Monday, November 30, 2009

A long random post

Matt flew back to Chicago this morning. His flight was at 6:30am out of Jacksonville, so it was an early morning for him! But thankfully he made it back in time for his 10:30 class.

And now for some randomness:

  • The season premiere of Hoarders starts tonight at 10/9c on A&E! Fascinating show.
  • Check out Amazon's Deal of the Day: a year-long subscription to several magazines for only $5! And it includes 2 of my favorites: Real Simple and Southern Living!
  • Speaking of magazines, check out the cover of Elegant Island Living:

  • Yep, it's my parents! They agreed to have their picture taken, but had no idea it was for the cover. Ha!

    Also, notice the swing in the background? The picture is taken at the King and Prince, and they have swings overlooking the ocean. My parents sat in that very swing in 1980 when they were pregnant with me and tried to think of names for me (I was named Frances from my mom and grandmother's name, and Miller from my other grandmother's maiden name). When Matt and I were dating in high school, we loved going to sit on these swings to talk. It was probably our favorite thing to do.
  • And here are a few more pictures from our weekend!
Aunt Karen and Uncle Hendley (my mom's brother and his wife):

Uncle Don and Uncle Bob (Mr. Dart's brothers):

Mrs. Dart, aka 'Grandmama':

Will enjoying his walks!

And Will's newest discovery: his feet! He thinks they may taste good, especially with socks on.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009


Yesterday was the Tech/GA game. Will was ready in his Tech colors...

My family came over and we watched the game at the Dart's. This kid doesn't have a chance with both of his grandfather's and his dad and uncle Beau going to Tech. He will have to learn though that being a Tech fan means getting your hopes up and then seeing them dashed. Matt said last night that being disappointed is a Tech fan's birthright - otherwise we'd have been born Florida fans.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

A terrific 5 years!

Today Matt and I have been married for 5 years! The best 5 years of my life!

(I don't have a digital picture from our wedding...I photographed one of the hard copies)

Here is a look back at some of the memories...

June '99 - senior year of high school

Dec '02 - senior year of college - the day Matt lavaliered me

March '04 - Matt proposing in Russia

Nov '04 - our wedding rehearsal

Dec '04 - our honeymoon in St. Lucia

Oct '06 - Yosemite Park

Jan '07 - Deer Valley, Utah

Jan '08 - in front of our house in Atlanta

Aug '08 - in Croatia

Oct '08 - my 28th birthday in Chicago

Oct '09 - our family has expanded!

I couldn't ask for a more amazing husband. He epitomizes a servant-leader. He is thoughtful, generous, witty, encouraging, talented, sensitive, quick to apologize and quick to forgive. He goes out of his way to make me feel loved and cared for every single day. I am blessed beyond belief. I love you babe with all my heart!

Today is also my parent's 38th anniversary! Congrats mom and dad!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope your Thanksgiving has been good! Ours was wonderful - here is the day in pictures...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good time with the grandparents!

We are having a great time in St. Simons! Will has been getting LOTS of loving from his grandparents, and we are enjoying introducing him to the south. On his first night here he had a bit of an 'accident' all over my lap...we rushed him to the sink for a bath!

We've been visiting Matt's mom too but she didn't want her picture taken yet...we'll have some in a few days:)

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Becoming midwestern

I was uploading some videos this morning and realized I haven't posted about some pretty important news from the Darts. A couple of weeks ago Matt decided to take an offer from the company where he interned this summer! So, we will be staying in Chicago for the foreseeable future after he graduates this June.

When we decided to pack up and move to the midwest last summer for Matt to go to business school, we told everyone that we most definitely would be coming back down south. Definitely. Without a doubt. Our families are there, our friends are there, and blistery snowstorms are not! And, we are born and bred southerners and proud of it, ya'll. But, Chicago (and Evanston - the suburb right north of downtown where we live) has really grown on us.

We both really love our church - up here it isn't the cultural norm to say you're a christian and go to church on Sunday like it is in the Bible Belt - so we find the authenticity of the people we've met at church to be inspiring. We both also love having four seasons. The summer is as ideal as you could get - it never gets very hot (at least according to a southerner's standards) and Evanston is filled with tree-lined streets and people out walking. The fall foliage is absolutely gorgeous, and we don't even mind the snow that much - it is actually really pretty, and it is just a matter of wearing the right "gear" when you go out in it. We love being so close to downtown Chicago, public transportation (no one we know up here has 2 cars...there is no need), and the lake and parks. We also like that you can get anywhere in Evanston by foot (Atlanta traffic is a distant memory!)

We are extremely thankful that God led us to this company. It's a good fit for us - it will allow us to pay off our school debt quickly and Matt really loves the work (it is a growth strategy consulting firm) and the people. And I love that it doesn't involve travel (at least not every week). With the current economy, we don't take for granted that God has blessed him with this opportunity.

Will it be hard to be halfway across the US with my new baby? Yes. I miss not being able to zip down to St. Simons for every little occasion. And this past weekend made me realize how much I miss our great group of friends in Atlanta. But ultimately Matt and I know that our home and our family is wherever we are, not a geographical location. We've enjoyed moving to a new city together and making new friends together. It's been a good experience for us. I've always been one who is resistant to change and to trying new things. My husband is not, and I'm slowly learning that sometimes change is good.

We celebrated at Pete Miller's for dinner a couple of weeks ago when we made the decision. There was a jazz band playing and I filmed a little bit of Will dancing. And then at the end Matt got some pretty good frowns out of him while I held him!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Finally in St. Simons!

The ride from Chicago to Atlanta Friday was LONG - we left at 11am and got to Atlanta around 3am. Traveling with a baby and 2 dogs isn't the easiest. We laughed reminiscing about our carefree days of zipping into a restaurant while on the road. Now, we pull into the parking lot and I sit in the back and feed Will and then change him while Matt feeds the dogs, goes somewhere looking for water for them, and then takes them on a walk. THEN, we may think about going in to get dinner. Will did great though. Matt and I took turns sitting in the back with him and keeping him entertained and happy.

The first of 249 stops on the way home. The bags in the back had fallen on the dogs:(

We stayed at Matt's sister Jessica's house in Atlanta. Saturday night Matt made a pot of chili (Matt-style of course; he went to the international food market and used things like chorizo, tomatillos, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce) and we had friends over. We had SUCH a good time catching up with them.

Mecall holding Will and Ashley holding Mecall's little girl Lucy

Uncle Beau and his girlfriend Kate holding Will

Aunt Mary Beth and Mecall

Matt's chili!

Ashley Monk

Beau, Matt, Becca, and Jacob

Aunt MB!

Uncle Beau. What a pro.

Sunday we woke up and drove to Augusta to see Matt's sister Casey and her husband Eric. Casey is expecting their baby boy any day now and we can't wait to meet him! They took us to a Sunday brunch buffet at their country club and we ate lots of yummy southern food that we can't find up north like fried okra and cheese grits.

After lunch Casey took us to the Augusta museum to see the gingerbread house that she'd made that is on display there. She won first place and it was awesome! She is very talented!

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