“I hopped off the plane at LAX with my dream and my cardigan…” For the life of me, I cannot get that Miley Cyrus song out of my head!

Technically, I haven’t “hopped off the plane” yet, but I’m currently getting ready to hop in the car and off to the airport because today I’m bound for sunny California for three weeks! Well, two weeks and five days to be exact.

My reasoning for going to LA probably needs a little explaining. This is something I haven’t talked about here on the blog until now, so bear with me a minute while I give you a little back story… I have one and only brother, Abram. He’s a best friend, confidant, secret-keeper, my partner in crime and literally the best little brother anyone could ask for. Well, he’s not so little anymore – he just graduated high school last Friday!

When Abram was about 11, I gave him my old guitar. I told him that if he’d play guitar, he’d get a lot of girls. He took the bait and started playing. Greg (who was my boyfriend at the time, ha!) taught him a few chords to get him started. After the chords came lyrics. Most of Abram’s songs were just impromptu ramblings about funny things – like our Dad’s bald head… “My dad has a bald dead, when he gets mad it turns red…”. I remember nights when we’d be laughing so hard, we’d be crying! After a while, he started writing music that was actually really good. Abram played guitar and sang at a few school talent shows but that was pretty much the extent of his “music career”. Around the 16 (not that long ago) he told my parents he wanted to put down sports for a while to pursue a music career. We were all floored because Abram had been playing sports since he was 5 and at the time he played football and was on two basketball teams. In an effort to help Abram be certain he was making the decision, our mom signed him up for a local talent competition, Hanover Jr. Idol. He ended up singing/playing an original song called “Talk to Me” and won the whole kit and caboodle! That night, he booked his first four gigs and signed his first autograph. Over the next few months, things started picking up. He was asked to perform at a lot of local events like the Hanover Tomato Festival (we’re serious about our tomatoes around here!), the Ashland Strawberry Festival (and our strawberries!), and headline at the Virginia Special Olympics Closing Ceremonies. This little adventure became a family affair. My mom was his manager, my dad ran sound, Greg played electric guitar in the band, and I managed the online “stuff”, graphic design, merchandise (t-shirts, wristbands, etc), and all that jazz.

I really wish I could post some of his new stuff, but it’s under wraps for now (boo!). But here’s a “homemade” video we put together earlier this year to go with a scratch track (aka rough draft) of one of his much earlier songs…

To make the long story short, let’s fast forward a year… Abram was offered an opportunity to work with an awesome manager and some incredible producers that have worked with many of his all-time favorite artists. So, in true “now or never” fashion, about two months ago, my mom and Abram, packed up and headed to Los Angeles. My dad owns an access control business here in Richmond, so he needed to stay here, bring home the bacon, hold down the fort and, of course, help me and Greg on our house projects, haha! Seriously though, I don’t know what we’d do without him sometimes! I’m sure most people think my family’s current living situation is crazy weird. But the way we look at it is that you’re never going to “make it” unless you get out of your comfort zone and take some risks. And that’s what we’re doing – as a family.

As far as their new home away from home, my mom and Abram have a three-bedroom apartment in downtown Burbank. I’ve only seen it on text message photos and FaceTime, so I’m anxious to see everything in person! On top of being able to spend some time with my mom and little bro, my cousin Danny, his wife and my childhood BFF Sarah, and their two freakishly adorable kids, Elliott and Nora also live in the area (you might remember them from this post!). And yes… I’m going to Disneyland for the first time! I’m told not to expect much because apparently Sleeping Beauty’s castle looks like a Polly Pocket compared to Cinderella’s digs in Orlando. Nevertheless, this Disney freak is still insanely excited! …and Greg is insanely jealous.

My trek to the west coast doesn’t mean we won’t be posting! However, since I’m the one that normally moderates comments/answers emails, there might be a slight delay in response here and there. Before packing my bags, I even wrote a few posts for while I’m gone. We’ve also got a few “quick tips” for a Tuesday here and there and Greg’s working on an awesome Reader Reno post as well as an outdoor DIY project that he’ll be finishing up and posting while I’m gone. So basically, expect “your usual programming”. Also, I’ll be checking in on Twitter and Instagram during my travels. Love me some Instagram!

Greg’s done packing the car, so I’ve got to run! Simply due to the fact that I can’t seem to get this song out of my head, I’m leaving you with this…

You are welcome ; )

In the mean time, any must-see places / things to do in LA? Do tell!

UPDATE // 4.13 // A few of you have asked on an update on Abram’s LA adventure so rather than dedicating an entire post to it and having to explain everything again, I thought I would just update and link back to this post.

We’re very excited, happy, and thrilled to be able to finally announce that Abram has signed with Warner Chappell Music! It’s been in the works for a few months, but now that the dotted lines have been signed, we can finally spill the beans. Warner Chappell is one of the largest music publishing companies in the world (they even own Happy Birthday!) and will place songs Abram has written with other artists (whom we can’t name at the moment, ugh!!), hook him up with some of the world’s best writers/producers and help launch his own artist career. This has all happened so fast and is such a big deal for a teenager to have at such a young age, that we’re still kind of blown away. Obviously, my parents aren’t about to let their teenage son live in LA alone, haha, so that means mom is still out there but our family is making trips back and forth between LA and Richmond as much as possible to make things sort of normal. Whatever “normal” is ; )