Monthly Archives: November 2015

{another chapter is closing}

It’s starting to sink in that I am in my last days of being 23. My goodness, what a year it has been!

I’ve seen God work and move in so many ways. I’m in awe of the way He continues to guide me in the way I ought to go, gently opening and closing doors as He leads me down life’s path. He is my rock, my stronghold.

In looking back over the year, I’m so thankful especially for how God has revealed Himself in my life, whether it has been through the Word or through the many mentors and friends who have stood right with me over the past year. They’ve been there as I’ve worked through some really hard circumstances and rejoiced with me when I’ve had unexpected blessings fall on me. I’m so thankful. <3 I'm thankful for the opportunities for growth over the past year, whether it has been through meeting new people, traveling to many new places, and starting piano technician school, amongst countless other adventures! I would have never imagined all the new things I would be doing this year. I've also thoroughly enjoyed the acquisition of my new fiddle, accordion, guitar and PIANO (more on that soon. 🙂 ). All of these were provided in really neat ways. I love seeing how God answers prayers, even with things like music. 😀 It will definitely be interesting to see what this new year holds! I look forward to the adventure. ~Court

{hello, Pensacola!}

So, we decided to take a trip down to the beach. We were originally going to go to Fort Morgan, but Dad asked if we would be willing to suffer and go to Pensacola Beach in Florida. If we were willing to suffer, we could stay oceanside, right on the beach!

Needless to say, we were willing to suffer. 😉

We took two cars, and I volunteered to drive one of them. I’m so glad I did!

I packed some supplies: two awesome magnetic bumper stickers, Dad’s hat (shamelessly stolen), sunglasses, stack o’ CDs, my Belkin Tunecast (lets you stream music from a phone or mp3 player using the car radio if you don’t have an aux jack- it was awesome!), and Jolly Ranchers. PERFECT.

My crew!

On the way down, it rained and it rained and it rained and it rained. Yes, it rained. Just in case you were wondering. 🙂


We went down on the tail-end of a tropical storm, so the wind gusts and rainfall were absolutely crazy! We were getting knocked down when we actually got out of the car at our hotel. I’ve never been in wind like that, even in Chicago (the windy city!). Absolutely just “wow”! Some of the waves on the ocean were getting up to nearly 15′! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be able to have seen that. We opted to stay inside that first afternoon, because it was still raining quite a bit and the wind was still very strong. We did step outside for a minute that evening:

Here was a picture from when we first arrived:

The next day dawned much more beautiful- still a bit of rain, but not nearly as much as the day previous:

We started off with a good breakfast:

And then hit the beach:

Dale even made an appearance:

Back on the beach. 🙂

The day ended:

The next day, we loaded up and came back to our beloved Lambert Estate. We so enjoyed our time down in Pensacola, and I safely speak for all when I say that we are hoping to go back in the future. It was truly a delightful time, and we loved it there.

But, as they say, “East or West, home is best!”. I had tears in my eyes when I pulled in, so happy to be home. I love my sunny south, and beloved Lambert Estate. <3

Been there, done that, got the coffee mug. Awesome.


Once upon a time, life got crazy busy. Here are a few snapshots of how life has been going here lately. =]

I added “Mason” to my musical menagerie. I knew it was time to upgrade my fiddle when I couldn’t get the tuning pins to stay in during our autumn open house. The Lord opened the door to allow me to upgrade and get a fairly nice one at an amazing price. That was incredible!

Found Dewshine locally….epic win!

Replaced my running shoes…it’s probably time to get new ones when the bottoms are falling off of the old ones. 🙂

Fall *is* arriving at the Lambert Estate.

I snapped a photo showing the sunrise on one of these lovely autumn mornings, and thanks to many of you voting, my photo is now the cover photo for the National Weather Service – Birmingham’s Facebook page!

I’m still amazed at how many people shared/voted for that photo. Y’all are so awesome!! =]

Speaking of autumn, it brought with it the arrival of our annual open house. We had such a lovely time visiting with everyone! =] These are from the set-up:

We are so thankful for the many people who came early and helped us get the last couple of things in place. I’m sure Mama will share more pictures soon on her blog as well, but this is the only one I have from the actual event on my phone:

I loved getting to talk to everyone and especially playing music with the other musicians. It was neat to see the stage getting used officially for the first time, and to be able to take in the whole yard lit up with lights and filled with our dear friends and family. God is so good to us.

This a post-event photo. It’s shows real life, folks. Instruments all over the floor….

….when they’re not stacked in the shower stall. Is it getting out of hand? I’d still love to add a few more to the collection. 🙂

There’s been time for some reading. I’m amazed at how God sends perfect encouragement on days when I need it so very badly. <3

Some of the latest reading has been just-for-fun. 🙂

I’ve done a little plumbing…

A little singing…

A little ice cream eating…

Oh, and I got a tattoo. A glitter tattoo, that is. 😉 😉 😉

We were really blessed to have the Josties come and give a concert at our church, and then stay with us afterwards. It was such a blessing to get to visit with them for a little bit. We all wish they could have stayed longer! =]

We also picked two late-season tomatoes out of our garden. These were unexpected and much-delighted in once discovered!

All in all, God has been good, and shows His goodness to me in the beauty of the everyday blessings He sends along life’s way. I am blessed.

{i lived}

♪♫ I owned every second that this world could give/ I saw so many places, the things that I did/with every broken bone, I lived! ♪♫

I’ve been in a major wanderlust/adventuring mood over the last several weeks. So, nothing like doing a little hammock adventuring out in the backyard with Jacob! I’ve learned a lot about setting the hammock up, what height I want it to hang at, etc. Being rather new to hammock camping, the thing I wasn’t expecting was how stinkin’ comfortable it would be!

Here was our “campsite” in the back. Mine is the pretty blue one ;):

So, I may have hung it a little high…check out that stepstool, LOL!!

These are from getting everything set up:

There’s nothing like waking up to this:

Or getting to work outside in the hammock. My job can be so hard sometimes….;)

Of course, the fun ends when you have to pack it up. But, it does pack up neat and tidily:

I’m looking forward to starting our adventures as we camp across Alabama early next year. It should be tons of fun, and a great opportunity to see more of our gorgeous state! =D

{pursuits in piano-land}

And so, several weeks ago, I began to pray specifically about what the Lord would have me be working on, and I started looking into the possibility of becoming a piano tech. I had thought about pursuing it after graduating several years ago, but didn’t really have the “let’s do this!” mentality at the time.

I wrote to several schools to get more information, and had narrowed it down to two possible schools. I knew that I didn’t want to get any sort of student loans, but wanted to be able to pay for the schooling myself, so I wrote next inquiring about financial aid. The president of my top choice of the schools and I began to exchange emails, and I found out that I would indeed qualify for a discount/financial aid with them. As we continued to write back and forth, the Lord allowed for the topic of Christianity to come up, and I found out she was saved as well. That was absolutely amazing! It’s always a blessing to meet other Christians around the world, whether in person or online.

I enrolled in school, and anxiously awaited for the first lesson and materials to show up. In the meantime, I had already ordered a tuning kit, and knew I would need a toolbox. Off to Wally World I went. 🙂 When I got there, I found a huge waterproof toolbox that was on sale for 1/2 off, and would accommodate the various tools and basic parts I would need as I begin to put together my business. Once again, God had opened the door up even further by allowing me to begin to acquire the various things I would need and at a fraction of the cost. It’s still amazing to me.

While still waiting, I decided I would go ahead and open up our piano and start seeing what all was broken, begin cleaning things, etc. to be ready to jump right into tuning and repair. Here are a few photos from the “first look”:

I found quite a few interesting finds while in there. This is one of my favorites:

It’s where a piano tuner had tuned the piano back in 1948. My name is now signed under his, along with the date I began the repairs. =] It’s starting to make everything feel more “real”. 🙂

I also found a buffalo nickel, a wheat penny, and several hair pins….

It’s been amazing to start looking at how each little piece works together to make music. I’m still in absolute amazement. 🙂

My tools and first lesson finally arrived, and I set right to studying and beginning to learn how it all works.

To start learning how all the little pieces of the piano actions work, I made an art piece for my room that hangs by my bed. That allows me to see all the pieces of the action along with their names so that I can memorize them faster, hopefully. 🙂

I’ve been peeking over into the inside of pianos to find their serial numbers at thrift stores and other places, and have been looking those up to determine their age so that I can get better at guessing the age of pianos…

And of course, just practicing the tuning:

I tuned 7 of the keys (21 strings), and then got frustrated because there was a sticky key next on one side and a dead key on the other, and it was making it extremely difficult to tune. There was only one thing to do…take the action assembly out to start making the repairs. 🙂

I have discovered thus far that there is quite a lot of glue failure, and some broken parts within the action assembly:

With that, I’ve been gluing broken pieces and am waiting on my replacement bridle straps to come in so that I can begin the repairs. I’m hoping they will be expedient in their arrival. I’m strongly considering replacing all the felts and hammers now as well. I so want to breath life into this piano-o-mine. It’s got rather strong sentimental value for me, and I’d sure love to hear it sing once more. <3 I'm planning on continuing to photo-blog my process through school and through the piano repairs, so if you're on Instagram and would like to follow along, I'm on there as thepianopractitioner.

I can’t wait to see how God continues to open this door. I’m looking forward to working on many pianos in the future, the Lord willing. I continue to be amazed at how fulfilling and wonderful this process has been so far. It’s truly been a blessing. <3