Backyard Serenade / / The WillowWacks


Social media gets a lot of flak. The blame of society’s problems seems to be placed on the ubiquitous selfie and Facebook in general. But the reality is, I have maintained many long-distance relationships that probably wouldn’t still exist without social media. I didn’t go to college far away but a lot of my childhood and high school friends did…some had job opportunities that brought them back to Chicago, but many never returned. I like that I’m able to see the highlight reel.

Lauren was my dreamer friend. The friend who pretended Peter Pan was real (I had a big Tinker Bell obsession) and wrote me secret notes in invisible ink. I distinctly remember Lauren notifying us in high school that was going to major in glass blowing (what?!). Unlike many other “traditional” college majors chosen by friends, she actually landed a job after graduation in her field (Arts? Who would have known?!) during the great recession of the mid oughts.

After landing her job, Lauren moved to Florida (one of the few that was smart to leave Chicago winters behind). Last year she married Micah (her college boyfriend) and they started playing music together. Lauren messaged me last spring, filling me in on their plan to visit friends/family all over the US, weaving in opportunities to play their music live. She wondered if I would still be in town (yes!) and I asked if we could take pictures to document the night (yes!).

I enjoy supporting friends while they pursue their dreams. I love that they are following their passion!


The WillowWacks performed the perfect kind of backyard concert. They played mostly originals, but some fun covers were mixed in as well (Devo + Paul McCartney to name a few). Each song had their unique spin on modern day folk music.

One song that Lauren wrote, St. Scott, moves me to tears every time I listen to it. It holds a lot of significance from high school and I was glad to hear it live. You can sample and purchase their EP here!

Follow along with their summer RV adventures of The WillowWacks:

Website | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


^They have a series on YouTube called, Between Two Lamps. 🙂 My favorite is Comes Back Deep.


^ Lauren rocks a ukulele bass like no one else I know!

Thanks for the great summer night!

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Merry Christmas


Wishing you all a beautiful and warm Christmas from my family to yours! We’ve been very blessed this year and we are looking forward to 2014.

In the meantime, I have a little treat for you. Below is a cover of WHAM!’s “Last Christmas” that my husband’s band, Hallows, recorded. Enjoy!


A Birthday Gift



Jordan and I typically lean toward giving each other experiences for birthday/anniversary/Christmas gifts rather then material items. I’m thankful that Jordan and I decided to give our gifts this way because I won’t remember a pair of shoes 20 years from now, but I will remember the many adventures, trips away, and concerts that we’ve experienced together.

This year, we’ve really enjoyed the concerts we’ve gone to. Buying tickets several months in advance doesn’t provide instant gratification, but I love having nights to look forward to. Last night we saw Paramore, one of our favorite bands. They were touring in support of their critically acclaimed, bestselling, self-titled album (one of our favs of the year). I’ve come to appreciate these shared crowed experiences: giving one another mental high five’s, like “Are you seeing what is happening?!” We were surrounded by people who were just as excited as we were; happily singing and dancing along all night! And that girl Haley has some pipes on her, woah!

Do you ever give non-traditional gifts?

Remember when bringing in cameras to concerts wasn’t allowed? My iPhone takes better pictures then my first digital camera 10 years ago! Oh, how the times have changed.