Thursday, March 3, 2011

This, that, and what's next!

As we ramble down the road into 2011 we take some time to look back on all the changes, exciting adventures and unexpected turns this past year has brought to our family.

In January we performed from Florida...

all the way up to Oswego New York....

February found us back in Florida performing.

We popped a tire

Christian picked up the Zen drum!

In March we celebrated Saint Patty’s Day

We had a great time doing a fiddle workshop with Florida fiddlers!

In April we auditioned for America's Got Talent

We performed at the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. on a stage and for the televised parade.

We traveled to Georgia and worked with the nonprofit Amigos for Christ to raise money for feeding centers in Nicaragua

Kathryn and Christian went to prom (with friends)

CNN traveled with us and put together an article

In May we went to Las Vegas and spent a week with America's Got Talent and met some amazingly talented people. We jammed with musicians, stretched with acrobats, learned to throw cards, do magic tricks and survive in a pressure cooker.

Then we were back up in New York!

June we traveled to Alaska, saw some of the most beautiful vistas, rode horses at midnight, danced until we dropped and hiked until we couldn’t walk. Performed all over the state. Performed our first show in Fairbanks.

Performed 4th of July on Beaver Island. If you’ve never heard the star spangled banner on the bagpipes you haven’t heard the star spangled banner….on the bagpipes.

Then a cousin's wedding in Minnesota

Performed from Michigan to North Carolina

August we had another cousin's wedding in Massachusetts

Said goodbye to Andy :(

September we performed in Michigan and Pittsburgh and visited family

October we bounced down to Georgia and back up to New York

November back down to Florida...

...and back up to New York

and all over!

This January we opened our brand new show at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and Christian, Mom, and Dad also debuted their first Trio performance!

Total miles traveled this year: 27,591

Total Shows performed: over 2,000

Total Fun had from 1 to 10: 11

Plans for the year to come:

This coming year we’ll going back up to Alaska, Andy will be going back to school and in the Fall Kathryn and I will be leaving for college; Kathryn to study Foreign Relations and I will be studying Musical Theater.

What will happen to the group? We’ll continue to perform together as a family during our breaks. It’s been great to have Andy back with us and in the show during his time off. He’s also been performing solo while in college. None of us want to stop performing together as a family. It’s just too much fun! Meanwhile Mom, Dad and Christian are going to perform as a trio-"ShaeLaurel, Party of Three" There have been some rumors about a Frank Sinatra Tribute show but you didn’t hear it from me :)

While our group performance schedule will be limited to our school breaks we plan to jam pack as many shows as possible into those few months to make up for all the time we’ve missed.

That’s our year in review, we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to too! Use the comment box or send us a private message to share your story.

We hope to meet up with you out on the road. If you get a chance to talk with us one-on-one ask someone to tell you the full Alaska story, and what really happened when we tried our hand at yard work. Wishing you all the best in the New Year!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Next Big Adventure!

We’ve been together as a band for nearly 10 years now, traveling the world. It’s been an amazing adventure and our adventure has just gotten a little bigger. Christian just turned 17 and Andy is taking some time off from touring to go to college. We are so happy and excited for him on his new adventure! We miss him a LOT but we know he’s having a great time and learning some pretty incredible stuff (he’s double majoring in Physics and Mathematics.) As for the rest of the family, we are still on tour and having a blast. We’re in the process of putting together a new show and we’re all really excited to see where the music takes us next! Meanwhile we’ll look forward to having Andy back to perform with us during his summer breaks.

Our tour starts up again this week in New York. We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Where in the world is ShaeLaurel?

Hey everyone! We’re back into the swing of things now. We’ve gotten a lot of wonderful emails from people curious about what’s been going on in our tour so we’re here to fill you in. Apparently there have been some ShaeLaurel “rumors” flying around and we’re here to set the record straight.

Rumor #1: “Dad can do a back flip.”

False. Although Dad has been working on gymnastics he has yet to achieve that true state of airborne magnificence.

Rumor #2: “ShaeLaurel is preparing a new show.”

True. We are preparing a new show, which should debut this fall. There are a lot of big changes coming for our group not all of which we are at liberty to speak of. More on that soon!

Rumor #3: “Jessica can’t walk.”

True and False. In between rehearsals Jessica stepped on a rusty nail, which knocked her off of her feet for the past week. Now, however, she is back on her feet and dancing up a storm. Want proof? Turn on your TV and check out the televised ABC Cherry Blossom Parade where the family will be performing singing and dancing on April 10th! Woot!

Rumor #4: “Andy is going to college.”

True. This Fall Andy will be heading off to College to study Mechanical Engineering/Physics. We will miss him like crazy! The band will still continue minus one (thus our new show) and we’ll look forward to having him back with us during his breaks!

Rumor #5: “Mom can do a back flip.”

False. Seriously I don’t know where all these back flip rumors are coming from!

Rumor #6: “ShaeLaurel doesn’t write their own blogs.”

False. We write our own blogs, tweets, status updates, and respond to every one of our fan letters, emails, calls, and comments personally. We’re just that cool!

Rumor #7: “Jessica is turning 20!”

True. 9 more days! And if you haven’t figured out who’s writing these updates right now read rumor #7 again…

Sunday, January 3, 2010


When we’re not cleaning we’re playing music and doing other crazy things like starting companies and writing books J Now we’ve found a way to do both at the same time! Kathryn and I have hopped on board an amazing e-writing project called The Novel Factory that’s opening up January 4th. Here’s a little info:

“Based on the Serial Novel style that launched such greats as Dickens and Tolstoy into international fame, The Novel Factory is an online-based serial publication that is taking a whole new look at the way we read and write books. Readers interact directly with the novel as they choose what happens next in the story. Every Monday our writers publish a new installment and our readers join in the adventure and vote on the direction the story should take...”

We’d love to have your votes on the site! You can get more detailed information at The first installment of the first book goes up tomorrow, Monday, January 4. We’ll look for you there. Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cleaning-in the New Year

We spent New Year's Eve playing in Delray Beach, FL for Atlantic Avenue's own First Night Celebration. Now with a whole new year ahead of us we started off the new decade with a family project ... you guessed it, cleaning. It's time to lose those extra couple of pounds of stuff weighing down our tour bus as we travel the country. Every year we get a little better at the whole 'letting go' process. This year we somehow managed to find bags and bags of hidden treasures in our 40-foot RV that we hadn't seen for a long time and would never really use. All of these things tucked safely in secret corners of the RV finally saw the light of day today and they're moving out for good. As usual our family approached the project with considerable zeal but even the most stalwart cleaner will find that, after a while, the things that they were supposed to be getting rid of, things that they'd forgotten they'd even owned, start to take on a new magical quality and inseparable sentimental value. Even something small can become a huge internal debate. I suffer from acute butitsbeenhereallthistimeitspracticallypartofthefamily syndrome and my internal cleaning conversations begin to look something like this:
"Jessica, it's a rock. You don't need it."
"But it's been traveling around the country with us for a long time! This is more than an average rock! You know, I think this rock is from Ireland! Look at the markings."
"Ohhhhh. Wow. But what's the point in keeping a rock?"
"It's a priceless piece of family history!"
"But it's a rock!"
"Can I keep it! Please! It's just one little rock! You got rid of that magazine already and everything."
"Oh, all right."
Needless to say I wasn't much help in this process, but it was a really cool rock.
Although everyone's brains are not quite as vocal, you've probably had a similar conversation with yourself around cleaning time. It happens to the best of us. What kind of things did you find hard to part with? What oddities did you find in the cleaning process?

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Fashion Statement

My dad has always had his own unique style. It’s the way he casually tucks in his shirt with no belt, the way he wears plaid and paisley together, the way he wears white socks and flip flops with the air of a man who will continue to dress that way until there is a no-clothes option.

For years my sister and I have struggled to find clothes that he was willing to wear on a daily basis that didn’t offend the fashion sense of almost everyone else on the planet and weren’t 3 sizes too big for him. We usually failed. But as the years have gone by and he’s moved across that invisible line that marks the place between ‘young and clueless’ and ‘old and eccentric’, we’ve begun to see the wisdom in his clothing choices. What once just seemed like an excuse to be asked where he was from has turned into a heightened sense of the practical. No matter where we are he is always comfortable, if not a little underdressed. He’ll repeat the same outfit for days on end but carry it with such a different style that you fail to notice. His baggy jeans never seem to wear out and his flip-flops are never really out of style. He also provides endless amusement for our family.

Shopping with my dad is a trip. He enters a store with the confidence of a man who knows what everyone needs and isn’t afraid to ask whoever is nearest for their opinion of your outfit. He also has that grim determined look that let’s you know he’s resisting all natural urges to run out the door and kiss the first patch of natural ground.

You always know when it’s time to go by the way he swoons on the waiting couches with an ill look and the struggling smile of a martyr. He always stays though, until the call is given to leave.

There has only ever been one item of clothing that my dad has actually asked for in his life, and that’s a kilt. For years we’ve searched in vain for a reasonably priced piece of tartan for him but we’ve always been unsuccessful. Even when we considered sewing our own, the cost of the fabric has always been astronomical. Even though the image of Dad wearing his Hawaiian tourist shirt with a kilt, white socks up to his knees and flip flops will forever remain one of our fondest ‘not-memories’ of Dad we’ll keep searching.

My dad has always had his own unique style. It’s part of what I love about him. It reflects his own beliefs and life choices. He understands the importance of wearing clothes and at the same time as he understands the importance of being a free spirit. Each neatly-gelled curl and rakishly tilted sock is a life-fashioning statement that will live on long after his clothes are gone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It was the best of times, it was… nah, it was just the best of times :)

On our way back from Alaska there was one Canadian stop that couldn’t be missed. It wasn’t the hot springs or the cities, it wasn’t even the biggest mall in North America. It was better than that, the icing on the cake of our Alaskan adventure: the St. Cyr cabin.

When you’ve been on the road as long as we have, it’s easy to think that you’ve seen it all, but we haven’t even come close yet and the cottage is a perfect case in point.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s okay. We didn’t even know the place existed until last year.

We found out about the St. Cyr cabin, and more importantly, the St. Cyr’s, in the way these things usually happen… in the way you least expect it:

“When are we going to play?” It was the question that was running through all of our minds last year in Calgary. It was a raining hard, freezing drops mixed with a sprinkling of hail. We were downtown, set to perform at a Stampede party that was quickly turning into an icy version of a Wet N’ Wild. The rain was relentless and our speakers were softly soaking up the moisture, but the idea of not playing was too much to bear so we unpacked our instruments under the safety of a tent.

It was cold and our fingers were frosty on the strings but we played away, dancing on the tables and weaving in among the crowd. That’s where we met the first St. Cyr: Annette. She saw us perform and invited us to come and visit her at her cottage on our way to Alaska. That’s how we learned about the St. Cyr cabin, nestled in among rolling fields of canola (who knew canola was a plant?) by beautiful Gull Lake.

The St. Cyr cabin is an artfully designed work of handcrafted wood that the St. Cyr family built by hand as a party and retreat for their friends and family. We’ve learned a lot of things there over the past 2 years, vacationing with Annette and her family. Things like how to wakeboard, play beersbee, make a garbage-can turkey and party like a Canadian. We even got a chance to sit in on a permaculture course that Annette’s daughter and son-in-law taught. But most importantly, we learned that we have a Canadian family we never knew existed.

You may never make it to the St. Cyr cabin, but here are some pictures from our trip that can take you there, if only for a little while: