Thursday, October 24, 2013

I've always wanted to go to Miami...

Ever since we moved to DeLand, I've wanted to visit Miami. That is just one of the places that was always so far away from where we were from but now that we live in DeLand, it isn't that far.  We've talked about going several times.  But, we never have.  Except we kind of did today.  We've been here several hours.  And, we have a couple of hours left.  Our flight out of New Orleans was delayed today.  That meant we missed our connecting flight in Miami.  So, rather than getting to Orlando at 6:20, we got here about an hour later.  We just got seats on the 10:25 flight.  So, this will definitely be an after midnight arrival home. 


The airport is basically empty. Dan is watching the MSU/Kentucky game on his phone while I watch what seems like hundreds of kids who are heading to Disney run through the waiting area.  We moved to a quieter section.  As you can see, it's pretty much us over here. From the looks of the chaos up there, our flight is going to be VERY loud!  I don't even care though.  I'm just ready to be home.  

I really miss my babies.  We Facetimed with them a little tonight and it made the ache even stronger.  I love those little guys so much.  I've enjoyed being away but I'm ready to be back in the land of normal. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Where it all began...

15 years ago, there wasn't railing around this sculpture. I know that because I sat right there as Dan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  We walked over there after lunch today so we could see it.  In December, we will take our boys there so they can see.  They may not understand or care that this is where their daddy proposed to their mom but I'm certain that one day they will be glad they saw the spot.  That was a special night.  There was a carriage ride and saxaphone player involved.  It was pretty incredible.  But, the 15 years following have been even better!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The day my husband became a Doctor

We woke up in the beautiful city of New Orleans today.  We quickly got dressed and out the door so we could get some paperwork done before Dan's Exit interview.  I made him take a picture by our Rental Car because Jonah is so intrigued with "a car that has a top go down off of it!"  We actually reserved and prepaid for a super cheap Economy Car for this trip.  While we waited (along with 3 other people) for the Economy car to be delivered, the desk clerk decided stick it to the man and just give all of us convertible sports cars.  So, we are feeling quite sporty traveling the streets of NOLA!
We stopped first at the ProDoc office so Dan could pay all of his fees and turn in all of his paperwork.  (I discretely snapped a photo!)

It was truly such a beautiful day.  We walked all over the campus.  I kept fast forwarding to his graduation and imagining all the photos on the beautiful lawn surrounding the chapel. 
We had some time so we decided to go to chapel.  Being in chapel brought back such crazy memories of our own days in seminary and the many chapel services we attended together. 



We had not eaten breakfast but definitely didn't want to eat a big lunch before Dan's 12:30 meeting.  But, we were hungry.  So, we stopped in the cafeteria for a quick lunch.  We shared a catfish plate.  I had to laugh a little because when we were in Seminary, we had to share a lot of meals because we didn't have the money to do any different.  But, today, we had the money but food was more of a necessity than a desire today so we shared a plate and even left half of it. 

We got to the ProDoc office about 15 minutes before Dan's appointed time.  He read a magazine about Preaching while I worried on his behalf.  ;-)
They finally called him back and the waiting game began for me.  I heard lots of laughs and affirmations from down the hall.  I felt very good about the outcome. 
Dan left his phone out with me and this text came through from our former Pastor and good friend, Gary.  It made me realize this was actually a reality. 
Eventually he came out and the wait began.  We've been told over and over that when you are dismissed, they will talk for a bit and then call you back in.  And, if they are all standing, then you know you passed.  He walked back into the room to find all of them standing and congratulating him on his achievement!
He has a few small things he needs to change before his D.Min project is complete but essentially, he is done.  D-O-N-E!!!  What a relief!  We kept getting texts asking for updates but even though I knew the outcome, I didn't share it with anyone until Dan could tell our boys.  We wanted them to be the first to hear the news.  So, we called Dan's mom and asked her to call us as soon as she had both boys in the car.  It was so sweet to hear Jonah's excitement about "daddy passing his test!"  And Micah, well, he just wanted to hold the phone for himself.  I'm not quite sure he understands the significance of his dad's accomplishment. 
After sharing with our kids and updating our Facebook status, we changed clothes, put the top down on that car and headed right into the heart of NOLA. 

If you know me well, you know that I have really bad hair.  REALLY BAD HAIR!  The worst thing for bad hair is is wind.  So, imagine how awesome I look with convertible hair.  Yep...

I had to snap a quick pick of the Hotel where our life together began.  I was right there in the Hilton with my friends when a knock came to the door to let me know that a carriage was waiting downstairs for me. 


We had a yummy lunch at Cafe Maspero.  Dan is a huge fan of Mufaletta's so this is one of his favorite places in New Orleans to eat.  If I loved olives, that would ahve been great.  But, I'm not a fan of olives so I stuck with Jambalaya!  And, it did not disappoint!!

And, what is a trip to New Orleans without some street performers!?!

We went back into the French Quarter for Dinner.  We randomly stopped at this restaurant I'd seen earlier in the day that advertised "Thin Catfish." I noticed they had a sign about a party room so I asked to see it.  We have been looking for a place to have Dan's graduation party that didn't require a catering menu.  We wanted a place that would let people get authentic NOLA food and order off the menu without costing thousands of dollars.  This place was perfect!!  They are giving us the whole 2nd floor.  And, it has a balcony that overlooks the French Quarter with a big parking lot across the street.  It will be a perfect place for all of us to gather after the big event. 

Our meal there was one of the best I've ever eaten.  We shared a Catfish Lafitte.  It was fried catfish covered with crawfish mushroom cream sauce over jambalya.  It was AMAZING!!!  I definitely know what I will be eating when we go back in December. 
We finished our evening with a wonderful cup of coffee and beignets at the famous Cafe Du Monde.  It really was close to a perfect day.  We will be back here in NOLA in just 7 weeks with our whole family.  Our flights and hotel are already booked.  We have friends and family calling to let us know they will be here.  We are so ready to celebrate this great accomplishment with so many people who have loved and supported Dan over the years!

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