Wednesday, May 31, 2006

San Diego Sights

We've had a blast in San Diego and we must leave today. We went to several beaches...Del Mar, Coronado, Mission, Pacific, and one of the most beautiful in the world, La Jolla. They were all very distinct and beautiful. We are such beach people!

We also went to a little place called Julian where all of the apple orchards sit. We saw the Lamplight Quarter and Old Town. We strode along the shops at Pacific Beach where I purchased some great finds at a thrift shop. The guy in line before us bought over $1,200 worth of clothes!

We mostly ate at several different restaurants. I'll tell you about the food tomorrow. We've got a plane to catch!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Most Embarrassing Moment

Those of you who know me know that this is going to be funny because I've had some crazy embarrassing moments before. Yesterday, I did something that was up there...maybe even tied with my most embarrassing moment. We are hanging out in San Diego for a couple of extra days. Yesterday morning, I thought about putting on my bathing suit underneath my clothes since we were planning on going to the beach, but I brought my suit to change into instead. Then, when we got to the beach, I debated on changing in the car since the rental car had very tented windows. However, we were going to eat lunch first, so I decided to change in a bathroom somewhere.

We get to Coronado beach which is probably the most high class beach in the area. We plop down on the sand right outside the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Brock proceeded to take off his shirt because it was hot. He did not have his swimsuit on because the water is way too cold to get into, so shorts have the same effect for him. I did the same thing. First, I took off my shorts and then my shirt. At this point, Brock is laying down, but I'm standing straight up. Then, I hear Brock say "So you're just going to stand there in your underwear?" I then realize that I never changed into my bathing suit! It is like one of those dreams where you are walking around in your underwear but you don't realize it except that this was really happening!

I hit the ground! I hurriedly tried to put my shirt back on first because my bottoms actually looked like bathing suit bottoms. It took me too long to turn my shirt right side out. Then, I pulled back on my shorts. This whole thing happened over the course of just a few seconds, but it seemed like forever. Of course Brock almost had a hernia he was laughing so hard. I looked around and to my surprise nobody seemed to notice. If they did notice, they didn't seem to care. California sees a lot of crazy things. Maybe this wasn't so strange to them. It was very out of character for me though!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Audio Adrenaline's Last Spirit West Coast Show

We went to see Audio A because it might be the last time we get to see them. They've been at Spirit West Coast for 15 years and this was their last one. Brock wanted to watch them from out in the crowd. I began there but couldn't see over everyone's heads so I went backstage. It was so awesome to see the entire crowd getting into all of the songs. The crowd just loved them!

Backstage, Joy Williams and Bart from Mercy Me watched the concert. It was cool to see other artists watching them play for the last time on that stage. There was a sense of respect. They did a great job too!

First Show at Spirit West Coast

Honestly, I was a little disappointed at first. When we arrived in San Diego, the weather was not beautiful like I expected. It was overcast and cold. In fact, it was nicer weather in Nashville before we left. Then, since we had been awake since 5am Central Time, we were ready to get to our room to take a nap. Of course, the room was not ready yet, so we went out to the pool area where Brock fell asleep on a lounge chair. Eventually, the sun started to peak out and it began to warm up. I shed my jacket and later, went into the bathroom and changed into my swimsuit. I actually got a little sun!

Our show began at 10:30 at night and I thought that we would be on the large stage. That wasn't the case. We were on this tiny stage with just the florescent lights to illuminate the stage. Therefore, nobody could really see Brock on the video screen. I knew this about 5 minutes before the show was to begin, so I had to alter the show knowing there would be no live feed. I planned on using all volunteer tricks and tricks that involved humor. You cannot rely on the wowing tricks if they could have trouble seeing. Things were not looking good. Here we were on this tiny stage off the beaten path with no video. I figured that hardly anyone would show up and the ones that did would not get into the show because they couldn't see it very well.

This did not happen. The Lord must have shown favor on us because the place was packed. In fact, it was standing room only. Even though the people in the back had trouble seeing and hearing because production was not prepared for that large of a crowd, everybody was so with Brock. They laughed so much and all of the volunteers were great! It ended up being one of the best shows ever!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Spirit West Coast

We are going to San Diego for a big festival called Spirit West Coast. Pray that it goes well. I'm kinda nervous. There will be a lot of people there. It should be really fun though. Lots of our friends are playing there as well. Plus, we've never been to San Diego!

It's a Small World

Before I begin this post, let me clarify my post from yesterday. Brock is my family now and I didn't mean that I'm not happy with him. He totally gets me, and I love the family we have just the two of us. It's just that sometimes I want to see my parents and sister more than I get to. Now, on to today's post...

Last night, we ate dinner with our friend, Mark, and his friend. We were eating at this family style restaurant. One of our other friends, Matthew, and his wife and new baby came there to eat, so they sat with us. It was fun and felt like a small town. Then, we discovered that all of us are going to be at Spirit Coast West this weekend. It's a festival that we are doing in California. Therefore, we're going to see each other again in a couple of days on the other side of the country! It's a small world.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Leaving Home

Of course I watched the finale of American Idol last night. I have not been keeping up with it this season, but I was home alone last night and decided to watch it. Brock had to go to a meeting in Birmingham yesterday. It was actually a very entertaining show with all of the special guests and such.

The most moving part of the whole evening was when Carrie Underwood sang that song about leaving home. I "left" home 12 years ago and haven't been back except for short or extended visits. Sometimes it makes me sad to think about it. I was just talking to a friend who is from Australia. She misses her parents immensely. I go through times when I am very homesick. Nobody quite gets you like family. However, this friend and I decided that we wouldn't be happy at home because the Lord wants us here. Sometimes I wish there could be a happy medium somehow.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Last night, we went to a gathering of artists. We had fun hors doeuvres and talked about art and the Creator. About 100 artists of all sorts attended. It was great!

One of the leaders talked about artists being loners. I don't think that's the case with Brock and me. In fact, sometimes I wish that we could be more satisfied being alone. When we come home, we're ready to play. However, our friends cannot keep up with us. They have their own schedules which doesn't usually involve going out on a week night. Our problem is that we work on most weekends. So, week nights we're begging people to just go and get coffee with us or something.

Our schedule on the road is so fast that you'd think we'd want to come home and rest. Sometimes that's the case but that only lasts for a day or so. It's hard to come home and stop. We've got that fast momentum. If I don't fill it with play, Brock fills it with work. Therefore, I'm always trying to call up people and get them to hang out. I'm our social director. Sometimes it's difficult because we'd go out every night that we're home if we could. Loners we are not!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Girl Time

When I hang out with the girls that I was with last weekend, it takes me back to a time when I had my whole life in front of me. Back then, I was just Auny...undefined. Now, I'm Auny...Brock's assistant, stage manager, stage producer, and wife. Gin is a graphic designer and wife. Biz is a camp director and wife. Amber is the mother of two and a wife. These are all great things, but sometimes you can lose your identity. It is so good for us to spend girl time together once a year. It's funny because we love being together. However, toward the end, we're ready to get back to our lives.

Last year, we ended with everyone making a pact to watch the movie the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on the same day just in different movie theaters in different states. This year, we bought the sequal in book form to read. I'm reading it first and then I'll send it to one of the other girls with a handwritten letter. It's going to be fun!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Quatro Fun

The quatro girls had such a great weekend together. Gin flew commercially for the first time. She didn't even bring writing pens because she was afraid they would be considered a weapon. Amber, on the other hand, forgot that she had a pocket knife in her purse. I've never known a girl to carry a pocket knife before. Biz drove since it was only a 5 hour drive for her. She's not afraid to drive by herself but storms terrify her. Unfortunately, it stormed some this weekend.

Friday, we went on a drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway and hiked up to a waterfall. We listened to the mixed tape (now in cd form thanks to Gin) that we made 8 years ago as we drove. We sang our hearts out. Then, we went home and watched the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants together. Brock grilled kabobs for us that night. They were fabulous! For dessert, we went to the Cocoa Tree. Right after we walked in, Michael W. Smith walked in behind us. It was exciting for them to see someone famous. We got too much chocolate. It was great!

Saturday, we went to the famous Pancake Pantry. We also went to the Opryland hotel and the Opry Mills mall. We ate at a favorite in our town Demos' for dinner. Later, we watched Poseiden on the Imax. It was the most intense movie I've ever seen. The Imax didn't help that.

Sunday, they went to my church with me and they loved it. Then, we ate at the Blue Coast Burrito and went to a bookstore before everyone left. It was one of the best weekends I've ever had!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Quatro Reunion

I worked at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina for the summer of '98. I went there with my best friend, Gin. Some of you may remember her from the connection in prayer (December 2, 2005). There, we met Amber from Florida. You may remember her Thanksgiving story (December 3, 2005). We also met Biz. She was the one who found the bunny last year (May 23, 2005).

Every year we reunite. This time, they all came to my house. I'll fill you in on the weekend later!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Staff Retreat

Monday through Wednesday we went to a lake house in Alabama for a staff retreat. It was a much needed time to bond with our staff and other ministers on the Vertical team. Look at to see the whole team.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Vegas-Pictures Tell a Story

I went out early one morning to take pictures. I saw two men sitting on opposite sides of a bench overlooking the strip. Sitting on the left side, the guy was an all American guy. He had on a ball cap and a t-shirt and shorts with tennis shoes. The guy on the right was homeless. He had long white dirty hair and clothes with no shoes. I took a picture of them with only the two guys in the shot. How does someone get from being the guy on the left to the guy on the right?

Then, I walked down and began taking pictures of some of the hotels. A guy walked by and said, "See if you can figure out the stories they tell. Each one of them tell a story. Sometimes the stain glass windows in churches tell more than the Bible. They put stories in art because it's more interesting." Then, he continued on walking by.

Although I don't know if this guy was completely sane, he has a point about art being interesting and telling a story. People are more willing to listen to what Brock has to say because he wraps his message in art.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vegas-Food and Celebrities

We had some great food while we were in Vegas. We ate the best buffet on the strip which was at the Aladdin. The crepes if France were wonderful. My favorite place we ate was Tao. It was an Asian place that had a fabulous ambiance. In fact, Madonna had the whole place rented out Sunday night.

Of course, we saw Criss Angel and a few other magicians. We went over to the Palms Resort and Casino to see Hart and Huntington's tattoo shop. That's where they film the reality TV show "Inked." While we were there, we saw Will Sasso from Mad TV and guess who else? Some of you may know that Pete Rose couldn't be inducted into the Hall of Fame because he was caught gambling. Well, we saw him at a casino. That probably wasn't a smart move on his part.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Vegas-Hurting People

Most of the people I saw in Vegas were tourist having a little vacation. However, I did see some hurting people. I saw two young couples fighting. I could tell one of the couples were fighting because of body language. The other couple were actually yelling. There was one girl comforting her man while sitting by their stroller with their infant outside of a casino after midnight. It was sad.

The craziest thing that happened to me the whole trip was one morning when I was taking a walk along the strip. An average looking college guy came up to me and asked if he could ask me a question. He then asked me if he had any chipped teeth. After I concluded that he did not, he proceded to tell me that he woke up in a ditch that morning. He's rather sure that he was drugged and robbed. His jaw was hurting so he didn't know if his teeth were jacked up or not. When he walked on, I asked him if I could call anybody or anything. "No," he said because after a three mile walk, he was almost back to his hotel. There is some heartache going on in Vegas.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


The best show was Cirque De Suleil's "O." I cannot even describe how incredible the show is. Most people say that it's the best show in Vegas. The Cirque shows are almost an ellaborate acrobat show. They have people doing amazing things with their bodies hanging from the ceiling or twisting their legs in such a way that you don't know if it's human. Many of the acrobatics in this show were done under water. Therefore, the majority of the stage was a big tank of water. It really was indescribable.

We saw several magic shows. The best one was Penn and Teller. Also Lance Burton was really good. I thought that he might be cheesy, but the show surprised me. Dirk Arthur's matinee show was cheesy. It was good to watch as much magic as possible though. Mac King performs stand up and does a great show.

We see a lot of shows in the world. After this weekend, my favorite Cirque show is definately "O." In fact, it's one of my favorite shows that I've seen. My favorite magic show is David Copperfield and my favorite comedian is Brian Reagan. The most moving Broadway show is Les Miserables. My favorite show overall is Blue Man Group. If any of these ever come to a city near you, go and see them!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Vegas-Lucky Streak

We had the best time in Las Vegas! First of all, we stayed in the Aladdin and it was a beautiful hotel. At the front desk, the guy asked us if we wanted to upgrade. Brock said that we'd love free upgrades. The guy upgraded us to a suite for no charge. We had a large room overlooking the strip and we could even see the water show at the Bellagio from our hotel window!

When you order show tickets online, you never really know where you will be sitting. We had great seats for every show. The one show that was general admission, we ended up sitting right by the stage.

The best part was that Criss Angel was filming Season 2 of Mindfreak in our hotel. I called the crew and asked if we could be involved. They wanted to use just girls for one part, so me and my friend, Susan, decided to participate. As we were filling out forms, we noticed that part of the crew were looking at Brock. In the end, they decided to use us for a different scene and Brock ended up being one of the people that Criss Angel did the trick for! Once Criss Angel and the consulting magicians found out that Brock was an illusionist, they talked magic for a while. It was incredible!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Some of you might not know this, but my mom is the best mom in the world. Happy Mother's Day, mom.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Health Freaks

We have actually become health freaks. We skipped right over being nuts and went to being freaks! We eat a granola, fruit, and honey concoction in the morning. For lunch and dinner, we eat only meat and vegetables. We eat very little beef and we never eat white bread. For snacks, we eat fruit and nuts. We drink lots of water and no sodas ever. We don't eat anything packaged because it has hydrogenated oil in it which is very unhealthy. We try to stick to one treat per week. (Honestly, that's my downfall...sweets!) Therefore, we don't keep any sweets in the house and we go and get a good dessert for our once a week splurge. It's usually chocolate at the Cocoa Tree.

On the road, we take waters and our breakfast and snacks with us. This way we always know that we'll get a good breakfast. Then, when we eat out for lunch and dinner, we usually choose fish or chicken and some veggies as our entree.

It's not as hard as you would think. I actually don't crave anything except sweets and I get those enough. I don't even want bread anymore. That's a miracle! I feel so much better and have noticed a difference in my skin, weight, and sinuses. It really has changed our lives.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Thanks for all of the prayers. It's working! I haven't had even the slightest bit of discomfort in my stomach for over a week. Brock's heel is not broken. He bruised the bone. It's getting better each day. I got my appointment for my surgery on my shoulder set for June 13th. I just want you to know that the Lord is hearing your prayers and He's healing us. No matter what kind of crazy sickness Satan throws at us, the Lord is ultimately victorious!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


We're leaving in the morning for Las Vegas! I'm excited. We don't gamble because it's such a waste of money. We go to all of the magic shows. It's good for us to watch all kinds of shows especially magic. We'll be seeing Penn and Teller, Cirque De Soleil "O", Dirk Arthur, Mac King, and Lance Burton. We've already seen Blue Man Group, Amazing Jonathon, David Copperfield, Sigfried and Roy, and Rick Thomas. I'll let you know what we thought about the shows.

We will be going to Vegas with our great friends, Rod and Susan. It will be great to have some down time. Even though we've been home for a few days, we're still working. Brock and I talk with the office daily. We both e-mail as well. It will be great to be traveling but not really working too much. Our only job will be to observe lots of shows!

My Dad in Romania

Today is my dad's birthday. However, I'm not going to call him. Actually, I cannot call him because he is in Romania at this time on a mission trip. He was able to preach while over there! He was very excited about that. Pray for my dad and the whole gang there. Pray that today is extra special for my dad on his birthday. He's a great man.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Anniversary Date

We had such a good day yesterday. On the road, we're together but it's not really quality time together. The only time we have alone is when we are in the hotel room. That's usually late at night after a show. We crash and then get up in the morning and start again. So, we don't get much time together on the road. When we come home, we're such people people that we're out with friends every night. Therefore, it was so great just to be alone together.

We kept it simple because we're going to Vegas this weekend and to California later this month. We began our date with an afternoon movie. The matinee on a weekday is the best time to go to the theater. There were maybe ten of us in the whole place.

Then, we ate at a mexican food place. We even had chips and salsa which we rarely do because we're such health freaks now. Then, we went to the bookstore and looked at magazines for a while. Last but not least, we went to the cocoa tree and had fondue for two. What a great day!

Monday, May 08, 2006

True Love and God's Plan

At age 13 or 14 when asked what I was going to do when I grew up, I'd respond "All I know is that my husband is going to be in the ministry and I'm going to be very involoved." Of course, the Lord wasn't going to tell me right then that I was going to be an illusionist's assistant and travel all over the country jumping in boxes. That's too crazy right? It wasn't until almost ten years later when I fell in love with Brock Gill that His plan made sense to me.

I was driving my car in November of 1998 coming home from an entire day of grad school and my fulltime job. I was wrestling with the feelings I was having for Brock. Brock and I had been best friends for over a year, why was I having feelings for him now? He and I lived 30 minutes apart now that I had graduated from the college that we both attended and Brock had a year left. I didn't see him during the week anymore because of the distance and busyness of our lives. I had seen him Sunday night and here it was Thursday and I was still thinking about him!

Brock and I had too good of a friendship to ruin it by a relationship so if we got together, I wanted us to get married. I decided to lay out the fleece. I told the Lord as I was driving in my car that evening that if He wanted Brock and I together that He would have Brock come over to my house that night on his own accord. This would be very rare because of our schedules. When I got home, there were a few messages on my answering machine. They were from Brock. They got more and more desperate with each message and the last one said that he had to see me that night and he was coming over. I knew from that point on that my life would change.

On Brock's end, he had a miserable show the night before. He wanted to talk with me only about it, but it was too late to call me then. He began calling me that Thursday morning when he woke up. Since I was out all day, I didn't receive the message until that evening. Therefore, the Lord began answering my prayer several hours before I even thought about it.

The rest is history. Today is our 7 year wedding anniversary and I've never once doubted that Brock is the one for me because of the Lord's answer to my prayer that night in '98. My love for Brock grows every year and gets better and better with time. True love is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Injured Heel

The shows we did in Illinois went great. There were over 800 in attendance the first night and about 1,000 the second night. We had 205 first time decisions made for Christ. That is fabulous!

We began the show last night with an opener of Chaos on Wheels coming out on their bikes and Brock coming out on his dirtbike. I had a bad feeling about it before we began and so did Brock, but we still went through with it. Sure enough, he hurt the heel of his foot so badly during the opener that he still cannot walk. He sorta hops right now. We haven't found out if it's broken yet. Unfortunately, it was at the very beginning of the show and the show must go on. So, Brock was in utter pain during the rest of his performance. We improvised as much as possible by making me and Stephy do some of his walking for him. Brock, being the performer that he is, kept on going and nobody knew the difference. As soon as it was over, we escorted him to the green room and iced that foot.

Please pray for his foot to heal. He's saying that everything is fine. In the meantime, I'm the one that must bring him everything and wait on him hand and foot. No, he's being very good about everything. I feel badly that he is in so much pain when he walks though. We got his cane that he used when his back was injured back out. Please pray for him to heal quickly.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Last School Assembly of the Spring

We just did our last school assembly for the spring. It happened to be at a church. The small school had already set up for prom in their gym, so they borrowed a local church's auditorium for the assembly. Backstage, there was a tambourine. During the introductions, Brock kept playing that tambourine from behind the curtain. Stephy usually brings something to Brock during the show. This time, the Chaos guys talked her into handing him the tambourine instead. It was hilarious. Later, one of the guys came out riding and playing the tambourine at the same time. We had fun at the church/school.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Saline County, IL

We're here in Saline County, IL. We will do 2 school assemblies and a show each night for 2 days. Pray for our strength here. Six shows in 2 days is tough. We've done it many times before though. Pray that many people attend both nights and that lives will be changed.

The Chaos on Wheels' guys are here. I like them. They will be doing every show with us. This will help with our strength because they can share the stage and give us a breather every now and then. Gotta go...I'm off to our first school.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Too Tired to Blog

I'm too tired to blog today. We did a show in Birmingham last night and didn't get home until after 1am. Today we leave to go to Illinois to do two days worth of school assemblies and shows. It makes me tired just thinking about it. However, if I can make it until Saturday, we'll then have a nice break.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gypsies or Hippies?

My mom used to call us gypsies when we lived in our truck for a couple of years. However, someone informed me that we're more like hippies because gypsies travel in a group. Hippies are free spirited and very natural. People call us hippies as well. I guess that fits us. We are free spirited, travel entirely too much, don't trust insurance and stuff like that (it's a false sense of security), and try to eat as organic as possible. The only big difference between us and stereotypical hippies is that we're rather conservative politically.

If we could be gypsies and have a dozen or more people with us all of the time, I'd do it. The thing that drove me crazy when we lived in our truck was that we had no community. It was just us all of the time. Some days I wish we could go back to that, but for the most part, I like to be surrounded by friends. That's why this gypsy thing sounds like a good idea. You travel and live off of the land with no schedule with a dozen of your closest friends. Does anyone want to join our group?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Heart Lifted

You guys must have been praying yesterday because shortly after I posted, I started feeling great. My throat started clearing up and I began driving. It was a beautiful day. Nobody was awake yet, so it was just me sitting up in front of the truck. I listened to worship music and got caught up in how big our Lord is. Suddenly, that familiar peace began stirring within me and I could feel the reassuring presence of the Lord. His presence was sweet and light. My heart lifted and I knew that no matter what happened, I could have this peace at all times. God is bigger than any problem that I have.

We hear this statement all of the time, but it's funny how many times I forget. It's almost as if the only way I truly GET IT is if the Lord Himself reveals it to me again and again. He is always reminding me of His faithfulness and greatness. He is so patient with me.