The structural engineer came out earlier this week to take a look at our wall. He's going to draw up the plans for framing out that area and then hand them over to us so we can start getting estimates from the contractors we've been in touch with. So we should probably get the plans sometime mid-next week. And then hopefully we can get this thing going along (smoothly from here on out would be fantastic).
Although calling in a structural engineer was an expense we didn't anticipate, at the end of the day it's probably a good thing that we did our due diligence and, hopefully, avoided headaches down the road. Having your ceiling start to sag is never a good thing. So, for now, I'll leave you with our current view of the kitchen (a.k.a, "the pit"):