Done Son!

I am so happy to say that I took the NBCOT early Wednesday morning and that I'm done spending my days studying. I won't know how I did until next Friday, but I have all my fingers and toes crossed in hopes that I passed. I had so much support from friends and family leading up to the test which made me feel so much more confident as I walked into the testing center. My verse of the week cards also helped to boost my spirits and keep me grounded. I stole the idea from someone else and have loved it so far. Every week I randomly pick a verse and make a memory verse note card for it. It's a simple way to commit more verses to memory without becoming overwhelmed.

On Sunday, our small group friends, Brook and Cleve, cooked dinner for the group and hosted us at their beautiful loft downtown. Since everyone in our small group aside from us is on Whole Life Challenge, the meal was compliant with WLC. We had delicious crockpot chicken chili (which I added noncompliant blue tortilla chips and sour cream to-yum!) and snacked on carrots and hummus before dinner. I was so excited to try out a WLC meal and was really surprised at how flavorful and filling it was.We may just do the challenge in the Lyles' household next month!

The night before my test John let me have a break and relax while he cooked dinner. I have to admit, it was pretty funny to hear him fumble around in the kitchen while making dinner. When he brought out his creation, I was so impressed. He made twice baked stuffed shrimp baked potatoes and sauteed spinach. It was so good!!! He was also very proud of himself, not only for cooking the meal, but for thinking on his feet. When he couldn't seem to re-stuff the potatoes without tearing the skins (we've all been there before), he decided to stuff everything into a ramekin. So genius.

The morning of the test was a little unnerving, but I had such a sense of calm when I sat down to actually take the test. I'm thinking that was thanks to all of the sweet prayers and good thoughts that people were sending my way. So, thanks y'all! After the test I came home to find a gift! John left a box on our bed and inside was Ranson Riggs' new novel., Hollow City. I read his first novel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children on a red eye flight during one of our trips in December and fell in love. So, I was super excited that John not only remembered that his second novel came out, but that he ordered it for me to have as a congratulations gift!

That night we went to what I believe is the best Italian restaurant in town, Gian Marco's. It's located in a residential section in Homewood and is oh so romantic. John made reservations for us at the Chef's Table which meant that we got to see our delicious meal cooked before our eyes all while enjoying a big glass of Chianti. The food is so authentic and it was so sweet to be greeted by the patriarch of the Respinto family (the family that owns the establishment)as we walked in. His grandson, the host, told us that Mr. Respinto was "keeping our seats warm" for us at the Chef's Table. The food was out of this world!! We enjoyed two appetizers: fagottini purses filled with walnuts, Gorgonzola, pear and prosciutto & made to order fresh mozzarella, pesto, EVOO, and toasted ciabatta. For our entree we split one of my absolute favorites, spaghetti and meatballs (with Marco's Sunday sauce meatballs and sweet Italian sausage cooked in tomato sauce finished with grana padano and parsley). It was such a comforting and romantic meal and a wonderful treat to celebrate finishing my test. 

Even though I am still a little anxious about getting my test score next Friday, I have a sense of relief from just making it through the test. I completely believe that I couldn't have done it without the amazing support from friends, family, and of course my sweet John. Love to you all.


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