Monday, February 13

on the open road || a mix tape

     Before I get on with tonight's post, I really have to acknowledge the incredibly touching and tender responses that have been coming in since my last post. I feel so honored you guys to have such beautiful souls with such big hearts following along here with me hereEvery one of you who have taken the time to comment, to open up, and also to give so much encouragement. If you haven't had a chance to take a look at the post, I hope you can at least read through the comments section. So many touching experiences and perspectives have been shared, and in so many different circumstances, yet all of us can relate to each other. It's really incredible. Alright moving on now:)
     It's been about a year or so I think since I've posted a playlist for you guys, which makes me even happier about sharing this current list of mellow favorites! For those of you who are fairly new, I've been sharing a playlist feature dubbed 'Mix Tapes' on here for a few years now, usually once a month. Music has always been so important to me, but honestly, my favorite music was too mentally derailing to listen to for a while. I've slowly been getting back into the type of slow stuff that I love to listen to regularly, and this group is A+.

     I've decided to use these songs for my February/Valentine's Day playlist, even though they're not all about love and not all particularly happy for that matter, but they do calm my spirit and help me feel. I'm also calling this my 'open road mix', because every time we take trips lately this is my go-to. We've been driving a lot the last couple months, and I've realized that family car rides really are the greatest! We're all within ear shot and can talk or sing songs together as a family, but no wrestling matches can break out because no one is buckled next to anyone else.haha Richard and I can hold hands and talk and catch up with each other as much as we want. We get to see new things and sometimes eat fun foods or snacks. I can read or write or work on my laptop if I want since Richard is always the driver, and we always either have a fun destination/adventure ahead, or we're headed back home after a trip which always feels awesome as well. 

     Anyways here is the playlist. As you can see it's not my typical 'mix tape' playlist with 14-16 songs like those old classic cassettes, but this is even better with 55 songs and nearly four hours of music right? haha 

     How do you feel about road trips with your people? Are there any special tricks or things that help them go smoothly for you? It was our last trip that I realized it's really my favorite time with my family. Maybe it was a combination of quiet/contented children and the peacefulness I felt at the time, or maybe it was the time of day that made it all seem perfect. The sun was setting slowly behind us as we drove smoothly with the flow of the winding road. The trees along the side of the highway were breaking up the rays of light sending slashes of shadow across the road ahead of us. I could hear Ellie reading quietly to herself in the second seat, and when I looked back I had to smile at how contented the kids were. John was turned slightly and resting his head against the window as his heavy eyes stare out the window, Sophie was blinking heavily trying to fight off sleep, and the youngest two girls were both fast asleep in their car seats. I turned back to face forward and leaned my head on Richard's shoulder. Amos Lee was on at that moment and Rich was softly singing along with him. I love the warmth in his low voice. Even having gone nearly 8 years without hearing it, there was so much familiarity when we talked again for the first time last Fall. How I love my little clan.

     Well that's all for now I guess.haha As always I'd love to hear if you found any new favorites or had fun hearing old ones, and I'd also love to know if you have any recommendations based on this list that you think I should check out. I LOVE new music. And don't forget to share your road trip tips! :)

    Thanks so much for reading friends,


  1. No road trip tips to share. Just much much love to you and your family from Europe. :)

    1. You're so kind, thank you, that really means a lot:)

  2. I love reading your post and following your live feeds. You and Richard are meant for each other. LOVE the love that you share. It's so inspiring to hear you guys talk about LIFE. I lost my dad at 13 years old. My mom 12 years ago to Cancer and lost my oldest brother in September. Cold Play Fix you is my go to song. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I've been following since right when Martin was diagnosed. Best to you, Richard and the kiddos. I'm so happy you reconnected with someone who knew you and got you. Someone who wishes he can fix your pain. Keep loving. For Always. Forever. No matter what! xo

    1. Your words touched me so much Glenda, thank you. So much genuine support and love in your message. Thank you for the courage also in sharing the incredible losses in your own life, you're such a warrior. This whole situation has been hard to understand even myself and more so to explain, but having so much trust and understanding from sweethearts like you that really care gives me peace, and helps calm my anxiety and fear. I'm so glad you can see those attributes in Richard too, because he is a miraculous blessing.

      Much love to you and yours:)

  3. No road trip ideas, just song recommendations:
    Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold by the Lone Bellow
    Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
    Saturn by Sleeping at Last
    Planets by Joseph
    You Belong to Me (the version by Lifehouse)
    I love reading your posts. You have really, really good taste in music! I recently discovered Seafret and Sleeping at Last and fell head over heels for both of them.
    With lots of love, from Michigan:)

    1. That's a great looking list, I can't wait to listen! I really love finding new songs, it's amazing how quickly you can 'connect' with a song even after just a few lines sometimes:)

      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

  4. Love this playlist. I am loving the latest Mumford & Sons album - especially Monster and Broad Shouldered Beasts. You have great taste in music. <3

    1. I'll listen to broad shouldered beasts asap! I don't know what I love so much about Monster but that's a particular favorite.

      Thanks so much for visiting and reading Allison:)

  5. Road Trips mean HORROR to us ;-) In the age up to 3 years all of our children HATES to drive in the car. Every visit to our doctor with one of them (only 13 km away!) was horror and means 20 minutes of crying wirh all they can give on power! I had to stop every five minutes to pick them out of theyr seats and step bystep we drive nearer to our goals :-)
    Our youngest Baby is 2 years and since a few weeks it gets realy better, so I spend a little bit of mymind for an holiday trip to the sea.
    I love your music list and realy enjoy the songs!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and its very impressingfor me.
    Every story of live is a story of hope, because hope is the one thing, we can go throuh with. Even when our lives have sometimes dark and cold ways.
    Lots of greetings from Germany!

    1. Oh no I'm so sorry to hear that! Roadtrips aren't for every family I guess.haha But thank you so much for your sweet words as well, I'm so lucky to have you reading along.

      Have a great rest of your week!

  6. Hi! :) Check out Amanda Shires' new album "My Piece of Land". She wrote it while she was pregnant with her first child and the lyrics are very touching and beautiful.

    1. Aw wow that sounds beautiful, thank you so much for the reccommendation!
      I'm so glad you visited:)


  7. I love Old Pine and anything by Ed Sherran. I had never heard Birdy before. I will have to check out some of her other songs. You may want to check out Mary Lambert, Cami Bradley and Alana Davis. As for road tripping, I try to stock up on fun snacks and a new game or two. Something they haven't seen before that keeps their attention for a good span of time. We drove to Disney this year (VERY LONG TRIP!!) and the Alex Toys Little Hands String on a Farm from Amazon was a big hit. We also use the mess free coloring markers that only make marks on the paper that goes with it. No marking on each other or the tan interior! Win-Win!

    1. I'm totally with you on Ed Sheeran, he can do no wrong:) And I'll certainly look into the other songs you shared, and that game from amazon, thank you so much! Those marker sets are perfect idea foe the car too, my kiddos would be coloring all over the car for sure.hahaha

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  8. Hello! I love your playlist, is there a way to listen to it? I can't find it on Spotify. Thank you for sharing your story :)

    1. Hmm I don't know what the problem could be, is it not playing for you in the post when you tap on the songs? if not here is the URL to the list itself:
      Let me know if that also doesn't work for some reason and I can try something else!

      Also you're so welcome, I share it for sweethearts like you that appreciate it. I certainly wouldn't have the courage without the constant encouragement:)

    2. I got it to work, thanks so much for responding! I stumbled across your story yesterday from a friend who liked your FB live video. You are just adorable, love your blog and videos. Wishing you, Richard, and your sweet babies much love, peace, and happiness. Stay strong ❤️

  9. Amazing playlist! Have you ever listed to "Happiness" by The Fray? One of my absolute favorite songs. The artist wrote it for his grandpa after his grandma passed away.

    1. I'm so glad you like it! and I'd never heard of that song before but now I love it too, so thank you:) That's a really sweet back story too, It makes it all the sweeter.

  10. I know I already commented but I have a few more songs to recommend. I love slower songs too and have so, so many playlists. These are so of my favs:

    1. No Harm - The Boxer Rebellion
    2. Somebody Else - The 1975
    3. Daughter - Youth
    4. Robbers - The 1975
    5. Still - Youth
    6. Sleep - Azure Ray
    7. Look After You - The Fray
    8. Hundred - The Fray
    9. Funeral Dress - William Fitzsimmons
    10. Not Around - Montgomery (not really a slow song, but I love it)
    11.Endlessly - Green River Ordinance
    12. This is me being honest - E for Explosion
    13. Begin Again - Measure
    14. Charlie Boy - The Lumineers
    15. Slow it Down - The Lumineers
    16. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri feat Steve Kazee
    17. You Know Where to Find Me - Imogen Heap
    18. Bright Lights and Cityscapes - Sara Bareilles
    19. Your Hand in Mine - Explosions in the Sky (no words for this one)
    20. Coffins - Misterwives
    21. So Long, Lonesome - Explosions in the Sky (no words for this one)
    22. Various Storms & Saints - Florence & the Machine
    23. The Streets of Whiterun - Jeremy Soule (no words to this one, it's just SO pretty)
    24. Snow Day - Matt Pond
    25. All I Needs - Mat Kearney
    26. City of Black & White - Mat Kearney
    27. Blood - The Middle East
    28. This Love - Taylor Swift OR Ryan Adam's version
    29. Life Left to Go - SafetySuit
    30. Take Your Time - The Fray
    31. Find it in Me - William Fitzsimmons
    32. Passion Play - William Fitzsimmons
    33. For Now I am Winter - Olafur Arnalds (super slow music, most of his songs do not have words, but it's so relaxing)

    1. Oh man thank you! I see so many of my favorite artists and some favorite songs already so I can't wait to check the rest of these out. We have pretty much the same taste in music right now I think:)

      Thank you for taking the time to pass these on!

  11. So many great songs on this playlist!! I'm a huge fan of Monsters and Men, and Mumford and Sons! Looks like you've got a pretty great taste in music!

  12. Hi Emily,

    Thanks so much for sharing your uplifting posts on your blogs. I have experienced a lot of loss this past year as well and you have given me faith to believe that everything will be okay. I am actually from Twin Falls and Martin's family grew up down the street from me in Woodridge, although I never knew him particularly well his mom Cathy is such a sweetheart and has always been so incredibly kind to my family. I am so happy that you have found love again, and thank you for being such a positive role model. Also, this playlist is amazing! Perfect for listening to while driving down Pacific Coast Highway, or anywhere for that matter :) Good luck to you and your family, I know only amazing things are in the future for you all. Xoxo

  13. My recommendations - because I love new music too!
    Johnny Belinda - Active Child
    The One - Clare Bowditch
    Sound of Silence - Kina Grannis
    Don't You Wait - Cloves
    My Blood - Ellie Goulding
    1000 Sundowns - Emma Louise (this one makes me cry!)
    Here Is The Place - Empathy Test
    Soldier - Fleurie
    Feels Like Coming Home - Jetta
    Brother Moon - Jordan Leser
    Until The Levee - Joy Williams
    Lost And Found - Katie Herzig
    Eve - Neulore
    Heart That's Pounding - Sally Seltman
    It's Ok - Tom Rosenthal
    One Voice - The Wailing Jennys
    My Heart Is Not A Machine - Whitley
    Bare - Wildes
    Into The Wild - Wrabel

    I also love Youth by Daughter as commented above, it's one of my favourites. Oh and Riverside by Agnes Obel, and Oblivion by Bastille.
    I hope you find something you like! And I'm going to go look up the ones I don't know from your playlist.

    I've loved reading your story so far, Emily, and I'm wondering if you'll put up any more about how you and Richard came to be married? I'd love to read it, and to see more wedding photos if you want to put them up.
    Though obviously, this is your story and I understand if you don't want to share everything.
    I think and pray for you all often.
    Much love from Madeleine xx

  14. Mat Kearney and Scars on 45 are my go-to chill music anytime I have a considerable amount of time in the car! Insecurity is a personal fav by Scars on 45. :) Love reading your words!

  15. We live 40 miles from our nearest bigger town so every outing seems like a little road trip. I love it for many of the reasons you said. My hubby and I can have time to catch up, listen to music, and our kids are usually very content. I've started listening to sermons from an app called The Porch and have really loved that as well! I love reading your posts and am inspired by your strength and humility! Blessings on your sweet fam!

  16. Not sure where in Idaho y'all are, but there's an amazing restaurant called the Rusty Moose in Spokane. Their mozzarella sticks are made out of pizza dough. I'm also a fan of National Park Service properties, and you have some cool ones within striking distance for a weekend trip (Glacier, Little Big Horn, Yellowstone).

  17. I've roadtripped many times with my kids. They are now 12, 11, 9, and 4. We have gone from st louis to Dallas to Houston and back. Another trip was from st louis to NYC to Philly and back. Many trips back and forth to Chicago, Kansas city, and tennessee.

  18. Emily, I can't tell you the amount of times I've found my way here and found exactly what I've needed... today is no different because guess what I'm prepping for - a LONG road trip with my husband & 8 month old! I road tripped a lot with my family when I was growing up and this is the first big adventure with my family. I'm nervous, but so excited at the same time.

  19. Would you consider making your playlist public? It has so many good songs and some of my favorites and I would love to listen.

  20. I've always loved your playlist posts! You've brought back some of my old favorites in this one. Check out the Angus and Julia Stone station on Pandora for some good feels. It's been my go-to for a while now and includes some great artists. Even the more sad songs bring a peaceful sense of comfort, enjoy :)

  21. The only times we have taken road trips, it has been to Maine (from NJ) to visit one of my best friends ever. She lives 7-8 hours away depending on traffic. Our boys are content with looking out the window or talking to each other or us. We love to play music on the rides and sing together. We sometimes make some stops along the way to cool places, including nature walks or to see lakes and historical places. I really don't have any complaints, but I only have two children and we have taken long drives with them for so many years (also to PA) and drive each Sunday to church for 45 minutes, that I think they are very adjusted to sitting still in long car rides. I am listening to your playlist right now!

  22. Music is so therapeutic! You should listen to this song "Moving On" by James and watch the video. It means a lot to me since my son was born 2 months after my father in law's death. I think it would be special to you as well. God bless you!