Common Mom Rotating Header Image


12 Years Ago Today – February 14, 1996

Originally posted February 14, 2008

Click here and here to read about our travel to Maui and our meeting with Father Jack :-)

The big day had arrived! February 14, 1996 – the day we were going to get married. We chose this day primarily because it’s somewhat of a family tradition. My maternal Grandparents had gotten married on Valentine’s Day, and my godmother (their oldest daughter) WANTED to get married on Valentine’s Day, but it didn’t work out. Anywho, I really wanted to get married on Valentine’s Day to honor my grandparents. . . . Dan agreed so we did it! And really, what better excuse to get married in Maui? Who would ever want to get married in February in MN?!

Mom and I got up early and headed to get our hair and nails done. We were a little worried because it was cloudy and rainy – February is, afterall, rainy season in Hawaii. The lady doing my hair ASSURED me that by the time our 4:00 wedding rolled around, the sky would be blue and the rainbows would be bright. At 2:00, I wasn’t so sure! It was still cloudy and raining with no end in sight. Did I REALLY go all the way to Hawaii to get married on a beautiful island, only to have to have my pictures taken inside a church, with no sand, ocean, or palm trees in sight?

While Mom and I were getting ready, Dan was off with his family getting ready as well. They’d ventured out to get a Unity candle, the one thing we’d forgotten to get! They found a really fun one – I was happy as a clam with what they chose – a white and blue candle with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on it :-)

After a successful shopping trip to get the candle, Dan figured he’d better start getting ready. He got dressed at the condo in a nice dry room . . . we’ve got TONS of pictures of him getting dressed – including this one, with his Dad helping him out:

Dan Getting ReadyÂ

How many pictures do we have of me getting ready? NONE! And why is that? Because if you remember from the previous post, the library at the church was under construction, so I couldn’t get dressed there. And I didn’t want to put on my dress and then cram it into the back seat of a car for a 30 minute drive so it would get all wrinkled, sooooooo . . . we drove to the church and I got dressed in the parking lot! Yup – I got ready for my wedding while standing in the parking lot of the church. And, it was still raining on and off, so I actually got dressed IN THE CAR! In fact, it was this car . . . as you can see, not really roomy 😉

Jodie Dan By Car

But it all worked out . . . and, just as 3:30 rolled around and we were getting ready to walk in to the church (I still hadn’t seen Dan), the rain stopped, the clouds broked, and the sun came out – resulting in the most beautiful rainbows you’ve EVER seen! It was PERFECT!

The ceremony was awesome – it was so nice to have such a small intimate ceremony in a beautiful location. We got to really enjoy the big step were taking, rather than worrying about guests and food and flower girls and cake and limousines. And, I think if my Dad had to walk me down the aisle of a big church with lots of people, he might have actually fainted 😉 He’s not a real big group type of person!

Here we are during the ceremony. If you look closely, you can see that Father Jack is once again sporting his Burks :-)

Us Al Father Jack

My Mom and Dan’s brother Bob are standing in the background. My maid of honor couldn’t make the trip to Hawaii because quite frankly, we’d just graduated from college and nobody had any money. So, my Mom stood up for me at the actual ceremony. It was REALLY special!Â

Our singer, Al, is also in the background. He was such a wonderful traditional Hawaiian singer. We had no clue what he was going to sing. We’d talked to him on the phone and he said to just leave it to him because he’d done this many times. He was right – it was BEAUTIFUL! He sang a traditional Hawaiian song, then he sang the Hawaiian Wedding Song in both English and Hawaiian – amazing! We were so happy :-) Here’s a photo of us and Al.

 Jodie Dan Laugh Church

Here are me and Dan after the ceremony. This is one of my favorite photos – it’s totally candid and we are so happy!

Jodie Dan Laugh In Church

When we walked outside, it was BEAUTIFUL! You would never had known it had been raining. The sky was beautiful, the ocean was beautiful, and everything was soooo green! Our photographer was hilarious! He owned only a tiny little motorcycle, which wouldn’t start after we left the church. Our videographer didn’t like our photographer, so he refused to give him a ride. As we pulled away in our car to head to a really nice hotel for some pictures, we looked out the back window and saw our photographer pushing his motorcycle down the road trying to pop the clutch and start it. Hilarious! He did get it started and all was well with the world. Here’s a photo of me and Dan on the beach after the ceremony:

Jodie Dan Kiss Beach

After the pictures on the beach, we all headed to the Chart House restaurant for our own little reception. We had our own menu and everything! They made it just for us – it was wonderful. The service was great and the food was amazing! After dinner, we all headed to a local bar/restaurant type place. Our singer, Al, had told us his band was performing there that night, so we went to check it out – we ended up having our own little dance reception. They introduced us and played the Wedding song again for us and everything – it was soooo awesome!

Then off we were to our OWN condo, to spend our first night as husband and wife :-) Check back tomorrow to hear a little bit about our honeymoon.

12 Years Ago Today – February 15, 1996

Originally posted on February 15, 2008

Check here, here, and here to read about our travel to Maui, our meeting with Father Jack, and our wedding ceremony.

We officially began our honeymoon. And what did we do on our first day as Husband and Wife? We spent the day with 4 of our 6 parents. Yup, we actually spent quite a bit of our honeymoon with family, which was perfectly fine with us :-) We had so much fun on our honeymoon . . . we went to Honolulu for the day and saw the Dole Pineapple Plantation and the beautiful sunsets on Waikiki Beachfirst. Here we are at the Dole Planatation:

Pineapple Planation

Dan and I also drove the north shore in our rental car even though it said the contract was void if you did that. The road was so narrow and lots of spots it was one lane. You had to just go for it and hope nobody else was coming. It was kind of funny because we’re driving along this beautiful little road and we look up on the hills above us and there standing on the edge, looking out over the ocean, was a single cow. How lucky he was! We also made the 52 mile 4 hour one way drive to Hana and saw the beautiful black sand beaches and bamboo forest. It of course rained part of that day, but we didn’t mind :-)

Jodie Dan Hana Road

We hadn’t planned on it taking quite that long; so we figured we should eat dinner before we left to go back to Kihei. The only place we found that was open was this place that was offering a Valentine’s Buffet for $25. We were so hungry we were willing to pay that price per person! Turns out, it was $25/couple and drinks were included! Add to that the wonderful Hawaiian entertainment and we had a great dinner together. We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried.

Our honeymoon also included an awesome day trip of snorkeling and a sunset cocktail cruise to see the whales. Yes, you can see the whales from the road . . . and yes, the tourists DO pull over right on the side of the only 2-lane road in to Kihei, and effectively block traffic for miles, just to see the whales out in the water. They are amazing, but we chose to take a sunset cruise and get a little closer. We really enjoyed the cruise AND the whales :-)

Jodie Dan Sunset Cruise

Near the end of our honeymoon, we went to the Old Lahaina Luau with my mom and Tony. We had heard many times from many different people that this was the best Luau in all of Hawaii, so we went for it. We were NOT disapointed!

Jodie Dan Shirley Tony Luau

You of course are given a mai tai the minute you walk in, and the food was amazing – just don’t eat too much poi 😉 In the middle of the show, they had everyone who was on their honeymoon or celebrating their anniversary to head down to the beach for a moonlight dance to some great music. It was SOOOOO much fun!

After all that fun and some really awesome food, it was time to head back to the chilly land of the upper midwest and back to reality. We had such an awesome time – I’d totally do it again!

We had a reception a couple weeks after we got back. I don’t have a lot of photos of that, but here is a picture of our fun cake – yes, Mickey and Minnie have again made an appearance :-)

Wedding Cake

The reception was a lot of fun! We were relaxed and laid back and having a great time. I just can’t imagine how wiped out we would have been if we’d had a big wedding and the reception on the same day. AND, I got to wear my wedding dress twice! How many people get to do that?

Here’s to our Happily Ever After :-)

Family Xmas Millers


We are celebrating our anniversary with the kids. Jason didn’t have school today, so I took the day off and we headed up to Breckenridge for a day of snowboarding lessons. Jason had a lesson last year and loved it. So we figured we’d all take one this year. We might as well all learn together as a family, right? Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

12 Years Ago Today – February 13, 1996

Originally posted on February 13, 2008

Check here to read about our uneventful travel to Maui!

On Tuesday, Dan and I got up early and headed in to Kihei to find St. Theresa’s Catholic Church and meet Father Jack. My Mom had worked so hard for the past year trying to plan a Hawaiian wedding on a limited budget, and she did GREAT! We were so happy with everything. When we got to the church, we were so happy. It was a simple little church, but amazingly beautiful. And since it was the Lent, it was decorated beautifully – we didn’t have to do a thing.

St. Theresa's ChurchÂ

The meeting went very well. When we’d talked to the church manager on the phone a couple weeks ago prior set up the meeting, we’d asked if we could write our own vows. She said she didn’t think so because Father Jack was very traditional. We were OK with that; so when we got there, we expected to see Father Jack dressed in traditional Catholic Priest Wear. Um, not so. He came out in a white tank top, khaki shorts, and brown Burkenstock sandals. He was SOOOO laid back – it was awesome! We immediately liked him. The only bummer was that they’d had to start doing some rennovations on the library – which is the room where I would normally had gotten ready. But, that wasn’t the end of the world, so we went on our tour of the church and talked about the ceremony. When we told him that Al was going to sing at our wedding, he was very pleased and said Al was awesome and we would love him.

All in all, we left the church very happy. Then we headed to the government office to get our marriage license . . . had to show proof of the blood tests and everything and write down what I wanted my new name to be (it’s got more letters than the alphabet!), and all that jazz.

Off we were to enjoy our last afternoon as fiance’s . . . the weather was beautiful, everyone we were expecting had arrived, and we relaxed and had a nice dinner. Then we were off to our separate condos for the night. Even though we’d lived together for about a 8 months, I stayed with my mom and Dan stayed with his parents.

Check back tomorrow for details on our ceremony!

12 Years Ago Today – February 12, 1996

Originally posted February 12, 2008

12 Years ago today, Dan and I joined my Mom and stepdad, Tony, at the airport in Minneapolis. What were we doing there? We were leaving -35 F temperatures (-60 with the windchill!) and heading to beautiful Hawaii! Yup – Dan and I were getting married on Maui :-) Travelling to Maui takes a long time from MN . . . but man was it worth it! We had a slight layover in LA at their “lovely” airport. Here we are waiting patiently for our plane to leave to head across the ocean:

Us at LAX

We wanted to make sure I had my dress for the wedding – didn’t want it to get lost travelling - so we dragged that dang thing in a dress bag as a carryon. All the cabin attendants were so nice and more than accommodating when we got on the plane – they offered to hang it with the pilot’s jackets so it would be safe. They were wonderful! 

It was -35 when we left, but we still wore shorts because by golly, we were headed to Hawaii! That was the February that the entire US had weird really cold weather . . . so when we finally got to Hawaii and balmy 65 degree temps, we had to giggle at the Hawaiians working at the open-air airport . . . they were actually wearing parkas! They thought we were the weird ones in shorts and sweatshirts :-) We hung out at the Honolulu airport for a while waiting for our plane to Maui to leave. When we got on that plane, we were 4 of about 15 people total on the plane. The cabin attendant was so nice and brought us a bottle of champagne. Then he sat down in a regular seat by us and said “Here’s the spiel . . . this is a 15 minute flight. I’m the cabin attendant. This is the emergency door. If this plane goes down, grab on to my coat tails because I guarantee you I’ll be the first one out the door!” HAHAHAHAHA!!!

When we got to Maui, we all headed to the rental car counter to get our two vehicles . . . the slight problem was that they wouldn’t let Dan and I rent our car because neither of us were 25 yet! They wanted a HUGE deposit to let us take it with our name on the rental slip. My mom was MAD . . . and really, when my mom is doing “business” you do not want to cross her. She went off telling them how ridiculous it was that Dan could fly $6 million planes, but they won’t let him rent a pice of *^*& rental car. Then she told them that she was going to drive it and that was that . . . then we walked out the door and she gave us the keys :-) I LOVE my mom!

Off to the condo where we got settled and waited for the others to arrive. All in all we had about 20 people at our wedding . . . some family and some friends . . . what a great excuse to leave MN for a week in frigid February!

Check back tomorrow to hear about our first meeting with Father Jack, the priest who was to marry us :-)