When you’re born with an ability, everyone tells you that you are so fortunate, so blessed, and so unique. As a child, I believed this with my whole heart. Playing songs by ear and writing music made me happier than anything else in the world. Forget the playground and the fifteen seconds of entertainment my dolls would provide: I just wanted my piano. It made me feel. If I was scared, sad, happy, alone, surrounded by love…the music made my emotions soar. It provided a soundtrack to my dreams. And did I ever dream. I appreciated the warmth of the home my parents provided, but I understood the world to be much bigger than Pearland, Texas—and I wanted to go.
My parents enrolled me in piano lessons with Cindy Mills when I was four years old. She taught me focus and patience in learning how to read music. Thank God for her. Had it not been for Cindy Mills, I would not be where I am today. She allowed me to continue composing while learning the classics—and she chose music she knew I would love based on my compositions.
After learning from her, I began studying under Robert Brownlee of the University of Houston, Moore’s School of Music. Robert Brownlee saw something in me that I didn’t realize existed and pushed me beyond my comfort zone in music. I was learning Bach, Chopin, Ravel, Debussy, and playing in front of crowds. Although I enjoyed the idea of making piano performance a career, I couldn’t find the logic in making a living by touring. I felt the responsibility of utilizing my gift, but I knew that learning and performing others’ music was not what was intended.
I remember sitting down to lunch one afternoon with a dear friend, Nathan Smith. I poured my heart out to him about my dilemma, and he listened with the intent to fix whatever problem I had. Little did I know that lunch would change my life. I told him I wanted to pursue a degree that would mobilize me, allow me to care for others, and eliminate the need to depend on anyone for anything. I wanted to choose a career that would set me free. As soon as he mentioned nursing, I hit the ground running and knew that was the right answer. That spark-of-a-moment created a fire that fueled my drive to finish nursing school and find a place for music.
Prior to completing my nursing degree, my dear friend, Holly Spence, encouraged me to move to Los Angeles to practice labor and delivery. I was torn, but decided to stay in Houston to begin my career. There, I delivered hundreds of babies, played music in restaurants, bars, and lounges, and nurtured my relationship with my best friend, Amy Friudenberg-Elder. She supported me in my writing and performing—and overall, she lifted me—carried me—made me believe I could do anything.
One morning after a long night of work, an idea gently planted itself—almost as if it floated down weightlessly and landed softly on my heart, saying, “here I am, this is your purpose, do not be afraid.” Having helped hundreds of women through the labor and delivery process, I recognized a trend: music during childbirth. Almost every woman I assisted composed a playlist of what she believed would help her through her pain. Almost every time, it failed, becoming distracting, loud, or busy. Having spent my life composing music and in my career delivering babies, I decided to marry the two areas of my life and pour my heart into creating music that would endure through the process.
So, I jumped on a plane and headed to Los Angeles. The most difficult part of my life—ever—was leaving my entire family behind. That pain was unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. Writing these words now brings tears to my eyes. But behind that pain was purpose. What’s funny is that I really didn’t know why I chose Los Angeles. I guess I just knew that there were recording studios there, and somehow, I would find my way into one of them. The picture in my mind was simply this: a door. That was the only thing separating me from my goals. A door. And probably a person sitting behind a desk. This seemed laughable to me, so I was at peace with the thought that it would somehow, eventually happen.
After five years of extreme trial and error, I met Eric Lilavois, my angel. Eric cared enough to understand my purpose from the moment we had our first conversation. He gave me strength and confidence, and assured me that I knew exactly what my patients would need to make it through childbirth. He made it possible for me to trust my intuition. Eric believed so much in the project that he encouraged me to record on the nine-foot Steinway that lived in Ocean Way Studio, Hollywood, California. The metaphorical door I envisioned was opened wide, and everything felt right. I was able to perform in an environment that emulated the comfort of a womb, with individuals that felt like instant family. Love. That was all that was there.
Eric opened the doors of his beautiful Crown City Studios for our string session, which we finished together on my 30th
birthday. The timing was beautiful. The record was completed in nothing
but love and good intention. It felt like home. And the product? My
child. The Arrival. From my heart to yours, love to you in your journey.
It is painfully beautiful, well deserving of a soundtrack that creates a
sense of peace and focus. There is a beautiful creature waiting to
change your life at the end of this road. I hope my music helps get you
All my love,