*Margaret (Curtis) McDaniel + Curtis McDaniel = Curtis.Squared

August 24, 2020

Back to School During a Pandemic

Kate joyfully joined her sister at Klondike Elementary on August 20. Anna returned after a 5+ month break from the pandemic stay-at-home orders and the summer break! Kate couldn't wait to ride the bus and eat lunch away from us! LOL.

Here's some pictures before they left. They're growing up so fast!

They each chose a special spot. Anna wanted the sun!

Kate wanted the hydrangeas!

Here I am still waking up with the girls:

Then Drew woke up and joined for the shot with Curtis:


Kate's teacher was also Anna's Kindergarten teacher! Here's a picture from her class. I can't believe how long that lanyard is on her!


When they arrived home, they came running to us to share all about how it went!



The cliff-notes are that they both LOVED their first day of school! (And they still are!)
Their school is doing a great job keeping them safe and I have been really impressed with all their efforts! Even though it's a strange start to the school year, we are hoping that they're able to stay in person and eventually things will become more "normal" over time.

July 30, 2020

2020 Weddings

One reason that we have anticipated 2020 was because of all the weddings that were happening! Curtis had the privilege to officiate for 4 couples - all 8 were involved in RUF at Purdue for some/all of their college career.

The first wedding took place in Indianapolis with Mollie and Tyler on February 29. This was the only COVID-free wedding and the most normal of all. We had no idea at the time though!
I feel like I could say a lot about each couple because we love them all so much!! I will say that Mollie was one of the first students that I met at Purdue back in 2013 so she has known us the longest. She has become a dear friend to me! Tyler is hilarious and our kids enjoy how he interacts with them. 
I loved how the kids made their own seating on the dance floor to watch them cut the cake.
They took pictures with each table during the reception. I love that! Here's our 2 pics from it:
Anna may not have caught the bouquet, but the woman who did offered it to her. She was so thrilled!!
We all had a great time dancing!

Next up, Megan and Dillon got married on May 9 in Bringhurst, Indiana. Megan shares a birthday with Kate and they have a special relationship. Megan reminds me a lot of myself in how she organizes and plans and she has encouraged me with good books to read. I don't know Dillon as well since he wasn't as involved in RUF, but I am confident he will take good care of Megan. This wedding had the most changes because of the pandemic, but I can see from the pictures that it was a beautiful! Only Curtis attended from our family; the reception has been rescheduled for November. 

 
Check out how Curtis is completely hidden when they kissed!!! I thought that was pretty cool. I don't think that's ever happened before (to my knowledge). :)
Here they are signing the marriage license.

One of the bridesmaids (Hannah, bride #4 on this post) and Megan's mom decided to have a surprise drive-by parade after the ceremony so we were still able to participate! 
I think they were really surprised! We look forward to their reception later this year!

And then there was Jess and Alex on May 23 in Daleville, Indiana. These 2 got involved in RUF in their freshman year at Purdue. I always enjoy my conversations with Jess and walk away wishing for more time. We're proud of her and excited because she is our first student from Purdue to do the RUF internship! She will be serving at Georgia Tech. When Alex got involved in RUF, we thanked God for him. Because of a canceled involvement fair, we relied heavily on a few students that really gathered people to RUF in a season where outreach was limited. Alex was one of these!
It rained until right before their wedding but then it held off during the ceremony (though there was some thunder rumbles). God answered our prayers in that!
Marriage license was signed on backs this time. Haha!
Drew sure is proud of his daddy.
We tried to keep ourselves protected from the pandemic for most of the wedding.
I love this candid picture while we talked.
It was a wonderful day!

Last but not least, Hannah and David were married on June 27 in Milford, Indiana. Even though Hannah came to Purdue as a transfer student, we became fast friends. We would talk almost every night after RUF large group. I have really loved getting to know her and understanding her perspective on things. David shares a birthday with Curtis so he has regularly been serenaded when we sing to Curtis. Since David got involved in RUF the same year Alex did, he is another one of those few people that we relied on heavily to gather students in RUF. We thank God for providing David in our ministry in a challenging season!
The wedding was at Camp Mack. Our family enjoyed exploring it!
I hadn't ever seen such a well-thought-out playground for the kids! Here's a few pictures from it:


Do you see this little handsome guy on the ark?
My precious girls!
Since it's the most recent wedding, I don't have as many pictures to pull from yet. Here's the ceremony from my vantage point!
This wedding was one of the last times we were going to see a lot of our graduating seniors and our outgoing intern. Kate was glad to dance with them all - Carrie and Kaity are the 2 pictured, but she also danced a lot with Megan (see bride #2 of this post). 
And this guy...he was exhausted by the end of it all! 
It was such a joy to come alongside these couples as they begin their next chapter being married!

July 1, 2020

Anniversary Trip & Grandparent Camp

We celebrated our 12th anniversary in St. Augustine for about a week! It was the most time that I've spent exploring a town so close to where I grew up (as well as the most time we've ever been away from our kids), but we were so grateful for the opportunity! When our anniversary cruise was becoming questionable during the early days of COVID-19, my parents graciously offered their timeshare as a backup plan. At the time, only 2 locations in Florida were available due to the pandemic. I chose St. Augustine because it allowed us to go to the beach even if most other things were closed! Soaking up the sun and time to ourselves was just what we needed.
Hiding under the pier when it started raining
The beach was so refreshing! We went to Vilano, Anastasia, and St. Augustine Beach during our time there. Here's some of our views:




Going to the beach without kids has lots of perks: less people to sunscreen, the ability to read on the beach, playing in the water without worrying about how they're doing, and not having to deal with heading back in time for lunch or naptimes! It was like a different lifestyle! (Of course we missed our kids, but we did have almost 3 full months without a break from them so this time was pretty special!)

We had lots of great food while we were there. My favorite restaurants included Ice Plant (pictured below), Prohibition Kitchen, Back 40 Urban Cafe, and Mojo Old City BBQ. We ate most of our meals at our little condo, but we went out a few times!

We went on a Chocolate tour at Whetstone, which was pretty cool.

We also took a self-guided tour of the St. Augustine Distillery, only to find that the CEO and co-founder's last name is McDaniel!! Here's a piece of their decor from a barrel with our last name on it!

One day, we walked around as the sun was setting and explored some of the downtown area, including the fort. It was beautiful! I especially liked being out past our kids' bedtime!





Throughout our Florida trip, I had a fun time documenting the pandemic for posterity. Here are two of my favorite ones:

We took a similar picture when we first looked at engagement rings almost 13 years ago! It was fun to be back in a very different stage of life! 

Meanwhile, back at my parent's home, it was "Grandparent Camp." I received few pictures of all that took place, but I think they were thoroughly spoiled and made some special memories with their grandparents, Uncle Benny, and the cats! It included a homemade "Chuck E. Cheese" time, lots of sugary treats, and movie watching!! They were thrilled!

Drew loved seeing the cats and helping my parents feed them each day.

Kate spent a lot of time at the water table!

Anna's favorite was watching movies! (Side note: she got glasses right before this trip began. Doesn't she look so intelligent?)

One last special memory that I wanted to mention - my mom allowed Anna and Kate to put on some makeup and dress up in her clothes and shoes. I had reminded her of how my grandmother (her mom) did that with me and my cousin Jane and it inspired her to do this with them. 
(Side note: Kate makes the funniest faces!)

Shortly after we came back from St. Augustine, it was time to head back to Indiana. It was hard for all 5 of us to leave! In fact, Kate wanted to build a house in the woods next to my parents' house to stay there. They're already looking forward to "Grandparent Camp" next year when we *hopefully* and *finally* make it to that cruise we've been planning for the last 2 years!