peanuts & cracker jacks

Tonight I went to a Nashville Sounds baseball game with four other girls. It was Faith Night; I could get tickets at LifeWay for just $10 and that got us: a reserved seat, a hot dog, and a drink. The hot dog and drink would have been $6! Since it's Sunday, they had "sundaes" (really just ice cream cups) for $1.

Even though the Sounds lost 1-12 to Oklahoma City, it was really fun. Felt like summer. There's another Faith Night on July 9, and Jars of Clay will be playing a concert before the game. I'm planning on going to that with a few other people.

Jennifer, Kennan, and I waiting for the game to start.

Ozzie, the mascot, rockin' out to some music.

Nashville Sounds pitcher doing what he does best.

That's right. A guitar scoreboard. We're in Nashville! What'd you expect?!


A Day Downtown

Today Kennan and I set out at 9:30am for a day of acting like tourists. Our first stop was The Frothy Monkey, a coffee shop where I ordered a frozen chai latte. I've always had my chai lattes hot, but since it was so warm outside, I thought I'd try something a little different. It was very good. Next, we headed to Centennial Park where we fed the ducks, geese, pigeons, and other small birds my month-old half loaf of bread.

Kennan feeds the birds the last few pieces of our bread.

Me standing on the Shelby Street Bridge.
I took a picture here a year ago. Hoping to make this an annual thing.

Nashborough Fort. This was by Riverfront Park. It was free -- one of the many free things we did today. Eight hours downtown and we spent less than $20 each.

A dining room display in the Tennessee State History Museum.

The State Capitol Building. I drive by this thing every morning on my way to work. It was used as a federal fort while the Union occupied Nashville during the War. The tower up top is designed after the monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece.

At Gaylord Opryland Resort & Hotel. An indoor, air-conditioned paradise.

Me standing in front of one of several waterfalls at Gaylord Opryland Resort.

Just chillin' with my new country friends.




meetin' Leeland

I forgot to look at my schedule before driving in to work this morning. This is unfortunate because I had scheduled to have today off. On the bright side, I got an e-mail about getting a Leeland interview done, so it was good that I was there to confirm a time.

Leeland Mooring was kind enough to call me while the band rushed to the airport in a van in Colorado. We had a nice 20-minute chat while I asked several interview questions. Since he called at 5:30, I had given him my cell phone number since I wouldn't be at work that late. I had him on speaker phone and was holding my phone above my voice recorder. This didn't make for the greatest quality recording, but it worked.

There's always this long 1-2 minutes of tension and high stress after an interview is over during which I'm stopping the recording and putting it into my computer. I'm always afraid I'm going to press a wrong button and lose the whole thing. I made copies of the file and transcribed it. I will now turn a 2,000-word transcript into a 450-word article. Like magic.

It helped that I wrote my Brandon Heath article today because I knew what kind of questions I should have asked to help make the article better. Since Leeland started songwriting at age 11, it's easier to relate him to preteens than a 30-year-old Brandon Heath.

We've got a nice thunderstorm rolling through right now. I like it. Tomorrow Kennan (another intern) and I are going downtown to be tourist-y. I hope to hunt down some Nashville postcards, and I have a half loaf of bread that's a month old -- we'll go to Centennial Park and feed the ducks!




This afternoon I was sitting in a meeting. There were six of us around a table discussing the music for BTX, our preteen Sunday School curriculum. Cheryl had brought a bag of chocolate candies, which were scattered all over the table. I took a Snickers -- even though I enjoy chocolate and peanuts separately, I don't so much when they're together. So why did I pick a Snickers? Couldn't tell ya. But I'm eyeing this piece of Dove chocolate wrapped in pink foil and trying to think how I could strategically grab it without anyone noticing. I'm not really contributing to this meeting at all, and that chocolate looks really good. Maybe I don't need it. I was going to walk the stairs over lunch but didn't. I'm still young. I have pretty good metabolism.

Sometimes Andrea smiles at me and I can't tell if she's just looking at Cheryl, who is sitting next to me. So I'm trying not to look funny smiling all the time, but I can't help it when the discussion turns to the popularity of kids' sites like Webkinz and Jeff mentions how that's like Farm Town on Facebook. "All the adults like it." What? I've never even heard of this application. Turns out 46 of my friends use it. Weird.

Mr. Tester (we met with him and his wife Esther) offered to pray, and I admit while he was praying I slipped my phone out of my pocket to check the time. 2:35pm. Jeff mentioned to them I have an interview with Brandon Heath this afternoon, and I don't want to miss his call. Then he went into this story about how he heard Brandon was inspired to write "Give Me Your Eyes." It went something like this: Brandon was living in a poor part of Nashville and even though his parents could have set him up in a nice house, he chose to live there to work with the kids in the neighborhood and that experience is how he felt inspired to write it. I thought that was strange because I had read somewhere that he had been inspired while "people-watching" in an airport.

So, while I had Brandon Heath on the phone this afternoon, I asked him. This is what he said:

The idea for “Give Me Your Eyes” started when I was on an airplane. I was sitting next to somebody for about five hours, coming from Seattle, and our elbows were touching, but we never said one word to each other, you know?” That seems a little bizarre, that we are in such close proximity with each other yet we don’t converse, we don’t care for each other.

And so I was thinking about that whole scenario and I had heard about this dude who often would share his faith on flights, like he would always make a point to talk to the person next to him and share his faith. And I never did that. I feel like I need to share my faith with people I have a relationship with. A lot of times I’ll take CDs with me now, on planes, and if people ask what I do I’ll tell them I’m a musician and I’ll give them my CD. Then I’ll let that do the work.

This song really is just about taking the extra step to hear people’s stories and care for people. Even people who are really, really far away. That’s made a big difference in my life and it’s a continual prayer. The song is really a prayer. It’s become a sermon. So many people have made it into sermons; some youth groups have made dances to it. It’s really neat to see what it’s done. I wrote it with my friend Jason Ingram.
Anyway, Brandon seemed like a nice guy. He talked to me while eating in his car. He said he had been doing interviews all day. Tomorrow at noon, Leeland Mooring (lead singer of Leeland) will be calling so I can interview him.

Coming up:
Saturday -- being tourist-y in downtown Nashville with Kennan
Sunday -- church and baseball game with interns
Tuesday -- 6:40am flight to KC!


LifeWay Interns: Canoe Trip

Four of the LifeWay summer interns (plus a friend) went kayaking today on the Harpeth River west of Nashville. We hit the water around 11am and finished just after 3pm. I made the decision to take the 11-mile route (approx. 4 hours). It was pretty hot, but it was a lot of fun and I managed to stay [mostly] unsunburned.

The scenic Harpeth River. Yeah, it pretty much looks the same for the entire 11 miles we kayaked, but it was really pretty. Definitely felt like Tennessee.

Around noon, we beached our boats and had a picnic lunch. All five of us had brought PB&J.
(from left: Alyssa, Kennan, Jennifer, Megan, Megan's friend)

I wondered if we were going to see any animals along the way. You know: turtles, fish, snakes. I never expected we'd see cows!

The Canoe Music City people dropped us in the river and said "Start going. You'll go under one bridge. Stop there." We were glad to finally see the bridge. After 4 hours, our arms were sore from paddling.

The LifeWay summer interns after we got back to our cars.
(I'm not really that much taller than everyone; we were kind of standing in a ditch.)

Since we were on the water all afternoon, we thought ice cream sounded good. We put "Dairy Queen" into my Garmin, and when we got where it told us to go, we didn't see a DQ. But we did find this place. I guess it's like Baskin Robbins but there's only this one store, and it's in Nashville.
I got a small (one scoop) of Elephant's Ear (PB and choc. chips in vanilla ice cream) in a cup for like $2.70! I wouldn't recommend going here. I could have gone to Kroger next door and bought a half gallon of mint chocolate chip for $2.

It was a fun day! Next Sunday (a week from tomorrow) some of the interns are going to the Nashville Sounds (minor league baseball) game. It's Faith Night, so for $10, LifeWay employees get a reserved seat, a hot dog, and a drink, and get to watch a concert before the game. Can't pass up that deal.



well, good morning!

It's about 7:45am and I am cruising (er... crawling) down I-65 south toward the city. Traffic slows in the same place every day and continues to slow as cars merge into the four lanes and drivers decide they need to change lanes at the last second. I have a 9-mile drive to work, and it takes me 30 minutes. My gas mileage is killing me.

Most days this week, I've been rappin' out to Lecrae's "Don't Waste Your Life." I've got most of the lyrics down now, except for the too-fast parts. Hip hop is so much easier to sing along to than rap. I bumped by bass up a bit and my rearview mirror vibrates with the beat. But the last couple of nights, I've had this song running through my head when I'm trying to fall asleep, and it's not one that makes you want to fall asleep. So this morning it's CXVI Hymns -- so great. I'm mixing that up with a little Shai Linne (my hip hop favorite). This is how I get myself pumped up in the mornings for work. Nothing like a little gospel from the 'hood.

Okay, so there's this silver Chevy Monte Carlo in front of me with a Michigan license plate. I'm probably behind it for five miles. I'm singing along to my music and focusing on not rear-ending it. Suddenly, I'm surprised by a little orange head that pops out the rear left window. It's looking at me. It's this Ernie doll from Sesame Street and it's shaking its head back and forth like it's looking around. This makes me laugh. Then this little African American boy with glasses pokes his head up in the back window and looks and me, and then ducks down and continues holding Ernie out the window. He sits up and waves. I wave back. What a fun way to start my day. I pull off at James Robertson Parkway and drive in to work.

Coming up:

Saturday, June 20 -- Intern Canoe Trip
Sunday, June 28 -- Nashville Sounds Faith Night (baseball game)
Tuesday, June 30 -- Alyssa flies back to Kansas




What do Brandon Heath and Leeland have in common?

a. They are big names in Christian music.

b. They're all, deep down, just normal (though very talented) guys who love Jesus.
c. They will all be interviewed by me within the next couple of weeks.
d. All of the above.

(Answer: d. All of the above)




Today was a bit of a slow day around the office. We're getting ahead on our projects. I was fighting sleepiness so I took a break and walked the stairs. Tuesday = lunch with the other interns. I handed out my canoe trip flyers and I think we'll have a good time on Saturday. At lunch we saw Thom Rainer, LifeWay's president and CEO. I "tweeted" about it on Twitter, and he "tweeted" me back. I feel pretty special, ha.

The storms moved in around 2pm and Nashville was under a tornado warning, though the tornado stuff was more north, like near Madison (where I live!). No damage, but I felt good knowing I went ahead and got renter's insurance.

Today at work I edited Bible Express (preteen devotional magazine). The VBS team was doing a photo shoot of different desserts... I'm not exactly sure why, but this meant when they were done photographing, the food was free-for-all. I snagged a sugar cookie and butterscotch Rice Krispie treat. A nice end to my lunch break.

I have my housemates hooked on The Office. They haven't seen many of them, so I pulled out my DVDs and we started at the beginning. I hooked up my laptop to their TV and we've been going through them; we're almost done with Season 2. I can handle 1-3 episodes a night, but this evening we started out early and watched like 5. It's not even 8pm and I'm ready for a shower and bed. I need to go pull my sheets out of the dryer -- I love crawling in to warm beds! :)

I'm so excited about spending a couple of days in KC. Two weeks from today! It won't come fast enough.


Ghengis Grillin'

For dinner, Jessica and I went to Ghengis Grill in Hendersonville. It's Mongolian Stir Fry. You pick your protein, spices, sauces, veggies/fruits, and starch (rice or noodles), and they cook it up for you. It's a lot like Willy Wok at K-State, but better. For $9.99 a bowl (enough for two meals; I got a to-go box -- it's now my lunch for tomorrow); it's a moderately-priced place that's kind of fun. For $13.99, it's all-you-can-eat, but you can't take your leftovers with you.

Pick your protein. I had steak.

They cook everything on a big, round grill.


Canoooooe Wooooo!

What do you do for fun in Tennessee during the summer? Round up the other LifeWay summer interns and go canoeing, of course!
I'm planning this little day trip for next Saturday and I'm really excited about it!


saturday in the city

Last summer in Jacksonville, we went to Rita's all the time. Probably once a week.
It's kind of an East Coast/Southern thing.

I still won't branch out from mint chocolate chip Italian ice. It's just good. I'm afraid anything else wouldn't live up to mint chocolate chip.

I drove down to Spring Hill (about 40 minutes from Madison) to check out this coffeehouse called Utopia Coffee I had heard about. Because it's a Saturday and I didn't have any plans.

The coffeehouse is actually a house. There are different rooms you can sit in and enjoy your drink or meal.

I spent about an hour there getting some reading done.

I'm not a coffee drinker, so I play it safe with chai lattes. It was nice, but since it's so far away, I probably won't go back too often.



note to self: picnic in park

I went to Centennial Park around noon and took some pictures. Tonight I'm making minestrone soup and cheddar garlic biscuits. We might go to the Frist because I can get in free with my K-State ID after 5pm. Nashville downtown is pretty crazy this weekend because of the CMA Music Festival.


Another Day in the 'Way

Every other Wednesday morning, LifeWay has a 7:30am chapel service. I don't usually come in until 8:30, but I came in early this morning and went. The speaker was Michael Catt, the senior pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. (This church produced the movies Fireproof and Facing the Giants.) Worship was led by John Waller and when we left, everyone got a free copy of the book Love Dare.

Something cool the speaker said: "The questions that separate us are not the questions that Jesus asked." Are you a Calvinist or are you Armenian? Do you put your left or right shoe on first? The real question is, "Do you love Jesus?"

I went up to my office and grabbed my camera for a picture with John Waller.

Me & John Waller

We went out to lunch at SATCO (San Antonio Taco Company). It was fun. In the afternoon, even though I was trying really hard to get my work done, Jeff and Andrea told me I wasn't doing a good enough job and made me go walk the stairs....

haha, just kidding :) We all needed a break so we walked the stairs for exercise. Or something like that.



intern update: Alyssa does work.

Wonder what exactly I've been working on for the last week?

For my internship at LifeWay, I've been placed on the Preteen Team (for 5th/6th grades). The two products I've had a hand in are Bible Express and BTX: A Bible Teaching Experience for Preteens. Bible Express is a devotional magazine for preteens, while BTX is used as Sunday School curriculm. My mentor-of-sorts (the production editor) is Andrea, and she has been teaching me so much!
Click here for a .pdf sample of the BTX Leader Guide I've helped format, edit, and tag. This is a Spring 2009 guide. We work ahead; I spent the day working on Summer 2010. Everything you see in the leader guide starts out as plain text from the writer. We insert the text into the columns, bodies, sidebars, etc. and format it all in Adobe InCopy.

Click here for a .pdf sample of the BTX Learner Guide from Fall 2008. BTX has four parts: leader guide, learner guide, pack items, and teaching pictures. We have to check to make sure all of them correspond correctly. When the leader guide says, "have students complete the Mission:Possible activity on learner guide page 10" then learner guide page 10 must contain the Mission:Possible activity.

Click here for a .pdf sample of Bible Express. I haven't been working much on this, just doing a little proofreading.
Every time Scripture is used, I look it up to make sure the correct verses are being referred to. We check everything. (In doing this, I've actually found two mistakes in LifeWay's HCSB translation of the Bible -- nothing major, just headings at the top of the page giving the incorrect chapter.)

Did you know that when a final proof is edited, the company must pay to make additional corrections? If there is something minor like a comma missing, it's common that it'll slide. Missing and misspelled words are often corrected.

I must confess, when I come home and use my PC, I find myself inputting "Alt + C" for copy instead of "Ctrl + C" because I'm getting so used to Mac's "Command" keystrokes. I don't hate it. Matthew and Clarissa will be saying "told you so" if they read this!

**Tomorrow: LifeWay 7:30am chapel service - John Waller leading worship!**


touring the town

Jessica took me around Nashville; we parked and walked around Hillsboro Village and then drove around Centennial Park. I pulled my camera out to take a picture, and discovered I left
my memory card back at home. So, here are some pictures of what I saw courtesy of Flickr.

---Touring the Town---

Apparently there's a lot to do in Nashville, and people like to let you know about it.

Used Bookstores: BookMan and BookWoman.
We don't know what the difference is... between the stores, I mean.

A dragon mural in Hillsboro Village.

Pancake Pantry - A Nashville Tradition. We'd been walking so we just stopped in to use the bathroom and I ordered a Diet Coke. "Rain or snow or shine, there's always a line." Apparently this place is pretty popular; there is a bookshelf before you walk in so you can read while waiting.

A really cute store called Social Graces -- it was basically a stationery store that also had some cute eclectic items. It'd be a great place to buy gifts, and the owner gave us free cookies.

I think this was my first time seeing magnolia trees, at least that I can remember.

In Centennial Park, there is the Parthenon, an exact replica of the real thing.
Today it was all set up for a wedding.

Fido: a coffee shop where you are allowed to bring your dog inside.



paper cuts

Fun fact of the day:

LifeWay doesn't use the phrase "butcher paper" in the supply list for preteen curriculum. Apparently it's too violent. We changed it to "large piece of brown paper."


Day 2 in the Department

Today I learned how to use Adobe InCopy. It's like Microsoft Word on steroids. I dig it. At work today we had a party (I know, right? Day 2 and we're already having parties). It was a lady's birthday/going away party. She's going to South Africa for some mission work, so of course there was a bunch of classic All-American food. It was a nice break from working and by 2pm, I'm usually really hungry anyway. Also spent two hours today going through the Childhood Ministry Publishing and LifeWay style manuals. With InCopy, I was formatting content for a resource called Bible Express. It was fun. I'll be working on the Pre-Teen team this summer.

Got my rear-view mirror replaced. Applied to work part-time at Target to make a little extra money. It's raining here. I like the rain. Working wears me out :) I'm going to bed. Good night.


Day 1 in the Department

First day actually doing work! I met several of the head guys in childhood ministry publishing and we took a tour of floors 8 and 9 and met a bunch of our fellow employees. I have my own office with my name on the door. The two other interns in my department got offices with windows (lucky) but one of the women in my area mentioned I have a refrigerator, and Adobe InDesign and InCopy on my Mac. I'm getting used to the Mac.

Spent the day looking over stuff and reading and editing. In a final copy of a magazine I found a mistake -- a sentence was missing a word and didn't make sense. I learned that making changes to a final copy costs money, so the company only changes major mistakes. I did some fact-checking and had to make sure all the Scripture references was correct. In doing this, I was using LifeWay's Holman Christian Standard Bible and found a mistake in it! (Nothing major, just a heading that had the wrong chapter number at the top of two consecutive pages.)

On my way home I hit my right rearview mirror (not hard, it's still attached to my car) but hard enough to knock the mirror off. It's laying in the street somewhere on 9th Ave. I went and talked to Midas and they found out they could have another auto parts store order the mirror plate and tomorrow afternoon I can go pick it up and have Midas install it for probably about $30. Oops.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in visiting this summer, I now know my work schedule! I will be working every week day from 8:30am-3pm except for the following days (which I have off):

  • Friday, June 12
  • Friday, June 19
  • Friday, June 26
  • Tuesday, June 30
  • Wednesday, July 1
  • Thursday, July 2
  • Friday, July 3
  • Friday, July 17
Come visit!


Intern Orientation

Finished intern orientation at LifeWay. Awesome. Tomorrow I'll actually get to go to my department (childhood ministry publishing). There are 12 summer interns working all over the company. After paperwork, a scavenger hunt, lunch, and finding our offices and getting our badges, we went home around 3pm.

This meant I had time to go buy auto and renter's insurance! I compared quotes at State Farm and Shelter, and State Farm won by being about $90 less. And they're mailing me a $10 gas card. I probably could have asked Shelter to match, but the guy at State Farm was really nice and Shelter was too hard to find, so I didn't bother going back.

I'll be back at LifeWay tomorrow at 8:30am. There's a 9am meeting (in my office!) and hopefully I'll find out how my schedule will look. I'm pretty tired now. Might be time for a nap! :)
© All rights reserved.