Category Archives: homeschooling

Concert 38- Atlanta, Georgia: Be An Angel Day 8-22-09

Concert 38
Atlanta, Georgia
Be An Angel Day, August 22, 2009,
an official holiday founded by Jayne Howard Feldman www.earthangel4peace.com

To sponsor a blog, email Andrea: AHylen@mac.com

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August 22, 2009

Tonight was our 38th concert of the summer. In the morning, when we left my parents house in Florida, I knew that I had $300 in my pocket and a plan to go to the next three concerts. We needed gas, food, shelter, tickets. The question was, “How was I going to stretch this money until a check arrives in a few days?”

The Jonas Brothers tour will not stop for us and wait until more money comes. When we arrived in Atlanta, we had 8 more concerts to go to make it to 45. Were we to continue or to stop? I have asked myself this question over and over all summer long. And here it was again and we decided to move forward one day, one step at a time.

As I said, we left my parents home in Lecanto, Florida around 7:30am and drove to Atlanta. I drove on a tree-lined country road, Route 41, for the first hour before hopping onto Interstate 75 North.

Finding the venue was a little confusing. The highway sign said to exit here for Phillips Arena and then the signs stopped once we were in the city. Lost and needing to go to the bathroom, I found a luxurious hotel with a luxurious bathroom with beautiful, marble counters and floors. The kind of bathroom that has wooden, levered doors, floor to ceiling, on each stall and thick, paper hand towels and hand lotion to rub on your hands after you wash them.

I asked the concierge of the hotel for directions to the arena. As I approached the car, a male version of a meter maid approached my car that was illegally parked. All was well. No ticket, I moved the car in time. Welcome to Atlanta.

After driving in circles for ten minutes, we found the arena next to CNN, paid for parking and made the short walk to the sponsored activity area. I had a bag full of Bop-its, in case I wanted to play with anyone or do any filming.

James, the college rugby captain guy who had been working the Mike and Ike’s booth area all summer was getting ready to leave the tour and fly home to New York. His plan was a quick stop at home to say Hi to his parents, do his laundry, and pack to go back to college in Vermont.
That was the focus of everything for me yesterday. I had taken pictures a few days earlier with James and Sean, the other Mike and Ike guy, because I knew that Atlanta was the last day and James was leaving early to go to the airport.

First I hugged him when I arrived. Next, I checked out the electricity situation at his tent and was able to charge my phone on the power strip. I hugged him again and we talked about the details of his leaving. Once he had the stand set up our routine was to fill each other in on the last 12 hrs since we had seen each other. Things like his tour of the Superdome or playing basketball with the Jonas Brothers that afternoon. I would share things like waking up to find four sheriff vehicles surrounding my car at a rest stop (a story for another day) or getting my cell phone reconnected at the Verizon Store.

Yesterday, James was wrapping up details and I began to walk around the area and do the usual things. I was looking for stories for the blog and ideas that would make this day special.
A group of girls found Hannah, talked with her, and took pictures with her. It is really fun meeting so many wonderful girls every day. Our adventure is richer with meeting and sharing stories with all of you. I really mean that and will continue to say that forever because it is true!

4pm- The Wonder Girls appear to teach the crowd their dance to the song “Nobody,” and I take pictures of them in their outfits for the day. Yesterday a beautiful purple outfit, one of fifty different outfits they wear.

Next, the Honor Roll dance contest for meet and greet passes for the Honor Society. This is my afternoon aerobics and opportunity to demonstrate how a 52 woman who loved to dance from birth, can still dance!

At each moment, I had one eye on James to make sure he didn’t leave without saying goodbye. No worries. James found me to say goodbye, and get a picture of Hannah and me on his camera.
And then, he was gone. It felt like he was the first kid to leave summer camp. Here we had our own lives going on all summer but our paths crossed every day from about 3-6pm. It was a happy-sad moment. I was happy that we could actually develop a relationship of friendship and mutual respect this summer and sad that the summer is coming to a close. He is the first of a handful of people I will be sad to say goodbye to in the next week.

I think back on when I first met James in East Rutherford, New Jersey. I didn’t really remember seeing the Mike and Ike’s booth before then. The sponsors were in a big open parking lot there and I saw him when I arrived at that concert. We began to talk and I asked him how people got Jordin Sparks meet and greet passes. Hannah and I hadn’t seen a contest or a way to enter. Jordin Sparks was on the Mike and Ike’s truck and he was taking pictures of people by a green screen with an inserted Jordin Sparks. He said there was a contest on the website and that sometimes he had passes.

It seemed in the beginning that James was pretty guarded with me. First of all, every day, he had sooooo many people coming up to ask him for meet and greets and tickets. People always wanted things from him. And at the first few times I saw him, he would automatically say that he didn’t have any meet and greets for Jordin. Finally, I let him know that I enjoyed the conversations we had and that if I never got a meet and greet, it was okay. I still wanted to talk with him. (And by the way, he never had tickets for the show to hand out to anyone.)

Maybe I was drawn to him in the beginning because he was born June 13, 1988 and my son who died 17 years ago was born June 12, 1991. Maybe this was an opportunity for me to hang out with a son for the summer. Maybe it was a chance for us both to close a generation gap and just get to know each other as the people we are. And let’s be clear, this is not a “cougar” moment. I truly love who he is as a person and I know that there is a great life ahead of him. He is just getting started and I am on to the next chapter of my life. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed our conversations and already miss him.

After James left, the focus switched to tickets for the evening.. Hannah and I both got tickets. A Jonas fan sent her a tweet that she had an extra ticket and Hannah could have it. The young woman is 20 years old and her twitter name is Emmyjo13 on. A friend of hers had a competition and couldn’t go. Emmyjo13’s Mom thought she would have more fun with another Jonas lover and so they gave the ticket to Hannah. Hannah had a great time with her and this is how it goes!

Burger King connected with the Top 40 radio station and donated a few tickets for upgrades. I received one of the tickets from a JB fan that she no longer needed. It is amazing because there are tickets everyday that are not used because someone is sick or gets another ticket and I wish that there was an easy way to give them to people. The problem is that it is usually something last minute and it is not always easy to get the ticket to someone. Hmmm…still pondering this.

The concert was great, as usual! I loved my seat. It ended up being a front row in the 200 section and I had plenty of room to dance.

I sat next to a woman and her daughter and three girlfriends. We were talking about getting tickets in Cleveland. The challenge with tickets is the time it takes when you hang out for the free ticket, discounted tickets, a better ticket or tickets for a sold out show. Although the woman has a brother and his family in Cleveland, the question was would she want to drive all that way without the guarantee of a ticket.

And that is where I am right now. Beginning to ponder some information from Joseph Campbell, the Hero’s Journey, looking for the guarantee in life and opening to the inspiration of truly being in the moment.

This requires a blog of it’s own. Stay tuned…

Concert 39-Lexington, Kentucky

Thanks to MaryAnn McNeely for sponsoring the blog this week.
She makes beautiful jewelry and is a life coach.

Check out her website:

http://www.maryannmcneely.com/

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As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Concert 39: Lexington, Kentucky
August 23, 2009

The day really began with the night before. In order to save money and make it to the next concert, we decided to sleep in the car. Hannah and I looked at this as part of the adventure, another story to tell, nothing to be upset about. It was the thing that was required to continue the journey.

On Facebook I posted the message: What are willing to do for your dream? Last night we slept in the car.

Since San Antonio, ten days ago, we knew that continuing to move forward and to follow our dream was a quest. Our love of the Jonas Brothers and the music and the family of bands, vendors and the community that were a part of this summer were pulling us forward. Hannah and I were looking at our resources differently. The daily question had changed. It had become: What would it take to make it to the end? We are looking at the money, the distance, and the details of what it will take to do this.

Driving from Atlanta, Georgia to Lexington, Kentucky last night, I passed a great rest area in Georgia and felt that I could drive for at least an hour. I assumed there would be rest areas in Tennessee.

The first rest area in Tennessee was the Welcome Center and there were signs posting a limit of two hours for parking. By the time, I checked directions, went to the bathroom and checked a few things on the computer, I had 90 minutes to sleep. After that, I pushed on and drove and drove and drove. The next rest area was closed and then there was nothing.

Imagine my surprise at 3am when Clifford, the red bus that carries the Honor Society and their staff sped by me. I was driving slower than the speed limit. It was such a dark, remote area with no lighting and I did not want to hit an animal that might cross the road. I was still going 60 mph, but not the 70 mph speed limit.

Hannah was asleep next to me, but I talked to the bus. “Hey Clifford! Great to see you, is the Honor Society on the bus tonight? Sleep tight Mike, Andy, Alex, Jason, Janice, Kat and Gio and whoever is on the bus tonight, maybe Ned. See you in Lexington!”

It is moments like this that bring a feeling of community into my heart. I pass cars and buses and trucks every day. I don’t know their story. I do not know where they are going or where they have been. But, when it is someone you know, there is a moment of recognition and connection. As the bus continued on the road, a slow smile parted my lips and I felt that connection. I knew the people on that bus, in the middle of the night, outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee and I knew where they were going.

Tonight, I knew where I was going.

Two hours later, I found a rest stop in Kentucky. It was full of cars and trucks and buses. There were lots of people snoozing here. A few hours later with the rising of the sun, I felt my heart singing with joy. We slept in the car last night! We were willing to do whatever it took to fulfill our dream. We are going to make it to the end.

I felt this rush of adrenalin and I felt more freedom than I have ever felt in my life. I had a feeling of, “I can do anything, be anything, and go anywhere I want to go.”

Deciding to sleep in the car was about empowerment and choice. The choices we make are the freedom. It is not what is happening to you. It is what you choose to do with it. We cannot control the behavior of other people, or even all of the circumstances in our lives. We can only choose our thoughts, our actions, and change our perspective.

This was a choice. We were headed to six more concerts. One concert at a time.

With Hannah still sleeping in the car, I drove to a McDonald’s for breakfast and coffee and electricity for the computer. I watched sleepy people dragging in to McDonald’s as I worked there for the next hour taking notes for the blog, posting on Facebook, checking on my house. Funny, everyone entering looks like they slept at the rest area and came here to go to the bathroom, wash up and eat breakfast.

We arrived at the venue around 11am. There is a different energy at this hour. It was a Sunday morning and not a lot of traffic. The trucks had arrived with Apple Fries, and Mike and Ike’s. The merchandise table was beginning to set up. People were moving slowly. They were drinking coffee and standing around viewing the location, talking about set-up, and laughing about life and stories they were sharing.

Hannah and I parked and headed to the Hyatt. The whole block was connected, Rupp Arena, Lexington Center with a food court and stores and the Hyatt Hotel. We heard that the Jonas Brothers were staying at the Hyatt. There were already small groups of girls gathering in the lobby and outside the building.

I changed my clothes and washed my face in the Hyatt bathroom and then found a spot to sit with my computer. I wanted to write the Atlanta concert blog while it was still fresh in my mind. I have been really lucky to find “office space” all over the country.

I talked with a family who homeschool their 5 children. The mom and the girls were going to the Jonas brother’s concert and the dad and the boys had their own adventure planned.
As I sat there typing, Garbo entered the building. I did not have a picture with him yet and I was running out of time, only six concerts to go. I have had so many girls request pictures of Garbo that it became a part of the list in my brain to get a picture with him! He was so sweet. He had been sleeping in the bus and came inside to take a shower and go to his room. He very patiently talked, listened and looked at a scrapbook. He has really grown in his interactions with the fans this summer. He slowly turned the pages and looked at the pictures in the scrapbook. He posed for pictures even though he hadn’t even brushed his teeth yet.

Here is a link to a video. Samantha is a fan and this is on her Youtube account. I am the first one with Garbo in the beginning and then Hannah and then a number of other fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH8UwMNbE0Q

Later in the day we were in the food court and someone on the tour had seen Hannah’s tweet about sleeping in the car. This person had been following Hannah on twitter, inspired by our journey and gave us a hotel room at the Hyatt. There is a really juicy back story, but to keep the confidence and anonymity of the person, I will just say that it was a gift. It was great to know that we had a nice room to head towards at the end of the night. (If anyone knows the story, please keep the confidence for now.)

It is funny how different every place is on the tour. In Lexington, there were hardly any people who came to the venue early. I was hoping to film some crowds for a future video montage, but the lines were so short. There was a small crowd waiting to see the band members or get a glimpse of the Jonas Brothers.

Around 6:30 pm, we bought two $90 tickets from either a Dad or a scalper for $25 each. He said that he was a Dad and he bought extra tickets for his daughter’s friends and they let him down. It is a possible story, but someone around us said that he was a scalper.

In the arena and settling down, I looked around to see who was sitting with us, took pictures of the stage, and observed people. I saw a woman standing up facing a group of kids and signing. She was an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter. I have watched ASL at meetings and events, and have taken some classes. But, I have never seen someone signing a pop-rock concert. When Jordin started to sing, the interpreter was signing and acting out all the movements on the stage. Jordin Sparks sang SOS and the interpreter put “attitude” into it. Here are some of the words from the song:

“What’s up girlfriend, something’s going on.
You got a look about you, tell me what’s wrong.
Is that your boyfriend, dancing with the girl on the floor?”

And there is finger pointing, body shaking, facial expressions, an attitude all the way. I had so much fun watching the interpreter, move her body, scrunch her face, shake her finger. She kept signing and then looking at Jordin and the back-up singers, Rachel and Leah as they moved to the music. Then, she would turn back to the group in front of her and sign, sing and dance.
I watched the interpreter all night and kept glancing at the stage and doing my own movements of dancing and Attitude, that’s right, attitude with a capital A.

Jordin and her band are on moving on to perform with Britney Spears as part of the Circus Tour. It is a great opportunity for Jordin and reaching a new audience. We will miss her and the whole band in Nashville and Columbus. She will be back for Cleveland.

At the end of the concert, Hannah and I grabbed a few things from the car and headed up to our free room at the Hyatt. Our friend left some snacks for us. It was a luxurious room and a great contrast from the night before.

My Facebook status tonight: Freedom. Last night we slept in the car. Tonight a free room at the Hyatt.

Ah, the mystery of life.

Music Memories Part II

There has been so much going on for the last few days. Very little time to write and post a blog. Here are a few more music memories. I will share more in a few days from LA.

High school was a mixture of incredible expansive music in so many genres.

When I think of feeling sad in high school, I think of how I would walk to the park, swing on the swings and sing My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music. I would cry and sing and I always felt better when I walked home. The Sound of Music was the first movie I saw in a movie theater as a child. I have always loved musicals. Even though it was not a cool thing to do, this was a very healing song for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHTN4Jvi6lg

High school was Carole King, Jethro Tull, Jesus Christ Superstar-the musical, Stevie Wonder, Rolling Stones and yes, The Beatles!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZLAvCgV80s&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyDgDLp7s4M&feature=PlayList&p=5581D73B7C813C81&index=0&playnext=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkje4FiH9Qc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V-oWF6a-Bk&feature=related

All for now…On to Fresno, CA

Concert 24-Kansas City, Missouri Another Anniversary

Concert 24-Kansas City, Missouri
July 29, 2009

Another anniversary: Two years ago today Hannah and I went to our first Jonas Brothers concert. We stayed at a hotel outside of Philadelphia the night before. It was only two hours from our home but I needed sleep. The idea of getting up at 4 am to drive 2 hours, to sit in line in the sun, waiting to go to a concert was not my idea of fun. I wanted a good night’s sleep.

I have to laugh now when I think about how many times I have driven through the night or slept for 4 hours or less before driving 22 hours to the next town for a concert. It is amazing how your perspective can change about something.

We were up at 6am, sat in line, saw the concert and started an adventure I could never have imagined. But, that is how life is, isn’t it? When we open to inspiration and allow the unfolding of events, it is always greater, more powerful and brilliant and amazing. I have a saying that when I get out of the way, God steps in and the real adventure begins.

I have been thinking about some of the pivotal moments in my life. When I worked at the University of Maryland, many years ago, I was a research assistant on an epidemiological study involving elderly women and hip fractures.

I had a curiosity about a thing called a “computer.” It was 1984. Most people were not using computers. My boss encouraged me to take some classes. I learned that I was not good at programming, but I was very good at understanding the potential and communicating with the computer programmers. That led to my getting a job as a Project Director at Johns Hopkins University on an amateur boxing study and then my next job was working as a computer software trainer at a pharmaceutical company. It was good money and I loved the work and the freedom I had at the company. It happened because I was curious, interested, willing to work hard, learn and make mistakes. I took one step at a time that led me to discover something I was really good at. I was laid off from that job and a few years later began to home school my children. Each step led me to more joy, passion and expression of myself and my inner gifts.

I think about how the willingness to take my daughter to one concert two years ago led us to an adventure of travel, writing, growing together, healing our hearts, and meeting you. My heart overflows with gratitude. And the journey is still opening to more and more. I appreciate you the reader who is sharing in this journey. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

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In Kansas City, we attended the concert with the wife of one of my best friend’s ex-husband. Isn’t that confusing? My friend, Karen, is divorced from her husband, Kevin and he, now using his first name, Vince, is remarried to Meghan. Karen and Kevin’s (Vince’s) kids are in Kansas City for six weeks. So, we have driven half way across the country to go to a Jonas Brothers concert with Sophie, age 9.

I love describing these connections here. I have a friend, Susan, who can tell amazing stories about her family. She makes connections in her stories like the friend’s cousin’s wife’s sister’s dog. How can she remember that? It is so much fun to hear her stories.

Anyway, Meghan, the step mom, bought four tickets on Stub Hub for Hannah and Sophie and me and for herself. As the day approached, one of Meghan’s friend’s daughters (here I go again) was in town. I gave up my ticket and bought a single ticket at the box office. I found a great group of girls to dance with in another part of the venue.

Meghan drove to the venue and found the best parking spot of the summer! Yeah, Meghan!

I saw Sean from the vendor company, Mike and Ike’s, and yelled out to him. He doesn’t really know me so he was totally confused and I pulled a “you know we are watching your every move,” type of conversation. He got all wide-eyed and friendly but nervous. Then I introduced myself, to give the guy a break, and asked where James was today.

I found James, also from Mike and Ike’s and thanked him for the Jordin Sparks meet and greet passes from the night before. We talked about how nice and talented she is and how gracious with all of the fans. Then, he gave me an autographed picture of Jordin. He had an extra one from another event. I was so surprised! Here I was coming to thank him and the gifts just keep coming!!

We were able to get meet and greet passes for Honor Society again. Yeah! It happens sometimes when the band is in a town that doesn’t know them well. Kat was able to squeeze us in for a picutre moment. We saw them two nights in a row and I wished them well on their travels.

I was a little confused about where they were going next. Was it to the Bahamas and Mexico or just the Bahamas. No Mexico shows for them this time! Gio, the security guard and much more, said hello and gave me a high five.

I settled into my seat with a bag of Kettle Corn and a bottle of water and ready to dance! I was in the front row looking over the edge. Luckily there was a plexi-glass wall next to me and I held onto that until I got the rhythm of jumping in one place and reducing the risk of falling over the edge. Not sure if the people in the box seats next to me appreciated my hand placement, but I think it was better than watching me fall over the edge and plummet to my death in front of several small children.

Hannah and I were in different parts of the venue tonight. She had floor seats and I was in the balcony. I was in the first row in the farthest seat. As I was leaving the venue, I moved past 15 seats, climbed 21 rows, came halfway around the venue to a long escalator, waited in line for the escalator and then headed towards the outside door. A hand touched my shoulder and I looked around to see Hannah. Meghan and Sophie and Maddie went back to the car a few songs earlier. Out of all the different routes out of the building, how did we end up at the same place at the same time?

It was the perfect ending to a perfect day, as we walked to the car chatting back and forth about the adventures of the evening. All is well.

Concert 17-East Rutherford, New Jersey- Community and Family

How perfect that Kathryn Yarborough is the sponsor for today. Check out her youtube about reducing stress and her website.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htUcHvw9xqo

http://www.relaxed-and-at-ease.com

And let people know about her site. It is truly a gift.

For more information about becoming a sponsor go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com

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Concert 17-East Rutherford, New Jersey

Community and Family

Wyckoff, New Jersey is listed as the hometown of the Jonas Brothers. The boys were born in New Jersey, Texas and Arizona. Currently they reside in Dallas and Los Angeles. Each location has a specialness for them, but New Jersey is home. And with Kevin’s recent engagement to a young woman named Danielle, it is even more evident. (Congratulations to them!)

I sat in section 108 last night. It is the center of the stage, I was in the 7th row, eye level with the band, and the seat was next to the underground tunnel where the band emerges to go to the stage. These were definitely the best seats I ever had at any show in my entire life.

Every evening the show is great and I have seen some that are phenomenal. But, this was like being in someone’s home. It felt like the arena was filled with only the people who have watched and supported the Jonas Brothers for a long time. And yes, Danielle was there with her family and bodyguards for both nights of the show. She sat a few rows away from me for the last two nights.

After the song, Live to Party, they leaned back on each other and breathed for awhile. It was an example of how much energy they were putting into each of the shows last night. This is the song from their hit Disney show, JONAS. Nick plays the drums the whole time and does some amazing solos. Joe and Kevin get into a mechanical arm contraption and spray foam on half of the audience. Fun and energetic!

It was a privilege to be there last night. To see and feel the warmth of a community of friends and family. To watch the boys give their all and share themselves so beautifully and personally with this group of people.

I have been taking notes and observing the idea of community for the past few weeks.

When you follow a band for the summer, you feel like you know the band, and the people who work the sponsor booths. If you were a dead head who followed the Grateful Dead, like my friend, Kater or if you have ever followed a band, you know what I mean about the community that is formed. (my sister-in-law, Patty has seen many, many Tom Petty shows and would love a summer like this to follow him around the country. Go for it, Patty!!)

In the community this summer, there is Jeff who drives the Burger King – Apple Fries truck. As we were leaving DC on Monday at 11:45pm, I saw him and beeped. Yesterday, I asked if he heard me beep at him and I asked him why he went towards Annapolis to drive to New Jersey. Yes, he heard me beep and he had to go a different way because of the restrictions for trucks on 295 North, the direct path I was taking towards Baltimore. He let me know that the air conditionning was on in the truck, if I got too hot today.

Jason another BK guy gave me two Jonas Brothers gift cards yesterday to help us with food. I met him a few nights ago and he took a picture of us at my 40th concert.

Owen, Seth and Warren work for Verizon Wireless and have a band of their own called Raised by Radio. When I saw Owen at the start of the summer, his eyes lit up and he said, “Are you traveling across the country again?” He very excitedly gave me an update on the band and told me they were cutting a CD this summer. If you want to check them out go to www.myspace.com/raisedbyradio.

Michael from Verizon is also a musician. There is a recording studio bus sponsored by Verizon Wireless and they travel with musicians ten months out of the year. He has traveled with Green Day, Black eyed Peas, and Rhianna to name a few.

Things happen during the summer in this community. This summer we have celebrated Nick’s trip to DC to talk to the Senate about continuing the funding for diabetes research. We celebrated the CD reaching #1, the second time on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.

Jordin Sparks has a CD release on July 21. Honor Society has a CD release on Sept 15 with pre-sales already. We celebrate their music and their success. It is an exciting time for them and for the community that loves them all.

The Wonder Girls now have their song Nobody available on CD and they were there yesterday with a brief introduction. (They were not at the concerts here, but will be on stage in Boston) They saw Hannah and invited her up to the stage for a picture. A bit later, Hannah pointed to me and asked them, if I could have a picture, too. They motioned for me to come up. We cheer them on and they embrace us, too, this summer.

Last summer we were in Irvine, CA for the birthday of Denise Jonas, in Atlanta for Demi Lovato’s birthday and Joe’s graduation celebration. We were in Anaheim for two days of filming the 3-D Jonas Brothers movie, in NYC for the CD release and in the DC area when the CD reached number one on the charts.

These are the public moments and there are many small moments in the concert. Celebrating the birthdays of two ten year olds at their first concert. Celebrating a graduation from high school. Celebrating and sharing our lives, as we wait for the concert to begin.

I am in awe of the beautiful communities all over this country. Women, men and children gathered and supporting each other. I am aware during this time in the world how we all need each other more than ever.

In Vancouver, on a wonderful afternoon spent on a boat called Loveable with my friend, Laura Mack and her husband, Andrew a few weeks ago (actually, it was Canada Day-July 1), I watched a boating community greet and support each other. When the boat docks, people on shore step forward to guide you in safely. Yes, part of it is self-preservation. The boaters want their own boats to be safe. , But as we docked on the island, three boaters appeared and their boats were safely on the other side of the dock. They assisted us and it made for smooth docking.

There were picnics and barbecues. People greeted each other and the children and dogs that accompanied many of them on their journey. A community of love and support and connection.

When I went home to Baltimore last week, I got up early one morning to get a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich at a local Zi Pani. I was excited to give a BK Jonas Brothers lanyard to one of the women who works there. Her daughter is crazy for the Jonas Brothers. The lanyards are only handed out at certain concerts and I had been saving this for her.

I drove up to the parking lot and it was so empty. I looked and the store had closed. After a moment of shock, I got back in my car, put my head on the steering wheel and cried. I felt the loss of this corner of the community. The place I shared my journey, picked up breakfast for the road, listened to the passions of the workers, heard the stories of their children, their health issues, their ups and downs. In the month Hannah and I have been on the road, the store closed with no warning. I had no chance to say goodbye. It really hit me hard.

We need each other. We need support for our dreams, our hopes, our wishes. We need each other to hold during the times of loss and sadness, during the times of joy and celebration.

Yes, the concert last night was a magnificent example of a community that has held the dreams with a family of musicians with great, big hearts.

Find ways today to support someone and to ask and receive support yourself. There is a flow to this giving and receiving and we are all in this together.

How I lost 7 lbs in three weeks

How I lost 7 lbs in three weeks!

We arrived in Baltimore for 24 hours and I weighed myself on the scale. I had lost 7 lbs. No real change in diet, just dancing at 15 concerts in less than a month. I call it the Jonas Brothers concert exercise program. Dancing to all of the songs at every concert is required, including learning the Honor Roll for the song, “See you in the dark” and the Wonder Girls dance to “Nobody.” (I will see if I can find links to those.)

For those of you who want to exercise to Jonas Brothers music, I created two videos last fall to stay in shape.

Here are the links:

Yoga to Hello Beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnDHPF_qIgU

Dances from the 60’s to That’s Just the Way You Roll: http://blip.tv/file/1456548

Enjoy!

I AM the MOM


Today’s Blog is sponsored by Evolutionary Women
www.evolutionarywomen.org

For more information on becoming a sponsor go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com.

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I am the mother. At night, I dance and sing and clap and cheer at the concerts. I talk with people and I have a good time.

During the day I plan out the next day’s drive. I look a week or so in advance and arrange places to stay.

I make phone calls back to Baltimore. Checking with my friend, Karen who is handling details at my house. A radiator pipe started to drip. A contract on the house not working out. I look at the bank account and calculate how many concerts we can plan in advance. I arrange the food, fill the gas tank, anticipate the next oil change, review the weather.

It is an honor to be of service. And at the same time, I am walking a new path for myself. I am sending e-mails to authors from our book Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life. I e-mail around the authors around country while I support my daughter in her dream. She is amazing! I watch her determination with the blogs and answering e-mails. It is my joy.

And everyday I ask myself, what is my purpose? Am I here only to support her dream or am I also laying a foundation for me?

There is a balancing act for most mothers. The question I have asked myself many times, “When am I me and when am I a part of “she.” When am I the mother and when am I a separate person, named Andrea.

The first time I fully realized this loss of identity was when my oldest daughter was about two years old. I was sitting in the baby pool at a public pool and the mothers and fathers began to introduce themselves, sort of. The questions focused on the children. Words like, “ahhhh, she is so cute. How old is she? What’s her name?” No one asked about my life, my interests, even my name!

It was okay at first. I adored her, my daughter, Mary and then Liz, Cooper and Hannah. I loved to talk about them, my bundles of joy. I still love to talk to them and about them. They are all amazing individuals. (Cooper died in 1993. A story for another day.)

As the mother, I was identified as Mary’s Mom, Liz’s Mom and now Hannah’s Mom. No one knew my name. A N D R E A …

So, what does this have to do with the concerts? Hannah and I lead separate but intertwined lives this summer. I am known as Hannah’s Mom at the concert venue or as the mother who is traveling to 45 concerts with her daughter.

I am thrilled to support her and I am aware of the things I put aside every day. The book draft from last summer that is waiting for the submission paperwork to an editor, the six blogs in draft form that I haven’t had time to finish because I am running the errands, doing the driving, coordinating the next places to stay. Paying the bills, finding the food, cleaning the car. And as thrilled as I am to support her and watch her and love her, I have moments of asking, what’s in it for me? Like Kevin Costner in the Field of Dreams, I am brought to the edge every day financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually.

I am not complaining. I am bringing into awareness the needs that must be met in some way or I will become resentful. I am aware that I love the concerts, the Jonas Brothers, Honor Society, the Wonder Girls and Jordin Sparks. I am aware that I love the journey with my daughter. I love the driving, the traveling, the listening and something is stirring in me. Words that must be written. A path that is opening for me.

In this awareness, I am sitting in a Panera Bread location in Baltimore this morning. With all of the errands that still need my attention and getting Hannah to the Honor Society Verizon event early, I am taking 30 minutes to drink a cup of coffee and write a blog for me.

I must have my own individualized expression. Sometimes the only way to get it is to decide and to commit to a time for me. I am letting go once again to trust that everything will happen today in the perfect timing.

All is well.

Inspired by Music and America the Beautiful

Tricia Kramer, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Body+Mind+Spirit
National Board Certified
Baltimore, MD 21208
and
Media, PA 19063
by appointment
410-484-2020
www.acufinder.com

Thank you to Tricia Kramer for sponsoring the blog today

For more information on sponsoring the blog, go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com

*********************
Inspired by Music and America the Beautiful

Driving through the canyons of Utah, the rolling mountains of southern Wyoming and the plains of Nebraska, I drove for 14 hours from Salt Lake City to Omaha, Nebraska. As I watched the landscape and drank it into my soul, I listened to the music of Peter Kater. His song Heaven’s Gate from the CD Ambrosia was the perfect music for an early Sunday morning.

Peter is a six-time Grammy nominated songwriter. I was listening to a podcast from an interview with Peter by Kristin and David Morelli on their Everything is Energy Radio program. www.everythingisenergy.com The discussion was music as healing and transformation. I randomly selected this podcast on my iPod this morning. But, seriously, is anything really random?

The timing of this was Divinely perfect. I needed time to integrate the experience I had at the 9th Jonas Brothers concert of the summer at the Stadium of Fire. Every time I thought of the evening, the 4th of July, I had tears spring to my eyes and I felt my heart expanding.

I thought of the music and the words from the songs about the land and America. Here are some of the songs and my favorite words from the songs:

God Bless America

God Bless America
Land that I Love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains,
To the prairies
To the oceans white with foam,
God Bless America
My home, sweet home
God Bless America
My home, sweet home.

I love every word in this song. I love the reminder that we are guided through every dark place in our lives with light from above-and I would add from the Spirit within. I have sung this song softly to myself, as I have driven from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. I LOVE the land. We live in a beautiful, beautiful country. If you don’t have a chance to travel by car across the country, look at photos to feel the richness and diversity. The love of the land could be a religion. I am ga-ga crazy for the land.

America the Beautiful
amber waves of grain
for purple mountain majesty
above the fruited plain…
God shed his grace on thee.

I have visions of driving from one beautiful scene to another. Once again, the land. I also believe that God/Spirit/Higher Power…whatever words you use to create a powerful life force and guide, is blessing us with grace. As painful as the losses I have experienced with the deaths of my son and my husband, with a painful divorce of my first marriage and an illness that had me teetering between life and death, I can feel the blessing and grace of God in all of it.

I learned so much about myself during the dark times. The dark times have helped me to shine my light brightly to learn, to expand and to grow into a richer, wiser human being. Those times have helped me to live a life worth celebrating.

Concert 9-Provo Utah STADIUM OF FIRE!

Tricia Kramer, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Body+Mind+Spirit
National Board Certified
Baltimore, MD 21208
and
Media, PA 19063
by appointment
410-484-2020
www.acufinder.com

Thank you to Tricia Kramer for sponsoring the blog today

For more information on sponsoring the blog, go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com

*********************

Concert 9- Provo, Utah, Stadium of Fire!

Happy 4th of July 2009!

Here is the story of The Stadium of Fire, the Jonas Brothers and the Fourth of July 2009!

The tickets went on sale in March 2009. These were the first tickets announced for the summer Jonas Brothers concert tour. The announcement caught my eye for several reasons:

1. The Jonas Brothers
2. 4th of July
3. Utah (we are planning on moving from Baltimore to California.)

With all of the real estate traffic through the house, I thought it would sell quickly and we would be moving to the west coast. Even without going on a Jonas tour, it felt like it would make sense to plan a west coast 4th of July. Hannah was hesitant to purchase the tickets because we couldn’t find any good seats. We went back and forth talking about this for months.

A few days ago, we finally decided to go to Utah, skip the Edmonton concert on July 2 and Winnipeg on July 5 and take our chances with tickets.

We found tickets the day before the concert and both of us love, love, loved our locations in the stadium. Hannah was a couple of rows from the edge of the catwalk. I had a front row seat to all of the festivities on the field, section 34B. If I was watching a football game, it was probably the 50 yard line, first row, behind the coach. It was great to see all of the pageantry. People dressed in time period costumes that coordinated with a flag from that era, like the Civil War. A variety of kids with flags and fire batons entertained with enthusiasm and smiles.

I was reading the event program before everything started and I saw that the event was going to be broadcast via satellite to thousands of military bases around the world. Tears sprang to my eyes. I felt the magnitude of this all evening. With each wave of entertainment, music, prayers and finally the fireworks, I could feel the power of this. A stadium filled with people who were sharing the evening with military personnel all over the planet. We are all One.

I sat with two teenage girls who are cousins and on the other side, a mother with a pre-teen and a toddler. Each of us with our own story of how we arrived here. One of the cousins decided to attend this event at the last minute. She had the better seat and the two girls were trying to figure out how to sit together during the evening. Our seating was benches with backs and I told them that we could all squish in together. They giggled and made fun of things throughout the evening. Only once, as we practiced the Star Spangled Banner with one of the Osmond sons leading us, did I say anything “parental” to the girls. They made up words and were laughing throughout the whole song. I gently shared with them that the reason we were practicing was because this would be transmitted to military locations all over the world. We would be sharing the evening with people who are fighting for and protecting our freedom. I could see that they felt the impact of that and I also felt their respect for the military during the singing later that evening. They were really nice girls and I knew that they weren’t meaning to be disrespectful.

Our host for the evening was Glenn Beck, a radio show host on the FOX network. I really appreciated how he created an atmosphere for everyone, including me, a tree hugging, liberal. He talked about how it was time for each of us to focus on our similarities and to come together as a country. Amen, brother. I believe that when each of us finds peace inside, it will create peace on the outside.

SheDaisy was the opening band. I had never heard of them. I enjoyed the music but I am not sure which songs they sang. I searched for them on YouTube today and found a variety of songs, included, “What This Woman Needs.” I really like this song.

Then, the Jonas Brothers came on the stage. Woo Hoo! I missed these guys. It had been four days since I had been at a concert and I was ready. I danced and sang and jumped up and down for the all of the songs, as usual. I had fun with the pre-teen, Mom and toddler on the other side of my seat. The toddler kept holding her arms up to me. When the boys sang Play My Music from Camp Rock, I picked her up, sang to her, danced and twirled and dipped her. It was a blast!

As soon as the set was over, the Fireworks began! Whoa, baby! Last year, I was on a hilltop with all of the fireworks far away. This year, I was right under the fireworks. They were ca-razy close. The woman next to me got a hot ember in her ear and there was a glowing chunk that landed at my feet. I loved it and it was a little freaky at the same time. I was careful to guard my eyes. We all had pieces of fireworks on our body.

I have to say this was the coolest fireworks I have ever been to for several reasons:

1. The satellite and feeling the connection to people all over the world.
2. The Jonas Brothers
3. Long, amazing show
4. A choir that sang patriotic songs during the fireworks.

Next to the Jonas Brothers, my favorite songs to sing in a crowd are songs about loving this country. I always feel a connection to the whole world when I sing these songs. I have to do a separate blog on the patriotic music because this is getting so long and I have much more to share!

After the Jonas Brothers the sequence of events were fireworks and a few recorded songs, “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Defying Gravity” were two.

Next came a Flag Retirement Ceremony. I wish I had the specifics but it was something like this. The flag had been used for 7 or 8 years. It was torn and needed to be retired. There were about twenty to thirty people who carried the flag onto the field and it was placed in a huge incinerator and burned. When the burning began, a huge blast of fire shot up a wire framed torch. It took my breath away, it was so powerful.

And then, a Patriotic Pyrotechnic finale with amazing patriotic songs.

These are my favorite moments in the concerts. It is when I feel the connection to everyone. Imagine being in a stadium where the majority of the people are sending love, commitment, honoring and respect throughout the world. Imagine how we could shift things on the planet if we all joined together and sent forth this kind of love. How would things change?

When was the last time you took a leap in your life? Happy Independence Day!

Tricia Kramer, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Body+Mind+Spirit
National Board Certified
Baltimore, MD 21208
and
Media, PA 19063
by appointment
410-484-2020
www.acufinder.com

Thank you to Tricia Kramer for sponsoring the blog today

For more information on sponsoring the blog, go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com

*************************

Letter sent to Family and Friends on July 4, 2009

Hello everyone!

Hannah, my 16 year old daughter, and I are on a journey. Some of you know last summer, we traveled to 15 Jonas Brothers’ concerts and drove 10,000 miles. For both of us, it was a journey of healing and reconnecting to the world. Since my husband/her father died, we had both been isolating in many ways and this brought us into the world again. Both of us remembered things about ourselves that had been forgotten in the grief.

I discovered a passion for writing and am continuing to express myself in this medium. In Hannah, I began to see her ability to self-organize and respond to questions on her blog from girls all over the world. I also saw the talent she has with photography, film and editing.

When we returned home, more ideas continued to bubble until I realized that it was time to sell the house. In the journey of selling the house, Hannah and I decided to travel this summer and follow the Jonas Brothers and have an even deeper experience before moving to California for the next life adventure.

There was one hitch in the giddy-up, the contract on the house fell through right before the trip. The question was, “Do we go or do we stay?” It would have been easy to stay and to wait for a buyer. To stay in our comfort zone and feel safe in Baltimore. It would have been easy to see this as a “sign” to give up on our dream.

But, for anyone who knows me well, playing it safe would never have been an option. It was time to do the trust walk out in the world, especially when all of the doors had been opening for us in that direction for months.

I asked myself, “Do I stop trusting now because I don’t have all of the answers and because I don’t see all of the steps in front of me?” Or do I climb to the top of my three-story house and leap?

We decided to leap and go on this journey, opening to how far we could get.

I made a commitment to the first three Jonas Brothers concerts. Dallas, Tulsa and Denver. As soon as I made the commitment, I received an invitation to stay with two friends along the journey. A potluck/book discussion was created for me to speak in Arkansas about Creativity and the book Conscious Choices. In Tulsa, a reporter found us through his daughter and we were featured on the front page and the music section of Tulsa World, the city’s newspaper.

In three weeks, I have seen three stopping points and then something shifted with a place to stay, an unexpected check, the sale of some books. It looked like we were out of money in Denver, in Tacoma and in Vancouver. And here we are in Salt Lake City with enough funds for the next week that will bring us back to Baltimore before heading north to NYC and Boston.

The idea of asking for sponsors came to me when we were on the road about ten days ago. I created some website pages, sent an e-mail to a small group of women and then wasn’t sure how to proceed until yesterday.

It came to me to ask. Write this letter and send it to every person in my life who I have touched or who has touched me. The next idea was to create a family and friends special and ask for sponsors, support and adventurers to come along with me and sponsor the blog with money and resources.

My victory is your victory. My YES! to the Universe, is your YES! to the Universe. My adventure leads you to your adventure.

It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and risk everything. I am learning to relax more on this evolutionary edge and follow the ideas and the guidance. Every step leads me to the next step.

(This is funny. The ad on my Facebook page in this moment reads, “Be more than a Leader. Be an influential leader. Learn how to create solutions that make a difference!”)

This is what my daily life is right now. More than having fun at a concert, I am talking with people and encouraging them to reach farther for their dreams. I have made a big leap and I can see that it is in the small moments of this leap that I am having impact on the individuals I meet, my daughter and myself.

You can support this adventure in several ways:

1. Sponsor a blog. (Look at the note titled Sponsor Categories for Friends and Family)

a. List your family- The DaGrava family

b. List your business with .jpg logo and website

c. List a favorite charity- It could read something like, The Gardener-Rosemary family encourages you to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation www.komen.org

d. Congratulate a family member: The Brown family congratulates Luke on graduating from middle school!

e. Gather money with a group- sponsored by the soulvoyagers or volleyball team 22.

f. If you are an author, advertise your book or advertise a tele-class, workshop or retreat.

2. Buy some copies of Conscious Choices- the link is on my website-www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com

3. Connect us with an agent to help us find a publisher and for an advance on our books. (Two about the Jonas Brothers concerts from a Mom’s and a daughter’s perspective and one is about the spiritual quest that happened for me last year, as I learned to open to inspiration.)

4. Connect us with gas cards, meal cards, free hotels and tickets to Jonas Brothers concerts. And other sponsors.

Our largest population is teenagers and their Moms. From our experience last summer, we have large numbers of teens during the summer and then there is an increase of Moms when I write articles in the fall and winter. The Moms read the blog from now until next summer.

The blogs and sponsors will be on-line until June 1, 2010.

Here are some of our numbers since June 22, 2009 (except for Hannah’s Youtube account which has been growing over the last year.)

Hannah’s blog- www.hannahhylen.blogspot.com 2-3,000 hits per day

Her Youtube ranking one day was 6 (June 23, I think) and one day was 16 (June 21)- This is videos viewed in a single account in one day of ALL videos viewed on YouTube.

Hannah’s YouTube account- 5,529 subscribers and 128,067 channel views. One of her videos has 266,000 + hits from a week ago!

Jonas Watch Fans on Facebook 600+

www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com- 1,500 hits per week

www.andreahylen.blogspot.com – 1800 hits in the first two weeks of the blog.

If you feel a connection with this, read over the sponsor details in the next note, sign up and spread the word.

We are contacting media ourselves now and following the inspiration of how to live a life worth celebrating and share the adventure with you, too!

In gratitude,

Andrea

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