ACMs 2018: ALL Of My Thoughts

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The ACM Awards began with Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert speaking words of remembrance in light of October’s mass shooting at a country festival late last year.

Reba’s hosting this year; she said she first hosted in 1986, which was before Kelsea Ballerini was born. I can relate; I wasn’t born either.

Kenny Chesney takes the stage. He’s wearing jeans, a cutoff and a cowboy hat; he’s singing “Get Along” which I do believe is about to be a new jam. Kenny is so good live.

My girl Maren is up next, singing Rich, holding a gold microphone. She has these giant lights spelling RICH behind her. I love her curly hair and she even has stars in her hair. Also money is falling from the sky. I wish I were in Vegas so I could confirm or deny whether it’s monopoly money or actual cash. Either way, that was pretty cool.

Chris Young is now singing, “Losing Sleep.” Don’t get me wrong; this performance is fine. However, Chris just kind of sang the song. It’s not new and there was really nothing special. OK, I’m putting down the hater-ade now.

Florida Georgia Line is up; I couldn’t be more excited. “Meant To Be” is a JAM. Bebe Rexa has joined the stage. She’s wearing a shiny silver dress and now WOW there are like fifty more people singing with them. Think church choir background vocal vibes. All the background people are wearing black and white. This is honestly a party on the stage and the sound is supreme.

Oh wow! Looks like an award is in our future. CAM is announcing “song of the year.” Nominations are: Body Like A Back Road (Sam Hunt); Female (Keith Urban); Tin Man (Miranda Lambert); Whiskey and You (by Chris Stapleton- but I don’t know this song). Miranda wins the award and I would’ve picked this too; I once heard on the radio that Tin Man is based off of a Kenny Chesney’s “The Tin Man” from 1994. Miranda thanked everyone for “sharing my broken heart with me.” YOU ARE MOST WELCOME, MIRANDA. LOVE YOU GURL.

Brett Young is singing “In Case You Didn’t Know.” He’s on a center stage wearing a plaid shirt and black jeans.

Alan Jackson is next up. He’s wearing a classic Alan Jackson outfit-cowboy hat, collared shirt, and blue jeans. He is singing his 1992 hit “Chattahoochee” with Jon Pardi.

Sugarland has joined the stage (HI! YAY!). They are presenting Album of the Year. Nominated: The Breaker (Little Big Town. GOOD ALBUM.), California Sunrise (Jon Pardi), From A Room: Volume 1 (Chris Stapleton), Happy Endings (Old Dominion), Life Changes (Thomas Rhett!!!!!). The winner is Chris Stapleton, but he’s unable to be at the awards because his wife literally today gave birth to twin boys!

Lady Antebellum is singing Heart Break. I love them. Next up is Dierks Bently singing “Woman Amen.” Dierks brings a good energy to the stage!

Blake Shelton is singing “I Lived It.” He’s sitting down and playing guitar. Can I say that was a HEARTFELT performance? Even from my couch in my living room this performance moved me. Thank you Blake…

Kane Brown plus Lauren Alaina are next, singing “What Ifs” which is such a good song. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kane Brown perform even on TV. Lauren is looking absolutely beautiful in a pretty gold dress. She is also absolutely crushing the vocals. Like WOW. Kane and Lauren had such a strong stage chemistry that I literally did a google check to see if they were together (turns out they are not FYI). Regardless, that performance was fire.

Keith Urban is singing “Got It Right This Time” in a bright red collared shirt. Julia Michaels, wearing a red dress, is joining Keith for the second half of the song. The performance was simple and lively. I’m a fan.

Old Dominion wins Vocal Group of the Year. I always want Little Big Town to win. But you know what? Old Dominion is a deserving band and I’m happy for them! I actually met one of my close friends at an Old Dominion concert, so bonus points to Old Dominion for that. (Let me add a shout out to the Rave and Sara B… and Paula!)

My girl Kelsea B is singing “I Hate Love Songs.” She literally floated onto the stage from a glowing pink heart. Leave it to Kelsea to do a mid song outfit change. Outfit one was a fancy pink sparkly prom dress (if you will) and outfit two is a tanktop with sparkle pants and fancy tennis. She sounded absolutely lovely.

Jason Aldean is singing “You Make It Easy.” Jason sounds nice live… but all I can think about is how I would like to wear his jacket. It’s silver with lots of zippers and honestly maybe even a little sparkle. He is rocking it but I’m pretty sure I could too.

My girl Miranda is singing “Keeper Of The Flame.” Miranda always keeps it 100. She is wearing a simple outfit and her hair is down. Her voice is always on point and tonight is no exception. She seems so comfortable on the stage.

Little Big Town is performing “Rocketman!” I adore this band; also, their outfits are “absolutely 100%” ridiculous. No judgment though; as always they sound UHH-MAZING. It’s just that… Kimberly has held back her hair and I do believe that if Karen waved her arms fast enough while wearing this feather jacket she actually might fly. (I promise I love y’all! I really do. JUST AWW WOW.)

Blake Shelton is announcing an “ACM Flashback Moment,” which is a duet of “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” with Toby Keith. I have to keep it real; this is good.

Midland is singing “Drinking Problem” on the small center stage. I just realized that Midland reminds me very much of the Three Amigos. (Yes, I’m referring to the 1986 Steve Martin movie. THEY PLAYED IT AT MY GYM OK?!)

THE TIME IS NOW for Carrie Underwood’s performance of “Cry Pretty.” First of all she is absolutely gorgeous (as always) including a sparkly dress and sparkly tear-like eye makeup. Carrie Underwood is so extremely talented. She sounds perfect and always has a flawless stage presence. By the way, I cannot see any traces of wrist or face injuries. Carrie. Underwood. Owns. The. Stage. I am left speechless and I feel like everybody is giving her SO. MUCH. RESPECT.

Vocal Event of the Year nominations are: Craving You (Thomas Rhett feat. Maren Morris); Dear Hate (Maren Morris feat. Vince Gill); Funny (Glen Campbell feat. Willie Nelson); The Fighter (Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood); and What Ifs (Kane Brown feat. Lauren Alaina). The Fighter wins! Keith Urban and Carrie returned to the stage to give thanks for the award.

Dan + Shay are performing Tequila. They have this group of fans jamming with them, and the performance is as simple as it is perfect!

Darius Rucker is singing “For The First Time.” He is such a relaxed performer and always looks like he’s having fun on stage.

Miranda Lambert is our Female Vocalist of the Year. I do love Miranda. She’s wearing a really beautiful black dress with bell sleeves. “I cannot believe this. I really can’t. Thank you so much,” Miranda also said. She also said that she will never take for granted the appreciation her fans have for her music and what she’s doing. I believe those words.

Thomas Rhett is singing his song, “Marry Me.” He’s wearing a leather jacket and he’s making me tear up a little.

Luke Bryan is singing, “Most People Are Good.” Without being a negative let me just say that my favorite Luke Bryan songs are “All My Friends Say,” “Rain Is A Good Thing,” “Home Alone Tonight” and “Crash My Party.” J

Better Man (Little Big Town), Body Like A Back Road (Sam Hunt), Broken Halos (Chris Stapleton) Drinkin Problem (Midland), and I’ll Name The Dogs (Blake Shelton) are all up for Single Record of the Year. Sam Hunt is the winner! I do love Sam Hunt and I hope to see him live… speaking of seeing him live, he wasn’t at the show (WHAT?!) so I’ll have to keep waiting.

Lauren Alania is singing “Doin’ Fine.” She’s wearing a pretty black dress and though I don’t know this song, I like it! Sounds like a classic country song that I would like to know.

Male Vocalist of the Year nominations are Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and Chris Young . Our winner is Chris Stapleton (again!). What a big day for Chris Stapleton and his family!

Kelly Clarkson and Reba are singing “Does He Love You” which is cool since the song is a classic and the two of them seem to be good friends.

Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban are nominated for Entertainer of the Year. I’m surprised to say that Jason is our winner! (I do love him and am genuinely happy for him.)

Jason acknowledged that it was a hard year and expressed appreciation for everyone who reached out to support him and others who lost loved ones back in October.

Chris Jansen is ending the show with a VERY upbeat performance. He actually took a break from singing to play the harmonica! He’s singing the “Redneck Life” and I can confidently say this show is wrapping up on [energy] level 35.

That’s a wrap!

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Word on the Street- Read THE WORD

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The Bible is probably the most helpful and wonderful thing offered to us on earth. I believe that reading the Bible is one of the most important aspects of spiritual health. Reading the word of God is one of the best ways to learn more about Him.

Here are some Bibles I would recommend to anyone looking for a new one:

  • Jesus-Centered Bible. A NLT version Bible with imitation leather that comes in several colors.
  • LIVE Bible. I can speak for this one because I used this for high school and college. Another NLT Bible, this one includes some study bits as well.
  • Inspire Journal Bible. My parents bought this one for me this Christmas and I absolutely love it! This Bible is also NLT, but it does not have any study portions.
  • ESV Journaling Bible. I don’t own this Bible but the ESV is a very reputable version of the Bible and so if you’re looking to Bible journal this may be a great option!
  • NLT Illustrated Study Bible. I am *extremely* intrigued by this Bible. I love the NLT version and I love study Bibles; I was not able to see any previews of the inside of this Bible so I’m not sure what the illustrations would be like… but I definitely think this one sounds amazing!

June Health Tips: Gratitude & Protein!

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We are now half way through the supereasy health tips for the year (thanks, Popsugar)!

I’m particularly fond of the two tips for this month, focusing on gratitude and protein (I’ll admit that’s quite the combo, but a pair I really like!).

Tip 1: Write down everything you’re grateful for at the end of the day. I would modify this and say to even write down a few things you’re grateful for at the end of the day. Everybody emphasizes thankfulness in November right around Thanksgiving, but this is a spirit that should be present all year long!

Tip 2: Eat some protein for breakfast – or at least eat some breakfast. There are two types of people in the world: those of us who wake up hungry, and those who don’t. Because I wake up hungry, eating breakfast is not a big challenge for me. I have shared exactly what I eat here. Since writing this post, I saw another trainer who encouraged me to decrease the oatmeal to 1/2 c. and to increase the egg whites to 4-5 eggs. Normally I bake or whip two egg whites into my oatmeal, and I hard boil another two egg whites to eat with breakfast each day.

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If gratitude and protein took a selfie . . . it would look something like this.

Sideshow || Anniversary

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Today is my three year blogiversary with WordPress! My little blog was called “This Is My Year” at the time. I have to admit that 2013 was one kickin’ year, which included a trip to Italy, my 21st birthday (but that’s another story), living in two amazing housing situations; special weddings AND graduation from college.

Pre-story! I actually had a cutie-little blog, All About Cteve, which was launched my sophomore year of college; I ended that blog mainly because I ran out of free photo space on that page (I’m Dutch, need I say more?!).

I didn’t want to be vain, though, and knowing I was coming off of an amazing high which was college, I figured it would be a bit unrealistic to call 2014 “[This Is] My Year,” too, so I went with the general “sideshow” and have decided to stick with that name, for the time being at least.

When I fell in love with Gym (see what I did there?), I cut back on the #bloglyfe BIG TIME. But I missed blogging, and I still enjoy blogging, and I’m not ready to give up blogging. That being said, my posts are indeed fewer and farther between, but I also don’t intend for them to stop anytime soon. How’s that  for vague?

So I will continue with my little life blog. Stay tuned for whatever I want to share, whether it’s health tips or silly stories and fashion or songs or some new gig I may get into some day.

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Since this is a sentimental post already, here was my 2015 best nine (left to right and then top to bottom) Meeting Love & Theft | Becoming an Auntie | Time with my family | Time with my TRIO | Florida vacation | Visits from Brittany | Quality cousin time | Having a group of “local friends” | Summer memories including Allison’s visit and baseball games.

CMAs 2015 Reviewed

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CMA 2015 awards have begun!

The opening sketch is a tribute to Star Wars and they just made a joke about Garth Vader. This. Is. Awesome.

Hank Jr. is singing with Eric Church. #HankAndEric is literally hashtagged on Hank’s guitar. Love it! Visualize: a bunch of old guys in aviators, with the American flag in the background; this looks real fitting to kick off this year’s country awards show.

John Mellencamp is singing “Ain’t That America” with Keith Urban. My roommate wants to know who did John’s hair. I want to know how Keith is so PERFECT all the time. As an obviously perfect segue, Keith has busted into “John Cougar, John Wayne, John 3:16.” Keith’s wing-man’s harmony is not quite on point though. On another note, Megan is sue she has the same outfit Keith is currently wearing – a scoop neck white tank top, a black blazer, and black skinny jeans. Classic for either gender, I guess.

Carrie and Brad are back on stage. THEY JUST SAID CRAY-CRAY and NAY-NAY! And threw Josh Duggar under the bus. I love when Carrie and Brad sing little jingles together. I had to hold my breath when they talked about Blake and Miranda (Love you both #4eva) but we are off to a good start.

Single of the Year goes to: Girl Crush! Little Big Town wins a big award and I am so happy and proud of them! The band looks awesome and they are so happy. Other thoughts on this moment: I’m not surprised this song won, Karen gave a great speech, and Kimberly has a very muscular back (YOU GO GIRL).

Next up is a performance by Zac Brown Band. ZAC BROWN IS NOT WEARING A HAT! Zac and his bald head are on center stage singing a song I don’t know- Beautiful Drug. I am liking what I’m hearing.

Kenny Chesney’s performance is next. He has a beach vibe on stage which is so perfect for him, the King of Summer. Kenny’s wearing a classic outfit of gray pants, a black polo and a standard Kenny cowboy hat. He’s singing “Save It For A Rainy Day” and it sounds good. I am convinced that Kenny’s having the time of his life on stage right now.

Sign me up for #SamHunting. I have such a real crush on him. He’s wearing a black shirt with a white collar, though, and it kind of looks like one of those priest outfits. Even so, Sam, you are rocking the priest look. I swear he knows he is adorable; he has this smile between phrases. You can “Take My Time” any time.

Song of the Year: Girl Crush wins again. This time we are honoring Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, and Hillary Lindsey.

Quick shout-out to my favorite so far of Carrie’s outfits. Her dress is beautiful. It’s long, flowy, and a very dainty light purple color. Carrie tweeted earlier today that she has TWELVE outfits for the day.

Little Big Town takes the stage, this time to perform. They’re singing “Girl Crush” and their outfits are weird. Picture a lot of shiny silver and black sparkles and that’s their outfits. Their harmonies are on point, though, and that’s what we’re here to care about.

New Artist of the Year: Chris Stapleton. I WANT A RE-COUNT! Literally my last choice AND I don’t even know who he is. What does he sing? And that is a terrible hat. I would have preferred any of the others (Sam Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett).

I have been waiting for this moment! Carrie Underwood is performing “Smoke Break.” She is wearing fringe and over-the-heel boots, which is so 2015. She blows me away every time she performs. Talk about a girl crush. Per usual, Carrie looks AND sounds flawless.

Mystery Man/New Winner Chris Stapleton is singing “Tennessee Whiskey” with JT himself. Didn’t see that one coming. You know what, though? They rocked it, so good for them. Our featured unlikely duo is now singing “Drink You Away.” The performance is heating up and everybody’s loving it.

Florida Georgia Line is performing “Confession.” The song is new to me and I like it. The stage is set up like a dusty old church; their outfits look like they just walk of The Hunger Games which even includes Brian rocking a feather necklace (?). Shout out to Tyler for rocking the man bun though (side note, I googled to see if “man bun” was supposed to by hyphenated).

Dynamic Duo Of The Year goes to FGL and I am a happy girl. Way to go!

Eric Church is singing a brand new one-Mr. Misunderstood. I think this song is perfect for this rebellious rockstar. Eric’s wearing a leather jacket, aviators and jeans-staying true to his classic look.

Thomas Rhett is playing “Crash and Burn.” He has a cool back and white stairwell vibe going on complete with dancers and HEY WAIT Fall Out Boy is totally dueting this up with Thomas right now. The duet has shifted to Uma Thurman.

You have got to be freaking kidding me; Album of the Year goes to Chris Stapleton. But who is Chris Stapleton?

Kelsea Ballereini gets a quick second on stage. I can’t tell if she’s wearing a romper or a dress but it’s a high-low ensemble, and she’s singing “Love Me Like You Mean It.” She looks beautiful and so natural on stage.

Brad Paisley is rocking “Country Nation” as his voice sounds perfect and a set of bleachers behind him are filled with college mascots. In typical Brad form there is a lot of guitar playing. Brad is wearing a football jersey himself.

Blake Shelton is singing “Gonna” and he’s all dressed up in a white shirt, black vest and black tie. He cleans up NICE. Not to be critical, but Blake’s performance was very nice without any WOW factors.

We are graced with an excerpt from Maddie and Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song.” I can’t believe how confident these ladies are looking on stage. I’m also laughing at Tae’s name embroidered on her guitar strap.

Can I be honest? I miss the OLD Luke. Tonight he is singing “Strip It Down” and his hair has gel in it and he’s wearing a collared shirt and dress pants. LUKE BRYAN, I MISS YOUR BASEBALL HAT AND JEANS AND ORIGINAL SONGS. I mean I’m not hating what I’m seeing/hearing but I truly miss the old you.

The Vocal Group of the Year award goes to Little Big Town! I am so proud of them as a dedicated fan from the beginning.

My home girl is performing! Miranda has a blonde-pink ombre hair style with a jean jacket and black skinny jeans. Her guitar is pink, too! She’s singing “Bathroom Sink.” I am surprised by the song choice but Miranda can seriously do no wrong.

Jason Aldean is wearing his typical cowboy hat and short-sleeved plaid button down. He’s singing “Gonna Know We Were Here.”

I love Kacey Musgraves. She is singing “Dime Store Cowgirl.” A daring and unique performance, Kacey has a cartoon vibe of a slideshow background. She’s wearing a sparkle leotard and white cowboy boots. Her voice sounds like honey and her stage presence is nothing short of lovely. She has five men in her band, all wearing pink suits with sparkle collars. I’m serious, though, it WORKS.

Dierks Bently is singing “Riser” with Lindsey Stirling (my roommate had to introduce Lindsey to me; sorry I’m not extremely rounded when it comes to violinists).

Female Vocalists of the Year Nominees: Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Carrie Underwood, and Le Ann Womack. Tonight’s winner is Miranda Lambert! MY GURL! “Little Red Wagon” is playing in the background and Miranda’s wearing a casual outfit. She gives a really simple and humble thank you speech.

Brooks and Dunn and Reba are performing together. They’re performing “Why Haven’t I Heard From You.” Reba is truly adorable, for a lady I can’t stand! Looks like we have a mash-up because now Brooks and Dunn have taken the lead with “Play Something Country.”

Male Vocalist of the Year Nominees: Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton. Chris Stapleton won and he might be as dumbfounded as the rest of us. I’m not sure at this point, if I’m more angry or confused by the way Chris is sweeping up these awards. I mean good for him but this is seriously not right.

Entertainer of the Year Nominees: Eric, Kenny, Miranda, Garth. The winner is Luke Bryan. Awe, he seems so very happy so I’m happy too.

Closing thoughts: I enjoyed the show minus a few unexpected award winners. And that’s a wrap!

Museum Pictures

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Pictures cannot capture the sights and experiences from my trip, but I love using my camera so I did snap a few shots to capture memories from the museums we toured.

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Adorable polar bear. Love it!

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Kara and a dinosaur. Nice 🙂

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Another dinosaur in the fossil exhibit.

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The beautiful hope diamond.

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Museum of Natural History.

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American flag made up of LEGOS!

I would recommend for every American to take a trip to Washington, DC; but in the mean time I hope you enjoyed my pictures!