"Side things?" I've had my fair share! Pre-paid legal, house flipping, home daycare, tutoring, UPS, african dance teacher, storyteller, catering, soup business, organic burger joint, twisting hair, homeschooling other people's kids, babysitting, mentor, and too many other things to even keep naming!
Why so many side things Dianna? Well, yes some of it is my personality. But a lot of it is that I was working on pouring my life into something major and my "side things" had to get in where they fit in. For 14 years my "side things" were not my priority. So they were ever changing. And I am ok with that.
So what have I been doing all this time? Well, this......
Yes, this is what I have been pouring my life into full time for 14 years. I did take 3 years off and go into full time teaching, but the whole time I taught, I felt bad that I wasn't giving my all at home.
Now I am not saying that I am the perfect mom by any means. Doing hair, staying on top of everyone's schedules, and calmly disciplining without raising my voice are definitely areas of weakness for me. Just to name a few! But what I am saying, is that up until last year, my full time was them. And everything else came and went. I did parks, museums, nursing and diapers, oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly, stories and dancing, dinner and cleanup, and dinner and cleanup and dinner and cleanup, did I mention dinner and cleanup? Then homeschooling and homeschool group. Then sent one to school and finished the last three kids at home for 2 more years. My kids are not perfect either! In fact I showed up to my daughters camping trip with her last week, ready to auction them off out of frustration with grades and house cleanup duties!
The bottom line is that this is what I have chosen to pour my life into "full time." I am not done or anywhere near it, but I do have a little bit more liberty during the day to pursue a "full time career" now that they are older and in traditional school. So now I choose Dianna Nicole and Storytelling Sensations.
Has it been worth it? Umm...... Heck Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My kids are great! They are handsome and pretty, funny, artistic, smart, creative, athletic and worth every minute that I gave.
So, I suck at this business thing and am pretty much starting a full time career at age 34. But who cares? I have chosen what I wanted to pour my life into and it is all worth it. Now I choose to pour my life into, YOU.
So here's the question. Is what you are pouring your life into worth it? I mean really worth it? It's never too late to choose.
I've had two very impactful conversations in the past two weeks. One was while I was substitute teaching at a school, and the other while I was sitting in a business consultation about Dianna Nicole and Storytelling Sensations.
So the conversation at the school went like this.....
The kids are gone to gym class, leaving the full time teacher and I back in the classroom on break. (I like these opportunities, because I get to do some computer work on Dianna Nicole during break time.) So there I am, typing away on my computer, and the teacher looks up from her desk and asks me, "I see you are over there working, so what do you do on the side?" I frown my eyebrow up just a bit, and say "This IS my side thing...." The conversation continued on about how I was just subbing to supplement the businesses that I am currently trying to grow, but still make sure that I am helping my home with the bills. "Oh, she said, I'm sorry, this is my whole life, so I just assume that it must be everyone else's too." "Nope" I said. "I've been a full time teacher before and homeschooled too, I'm all done with that phase of my life."
Why did that conversation matter so much to me? It only lasted all of 5 minutes. I guess maybe because it has been a nagging theme in my mind for the past few months anyway, and this was just yet another time that it had surfaced......
The other conversation in the business consultation went like this....
I arrive for the meeting in a freezing cold room, and my consultant proceeds to instruct a worker to kick up the heat a bit. We take a seat in a near by booth and recap my last event, my goals, my plans, etc. The conversation progresses, and I put my foot in my mouth a few times, and then it happens. My consultant says, "You really suck at this business stuff." Ouch! Right?......... Right. But true none the less. I'd be the first person to tell you that, I'm just me and I am definitely still learning.
Why do these conversations matter? Well, because they have forced me to take stock yet again of where I am, where I have been and where I am going. You see, for those of you who don't know, Dianna Nicole and Storytelling Sensations have been my "side thing". Up until 4 months ago, they were just my part time thing that I knew I was supposed to be doing.
See, I have have spent the last 14 years of my life doing lots of "side things". I can't say that all of them have been passion filled or even God directed. Honestly, some of them were strictly fueled by the need for some extra cash, with little time to invest. And even though some of those "side things" sometimes cause me to doubt my progress in life, or question my ability to be consistent or loyal or focused; it is conversations like those past two that help me to take stock and remember what I HAVE accomplished. I have been spending the last 14 years of my life pouring into something very very major! I'll share it with you in my next post. In the meantime, stop and take stock for yourself. Yeah, perhaps you have a hobby or brand new idea that you are working on right now. A new sport you picked up in the past few years? A new business venture? A new found passion for fitness and health? But those things are fleeting. What are you pouring your life into? And what have you been pouring it into in the past? Hmmm... Just a thought.
Next time we will ask the harder question.
Has it been worth it?........
Hey there to all of my "Just me folks" out there! Have you been thinking, "Hey, what ever happened to that Chicago House of Blues thing for Dianna Nicole?" Well, sadly, I didn't get it. I tried and I gave it my best efforts. And I must say that you guys did too! That week of grinding to move those tickets was surprisingly encouraging to me. There were so many messages coming in from all over the place saying, "I can't make it out that night, but I just want to support you, so I bought tickets." And so many messages the very next day asking me how it went. I am so grateful to all of your support in trying to help me with that opportunity. Your belief in me and what I am doing is so unbelievable! Sometimes I just feel like I am living someone else's life!
Am I disappointed? Well, yes, a lil bit. Not so much that I don't get to go, because I truly believe that every door that God has for me will fly open. But more because I like to do whatever I put my mind to, well. I like to win! Who doesn't?
Besides, it was a great night! I learned a few things, was reminded of a few things, got a few new opportunities and had a great time sharing music with my partners in crime....
If there just happens to be something that you have worked really hard for and the results didn't really turn out how you expected, keep pushing! Learn something from it, enjoy something about the process, enjoy the people that went through it with you and pay attention to the blessings and opportunities that came as result of it!
Disappointments happen guys, but they aren't the end of the world. Choose to keep going.
Thanks again for your support and thanks for listening!
P.S. Click the button below to see a clip from that night ;)
It's a new year with new chances to soar higherAnd I am 100 Tickets Away
THE HOUSE OF BLUES
Good morning Dianna Nicole Family! And to all my other "just me folks" out there! I recently got hit with some pretty awesome news. I am booked to perform live at The Sandlot Wrigley, in Chicago, on this coming thursday, January 25th. I am so excited and nervous all at the same time. I keep trying to tell myself, "I was born for this." LOL!
Anyway, that's not it! I also found out, that if I can sell 100 tickets, that I am guaranteed a spot to perform at THE HOUSE OF BLUES CHICAGO in the August music festival. WHAAAATTT!!! Shut yo mouth!!!! Excuse me while I cut a rug really quick.......
Ok, I'm back and sweaty from all that dancing! Anyway, Here's where you guys come in. I need you folks to buy these tickets like they are Patty's sweet potato pies last thanksgiving!
Tickets are only $10!
And just to sweeten the deal:
1 ticket purchase = a free download of the new single "Forever"
5 ticket purchases = Free download + a keychain that says "I gave DIANNA NICOLE the blues"
10 ticket purchases = Free download + keychain + a t-shirt that says "I gave DIANNA NICOLE the blues"
20 or more ticket purchases = Free download + keychain + T-shirt + free ticket into the Sandlot Wrigley event.
Ok guys, the live performance is only one week away, so don't wait. Click the link and get your tickets now, before you forget. Invite your mom, your friend, your cousin n dem', and lets show The Sandlot Chicago how it's done DIANNA NICOLE style!
Aww man Dianna! I wish I could help, but I can't make it that night. I'm working or I live out of town!
No worries, we don't have to leave you out. You can still support by purchasing tickets, and I can use them to bless someone who would like to come but can't afford to. Besides, if I actually do make it to THE HOUSE OF BLUES, Do I hear "road trip" bells ringing? LOL! Maybe you could come out in August! The sales still help me make it to THE HOUSE OF BLUES.
So, are you in? If so, get your ticket(s) now!
I just want to say thank you in advance for all of your support! This goes our to all the ordinary people out there like me, who just hope that their lives make an extraordinary difference.
I'm frustrated. I'm finally sitting down with enough mustered up courage to finally type a blog entry. I want to say something amazing, something life changing, something profound. But I feel like I'm running on E. I don't know how everybody else's life and walk is going right now, but for these past few months I have been feeling a little empty and distant. I usually pride myself in being so honest and transparent, but I think that this is kinda hard to admit because I really haven't gotten the victory over it just yet. Also, because I don't want any sympathy responses or comments. And because things look so good for me from the outside.
I don't really expect everything in this blog to be clearly understood either, because at the present moment I can't even clearly put all of my emotions into words. I just know that in this moment I am tired, and I don't really feel like fighting or even pushing forward. But Dianna, what's going on? what's wrong? That's exactly the problem. Not much at all is wrong. I just moved to a new house, I got to sing on a side stage at the stellar awards, my kids are in good health, my marriage is pretty good and I could honestly go on for days listing all the blessings that God has done in my life without even being phony about it. So why am I not happy?
I believe because I miss my Daddy.
The truth is, religion doesn't work for me. I'm no good at it. Church, singing, trying to do the right thing, defending my faith with scriptures, none of it satisfies me. Blessings don't do it for me either. They just aren't fulfilling enough. Singing in front of people, having a little money in my pocket, my hair growing a little bit longer, even a new house; its cool, but just not enough. I'm unsatisfied. I want what nothing in this world can give me. I want Him. I want to be alone with him, I want to sing to him, I want to hear what he has to say, even if I don't like it, or it hurts. I miss my Daddy. I have gotten too busy and not been intentional about seeking him. I can't keep going like this. Today, I quit. I'm running hard. Here I come Lord. Here I come.
POP Quiz for 1,000 points, Which one of these pictures is Dianna Nicole?
The answer is all of them...
So say you are walking down the street and someone randomly asks you this question, "Hey, do you know Dianna Nicole?" You'd say yes, right? But let's say they asked you another question, "What does she do?" Then what would you say? Would you go on describing a character that you saw, or a story you heard, or would it be about a concert that you went to and saw me? What would you say exactly? Would there be this mumble jumble of words, where you'd basically have to end up saying to the person, "You just have to see it."
Well, I'm thinking that that's not good. And I surely don't blame you at all! I always say if the students aren't getting it, then its probably the teacher. And its so sad that it has taken me so long to fix this problem. You'd think that after handing my business card to hundreds of people, that I'd have a clue by now. When you give your card to people and they say "So, umm you do spoken word?" that should be a clear sign, that you arent sending a clear message. So OK OK OK! I get it! I'm doing a lot of different things and they may not be clear. So what am I going to do about it?
Well, I'm going to start with an apology.... I am sorry if any of you are thoroughly confused about who I am or what it is exactly that I do. My bad. I'll do better.
And secondly, I'm going to fix it. So here it goes.
Random person will be reffered to as RP. You will play yourself ;)
RP-"Do you know Dianna Nicole?"
RP-"What does she do?"
You-"She is a singer/songwriter."
RP- "Oh, I see. Is she any good?"
You-"Yes, she is my favorite artist of all time!" (lol, just wishing I guess!)
Anyway, I hope you got the point.
BUT WAIT A MINUTE! I THOUGHT DIANNA WAS A STORYTELLER! WHAT ABOUT CANDY CANE CANDACE? AND YOU DIDN'T KILL VIVIAN DID YOU? (you'll only understand this part if you have ever seen me do storytelling ;)
Well, the short answer is, that I am a storyteller. But the long one is, that people apprently aren't very fond of people with multiple personalities so Dianna Nicole can only be one person.
I know, I know, I'm making you cry because you will miss my characters so much! (lol, here I go wishing again!)
No worries! I am saying hello from the other side. I now run a business called "Storytelling Sensation" its a stortyelling business that presents powerful and positive stories with a purposeful design! (that was a mouthful) So don't be dismayed, VIVIAN is still alive and well. (she and Dianna just had to break up.... sniff). And you may even see some new faces of other storytellers that join me too! Oh FUN!!!
OK, OK, I'm talking you to death, I get it. Sorry.
In conclusion. Dianna Nicole is a singer/songwriter. And Storytellling sensation is a whole nother seperate thing. Everybody clear?
So, I am sure that lots of you have multiple talents out there! What are they? I'd love to hear about what you do, tell me please!
It has taken me forever to get this out, but here it is. So, some of you may or may not know, but I am a licensed foster parent. Yep, that’s me. The funniest part is that I never imagined that I would be. As a matter of fact, even as I sat in my training classes for it, the instructor told us going into this, “Know your role.” You basically had to do a self- evaluation and figure out what was best for you. Were you a foster home or an adoptive home? Well, I knew right then, and even said it out loud to my neighbor next to me, “I am definitely not a foster parent!” “I could never handle loosing a baby that had been with me…” or so I thought.
Fast forward a few months, and we got a call. A one-year-old little one. Could we keep them? Just for the weekend? Well, ok, sure we can, it’s only a weekend after all. Well that weekend turned into almost two years. The first day was so strange. The arrival was in the crazy early hours of the morning. But I had gotten the call hours before. So I got hardly any sleep, laying on the couch, thinking every moment that my little one had arrived. When first placed into my arms, I remember thinking, wow, you are heavy! And then thinking, wow you are sleeping through all of this! You are going to wake up to a world that you don’t even recognize.
I was new to the baby, and the baby was new to me. It was hard, and sweet and sometimes uncomfortable, and exciting, and frustrating, and sometimes even exhausting. I can remember one day the crying just wouldn’t stop. Screaming and screaming and crying. I sat on the wood floor Indian style holding tight. I will be transparent and just admit to thinking that I didn’t want to hold this baby anymore. But I remember what I whispered to God. I said, I don’t want to hold this baby anymore, but Lord, I bring my flesh into subjection and I will hold this baby as an act of obedience in love to you. And so I held and held and held. Eventually the crying stopped. I’m sure that you have figured out by now that even though it was hard, and sometimes I yelled, that I definitely fell in love. My little baby. I loved deeply. I remember the Holy Spirit telling me to love without holding back. I figured I would adopt this child. A court date came up a few months shy of 2 years. My baby was now 3. Potty training passed, talking, running, and even sorting colors. I answered the phone in the kitchen and heard the words on the other end of the phone…….
The little one has to return home. I’ll be there in an hour or so. I cried out loud and sank into my friend’s arms. She’s such a good friend. I cried and cried. I sank and sank. I sat in a chair and held and held and held. This time I didn’t want to let go. It’s been about four months. I still see little ones that remind me of the one I had to let go. I cry, I giggle, I smile silently, I remember. I asked God a question. How are you supposed to love someone without holding anything back, how are you supposed to give your all, knowing that you cant have them. You know what he said? “Dianna, that’s what I did. I died, I gave all of me without reserve, knowing that the people that I died for would not be mine.” Oh. Man. That was so true. A good lesson from a good father. You know what though? He did it for the gain for the ones who are willing to receive. The truth is, so did I. I truly believe that what I did rescued my little one. I can’t go into every detail, but I was able to help my little one to gain. And I am better because I gave. Many have asked me would I do it again. You know, it really hurt. But I’d have to say…..Yes, I would. Those words stick with me, and make me closer to my Father in a new way. “That’s what I did…”
Today, love without reserve. And when it’s hard, hold, hold, hold, and pray. And if it’s time to let go, then let go with grace.
(Whew, I got that off my chest)
Okay, so today I am going to keep this short and sweet! ...........I finished the CD.
It took a whole lot of work and pressing, but I finished. I even had the release party! I know it is not very often, but I don't have a lot of words to say. Shocker huh? There are pretty much just two words on my heart.......
Thank you! Thank you Lord for bringing me this far, thank you Lord for allowing me to finish, thank you Lord for letting me use what I sing to you to bless other people, thank you for doing more than I could imagine or think, thank you for the season that I am just beginning, thank you for seeing me help when I needed it, thank you for helping me get through the days i was discouraged and wanting to quit. JUST THANK YOU!
AND TO YOU BE ALL THE GLORY AND HONOR, FOREVER. AMEN
Do you have a thank you in your heart today?
Whisper it to him right now. He is sweet!
New CD: www.diannanicole.bandcamp.com
So it recently dawned on me, that I released my first single "My Way" about a year ago! And so I asked myself, why had it been so long since I had released music. Not to boast, but I have written over 150 songs. So a lack of material is not the problem. So then what is?
So I thought and thought and I came to a conclusion........it's ME!
Of course I could blame it on a musician, or back up-singer, or anything else. But there is only one person that is going to see this thing through, ME.
I think that often times we are waiting for God to open a door, or for people to jump on board, or even for a "sign". But I think the truth is, that we need to start moving with what we already have. And as we begin to move, grace and help will come. Both people and God seem to aid those who are already moving, not just talking about it or dreaming. Yes God opens doors, but we are partners together with him. I think that too often we are looking too far ahead down the path at the obstacle ten feet away. Then it stops us from even moving the one foot in front of us. When if we would just move forward, the help for the next step would come.
I have seen this time and time again. Especially in this season of my life. Both people and God have helped me as they have seen me taking the next step forward.
So I have been moving forward step by step. Now I am trying to release my first EP in two weeks. What is an EP? Well, it stands for extended play. It's longer than a single, but shorter than a full album. I have run into an obstacle. I am over half way done with completing the project and need to fund the rest of it. I want to finish this project. I am curious to see what lies on the other side of me letting out what God has given me. I want to share these songs that I have sang to him, and listened to myself over and over again. The songs that have been an encouragement to me when I have wanted to quit, and comforted me when loved ones have died.
So to all of my subscribers out there and to anyone listening, will you please help me finish this project? Will you please help me to take the next step, and let God do the rest?
Thank you so much for all that you have already done. I appreciate you all probably more than you even realize.
By his love,
So who or what is standing in the way of you taking the next step? Is it a circumstance, time, money, or is it ..........YOU?
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