Before reading, feel free to get caught up here: A Love Story Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes this is all made up so please don’t congratulate me but do feel free to send me a Home Depot gift card as a wedding gift.
With the vows completed, I knew the moment was upon us. It’s funny, this part of the ceremony had me more nervous than the whole “till death separates us” part. It’s my father, anyway, that thought a fear of commitment was my problem. Turns out, he was partly right. I was afraid of committing myself to someone who was good. But now I’ve found great and with the smooth voice of Vince Gill, the guitar skills of John Mayer, and the certain come hither look of Johnny Depp, I began to sing. OK, that’s not completely true. My come hither look was more like Joey from Friends. But what was lost in talent was made up for in this being a surprise. That’s right. None but myself and a select few knew I was going to perform during the ceremony. Not even my soon-to-be wife knew. But hey, I love surprises. The idea came to me years earlier when a song grabbed me and didn’t let me go till I did something with it. The song was “All I Want Is You” and what I was doing with it was learning it on a borrowed guitar. No one in their right mind expected this from me because 1. I don’t play guitar, 2. I don’t sing, and 3. if I did either, it wouldn’t be front of an audience. But just after she finished her vows and the pastor prayed, I smiled and went to get the guitar. Forgetting that I was nervous, I looked towards the audience and shrugged my shoulders as if to say, “Here goes nothing.” Light chuckles from around the darkened room.
I tread my way through, rough but definitely sounding kind of, sort of, if you tilt your head a little, like the U2 song. After all, it’s not my talent or my desire to “make it big” driving me, it’s my heart. And to know this surprise might make her smile, that’s enough for me to say yes to doing something that terrified me. That smile, that smile is worth more than my comfort. I could barely look at her while I sang because I might forget the words, laugh, cry, or all three at the same time. But as I strummed the last note our eyes connected. That’s a moment I won’t soon forget. She looked so proud and happy. After setting the guitar back down, I joined her on stage, clasping her hands in mine. Meanwhile my brother made his way to the mic at the end of the stage. He read, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” That’s a couple of verses from Psalm 145. Then her sister, a bridesmaid, approached the mic to sing her favorite hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”
At the time most couples would light a unity candle or pour colored sand into a jar, we opted to do both. We lit sand on fire and poured it in a jar. No, but that would’ve been cool, right? We brought bricks to each set of parents and had them signed. We told them that just like the 2 bricks will forever be part of our home one day, they will be, too. That was her idea and I loved it since day one. She was full of good ideas. I learned that as early as our first date.
Check back soon for A Love Story: Part Six, which will reveal more about our first date.
9:26 Jason isn’t the first to perform with a rapper. Recall Tim McGraw and Nelly. Anyway, Jason rapped the first verse.
9:24 Kid Rock introduces Jason Aldean and Ludacris… performing “Dirt Road Anthem.”
9:24 are those the numbers from ‘Lost’ on her arm?
9:23 and the buckle goes to… Taylor Swift…. who’s in Milwaukee???????
9:22 Kid Rock and his tall trucker hat replay the Video of the Year nominees.
9:20 fill in the blank at home… the performance will be [awesome/good/ok/not good/terrible/oh my goodness].
9:16 commercial break and another mention of Jason Aldean performing with Ludacris. Will that be a show stopper? My guess is they’re going to sing “Dirt Road Anthem” because the verses are more ‘rappy’ than a country song. Those parts, I can only assume, will go to Ludacris. Jason will sing the choruses.
9:15 Blake is on the set of “The Voice” in L.A. and gives his acceptance speech. He thanks so many people, and the fans.
9:14 and the buckle goes to… Blake Shelton. Good year for him. He’s not there either, surprise surprise.
9:12 after a major fall (see pictures above), Shania gathers herself and walks on stage. She’s introducing Male Video of the Year.
9:12 Kid Rock is bantering about the next artist up, and some girl throws her panties on stage. I assume it was a girl. He introduces Shania Twain.
9:11 Charles Kelley starts the process to a long and drawn out lawsuit by throwing his sticks into the crowd.
9:10 no time to think about that as Charles Kelley takes to the drums. They perform “Kiss” by Prince. you know… “you don’t have to be rich to be my girl…”
9:09 wait, isn’t this the same group that sang “Need You Now”? Wasn’t that about a late night booty call?
9:07 they introduce Lady Antebellum who will perform “Just A Kiss.” Listen to to the lyrics, finally a song about living with morals!
9:06 Sara Evans and Sheryl Crow are on the stage now.
9:01 at this point I rather see a commercial about cicadas than the Huggies denim diaper one, or the annoying Bing Facebook commercial. Once is enough, bro’s!
9:00 performance finishes. On the Nationwide stage, Lee Brice takes us to another commercial break.
8:58 I heard he wrote this whilst sitting under an oak tree in Centennial Park. I think the third verse mentions cicadas.
8:56 Little Big Town introduces Keith Urban who is performing “Long Hot Summer.” He must live in Nashville.
8:52 Fructis… it’s kinda like ‘frook-teece’. Actually, that’s exactly how to say it. They make shampoo and other stuff you’ll find in the hygiene section of Wal-Mart. Ok, next word to learn is ‘hygiene’… practice on your own, I think you can do it!
8:51 during this commercial break, I’ll teach you how to say Garnier Fructis. First, start with Garnier. Say ‘car’ but with a g and not a c. Next, ‘n’ and ‘yay!’ in one syllable.
8:50 is it weird if they don’t get a standing ovation after a song called “Stand Up”? I think I saw people standing as they clapped. Nevermind. Commercial break.
8:48 white flags are waved all over the arena.
8:46 Jennifer writes Love on a flag and hands it to 2 girls from Joplin, MO. The girls wave the flag as Sugarland perform “Stand Up.”
8:45 next up is Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina introduce Sugarland, again, should be a great performance.
8:45 actually I’m not a gigantic fan of their music, but I like them and I’m glad they won. They thank Roman White, the video director.
8:44 and the buckle goes to… Lady Antebellum. Awesome!
8:42 LBB goes on a rant about how to be a country star. She’s awesome. They announce the nominees for Group Video of the Year.
8:41 Ricky Schroder and Laura Bell Bundy take the stage next to which LBB says he’s a great kisser.
8:35 ZBB, probably my favorite band right now, doesn’t disappoint. Commercial break as The JaneDear Girls sing one of their songs, “Shotgun Girl.”
8:33 their set looks like a comic strip of an ocean, with the band appearing to play on top of the water.
8:32 he introduces Zac Brown Band, guaranteed to put on a good performance.
8:31 the show returns with Kid Rock saying “that’s right Detroit.” Okkkkk…..
8:30 between cicadas and camel crickets, I must say I’m not that hungry anymore.
8:29 I still haven’t eaten dessert.
8:25 Dale Earnhardt, Jr commercial for Nationwide. Grrrrrrrr. Jimmie Johnson is gonna win it all!
8:24 I love that song “Picture”. Wait, it was called “Collide”? Commercial break as Hunter Hayes plays and sings. I actually kinda like this performance.
8:23 they dance a little… the music stops… Kid Rocks tells the band to keep playing. They oblige and he and Sheryl keep dancing.
8:22 I might throw away my Lance Armstrong bracelet. What a dweeb for mistreating Sheryl.
8:19 Sugarland introduces the next performers, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow that perform “Picture (the 2011 version)”… oh it’s called “Collide.”
8:19 Miranda’s not there, she’s either out on tour or still honeymooning with Blake Shelton.
8:18 and the buckle goes to… Miranda Lambert for The House That Built Me.
8:17 they introduce the nominees for Female Video of the Year.
8:16 the show returns with Jason Aldean and Kristin Chenoweth. She comments that he’s a verrrry handsome man. Something else about his blue or green eyes, and her short height.
8:13 I found my dog. She’s got a weird cough going on right now. Cecadas? probably. I don’t know why she eats them… uncooked.
8:09 Kid Rock has a slight wardrobe change. He introduces Colt Ford who takes us into a commercial break.
8:09 they each speak. Nice work trio!
8:08 and the buckle goes to… The Band Perry. Let’s see if she lets her brothers speak.
8:06 performance finishes with Big & Rich saying “the boys are back in town!” Luke Bryan takes the stage to present the next award, it’s for Breakthrough Video of the Year.
8:05 something about fake id’s, money, oh and Gretchen Wilson makes an appearance. Be on the lookout for Lil John.
8:03 their first performance together on tv in 3 years sounds a lot like Roy Orbison.
8:02 everyone’s (including you Merilee) favorite woman, Mary Steenburgen who introduces Big & Rich.
7:59 Ok, I didn’t want to go here, but if I see another denim diaper commercial that says “I poo in blue” I’m gonna…. I’m gonna…. ok, fine. I’ll just keep watching.
7:57 commercial break. ok, I really gotta find my dog.
7:53 Rascal Flatts perform “I Won’t Let Go.” I swear this song reminds me of another but I can’t put a finger on it. In my head I’m seeing Olympics, Whitney Houston, slow motion people running… can’t… quite… place…. it… but I want to go outside and run.
7:52 Ron White and Justin Bieber take the stage, not to perform, but to introduce Rascal Flatts.
7:50 Kid Rock talks about CMT One Country and their contribution to the USO and soldiers all over.
7:47 the last 2 contestants on CMT’s Next Superstar take us into a commercial break. I need to go find my dog and get some dessert, not in that order.
7:46 ZBB accepts but no sign of Jimmy Buffett. He must be in Margaritaville. Afterall, it’s 5:00 somewhere.
7:45 and the buckle goes to… Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown Band.
7:43 Hines Ward challenges Clay Matthews to a dance off, who defers to the after party. They introduce the nominees for Performance of the Year.
7:42 football music!!! Ahhh the Fall is coming soon. Maybe no NFL, but at least there’s college football. Go Seminoles!
7:42 fire and explosions as the song finishes.
7:40 I like Luke Bryan. I like the girls dancing too. The color black is in tonight.
7:38 Luke Bryan turned his hat backwards = gametime. He performs “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”.
7:37 Melissa Peterman and Cheryl Hines talk about how great Nashville is. The cowboys that live here. Cheryl mentioned hand cuffs and lost Melissa, who is worried about her. They introduce Luke Bryan.
7:32 commercial break. Kia. Acuvue. Super 8 movie. Old Navy. Zegerid. Cotton. Huggies. PC computer. ChristianMingle.com. Taco Bell. Thank you for paying my salary, by the way.
7:31 confetti from the ceiling. The show isn’t over, though. Hmmm.
7:29 lyrically, not the best from The Band Perry, but hey, they’re doing well with their first full length performance at the CMT Awards. Kimberly takes to the piano, standing up Lady Gaga style.
7:27 The Band Perry start their song “You Lie” with a quick line from Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie.” Nice!
7:27 Paramore (I thought they broke up?) introduce The Band Perry.
7:26 Justin with his backwards hat, speaks first. He is honored to be there. he thanks his Mom, his family, and Rascal Flatts. He lets them talk. They thank Justin, the record label, William Morris, etc. Oh and they said thanks to God. Joe Don said they have Bieber fever.
7:25 the winner is… Justin Bieber and Rascal Flatts for “That Should Be Me.”
7:23 Martina McBride and lead singer of Train Patrick Monohan introduce the nominees for Collaborative Video of the Year.
7:22 the final nominees for video of the year are announced, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Sugarland, Taylor Swift.
7:21 Kid Rock asks an audience member to take their shirt off. A sign he’s had his first drink? We’ll see.
7:16:30 me finding the mute button. If I see another Olive Garden telling me I’m their family, I’m gonna go there and order something. But I won’t be happy about it.
7:16 Thompson Square perform a shortened version of “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.” Is it weird for them to perform after they just lost the previous award? Anyway, commercial break now.
7:14 Jennifer says this is the most fun awards show. They both thank the fans. Thanks to Declan Whitebloom, video director. Fans cheer and the duo walk off stage as Kid Rock introduces the Nationwide Insurance Stage.
7:13 Best Duo Video of the Year goes to: Sugarland. Good! All the nominees were good. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are cool people.
7:11 John Rich and Gary Busey and the winner of the Indy 500 are bantering back and forth now.
7:10 Gotta give credit to artists like Toby Keith (and Tim McGraw) who have a tons of fans and can perform without playing an instrument. Oh, and Ludacris was clapping in the audience.
7:09 if Toby has a girl bust up on stage pretending she’s a crazy fan then starts dancing, I’m shutting my tv off!
7:08 Toby Keith begins his performance of his brand new song: “Made In America.”
7:07 Wynona eyes Kid Rocks pants because they are redder than her hair.
7:06 Wynona and her ultra red hair belt out some lines, then Kid Rock interrupts her back, he’s wearing an outfit he probably found in the Country Music Hall of Fame. They finish the song as a duet.
7:05 Wynona Judd steps in and stops Kid Rock in his performance of “I’m A Cowboy”.
7:03 they stop and pick up Kid Rock. He enters the Bridgestone Arena where he’ll be hosting the CMT Awards.
7:02 guest appearances from Ron White, Donald Trump and some “good-looking” gas attendant, who calls them Cougars.
7:00 Taylor Swift opens the show by breaking up with someone on the phone. She calls on Shania Twain for help. Thelma & Louise sequence!
6:59 Katie Cook wrapped up her interview with Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Evan Farmer joined her and introduced the show…
Have you ever thought about specific words and the power they have? I’m just now realizing the strength of the word ‘you’. It all began way, way back in the year 2010 while watching a great performace of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” on YouTube (here). A quick history lesson, this song was originally recorded by Elvis Presley (used in the film “Blue Hawaii”) and has since been covered by many artists, arguably the most notable being UB40 in the early 90s. For such a short song, the lyrics repeat “I can’t help falling in love with you” five times! However, it never feel repetitive, ie. “Say” by John Mayer (listen to it once and it already feels overplayed). Of course, there are many more songs including ‘you’ because every song is about you, me, or us, right? The word ‘you’ in singular fashion cuts a narrow path to an audience of one, personalizing the message for the intended receiver. But so much more importantly, it elevates their importance! There is a message meant for no one else in this whole wide world, it’s only for you.
I love you.
You are great.
I don’t like you.
You are the worst.
How thoughtful! Gaining the hearers attention, the message-sender now has the the power to build up or tear down. A song like “Can’t Help Falling In Love” builds up. A song like “Crying Like A Bitch” tears down. That’s the power of ‘you’… there’s no general vagueness, no “I wonder who he’s talking to,” no questions about the intended target. So whether it’s encouraging or not, it’s definitely special.
Wise men say, “Only fools rush in.” But I can’t help falling in love with you.
And you wonder why no one can stand you, and there’s no denying, you were crying like a bitch.