December 31, 2013

Let's Catch Up

December is almost over, and we will be the first to say that it's been a crazy month. It doesn't even feel like it should be Thanksgiving yet, much less New Year's Eve, but time has a way of getting away from us when we're busy doing what we love. We have been doing just that, and we'd like to take a moment and fill everyone in on what's been going on with Beau + Luci.

We kicked the month off with our first contest, and we were thrilled to see the great response! Each person that entered the "Favorite Christmas Song Contest" was entered into a drawing for a $25 prepaid Visa card. We had a lot of great submissions (a few new songs we'd never even heard before!), and from these submissions came our Christmas set for a couple of special performances, which ended up consisting of the six most popular songs: Happy Christmas/Christmas Canon Rock, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, O Holy Night, White Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who participated, and another huge congratulations to the winner of our draw, Chelsea Young! All of us at Camp Beau + Luci hope Chelsea was able to do something really special with her prize and is looking forward to her Beau + Luci OneHeart Organization shirt. Thanks to all of you who made this contest such a wonderful success!

Also, we would love to thank the Big Brothers Sunday School Class of Jamestown Baptist Church once again for giving us the honor and privilege of performing at your annual Christmas party and for allowing us to be part of such a wonderful night. We had another very exciting time at the BCOG Music Department "Sunday Night Show" fundraiser. Thank you to Amy Evors, who headed up the fundraiser, for inviting us to take part in such an exciting event, and to our friend Randal Broadhead for being such a genius with the sound and stage set up. The BCOG Music Department truly outdid themselves with food and decorations, and we were thrilled to be included. And finally, an extra-special thank you to our "little drummer boy," Frank Sikes, for putting up with us and playing guitar for us. We had an absolute blast singing for and performing with you guys, and we hope to do it again next year (we're even working on an Australian Christmas song for it!). You made our Christmases a little happier, and we hope we made your days a bit merrier and brighter.

While at BCOG's "Sunday Night Show," we gave a quick interview before our performance with some of our background and a brief overview of the long, winding road that led us to where we are. More importantly, though, we had our first public release of the OneHeart Organization. We were able to explain how passionate we are for helping others and seeing the impact that tiny acts can have on people, a true testament to our belief that genuine love does not have to consist of a series of extraordinary acts, and to urge others to get involved with the OneHeart Organization as we strive to do your part in making the world just a little bit better. We continue to ask for your support, encouragement, and involvement as we live out our mission statement to "Create Hope, Inspire Joy, Encourage Faith, and Share Love." Remember, the true poverty of the human race is not living with no money. True poverty is the poverty of the heart, when one lives with no love, no friendship, and no hope. Love is the easiest and freest gift to give, and the best to receive. Let us all keep that in mind as we enter the new year.

Phew! Now that you've been caught up with everything we've been doing, remember to check back for updates on the exciting/cool/interesting/mind blowing/fantastic things that are coming up. We'll also be printing more OneHeart Organization t-shirts in January, so be sure to place yours orders before supplies run out! You'll be helping support a truly great cause and get a pretty darn cool shirt out of it (see pictures below). Also, we'll be returning to Gainesville, Georgia for a marathon week of writing and recording six new songs, which we can't wait to share with you all, so keep an eye out for new exclusive giveaways, free downloads, and the launch of our first full-length album! By signing up for our e-mail list at, you'll be the first to hear about what trouble we're causing, when new music will be released, and have access to prizes and giveaways before anyone else. Thank you so much for your patience, support, encouragement, and love, and please know how grateful we are for every one of you guys. We couldn't have done anything without you, and we don't want to do anything in the future without you, either!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year,

Beau + Luci

P.S. Have you got some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket, or are you looking for some fun music to dance to while working off all those massive meals? Download our EP, Rules of Society, at any of these sites:

Or you can stream us for free on Spotify ( or Rdio ( Make sure to follow our profile on Spotify, "like" and share us with your friends on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@BeauAndLuci), Pinterest (/beauandluci), Tumblr (, and Instagram (Beau + Luci). We look forward to connecting with you!

December 15, 2013

'Tis The Season

We are ten days out from Christmas, and I couldn't be more excited! The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, and why shouldn't it be? It's stuffed to the brim with family time, the best movies, and, most importantly, lots of food! (Aren't you glad we only have turkey and dressing twice a year? I think I would seriously hate it otherwise.) Plus, it's socially acceptable to listen to Christmas songs nonstop, even if you've secretly been singing your way through Michael Buble's Christmas album since July.

We really get into the Christmas spirit the day after Thanksgiving, when Mom orders us all off of the couch and into the attic, despite our turkey hangover, to begin shuttling the crates of Christmas decorations down the stairs and outside. There are ten billion lights to repair, light-up deer that somehow end up a tangled mess of moving legs, power cords, and antlers and never come downstairs in the same condition they went up, and snowflake lights to unravel. Let me be the first to say it: if you don't have high blood pressure, by the time you're done with those darn snowflakes, you will. I have never been angrier than when I'm sitting cross-legged in the middle of a sparkly, plastic, winter nightmare. And the worst part is the knowledge that once I get them untangled, they have to go up in the trees, where they will proceed to strip the limbs of any leaves, create a mudslide, and capture a few unlucky birds while catching on everything. EVERY. THING. I will be forever grateful to Daddy, who took it upon himself to cut most of the lower branches off of our trees, thereby freeing me from climbing duty. What he didn't realize when he cut them off, though, was that Mom is ingeniously inventive and infuriatingly stubborn, which is not a good combination, especially when she decides that we're going to tie weights to the end of fishing line and throw them into the trees to hang ornaments/lights/the odd mailman.

But that's just the beginning. My mother has always been a "go big or go home" kind of person, so we don't stop at lights. Oh, no. There are larger-than-life wooden cutouts of Santa Claus, toy soldiers, angels, gingerbread men, snowmen, candy canes, and Christmas trees to drag out of the shed and put up. It is a process that requires finesse, a large hammer, and lots of, "Shift it to the right just a tiny bit. No, the right! The right! Wait. My right, your left. Go left!" There are cellophane lollipops so bright they might have come out of the old Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. There are multicolored strands of lights that look like strawberries strung between said lollipops. And there are bows. Big, red or silver, sparkly, perfect bows everywhere. You would be amazed at how well a nice red bow sets off chili pepper lights.

When we finally get everything up outside-generally a week long process punctuated with arguing, screaming in terror, whacking trees/bushes with sticks, running from errant weights, batting over-sized ornaments across the yard in an attempt to loose a snowflake light, and fits of hopeless despair when it becomes apparent that the string of lights is in fact not working-it's time for the trees. Yep, trees. As in plural. They must be the perfect shape, size, and shade of green, grown in the wild and nurtured by the angels. They must smell like sunshine and happiness and Christmas, and when it's time to shed their bristles, they must do so with unmatched enthusiasm. If the floor around them isn't solidly green by the time they're gone, then the trees are doing something wrong. It takes at least an hour to pick the perfect trees, and Beau, Braeden, and I usually follow Mom around and pretend to really study every tree she thinks she might like. Finally, once she picks out the two she wants, it's time for the bartering. Like I said before, she's very hardheaded, and those poor salespeople don't stand a chance once she makes up her mind that she's going to get two trees without paying full price for either. Luckily, this year went smoothly, and we had the trees trimmed and loaded before anyone dissolved into tears. The Christmas tree sellers watched us leave in relief. Their job is done. Ours is just beginning.

Once we get the trees home, they've got to soak in a bucket of water for a minimum of 24 hours, which is Dad's tactful way of saying, "I don't want to deal with them right now." After we get them in the stands, we go back up to the attic to find the boxes of ornaments. By then, we're usually tired of the whole decorating mess and want to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation for the sixth time that day. But life isn't easy, and so we put up the lights and the ornaments. All the ornaments, even the paper angels we made 15 years ago that are falling apart and just begging for rest. It doesn't matter if one flimsy branch of that tree has five ornaments on it. They're all going up. Maybe some families manage to do this and look like the families on TV, but we don't. If someone isn't severely agitated by the end of the experience, we just take it all down and start again, with Elvis singing in the background and Beau telling us for the millionth time how much she hates Christmas music. At this point in time, even my adoration of it is wearing thin. There are only so many ways Last Christmas can be sung, you'd think, but the radio seems to have an unlimited supply that they play every ten minutes. This year, to save me from tears, just stop playing it for a day. One day. Is that too much to ask?

Taking a break from the decorating, we go to my grandparents' house to pick oranges. They've got a small orchard in their yard, with orange, lemon, and kumquat trees, all of which need to be picked in time to bag them up in pretty little bags and give them away as Christmas presents. We have a good time together, laughing when someone's hair gets caught in a limb or Braeden gets pelted by an out of control citrus fruit, avoiding the thorns, trying to eat oranges without making too much of a mess, and insisting that taking pictures is not helping (cough, cough Mom). Once we've collected our treasure and bandaged our wounds, we load up on chicken and dumplings. It's a simple, meaningful experience that slows the holiday season down. It's also one of my favorite parts of this time of the year.

It's always fun to look back on Christmases past and see how much has changed. I used to make my Christmas lists in July, and they would be ten pages long and filled with requests of clothes for my baby dolls, a few hundred books, and the odd harmonica or telescope. I would prepare them carefully and put them in a letter addressed to Santa Claus, which Daddy would take to work and send off to the North Pole in time for Santa to handle before Christmas. I would be on my best behavior, because every time I got in trouble, something got crossed off. I must have gotten in trouble quite a bit, because I never did get those three dozen or so American Girl outfits. I would tear into the living room on Christmas morning and make a grand mess of the presents which were wrapped so neatly beneath the tree. Wrapping paper was everywhere. It was mayhem. Nowadays, I like it quieter and simpler. Don't get me wrong, I like presents. Who doesn't? No matter how old you are, it's impossible not to feel a thrill of excitement when you're handed a box that could contain anything. But in the middle of all that wrapping paper flying everywhere and the shouts of excitement as someone opens the present they've been dying to get, it's nice to sit back and see the unabashed excitement on Braeden's face, or the way Mom smiles when she realizes that we were in fact listening the times she mentioned wanting something. A lot of people have said a lot about the Christmas season, about the feeling that you get when you look around and see your loved ones in their pajamas, remembering how it felt to be 6 or 7 on Christmas morning, about the excitement and anticipation that builds and builds the closer December 25th gets, and they've said it more eloquently that I could ever hope to. But in my 18 years, I've found that the Christmas season is about more than buying those boots I wanted, or getting a new series of books on sale. It's not about red velvet cake or a perfect turkey or how many times we can watch Christmas Vacation in a single day (the answer is quite a lot, if you're determined and really believe in yourself.) It's not about the decorations or the Christmas music that nobody can agree on. It's not about snow-or a lack thereof-or reminding ourselves of all the things we wish we had. The Christmas season is about realizing that we've already got everything we could ever wish for. And I think that's beautiful. That's why Christmas is my favorite holiday.

It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all.

So from our family to yours, have a very merry Christmas season. Remember that family is the greatest gift we could ever receive, and love is the freest gift we could ever give. Treasure the things you can't get on Black Friday more than the things you did get. And never, ever forget that it is perfectly acceptable to line your windows with red, orange, and yellow chili pepper lights that you bought when your mother said, "I don't care, just get more lights!" Feliz Navidad, right?

December 1, 2013

This Is Who You Are

You have never been nothing.

You are a body made up of unique DNA and cells that have multiplied into organs and tissues and skin and bones and a system that tries its best to protect you from influences that harm. You are the product of a long line of evolution, the present artifact of your ancestors successfully procreating until their genes were passed onto you. You are a product of chance and deliberate reason.

You occupy a definite space on this planet. You are mass and in your space, you exist.

You are a contributor to collective thought and discourse. You have opinions and decisions that ripple and reverberate in their results. Your words and silence and heavy pauses are all important, no matter the size of their relevance.

You are hope and sadness and betrayal. You are coldness and emotion. You are forgiveness and absolution. You are the difference between acceptance and tolerance. You are brave even as you are a coward. You are giving up and going on. And every single day, you are moving forward whether you want it or not.

You are judgment and objectification, stereotypes and mistaken assumption. You are pollution, you are unstained, an oxymoron. You are rules and the capacity to break them. You are a disorder and you are everything right. You are complicated and complex, and you will always remain a puzzle even to yourself.

You are sexuality and intellect, passion and logic coexisting in one being.

You are death itself because you have been holding its hand on the very day you were conceived. You will come to embrace the moment your breath expires and you will be nothing but a memory as your facts become part of the world’s continuous fiction.

But right now you are here and you are alive. You are possibility and change in one. You are soul and you are heart, no less and no more than anyone else around you. You were born as energy and power. You have a story and it is being written at this very second. When the end comes, what will your tale be about? What will they say about you who once existed and lived and decided?

You are creation and destruction. You have a right to your own definition.

Over all of these, you are master. There is the challenge of circumstance and forces that try to outline you into a template of how life should be lived, of what and how you should be. Remember that you can listen or ignore them.

This is your life and you should live it and believe as you please. Waste your hours, harness your power. Be offensive or try to reconcile. Stay ignorant or seek enlightenment and education. Place blame or take responsibility. See an unsolvable problem or a see a challenge. Be pointless. Be purposeful. In the end, know that everything you do is on you.

Yesterday, you were important. Today you are vital. Tomorrow you will still count.

(All credit goes to Thought Catalog and Jamie Delos Reyes.)

Always remember that you are loved, you are appreciated, you are necessary, you are helpful, and you are not forgotten. You are not some sad story with an unhappy ending. You are here, you are alive, and "a still more glorious dawn awaits."

Much love xxx.