Tag Archives: Charleston


This morning I walked the single block from my office to Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
Sure, I had seen the photos and videos all over the news, and they broke my heart, but to actually see “Mother Emanuel” in person brought on an entirely different wave of emotions… numbness to anger to pure grief.
Seeing this holy place guarded by yellow police tape and surrounded by weeping men and women, holding each other up for support, I questioned my faith in humanity.  How could anyone possibly cross that unspoken boundary and carry his hate into a holy place of God?  I just can’t wrap my brain around it.
Emanuel A.M.E. Church

Emanuel A.M.E. Church

As I’m writing this, the coward who committed this disgusting act has confessed to trying to start a race war.  What he didn’t anticipate, though, was my City’s resiliency and its citizens’ conscious decisions to love one another, even in the midst of so much hate.  Every beautiful soul in this City has come together in unity, erasing all signs of race and religious differences.  White hands held brown hands, and brown arms were interlocked with white arms.  Our tears ran together and showed no color.  Good was overpowering evil.
The scene I observed this morning reflected this exact sentiment:  Each and every beautiful flower placed there in memoriam overshadowed the harsh sidewalk on which the very monster walked to carry out his crime.  The delicacy of the nine white ribbons, which each represented a beautiful, innocent victim, overshadowed the crass, yellow crime scene tape.  And most powerful of all – the cross, in all its glory and power, reminded us all of Jesus’ love for every one of us, regardless of color or creed.

Ironically, in the midst of our City’s mourning, the victims’ families have really shown the greatest example of Jesus’ love and forgiveness.  This cannot go unnoticed, for it in itself, is exactly what the coward did not anticipate.  He picked the wrong City, for every one of these affected sons, daughters, friends, and spouses is spiting the very monster who committed this act, which is the most beautiful message that LOVE REIGNS.
Here, in our Holy City, there will be no race war.  There will be no segregation.  There will be no hatred.  There will be no revenge.  In our City, there will only be unity, support, faith, healing, and LOVE.  And, quite frankly, I hope it’s this fact that eats at the coward the most.
We are all praying for the families of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, and Myra Thompson.
May God bless you all and shower you in His infinite peace and understanding.
We will pray with you.  We will weep and mourn with you.  But most of all, we will remember with you.
The Holy City

The Holy City

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”  ~1 Corinthians 13:13

I am really looking forward as I get older and older, to being less and less nice. ~Annette Bening

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Today’s Be Happy Challenge:

– Something You Are Looking Forward To. –

I remember years ago when the biggest thing I was looking forward to was the day that my kids could reach and pour the milk by themselves so they wouldn’t have to wake me up at zero dark thirty to make them breakfast.  Finally that day came, and it was every bit as glorious as I had hoped!

Now, as my kids are nearly high school age, I’m looking forward to the day they move out and I can work on retirement, move to St. Croix, and become an ornery old woman, like Arden has already become.  That day may not come as easily as the kids reaching the milk, however.

So, more realistically and immediately, I’m looking forward to this weekend!  The glorious days of spring have finally arrived in Charleston after a cold, uncharacteristically long winter.  Okay, so maybe not spring… Here we tend to jump straight from winter to summer, and we really only have two seasons: Stinkin’ hot and stinkin’ cold.  Only a few weeks ago, I still needed a blanket on my lap at baseball practice, and now it’s about 97 degrees outside.

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

Beautiful [and hot] days call for awesome weekends and free time!  And since I can’t just hop on a plane and take a vacation to my favorite place in the whole world, I’ll have to make due with our beautiful city.

We’re going to spend this beautiful Friday afternoon enjoying some reggae at Party at Point with great friends.

Then, tomorrow, we’re going to float on the Edisto River.  We’ll have lots of beer and lots of friends in tow, and we’re just going to enjoy a nice lazy day – finally!  After the week of hell I’ve had at work, I’m really looking forward to some relaxation.  And did I mention beer?  I can’t wait for a nice cold beer.  🙂  We bought a really cool, ginormous float, and even though the kids can fit in it with us, we got them each their own.  If we’re really going to enjoy the weekend, the kids are going to have to annoy the crap out of each other and not us, right?!

Source: Kmart

Source: Kmart

On Sunday, we’ll venture to Sullivans Island.  The kids can play in the waves while I dig my toes in the warm sand and even out these tan lines.  Sounds heavenly, does it?  Since I live at the beach, I have to remind myself often not to take advantage of it.  Some people aren’t as fortunate as we are, and they don’t get the luxury of basking in the beautiful sunshine on a gorgeous beach whenever they want.

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

Photo by Alicia Benton Photography

So, as I enjoy every second of my weekend (that I’m so looking forward to right now), I will also be thankful:

Thankful for my health and my family’s health…

Thankful for our brave American soldiers who are fighting for our freedom this very second so that we can enjoy our weekends without a care in the world…

Thankful to live in the best City in the world…

Thankful for a man who has been more of a dad to my boys than their own father ever was – Happy Father’s Day…

Thankful for a job that I love and get weekends off from…

Thankful that I can hear my favorite reggae music tonight…

Thankful that I can taste delicious, ice cold beer on these hot days…

Thankful for the beautiful sunshine…

Thankful for my amazing blogger friends with whom I can share these great experiences…

Thankful for our beautiful children who find some way to bring laughter to my life every day…

What are you looking forward to?

 Source: Head to Toe Women's Expo

Source: Head to Toe Women’s Expo


“Home is the nicest word there is.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Today’s Be Happy Challenge:

– Home. –

Ahh, home.  Home sweet home.  Home is where the heart is.  Home, home on the range.  Oh wait – that one doesn’t really fit, does it?  I’m getting a little carried away.

I’ve lived in lots of “homes” in my 31 long years of life so far, but I’ve got to say that the place I consider my true home isn’t any of the actual houses.  My home is Charleston.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

For those of you poor souls who don’t know much about Charleston, I’ll give you the skinny:

Charleston, or “The Holy City,” is the oldest city in South Carolina.  It lies just south of the middle of the state’s coastline, on the Charleston Harbor.  It’s been named America’s most friendly, most polite, and most hospitable City by a number of magazines over the years.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

The City is known for its history, culture, beaches, architecture, and food.  Yum… food!!!  We have some of the country’s best restaurants and chefs here.  A few of my favorites are Peninsula Grill, Slightly North of Broad (or SNOB), and Oak Steakhouse.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

We also have great shopping, if that’s your cup of tea.  King Street, in downtown Charleston, has shops and stores ranging from antiques to high fashion, and the City Market, also downtown, has a wide-range of stores and open-air shops and galleries.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

Like sports?  We have quite a few local teams here.  For example, our Charleston RiverDogs are our Minor League Baseball team, an affiliate of the Yankees, and our Charleston Battery is our professional soccer team.  We also have hockey and rugby, and we’re home to the Family Circle Cup.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

We have no shortage of colleges in the area, either.  We’ve got the College of Charleston, The Citadel, Trident Technical College, and my alma mater, Charleston Southern University.  Go Bucs!

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

My favorite thing about Charleston (besides of food, of course), though, is the beaches!  We have beautiful beaches here, and I can’t imagine ever calling somewhere home that isn’t near the beach!  My favorites are Sullivans Island and the Isle of Palms, although there are plenty more to choose from, and you can usually find me at one of them every weekend during the summer.  There’s also great fishing and boating – two more of my favorite things!

A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day

Overall, Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.  And we have amazing culture, food, art, history, beaches, fishing, boating, shopping, and architecture.  If you’ve never been, you should come visit!  I’m proud to call it home.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

“Yeah, well. I don’t try to be awesome. It just comes natural.” ~Rick Riordan

Let me start off by saying that I hate love ArdenDamn Thank you, Arden.  Thank you so much for giving me the ABC Award!  According to my stats page, I don’t deserve this award, which leads me to believe that you really just want to watch me shifting and writhing uncomfortably in my chair all day as I try to respond to my nomination.  Yep.  That sounds about right.

Here are the rules to this award:

1. Add the ABC Award to your new post.

ABC Award

2. A-B-C about yourself using one word or phrase.  (No, you cannot leave out ‘Q’ or ‘X’)

3. Nominate however many blogs you’d like to receive this award.

4. Let the recipients you’ve chosen know via a link in their comments section of their blogs.

And now, let my misery begin…

Anal.  [I think you’ve already figured this out about me.]

B-e-a-utiful.  [Not really, but I love saying that.]

Candid.  [Arden knows this firsthand.]

Dookie fresh.



Ghostly.  [I need Charleston to feel like Charleston now, please.  It’s May.  I need a tan.]

Honest.  [Brutally so.]

Impatient.  [And Intimidating.]

Jealous.  [Of everyone who has more than 66 followers.  Pathetic.]

Knee-deep.  [In crap I don’t want to deal with today.]


Mom.  [I don’t even know my real name anymore.]

Nauseous.  [I have the stomach flu at the moment.  Don’t worry, Arden… I won’t discuss poop.]

Overweightphobic.  [Also known as cacomorphobic.]

Political.  [Don’t get me started.]

Quite certain I’m capable of murder.

Realistic.  [Some like to call is pessimistic.  I would beg to differ.]

Sarcastic.  [Literally all the time.]

Traffic snob.  [If it’s more than 15 minutes away, I’m not going.]


Vexed.  [Anyone who reads my blog knows that this is pretty often.]

Wanting.  [I need want a vacation and a million dollars.]

X-wife.  [I wear that badge proudly.]

Yeller.  [I can admit it.  Maybe no one heard me the first time.  Maybe.]

Zealous.  [About several issues.  Again, don’t get me started…]

And no, without further adieu, my nominees for the ABC Award are:

Marriage, Motherhood and Madness.  Mia is hilarious, and she blogs for the same reason I do: to get some time to herself!  (She’s also the real Slim Shady, by the way.)

Ben’s Bitter Blog.  While he, too, is hilarious (and tall), he’s also jealous that Arden nominated me for the award.  Stop being bitter, Ben.  Now it’s your turn.

Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as s/he finishes the book.” ~ Roald Dahl, WD

Jeanne Grier

A Modern Day Mom

The Meat & Potatoes of Life

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