March 11, 2011

and everyday i love you more.

i knew this person, and this person knew this person who knew this girl. the story was told to me because of the mutual "connector" that is honduras. as told before, i've been to honduras several times. i love it's place and it's people. my plans always take me back there. we will see... all that to say, there is this girl. a girl who dropped everything. and she went. she started a life in honduras. she started a family in honduras. this is her {morgan's} story:
q: adoption process... go!
a: the story of grace--- grace was given to me by her grandmother because she could not feed her and told me that "she could not have another baby die." grace's birth mother is only eighteen and she is dying of AIDS. i think it is so cool how the Lord had all of this worked out because what she didn't know is that at that time i was in honduras looking to find if i could stay. forever. if i could build my house there and raise orphans who would become my family. i thought it was where i was called, but i was just making sure. the grandmother had no clue about this, obviously. so i didn't really have much to think about it, it all just clicked into place. in a moment's time i knew this was my daughter and la moskitia {the orphanage} is where we would call home. adoption in honduras is very complicated. it's a very long process. last year only eleven children were adopted from the country, and no child has ever been adopted from la moskitia. the first step was getting grace a birth certificate. this was actually an easy process, but only by the Lord's grace! the next step was finding grace's birth-mom and getting her to sign all of the rights over. this is currently where i stand in the process. unfortunately, because of a number of reasons i was not able to meet with her when i was there this past december/january. however, in february {after i left} she decided it was what was best for grace. so she gave all of the legal rights of grace over to me. when i return to honduras in may i will finish up the paperwork. this paper work says that i am grace's legal guardians or "legal" MOM. this is an official adoption in honduras. however, she is still a honduran citizen not an american citizen. 
q: could you ever have imagined what loving grace would be like? 
a: no! i would have never thought i could love someone so much. i thought i would love her, but not like i do. its hard to explain but it's something that grows more everything i spend with her. i love every ounce of her body, every hair on her head, every laugh, every smile, and every tear. i simple can't get enough of her! most parents like a break from their kids sometimes, i haven't gotten there yet. when i get to be with her, i can not stand to be without her ever for an hour. 
q: what is your favorite memory of grace's life thus far?
a: my favorite memory would be just being able to see the changes in her life in the last six months. she was a baby who made no noise, didn't eat, and couldn't move to a baby. a baby that nurses told me not to get attached to because she "would not make it." she is now a healthy one year old who is full of love, she is never full, she sings, and she dances!
for more on morgan, grace, her family, her ministry, and this story go to her website, here.
where there is love, there is art.


once upon a lifetime... {in college} i thought spring break was so "needed." i had no idea. it wasn't until i became a teacher, working a real job, and dealing with all the little "mes and yous" of the world that i understood what "needing" a spring break actually entailed. i look forward to the next nine days of relatively no obligation. you will find me here:
perdido key, florida.
nashville, tennessee. 
should be pretty perfect. and "needed."
where there is love, there is art. 

March 8, 2011

this post has a purpose.

if i had to shamelessly promote any one thing 'til the day i die... this would be it. i am so proud. not only because he's one of my favorite humans. even more, because he's a freaking talented human. you will be missing out if you don't know about this one thing. with that being said... "now you're free." the newest full length album from my darling dear, matthew mayfield.

when he sent the album to me pre-release he said, "i hope some of them take you somewhere." they did. i send the same sentiment to you, friend and reader, that matthew sent to me. in particular get ready for "ghost" with bo rinehart of needtobreathe. holy moly! there's other guest vocals from joy williams and john paul white of the civil wars respectively. oh, and then there's another new track-- "a cycle." i can't handle it. the boy is so raw, and so real. it's beautiful. there's just so much good, people.

you can pre-order the album here. however, the album will officially be released April 5th on iTunes, amazon, and other select music retailers. do. not. miss. this. release.

nor would you want to miss finding him:

Mar 25 – Opelika, AL – 8th & Rail
Mar 26 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Druid City Arts Festival
Mar 27 – Birmingham, AL – Workplay {CD Release Show}
Mar 29 – New Orleans, LA – Wolf’s Den – The Howlin’ Wolf
Mar 30 – Seaside, FL – Seaside Amphitheater
Apr 5 – Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Room @ Smith’s Olde Bar – OFFICIAL CD RELEASE DAY
Apr 6 – Nashville, TN – 3rd & Lindsley
Apr 7 – Charlotte, NC – The Double Door
Apr 9 – Knoxville, TN – Preservation Pub {Supporting The Black Cadillacs}
Apr 12 – Atlanta, GA – Eddie’s Attic
Apr 13 – Columbia, SC – White Mule
Apr 14 – Charlotte, NC – The Double Door
Apr 19 – Atlanta, GA – Eddie’s Attic {Acoustic}
Apr 20 – Nashville, TN – 3rd & Lindsley {Acoustic}
Apr 21 – Charlotte, NC – The Double Door {Acoustic}
Apr 23 – Oxford, MS – The Blind Pig
Apr 26 – Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Room @ Smith’s Olde Bar
Apr 27 – Athens, GA – Caledonia Lounge
again, i hope this album takes you somwhere. but, honestly, one thing i know for certain is that it will. 

where there is love, there is art.

March 7, 2011

dougy doug.

i've "shown off" my darling friend, sarah, on a few occasions. however, i have yet to tell where this story really begins... with her creative and passionate dad,  doug moorad...
mr. moorad and his lovely family. 
q: how did you first become an artist?
a: i am a self-taught artist. after enrolling in a few art and architecture classes more than 30 years ago at lake forest college outside of chicago, short of refurbishing furniture, i did nothing to cultivate my now growing interest in painting until approximately 5 years ago. as i was traveling the world for my job as a director of corporate sales training for a fortune 100 consulting and services corporation, i found that carrying watercolors, brushes and paper helped me to pass the time away from home. i started out creating small cards and works for gifts to family and friends. i first discovered that my paintings could have value when a proprietor of a pub in brussels, belgium accepted a painting of the city as a payment for dinner. now my paintings grace the walls of gift shops, corporate offices, and hotels from southeast asia to south hampton, and from stockholm to san diego. 
q: what inspires you most?
a: the goal of every work is to create a sense of personalization of the motion and emotion of nature as seasons and light change. 
q: fill in the blank, please. i like to create _____________.
a: i consider myself an interpretive landscape artist. i paint plien aire only when time allows, the snapshots are in my mind. i paint my larger works in hotels {where i have seen longer stays}, or in my studio in brentwood, tennessee. this style of painting suits my lifestyle. 
doug and judy moorad. 
q: i love ______________.
a: i love my relationships with jesus christ and my family- my three kids, adam, sarah, and will and my wife, judy. simply, when you have been loved it is easy to recognize the real meaning of giving love. it applies to each of the relationships i listed. i love my CD collection {i have close to 400}, music that makes you listen and pulls you in. i love good art, all kinds. of course i love watercolor the most. there are so many great artists and techniques. i thrills me. i love to watch people work hard at something- anything constructive. i love to watch passion, to watch people learn and feel as what they are doing really matters. i love hot weather, it's never too warm. i love soccer, tennis, and golf. i love the chicago cubs. my macbook pro. i love george, our yellow lab, he's my constant companion. i love the occasional starbucks too. 

where there is love, there is art. 

March 6, 2011

march giveaway. word.

the time has come...
it's march giveaway time!
you know the lovebug, mia, that i introduced you to a few days ago?
well, she is also a creative genius. 
she's like superwoman. she can do anything.
especially when it comes to DIY and design. 
so, the giveaway for the month comes from her company, sprig
comment under this post with your name and email. 
and you could be the winner of the picture frame shown above. 
this giveaway requires very little from you. so do yourself a favor...
by the way. this giveaway ends march 31. grool.

where there is love, there is art. 

March 3, 2011

the abrams.

mr. mayfield was right/write on when he penned the lyrics "show us the meaning of lives entwined" for these two. mia and michael abrams have a unique love for one another. it's sweet and it's inspiring. 
photo by rob ingram. 
q: how did you guys meet?
a: we met through mutual friends. michael was living with three guys and i was living with three girls. he actually knew two of the girls i was living with. he lived across the street and down two blocks. we met when he came over to help us rearrange furniture and move in. 
q: mia, what do you find most attractive about michael? michael what do you find most attractive about mia?
a: my favorite thing about michael is that he loves everyone. i'm his wife and he is so loving and kind to me. but the special thing about him is that he treats everyone with such love. from the person he has just met, to the friends he has grown up with. 
photo by rob ingram.
mia was first attractive to me because she cared about others more than herself. i've never been around someone who was so genuinely excited about the things that her friends are excited about. she rejoices with those she loves when they are happy, and weeps alongside them when thy are sad. from a martial standpoint, i couldn't ask for a better helpmate. i'm a dude. i always want to stay up a little too late, play guitar a little too long, and sometimes even have one too many "adult beverages." she thinks for me and wants to help me make the best decisions. she is the "big picture" to my "in the moment" life, if that makes sense. the special thing about this is that she wants me to make wise decisions and be the best me i can be, but she is always so gentle about it. she has always let me be who i am, but has carefully confronted me about her concerns. i couldn't ask for a better wife!
photo by rob ingram.
q: what work of art best represents your love for one another?
a: music. this is probably just because music makes me feel more than any other medium ever has. the funny thing is, some of my favorite songs are now much more special to me when i listen to them with her. 
q: what do you guys think is the key to loving?
a: look, i'm just gonna get this out there because i believe it to be true- i think the gospel is the key for me in loving mia, and anyone else for that matter. i genuinely believe that i'm inherently selfish and that i wasn't able to love others until i was loved. we both see our selfishness daily and are constantly challenged to put the other person before ourselves. love is work. don't let anyone tell you otherwise. i will say, however, it's the hardest and most enjoyable thing i've ever experienced. 
where there is love, there is art. 

March 1, 2011

in tune with olivia.

man! how i love this picture and this girl. 
she just looks cool, doesn't she? i happen to think she's absolutely wonderful. i consider her a kindred spirit though she is: 1. much cooler than I am. 2. a great deal younger than i. 
the secret is she impressed me with her passion for and opinion on "good music." if ever you want to know the secret to earning my respect, impress me with your taste in music. i have been known to love every type of music. however, there is a difference in good music and bad music. i explained this to my students just the other day. i told them one of my many goals for the school year is that when they leave my class for summer that they would have a deep appreciation for good music {and that does not mean justin bieber, despite popular opinion}. 
so here is a look into the current playlist of miss liv:
"well i feel like all of my music pretty much changes with the season, like bon iver and ingrid are put aside for a while. also, i don't really get stuck on certain songs. but i do get stuck on artists. so for that i will have to say right now it's...

wilco {who is coming to our mutual hometown of montgomery, alabama. shock!}

cat stevens {always}.

dr. dog

the head and the heart

larkin poe {previously the lovell sisters}

{these chicks right here are so up the ansleyhayden alley. gimme that bluegrass! all the time}.
thank you little miss olivia. 
i was once told by a friend that i met after college that she did not like me in college because she thought i was pretentious. that i gave off the vibe that i thought my taste, especially in music, was far superior to everyone else's taste. perhaps that could be true? guilty. 
where there is love, there is art.