Stevie Wonder part trois!

This weekend, I celebrated my 28th birthday.

The weekend was absolutely bananas though, and it’s not entirely my fault.

So months ago, I got an email from Loretta Bates’ assistant to see if we’d be willing to schedule a training on the weekend of November 14th.  Of course, right?  We have a great relationship, and I’d love to have Loretta at our facility for the Zumba B1 Training.

So then, I’d scheduled my Body Pump training for the weekend FOLLOWING.  (I did it again because I really haven’t used the skills from my first training).

Also, I got word that Stevie Wonder was going to be in Charlotte on the 14th. No worries, I can make this all work.

Well, long long story short, the Body Pump training was inexplicably moved back to the weekend of the 14th.  So on Saturday morning, I woke up early, set our folks up for the Zumba training, ran OVER to State to take the Body Pump training, got OUT of the training, and drove down to Charlotte to see Stevie wonder with my dad.

I was exhausted, but the concert was so worth it.  It started off a little – and I don’t want to say annoying because that’s not the right word – but it was a little nerve-wracking.  Because of the horrible tragedies in Paris on Friday night, security was really nuts, and we ended up standing in a HUGE crowd for a while before the concert started.  I actually tweeted the venue, and begged them not to start the show, and they didn’t.  I think that’s more on Stevie though.  [Before you start to think I’m really narcissistic, the reason why the security was nerve-wracking was because we were standing in a really antsy, quasi-angry crowd, and I was SO afraid of either being trampled, or something else horrible happening.  But perhaps that’s just my anxious mind speaking.]

But the show did not at all disappoint.  I think my favorite part was when…well dang.  I don’t think I can pick a favorite.  But I loved the feeling that I was completely lost in the music.  I could have stayed there all night, and not noticed.  But instead, I had to wake up around 4am, and head back to Raleigh to finish my Pump Cert.


I think it was the love of Jesus that got me through Sunday. I rocked my tracks, passed the cert, and got one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten in life.

I was told that I had a magnetic personality. Ugh. That makes me freaking tear up. I don’t know why. But it’s nice to hear nice things about yourself.

After I got home (and this is the actual day of my birthday), I poured a glass of wine, noshed on some chips and salsa, and laid down on the couch. Austin came in, sweetie pie that he is, and dropped off some more wine, some kombucha, and a really sweet card for me. But the sweet thing was that he let me SLEEP off the weekend, and sort of tiptoed around the house.

Later, he and my brother took me out to froyo, and later, dinner at a Coquette, a french place here.


I’m not huge on birthdays, but it was so good, and it felt good, throughout the weekend, to be acknowledged. I think it’s really easy to sort of get down on yourself. My house is messy, I can’t get everything I want to get done done in a day, my clothes are rumpled – but it’s so so nice to remember that you’re enough.

You might not have seen Stevie Wonder for the 3rd or 4th time, but what did you do this weekend?

Stevie Wonder – 11/22/14

When I was in like, fourth grade, I used to have this dream of inviting Stevie Wonder to speak to my class, and surprising my dad with a meet-and-greet with Stevie Wonder.

Sadly, that never happened, but this past weekend, I did the best that I could.

Stevie Wonder announced a tour in early September, which immediately, I knew that I wanted to go to.  But unfortunately, scalpers made the process of buying tickets extremely difficult, and by mid-October, the price of tickets had climbed to over $700 in some cases.  But after reading a few reviews of the show, I knew I had to go, and if I didn’t go, I’d regret it.

For about a month, I researched.  I entered radio contests, contact virtual strangers, and trolled the internet for a non-scammy, fair ticket price, and finally found one in a lawyer in Atlanta, who I purchased the tickets from for $300.  I gave my dad the news, and Saturday morning, we were cruising down to Atlanta to see the man that gave me my name (My Cherie Amor = Cheri Armour).

There are no words for the concert.  But there are pictures!

Stevie Wonder 1Stevie Wonder 2Stevie Wonder 3
Stevie Wonder 4Stevie Wonder 5Stevie Wonder 7

Concert Highlights

  • No one opened for Stevie Wonder, so literally, when it was go time, Stevie (who I’m apparently on a first-name basis with) walked out, introduced his two kids and India.Arie, and started the show.
  • Speaking of, India.Arie, who I’ve seen a few times, performed a few songs with him.  She is great, and her voice is as velvety as it’s ever been.
  • During Pastime Paradise, If It’s Magic, and Village Ghetto Land, Stevie Wonder straight-up stood up, looked straight into the audience, and just sang the songs.  Kind of a novel concept in the time of an artist flying around on a harness and relying heavily on dancers and a light show, but this was awesome.
  • He also made a few political statements.  Stevie Wonder doesn’t hate guns on their own, but feels we have a gun problem in this country and that something needs to be done so that folks can’t buy guns off Craiglist with the serial number scratched off.  That IS a felony by the way, but the point is, that guns are getting into the wrongs hands, and it needs to be stopped.  The execution is/will be difficult, but it absolutely has to be done. [Rant ovah]
  • Stevie Wonder evidently has an alter ego called “DJ Tick Tick Boom” who likes to play hits other than what’s on Songs in the Key of Life.  He sampled Part Time Lover, Do I Do, he covered some Michael Jackson (The Way You Make me Feel), and sang My Cherie Amor (!!).  It was hysterical and incredible.
  • Stevie Wonder’s daughter, Aisha, whom he wrote Isn’t She Lovely for, was at the show and gorgeous. 
  • Stevie Wonder is also a huge supporter of making love, not war.  He mentioned love, and I nothing but little heart emojis as I left the show.  He especially mentioned it during If It’s Magic, which was backed by this magical harp.
  • Keith John has been with Stevie since the 80s (my dad saw him in ’88).  Mr. John’s voice is stupid how similar it is to Stevie Wonder’s.  Watch all of this video and tell me you weren’t confused at the end of As…
  • And it was really, really cool to turn to my left, and see my dad actually participating in and enjoying a concert.  He sang a little bit.  He smiled during Ordinary Pain when the background singers were cussing Stevie out basically, and stood up for some of it.  The last concert I saw him do that at was John Mayer in like 2008.

Truthfully, this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in my life.  And I’ve seen Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Gavin DeGraw (more times than I care to admit), and John Legend.  I make a practice out of seeing good shows, and this $300 I spent was the literal best money I’ve ever spent.  Annnd Stevie played for 3 hours, a record for all the shows I’ve ever been to.

What’s on your concert bucket list?  What’s the best concert that you’ve ever been to? 

Bucket List Item

I hope you all had an amazing weekend.  My energy is gone after we spent the weekend moving to our new house.

I strongly believe in “choosing your attitude,” so I did my best to not be nasty the entire weekend.  Not to be upset, annoyed, or be short with my husband, even though I think moving can bring out the worst in folks.  Additionally, I can’t complain because I was so fortunate to have not only my husband helping me carry all the big stuff, but a good friend and my brother helping to get things from the apartment to the house.

Us the first Saturday when we came to scrub the house.
Us the first Saturday when we came to scrub the house.

My Bucket List

I was named after a Stevie Wonder song.  I walked down the aisle with my father to “My Cherie Amour”.  After me and Austin were pronounced husband and Cheri, we recessed to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”  Basically, what I’m saying here is that Stevie Wonder has been a part of my life since I was in utero.

When I was a kid, my dad had this album called “Natural Wonder,” which was a live concert album that Stevie Wonder released I want to say in 1995.  The album was magic, wonderful, and featured a few new songs on it.  It was really cool to hear the audience, a Japanese audience, go crazy over his songs, and sing the words like English wasn’t no thang to them.  Which it probably wasn’t – I sometimes feel like every other country in the world gets this ridiculous to learn their first language and English as a second, so that foreign students always seemed so much cooler than we do, swapping effortlessly back and forth between their language and English.

So all the above to say that seeing Stevie Wonder perform live has been a bucket list item of mine basically my entire life.  And Thursday morning, Mr. Steveland Morris announced that he would be touring his 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life.

This is so epic.  Beyond epic.

So naturally, I called my father, and called my sister and immediately put plans into place for us to make the Atlanta show on November 22nd.  And like that (provided I can get my butt to Atlanta) I believe I’m on my way to crossing an item off my bucket list.

What’s one item on your bucket list?

Songs to love by.

I posted this last week.  A breakup playlist of sorts, after I saw a guest post on Helene’s blog.

I hope none of you thought that my breakup playlist was any indication of the status of my relationships with my man-hunk, Austin, or Austie-Bostie, as my mom calls him, but rest assured, I’m still in love with my groom-to-be, and despite the fact I sometimes neglect him to do work on this blog, I’m sure he still  loves me too 🙂

That said, in case you were worried, here are some songs to love by to balance out the breakup playlist I posted last week.

So I love love.  I love the way love makes me feel.  And each one of these songs reminds me of a wonderful time in my relationship, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to share it with you.

Love on Top – Queen Bey

Duh. I have no explanation except that this song is really incredible.

Easy 2 Luv You – Stacie Orrico

I first heard this song with another boyfriend, but it took on new meaning when I met Austin.  It really is so easy to love that man.  Similarly, I also feel like it’s easy to want to yell at him sometimes, but goodness, he makes me feel like a natural women, and this song says it.  Plus Stacie is amazing.

Lightweight – Demi Lovato

You guys knew that she would make an appearance sometime, right?  I heard this song at first last spring, when I was running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and as soon as I heard it, I felt like it was written for us.  Austin has my heart, and that’s all I can think of when I hear this song.

You Give Me Something – James Morrison

I have been obsessed with this song/with this artist for years, and again, this song took on new meaning when I met the nearly-husband. It didn’t mean nearly as much as when I had a schmoopy to share it with.

Sugar – Stevie Wonder

This song remind me of when me and Austin were first dating, and when he gave me his FM transmitter for my car for a long drive I had to New Jersey. I played the song the whole drive up and sang it to him.

One Night Stand – Jazmine Sullivan

This song is a good one cause it’s fun, and it describes perfectly who I was before Austin. I was a fun lady, and I had no idea that I would find someone that I’d want to marry as much as I want to do him. And then he got me heart. 🙂  Also, Jazmine, where the hell ya been girl?  I’m ready for new music!

Never Knew I Needed – Ne Yo

“You’re the best thing I never knew I needed.”

Soldier – Gavin DeGraw

I’m not yet married (did I mention I’m getting married!) but this song is what I envision the union to be like.

“I’ll get it, if you need it. I’ll search, if you don’t see it. You’re thirsty I’ll be rain, you get hurt I’ll take your pain. I know, you don’t believe it, but I said it, and I still mean it. When you heard what I told you, when you get worried, I’ll be your soldier.”

I want to be his soldier.

I had literally 10,000 more songs on this list, and let me be 100 with you guys, this list was way, way more fun than the breakup playlist to compile, and it makes me just want to love on everyone.  Now your turn.  What’s your favorite song to love by?  

One of the really, really annoying pitfalls of being born with this adorable name…

Is that no one can seem to spell it correctly.

There comes a point during every phone call with a doctor’s office, the student loan people, or the people at the dealership who do my oil changes when they ask me how to spell my name.

Me: Okay, it’s Cheri. C-H-E-R-I.  And that last name, it’s Armour.  Like the hotdog. A-R-M-O-U-R.

Man/Woman on Phone: Okay, so that was Terry, and you said A-M-O-R right?!

Usually at this point, I drop the phone in frustration and regain my composure just in time it calmly repeat it to the person on the other end once more. Sometimes twice.  And you can hear the admin eating his or her lunch in your ear.  Ugh.

This is how my general practitioner has taken to spelling my name.  Time to find a new GP...
This is how my general practitioner has taken to spelling my name. Time to find a new GP…

So I’ve been trying to do like one-ish wedding-related thing a week, so that I’m not overwhelmed at showtime like I’ve seen a lot of friends get.  I averted our first wedding “crisis,” (Elon move-in is the same weekend as our wedding, and all of the hotels on the exit are full), and I reserved a hotel about 20 minutes away, in Greensboro for everyone.  The hotel was super helpful, and is somewhat affordable for my guests, and after I reserved it, I patiently waited for the confirmation email to come.  It never did, and instead, I get a call from a woman in St. Louis, Missouri, who tells me she’s been getting all my emails for years, and that she always thought they were spam.

Until today.

Today, she got one of my wedding emails, which had my phone number attached, so she decided to give me a call to let me know that 1, she’s been knowing all my bidness for years, and 2, congrats on the wedding, they’re printing up rate cards for you to send out with the save-the-dates.

Thank you lord for nice people who also share a similar name to mine.  And Learn. To. Spell.