Nate Smith concert

Last week we went to Rotterdam to see Nate Smith + Kinfolk at the Bird. Nate Smith is one of my favorite drummers, and I have been looking forward to the concert for over 6 months. It did not disappoint. The concert was awesome! I have had a bunch of the tunes going through my head ever since.

They opened with Altitude. He did a drum solo into Rambo, into I Burn For You, and then back to Rambo. 

For the encore, Nate did another drum solo, of the sort I have seen from other concerts, where he gets the audience to clap along, and then plays around with all sorts of different rhythms. Then John Cowherd did an amazing organ intro into Fly, and they ended the concert in a quiet and peaceful setting. 
My only complaint is that they didn’t play Skip Step. Maybe he has gotten tired of playing that one. Also, it was hot in the venue, which Nate also complained about. I was a little bit worried that Clare and Alice wouldn’t enjoy the frenzied jazz music, but even they seemed to enjoy it, particularly Amma Whatt’s vocals, which were amazing. One of the things I love about Nate Smith’s music is the variety – he takes you through all the emotions, ranging from whisper to roar and back multiple times.

Several colleagues from Automattic joined us for dinner and the concert, which was also really nice. On top of all of that, we really enjoyed Rotterdam. I’ll post some more pictures from our trip soon.

Spencer’s birthday weekend part 1: a bass guitar


Spencer has been asking for a bass guitar for probably half of his life at this point or more. He might have started asking for one at 5 or 6. We said, “Wow, that’s a big instrument for a little guy.” We always told him that maybe when he was older and had some musical foundations, then maybe. He took piano lessons for a bit in Kindergarten, then sax for a bit, played trombone in school band (5 & 6th grade), and switched back to sax at school this year.

Spencer turns 13 on Monday, and we are celebrating this weekend, even though Germans usually consider it bad luck to celebrate things (like birthdays) early. Today, when he got home from school, we asked him to practice his instrument. He went in his room, walked right past the bass Rob had set up to get his sax. We had to ask him to come back and look again for him to even see it. But once he did see it, he was so surprised and excited. We got it out and plugged it in and tuned it. Rob showed him some musician stuff that he knows. Spencer recognized right away that he can use his trombone music for the bass and went and got some music to start picking out. So making him get some musical training did not hurt.

As we enter the teen years, we will all need a lot of patience, but we are so proud of the young man he is becoming. I like having him around and am looking forward to a home filled with even more music.

Frohes neues Jahr 2022!

To welcome 2022, we stayed up until midnight and watched fireworks from the balcony, slept in, had breakfast together, and enjoyed the unseasonably nice weather in a local park. Then the parents went on a bike ride and the kids went home to plug back into their screens. Still, a relaxing and warm welcome tothetzt new year. May we greet what lies ahead refreshed and together.

Garden Party

Our friends had a party in their Garden and we used it as an excuse to wear our Oktoberfest outfits. So fun to dress up as a family!

Clare‘s birthday

We celebrated in Thomas and Uli‘s garden. They got Indian take out that was so good. Then we had carrot cake. It was a good start to 43.

Late May

This May has been cold and wet, but there have also been some rainbows. When the clouds clear, we ride to some local parks. Rob and the kids play Ping Pong or basketball and I play Pokémon Go.

Thomas and Uli Shared some rhubarb from their garden. Among other things, I made a tasty rhubarb infused gin and tonic.

Meg got a starter for a sourdough „friendship cake“ and cared for it all week before baking it and sharing new starts with other friends. We flavored ours with a cinnamon bun ribbon swirled in and cinnamon Creme cheese frosting with a pecan smiley face. It was very tasty and a fun rainy day project.

It feels like summer is finally here

After almost a month of grey clouds and rain, the sun is shining and it is warm. We are so ready!

Meg helped me get a COVID Schnelltest so we could go shopping at Bauhaus with Uli to repair their tomato house at their garden. They are watching my plants during my US visit, including growing a tomato I started. It’s good to have friends. Thomas made us a delicious lunch while we worked.

Meg also has a friend spending the night today. We had a sushi feast on the balcony and watched a movie. Spencer is at another friend‘s house.

I also included a picture of Spencer‘s soccer practice. It’s far away because we are not yet supposed to go in the arena yet. But I walked by and got a picture because we don’t want to miss too much.

On my walk, I also found some roses that remind me of my childhood. It turns out that many of the special plants my mom‘s family liked are also popular in Germany. Mom says it is a Florabunda and that she started it from a start from her Aunt Margie. Fun to see it again here.