Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead


Our Love Story: Part II
May 26, 2011, 1:04 am
Filed under: Husband

This is Part II, you can catch up on Part I here.

I was 18 and Daniel and I had been dating on and off for almost two years. I was offered a full scholarship to Baylor University and accepted into their elite University Scholars Program within their Honors College. It was not an opportunity I could pass up. Although I considered staying in Tallahassee and attending FSU, I decided to move to Texas and attend Baylor. Daniel spent most of the summer doing sustainable agriculture in the Philippines. Although we had planned to have a long-distance relationship, when it came time for me to leave, we decided to break up instead. Ok, I’ll be honest, Daniel decided it would be better to break up. I was heart-broken, but I was excited about starting college and my life ahead.

Even though I missed Daniel a great deal, I wasn’t going to wallow and jumped into life at Baylor. I firmly committed to never dating Daniel again. Getting your heart broken twice is enough, I thought! I didn’t contact him at all but he would call every few weeks and we’d catch up briefly. I started dating a really great guy from Plano and we would enjoy concerts and artsy movies in Austin on the weekends and hung out at the coffee house on the edge of campus. He was a wonderful boyfriend and we had a great time together, but I couldn’t imagine marrying him. Although we had plenty to talk about and some common interests, we simply weren’t on the same page about most important things. So, we ended the relationship after a couple of months before either of us got our hearts broken.

As I was packing to fly home for Christmas, Daniel IMed me (remember, folks, it was 2004) to say, “So I guess I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.” “Actually,” I coldly replied, “my family is meeting me at the airport at 7:30pm and I’ll be spending the evening with them. I’m sure we’ll run into each other sometime over the break.” “See you tomorrow!” he confidently and irritatingly replied before signing off. Surely, he won’t just SHOW UP at the airport, I thought. That would be bold to the point of absurdity! But as the plane made its descent to Tallahassee, I reapplied some lip gloss just in case.

When I stepped off the plane, I was greeted by my parents, my brother, his roommate, and….Daniel Stewart. A bold move, indeed. In his defense, during my time in Texas he and my brother had become very close friends. So, the fact that he was out with my brother was not at all odd….but to show up as part of the Welcome Home, Haley committee…rather unexpected. I gave everyone a warm hug hello and then gave Daniel a rather icy side hug. Yes, a side hug. I thought that would send the right message. I rode with my folks back to their house and Daniel rode with my brother. The word on the street is that when the boys got back in their car, they looked at Daniel and said, “Side hug….ouch.”

I spent the rest of my Christmas vacation being generally unpleasant to Daniel whenever our paths crossed. Daniel, on the other hand, was kind and warm which made my resolution to not give him the time of day far more difficult. We finally had a chance to really talk things out at my brother’s house on New Year’s Eve. The long and short of it is that Daniel convinced me that we should be together. But, I was scared to get my heart broken again and told him that for the time being, I just wanted to be friends. We spent plenty of time together the following week and he drove me to the airport for my trip back to school. But we parted with a hug, not a kiss, because I wasn’t ready to be anything more than friends…

Can Daniel convince me to give him another chance?! Find out in Part III



Our Love Story: Part I
May 25, 2011, 2:27 am
Filed under: Husband

Last week: “I can’t imagine you being married to anyone other than Daniel. It is such a joy to know you are with such a good and wonderful man.” –My Dad

9 Years Ago: “I don’t want you to ever see that boy again. He is a freak.” – My Dad

As we are celebrating our FIFTH(!) anniversary this Saturday, I thought a few posts about our love story might be fun this week…

I was 15. I knew I liked Daniel immediately after meeting him. We had a mutual friend, Elizabeth, who introduced us and I was instantly smitten. We saw each other at various functions and occasionally talked over instant messenger (how 2002 of us!). I was quite fascinated by him. He could discuss books and ideas. He actually had opinions, some of which were very different from my own, and he could talk about them intelligently and confidently. He wasn’t like anyone I had ever met. And he was so adorably handsome. At the end of my sophomore year Daniel called my house phone (an unprecendented occurrence) to ask me to go see a musical at his high school with him. He arrived at my parent’s door with cut-offs, a Goodwill shirt, shaggy hair, and trucker hat, and no shoes. I thought he looked impossibly cool. My father did not (hence the above quote).

My dad and I have had only a handful of big arguments in my quarter of a century of existence. Whether or not I could date Daniel Stewart was one of them. In my dad’s defense, Daniel did not exactly arrive on the scene in respectable first date theatre attire.

Dad: He is WEIRD.

Haley: *SOB*

Daniel’s plan of attack was to win over my mom first. He would occasionally drop by the house to bring me a Jones Soda or a mix cd and always made a point of chatting with her. She developed the opinion that under his rather homeless-looking garb was an intelligent, thoughtful, kind, and interesting young man. My dad eventually was won over, too, and a few months later when we broke up (oops! Spoiler!) they were both irritatingly on his side.

Broke up, you say? Indeed. After a few months of adorable dateyness, Daniel broke my little 17-year-old heart. Whenever I would upbraid his good name due to my bitter angst over no longer being his high school sweetheart, my parents would retort, “Daniel is just a wonderful young man! Don’t say that about him!” When I told my mom that we had broken up she helpfully replied, “but I like him so much! And he has the handsomest sparkly brown eyes!”

Haley: *SOB*

Luckily, I had somebody on my side—Daniel’s parents. Rumor has it that his mother broke down in tears when he nonchalantly tried to tell his folks over dinner that we’d broken up.

Thankfully, he came to his senses a couple months later. I, however, (the woman scorned) was not exactly….shall we say…gracious. But after several weeks of giving him very icy treatment, I was won over by his charming ways yet again when he switched name plates to sit next to me at a friend’s wedding. When I had to drive home before the festivities were over, Daniel showed up at my house with a slice of wedding cake. He looked very handsome and it was really good cake. I was no match for such chivalry and confections!

For almost a year we spent all our free time together. He would write me notes saying wonderful adorable things. We would stroll through Oven Park, Jones Sodas in hand, and kiss. I was head over heels and Daniel had become my best friend. I knew that I wanted to marry him. I admired his sense of humor, adventurous spirit, genuine kindness, and above all, Christian devotion. And I had completely fallen in love with his family. But things were about to fall apart again…I was about to move halfway across the country for college…

Will our young love survive?! Find out in Part II, dear reader.



Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas
March 20, 2011, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Feasting, Husband, Saints

Daniel did a lovely post about the wonderful feast he made for St. Thomas Aquinas’ Day.



Happy Birthday, Daniel!
January 3, 2011, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Husband

Happy 26th Birthday to the best husband and daddy!

Your little boy and I love you so much.



A Quarter of a Century Day
September 27, 2010, 11:41 am
Filed under: Feasting, Husband

Working more (due to subbing and assisting with Nutcracker rehearsals), a miserable cold, and the immediate threat of tons of pumpkin from our CSA to roast, puree, and turn into bread have gotten in the way of posting pictures from my 25th birthday. We celebrated with our families early in the week and shared amazing food including some treats from my favorite place in the world, delightful local French pastry shop: Au Peche Mignon. We count ourselves lucky to have such amazing families in the same town. How we ever got through Little Bear’s first year without grandparents nearby is beyond me.

Ever since our housemate Kris got one for Christmas and I spent the rest of the year coveting his gift, I’ve desperately wanted a KitchenAid and Daniel’s folks made my dream come true. It is awesome.

From my Mom I got a precious movie that I recently watched and adored, Ballet Shoes, and the original book by Noel Streatfeild.

I’ve only just started the book but I can already tell that it’s wonderful children’s literature and I can’t wait to have daughters to share it with. It warms a ballet teacher’s heart and as for the movie: Emma Watson… need I say more, Courtney? Speaking of, I hope you’re as excited as I am about the new Harry Potter movie coming out in 52 days. I’ve watched the trailer at least 12 times in the past 24 hours and if that doesn’t make me a nerd, checking for update on mugglenet twice a day definitely does.

Daniel gave me this beautiful icon a few days before my birthday.

Sorry about the bad quality iphone pic. My camera was out of battery and I was lazy.

We are the worst at saving gifts for the actual day. I get too excited about the presents I get for him and give them early and then I get too excited about the presents he’s gotten for me and beg to open them early. That’s customarily how it works.

On Saturday of birthday week I had to spend about 3 hours assisting with auditions for the Nutcracker in Thomasville, GA, so Daniel and I made it a date and drove up a few hours early.

We visited our favorite coffee house in the world, Grassroots Coffee, and wandered in and out of an enchanting bookstore and various strange and delightful shops.

Historical downtown is seriously cool. Each establishment has a small plaque outside describing the original use of the buildings in the mid to late 1800s like “Green Grocer, 1852.” I made that one up, but you get the idea.

This is me in front of the taxidermy/smoke shop. Yes, you heard right.

Seriously, this town rules. You can read Daniel’s take on the day here.

Shrimp and Grits! How I adore southern seafood.

Gingerbread Salmon. Yes, please.

After auditions were over we ate delectable seafood at Jonah’s Fish and Grits and then headed back into town to pick up our Little Bear from his day of fun at “Ooma and Oompa’s” house.