you just would be so proud.  Or maybe one day someone saying sweet things to me about my daughter (s) (please God). I pictured how it feels to have someone tell you your daughter has inspired them and led them closer to Jesus.  I can’t even.

Of course, I told my mom about this…”Jen’s mom is so cute, she reminded me of you…” and she said, “Of course her mom would be great.  You wonderful daughters didn’t fall of a tree.” So…just giving credit where credit is due.  Thanks to all the moms out there.

Here are some fun pictures.  Isn’t she so cute? I’m so happy for her and her success.  But honestly, the book and the book tour and the TV show appearances and the speaking gigs…all of it is just the icing on the cake.  The real stuff…Jesus, her family, her home, her marriage, her children…that’s what real success is and she knows it.  Being there was so fun because it was cozy and authentic and relaxed.  This isn’t fake, friends. She is the real deal.

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She has a chapter in her book called “Porches as Altars” and I have to say, on this night, her porch, her lawn…all of it…was holy.  Offered up in friendship and neighborly love.  So I took the opportunity to do some yoga on her porch.  Of course.  Duh.

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All of this “launching” is over now.  At least for Jen.  She is successfully “launched”.   But this “team” thing is here to stay.  Let’s keep cheering each other on.  Let’s live well together.  All of us. For the LOVE.

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© 2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes, All rights reserved™

Panic at The Restaurant

You’ve heard of Panic at the Disco?

I panicked at the restaurant.

We went out to eat twice last weekend.  the first time wasn’t so tough. It was a new Austin place outside of the city, rural really. It’s called Proof and Cooper.  The outside was so cool.  Rusty tin roof,  lots of land.

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Inside, you order and then sit.  There was a bar and live music.  Pretty standard Austin stuff.  The best part about Austin is the people (so friendly) and the Vibe.  By that I mean, there were people there in swimsuits.  There were people there in cut off shorts and t-shirts.  I saw tattoos and piercings and dreadlocks. There were kids and parents and groups and cats and chickens.  That last part is no joke.  Here’s a picture of my daughter with one of the baby kittens.

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There were 5 kittens and we just couldn’t get enough of them.  Everyone was coming around and chatting about the kittens.  All ages. Some with their cocktails, just wandering around the outside space talking about the rooster that was in the tree. That part is real too.  I swear.

The next day I looked up the place on Facebook and saw that the person playing guitar there was actually “famous” in certain circles.  We talked to him while we were there because he came out to see the kittens and actually laid down on the ground and let a kitten climb on his chest.  My friend’s daughter likes to sing so he asked her about that and said, “I’ll let you sing!” He was so nice.  And calm.  And apparently “important”.  He is the son of some famous music people and he was in the movie, “Walk the Line” and a bunch of other stuff.  His name is Waylon Payne.  See, you have to be careful in Austin.  Famous people hang here but they blend in which is the whole point.

Ordering at this restaurant was easy because it was farm to table.  I had a salad with tomatoes and avocado and fizzy water with a lime.  Yum. It helped that there was a lot going on and it wasn’t all about the food.

However, the next night, Jeff and I went to a restaurant sort of because we “had to”.  We had time to kill.  It was dinner time.  We were far from home but had to pick up our son soon…you get the point.  So already, I felt like I was not in control of my situation.  See, I had it all planned, we were going to go to Chipotle.  We were on that side of town (not our usual side) and I haven’t had Chipotle in a year.  I read on the Whole 30 that you can have the carnitas bowl so I was beyond excited.  I was thinking about the carnitas and the guac.  Literally, running to the door.  We get in and see the sign.  NO CARNITAS AVAILABLE.  There is a shortage. They have stopped working with their suppliers because of the way they treat the animals.  They are looking for a supplier that meets their requirements.  You can google it.  It’s a thing. You guys…I literally almost cried.

We went to a steak joint.  Because we are in Texas.  As I looked at the menu, genuine panic came over me.  All the memories of onion stacks and nachos and beer and wine and french fries…the smells, the music, the dim lighting. Ugh. The menu was not confusing.  Oh no, it was not.  I have learned to know what my body needs to feel good.  THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE MENU FOR ME.  If I was going to keep this Whole30 thing going, I needed to really THINK. And I was getting hungry.  The waiter said he was going to bring us a basket of bread and I jumped down his throat…NO!!!! He’s like, fine lady…chill.  I literally frowned the whole time and felt so testy.  We were sitting at the bar.  For the love of God…why???? I could see myself in the mirror…again, why???? And I looked so sad and confused.  I ordered a salad…no dressing…with a steak on it, dry…which means no rubs or sauces.  It was good and I felt full and I stuck to the plan.  But honestly, everything in the world is dripping in oil and cheese and sour cream and ranch dressing.  The good news is I survived.  And I will be better prepared next time.  I really like just eating at home now.

I have this thing.  I don’t want to be difficult.  I don’t want to special order stuff.  Maybe it goes back to when I was young and I didn’t like the McDonald’s onions on the cheeseburger so I would order it without onions and my family would have to pull the car over and wait for little Susie’s (I’m the youngest and only girl) cheeseburger.  (This is why Burger King is better for me – special orders don’t upset them.) My brothers still discuss it to this day.  I learned that just going with the flow makes people happy.  I like to make people happy.  Which leads to why sometimes I eat cake if someone makes it even if I don’t want it.  And why I say, “Sure, anything is fine!” as people order sausage on a pizza (yuk) or decide we need potato skins with bacon and cheese and sour cream.  I want to be easy and light.  I want to be cool. As LuAnn says, “Be cool.  Don’t be all, like, uncool.”

But here’s the thing I know now.  People thinking I’m easy breezy is no longer my goal.  It is not worth the bad feelings in my body.  I can say no and still be cool.  I think. Right?  I have a feeling some of you know what I’m talking about.  You don’t want to say no to your grandma’s cheesecake.  Or she won’t let you.  She stops just shy of shoving it down your throat!! The pressure and dirty looks from family if you are not stuffing your face…does this happen?  What if you ask for a dry steak and dressing on the side?  Do you hear the groans?  Do people tell you, “You used to be fun”?

WHY IS IT SO TOUGH???

It’s tough because it’s not just the food.  It’s the emotions, the memories, the patterns, the feelings, the history, the relationships, the connections.  It’s not just your body, it’s your brain and your heart and your soul.  Your spirit is wrapped up in this.  That’s why eating the “wrong things” can lead to depression and doubt and shame and guilt.  That’s why eating the “right things” takes a whole rewiring of our thinking.  Not just our thinking but our feeling.  You guys, it’s not easy.

My friend, Tricia, recommended the book Made to Crave.  Thank you Tricia!! I read it right away the day I got it.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who has ever struggled with all of this.
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©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved