Citizen Way at the K-LOVE Fan Awards

Citizen Way performed at the K-LOVE Fan Awards this year.  Many of you friends have been asking about the experience and asking for photos… well today is finally the day!  Sorry for the hold up 😉

Josh, my mom, and I devoted the whole week to Nashville exploits.  The first couple of days we all paraded aroud together but before long Josh got busy with various K-LOVE Fan Awards related activities so my mom and I continued the fun just the two of us (for the full week of fun in photos and story CLICK HERE).

Time flew and suddenly we were standing outside the Ryman Auditorium.  The guys were immediately sent down the red carpet.  Though wives are welcome to walk down it was recommended we let the guys fly solo to better enhance the two sets of brothers dynamic.  So Alison and I skirted up the sidelines and waited for them at the end.  They guys were naturals – easy talkers with ready smiles.  I was a grinning fool at the back just gushing over with pride for my hardworking and completely adorable husband.  I watched as they were dragged through all the interview lines; they never missed a beat even though microphones were continuously shoved in their faces and cameras and lights constantly lingered overhead (Josh was featured on a video, CLICK HERE to see it).

I finally got to lace fingers with my hubs again and we slowly filed inside to find our seats.  We, and all the artists and their peeps, were seated on the main floor of the auditorium while all the fans packed the balcony seats – there were 1,200 seats filled by the artists, label representatives, managers, and the artists various family members and the remaining 1,800 seats were filled by all the fans.

The festivities started with a hoppin’ performance put on by Toby Mac and then the Duck Dynasty stars took the stage as our emcee’s for the evening.  The ceremony was a sort of rotation going from Ducky Dynasty, to award presenters, to interviews, to videos, to live performances and on.

Citizen Way‘s performance slot was near the beginning of the evening.  I have never been so proud in my whole life as when I watched my starry-eyed husband take the stage.  There was a moment in the show when he backed away from his microphone just to listen as the whole audience sang along – I can’t imagine how incredible it would be to not only see that load of fans but also his favorite artists singing along to their song.

Other moments in the ceremony that stand out are when For King and Country had a party on stage as they ran around crashing cymbals and jumping off pianos, when Natalie Grant brought Kari Jobe on stage with her and rocked our hearts out in worship, when K-LOVE presented an award to the brother of a crippled little girl for loving on his sister with such devotion (CLICK HERE for a highlight about that), and when they closed the night by bringing all the artists on stage to lead us in worship.

After all four hours of visual and emotional stimulation my belly was so empty my strapless dress threatened to fall down, my feet so sore I couldn’t feel my toes, and I was simply ready to crumple up and sleep but the night wasn’t over, we still had an after party to attend to.  The after party was a mingling event for the artists where there was food and live jazz music.  We made it long enough to satiate our hunger and meet a few more of Josh’s musician friends but then we snuck out and made for our sheets.

Below are some photos from Citizen Way‘s sound check at the Ryman and I included the collection of images I grabbed with my iPhone of the actual awards ceremony too.

What was one of the proudest moments in your life?

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For more blog posts about Citizen Way CLICK HERE

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Nashville Road Trip to the KLOVE Fan Awards

A couple of weeks ago Josh, my mom, and I all piled in her car and headed to Tennessee.  Our strategy was to spend one night in Gatlinburg, just for fun, then we would spend the rest of our time in Nashville.  We went with a few purposes, but ultimately went at this point in time for the K-LOVE Fan Awards (Fan Awards blog post coming soon).

We arrived in Gatlinburg late Monday evening, but not before trolling through Dollywood to get there.  The place struck me immediately as a deep south version of a cross between Vegas and the Wisconsin Dells – kitschy amusement and theme parks strewn with neon lights, themed music, and colorful imagery.  It struck me eerily as the large yellow moon peeked just over the mountains in the background of the vacation destination chaos – we actually discussed if the moon was real or if it was a part of one of the venues.

When we arrived at our hotel we hit the sheets right after gobbling up the hospitality gift of warm cookies and slept solidly until around 10 the next morning.  We lazily packed up then hit the streets for downtown Gatlinburg.

Downtown Gatlinburg was was an odd hodge podge of unlikely combinations; there were mostly plump white folk wandering the streets infested with major chains, while the unique, local joints took to the side streets with their handmade concoctions, free tastings, and live folk music.  At first I couldn’t even see past the obnoxious corporate establishments but before long we wandered into quaint stores, ma and pa coffee shops, and various alcohol centers brewing their product out for the world to see and offering live folk music at their store front.  The day was an utter joy and when we finally drank our fill we loaded the car again and left for Nashville.

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In Nashville our goals were to explore the neighborhoods Josh frequents, meet the people he now calls “friend” within the music business, and scope out East Nashville for potential living quarters.

For day trips and meals we frequented the favorites spots Josh has stumbled on since signing with Fair Trade Services; we ate at delicious, local restaurants, drank coffee at specialty shops, moseyed around various neighborhoods, and explored towns.  My favorite spots were CREMA (latte pictured below) and downtown Franklin.

I was most excited about meeting the folks Josh had been already telling me stories about for several months.  At that point I had only had the privilege of meeting their label A&R rep and their head of management.  While down there I got to get better acquainted with other label and management peeps, various band folk Josh has grown relationships with, and some awesome wives.

And lastly, our secondary reason for taking the week in Nashville, was to scope out the area in hopes of finding “home.”  Josh got really busy, really quickly so before long it was just mom and I spending the days away together.  On Josh’s first day of a packed schedule Mom and I ventured over to East Nashville to scope it out – this was the neighborhood recommended to us as our place to hunker down if we moved.  My initial impression was underwhelming and as we wandered about the prospects didn’t improve.  The town was cute and the restaurants were fun but I wasn’t impressed and, most importantly, I wasn’t “home.”

Home is the place my heart is called to.  My first major decision in my life was to choose a college to attend.  My mom and I toured schools one weekend and when we arrived on Judson University’s campus there was no mistaking my feeling of “home.”  We didn’t bother visiting any more schools, I applied, and was accepted and enrolled only one month into my senior year of high school.  My most major decision was to marry Josh.  I remember hiding behind my childhood home waiting to make my grand entrance into my backyard wedding ceremony when I had my last conversation with God about marrying Josh.  I was slightly overwhelmed at the magnitude of committing a lifetime to someone, even if they were my best friend, but the moment I thought of Josh and saw his face in my mind I was stuck by the truth that Josh was home for me.  Lastly, and most pertinent to home hunting in Nashville, Josh and I have chosen each of our homes due to a sense of home.  Josh and I have called four residences our home in our three-year marriage.  Each one was right.  I remember praying about each prospect before choosing to move or stay, and Nashville was absolutely no exception.  Before even leaving for Nashville, Josh and I were struck by inklings to stay.  When I arrived in Gatlinburg I felt a “no.”  When I arrived in each exploratory neighborhood of Nashville I felt a “no.”  And when I  arrived in East Nashville I felt a “no.”  So, long story short, Josh and I were told “no” about Nashville and “home” about Chicago.

And then came the K-LOVE Fan Awards… but more on that later 😉

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Nashville Road Trip | Northern Girl at Heart

I never thought I would see the day I got excited to come home to dreary, 61 degree Chicago. But last week I saw that day and relished it.

On Monday, May 27 my mom, Joshua, and I all loaded the car and set our sails for a week in Tennessee. Our trip served a few objectives: scout out the area in pursuit of the possibility of a move, a job opportunity meeting for me with Food for the Hungry, and, most importantly, the KLOVE Fan Awards festivities surrounding Citizen Way.

But Nashville was muggy. Every day we were there, outside was an 85 degree wet blanket. We kept asking the locals if the weather is always that consistency and they all replied that it was and that, in fact, it gets worse. At this, I definitely had an epiphany about Taylor Swift‘s awesome, big hair while I was there because the moment I stepped outside everyday I could have been her twin sister. She just seems to have mastered making the big blonde frizz look purposeful. The local Nashville folk also say the pay off is the mild winters, but I actually enjoy winters in Chicago. I mean, compared to Minnesota, Chicago winters are my haven. We still get snow but not as much and my eyelashes and nose hairs don’t freeze in a split second in the outdoors of January and February like they did while living in Minnesota. I’ve actually come to prefer the milder Chicago winters even to summer.

I dare say, I’d like to keep my Chicago weather, even with all the curve balls, over a constant wet, heat blanket. This body is built for the cold, but wet heat makes me grumpy.

A Photo A Day | May 27 – June 2

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This week was all about the KLOVE Fan Awards!

My hubby is in Citizen Way and played at the Ryman on Saturday as a part of the festivities so we make a trip out of it!

MONDAY on the road to Gatlinburg

TUESDAY off galavanting in Gatlinburg

WEDNESDAY on the road to Nashville

THURSDAY a cool floral tree in the parking lot at WSMV

FRIDAY Citizen Way sound checking it up at the Ryman! (my only opportunity to snap some REAL pictures of the guys)

SATURDAY coffee date with Mom at CREMA

SUNDAY one last look at Nashville

A full blog post of this week of adventures coming soon!

Check out more “a Photo a Day” blog posts HERE