Everybody Knows Somebody – NEDA Conference 2012!

I’ve tried to get some zzz’s on this flight back to Salt Lake, but I can’t because I’m too excited about everything coming our way! I’ve been writing out some of the possibilities that the future holds, and it’s got me wired. That, along with my three cups of coffee, makes the idea of sleep temporarily disabled. Up until now, every trip we’ve taken for our music has just gotten better and better. Sorry. My blog was just BLATANTLY interrupted by a LARGE butt in my face!!! I’m sitting next to a hairy, bodyguard-looking man in a fire red jersey who apparently has decided to drop a number of items under his seat! He’s been invading my personal space for a solid TWO MINUTES looking for his most recent lost treasure. That, or he is perfecting the “Bend & Snap!”. Or…he could even be practicing the popular yoga pose Downward Dog. Either way… I’d prefer if his bottom was NOT aiming for my nose! That’s just rude! Hahaha

He finally sat down. Back to writing.

Florida was AMAZING! Not only was the weather great, but the NEDA conference was everything we’d hoped it would be. We were welcomed by a sea of adoring people who shared both their love for our music and their personal stories. In general, the NEDA community is so warm, accepting, understanding, and funny, too! We were all there for a very serious cause, but it didn’t stop us all from enjoying ourselves and making light of such a heavy topic. I always love performing “Deadly Beauty,” but it has such a different effect on me when we sing it to a group of people who have lived the lyrics. I’ll see people crying, hugging each other, and filming us while singing every word. It takes everything Nat and I have to not break down with them.

I’m really glad I could transition from chord to chord smoothly, because the night before I couldn’t move my ring finger or my pinky! I had been in a tiny bit of a bad mood… because Natalee and Amanda were PISSING ME OFF!!!! Anytime I would ask a question they would respond with “Oh, didn’t we tell you?” Then I’d answer, “no…?” and they would reply with “Well, then I guess it’s none of your business!” I can take a joke, but after two months of this I’d had enough! My bad attitude caused “The Law of Attraction” to oh-so-kindly provide a corner for me to SMACK my elbow on (a not so gentle reminder to change my mood)! I had dislocated my elbow in the 7th grade, and it was never properly put back into place. Because of this, my nerves are a bit more exposed…hence the collision resulting in my temporarily lifeless fingers. Good thing Amanda provided ice and the conference provided wine! Hahaha

The next morning, we opened the family panel by sharing our personal story and how we came to be ambassadors for the National Eating Disorder Association. Natalee and I have learned that there is a BIG difference between public singing and public speaking. Music, for us, comes effortlessly. Speaking, however, comes with nerves! I’m just grateful we had a podium, because if Natalee was holding our notes it may have looked like her hand was having a seizure! (Just kidding…she did GREAT!) Once we were finished speaking, the audience overwhelmed us with love and appreciation. We received a roaring applause and standing ovations. It was such a great experience – one we’ll never forget!

Six brave people spoke on the panel after us. It was so inspiring and reassuring to hear their individual journeys to recovery. For me, this weekend proved that everyone has a voice, and everyone can influence someone for the better. I’m SO proud of Sarah, a volunteer we met who started her own Facebook support group for girls her age. She is an example of many like her, who are dedicated to turning their “hell” into their “healing.” Do us a favor and “like” her page! (http://www.facebook.com/DefeatEdFindYourVoice) Overall, the convention was a success, and I can’t wait to go again next year!

Aside from music, we definitely had our play time (per usual). Nat and I shared headphones and danced to “Wobble” in the streets of Florida (it’s our newest silly song obsession). We laid in the sun, watched jumping dolphins, anticipated Natalee being graced with seagull poop, climbed trees (that we couldn’t get out of), and discovered the most AMAZING, healthy, probiotic-filled frozen yogurt! The shop only offered two sizes – HUGE and HUGER. Since I have a bit of an issue with things needing to be even, the thought of yogurt only filling an 8th of the cup reeeeaaaaally irked my nerve. So I filled it to the top… not realizing that you had to pay based on the weight of the yogurt. Oops!!! Everyone else’s treats cost around $3.00, and I paid $15.99! I ate a solid $2.00 worth though.

Every night we would bring take-out to our room, snuggle together, and watch a hotel movie! Then, just like clockwork, Natalee would ask if she could sneak into the 30lb grocery bag I packed (the one she made fun of me for via twitter) and go to town on my organic dark-chocolate almonds. Yes. She ended up eating MOST of my snacks. And yes, it IS annoying. They are ALL organic, and she is the type of girl who doesn’t care if it’s from McDonalds or Whole Foods. Hahaha, oh well. Overall, we had a great five days away! Now I’m looking forward to getting back to Utah and taking some much-needed TIME OFF!!! We have about 2 hours of this flight left, and I’m itching to write a song inspired by all of the wonderful people I met this weekend. If it turns out like I’m imagining it will, then I’m hoping it could be next year’s NEDA theme!

I’m gonna get working on it… that is, until the LARGE man next to me decides to bend over again! #HOPEFORTHEBEST! Hahaha


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