We’ve been working on some new songs and today Tyler is tracking drums, so I thought I’d escape the madness and am currently hanging out at my favorite coffee shop. The almond lattes are to die for and the space is free from the clanging and stomping of drums!
Today I thought I might address the most common question asked of Tyler and I, “Where are y’all from?” Take or leave the “y’all” and replace it with “you” or “yous guys” depending on what region of the U.S. you’re from. Surprisingly, this simple question requires the most complicated answer. Well maybe not complicated, but long.
Let’s begin with the easy part. Tyler was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. He’s a Delawarian through and through. This is why when you ask us where we’re from, we often answer, “We’re from Delaware.” Usually the person asking the question responds with something like, “I’ve never met anyone from Delaware before,” or, “what’s in Delaware?” We talk about tax free shopping and chickens.
So Tyler grew up in Delaware and attended the University of Delaware and studied marketing, music management, and voice. That’s where he met me.
So this is the hard part. Where am I from? I guess I’ll start from the beginning.
My parents are from Western New York. Jamestown to be precise. Think kinda in between Buffalo and Erie, PA. They attended SUNY Fredonia and after graduation, a wedding, and the birth of my older brother, my dad joined the Air Force and became a pilot. Their first assignment was somewhere in Oklahoma. A cat named Treetrunk (that’s what happens when you let a creative 2 year old name your cat) was added to the family. After Oklahoma my dad headed to flight school for a few months and my mom and brother went to live with my grandma in Jamestown for a little while. That’s when I came along. I spent the first few months of my life in Jamestown and then the family moved to Dayton, OH. We were there for about a year. My younger sister Karen was born. Then we moved to Japan.
We spent 3 years in Japan. I had a brief career as a toddler model because they loved my blonde hair. It’s brown now, so I guess the modeling thing wasn’t meant to be. My sister was so confused by the English and Japanese being spoken to her simultaneously that she she spoke a total of 3 words before she turned 4. We visited Tokyo Disneyland and it was awesome.
Then we moved to Dover, Delaware. We spent 3 years there. We got a new cat named Tiger. My sister started talking. We were homeschooled for a little while. I thought my big brother was the coolest person in the whole world. After Dover we moved to a suburb of St. Louis on the Illinois side. Tiger got lost. I went to my first real concert: D.C. Talk, the Jesus Freak tour. I started playing clarinet. After 4 years in the midwest we moved back to Dover, DE. I met my best friends. “Went out” with my first “boyfriend.” My brother and I started a band and we were terrible, but it was really fun!
After 3 years in Delaware we moved to Ocean Springs, MS. Ocean Springs is on the coast next to Biloxi. I was taking my drivers test on Sept. 11, 2001 and remember hearing about the events and watching everything on the television at the DMV. I spent hours at the beach writing songs and poetry. My brother went to college. My sister and I became best friends. Stewart, the “one-eyed cat” was added to the family.
Three years later I left for college at the University of Delaware. One week after that I met Tyler. Three months later we started dating. In December of that year my parents and my little sister moved to Washington, D.C. During breaks from school my sister and I explored Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis. My brother got married and he and his wife moved to London.
In 2007 Tyler and I were married and we released “A Prelude.” In 2008 we moved to Nashville, TN. My sister got married.
In 2009 my parents moved to Dallas, TX. We released “This Isn’t a Dream.” My sister moved with her husband to Seattle, WA. My brother and his wife moved back to the states and live in Nashville, TN.
So where am I from? I used to say that it was wherever my parents were living at the time. Sometimes I say Delaware because when you add all of the years that I lived there (including college) together it comes out to 10. Tyler’s parents live there and we visit there often. And it does feel like we’re going “home” when we head to Delaware. When traveling outside of Nashville I say Nashville because it’s where we live now and it’s the simplest answer.
I think though that I’m beginning to understand that wherever Tyler and I am is home. When we’re touring I often refer to the place we’re staying as “home.” Sometimes I’ve never even been there, I just recognize that Tyler and I are going there together and we’ll rest for a while. And when I’m at home that’s what I like to do: rest and be with Tyler.
So there you have it.