A New Chapter…

It has been a long journey…as life often is…

I have been HONORED to work at Warner Music Nashville / Word Entertainment for the past 6 years…and Tuesday is the day that I will call it quits.

“You what???”

I have heard that A LOT the past few weeks as I have been sharing the news with friends, family, co-workers and partners.

And they are right  – I am not known for quitting.  For better or worse, I stick with it.  Coming to the place mentally where I could QUIT – and walk away – was gut wrenching.  It goes against my nature.  I love my job.  And my current role is my DREAM JOB.  I am not kidding.  I have LOVED this role.  I have been able to be an entrepreneuer inside of a corporate setting; I have a boss who supports that I am a working Mother; and I have a fantastic team around me – let alone we represent such a great roster of artists. 

But as this year has progressed, Tim and I decided that it would be best for our family to start a new adventure, and work from home and build my own business.  The goal is that I would get more time with Jett & Maddox, and be more in control of my schedule.  And hopefully travel less 🙂

I am both excited and scared.  I can’t wait to work on some new projects; but being on my own is really frightening.  I know I will miss the team dynamic that we have at WMN; it is such a kind place to work; and it is a group of people that care for one another.  And I know that I will miss representing the artists, who I call friends. The past few weeks have been super emotional as I have processed making the choice to step off the cliff – out from comfort – and into the great wide open.

But I trust God, and I know that he has been directing our families steps to this place where we could take this leap.

Thanks for being my friends and for loving our family so well.  And please keep us in your prayers as we make some major adjustments!!

Leigh

PS: My new business is called MaddJett.  Check out the site…

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New Years {learnings}

Holt-Christmas-2012

Happy Holiday’s and Happy New Year from the Holts!! I hope that you had a joyous season and were able to get some time off to relax, reflect and unwind.

I have been thinking through “resolutions”, and instead of a list of resolutions that typically “psych” me out because they feel “larger then life”, I thought I would take a different approach this year. I wanted to focus on the key learnings I encountered this year, and try to take those into 2013 with me; so I can learn, grow, and continue to change for the better (hopefully).

So here are my EIGHT learnings from 2012…from least serious to most!

Amazon Prime
Do yourself a favor and get Amazon Prime membership. You pay $75-85 a year and get FREE 2-day shipping. I order my whole life from Amazon – all the time. Just a tip. Gonna definitely keep doing it in 2013.

Southwest Air
swaLet’s just say I spent a good chunk of 2012 with the fine folks at Southwest, and this is an amazing airline. The only nuisance is having to check in and stand on line – but their policies (no fee for bags, no fees to change flights) and their service make life so much easier when I travel. Already have 3 flights booked on SWA for the beginning of 2013!!

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is the best hospital in Nashville

Relaxing with Dad

Relaxing with Dad

I know that there are no parents alive who would like to spend time at a Children’s Hospital…but if you have to, this is the place to be. They took such amazing care of Jett this summer – if I could have taken the nurses home with me I would have – this is the only place I will go as long as I live here.

Social Media is a Friend & Foe
I love social media. I rarely blog in full anymore here at Holtsrock because I am busy typing 140 characters on Twitter (Follow me: @leighholt) or posting photos to Instagram. And I am grateful for those who follow me and “like” my photos, and comment on my posts; I love the interaction and feeling of support. But one of the things I learned this year was that if you get too caught up in waiting for responses or thinking that it replaces “real” relationships, you’d be misguided. There have been times where I have learned that a group of people are hanging out and I wasn’t thought of to be invited, and it stung. And sadly, through some of my posts I may have made people feels the same pain (I’m sorry if I am guilty of that). So as much as I love it, I know that I have to understand its place, and not put my hope in it. I can expound on this much more, and hope to in a later post.

It is a blessing to be a working Mother

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

I love my kids with all of my heart. It actually hurts how much I love them. I am not kidding. But I also love my job, and love the ability to be a professional, to be creative and to be challenged in a working environment. Is it hard to balance it all? Do I often feel like I am walking a tight rope trying to fit everything in? And mostly, am I often afraid that I have so many plates spinning that if I drop one, the house will come tumbling down? YES. (sounds fun, right? 🙂 ) But for Tim and I, it works. I enjoy hopping on a plane and creating new business deals that never existed before. And I enjoy the team I get to partner with at Word / Warner Music Nashville. I have honestly felt my share of guilt for continuing working; and so many people have opinions (judgements?) about choosing to work while you have little kids at home. But what I learned in 2012 is to shelve the guilt and know that I am working to be the best Mom I can be on a daily basis, while balancing a challenging career. And it is ok.

The older I get the LESS I know
Yeah, I’m sure most people think there is a typo in that headline. Seriously, the older I get, the more I learn that there is so much knowledge in the world, and that I know very little of it! I get to spend a lot of time with two young {rockstar} professionals who are amazing (@sarahlady & @lauren_summer) and as I help them navigate their career paths, I realize how little I knew when I was their age; and I see that there is so much that I have yet to master. Maybe in my advanced age I have finally recognized that it is OK to “learn”; that I actually do not have to know it all. That is a big and scary statement for me to make, as I typically hate the “journey” and just want to have already mastered it, or know it. So again, as I get older (as I surely will in 2013), I will embrace that there is a lot for me to learn {gulp}.

We are not promised tomorrow
family This is a photo of my “team”; and I am SO thankful for them. As I stated earlier, my love knows no bounds for this group. What I learned the most in 2012 is that we are not promised tomorrow. As I was sitting in a business meeting in Phoenix, AZ, and got the phone call that Jett was in an ambulance being rushed to Vanderbilt, I felt my world come crashing down (remember that line about plates crashing?). It took me 8 agonizing hours to get to him (Thanks Southwest). That was a major wake up call to embrace each day that we have together, and to not take anything for granted. And to love well. In September, my Dad experienced a ton of heart complications, and had a serious heart surgery; and that frightened me. Then this December, a friend (Amber Hill Davis) of mine lost her daughter (Sadie Davis) to Leukemia. Sadie spent 40 days in the hospital from the diagnosis to her last day. 40 days. People come on. If today isn’t the day to love the ones your with, you might not have tomorrow. In 2012 the brevity of life struck me; and I pray that I can embrace the minutes and the moments in 2013 (and all the days of my life) to live fully and to love well; to be kind, and to never go to bed angry or leave anything unresolved.

Do Something
Lastly, I will leave you with this. I have found that since we have such access to information, we are assaulted with it; and I learned that when I am too inundated with info, I tend to get paralyzed trying to make the “best” or “most educated” decision. You can honestly research things for days on end, and learn so much about any topic in the world. Often times, I found myself wanting to give (of my time or financially), but then I would get so caught up and worry about if it was the best decision (when there really was no best); and then I ended up not doing anything about it. What a shame. In 2013, if I am prompted to give or to act, I will be wise about it, but I will take action. There were too many times that I felt led to join a cause or get involved in 2012 and I hesitated. This year, I am going to go for it. I already have something in mind, that I hope to tell you about in a week or so (working on details already) 🙂 .

Now let me leave you with some photo highlights…

Family at the Beach in August (I need a tan!)

Family at the Beach in August (I need a tan!)

11 years together!

11 years together!

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Florida -  August -  2012

Florida – August – 2012

My faves

My faves

Our love for Star Wars continues...

Our love for Star Wars continues…

with Roro & Butch at the beach

with Roro & Butch at the beach

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10 years ago today…

…was the night before my wedding…

I was having a wonderful dinner at Buca Di Beppo with friends and family, and excited for the next day to come…and for the adventure of marriage to begin…

Here is a pic of Tim and I from that dinner…

young & in love

I had no idea what marriage would bring, but I knew that Tim was the one for me.

Today I was contemplating some decisions we are working through, and I reminded myself that as long as Tim, the boys & I are together, everything is going to work out. That is how I felt 10 years ago today…and it is a common thread throughout our marriage.

I am so thankful for this guy.

When we got to our Honeymoon suite after our reception, I wanted to take a photo of Tim so I could remember that moment…

Love him

This is the same guy that I married – steady, strong, intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, so kind, loving…I always thought he would be a good Dad…but the Dad that he is blew any expectation I had out of the water…I pray that my boys get all of his kind and generous qualities…

You know the coolest thing about our marriage is that God has been so faithful to us. Tim often reminds me that God has been with us all along and is not going anywhere…and even when we feel far from Him, He is right beside us, leading us. I often need to hear that reminder, and Tim is a consistent audible voice telling me the truths of who God is.

I often tell people that I am blessed to have an amazing marriage — but even though I can recognize that, I also will tell you that marriage is not easy – it is a lot of hard work — to be present, to listen, to be kind, to be self sacrificing, to want to do things as a team, and to not harbor any anger or judgement against one another…but it is so worth it if you walk through these tough things together. Tim and I are stronger as a result of dealing with these things.

A writer I am not, as I ramble on… 🙂

I am very thankful, humbled and excited to have our 10 year anniversary tomorrow; and I do not take it for granted!!

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Fun with the sprinkler

Today Jett and Maddox had a blast at a memorial day cook out!! Here are some pics!!

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Natural Born Negotiator

You can not make up half of the things that come out of Jett’s mouth. And one thing is for certain – he is a pure-bred negotiator.

Our conversation upon arriving home from Chick-fil-A tonight:

Me: Jett, we have twenty minutes before bed time, so we can do either 1: ride your tricycle with Daddy or 2: walk around the neighborhood in the wagon. (I’m trying to get him to play more outside)

Jett: Or how about 3: play in the play room or 4: me push my lawnmower or 5: Let’s go to Chipotle!

Me: well out of those 5, which one do you choose? (I can’t help myself – I have to know!)

Jett: Let’s go to Chipotle!!!

Really??? Hilarious.

We ended up walking over to the neighbors which suited him just fine as well.

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Team Blake T-shirts!

Team Blake won The Voice! I am proud of him and the show. It is a fun way to do a music competition.

Tonight I posted this on Twitter:

@leighholt: “@Miranda_Lambert: Team Blake did it!!!!! http://t.co/pAHvG1p5” I’m so proud of this photo / tshirt for many reasons… @r0gue & @cws1007

This is a picture of Miranda Lambert wearing a Team Blake t-shirt. We have sold a lot of those T’s, so I want to take a moment to tell you about the inception of them…

It was late April last year (2011), Maddox was about a month old, and I was home on maternity leave. The pilot episode of The Voice came on and we watched it and there was a ton of excitement because my company (@WMNashville) represents Blake Shelton. The Voice did a masterful job of integrating social media throughout, and created the team name monikers like #teamblake.

It was about 3 am, and I was up feeding Maddox, reading an internal email chain about the show, and ways to strategize, and my team came up with the Team Blake t-shirt idea. Mind you this was a Tuesday. Well the very next day, Curtis (@cws1007) got with Danny (@r0gue) and knocked out t-shirt comps in less then half a day. The comps got circulated, and by Friday of that week, we had approval and we were printing these shirts. (2011 version was a black shirt). And Emily (@hilovephoto) on our team got them up online for sale, and we have been selling them ever since. Lots of them ;).

This fall, Curtis had the insight to change up the color, and we went Red for 2012.

Late last week, non-tweeting or social media Joel, got a 10:30pm text from Blake telling him he needed these shirts shipped to him the NEXT DAY…so Joel got 24 printed and delivered to Blake’s hands in about 4 hours. Yes 4 hours. Blake was so pumped. And then Miranda wore it to the show tonight…

And Red was the winner!! (red and black for those of you keeping score at home… Go Dawgs!! Doesn’t it all come back to that somehow??)

Here’s the deal… I work with a group of people who are insanely dedicated — not only to their jobs, but to each other; and dedicated to excellence. I rarely use this blog to talk about work; but when I saw this tweet tonight and saw that Miranda was wearing that shirt, I couldn’t help but be proud of the team I get to labor with daily. Most of the time, they get zero credit and are very often overlooked. That’s a shame, because quite honestly, they kick ass.

Curtis, Danny & Emily – you rock. Sam, Carden & Joel – thanks for keeping the legacy alive.

Proud of my team!!

Now go get yourself the winner’s t-shirt and support my team!!

Designed by Danny Haas

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Update

Maddox came through his tubes surgery and has recovered so well. He literally was a trooper, and by the end of the day on Wednesday, I could tell a huge difference! Thanks to Dr. Rosenthal for taking caring of both of my boys over the last 3 years!

Jett starts swim lessons tomorrow – I am so excited. I grew up swimming all of the time and Tim had a pool, so we both love to get in the water. Maddox starts next week as well…they are going to see Ms Kennette – who I highly recommend – she is a great teacher with a heart of gold and who is fun to hang out with as well!

Tim is doing well taking the tech world by storm one day at a time. He has been busy traveling a lot lately, but we do get a trip together in a few weeks to Chicago as our trips are overlapping; it will be a blast. My job is going well as I am starting to build another new business inside of our company. It is what I love to do, but the start is always particularly challenging; but I love the artists we represent, so it is worth it.

We are excited for the summer, although it is already so hot here! These are the moments that I wish i was a teacher and had the summers off! Hope you are well, and if you are near Nashville, please come visit!

He is an eating machine

Rockin’ out on his “stage”

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