I can feel it coming…

I can smell it in the air… spring must be right around the corner! After an inexplicably cold winter (don’t laugh, my northern friends!!), the cherry blossoms are blooming, doves are making nests, and I am SO excited.

These little guys are nesting outside our office window. Of course you’ll notice that the photo is so much better than my usual photos since it was taken by Pat Stuckart (our IT guy at my office) with his amazing talent (and amazing camera)!

Colin is so excited about playing golf with Chad again! They haven’t been out on the course together in a while. I have a feeling that they’ll be out there this week, now that the weather is so nice. It’s hard to keep a six-year old engaged for a round of golf but Colin really enjoys the fresh air and time with Dad.

Spring “things” are happening all around. The Charleston Food and Wine Festival was last weekend and all around Daniel Island there is evidence that the Family Circle Cup is close at hand. I don’t know a whole lot about tennis but I love the excitement that the tournament brings to our neighborhood each year.

Yesterday I got to have lunch here on DI with a dear friend at Laura Albert’s Tasteful Options. We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was a welcome break during a busy day!

And, of course Miles got to enjoy the nice weather too!! Spring, I’m so thankful that you’re here 🙂

A Weekend with Friends

What an awesome weekend! Our dear friends came to visit us and we had a ball. We try to get together every August and spend a weekend together. Since we just had Miles and couldn’t be far from him this soon, our friends were gracious enough to vacation in Charleston this year. We really had a wonderful time. Some highlights:

We dined at the Chef’s Table at the Daniel Island Club and enjoyed an impromptu menu prepared by Chef Tyler. It was fantastic!

August 2009 iPhone 001

August 2009 iPhone 003


We spent lots of time at the club pool. Chad and I are always at the family pool and realized that we have NEVER been to the pool without our boys!! It was unbelievable to spend time at the quiet, laid back  adult pool 🙂



We also enjoyed a carriage ride downtown from the Palmetto Carriage Company. We were lucky to be able to tour through the residential neighborhoods and see some gorgeous historic houses. If you ever take a carriage tour, you shoudl request our guide — his name is Reid. Our tour was fabulous!



Dinner downtown at Hank’s was as good as it gets! I got the curried shrimp house special. It was fantastic! Chad got seared scallops over grits which were awesome too. Dessert was Banana Cream Pie.





Our friends loved the burgers at Poe’s tavern on Sullivan’s Island. We did too!



USS Truxton — what was I thinking?

Last week, my parents told me about an article in the Post and Courier about the USS Truxton coming to Charleston to be commissioned. This ship is a brand new Navy Destroyer so they thought that Colin and Davis might like to go and see it. The paper mentioned 30 minute tours during the two days that the ship would be at port. So (of course) I decided to take the boys. Since I tend to ignore the fact that I’m nine months pregnant, I thought nothing of taking them by myself.


So… we get there and there is no parking. The parking attendant sends me packing and tells me that I can park five blocks away at a neighboring parking garage. He also mentions that there may be a wait of up to TWO HOURS. At this point, there’s no turning back. I have two very excited children who have been promised a tour of a real life Navy warship. I diplomatically point out that I’m nine months pregnant and have a four and five year old with me. Is there anything we can work out? I was actually surprised when he softened his military demeanor and let me park in the restricted area, right near the entrance to the dock!


We then got into a VERY long line. After about 45 minutes, Davis decided that he had to go to the bathroom. I waited as long as I could but the line wasn’t moving fast enough. I finally asked one of the officers to direct us to a bathroom. They told us that the building was locked up and that we’d have to walk over to Fleet Landing (a restaurant a couple of blocks away). Obviously this was not going to happen! I then asked how they would feel if I took Davis to the end of a dock (out of sight of everyone in line) and let him “go” into the harbor. This didn’t go over well either (which I didn’t understand! I mean these are Navy men and women who live on ships and submarines— are you telling me that they would be offended by a four year old “going tinkle” into the harbor??).  One of the port police took pity on us and let us into the building to use the bathroom. This turned out to be a blessing because he then let us go straight to the ship and avoid the rest of the line. Thanks Davis!!


The ship was amazing. The boys couldn’t get over the fact that they were on a real warship. We got to see the place where helicopters land and are pulled under deck, the weapons stations, the launching area for surface to air missiles, the command center and much more.


Needless to say, the ship had many levels. I didn’t think much of this as we were climbing UP the very steep ship-stairs. This became a problem when it was time to come DOWN. This process would have been a dilemma even had I NOT been very pregnant. Colin was very brave and made his way down backwards, like he was climbing down a ladder. Davis wouldn’t have ANY of it. So… on the first set, I said a quick (but fervent) prayer and carried him down. This was VERY precarious. Thankfully a group of ladies and a fellow who I knew from the Chamber saw me do this and came to our rescue as we descended the next four sets of steps. Thank the Lord for sending them our way.


The boys had a very different experience. They loved every minute and decided that they both want to be in the Navy when they grow up. They had millions of questions which the kind crew answered patiently. It was good for them to connect with these wonderful men and women who serve our country. It was a good way to introduce the topic of our freedom in the United States and those who protect that privilege. We now pray for the Truxton and her crew often!


Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:49 am  Comments (2)  
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Weekend Fun!

What a great weekend!

My brother in law and his family are in town from Boston this week and we’re really enjoying spending time with Travis, Amy, and “the cousins” (Lilli and Patton). We had an awesome weekend! The boys are loving having little playmates in the house and it’s so nice to catch up with Trav and Amy. We rarely get to see their family anymore. They used to live right near us in Charleston but Travis did his residency in Asheville, NC and they moved to Boston last year so that Travis could get his Masters in Public Health at Harvard. They plan to head to Uganda in January where they will serve as missionaries!! They visited Uganda a couple of months ago and we sat spellbound while they shared their stories and showed us their photos.

We visited a friend’s church on the peninsula on Sunday and then spent the afternoon having a picnic at White Point Gardens on the Battery. They day was absolutely gorgeous! The four children got to wrestle with the Dads, run around, climb on the cannons, play with puppies, and chase bubbles. They invented water games and played hide and seek among the huge oak trees.


Days like these remind me of why I love living in Charleston! 🙂

Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Charleston and signs…

Today was a great day! It was a little blustery but the sky was blue and the island is showing signs that spring is on the way! I noticed that the tulip trees have buds on them and that several plants in my garden are showing signs of “waking up”.

I had a planning commission meeting this evening. It seems my meetings are getting shorter and shorter since new development has slowed down significantly in Charleston. However, it’s always fun to go downtown during the hustle-bustle of the day. I love seeing the business crowd walking down cobblestone streets and into buildings that are centuries old! Chad and I go downtown often but it’s usually in the evenings for dinner or to wander around and take in the sights on the weekends.

One of the issues that came up at my planning commission meeting was proposed ordinance change regarding electronic signage in an area around the intersection of an interstate and a major state highway. The issue on the table was that places offering accomodations be allowed to utilize electronic signs in this area. I was bothered by this proposal since part of the charm of the City of Charleston is the fact that we do not allow this type of advertising. I was quite surprised to see this come before our board since Charleston has so many regulations to control signage, streetscape, usage, landscaping, development, and even street widths in order to preserve the integrity of our historic (and charming) city. It takes a lot of work to keep Charleston unique and not like the hundreds of cities that blend together along major arteries. Although this change only affected a small area, I was concerned that it opened the door to more of the same. I’m happy to say that the majority of the commissioners felt the same and that the motion did not pass.

This small incident caused me to really appreciate the city in which I live. As I drove home across the majestic Ravenel Bridge and saw the lights of the city and the soaring church steeples in my rear view mirror, I realized that all of this has not been preserved by accident. Generations of residents have worked hard to maintain the integrity of our city. Somehow Charleston has evolved into the perfect place to live. We get to experience the history and wonder of the area while enjoying the amenities and cultural events of a major metropolitan location. What once was a “closed” city run by those who had lived here for generations is now home to people from all over the country and all walks of life. It truly is the best of both worlds!

Published in: on February 19, 2009 at 2:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beautiful Photo

My friend and co-worker, Pat Stuckart, took this photo the other day. Where else can you see this in February?? One day I’ll learn to take photos like Pat…


Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Real Estate, etc.

Today is a beautiful day! The sun is shining and everything has that golden hue which reminds me of spring. The temperature is supposed to get up to 72 degrees today and I can’t wait to spend some time outside.

The real estate market here on Daniel Island seems to be picking up! Prices are still excellent and interest rates are low. It looks like people are becoming motivated by this combination. I’ve had more showings and appointments lately than I’ve had in a long time. Like everyone else, I’m praying that the economy improves and that the real estate market reaches a reasonable, sustaining level in the near future. Upon reflection, I hope that the craziness that overtook all of us in 2005 never takes hold again. I recently heard someone refer to the downturn that we are currently experiencing as the “hangover” that occurred after the unsustainable buying/lending frenzy. I think that’s a vivid description: it’s a hangover that has lasted for four (or more years) and has had far-reaching effects.

That said, there are still plenty of great deals out there. Resale and new homes are priced competitively and there are even some “short-sales” for those buyers who have time (and patience) on their side. Short sales are sales in which the bank allows a Seller to sell a home for less money than is owed to the bank. Most Buyers seem to think that short sales and foreclosures are the best “deals” on the market. This is not always the case. 

There are many listings that are priced just as attractively as the options I mentioned above. Sometimes this occurs because the Sellers purchased a property at an excellent price and can therefore sell at under market value. There are also Sellers who have the capability to cover a shortfall from their own funds instead of relying on the bank. Make sure you look all options if you’re in the market to buy something! I’ve had many Buyers tell me that they only want to look at short sales. If I didn’t take the time to educate them on the other possibilities, they would miss out on some of the other fabulous opportunities in real estate!

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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