Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Music archiva[tion]

A year in review. The music of 2014.

January 16
Don Williams at the Charleston Music Hall
Just my dad and I, out on the town. Dinner at Coast.

January 17
Shovels & Rope at the Charleston Music Hall. Shakey Graves opened for them, and he was awesome as well. A one-man band who sings, plays the guitar and harmonica, and the tambourine and bass drum (one with each foot).
Brian and I went to The Rarebit and celebrated Restaurant Week. We were front row/center of the balcony.

February 1
Groundhog Day Benefit Concert at the Charleston Music Hall
Brian and I had dinner and drinks at The Royal American. We had Row 1/Center Aisle seats (VIP), and each got two complimentary cocktails. This was a benefit concert for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, celebrating their 30th year. The musical acts included The Opposite of a Train (Bill Carson, Nathan Koci, and Ron Wiltrout) with special guests Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, Wilton Elder, Clint Fore and John Cobb. The “house band” provided accompaniment to the evening’s invited guest artists including award-winning duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, Lindsay Holler, Stephanie Underhill, Joel Hamilton, Rachel Kate, and Michael Flynn.

February 23
Iron & Wine at the Charleston Music Hall

What an amazing night it was! The Secret Sisters, a sibling duo from Muscle Shoals, AL (seriously, is something in the water there?), who harmonized and hearkened back to days of old through their storytelling, songwriting, and love of classic country that had you crying in your beer. They were fabulous! And I'd love to have a photo to commemorate the night, but since we were front row (!), and it was such an intimate lovely crowd, I felt weird holding my phone up to snap a shot! I've decided to let my words do the talking... so, as I mentioned, we were front row! Although at the Charleston Music Hall, that actually means there was a row in front of us (yes, I've probably discussed this before, since it irritates me to no end)... they actually put a row of folding chairs in front of the fixed seating, that to my knowledge isn't available for purchase, but rather VIP seating. I've now sat in Row 1 many times, and always had someone in front of me. I digress. Back to the show! So, Sam walks out in gray pants, a white button down shirt, and a gray pullover sweater (see how we are on a first-name basis?). His beard is fluffy. It's he, a mic, and 2 acoustic guitars. He starts the evening with a Chaaa-lston, and a reference to South Cackalacky... letting the audience know that he's home, and familiar with the lingo. He opens the floor to requests, and the rest of the evening goes like that... with him throwing in a few here and there that he's eager to share, one of which is late in the show, and my new personal fave... Dirty Dreams, which mentions Charleston in the opening line. The encore brought the Secret Sisters back out on stage to sing a cover of a Postal Service song called Such Great Heights.

March 24
Jason Isbell at the Charleston Music Hall

What an amazing rock n' roll show this was. Jason never disappoints! From the first song to the last, no one sat down. We stood and danced and swayed the whole time, and we were on the third row. I do believe that he played the entire Southeastern album, as well as about half of Here We Rest, including Alabama Pines, Codeine, Heart on a String, and Tour of Duty. There were also favorites like Goddamn Lonely Love, Decoration Day, and Outfit. The encore started with Super 8 and finished with a rip-roaring rendition of The Rolling Stones' Can't You Hear Me Knocking. An unbelievable, high-energy show, that left me eager for the next time he will come to town. 

April 27
Gillian Welch (with Dave Rawlings) at the Charleston Music Hall

Such an amazing show! We were third row! 

May 11
Conor Oberst and Dawes at the Charleston Music Hall

Third row again!

June 4
Lucinda Williams at the TD Arena, College of Charleston (Spoleto)

We were 4th row for this one, and great seats on the floor. Our first show at the basketball arena, and the acoustics were better than I anticipated. We started the evening with dinner at a new restaurant in our neighborhood called Leon's Oyster Shop - Oysters and Poultry. It's an old car repair shop, turned awesome eatery. We sat at the community table, and had 1/2 a dozen oysters on the half shell, as well as 1/2 a dozen char-grilled, followed by a fried chicken sandwich, with Abita beer on tap. Felt like a very New Orleans evening with the beer/oysters/and entertainment! Also, had drinks afterwards at Edmund's Oast, and got to know the Lee Brothers, who were sitting next to us!

September 16
Keb'mo at the Peace Center

October 17
John Prine & Jason Isbell at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium

October 26
MilkCartonKids/SarahJarosz at the Charleston Music Hall
Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the Pour House

Friday, November 7, 2014

2nd birthday, letter to my daughter

Dear sweet girl,

Oh what a year it has been, full of changes for us all. Thank you for rolling with the punches. In just the last few months we've moved and taken you from the only caregivers you'd ever known, the first friends you'd ever had, and the only house you'd ever called home. But through it all, we've been together, and it's been scary and exciting and emotional. Ultimately, we did it for you, but in the end it may have saved us all. Because afterall, we are all closer to family and that's the best gift of it all. We miss our fair city and friends and memories of the place we were before, but we've already made room for new memories and friends and cities to get to know.

And you, you've become a little girl. Since your last birthday, you are walking, running, climbing, and exploring! Talking and talking back. You have opinions! You are pretty fearless, although with some hesitation. You are learning and growing. You want. You need. You still cuddle. You make me smile every hour of every day just by your very existence.


Monday, August 18, 2014

1935 bungalow - merchandise loca[tion]s

To commemorate the day of our move from Charleston, here is a breakdown of each room in the house, showcasing the items in each room and where they were purchased from, as well as paint colors for those spaces. Again, this pertains to the 1935 bungalow that we leave behind in Charleston! 

Living Room

from World Market

BioGlass Top Table
from CaraGreen

Chrome & Glass Accent Table
from Amazon
birthday present from Brian

Window Treatments
from Target
Woolrich Grommet Window Panel
color: Tan & Brown Stripe

from Sherwin Williams
color: Silverplate

Table & Chairs
from Habitat Re-Store downtown
fabric from Hancock Fabrics

from IKEA
Boja Pendant

Window Treatments
Tonga Bamboo Roman Shade

from Sherwin Williams
color: Silverplate

Risom Side Chairs
from Carolina Business Interiors

from Daltile
Slate Collection: Natural Stone Tile
size: 16" x 16"
color: S762 "Brazil Black"

from IKEA
Ramsjo White

Countertop (& Sink)
from Stone Hands
New Caledonia Granite (brazilian)

Fixture in center of room
original to house

Fixture over sink

Undercounter Lighting
from Lowe's

Microwave from IKEA
Bosch Dishwasher from Craigslist

from IKEA

Window Treatments
made by our friend Mary Mac

from Sherwin Williams
color: Bee's Wax 
Master Bedroom 

from Carpet Wholesalers
Mohawk Embers Taupe

Ceiling Fan
from Amazon
Westinghouse Industrial 56-Inch
Brushed Nickel
Bedroom Suite
from Sanders Furniture Company
Kincaid Gathering House Collection

from Target
Target Home Channel Stitch Quilt
Color: White

from IKEA
4-drawer, oak veneer
Counter/Sink: NORRVIKEN

Vanity Faucet
from IKEA

Vanity Mirror
from IKEA

Bathroom Set
from IKEA
soap dispenser, mouthwash, cup
Guest Bedroom & Office

Ceiling Fan

from Home Depot
Hampton Bay Trieste 54"
Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan

Window Treatments
Guest bedroom from JCPenney
Fontayne Roman Shade
color: Campus Khaki

from Sherwin Williams
color: Window Pane
Original Bathroom

Tub Refinishing
from LowCountry Refinishing
from Sherwin Williams
color: Daffodil

Laundry Room


from Sherwin Williams
color: Lemon Verbana

Monday, July 7, 2014

Month 20

Happy 20-months!

This post will be a little different, since it's really catching up on where life stands at the moment, but there were also some fun events that we did over the course of the last month! So I'll show the events in pictures (with descriptions under each), and the text will be everyday life...
We gave Brian a rocking camping chair for Father's Day,
and part of his surprise was also this rocker for Matilda!
Some things around here are getting much easier, and others are getting harder!
Father's Day weekend, we went to Cherokee, NC
to see our favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan!
Morning Routine = Good
Wake up = Simple
Some mornings we have to wake you up, other mornings you are sitting in your crib babbling to the walls. And you always get excited when the door opens and we come in to greet you. You'll dance around the crib, hide your face in the mattress, or stretch your arms upward to reach for us.
The girls all spent the night with Onnie & Papa,
while we were in Cherokee!
Breakfast = easy
Your daddy usually already has breakfast ready for you before you get up (as well as coffee for mommy). Oatmeal or grits, and some sort of fruit are your staples.
Brian went on a 4-day bicycle trip with his dad
& friend Randy to Virginia!
Getting dressed = alright
You are usually distracted enough with a book or a toy, to get your pj's off and your clothes on. Shoes are pretty much your favorite thing ever.
Matilda & Emory hanging out in Santee
Pool time in Santee
Getting out the door = easy
It's getting you in the car that's a struggle. You'd much rather explore the yard, the neighbor's yard, or the sidewalk, than have anything to do with getting in your seat.
Enjoying the pontoon with Granddaddy!
Car ride to school/work = Fine
You enjoy the car for short periods of time, so the mornings are pretty good. Usually you'll look at books, admire the scenery, or tap your leg to the beat of the music.
Matilda wondering how Daddy's bicycle ride is going.
Daycare Drop-off = So-so
Getting in the building is no problem at all. Saying goodbye can go either way... usually there's a hand-off involved, as well as distraction tactics. 
Girl loves to eat, and thankfully fruit is high on her list of likes!
Evening Routine = Harder
I have to clarify... if we stick to our routine, things are pretty smooth, but if there's some other agenda we may be rocking the boat.
Papa & Nonna came to Charleston for a few days,
and we enjoyed going to see the Riverdogs play!
Which brings me to the hardest part of this stage in your life: eating out. 
You don't want to sit in your highchair, you are too distracted to eat your food, and you want to play with absolutely everything on the table. Oh how I miss the days of you laying in your carrier, staring at the ceiling! Of course those were also the days when you weren't sleeping through the night, you didn't run across the room and give us big bear hugs, and you couldn't communicate worth a flip, so we'll stop complaining about this stage and just eat in instead! 
A favorite pastime is hanging out at Hampton Park,
feeding the ducks!
Dinner = Struggle
Patience is not your strongest virtue (frankly, you get this trait pretty honestly). You pretty much scream the whole time I'm preparing your food, and then when you are done, you are crying for "MORE". You would eat 24/7 if we'd let you.
Matilda was ready to root on the US Men's National Team
 in the World Cup against Belgium. Too bad we lost.
Bath time = Relatively Easy
After our evening walk, you'll jump out of the stroller and run to the bathroom for bath time. You'll usually play, and I'll bathe you, and you'll beg for your toothbrush. It's pretty awesome. Really you just like the taste of the toothpaste, but I'll take it! 
To celebrate America for the 4th of July,
we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Santi's!
Bed time = Pretty Awesome (knock on wood)
We read a book, or two, or three, or four, and lately, I'll say "Are you sleepy?" (nods head yes),
"Do you want to go to bed?" (goes running into nursery, reaching up to crib). I lay you down, you curl up, and off to sleep you go! I am amazed every.single.time. Although I must say that enjoy the nights where you still want to be rocked as well!
July 4th, all dressed up with nowhere to go!
Night-night, then get ready to do it all again tomorrow!
Celebrating at her friend Elizabeth's 2nd birthday pool party,
Matilda's favorite part was the cake!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Month 19

Happy 19-months!

Seems it's harder and harder to write these posts,
since I lose track of when you started doing all the amazing things you do.
I'll start with this morning...
as we were driving in to work/daycare,
you were in your seat in the backseat, 
tapping your hand on your leg to the beat of the music!
Was this a first? No. 
But it was one more reminder of you growing up and into a little person.
A person who knows what she likes & doesn't like, 
and what music she digs and doesn't dig.
It’s been a busy month around Charleston, with Spoleto & Piccolo Spoleto. 
Both festivals wrapped up this weekend after 17 days and nights 
of opera, theater, dance, music, comedy, and visual arts! 
One of the coolest things about this Spoleto season 
was that Shepard Fairey returned home, 
and spread graffiti all over town to raise hype 
for his current exhibition at the Halsey 
with Jasper Johns, another notable South Carolina artist. 
We haven’t been to the gallery yet, 
but we have seen several of his pieces around town.

Other Spoleto/Piccolo events that we were able to attend
included the Sunset Serenade with the 
Charleston Symphony Orchestra on the Customs House stairs.
We also went to a couple of Chamber Music events at the Dock Street Theater,
as well as Lucinda Williams at the TD Arena. 
We wrapped up the festival at the Piccolo Finale. 
Otherwise, we spent time at various parks around town...
Went to the lake for a weekend...
Took in a Riverdogs Baseball game...
And headed out to the beach to catch a sand-sculpting competition...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Month 18

Happy 18-months!
Once again, I'm a little late on posting,
but I wanted to get your 18-month well-check done before writing,
so that I could share all your stats!

So without further ado,
the appointment went well.
You are weighing in at 25.5 lbs (70%),
you are 33-3/4" tall (90%),
and your head circumference is 19" (80%).
Proportionate and perfect!
Although you aren't talking a whole lot, you are jabbering more than usual!
You are also in a phase where you'll repeat what we say, which is so cool,
since we get to hear you say all sorts of words!
Other than that, your typical words include:
mama, dada, more, milk, bird, kitty, nose, thank you, all done, and moon.
If we say where are your/my... eyes, ears, mouth, hair, nose, tummy, feet, toes,
you'll point to them.

You are running all over the place lately,
and you love to be outside, but like last summer, you are a bug-magnet.
You also love to kick or throw a ball,
and dancing is also a favorite pastime!
We have our summer routine back in place,
so when we get home from work/daycare, it's time for your dinner.
And afterwards it's still light out, so we can go for a long walk
around the neighborhood.
Once we're back home, it's bath time.
You'll typically play for a little longer, then we read.
Your current favorites are
Fred & Ted Like to Fly, a gift from the Chapmans,
and Jesus Loves Me, an Easter present from Lynn & Dewey.
There are lots in the rotation, but those are two newest loves!

Your favorite toy these days is the tractor push toy you got for Easter,
as well as the Infantino Jumbo Shape Sorter... you'll spin it,
and put the shapes in the right place, then dump it out and start again!

A few things that we did this past month included,
Laura & Baker's wedding
a brief visit from the Romero-Alston family

Monday, April 7, 2014

Month 17 (post-dated 2 weeks late!)

Happy 17-months!

So, while you aren't saying a whole lot of words yet,
here's something kinda cool... you know sign language!
Well, you know one word, which happens to be 
one of the only words you actually know how to verbalize as well. 
MORE. Yes, you say and sign "more" at the same time. 
For emphasis, I guess! 

Although I swear you also say 'thank you'. 
But it sounds more like 'ainh ooh'. 
Regardless, I always say 'your welcome'... just in case! 

You'll also shake your head 'yes' or 'no' depending on your answer for things, 
which is also a recent development. And of course, there's lots of pointing. 

And you love giving hugs! 
You'll come running across the room and throw your arms around my leg, 
and then you'll run to daddy, and throw your arms around his leg, 
and back and forth, so sweet! 

 You are also wild.
I say this because it seems like it's only been the past week,
that you've been crazy wild.
If you are doing something wrong
(like hanging on a delicate table that holds a lamp & photos)
and I say "no!", you'll look at me and laugh.

And this past weekend (which happened to be my birthday),
you managed to fall several times head first onto the floor,
leaving you with a big fat goose egg on your forehead.
You also scared me to death by falling on the concrete driveway,
while trying to give our family good-bye hugs.
You busted your lip open on that one,
and I wasn't sure you'd ever stop bleeding.
Poor girl, you looked like you had been in quite the fight.

But you've survived, a little bruised, but happy!

Other things that happened this month...
Daddy and I went to see Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit 
at the Charleston Music Hall.

We went to the first Charleston Battery game of the season!

We auditioned for the Family Feud while they were in Charleston. 
We won't know if we made it for a few more weeks now. 

As for my birthday, we traveled up to Tryon, NC 
on Saturday night for my bday dinner at CARO-Mi!
So fun!

And mom made a delicious carrot cake!