Archive for October, 2011

Every Step – Entry No. 15

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

I have a little addiction.  (Besides coconut…)  And just so you know, it’s a healthy addiction.

I. LOVE. TO. SCRAPBOOK!

If Dr. Suess and I were aquainted, he would say of me…

She would scrapbook on a train

She will scrapbook on a plane

She likes to scrapbook with a pen

She would scrapbook with a hen

 A couple of years ago I discovered the most amazing digital scrapbooking software by Memory Mixer.  It is so easy to use and I instantly fell in love with it.  I have made so many amazing books since this wonderful, dare I say “life-changing”  discovery. 

Imagine my surprise and pure joy when the owner of Memory Mixer called this week and told me that they had designed a digital scrapbooking kit inspired by my song “Dancing in the Rain!!!!!”  The words ranked up there with, “It’s a girl!” and  “Will you marry me?”  (I told you I was addicted.)  Yesiree…a Dancing in the Rain Scrapbook Kit.

Here is a sample of some of the pages.  I used pictures from the “Beautiful Heartbreak” music video.  We had to cancel the video shoot twice because of rain…so it seemed appropriate for that reason…and because the message of this song is that above every rain storm there is a blue sky.

The kit is adorable and Memory Mixer is offering it FREE to anyone who purchases the Every Step CD on iTunes.  How cool is that!  More information

 

 Blog to you soon!

Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 14

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

June 2011.

 Just as I pulled into the garage with a trunk full of groceries the radio station announced a contest.  “Write in and tell us how you are living proof of God’s love, goodness and blessings.”

 Whoa.

 ”Living Proof”

 That is a song title.

 I could list a hundred ways that I am living proof of Heavenly Father’s love.  I’ve seen His goodness more times that I can count.  His blessings constantly appear in my life. 

Answered prayers

Health

Work

A believing heart

Purpose

Family

Laughter

Testimony

Revelation

Memories

Coconut

Friends

Don’t even get me started!  (Or maybe, do get me started…)

I tried writing the song that very afternoon.

I tried all week.

I must have tried 25 times without making a stitch of progress.

We went on a family vacation to Zion’s Ponderosa.  “This will be the perfect setting,” I thought.  “I will write ‘Living Proof’ while sitting on the back deck looking at the trees, sky and mountains…talk about proof!”

I woke up early every morning before anyone else was stirring and I wrote.

Morning after morning nothing came.

I made very little progress.

I was stumped.  But why?  It was a great song idea!  Why couldn’t I figure it out.

 July 2011.

Tim and I were headed to Australia and New Zealand for Time Out for Women.  I was worried about so many things – would the kids be okay, would I survive the long flights, would I do a good job of singing?

 I asked Tim for a blessing.

 My concerns on every front were addressed and I felt relieved.  The Lord comforted me on every account – even one that I wasn’t expecting…

 He promised the last song would be sent.

 I wrote on the airplane.  Nothing.

 I went to Nashville and wrote in my hotel room the first two nights.  Nothing.

 We had one more day to record in Nashville.  That was it.  Time was up.  And I still didn’t have the song.  Tyler and I discussed writing that night but we didn’t know how to make it work because we had to pick up a friend at the airport who was coming to hear the sessions.  We had no time left. 

 Then she called from Utah.  “My flight has been cancelled.  They have put me on a flight at midnight – I’ll fly all night and be there in the morning.”

 The window for writing opened up (though we felt bad that it was at her expense.)  Tyler called Lowell  Alexander – an amazing, top-selling, hit-writing songwriter – and Lowell agreed to write with us. 

 We drove 45 minutes to Lowell’s house in Murfreesboro, TN.  I was so tired.  I had jetlag from being in Australia just a couple of days earlier.  What I really wanted was to crawl into bed in the hotel and go to sleep.  I wasn’t sure I had one bit of creativity left in me.  But there was NO way I was giving up now.  I had tried to write this song 87 and a half times and I was not going to miss my last chance.  Literally, this was my last shot at it. 

 Tyler, Tim and I arrived at Lowell’s house at 8:30 and we started writing at 9:00.  “Living Proof” was finished by 11:00. 

It had come.

 The Lord had kept His promise.

 It was nothing short of a miracle.  A miracle.

 The Lord knew it would take all three of us to write “Living Proof.”  (Apparently it wasn’t a one man job.)

 I will forever treasure the experience.  I witnessed the Lord fulfill His promise.  He sent the song. It came in the very moment we needed it.  It came in the eleventh hour.  It came against all odds.  It came when I least expected it.

But it came.  One more reason I am living proof.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/hilaryweeks?sk=app_178091127385

 Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 13

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

When Heaven tells me I can,

I believe it.

 

 I have the dearest of friend that I wouldn’t trade for all the coconut in the world. 

 …If I was offered a life-time supply of Graeter’s coconut ice cream with chocolate chips in place of my friend I would walk away from the creamy cartons of bliss without hesitation. 

…If someone told me I could have an Almond Joy candy bar everyday for the rest of my life but I couldn’t talk to my friend on the phone ever again, I would look them in the face and say “NO WAY, Nope, Never.”

…And if I had the choice of eating a whole coconut cream pie from Marie Calendar’s or laughing with my friend, I would drop my fork like a hot coal.

She is wise.

She is kind.

She is insightful.

She uses the gospel to navigate life…

            …and she shares all of that wisdom, kindness, insight and testimony with me.

She loves to write and has the most wonderful blog – www.justaroundthiscorner.blogspot.com – I share that with you regardless of the risk that once you read hers, you may lose interest in ever reading mine again.

She recently decided to run a half-marathon.  Leading up to the race, she blogged about training, learning, trusting, believing in herself.  This is an excerpt from one of her posts:

“Often, what seems an impossible climb
is just a staircase
without the steps drawn in.”
-Robert Brault

This morning was my last “long run” before next Saturday.
I really can’t even believe the half-marathon is already here.
I can’t believe I’m even talking about a half-marathon.
But, I am.

There are things I wish I had done and marks I wish I had passed.
But, I am where I am and I’m going to do this.
I know I am.

So it obviously doesn’t feel completely impossible…but, at the same time, I don’t see how I’m going to finish.
I just know that I am.

I will run past the point I think I can.
Then walk long enough to go at it again.
Always running past the point I think I can.
That’s what I do.

I was inspired.  So inspired that I decided to write a song about going further than we think we can.  Isn’t that what life is about?  We try when we might fail.  We believe even when no one would blame us for doubting.  We run when we want to stop.  We climb when we hit the wall.

We just keep going.

Past the point.

Beyond the mark.

Further than we think we can.

And it is one step at a time that gets us exactly where we hoped we would be.

Take a listen….

 http://www.facebook.com/#!/hilaryweeks?sk=app_178091127385

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 12

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The new shoes really helped lift my spirits…but so did this wonderful follow-up email from Tyler Castleton. 

Hilary,

You cannot lose sight of how  how GREAT these songs are.  This is such an important project - the messages of these songs are going to reach far beyond where they have ever been.  And it’s going to be incredible.

 I have total faith that if we keep looking up — and not sideways at all the distractions — that we’ll be led exactly where we need to go — withe every lyric, every note, every vocal, every strategy, every decision — everything.

I have been listening to the demos.  I believe in these songs.  Do not let yourself be discouraged by anyone or anything.  It’s just the little patch of doubt and darkness that is inevitably going to come before something really important and inspired happens.  I believe that.  It’s an enormous blessing in my life to be walking this path and making this journey with you.

Tyler

Most of the time we are believers.  We believe in ourselves, we believe in what we can become, we believe in our mission and nothing can stand in our way.  Other times, we need a little support.  Even believers need back up.  Tyler’s words of encouragement came at the right moment.  After reading them…

I went back to being a believer.

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 11

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

I was desperate.  That’s why it happened.  I don’t normally behave that way – it was impulsive and rash.  But I didn’t know what else to do.

After I explain, I’m not sure you’ll even blame me…(you might even say you would have done the same.)

In May, I was in the studio recording demos (simple piano/vocal tracks for arrangers) when all of a sudden, as I recorded the songs I had written so far, I felt insecure.  It came out of no where. 

I felt doubt.

Fear. 

Trepidation.

I hadn’t felt that way about the songs until now - quite the opposite, actually.  When I was writing, I felt positive and excited about what had shown up on the page! 

But standing there in the studio, right in front of the microphone, worry and anxiety took over.  Were these songs any good?  Is anyone going to care about listening to them?  Why had I chosen to be a songwriter in the first place???!!!  Why, oh why hadn’t I chosen to be a fantastic baker who made mouth-watering rolls or a gardner who grew huge tomatoes?  Why had I chosen to put myself out there for any and all to critique? 

WHAT WAS I THINKING????

I pulled Tyler, my producer aside and told him how I was feeling.  He calmed my troubled, little songwriting soul and we moved on.

But when I left the studio, it happened. 

I couldn’t help myself.

I stopped at the store and…

BOUGHT TWO NEW PAIRS OF SHOES.

How could I?  I hadn’t even budgeted for them – I just walked into the store and out of pure desperation, I bought not ONE, but TWO pairs of shoes.

And I have to admit…

It was totally theraputic.  I felt better.  WAY better.  It is amazing what cheetah print and sparkles can do for the soul. 

Do you think I did the right thing?  (Me too.)

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 10

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Second day at the cabin in Heber…

My friend Emily Freeman walks in to where Tyler and I are writing and tells us that another friend of ours, Kris Belcher, emailed with an idea for us.

Kris had just read the following blog post by S. Michael Wilcox and as Emily read it to us, I felt like I was hearing words from the C.S. Lewis of our culture.  It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.  To put it in context, Michael’s wife Laurie, passed away December of 2010 – these are the tender expressions of his heart.

“I did not know I had so many tears.

I’ve tried to hide most of them.  Not that I’m ashamed of tears, but seeing them in my eyes brings them too often to the cheeks of others and I wouldn’t spread sorrow too widely.

Yet there is a a cleansing of the soul through the eyes.  Tears release sadness that must not dominate – leaving only love - somewhat older, wiser, calmer and yet renewed, reborn, freshened, enlarged, flowering.

The soul was not made by God to be sorrow’s home.  He would have us happy.  We open the doors and windows and let it out.  We learn from the memory of its visits, then let the breezes of continued living clear the air.

We learn to breathe again.

To walk in sunlight, love, joy, peace.

Each are the true inhabitants and we would not crowd them unnecessarily.”

 

Tyler and I sat in silence and awe for a few moments.  We were in the middle of creating another song…but my mind couldn’t leave Michael’s words.  They were magnetic - pulling me back as I tried unsuccessfully to focus on the other song.

I looked over at Tyler and said, ” ‘This is Not Your Home’ - that’s the title of the song.”

We brainstormed.  We pondered.  We let Michael’s words have a space in the room with us.  Sometimes that’s the only way to write a song – it has to become part of who you are.  Your heart has to be willing to make room for the emotion – even if it’s pain, heartache or sorrow.  Regardless of whether or not it is your own – you become an owner.

I had the privilege of playing the song for Michael in Calgary, Canada.  We were there for a Time Out for Women.  I was so nervous.  I really wanted him to love it.  Afterall, it was his heart put to music. 

I sat at the piano, handed Michael the lyrics and then played and sang. 

He loved it.  When you read the songwriting credits on the CD booklet, you’ll notice three writers are credited – Tyler, me and…Michael.  I was honored that he would allow us to include his name.

I simply couldn’t just offer a “snippet” this time.  You need to hear the whole song.  The song deserves it.

08 This is Not Your Home

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 9

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Women are multi-taskers.  We are.  I have been known to make the most out of a flight of stairs by carrying the vacuum, Windex, cleaning rags, Pledge and a small child – facilitating only one trip up the stairs. 

I do dishes while talking on the phone.

I fold laundry and watch Conference.

I drive and pray.

You do it too, I know it.  We are multi-taskers – there’s really no way around it, if we want to get everything done that needs to be done.

But last April, I took a break from being a multi-tasker.  For two blissful days I was singly minded.   (Singly is a funny word. I just spell-checked it to see if it was really a word.)  I only focused on ONE THING…

Songwriting.

That was it – just writing a song.  No dinner to prepare, no sweeping, no carpool, no Costco runs, no grade school homework.  Just writing.

I loved it.

Every minute of it.

As you already know, it is nearly impossible to have just one focus at home.  So, a few author friends and I went to a friend’s cabin in Heber.  We all had projects we were working on and the idea of two days of solitude, solice and focus was too much to resist.  We spent just shy of 48 hours writing – with only smalls breaks here and there for nutrition’s sake.  It was awesome.

“Find Me” was born in that quiet, mountain setting. 

Hope you enjoy.   Find Me SNIPPET

Blog to you soon,

Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 8 1//2

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

VIDEO SHOOT CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN!

“Rain, rain go away” never meant so much!  Likely will be rescheduled for next Tuesday, October 11th.

Every Step – Entry No. 8

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Come join me in making the music video today for “Beautiful Heartbreak!”

252 N. Preston Rd., Alpine, UT 84004

3:00-6:00 pm.

(I’ll take pictures in case you can’t be there and try to post some tomorrow!)

Hilary

Every Step – Entry No. 7

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Everyone needs…

Someone who knows our every weakness, but sees our strength.

Someone who can remind us the sun is always just above the rain clouds.

Someone who will celebrate our victories as if the victories were their very own.

Someone to remind us that if today isn’t what you hope it would be, there is always tomorrow.

Someone that will stand by your side…

no.

matter.

what.

That’s what this song is about.  (Another great idea from Tyler.  See why I like to write with him?)

Right Here SNIPPET

Blog to you soon,

Hilary