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Concert 22-Pittsburgh, PA. An Epiphany

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July 25, 2009

Concert 22-Pittsburgh, PA. An Epiphany

Hannah slept for the first two hours of the car ride. She spent the night at the DaGrava’s, our family friends. It was good for her to have time with Katie and with Karen, my friend and Katie’s Mom. But, she was tired.

I was all revved up with ideas of how to generate money to continue the journey. As Hannah slept, my mind was thinking and dreaming. I kept reminding myself that I had enough money for the next five days and to focus on that for now. Who to call, what action to take and when…lots and lots of ideas.

When Hannah woke up, I asked if she wanted to hear some of my ideas. First, I talked with her about vlogging, a video blog. When we were in Tulsa, we talked with a videographer for 90 minutes or so and it had been really fun to share some of the stories with him. We had laughed and reminisced and he had stayed with us for a lot longer than he originally thought he would.

As I discussed this with Hannah, she had a different opinion and we ended up arguing. I was so mad, I was ready to turn around and go back to Baltimore. When I look back at it with fresh eyes this morning, I feel the tension that was in the car with us yesterday. Both of us wanted to continue the journey, but we didn’t have the crystal ball that would give us the answers! Sometimes our fears are mirrors for each other.

We worked through it over the next hour and for now, we are going to move forward and each do our own vlog. Stay tuned. I have a funny store about the Honor Society, an Oprah campaign and my passionate conversation with them about this. I will record and post it in the next few days.

We arrived in Pittsburgh with no tickets and no hope of tickets initially. Concert was sold out. We hung out and waited to see if tickets would be released. I watched the BK Apple Fries employees. There is a managing staff that travels with the tour and then they have different people who work for them at each location. The guy who was working the megaphone, at this site, had no enthusiasm, no creativity. I went up to him and demonstrated. “Get your free, ice cold, apple fries. They are delicious and healthy and the Jonas Brothers Love them!” I was demonstrating and practically jumping up and down. He told me that he doesn’t like it when the girls scream and went back to talking into the megaphone like a sleep walker. Hopeless. I walked away shaking my head.

After several hours of checking for tickets at the box office, two tickets were released. We wanted to buy the cheapest seats to stretch our money, but these two seats were the most expensive. I hesitated for about an hour. Nothing else was released. Decided to go for it.

I walked over to the Marriott to use the bathroom. (Why don’t the venues have porta-potty’s outside?!? I think that East Rutherford, NJ was the only venue so far that had toilets outside for the people who were hanging out for hours! Okay, back to the story…)

I looked at the churches surrounding the Mellon Arena. You can’t miss them. They are huge and beautiful with angels and other huge statues on top of them. I saw that one of the churches was called Epiphany Catholic Church. With all of the internal thoughts all stirred up within me, I decided to walk into the church and see if I could have an epiphany myself! Epiphany=A Divine Manifestation.

There was a church service beginning. I sat down in the pew and listened to the sermon, sang Amazing Grace with the congregation, shook a few hands to “Peace be with you,” and then left feeling warm and connected. I felt the surrender in my heart. Whatever was to happen would happen. The priest even mentioned the Jonas Brothers and how they are using their gifts to create joy.

It was time to enter the venue. Hannah was already in the seat location and I thought, “well, this is pretty good. I like these seats.”

She was in a grumpy mood and I was thinking about how spoiled we have become with some of our seats and seeing so many concerts and on and on. I was judging her reaction and wondering what “wisdom” I should share with her to learn from this situation. I decided to dance and sing and talk with her later.

During the Honor Society opening performance, I kept moving to different seats to take pictures. The usher was bringing people down and I had to keep moving back to my seat. Even though we were very close to one of the stages, the camera location was blocking ¾ of the stage. Hannah and I talked during the break and she wanted to go talk to the box office and complain.

It was in this moment that I had an epiphany. I had been settling for the seats we were given and I was telling myself to be grateful for what I had. Hannah was saying, we paid top dollar for these seats and the cameraman is blocking our view! We went to the box office, explained that we had paid for the most expensive seats and that there was nothing that said that there was an obstruction. Within minutes, we were assigned new seats (even though this was a sold out arena) and the usher led us to our seats. Oh, my word! We were in the third row facing the middle of the stage and were so close that I was looking into the eyes of each of the Jonas Brothers.

Hannah and I danced and danced and sang and sang. We had one of the best nights of the whole tour. I changed my perspective about my daughter this evening. Asking for what you want is not being selfish or ungrateful. She was right. If the tickets had been discounted because of the obstruction, we would have had a great time there. But, to pay as much as a front row seat and not be able to see the stage was wrong!

When we arrived at the hotel tonight, which was free because of points I have accumulated, I checked my e-mail. I am receiving an advance in salary from a consulting job I do on the side. There is enough money to keep going for another few weeks and that gives us time to act on some other things that will take a few weeks to complete. Thanks for the prayers and support.

An Epiphany tonight indeed!

Conscious Parenting: Watch and Listen

Today’s Jonas Watch is sponsored by Dramatic Adventure Theatre. www.dramaticadventure.com


June 22, 2009

Tonight we are going to the concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Then, I am driving ten hours to Aurora, Colorado to get a passport for Hannah so we can continue into Vancouver in a week. I am leading a book discussion and we have two concerts to go to in Vancouver.

I want to share a few things that happened in the last few days. I will write about the concert tomorrow night, after the passport and some sleep.

A few stories to share with you:

Irving, Texas, June 21, 2009

We stayed at a Comfort Inn in a business park for two nights. The staff is very friendly to the hotel dwellers because:

1-they are friendly and
2-many of the people are repeat customers or extended stay customers.

At breakfast, Jimmie, the front desk guy, shared about an event he was going to in the evening with his girlfriend, Brittany. His church has a group called Spokesperson’s (like Toastmaster’s) and tonight was a ballroom dancing event. He was wearing a tuxedo for the first time. One of the hotel customers was a ballroom dancer by profession and spent an evening teaching Jimmie some steps.

Brittany arrived, as we were packing the car to leave. Jimmie in his tux, waiting for his front desk replacement to arrive. Brittany in her beautiful burgundy, long gown. They were adorable. Excited about the event and looking so beautiful in their formal attire, I took their picture with my camera and asked them to e-mail me so I can send it to them.

What an honor to observe this moment in time. The present moment was beautiful and…who knows where this will lead.


As we were driving from Dallas to Tulsa, a 14-year-old teen told her father, a sports writer for the newspaper Tulsa World, about us. She told him about a mother and daughter who are traveling to 45 venues to see as many concerts as possible. The daughter, Justine was one of the teens around the world who was waiting to see Hannah’s video clips of the concert. The video clips th

Eric wrote to us on Facebook yesterday. at she worked on in the car on the way back to the hotel and stayed up until 5 am to finish editing and uploading. He had the assignment to write a story about the Jonas Brothers concert in Tulsa. Justine and Ashley, a friend, are going to the concert with Eric tonight.

We arranged to meet at the Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa. And through this arranged meeting, I had the opportunity to watch and listen to my daughter share her thoughts and feelings.

I thought about how this is preparing her for life. Formulating experiences into thought. Meeting people from different states. Sharing the story from her perspective. Meeting people from different cultures- Eric is full blooded Native American.

We met the whole family. Eric’s beautiful wife, his daughter, his son and their precious baby. A snapshot in my mind. I watched as Hannah shook hands with everyone and interacted with the family. I watched as I saw two families connect halfway across the country over a meeting over the Jonas Brothers.


I was thinking about a story I read in a magazine. Denise Jonas was getting her haircut and Nick Jonas was, I think, six years old. He was singing and entertaining everyone in the shop. One of the customers told Denise that Nick should have an agent. This led to Broadway shows and commercials and writing and performing music in the world.


Who knows where each of these interactions are leading us? I can imagine Hannah as a reporter, a film director, an actress…But, at the core of all of that is a young woman with a heart who is passionate, caring, determined and hard-working.

I am grateful to be along on this journey. I am watching and listening and singing and dancing.

Enjoy the adventure! Andrea