Wadie and I celebrated 8 years of marriage this year!! I'm not sure how that happened.. I still have to remind myself that we aren't 16 and in the youth group anymore, ha!! Although it has passed so quickly, we have had the time of our lives. It is SO FUN being married to the greatest guy in the world!! The Lord has given us a sweet bond unlike any other, a relationship that just gets better with age, and a love that brings tears to my eyes.
Wade is patient, Wade is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he does not keep a record of wrongs. He does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Wade always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This is love.
And while he does fail and is not my Savior, he is a picture of Christ to me. He leads our family well, he makes decisions that will grow us spiritually, and protects our home with his wisdom and discernment. His banner over me is love.. which makes it an easy task to respect and adore him. It is an honor to be his wife and I desire to be a blessing to him for all of our days.
Life with Wade is the best life.
The day we gave our lives to each other is one of the happiest and sweetest in the books. June 14, 2008, was the dream of a lifetime. I've never wanted to be anything but Wade's wife and my joy knew no bounds the day I became Mrs. Poole!! 8 years (and 4 kids later, ha!!), Wade and I planned a quick trip away for just the two of us!! We started by heading down to Thibodaux, where his parents had cooked up a delicious dinner for us!!
Grant had the BEST time playing with Will.. these two quickly became best buddies!!
A little throwback to our honeymoon in St. Lucia..
Instead of heading to the Piton mountains in the Caribbean this year, though, we went to a place where the land forms in the opposite direction, sinking in below sea-level!! Ha!!
We were heading to the BIG EASY!!!
We were leaving our favorite little people with their Nana and Paw for 2 days while we said hello to good food and good times in New Orleans!!
Wade and I had every single meal planned out before we even left home. But then, we were starving when we got there, ditched the plan, and stopped in at the first place we saw!!
Heading into Mulate's... which turned into one of the best decisions of our trip!!!!!
They've been featured on pretty much every tv channel you can name. And once you taste it, you'll know why!! This is my Seafood Pasta, complete with crawfish, shrimp, and crabmeat!!
And Wadie's Red Fish covered in the creamy crawfish sauce with coleslaw and a twice-baked potato!! Perfection!!
How adorable is this guy?!!!
After shopping at the Riverwalk, we ran across the Jean Lafitte Museum as it was closing.. but I was able to grab a picture in front of these: the cutest doors in Nola!! Ha!!
St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square
(Interesting note: The architect who designed the church (who was also the man who designed the city!), died before the church was finished. In his will, he asked to be buried under the church.. He, and 10 others from the 1700s, are buried. right. here.
Built in 1850, before even "New Orleans" had a name, Tujague's is the second oldest restaurant around!! We didn't eat here, but I've seen this iconic sign around before.. Now I know where it's at!! ;))
We browsed through the French Market (where I could not get over how much work those people have to do to set everything out and then box it all back up every single day!! Yikes!!)
Shopping in one of the many, many, many cute shops downtown!! And pretty much every single one offers "Aunt Sally's Praline" samples!! And we sampled it at every one!! Hahaa!! DELICIOUS!!
Wadie in front of one of our favorites, Cafe Du Monde!!
Are you ready for the sweetest thing ever??
These kids were in the French Quarter playing steel drums as we passed through. Steel drums have a very distinct and unique sound.. It's relaxing and wonderful. Want to know the last time we heard a steel drum..??
8 years ago. In St. Lucia.
Only the Lord could have orchestrated that!! Thank You, God, for such a sweet gift!!
It was so peaceful to have this view and listen to the music that brought us back to our island.
We walked along the river, arm in arm, and got to talk quietly together.. which is a rarity in our life with four babies!!
It was drizzling outside, but there was no putting out the fire in these hearts or the glow in these faces!! Weekends away with your hunny should be mandatory.
For dinner, we headed to Cornet, a newer downtown restaurant!! Here is their Crawfish Mac and Cheese... super delicious!!
And Wadie's bone-in pork chop!! He loved this, as this is just one of the things I don't know how to make at home. Ha!! Such a treat!!
This was the sky as we got ready to leave.. breathtaking!! I mentioned to our waiter that only the Lord could have made such a beautiful sky and I'm pretty sure he walked away scratching his head.. ha!! Being so close to Bourbon Street, I'm sure he doesn't hear about God often. But as we walked around New Orleans, people-watched, and saw the wonderful and horrible things New Orleans offers, all I kept praying was that the people would see Jesus when they looked at us. That they would see right through this married couple, so crazy in love with each other, and see the God who gave this gift to begin with. The God who showed us the greatest love at Golgotha.
This was the one non-negotiable on my list: Cafe Du Monde for a late night dessert!!
Now this is where it's at, y'all.
We sat for awhile in Jackson Square and then slowly headed back to the hotel!! As we drifted off to sleep, we could hear a jazz band that had set up on a corner close-by. It wasn't bothersome at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure everyone should go to sleep in Nola with a local band jamming out on the street corner. It just fits. :))
The next morning, we got up early and raced off to the Ruby Slipper!!
Bananas Foster Pain Perdu.. which is French toast made with French bread!! I could not recommend this more highly!! It was absolutely perfect!! I literally ate every single bite. Terrible, I know, but sooo goooood.
Wadie got the chef's special.. Fried green tomatoes and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on a biscuit. Sadly, it was not his favorite. Should've went with the Pain Perdu! ;))
Afterwards, we walked to the Saenger, got a list of the plays coming soon (Lion King! Sound of Music! How the Grinch Stole Christmas!), and then went by the aquarium. We just have to find Wade's brick every time we go to New Orleans.. Can you find it?!
We probably looked for 10 minutes before we found it.. and it was only 3 bricks away from the P! This picture is so that we never forget where it is again, ha!!
While we were there, we also found this one!! UNCLE KURT!!
We hurried back and checked out of the hotel. So long, beautiful Canal Street!!
On our way out of town, we had one more stop to make. And no, it wasn't to eat! Ha!! But it was about food!! We stopped by SoFAB!! Wadie found it online and we knew we needed to see it!!
Looking just like a tourist, here I am, signing us in.. And do you see the pen?! It's a wooden spoon!!! Jen, I think every pen in your house should look like this!! How awesome and so fun!!
Popeyes is one of Louisiana's claims to fame.. and there was a whole section dedicated to Al Copeland!! Here are all the spices that go into Popeyes' Spicy Fried Chicken!! Can anybody use this to figure out their recipe?!
Can you read the sign at the bottom?? He had passcode locks installed on all the test kitchen doors.. he sure was proud of his recipes, ha!!
Remember this?! I'm going to have to eat there one day!!
Anybody else know who this guy is..?? I didn't know his name (Ed Mitchell), but I did know he was the Boss of BBQ!! He is the nicknamed the Pit Master!! He and Wadie should be besties.
I may not have known his name, but I recognized that friendly face and those overalls, ha!! We will have to make a trip to North Carolina next time, Wadie!!
Ever seen a "Cajun microwave?!" So neat!
A cooking pot from The Shed in Alabama!! One of our favorite annual spots to stop in and eat at on our way to the beach!! And I think they just won this year's BBQ contest, Memphis in May!!
This was my favorite part!! There was a presidential section and showed plates and menus from the White House!! Look at this!!
I mean... of course we have to try this!!!!!
Dinner for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip!!
Just a Spring Pea Soup with Fernleaf Lavender, Dover Sole Almondine and Saddle of Spring Lamb with a Fricassee of Baby Vegetables. Our usual weeknight meal.
Dinner Plate for President Grant!!
LBJ! (And how neat, it was made by Tiffany's!!)
And dinner plate for FDR! So ...presidential!! And do you see what's on the menu?? Gingered Pheasant, Pheasant Confit on Lemon Spinach, Roasted Salmon with Honey Spice Glaze, Carrot and Corn Rissotto, Charred Tomato Compote, Baked Artichokes, Oregano Marinated Goat Cheese, Late Summer Greens and Chive Garlic Dressing... the list goes on!! Someone invite me to the White House for dinner, please!!
A real-life still for making moonshine, ha!! I've heard about it in my Andy Griffith's, but had never seen a real one!!
On our way out, we stopped and looked through their collection of southern cookbooks. Of course, we wanted them all, were overwhelmed by all the options, and left with none! Hahaa!! BUT if there was one I wanted to remember and order later, it was this one. I'm not a vegetarian, but this cookbook is so pretty, I might could become one. ;))
We left New Orleans refreshed, reconnected.. and eager to see our babies!! Paw and Nana had been so good to them!!
We were all sad to leave what was one of our most favorite weekends, but there's nothing quite like being home. Hahaha!!
And to celebrate our return, I made this dish. Which actually is close to being vegetarian and not at all something I would have picked out a year ago.. But that was before I met Nikki Dinki and her wonderful cookbook, Meat on the Side!! This is Brussel Sprouts and Pear Carbonara.. and before you knock it, you need to come try it!! I was so proud, ha!! It was so good!!
So thankful for great grandparents that will keep all four babies so we can go on a much-needed night away.
So thankful for New Orleans and the rich culture and wonderful time we had there.
So thankful for a sweet marriage that is worth celebrating each and every moment of the day - I love you so much, my Wadie!!
So thankful for babies and Pineville and a beautiful home to come back to.
So, so thankful for a Savior who offers us satisfaction and fulfillment like nothing else this world, even a place like New Orleans, can offer.
I heard this quote (I believe from Adrian Rogers) and I have thought back to it often..
"Love is not what keeps the marriage together. Marriage is what keeps the love together."
Wade and I committed to loving each other, to figuring it out together, to learning how to grow and mature and develop together 8 years ago. Marriage is hard and takes sacrifice. It's deepens my understanding and appreciation of my better and eternal Bridegroom. It's an adventure like none other, a refining fire, an intimate mingling of souls. It is, undeniably, one of God's greatest gifts.
Wadie, after 8 years with you, I have 3 words:
I still do.