LET'S GET REAL.
I’m Jessie Lee Thetford and I love boxes.
On paper, I’m a 32-year-old, enneagram 1W2, INFJ, Air Force brat, college grad artist, singer-songwriter, Christian, and first-time mother. But I don’t fully fit the boxes. I’m a tattooed pastor’s wife who’s always felt like a walking paradox, an old soul afraid that every decision I make might not be right (I just need to do a little more research), an artist who needs both freedom and order, a life full of fear and faith and striving. Categories and boxes make me feel better, more in control, and yet I HAVE to be an artist, a creative. And now I’m stepping into the greatest chaos I’ve ever known – parenthood.
For a long time, I believed myself disqualified. I have a history of anxiety and depression, hormonal challenges, also, how does anyone pursue music and kiddos? How do you give your all to both? Do you just lose yourself? I didn’t have an answer, so I was too afraid to explore the question. But here we are. I’m a mom to a beautiful boy. Singing. Recording. Watching him laugh when I play my guitar. Smiling. Pouring into my church community with my husband (tattoos and all) and dreaming big.
Maybe my idea of an ordered life was too small. Too controlled. Too boxed in. God had bigger plans and I’m in. Eager to surrender all my expectations, to show my baby boy how to follow one’s dreams, to share my heart, my soul and follow through to something outside myself. I’m realizing I can be a mother and an artist. Perhaps they’ve always been one in the same. I’m here for it.
MY MUSICAL JOURNEY.
My first major musical memory?
Singing Boyz II Men at karaoke (literally on bended knee) as an eight-year-old at an Air Force base Summer Bash.
Then, unwrapping my first guitar at age 13. Performing in front of my entire YoungLife summer camp at 17 with camp musician Jonah Werner. In college, my singing and songwriting accelerated, often inspired by my faith and my muse – my high school sweetheart, Tanner. I wrote and performed at talent shows, coffee shops, open mics, a res hall pageant, and a benefit concert one time in Vegas.
Getting in the recording studio felt right. In college (and after), I discovered that bringing an idea to life one take at a time was like finding a whole new kind of canvas. Tanner cheered me on through it all, promising me that in this life, he would do everything to see my dreams through. He did. We graduated. He married me. He told me over and over again, you need to make music. Stop getting caught up in the hamster wheel of productivity and the illusion of what a life worth lived is. You can do this. I got you.
On this journey, I’ve self-released a 14-track album. I have a 7 song EP waiting to be shared and another in the works. The stages have grown: House of Blues Unplugged in Vegas, a 300 seat Singer-Songwriter Showcase at the historic Tabor Opera House, women’s conferences, two main stage BBQ & Brewfests at the top of the Rockies in Leadville, Colorado.
I love writing and singing and can’t wait to see what this next stage of life inspires.