life has this way of sneaking up on you sometimes…

If you had told me of the things I would be doing this year, of the people I would meet, the places I would go, and the things that would happen each day on this grand adventure of life…..I wouldn’t have believed you. We’ve had so many different things happening each and every day- I hardly know where to begin!

I guess I’ll start at the beginning- that’s a very good place to start. πŸ™‚

In January, we were delighted to have the Wissmann family with us once again for a bluegrass gospel concert!

We thoroughly enjoy getting to visit with them every year and listen to the delightful music as they seek to minister to others. They are a huge blessing to our community and church when they come down each January!

February marked a change for me- I was starting to get an idea of what exactly I needed to do next, and the Lord brought a lot of clarity and direction to my life.

I knew that I needed to finish piano technician school, and I had so many ideas for different things I wanted to do and try…the interesting matter would be figuring out where exactly to start! I continued on with work and was reading and studying lots of different things.

Josh and Kylie invited us and Kylie’s family over in February for a fire and smores roasting…I so love smores, and the fellowship was delightful!

Of course, adventuring was still on the lineup on into February….we spent each week trekking up to Centreville for 4-H Forestry Bowl practice:

We saw lots of Centreville by day, and Centreville by night.

I started taking fiddle lessons from the amazing Mrs. Sharon Bounds!

And I took my first mandolin class as well!!

I did a little poll working:

And of course, a trip to Vulcan was in order as well. πŸ˜€

I never get tired of the beautiful view from there.

4-H was back in swing for livestock somewhat by March, so I took the siblings down to Auburn University’s meats lab for a workshop on different meat cuts and processing procedures. I LOVE road trips, and this one was no exception!!

Planning the route:

Headed out!

My meat lab participants… they were so excited to be there:

I picked back up woodburning as well, after a very long time of not doing any! I’m having so much fun with that….

We also decided to do quite a bit of kitchen remodeling. Here are some of the “in progress” pics:

And here’s a pic with it pretty much finished up. We are so loving the new floor, especially. You’ve never seen someone so excited to be rid of the white vinyl composite tile in their kitchen!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

After we had the kitchen remodel somewhat behind us, we celebrated National Sibling Day. Cause all the feels…we weren’t able to get everyone together, so I decided a bad photoshop job was in order. Because yeah…

This was the last sibling pic pre-Tobias…. πŸ™‚ Oh, did I mention Tobias? πŸ˜€ He is my sweet and precious newest little sib!! πŸ˜€

Tobias’ day of birth began early…Mama had to be up at the hospital at 4am, so I took her and Daddy up there and dropped them off. It’s just easier to keep all the cars at home when Mama is having a baby since they wouldn’t be needing it anyways.

Mama’s labor ended up being very long, and Toby had gotten rather comfortable and wasn’t helping much with the labor process. He wasn’t really getting settled where he needed to be, and was causing little to no progression of labor.

Later that evening, I went ahead and came back up to the hospital. I had all of the luggage/supplies for after the baby was born in the car, and I didn’t want my parents to be without what they might need. We were also all figuring that labor would move a bit faster. I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with my parents during that time, and for being able to watch them together….my mama’s love for Toby, my parent’s love for each other….the prayers that were being offered up on Mama and Toby’s behalf… watching them, I was realizing once more that if it was the Lord’s will for my life, I really wanted to be a wife and a mama. I had been considering signing back up for a particular dating website for a while, and made the decision that yes, I wanted to try that again. So, whilst waiting during the labor process, I went ahead and filled out the application to sign back up….(more on this later. πŸ™‚ )

Late in the evening, it was decided that the safest thing to do would be for Mama to go ahead and have a C-section. There was some concern that both Mama and Toby would end up in distress if the labor continued for too much longer, especially since her water had been broken since early that morning.

That was my first time to be at the hospital when someone who is dear to me is rolled out for surgery. After they took my mama to go and get her prepped and ready for surgery, I just sat and absolutely bawled. I know that C-sections happen all the time, but this was *my* mama….I’m thankful for my dad, who gave me the biggest hug and told me everything was going to be just fine, and for a friend of mine who was texting me through the evening reassuring me everything was going to be just fine…..

After about 10 minutes, they brought my dad scrubs and he began to get ready to go and see mama and get Toby….the whole surgery didn’t last more than 1/2 hour. When he came back, he had Toby with him, and he had been able to talk to Mama and knew everything went well and that was doing wonderfully.

And Toby…..<3

I spent the next couple of days driving back and forth to the hospital so that we could visit with Mama, Daddy and Tobias.

In between driving back and forth to the hospital, making sure things were running smoothly at home, and getting the necessary shopping done, there was quite a bit of coffee consumed.

It was finally time to bring Mama, Daddy, and Tobias home from the hospital.

During the duration of Mama’s pregnancy, Jackson was telling everyone that he was pregnant too….with a black chicken. We thought it would be quite funny if a black chicken came home from the hospital with Toby, so I made one! Mama wrapped it up in a blanket and put it in the car seat with Toby. We brought it home to the proud papa:

After Tobias was born, life started settling back into a routine….

(to be continued)


December days continued to roll by, and with them, more adventures by the day. πŸ˜€

I thought it might be fun to start working on a few new songs on the ole’ instruments. I had a little project in mind for these songs….

Continuing on with trying new things, I found a strand of purple lights down in the basement and thought I’d hang them up in my bedroom. Jess was thrilled! πŸ˜‰

The next new adventure came on New Year’s Eve. I learned to play Texas Hold’Em Poker.

I wasn’t expecting to like it.

It was so much fun!!!

I’ve been working on some piano actions:

And getting to hold the cute little squishy adorable baby nephew:

Now, the nephew needed some new pictures, and my brother and sister-in-love needed their piano tuned, which meant I got to have a rather fun workday. My real job is flexible enough for me to work from my brother’s house, so, I packed up the laptop, tuning tools and camera, and headed out!

In progress:

I really enjoyed taking photos of the aforementioned cute and squishy baby nephew. πŸ™‚

The next order of business was Elvis Presley’s birthday. I don’t have any photos of me rocking out to the Elvis tunes, unfortunately. I’ll have to do better next year. πŸ™‚

Next, it was time to get the 4-H on! I took the kids to Columbiana for their first Livestock Quizbowl and Skill-a-thon. I still have my 4-H shirt from when I went and participated in a 4-H day when I was younger, so, I embarrassed the kids to death by wearing the aforementioned shirt when I went to drop them off. BEST BIG SISTER EVER!!! πŸ˜‰

I got to hang out with them until it was time for them to head back to their dorms, which meant I got to stick around for the campfire. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I have a few ideas tucked away now for the next time we have a campfire. Sitting under the stars though…I’m overwhelmed. Our creator-God is so amazing. To know that He created each star and put it into place is absolutely amazing. <3 We were out in the middle of nowhere Alabama, so all of the stars were super-clear and just gorgeous.

Since all the kids were at camp, our normal chicken feeding crew was “afc”….away from coop. πŸ˜€ This meant that it was my turn to feed the chickens. Did I mention that this was my first time ever to feed them??

It was also my first time to put them all away. A nice big rainstorm moved in right while I was getting them put up. I was very thankful for my big, waterproof flashlight!

All in all, late December and early January were definitely getting off to a “hopping” start, and there’s more to come soon! πŸ™‚

~Miss Court

{early December}

So, in the early days of December, I turned 24. I had a delightful day. =] Delightful week, really.

My birthday was nice and quiet, with delicious chocolate cake. We also went to the first drive-through nativity we’ve ever attended, which was wonderful. πŸ™‚ This is my converse waiting on our turn to drive through:

My mom and I continued our tradition of seeing the latest Hunger Games movie for my birthday. This year, we were armed with coupons that had been posted on the local theater’s Facebook page, so we were able to get popcorn and drinks as well. What we weren’t expecting was to get plastic Star Wars collector’s cups as the drink cups. It was so awesome!! Couponing for the world, haha!! πŸ˜€

It has been a fun tradition over the last 3 years. I’m hoping that there will be another interesting movie that comes out around my birthday, since we are finished with the Hunger Games movies now.

Later on in the week, it was time for Jacob’s company Christmas party, which was held a local bowling alley. It was wonderful to meet some of Jacob’s coworkers, and just have a great time bowling!

I also received the scores back for Lesson 1 of school…couldn’t be happier with it!

We also took the time to participate in Krispy Kreme’s “day of the dozen”….always a good plan. πŸ˜‰

There were so many neat things that happened that week, and all through the last year, really. God is good to me, and so very merciful. I look forward to seeing what He does through this next year!

{Christmas at the Lambert Estate}

We had the most peaceful and restful Christmas season ever this year. We were blessed to be able to spend a lot of time together as a family and just take it really easy. It was truly the most wonderful Christmas we have ever had. Here are a few highlights:

For us, the Christmas season starts with the choir practices for Handel’s “Messiah”, with the Alabama Civic Chorale. This year, I convinced Mama and Matthew to sing with me!

We practiced each week at a lovely church, and as we got a little closer, we had the opportunity to go sing at the shopping mall and on the local news:

"Hallelujah Chorus" 🎢🎼🎡

A video posted by Courtney Lambert-"The Awesome" (@thedixiesongbird) on

I did a dress mini-session of my recital dress before the actual performance. I thought it might be fun to try, so I did!

This is a photo of Mama and I just before the performance:

This was my second time to have the opportunity to study and sing Handel’s “Messiah”. This year, like last, I found myself fighting tears at the end. It is such an incredible way to memorize scripture and have the opportunity to present the gospel to people who might not hear or read it otherwise. I find myself praying in the weeks leading up to the performance that we might be a light to the folks coming to hear it. I know many come simply because it’s their Christmas tradition, but they are still being presented with the gospel message. It is absolutely incredible. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity, and am thankful the Lord swung those doors open for my family and I.

As the days continued onward, we started doing many of our annual traditions.

I went and cleared out the local Dollar General’s stock of eggnog. Because eggnog, right?

Then it was time to start putting up the dΓ©cor. We actually did most of the outside stuff first. Matthew and I took care of the bulk of it. I guess you can say we were the “lighting engineers”.

And then, it was time to do the inside.

We actually rearranged the entire back room of our house so that we would have a nice place to sit and watch sappy Hallmark movies. Because sappy Hallmark movies. =D

Here are some of the other highlights:

My parents give us a commemorative Christmas ornament each year. This was mine for this year:

I find that it was very fitting. πŸ™‚

Of course, I would be neglecting so much if I failed to give a hat tip to the Christmas parades. This year, we participated in all three of the Christmas parades, which means I have driven a parade float four times in two years. If we do all three again this year, I’ll have driven the parade float seven times in three years. It’s kinda thrilling!! =D

First things first….making the big heads:

Mounting Snoopy:

Then there’s rewiring the trailer:

Getting folks sat down and ready to ride:

It was a little odd to be perfectly comfortable in a short-sleeve shirt for the final two parades. Just saying.

Here’s a quick video of the float riders in action!

We really enjoyed getting to do that again. πŸ™‚

Life started to calm back down post-parades. Now it was time for music practice:

Realizing we made the paper for the 2nd year straight:

Oh, and trying to keep Jackson from opening all of the presents. At the time, I had the entire action assembly out of our Story and Clark piano, so there was quite a bit of extra space. I realized we could hide the majority of the presents inside of the piano, and he wouldn’t be able to get to them!

We had a couple of creepy appearances from Elf:

And I loved making personalized homemade gifts for everyone this year. Some were made while watching sappy Hallmark movies (I’m starting to notice a theme here…)

Others were made where time permitted, and everything was made from things already on hand here.

And this was a favorite thing I made. This was for Mama….it’s the Lambert family as a pod o’ peas!!

Here’s everything wrapped up and pretty:

Christmas dinner….need I say more.

Daddy said we got to leave the decorations up until New Year’s this time, which was really nice. We were sad to see them come down. I think we are finally, finally coming up with where each thing should go permanently, so between that and the very detailed packing we did last year, we had everything up in less than two days- a record!

To finish this out, my dad makes a “look back” video each year, and shows it on Christmas Day. This video is just a few of the highlights from the year, so that we can look back and reflect on all that God has done through the year. It’s always fun to see the different places we’ve went, the different things we’ve done, how much the kids have grown from the previous year, etc. I’m thankful Daddy is skilled in this area and can share that gift with us. It has become a special legacy.

Well, I’m still working on catching everything up, so there will be more postings over the next few days. It’s been a “happening” several weeks around here! =]

{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. πŸ™‚ ). All of these were provided in really neat ways. I love seeing how God answers prayers, even with things like music. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚


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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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}

β™ͺβ™« 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! β™ͺβ™«

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. πŸ™‚ 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”. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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

{the dark knight}

Are you familiar with the book “Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day”? If you are, you’ll know what I mean when I say that several weeks ago, I was having a “Courtney and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week”. It felt like it was at the time, although since then, I’ve seen the Lord’s merciful hand continuing to be at work, and it looks like a little ripple in the lake of my life. I’m very thankful.

Amongst so many other amazing things that happened that week and have continued to unfold over the last few weeks, the Lord saw fit to bless me with a guitar.

I would really like to be able to play music and sing along with it in my Zooey Deschanel-of-“She&Him”-low-voice, and a guitar was the natural fit for what I have in mind. I’ve known for a while that I would like to add a guitar to my little musical menagerie, but wasn’t sure where to start in the looking-for-one process. I decided I was ready to look for one after listening to this song a couple a few several times over the past few weeks:

A friend of mine that used to attend church with us plays several different guitars/mandolins, so I figured he might be a good person to ask for recommendations of what I ought to look for, and how much I should budget to get a guitar that holds it’s tune well and would get me started. I wrote on his Facebook wall to ask for recommendations, and while we were talking back and forth about what I should look for, another of his Facebook friends mentioned that he had one he was no longer using, and would be glad to give it to me, free of charge! I was shocked when I read that message, and was certain I had misread it in some way. We continued to dialogue, and set up a time for me to be able to pick it up that very afternoon. Jacob drove me over, and as we were talking to the man, he gave me the guitar and told me he really felt like the Lord had been telling him to give the guitar to me for free. He mentioned he had heard of our family, and had actually met my dad at a men’s breakfast several years ago. I remain amazed at the way the Lord weaves different threads together in our life tapestries.

We said our goodbyes, and on the way home, I decided to try and go ahead and tune it up on the way home, but wasn’t wearing my glasses, and was tightening the wrong string. You guessed it: I snapped one of the strings. Oops. =] Upon arriving home, I placed an order for a case, replacement strings, and a specific kind of guitar capo.

The case and strings arrived without incident, but the capo was the first to arrive….and with it, was a second capo! I called the company I ordered it from to find out if I needed to return it, and explained about ordering one and ending up with two. The rep jokingly told me to tell everyone that they had sent a second one on purpose, but to keep it with their compliments. He asked me what all I played, and I proceeded to tell him, and he said to call back if I ever ran into issues or had a music question. Best customer service experience ever!

“The Dark Knight” is now the newest member of my little musical menagerie. So far, I’ve learned a few chords and have managed to strum out some songs. I love the color. I love the way it sounds. I love hearing the notes starting to pour off the strings, even though I have such a long way to go in making it sound truly beautiful.

Mostly, I’m humbled the Lord chose to send me an unexpected blessing in the midst of what had been a very trying week in my life. I’m thankful that each and every day, He shows His love and mercy to me, an undeserving sinner, in so much need of His grace and forgiveness. He is faithful. He provides for our needs, and is our joy- our very reason for living. <3