Let me tell you about this awesome guitarist I’ve been listening to lately. Maybe you’ve heard of him? His name is Jason Ahlbrandt. Of course you’ve heard of him! He’s my best friend.
You should hear that guitar resonate through our open home with the vaulted ceilings! It fills every pocket and corner of the house. About a year ago Jason released an instrumental album called Acoustic Lullabies. (It’s available on iTunes and lots of other online retailers, or on his website if you want a physical CD with lovely album art by yours truly…go get you one!)
Now that we’re in our new house, Jason has been spending a lot of time in his studio and I hear rumors of a second instrumental album in the works. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying these videos he’s been putting on YouTube. His newest one is an original called “Treading Water.” Please enjoy:
The CDs have finally arrived! Jason’s brand new instrumental guitar album, Acoustic Lullabies, was released last week. But, since he was on the road, he had them shipped to Arkansas. Now that he’s back I finally have a physical copy in my possession! Actually, we have hundreds of them. Which brings me to…
We’re selling physical CDs for just $10 with free shipping. That’s the same price as a digital download on iTunes or CD Baby. Amazon appears to be selling it for a dollar less…$8.99. Gotta love Amazon! But I know you want to see the lovely package design in person, right?
Those are Precious’ chubby little hands (and drops of drool if you look closely…) on her daddy’s guitar. There is a picture of her watching Jason play on the back and some more photos and a sweet album dedication to her on the inside of the CD package. You’ll have to buy it to see for yourself. 😉
• This week movers are coming to clear out our old house. Everything that we don’t antipate we’ll need in the next 6 months is going into storage. We sold our big IKEA living room sofa sectional so we’ll be couch hunting in the next couple of months. We also sold our IKEA MALM bed frame. We’ll also be searching for new furniture for our master bedroom, preferably vintage but we’ll see what we can find. We have a lot of hunting to do this year at estate sales, thrift stores, yard sales—and I’m really looking forward to it!
• Our architect is finishing up our house plans so we can start getting bids from contractors. We’re getting antsy, excited! We close on our old house on March 1. Once we close we’ll be completely debt-free! For a few days, at least. Until we open our construction loan. Haha… but it still feels freeing. We have just a tiny bit of debt right now besides our mortgage and with the little money we’ll make off our home sale, we’ll get rid of the last (less than $3000) we owe on our school loans. The rest of the profit will go straight back towards the new home.
• We don’t know the construction timeline yet because we haven’t settled on a contractor yet. That will depend on who can give us the best price and is someone we can trust and want to work with. I’m not really looking forward to the contractor selection process… Pray it’s an obvious choice and we find the right guy (or lady, I suppose.)
• Precious just turned 7 months old. She got her two bottom teeth and has been trying lots of new foods. (Pictured eating broccoli for the first time above—she loved it!) I’ll give a more thorough update once I edit her monthly photos. She is a beam of sunshine on these gray winter days. We’re still waiting to hear from our attorney on the court date for the adoption finalization. I’m eager to know because I want to plan a big adoption day party!
• Jason just wrapped up a busy two months of travel and he’ll be home a bit more now. Travel=work=pay so these past two months have been great. But I’m also happy that the longer stretches are done for a little while. The awesome thing about his job as a traveling musician is that he gets to spend a ton of time at home when he’s off. He calculated it once, just to prove it to himself, and even with the number of days per year he’s traveling, he gets to spend more time at home with Precious than he would if he worked a 9-5 job. We feel like it’s the best of both worlds. He gets to make a living doing what he loves and he gets to spend a lot of time at home with us.
• Jason’s Acoustic Lullabies album is finally OUT! I am über proud of him. It’s selling well on the road and we’ll have it up online for sale soon. More about that coming soon.
Yesterday Jason finished recording his first solo instrumental album, Acoustic Lullabies. It sounds amazing! I know it will be enjoyed by all ages as the guitar playing is just beautiful—a combination of his classical guitar training, finger-style influences of Phil Keaggy and Tommy Emmanuel and probably a hundred other things. He’s sending the files off to the mix engineer today while I’m working away on the CD package design. We’re expecting an early February release.
If you read my post on Thanksgiving, you know that we’re selling one song as a pre-release off the album, “Hush Little Baby,” for a minimum donation of $1 as our one and only adoption fundraiser. A bunch of you—near and far, friends and strangers—helped us out by buying the song with a donation. Thank you so much!
And I hate to bring it up again, but…we’re short. So far we’ve used generous donations to pay for our attorney, filing fees for Termination of Parental Rights/Petition for Adoption, a new birth certificate, publication for TPR of the biological father, fingerprinting (as part of our background checks) and a private home study but we’re about $500 short for all of that.
I may have mentioned before how much I dislike asking for money for an adoption. And now here we are, paying out of pocket for an unexpected private adoption and realizing we can’t do it alone. So, in case you missed it the first time around, here is another opportunity: