"Alex! Wake up! There's something in the van!"

I think travel has a funny way of waking you up. Quite literally in some cases. When I came to at 4 am, there appeared to be a cat pacing back and forth on the hood of our van, trying to make it's way into our cozy sleeping quarters. As I sat up and whisper-shouted Alex awake however, the cat shot across the 'hood' to escape the humans and landed with a resounding THUNK as it struck the window. Inside. The cat was definitely INSIDE OUR VAN. Good Lord Jesus, let it be a house cat. I couldn't tell. It was 4 in the morning for Pete's sake. Let it be known, I was freakin' brave. I hopped out of bed and crept as quick-slowly as I could toward the front of the van to open the door and let it out. Every man to himself if that thing panics and starts racing around jumping at every window that doesn't open. I threw the passenger door wide and it sprinted for safety. Then Alex and I laughed and laughed as our heart rates returned to sleeping speed. Turns out we forgot to tuck the screen in completely before we fell asleep. Lesson #1 for overnighting with the doors open. (To ease all the minds, our girls were sleeping inside Grandmas house.)


Have you ever seen the movie Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? It's from 1999, so do forgive me if I'm spoiling anything for you. Julia's character ends up leaving her fiances at the altar in a panic, repeatedly. She can't quite put her finger on WHY. In the process of getting to that altar each time she finds herself taking on the habits and interests of her partners. By the end of the film she realizes the problem is that she doesn't know what SHE wants - or even who she IS apart from another person. One of my favorite scenes shows Julia cooking eggs in every different way to see what style SHE likes to eat. She didn't know. She's always just 'liked' what her partner liked. How often do we do this? Not with eggs, necessarily, but with life. What a metaphor for every single thing we are doing on this wild journey. (Go watch the movie.)


Change also has a way of waking you up. While I'm speaking for myself here, just AJ, I also know that it has applied to my family as a whole. For example, I've lived in the midwest my entire life because that's where my family lives and it's just how it was. I visited and traveled many times to other places, but never with the permission to make it a home. Y'all, I'm a mountain girl. I'm a rivers and trees and ocean girl. I realized that I always have been. Why have I spent my life on flat, dry lands?! Moreover, why am I 36 and just now realizing that how a place makes me feel, MATTERS? Gosh. We are learning so much - about ourselves and the world and what's important and what is just not. I'm so glad we didn't let fear keep us from this.


The Never Coming Down Tour carried two meanings for us. The phrase comes from our song Thin Air. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/P2wYegD2ecU Firstly, we were literally headed from the plains to the mountains in elevation. Simple. The second meaning is more about how we hoped it would make us feel - that this life would be such an emotional high that we'd love it and never want to come back down. You know what? It was all of that and more. How lucky are we to have discovered it? It feels very much like we are cheating some days. That someone will discover us and tell us to go 'get a real job' and it will all slip away like the sweet, sweet dream that it is. We played 14 shows in 20 days over roughly 3000 miles in 5 different states. We were never tired or worn out or over it. We were never irritated at the work we had to do. It was scary exactly zero times and we never met a mean person. Our children danced in babbling, clean streams and stayed up late at their very first bluegrass jam. You'll be able to see those special videos as a Patron over at www.patreon.com/deliberatekin later today! It was the joy of our whole lives to see our girls step into a jam with such enthusiasm.


We found ourselves repeating, "We're doing it!" over and over throughout the tour. As if we needed reminding that we made it. We arrived. We leapt over every excuse and obstacle in our way and kept moving toward our dreams, always in honesty and kindness, no matter what. As we swept over mountaintops in helicopters and sat with the crickets under the stars in the desert, we felt good. It all felt right. Sweet, sweet relief!! Dreams are for everyone. There are no age limits. The only rule is to be kind in the pursuit of what the good Lord draws you to. Soak it in. Drink it up. Go find out what kind of eggs YOU like, and for goodness sake, don't be afraid to do it. The world isn't actually scary. It's full of wonderful people and breathtaking places if you choose to focus on them.


I hope you'll join us out on the road when you can, and send your friends and family our way when you can't. It's our great pleasure to entertain folks for a living.


Before we take off again, catch us at Courtland Fun Day on Saturday, July 27 from 8-10pm. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/744950472600666/ We will be opening for Rob Baird. More on him here: https://www.facebook.com/robbairdmusic/


If you can't swing a late night or a babysitter, come by the Concordia Broadway Plaza on Wednesday July 31st from 7-9pm to send us off on our 8 week, Be The Change Tour. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/633354793805468/


The Be The Change Tour kicks off July 31st. Check it all out on our socials and here, on the dot com. Keep being amazing, y'all. The world needs us to be alive and engaged. Thanks from the bottom of our happy hearts for being our people - for being in our corner. We are inspired every day by your support. We'll see ya out there!

AJ



#deliberatekin #positivefolk #bluegrass #americana #ontour #vanlife #travel #blog #adventure #dreamsareforeveryone #thinkbig #align #livemusic #patreon #fulltimefamily #homeschool #worldschool #unschool #photography #landscape #singersongwriter #originalmusic #bethechange #nevercomingdown #livingthedream #runawaybride #juliaroberts #richardgere


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