Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hello again!

It's been quite a while since I last posted.  Life has been so crazy!!!!!!!

It is now 2014, I have graduated from Berklee College of Music: I am already enjoying my life as a Housewife/Homemaker, and Hand-Crafter, and I feel like my passion for music has bloomed once more.

Drew and I have been married for 1 year and 8-ish months, and the time has just flown by.
We are really looking forward to both being out of school and getting on with it!!!!

I will share some of the occurrences of the past year or so in the next post.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Recent Events... :)

I didn't exactly follow my "post every day" goal, but I'm okay with that.  I can live with myself. :)
I will catch you up on what's been going on with the Story family since then.

The FASA final performances went wonderfully.  We ended up having two performances, one for video only and one for the public.  They both went great, everything felt smooth and relaxed.  It really paid off to start blocking everything/tech rehearsals so early in the week!

Drew and I had a great time at FASA; we befriended many and got to work with some amazing musicians!

After FASA we moved into "Shalom Chalet."  And it has been just that: shalom.  We're talking whole days of knitting for me and tone-exploration for the Husband.  We have thoroughly enjoyed cooking meals together, experimenting with recipes...  I am so blessed by Drew's music; it is positively (and literally, in my opinion) Heavenly. :)

I have been reading a book on the life and message of the Mahatma Gandhi; it is SO inspirational.  On top of that, I read a book called "Heaven and Back" written by a doctor who died, experienced a taste  of Heaven, and was sent back to Earth.  This book has totally changed my outlook on some things.  Some people might think it is hokey, but they can just think that I guess.

Wednesday we drove to Nashville to see our good buddy James DaSilva play in a Brazilian band at The Listening Room Cafe & Bar.  It was so much fun to see James play, and to spend special time with my Man. :)

Yesterday Drew and I made dinner for my parents; it consisted of our special Salmon recipe, red bell peppers fried with egg in the middle, herb/tomato rice, and crescent rolls.  Again, we LOVE cooking. :)  And today we came to Nashville again to see "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (which I cried through the entirety of) and to eat dinner with cousins Jordan and Lexi.  Now we are at Fido in Nashville sipping on cappuccino and I am filling in recent happenings.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Quick Update

I have disappeared from the face of the earth (as I knew I would during FASA), and I have tech rehearsal in two minutes, so this will be quick!

The lower division had their show last weekend and all the kids were so sweet!  It was a very moving and relevant show.  Then the upper division began to really work on their show, and it is coming together very nicely; it is packed full of so many wonderful segments.

Drew has had a great time working with the upper division guitarists, and has made many new friends! :D

Ok, time to go!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

FASA 2012 - an Introduction

Obviously, The Annie Moses Band: Annie, Gretchen, Benjamin, Camille, Alex, left to right. :)
So today is the day that students begin to arrive and get registered for the camp!  Everyone is so excited to see each other again!

Drew and I got all settled into our room last night; we are really enjoying having our own room, and it is very cozy! :D

It was great to see the Wolavers again; Annie has her new baby, David, and he is SUPER CUTE!!! :)
We have gotten our schedules and music, etc. and we have a sort of "de-briefing" meeting this evening with all the faculty.  It will be nice to sit down with everybody and have everything explained. :)

What we know so far is that Drew will be working a lot with Mario DaSilva and his son James (which is really awesome!).  This will be a great experience for him!  And I will be working a lot with Lower Division, leading a Sectional/Technique class for the "Crackerjack" group, and also a little fiddle trio.  Also I will be working with a couple of ensembles in the Upper Division, doing the trad Irish tune "Blarney Pilgrim" and "In the Highways" from O Brother Where Art Thou.  Other than that, I will be making appearances in the upper division orchestra playing violin.  Should be fun!!

We learned that there will be a "Faculty Concert" (YES YES YES) near the end of the camp, so Drew and I are going to try to work up a couple of things (including some vocal/ukelele stuff with Drew on guitar), so I am going to get started tonight if I can!  The songs that I'm really working on are "You Only Hurt the One You Love" sung by the Mills Brothers, and "P.S. I Love You" by Nellie McKay. :D
<========(>^_^)> uke <(^_^<)============

I am SO GLAD to be here with my sweet Husband. <3 <3 <3 Makes it a lot better. :)

Anyway, that is today, so far, and tomorrow is when things will be set in motion!

Friday, July 6, 2012

FASA 2012

Today Drew and I leave for Nashville to teach at the Annie Moses Band's Fine Arts Summer Academy (affectionately titled "FASA" by students and faculty); the camp is held at David Lipscomb University. We will be there for two weeks teaching & performing in the big finale concerts. :)

It will be a good experience for both of us; being there in past years really helped me in my interaction with young and old alike.

I'm taking my violin, viola, and ukelele; I'm excited to work up jazz tunes on the uke--I have a couple so far, and I hope to incorporate that into what I do! :)

As the weeks progress, I will update on what's going on at the camp!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Take My Chances

Earlier this year, Drew and I went with some of our DEAREST friends to New Hampshire; we were going to record a song (written by Jesse Devine and Sandra Kassman) at CedarHouse Studio, run by Gerry Putnam and his wife Fran.  It was such a wonderful experience with wonderful friends!  The studio itself was so mystical and peaceful; it was a refurbished barn that used to house a hippie commune.  We had a view of a beautiful field in the back; I could just envision men and women dancing and eating and transcending together.  I was glad that our music was being added to the history of the place.  It was so quiet and cold there, and in the company of good friends, my Spirit was refreshed.

The above artwork (very beautiful portraits, no? :) ) was drawn by Jana Apollo, and I will say who the people are and what they played, from top to bottom:

Dag Hanken: drums
Jeff Kinsey: bass
Andrew Clay: piano
Jesse Devine: electric guitar
Drew Story: electric guitar
Ellen Story: violin, harmony vocals
Sandra Kassman: lead vocals, harmony vocals

We all sang on the "gang vocals" that appear throughout the song. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Beautiful Event. :)

It's been a very long time since I posted on this blog, and I think it's about time to catch up. :)

So much has happened since last summer in Colorado; I got to play at Carnegie Hall twice (once with The Three Tenors, once with the Annie Moses Band), started teaching violin at Reunion Christian Church School for the Fine Arts, and now have completed my sophomore year of college (wow, since when???). More recently, I have married my miracle from God, Drew Story. :)  We were married on May 19, 2012 at the Crown Winery in Humboldt, Tennessee.

The front of our wedding program (I had a blast designing it!)
The Story's <3
One of my bridal portraits, taken by Tina Todd at an old plantation house in Jackson, Tennessee. :)
My Dress was handmade by me and Kim Graves, a Sister to me in Spirit and the mother of my Flowergirl and Ringbearer! :)  They sang my arrangement of "Whiter Than Snow" for my processional, and their Beautiful little voices made it so special! :)  

Me, Drew, and my bridesmaids <3
I really felt God pulling everything for the wedding together, down to the last detail; it was so Beautiful to realize the Blessing that was laid upon our wedding.  The Musicians and Bridesmaids that participated have been some of the most important people, the dearest friends, to have come along in my journey.

Our wedding cake was RED VELVET, and Drew's groom cake was CARROT CAKE.  And it was GOOD. :D  Our coordinator, Jennifer, did the cascading roses on the cake, and I made the cake topper: "love birds" made by sewing.  Drew's cake was designed to look like a log, and it sat on a log cut-out cake stand. :)  It was delicious and Beautiful at the same time.

We also played some music at our reception! :)

That's all I will share for now, but as more pictures are released, I will post and describe! :D

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Love of my Life and my Fiance, Drew Story :D :D :D

A Psalm of Salvation


Father-GOD, abundant in Mercy and


I fall on my knees before you,

I fall flat on my face

in submission ---

I am PLEADING, Daddy,


I am so human,

the lowliest creation.

You have given me the most


and I do not want to ruin it.

Daddy, Father-GOD, abundant in Mercy and


on YOU I depend.

YOU are the One who holds me together,

and now I am crying out to you,

‘Forgive me!!’

You’re known for your compassion, Lord.

Your Forgiveness is LEGEND,


I am truly, truly sorry,

my Master,

can you tell??

Of course You can!!

You created me!

You know my inner workings,

You command the oceans,

calm the seas,

You taught the birds where to fly,

You showed Sun where to rise.

God of my Heart,

Lover of my Soul,

I cry out for forgiveness ---

fill me with Your Joy,

and I will be okay.

Wash me anew,

flood me, drown me in Your


and I will run and play like a child.

Daddy, Father-GOD, abundant in Mercy and Grace,

Your Love is SO WONDROUS,



I am no longer bound to any Law, any death-condemning Decree,

but am allowed to live in the SPACIOUS FREEDOM that comes with salvation!!

You said, “You’ve always been told, ‘Love your neighbor, hate your enemy,’ but I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. For what good can come of limiting yourself to loving those who already love you?”

Your ways are so DIVINE,


I have heard your Word, Father.

I have seen the revelation with my own two eyes, FATHER.

The Enemy --- that Love-Killer,

that prince of deceits,

that liar ---

is threatening to destroy it.


DELIVER US from that snake,

slithering around,

trying to sweet-talk us down the path of doom.

Just like Jesus, sweet Jesus,

I say “BEAT IT, SATAN!!!”

Lord, all-wise,

keep us from harm,

keep us from harm,

Lord, all-wise.

With Your help,

nothing in Heaven and Earth

can touch us.

There is a BATTLE going on, Father,



because You, GOD,

you’ve already won.

With the death of Jesus,

my Savior,

the GOD-side has already WON!!


“What does love look like?” is the question I’ve been pondering

“What does love look like?”

“What does love look like?” is the question I’ve been asking of You

I once believed that love was romance, just a chance

I even thought that love was for the lucky and the beautiful

I once believed that love was a momentary bliss

But love is more than this

All You ever wanted was my attention

All You ever wanted was love from me

All You ever wanted was my affections, to sit here at Your feet

Then tell me

“What does love look like?” is the question I’ve been pondering

“What does love look like?”

Then I sat down, a little frustrated and confused

If all of life comes down to love

Then love has to be more than sentiment

More than selfishness and selfish gain

And then I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me

I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me

He was looking at me, looking at Him, staring through me

I could not escape those beautiful eyes

And I began to weep and weep

He had arms wide open, a heart exposed

Arms wide open; He was bleeding, bleeding

Love’s definition, love’s definition was looking at me

Looking at Him, hanging on a tree

I began to weep and weep and weep and weep

This is how I know what love is, this is how I know what love is

And as I sat there weeping, crying

Those beautiful eyes, full of desire and love

He said to me:

“You shall love Me, You shall love Me

You shall love Me, You shall love Me”

With arms wide open, a heart exposed

With arms wide open, bleeding, sometimes bleeding

If anybody’s looking for love in all the wrong places

If you’ve been searching for love, come to Me, come to Me

Take up your cross, deny yourself

Forget your father’s house and run, run with Me

You were made for abandonment, wholeheartedness

You were made for someone greater, someone bigger, so follow Me

And You’ll come alive when you learn to die

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Psalm 62

God, the one and only--

I’ll wait as long as he says.

Everything I need comes from him,

so why not?

He’s solid rock under my feet,

breathing room for my Soul,

an impregnable castle:

I’m set for Life.

How long will you gang up on me?

How long will you run with the bullies?

There’s nothing to you, any of you--

rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters,

Anthills plotting to bring down mountains,

far gone in make-believe.

You talk a good line,

but every “blessing” breathes a curse.

God, the one and only--

I’ll wait as long as he says.

Everything I hope for comes from him,

so why not?

He’s solid rock under my feet,

breathing room for my Soul,

an impregnable castle:

I’m set for Life.

My help and glory are in God

--granite-strength and safe-harbour-God--

So trust him absolutely, people;

lay your lives on the line for him.

God is a safe place to be.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Effie Álainn™

A name that I love and hope to use someday.
Yup, I trademarked it.
No takey.
"Álainn" means "beautiful" in Irish Gaelic.

Peace. :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today's Battle

I'm going to be brutally honest.

Today I was confronted with lies straight from Satan.

Lies concerning the identity of God and His Word.

And this is what I have to say to that:

There is ONE GOD.

He is Three-in-One, even if we cannot wrap our brains around it.

He is neither male nor female, he is everything wrapped into one splendid Being.

He created us male and female so that we might understand him better:

He is protective, strong, powerful like a man, but He is also tender, caring, nurturing like a woman.

GOD is SELF-SUFFICIENT: He doesn't need ANYTHING, even though we cannot imagine that.

GOD is ALL-POWERFUL: who are we to say what he can or cannot do?!

The Bible says that the Body of Christ, the Church, the Children of God, WE are the BRIDE OF CHRIST, not some "female counterpart", not the "wife of God..."

What I witnessed today was a Jesus/Pharisee sort of situation:

Jesus lived an EXEMPLARY life, a life full of LOVE and HOPE and CARING.

The Pharisees were too blind to see the Truth in front of them; all they cared about was fussing over laws and "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts."

But Jesus turned the world upside down with His Love.

Why can't people just see that Love with a child-like mind instead of manipulating the Word to satisfy their intellectual lusts??

Why can't they just see the BEAUTY of how God created us in His image?

Why can't people just LIVE LIKE JESUS?

I was saddened by what I directly experienced today, but at the same time, through the Grace of God I was made bold. <3

Praise the Lord!!

"Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the Age?'

And Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the Love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come."

~Matthew 24.3-14~

Now, more than ever, true Christ-Followers must come together in fellowship and Love; the end times are approaching, and we MUST keep the Faith. There will be many trials, many attacks, but we have to keep pushing through to the end.

Remember, we serve a God who is GREATER THAN OUR ADVERSITIES. He endured the greatest pain imagineable, did it all out of Selflessness and Love, and came out on the other side as the Victor, the Conqueror of Death itself.

Christ-Followers, my loving challenge to all of you is this:

READ THE WORD. "I have hidden Your Word in my Heart that I might not sin against You."

If there are going to be attacks, trials, Deceivers (which there will be daily), we must KNOW the Word. We must LIVE and BREATHE it, know it INSIDE OUT.

. "Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven." Think about it. Mull over it; chew on it, grapple with it. The Word is full of mysteries and powerful Beauty. It can be read millions of times in one life and never cease to enlighten. "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." And know that the Word of God is your INFALLIBLE AUTHORITY. "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

LIVE THE WORD. "The Word of the God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joins and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the Heart." Just live what you know to be true. Be humble in all things, caring in all things, but spurn the Enemy and all the lies that he creates. When you feel attacked, call out to God! He will save you, He will drive Satan away: "The Lord your God in your midst, The Might One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His Love, He will rejoice over you with singing." People can hear us talk and talk and talk about what we believe until they're blue in the face, but only when we ACT like citizens of a different Kingdom will people notice and begin to wonder why. "Preach the Gospel at all times--if necessary, use words." (St. Francis of Assisi)


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The bread which you do not use is the bread of the Hungry.

The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the one who is Naked.

The shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is Barefoot.

The money you keep locked away is the money of the Poor.

The acts of charity you do not perform are so much injustices you commit.

-Saint Basil the Great-

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Psalm 63

GOD -- You’re my GOD!

I can’t get enough of You!

I’ve worked up such a hunger and thirst for GOD,

traveling across dry and weary deserts.

So here I am in the Place of Worship,

eyes open,

drinking in Your Strength and Glory.

In Your generous Love I am really living at last!

My lips brim praises like fountains.

I bless You every time I take a breath;

My arms wave like banners of Praise to You.

I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;

I smack my lips.

It’s time to shout praises!

If I’m sleepless at midnight,

I spend the hours in grateful reflection.

Because You’ve always stood up for me,

I’m free to run and play.

I hold on to You for dear life,

and You hold me steady as a post.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Wonder of Creation

On a Day When the Wind is Perfect

On a day when the wind is perfect
the sail just needs to open and the
world is full of Beauty.
Today is such a day.

My eyes are like the sun that makes promises;
the promise of life
that it always

each morning.

The living Heart gives to us as does that luminous sphere,
both caress the earth with great tenderness.

There is a breeze that can enter the soul.
This Love I know plays a drum.
Arms move around me;
who can contain their self
before my Beauty?

Peace is wonderful,
but ecstatic dance is more fun, and
less narcissistic;
Gregarious He makes our lips.

On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open,
and the Love starts.

Today is such a day.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nōn nōbīs, Domine,

sed Nomine Tuo da Glōriam.

Not to us, Lord,

but to Your Name be the Glory.

Friday, July 30, 2010

be unto Your Name

We are a moment,

You are Forever,

Lord of the ages,

God before Time.

We are a vapor,

You are eternal,

LOVE everlasting,

reigning on high.

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.

Highest praises, honor and glory

Be unto Your Name.