Well, friends, the year has begun! We have only been back a week and it feels like it’s been a whole month! I always forget how “this kind of tired” feels.

Year 3 is already starting to look like a successful year of growing our choral program! My top choirs started singing on Day 1, and I didn’t have to review how to shape vowels, reading solfege, or anything that I have had to review the last two years. How awesome to start sounding pretty good in the first rehearsal!? It’s like the twilight zone…though, I’ve never actually seen that movie so I feel like a liar when I use that phrase.

Teachers and students always ask upon returning, “So how was your summer?” because that’s the one thing we all experienced since we last saw each other, and we commiserate when it’s over. My answer to this question this year is, “The best one yet!!!”

Seriously, it really was! It was the perfect balance of work, travel, creativity, and relaxation that I desired. As I mentioned in my previous post, Kyle and I taught an a cappella group at a program in Charleston County for gifted and talented students in the arts. While this took up the majority of our days, it was a fun change from our normal work scene, and I learned a lot too! What I didn’t tell you in that post, is what we were doing in the evenings and sometimes the weekends…house hunting.

Yes. We moved this summer. Because that’s what I’ve been doing every summer since I graduated from college, and everyone loves a good habit. (Sarcasm…) We had been teaching private lessons in our previous home, that made it impossible for the one not teaching to find quiet, or do anything but sit in the bedroom for that matter. We decided if we could find more space that we could afford, it would be time to move. After much searching and the normal real estate drama, we landed the coolest house ever. I love it, and I have loved setting it up, decorating, and channeling my inner Joanna Gaines.


  
  
We also celebrated our first anniversary! We kept it pretty low-key and went to my family’s beach house for a weekend of relaxing and developing an addiction to Monopoly. Oh, and eating wedding cake. Whoever thought of freezing wedding cake for a year was a genius. However, what was not genius was eating such a large slice for breakfast. Quite a bit of sugar…


To celebrate 1 year/almost 1 year for our friends Kerri and Omar, we all booked a Carnival Cruise leaving out of Charleston going to the Bahamas for 5 days. I had my reservations about cruising, since I am no stranger to barfing on boats. I bought several brands of motion sickness remedies, and the motion sickness patch. The cruise was actually a lot of fun, and I only felt slightly dizzy on one of our days at sea. The food was great, the entertainment was OK, the water park at Atlantis was terrifying but I enjoyed the lazy river, and the company was excellent. The four of us always have a great time. However, I am here to preach to you to NEVER USE THE MOTION SICKNESS PATCH. I would have rather gotten sick on the boat than experience the withdrawal symptoms for three days after getting home. My eyes were dilated, and I felt dizzy, almost like I was still on the boat. For three days. Don’t use it.


  
  

Our last trip of the summer was sort of last minute, but it was probably the highlight of the entire summer. My parents were planning on going to Nashville for a long weekend, and I have always wanted to go as I assumed all kinds of my people live there. We stayed in an area of downtown called The Gulch, and there were lots of fabulous restaurants and bars right beneath the loft we were staying in. One in particular: Biscuit Love, the food truck that planted it’s roots in Nashville and opened a restaurant. We went there twice. Very tasty. We did the usual touristy things, like the Country Music Hall of Fame, touring Studio B, etc.


  
  
  
 The best was the Bluebird Cafe. We were lucky enough to be there on a Monday night when they do their open mic night, and got there early enough to get in. To be completely honest, the acts were mediocre at best. Their songwriting was great, but their musicianship skills were fairly average, and I was getting pretty bored as time went on. Then these two old guys get up there and claim they are going to jam for a few songs, so at this point I was ready to go. They were like, “Hold on, we’re waiting for our lead singer to come up,” and this woman appears from the back, literally brushing my shoulder, gets on stage and starts talking into the microphone, “Hi guys. I’m going to play a few songs for you tonight. My name is Sheryl.” UM. IT WAS SHERYL CROW. Only one of my favorite artists of all time. In the same place as me. It was amazing. The trip really couldn’t get any better at that point.


  
That whole trip was pretty inspiring, as I saw how much music really is a part of their whole community. I ended up joining the Nashville Songwriters Association International, which allows you to get your songs evaluated by professional songwriters. So far, I have received feedback on one and just submitted another. The first one was very eye-opening, as they pointed out items that would never have crossed my mind. I’m hoping to keep songwriting as a part of my “school year life,” and maybe reintroduce myself to performing when I can. As I told my husband when I was asking him if I should join NSAI, I feel like I can’t call myself a musician if I’m not writing songs.

 

So that was summer. I will surely miss it, but I am excited to begin another year and see how Hanahan Chorus can grow!