Ready for a fun post for a change??!! Me too!!! Here we go…..
A couple of weeks ago, I was planning to buy tickets for the circus online. It was coming to town and I really wanted to take the boys! Before I actually got it done, a friend reminded me that one of our local radio stations was giving away tickets that next week and that I should enter for a chance to win. So, I did!
This station does something called the “Custom Mix At 6.” All I had to do was send them 4-6 songs, a dedication to whomever, and why these songs meant something to me. Cannon’s surgery had just happened and our emotions from that were still brutally fresh. Along with the last 2 1/2 years of struggle. Our family has been through so much and it was really the only choice. So, I dedicated the mix to my family. Submitted it and honestly forgot about it. I mean, I really just didn’t think out of all the entries in our large city…..that we could be chosen for the opportunity of the on air dedication AND to receive the tickets.
This being a secular soft rock station, I had to make more secular music choices. I initially chose “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Judy Garland, “Your Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban, “When You Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, “Life Is A Highway” by Rascal Flatts, “Blessings” by Laura Story, and “Take My Hand” by Madi Georgi . I truly felt this group of songs was a great representation of the trials that our family has and continues to endure, the faith that has gotten us through thus far and continues to sustain us, and the hopes and dreams we have for the future.
“Take My Hand” is such a fantastic song about Autism. It was written by a girl who has a sibling with the disorder and manages to connect with the tough day-to-day difficulties and virtual captivity that is Autism. While putting a positive and uplifting spin on the possibilities for the future. We used it in our Surfers Healing video from last year. I could type out all the lyrics because I think they are all so great but here is the chorus. “Take my hand and I will show you the way…….You don’t need to worry what anybody else will say…….Just stick with me and we’ll be fine…..There a’int no mountain we can’t climb…..And together we can take a stand……If you take my hand.” If only this message could completely and totally seep into the mind of my child and be perfectly understood!
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is a song that provokes so many wonderful, nostalgic memories for me to begin with. I loved the movie “The Wizard of Oz” (that it first appeared in) when I was growing up. I remember so clearly when Dorothy is told by her Auntie Em to go do something and stay out of trouble. Her response to her adorable little dog Toto was… “Someplace where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat, or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…..”, and then she begins singing the song. Some days, especially the tough ones, I wish for such a place here on earth, too. For Cannon.
“Blessings” is the song you hear when you come to our blog site. I think it will always be the best musical representation of our how we feel about our situation. Laura wrote the song about the struggles she was going through as her husband battled a brain tumor. My favorite lyrics are “What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know YOUR near. What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise.” This may seem crazy to those who do not understand the relationship that is attainable when you open your heart to Jesus. But sometimes we have to go through things just to realize how close He is, the enormous, incomparable love He has for us, and that even when things are hard…..those times can help to reflect to us how truly blessed we are.
“You Raise Me Up” really sums it up. I completely feel that the experience of being these boys’ mom, a wife to my husband, going through what we do each day with Cannon, and being a child of God……makes me strive daily to be a better mom, wife, person, and Christian. “I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.” Totally!
“When You Believe” is a song of hope. Of believing and therefore expecting good things to come your way! Here is the bridge of the song which is my favorite part. “They don’t always happen when you ask….And it’s easy to give in to your fears…..But when you’re blinded by the pain….Can’t see your way straight through the rain…..A small but still resilient voice…..Says hope is near.” A dear, dear friend of mine has a saying…..”Have faith…..Expect miracles!” This is what this beautifully sung song reminds me to do.
“Life Is A Highway” was listed for no other reason than that it is one of the boy’s favorite songs. From their very favorite movie…..”Cars.” Had to throw it in there for them!
I hit “send” on the entry form and truly never thought another thing of it. Until the very next day, when I got this phone call…… (Please forgive the crummy sideways video and all the background noise!)
I was so shocked! And nervous because I could hardly remember anything I said in this initial phone call. And I had to wait a couple of agonizing hours for her to actually play it on the radio! To see how badly I embarrassed myself. I had tried to focus so I could be sure to make some sort of sense but I was being followed room to room by the boys. As I tried to escape the noise. 🙂 After Adrienne, the radio personality, stopped recording, we had a few other things to do. First, she only had 2 of the 6 songs that I had requested. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “You Raise Me Up.” And the first one, she only had a version by a different artist. So, we had to pick some different songs and I ok’ed the alternate version. We quickly agreed upon the Phil Collins song “You’ll Be In My Heart” from the Lion King as a replacement. A great option even if it wasn’t my first choice. Now she wanted an upbeat song. I suggested “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton, “Place In This World” by Micheal W. Smith, and/or “Your Amazing Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. But she had none of these. And I was drawing a complete blank. The only thing that kept coming to mind was a line from the new song “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. It is “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Seriously, that one line was on repeat in my head…..preventing my exhausted brain from thinking of anything else. I asked Mark and we agreed on that song. Because that line made sense in our situation, right??!! Much to my later embarrassment. Why? Because later when the song actually played, I realized that I had never REALLY listened to the words of that song. It’s totally a “you did me wrong and I hate you” kind of song. Ahhhh! Oops! Oh well! Chalk that one up to what I call my “Mommy Mush Brain.” 🙂
The next thing we had to do was record a couple of 15-ish second intros. One to the overall mix itself. To introduce myself and whom I was dedicating the mix to. And the other to intro one of the songs. I chose “You Raise Me Up” and talked very briefly about Cannon.
Finally, Adrienne told me that we would have to come by the station to pick up the tickets. And she wanted to know when we might be doing that because she wanted to meet Cannon. And give us a tour around the station. I mentioned that we had a doctor’s appointment in that area the next day and would probably run by at that time. This turned out to be a good time for her, so we did just that!
The next day, all 4 of us dropped by to check it all out! We picked up the tickets first from the front desk while they paged Adrienne. She came down and we all introduced ourselves and the boys shook her hand. Adrienne told us that this particular building housed a TV station and 4 local radio stations. As we got started, I carried Cannon most of the way because he was still not 100% from the surgery. First, we toured the TV station. She showed us the Newsroom, Advertising Offices, and the boy’s favorite…..the actual studio. It had a green screen, news desk, and morning show set all in this large room. The boys LOVED the green screen and being able to see themselves on the monitor. It was very hard to get them to stop touching their pictures on that monitor! 🙂 The poor camera guys probably had to clean off a few fingerprints after we left! Here are a few photos……. Forgot my camera at home so I had to settle for my phone. Sorry they are a little blurry!
Later, we went upstairs to see the different radio studios. There was an ESPN radio station, along with a talk radio station, an old school r & b station, and the soft rock station. Each studio had multiple microphones, spinning chairs, radio personalities, and tons and tons of buttons to push! And boy did my boys try to push each and every one! It was a little difficult to manage them in this environment. Everyone we met along the way was so kind and welcoming and Adrienne was so warm and really did a great job explaining what everything was to the boys.
When it was time to go, we made sure to give Mrs. Adrienne some BIG HUGS! She was so incredibly kind to go out of her way to give my boys this tour. And take the time out of her day! She really is such a kind woman! Be sure to give her a listen weekday afternoons if your local! 🙂
The boys were kind of quiet during the tour (And by quiet….I mean conversationally quiet. Not quiet quiet. That only happens in my dreams.) but Townsend, in particular, had A LOT to say on the way home! He just talked and talked the WHOLE way home. “Mommy, did you see that green wall? Mommy, did you see all those computers? Mommy, Mrs. Adrienne has lots and lots of buttons to push. And a silly microphone, too. Are we going to the circus, now? Ok, after lunch and my nap….we will go to the circus. Okay Mommy? Okay??” Cannon didn’t have much to say during the experience either but I could tell by how many times he smiled that he really liked seeing everything. And that is all that ever matters to me! That he is happy and doing fun things to help offset all the blah he has to deal with!
The circus is just 3 days away and the boys are VERY excited! Quite frankly, I wasn’t so sure Townsend would make it! We had to make him a countdown calendar because it was darn near impossible to explain to my 3 year old the time gap of 3 1/2 weeks from when we picked up the tickets. I will definitely fill y’all in on how the circus goes! Could be interesting! With all the potential sensory stimulation, loud noises, lights, smells, and even just the late start time (7 p.m….their usual bedtime) could all play into how both boys, but especially Cannon, will cope with it. I am so hopeful that he will be able to get past all of that and have a great time!
Anyhow, just in case anyone wants to hear the whole mix complete with the 2 intros I recorded……here you go! (The first is at the beginning and the other is around the 7:23 mark.) I doubt anyone except maybe my mother will want to do this but regardless….here it is! Again, forgive the bad, shaky video and background noise! 🙂 Much love! Hope you enjoyed this fun post! I pray there will be LOTS and LOTS more where this came from! 🙂