Before the first pitch of the Chicago Cubs game on Memorial Day, all eyes were on Julianna Zobrist, a Christian pop singer and the wife of Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist, as she sang “God Bless America” and the national anthem for the first time at Wrigley Field.
“It was really great,” Julianna says of the experience. “Just the energy and all of those fans. I mean, what other stadium can you talk about that every seat is filled at the very beginning of the game? There’s only a handful. It’s pretty amazing.”
She adds that Cubs fans have been very welcoming since Ben signed a four-year contract in the offseason. Even though Ben was coming off of a World Series win with the Kansas City Royals, Julianna says it was an easy decision to sign with the Cubs.
“It actually was the dream for Ben,” Julianna says. “He’s from Illinois and I’m from Iowa, so both of our families are close. We’ve never gotten to play close to family. That’s been such a gift.”
And the Zobrists haven’t wasted any time settling in. Julianna says their kids — son Zion and daughters Kruse and Blaise — love the Museum of Science and Industry and Lincoln Park Zoo, and they’ve been very adventurous when it comes to exploring local dining spots. Even so, Julianna admits it’s not always easy balancing two often-hectic careers and raising three young children.
“It’s hard,” Julianna says. “And I think first and foremost is just recognizing that. It is hard. It’s not going to be easy. For me, setting ground rules about how much I work is very important to me because I will work my tail into the ground. All of us want to look back on our lives and know that our children felt so loved and that they’ve felt like they were first priority. So for me, even if it’s just 15 minutes of playing cards with my daughter or going outside for 10 minutes with my son, soaking up those moments. And I’m not great at that because you come home from a show or come home from work and you just want to chill and be alone, but always keep in the forefront of your mind that they are your treasure. I want them to know that.”
Julianna grew up singing and writing poetry before she began working in the music industry as an assistant, a road manager and a project manager. Once she started putting her own music out, she says, “the response was such that I was able to continue doing it. I’m so grateful.”
Even if you didn’t know Julianna was a singer, you’ve probably heard her music. This year, Ben is using her single “Alive” as his walk-up song. That track joins “The Dawn” and “Always the Same” on Julianna’s first full-length album, “Shatterproof,” available July 1.
“I’m so excited about [the album],” she says. “‘Shatterproof,’ the title track of the record, is about us as women. I think we have a tendency to compare ourselves to one another and so much so that it keeps us in bondage to another person’s opinions of us. Instead of us just being free in who we are, we compare or we put each other down because we’re insecure about something. So the message of ‘Shatterproof’ is really a message of freedom for women to know who you are and to embrace who you are, to be so comfortable in your own skin that the acceptance or approval of other women doesn’t hold any bearing anymore.
“I hope that women walk away [after listening to her album] feeling encouraged,” Julianna adds. “I hope they walk away feeling empowered to discover who they are. To not be afraid to be wrong. To not be afraid to expose their own person.”
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