Update 10 | Six Months After Dad

✈️ Currently in Nashville to complete the final bucket list trip I was supposed to share with my Dad in February.

(But January happened…)

So I’m doing this alone and DECIDED it’s going to be amazing.

Gently nudging myself to accept this ‘blip of time’ here on Earth so I don’t forget to make the most of it.


This isn’t really a vacation – it was never meant to be one.

The plan was to record an album. 🎶🎤🎻

I know it seems random, but it’s not.

I do have a day job that I LOVE, although it adds more color to the pages of my life story when I make time for passion projects.

It’s important for my kids to understand the importance of that when they come of age.

I think about how much my Dad did in his lifetime – he didn’t live a ‘one note’ life.

He slid all the way up and down that piano. 

This isn’t completely out of left field – I released an album in 2010.  I was too musically insecure back then to devote more time to it.

Until I had kids, my worst fear was losing one of my parents.  

After experiencing that, much of my fear for anything has turned into, ‘Who cares, life is too short to worry.’

‘Seize the day.’

‘You only live once.’

‘Now or Never.’

To me, those phrases have now become more than just t-shirt slogans.


Dad & Mom took me to a Patsy Cline tribute here in Nashville twenty years ago and I was hooked.

He introduced me to Dolly, Johnny Cash, all the greats.

Coming back alone is a bittersweet trip full of reflection and grace, but… MUSIC HEALS.

I have this feeling of pure JOY right now – Completely in my element.

Maybe because it’s the first time since having kids eight years ago that I’m doing something for myself and no one else.  🧹🧽 🍳🍼🧺😆

Or maybe because, strangely, I don’t feel alone here at all.

I’ve experienced two *very* specific signs that I’m not.


The three sneak peek clips posted here were inspired by people I’ve connected with during this last year of pre & post grief:

🎵 ‘𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗠𝘆 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀’ 
Mark Head is an incredible man who has been valiantly thriving with pancreatic cancer for 7 years. One of the few outliers who rallies the troops twice a week in the Pancreatic Cancer Facebook group. His ‘can-do, will-do’ attitude was much like my Dad’s.


🎵 ‘𝗢𝗻𝗲 𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗔𝘁 𝗔 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲’
Inspired by the amazing Victoria Quinn who is managing the strong storm of grief after losing her husband - you may remember her name from my ‘December With Dad’ Update 3 (UFC fight in Vegas).

🎵 ‘𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗠𝗲 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀’
This song was written to be a love letter from Dad to my Mom, inspired by a brave widow in the Pancreatic Cancer Facebook group.

Each of these amazing people have an incredible story - we all do.  💥

And if I’m being honest, this songwriting journey feels a little surreal.

I had no idea it would get this far, recording an album in the music capital of the world.

But here we are.

Fifteen months ago in April 2021, I hired a coach to help me deal with all these emotions – we started with a mix of creative writing exercises, breath work, and physical movement all in an effort to not feel “stuck in grief.”

(Which would be easy)

This was, after all, my Amazing DAD. 💥

The one who championed every dream for anyone, no matter how ambitious.

The one who taught me about financial independence so I would never have to rely on anyone else to get by in life.

The one who cut out newspaper clippings and thoughtfully sent them to friends or family members knowing who would enjoy the articles.

Still missing those days… 😞


By May 2021, I began feeling inspired to write songs about everything going on.

I set a goal to record the first one and give it to Dad as a Father’s Day gift. 🎁 🎵

Only three months into his diagnosis, our family wasn’t talking about the “what if’s” or sharing our fears since he was in a fight to LIVE.

Before playing the song, I gave him a note acknowledging our family’s strength and resilience to win this battle, but just for 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵, I wanted to be upfront in expressing how I felt about all this. 😢😩

(Because what if he took my constant encouragement and chipper attitude as a lack of empathy for the gravity of the situation?)

We sat on the couch together as he listened thoughtfully to the song.

When the final note faded to silence, Dad made a joke to diffuse the emotion of the moment…

Then he asked me for his own copy to listen again later.

Honestly, that was the best feeling knowing I wrote him a song he’d want to listen to twice.

I figured that would be the end of it, but… Songs kept flowing.

It became a family project.

The songs that my three kids requested most in the car became the song selection for the album.

Joe has been an amazing sounding board because we’ve bonded over music for the last 20 years - He always supports my creative dreams as much as anyone. 🙏🏼❤️

And that leads to where I am now for the week…

Nashville 🎤


This has been an AMAZING experience.

I’ve had the space and clarity to do extended meditation each night and write out life goals in several areas such as desired future experiences, personal growth & contribution. 📝 
Just overall how to be a better version of myself.

And my favorite thing about this city is that LIVE MUSIC IS EVERYWHERE. In the airport, in the hotels, in every restaurant…

I feel the most peaceful that I have in months doing these recording sessions.

The producer and I have been working together remotely for about 10 months now.

A simple Google Search for studios around Nashville resulted in randomly clicking on his link.  After reaching out, he told me his own father had died from pancreatic cancer…  

I knew we had to do this project together.  ✨

I absolutely LOVED watching these songs come to life knowing they started as a mere thought, then lyrics on paper, then voice memo recordings, now as full orchestral arrangements.  

The one thorn in the day was that I had to lower a very specific high note that I’d been trying to belt, so that was a little disheartening.  (Can’t force what’s not there 🤷🏻‍♀️)

Maybe Celine Dion can take it and run with it. 😂

This was a long day - Started at 9am and finished at 7pm.  It was a very productive session recording lead vocals, harmonies, background vocals, and starting to mix the tracks to hear how it will all come together.

The COOLEST part was when the producer brought in a professional cellist to record tracks for two of the songs.

It’s one of my favorite instruments and to hear him play along with songs that I wrote was INCREDIBLE. 💥

It made me feel as bright as a 1,000 watt lightbulb when he said he wishes I was at all his recording sessions due to my encouragement in making him feel great about his work.  ✨

The one thorn in that day was the decision to cut a particular song from the album that wasn’t working. 🫤

It felt like a waste of the time we had already devoted on that one.  

Although focusing on what WASN’T working would take the focus away from all the songs that WERE, so sometimes you just have to know when to throw your hands up.


Last night I had a good long cry back at the hotel after the final recording session was complete and just talked aloud to Dad for awhile.

Felt cathartic and awful at the same time, but it was helpful to just let it out.

It’s been a long week of processing, both vocally and emotionally.

There are many ways people process grief and I figured someone might benefit from reading about mine.

If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU for caring to take the time to walk alongside me in this experience.

For your valuable time, I’m feeling blessed and grateful ❤️