Sunday, November 28, 2010

A great weekend!

Matt and I thoroughly enjoyed having Thanksgiving at our house this year. Not traveling, and having a lot of time to relax before Matt goes to work tomorrow is so nice! We may make this a tradition.

I didn't check my email yesterday until last night - so I had no idea Matt had written that sweet post yesterday! He is so thoughtful - I am incredibly blessed to have spent the last 6 years with him. Our anniversary is always a few days after Thanksgiving and is usually overshadowed by all the other holiday festivities. But, we enjoyed a quiet day yesterday that couldn't have been more perfect. We sipped coffee, watched movies, put our Christmas tree up, and enjoyed a fire in our fireplace the whole time. And Matt made us a great gourmet dinner!

Here's a few more pictures from the last few days...

Out to lunch, and pretty excited about it:)
Loading up on firewood! Yea! We've had nonstop fires ever since.
Picking out a Christmas tree!
We found one in a hurry - we were absolutely FREEZING!
Getting ready to root on the Jackets!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An open letter to my beautiful wife

It's hard to believe that it was almost 20 years ago when we met up on bikes after school behind the Winn Dixie store so you could trade "love" notes with my best friend, over 13 years ago when we shyly and stiffly swayed to the music together at Glynn Academy's Homecoming dance, 6 years exactly since you wore a beautiful white dress and we swore vows of love and faithfulness to each other in the presence of God and almost everyone we knew.

Mil, when I think of our life together, I think of it being weighty.  That is, while it is often fun and rewarding, more importantly it feels significant, like we're investing in something that is really meaningful. I think of you weeping with me over the breakdown of my family a decade ago, or more recently, grieving with me and holding me tight countless times since we lost my dad last month.  I think of us working through difficult decisions together, like moving across the country so I could go back to school, far from our family and friends and the life we had built together in Atlanta.  I think of you sharing things that our goofy and wonderful son did during the day as we lay beside each other in the dark before drifting off to sleep, or us making up songs and singing them together as we go through the familiar rhythms of our weekend.  I think of us arguing and making up, sometimes repeating the process several times in a single day.

You know me so well - the minutiae of my daily routines, the stories I tell too often when together with friends, my sometimes quirky personality, my whole history, my soul.

On our annual Thanksgiving anniversary, I am so thankful that we share our lives together, that my grief is your grief, your fear is my fear, my joy is your joy, your interests are my interests, my family is your family, and vice versa.  I am thankful that we share finances and a home and our faith in the grace of Christ.  I am thankful that we share a son, Will, a running, playing, giggling representation of our life together.

I love you, Miller.  Thank you for sharing your life with me.  Let's make many more wonderful memories together.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We've had a great few days celebrating Thanksgiving with my family in town. Will especially loves having his Meme and Aunt B here to give him LOTS of attention!

Mom got in Tuesday night and we immediately went to work baking. We made peanut butter cookies and pumpkin bread! We used Pamela's gluten free baking and pancake mix to make the pumpkin bread, and it turned out fantastic! I was kind of shocked at how good it turned out. And then this morning we made pumpkin pancakes, again with Pamela's mix...


We made my cousin Sarah's apple cranberry brie for an appetizer. It's awesome. Here is the recipe:

Caramel Apple Baked Brie
1 T butter
1/2 cup chopped and peeled apple
1/4 cup craisens
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 T chopped pecans
2 T apple juice
8 oz brie

Melt butter over low, and add apple, craisens, sugar, pecans, and juice. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Cut brie in half horizontally and put on a 9 inch pie plate. Spoon half of mixture over the top. Top with the other half of brie and top with remaining sauce. Secure with 3 toothpicks and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with bread, crackers, or apple slices.

Matt's turkey turned out amazing! This was the first Thanksgiving Matt and I have hosted, and it was also our first gluten-free Thanksgiving. We had turkey, cornbread stuffing, acorn squash, brussels sprouts, cranberry relish, rolls from Rose's, and Mary Beth's strawberry pretzel salad. It was all so delicious.

Will enjoyed it too!
He begged for "more" from Aunt B
I made a pumpkin pie for desert. We got a gluten free pie crust from Whole Foods, which was really good. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

A few random things...

  • For the first time, we are not traveling for Thanksgiving this year. We've just traveled so much recently, we couldn't bear the thought of doing it again so soon! We invited our families to our house, and my mom and sister are coming! I am so excited and I'm looking forward to hosting this year!
  • I made this Chicken, Potatoes, and Tomatoes recipe after seeing it on Betsy's blog. It's a recipe of Jamie Oliver's, and it was amazing! (I did make quite a few substitutions - I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, plum tomatoes, fresh rosemary, and half balsamic vinegar and white wine vinegar in the place of red wine vinegar since I didn't have any - with a little red wine thrown in!) I love one-dish dinners that can be made ahead of time.

  • The thing I may miss the most from my "pre-celiac" days is pizza. I'd grown to LOVE Chicago deep-dish pizza (Lou Malnati's!), and after trying several gluten-free pizzas, I realized that pizza is something of my past...gluten-free pizza is terrible! Gluten is what gives pizza crust its "chew" - without it, it just tastes mealy and gross. Or so I thought until this weekend when we tried ones from Rose's Bakery. I was amazed, and can't wait to have it again. It's not deep dish, but it tastes as good as (if not better) than any thin crust I've had. Hallelujah!

  • Matt sent me this article this morning on parenting and the over-protectiveness and over-involvement of parents. I love it. Maybe because it confirms how I parent. Hmmm...
  • I've been meaning to post a link to this article for awhile - good reminders for moms!

And, here are a few pictures over the last week...

Saturday morning cartoons
Our crazy dog, Coco, curled up in a bag to take a nap

Friday, November 19, 2010

Matt is 30!

Matt had a big birthday yesterday - he turned 30!!!

I took him out for dinner to a place we'd never been, called Michael, in Winnetka. We had a fabulous 3 course meal and enjoyed a night out together. Our friends Dave and Courtney came over to babysit while Will and their baby Noah slept. Noah and Will had matching hats, and Matt got a picture on his (new!) iphone...unfortunately it was before he realized it had a flash, and thus the grainy picture!

After dinner we came back and enjoyed cake and coffee with our friends. I made a flourless chocolate cake, which is one of Matt's favorites. It's great because I didn't have to make any substitutions - it is naturally gluten-free. It was SO good! I found the recipe in Real Simple. I didn't have a springform pan, so I made it in a pie plate. It didn't look as pretty, but it tasted delicious. I served it with fresh whipped cream, which helped cut down on some of the richness.

Happy Birthday Babe! I love you very much!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

16 months

Will is 16 months!

My sweet Will,
  • You are so talkative now! You say mama, Coco, bye-bye, uh-oh, and more ("moy," when you want more food). You've also learned to say thank you (which comes out "tay-tu"). You like to bring me things and say "tay-tu" when you give them to me - you've heard me say "thank you!" when you hand me things so you've started saying it! Not quite the right use of the word, but cute!
  • Your favorite foods are bananas, sweet potatoes, grapes, and turkey.
  • You bring me books to read to you all day long! I am glad you like books.
  • You wear 18 month clothes, a size 4 diaper, and size 5 shoes
  • You sleep about 12-13 hours at night and take 2 naps during the day.
  • You keep me constantly chasing you around the house - you have tons of energy and don't like to sit still!
  • You are finally sitting in a forward-facing car seat and you seem much happier!
  • You have such a cute personality and you bring a smile to my face every day!! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back home

We are back in Chicago and glad to be home. Unfortunately Will hasn't been feeling well and has had a fever yesterday and today. He hasn't had an appetite and has been sleeping almost nonstop since we got home. His doctor said to wait it out another day and bring him in if his temperature gets over 105. I am hoping the poor little guy feels better soon!

Here are a couple of pictures from last week I finally uploaded...

Matt, Benjamin (Shelia's son), Beau, and Eric...all in their Tech ties

Gold and white, to honor Mr. Dart (Will was taking a nap!)
Jessica with her friends

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bill's funeral

The funeral this morning was beautiful and honored Bill well - an old family friend officiated and several of Bill's college friends gave tributes. He would have been proud. Beau wrote a poem like his dad would have done, and Jessica spontaneously spoke from her heart. Matt spoke as well, and here is a copy of what he said:

I think the best way to honor my Dad is to share some memories of him. These aren’t full stories, but just snippets of my childhood. I remember my Dad...

  • Waking me up and watching the A-team and wrestling with me every Saturday when I was four years old
  • Going on early morning beach walks with Jessica and me before school (so I could lose enough weight to play defense in pee-wee football)
  • Buying Wrestlemania pay-per-view so I could invite over all my friends and their dads to watch
  • Wearing a magnetic earring to football practice to poke fun at my teammates that wore earrings
  • Convincing my childhood friends that he tried out for the Atlanta Falcons and knocked out a star player with his forearm flipper
  • Taking me on one-on-one trips to Shoney’s breakfast buffet before my football games, and letting me eat strawberry shortcake for breakfast
  • Taking us “camping”, which meant staying in a cabin and carrying our own TV, VCR, and movies to watch
  • Inviting me to snuggle up to him with my head on his arm to watch TV almost every night
  • Taking pride that every player on the teams he coached learned to contribute something on the field
  • Pioneering football plays as a coach like the classic “Between the Legs Pass”
  • Driving us to Stone Mountain in Atlanta in 3 hours flat to get Beau registered for a soccer tournament
  • Taking me fishing and being patient with me, even though I couldn’t leave my line still for 30 seconds and didn’t like to see the fish die in the bottom of the boat
  • Singing with the waiters at Alfonso’s Old Plantation Supper Club
  • Taking our whole team out for gatorade after practice, and taking players with us to Tech games every year
  • Never losing hope that this year was the "Year of the Jackets"
  • Dressing up in makeup and tights as Rick Flair, the wrestler, for Halloween
  • Spacing out in the middle of one of my stories, so that I had to say “Dad, what are you thinking about?”
  • Outlasting me in arm rolls and six inches in he was 45 and I was 15
  • Taking us hunting for ghost crabs when we lived at the Beach Club for a year
  • Writing life advice to me as a teenager that I should give away money to help people and not tell anyone that I did it
  • Taking us for almost nightly parfaits at TCBY for a year, where he faithfully ordered layers of nuts, vanilla, caramel, vanilla, nuts
  • Organizing an Olympics-style competition during rehab at Willingway
  • Apologizing and asking for forgiveness for the times he hurt me or let me down
  • Giving people jobs or a place to stay when they needed it to get their feet back on the ground
  • Telling me he loved me and was proud of me as long as I did my best
  • Telling me about his “God sales” – sales that he felt he didn’t work hard to earn but that God graciously provided out of the blue
  • Flying to Chicago to be there for me when my son Will was born, even though he was sick
  • Always picking up the check
  • Receiving his 9 year sobriety chip last December with me and my son Will in attendance

When I think about why I’m sad about my Dad passing away, it’s because I won’t have the chance to form new memories with him, and Will won’t have the chance to form his own memories with my Dad. But I saw first hand the transformation that God did in my Dad’s life, the fundamental shift that occurred in his spirit from self to God, from doing it on his own to relying on God’s love, and I know that I will see him again. But until I do, I hope that my son will know my Dad through me and Casey and Jessica and Beau, that my Dad’s legacy will shine through our lives. Here are a few lessons I learned from him:

  • All people are the same, black or white, rich or poor, right or wrong
  • It is hard work to take our eyes off of ourselves and care about other people, but it’s always worth it.
  • We can’t handle our lives on our own without trusting in God – we’ll screw it up trying
  • Make new friends but stay fiercely loyal to your old ones
  • Say you’re sorry when you’re wrong, ask forgiveness and accept it
  • Money is a tool that God gives us to use, not a means of keeping score or wielding power
  • And love is to be even more freely given away than money, never withheld on conditions, never bartered, never traded

We had this picture blown up on a canvas in front of the church today - he was SUCH a proud Granddaddy!

We had so many friends that got up this morning at 4 to drive here for the funeral today and to be here to support Matt (Jacob, Cobb, Mecall, Ryan, Lesley, Ben, Charlie, Craig, and our pastor in Atlanta, Chris Robins - THANK YOU). We have amazing friends.

Also, here is a tribute that Matt wrote about his dad last December when he got his 9 year sobriety chip.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Here is the obituary that was in our local newspaper yesterday. It was written by his brother, Bob, who is a writer for the newspaper.

Bill Dart, who was devoted to God, his wife, his family, his friends, his community, his business, football and Georgia Tech, died of natural causes Friday at his home on St. Simons Island.

He was 60.

Mr. Dart's love of children and athletics led him to volunteer as a youth league coach for generations of Glynn County boys and girls. For decades, he was active in community alcohol and drug recovery programs and helped scores of people take one step at a time on their personal journeys. His love of his alma mater, Georgia Tech, could be heard as he rode around the island in a golf cart with a horn that played "I'm a Ramblin' Wreck ...."

As a father who had dressed his toddlers in white and gold, Mr. Dart was especially proud when his four children -- Casey, Jessica, Matt and Beau -- all graduated from Georgia Tech.

William Craig Dart was born in Brunswick on May 9, 1950, the second son of Opal and Robert Dart. He was a great-great-grandson of Urbanus Dart, a founder of modern Brunswick. He graduated from Glynn Academy in 1968 and was quarterback and co-captain of the 1967 Red Terrors football team.

In 1972, Mr. Dart earned a B.S. Degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech, where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

After his college graduation, Mr. Dart and a group of his fraternity brothers headed to Kodiak, Alaska, for adventure. What became his career in the seafood business began by throwing out and hauling in traps as a deck hand on a king crab fishing boat.

Upon his return to Glynn County, Mr. Dart went to work for Sea Pak and was later a partner in Marine Foods, a seafood brokerage business. Mr. Dart then founded Waterway Foods International, a food brokerage located on St. Simons, and he worked there until his death.

His family said Mr. Dart wanted to be remembered for his love of God, his wife, Shelia, his children, his grandsons, his brothers, his friends and people of sorts, especially those in need. He was a member of the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church of St. Simons.

He is survived by his widow, Shelia Dart, his daughter, Casey Igel, son-in-law Eric Igel, grandson Otto Igel, all of Augusta; daughter Jessica Dart of Atlanta; son Matt Dart, daughter-in-law Miller Dart, grandson Will Dart, all of Chicago; and son Beau Dart of St. Simons; stepson Benjamin Gilbert of St. Simons; brothers Bob Dart and Don Dart of St. Simons and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Brunswick with a luncheon reception to follow at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church on St. Simons and interment in the Holy Nativity Memorial Garden afterwards. The family will receive visitors Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at their home at 543 Delegal Street on St. Simons Island.

Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bzzz Bzzz

First of all - thank you for all the comments, emails, phone calls, and prayers. They mean so much to us, and we are thankful that so many people care about us.

We had a lot of laughs yesterday on Halloween. There is just something about little kids in costumes - they are so adorable you can't help but smile! We didn't plan it, but Will and cousin Otto were both yellow jackets!

We tried our best to get them together for a picture...

But Will was not content to stay still!

(A special thanks to my sister for taking these last pictures! You are so talented MB!)
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