Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sitting Next to

He is sitting next to me
The HE I love and have chosen for forever
How can I make such a sweeping decision?
See him today and predict the future?
It doesn’t give all the answers
It doesn’t reveal a path
But it lays a foundation of choice
That I can choose to continue to build
Or to abandon
To strengthen or to destroy

I glance over at HIM and I see more
Than I saw yesterday
More of his personality, his heart, his pain, his joy
I see more of "us"
And how we’ve imprinted on each other
I see more of what he is not and needs to be
I see myself reflected
How my choices will affect him
How I want to build more, faster, better

How I am happy just sitting next to HIM

Oh Christmases...or is it Christmai?

Indiana Christmas was December 12 because the Winzeler Family said it was so. We have that kind of power.
It was in our lovely Madison, In, with the Muppet Christmas Carol, Hinkles yummy food, swimming, and watching a movie together. We decorated the rooms with wrapping paper and even had the white snow.
The shark shirt from Uncle Caid
Caid wants to go to Spain. 
The good thing about not having Christmas on Christmas day is that the stores are all open. 
Siblings forever:). 
Christmas is never Christmas without the girl's caroling party (where we did more of catch phrase than caroling)
And then Christmas in Connecticut
opening presents
Nephews! I've got a buncha them
Caid got a balding razor. Caid is now bald. 
I love sitting here in the middle of three conversations, two video games, random phones, and a TV. All in the Jamaican accent. Life is better in the kitchen. It is where people connect. Juliet says that things are different in Jamaica. She tries to explain to Caid that it isn’t that his family doesn’t love him—they do—they just don’t show it like Americans do.
In Jamaica things are hard. As Juliet says (and Juliet is the only one who tells us stories), in Jamaica, one day from grade school, the school bus stopped. They told us we could get out and see the dead drowned body or not. No trauma counseling offered. And it was just what it was. Life was hard, and you just live it. You love someone, but you don't always say it. 
This is an old picture of most of my nieces and nephews. Caid has five sisters and one brother, all older. Oldest sister has one son, Fitztroy (left front) who is now 15 and playing basketball (and we go to his games). Next sister has three children: Thalia, Thalisa, and Theon, who are randomly in that picture. Next sister doesn't have kids. Next sister has three kids: Nyasa, Mekhi, and Mykah, youngest sister has two kids: Tiajae and OJ. His brother has a lot of children...some I still haven't met yet. Oh big families...
Caid, a couple years ago. It is funny to hear the different versions of Caid I've never seen: his sister, telling me how when he was six months old in Jamaica, a friend held him while riding a bike and fell. Caid screamed like his head was busted open, but he was fine, because it was Jamaica, and you were either fine or you were dead. The Sunday school mentor who says "Married? How can he be married? I remember having to throw rocks at his window to wake him up for work."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Fergusons

The big news is, of course, that Caid and I got married. We started dating August 23, 2012, and were engaged one year later. To propose in person, Caid went to Brazil, where I have been serving for the past nine years (You can watch our wedding, as well as the ministry in Brazil, on under “Rachel Ferguson”). 
I was so excited to have my mother come to Brazil in April, and have my father walk me down the aisle. In Brazil, Caid assisted me in coordinating the Living Stones program, which in 2013, served over 17,000 meals to over 280 impoverished children and their families, working through local churches.
On November 9, 2013 we were married with 100 dear friends, and 100 of my children from Living Stones participating in the first wedding most of them had ever attended. We enjoyed a honeymoon at a friend’s beach house, and then returned to the United States to enjoy the holidays with family.
While my role is changing, I am still the coordinator for Living Stones—just on the USA side of things. Caid and I are praying (and hoping!) to lead a short-term missions trip to Brazil in October 2014. Next year, Caid is working to finish his degree in Urban Leadership at Crossroads Bible College, so we will be living in Indianapolis during that time. We are both looking for jobs and opportunities as God leads us in this new life together, as well as praying about what God might have for us in the future—whether in the States or abroad. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Henrique Shaped Holes

Amazing how a picture of a child 5,000 miles away can grab you and make you cry. I feel the lump in my throat as I turn on Facebook and scan all of my friends for any tidbits of news from Brazil. From my part of Brazil. My part of Brazil that doesn’t have access to internet or computers, so I rely on the reports of others who care.
And I must continue to trust that others do care. That I did not create a void that cannot be filled. That when  I left, my kids won’t receive what they need. No. That is not true. Each one of my children have been left in the most capable of hands—hands of men and woman that cried along with me in the pain and struggle.

Yet sometimes I wonder who will take care of the hole in my heart that they left. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Because Sex is an Interesting Subject

This is from (Darn, why didn’t I think of a blog name like that?)
“It took me a lot of years and a lot of conversations with God (and with people who know more about God than me) to understand that everything I believed about my own sexuality was built on two huge lies.
The first comes from our culture, and it tells us that sex outside of marriage isn't a big deal.The second is from the Church, and it tells us that sex outside of marriage is the biggest deal of all the deals ever.
Both are complete crap. Sex matters. It's the most vulnerable thing you'll ever do with another human being. Commitment breeds intimacy, and intimacy is what makes sex freaking amazing. I'm not gonna lie, you can have hot sex outside of a committed relationship – but mostly it's gonna be like... clumsy... and goopy... and ew. The better you know your partner, the better your sex will be.
But. If you've already gone down that path, you really need to hear this...You've had sex outside of marriage? *gasp* So what! You are so much more than your sexuality. And the God of the Universe, the one who turns whores into heroes, He made peace with you and me and our promiscuous, pathetic attempts at love a long, long time ago. He gave you a Redeemer. Shame is no longer your burden. Do I want my boys to wait? Absolutely. And they know it! But I refuse to tie their value as a human being to their junk like a shiny red balloon.
We've made virginity the goal, when it is purity that we should be aiming for; They're not the same thing. Sexual purity is a life long spiritual practice that doesn't begin or end with a single sex act, just as it doesn't begin or end on a wedding night. We should be teaching people something they can carry with them beyond their first roll in the hay. 

Why wait? Um. Because you need to learn some freaking self-control. That's why. The man or woman who has a sense of mastery over their own sexual appetite will be far less likely to fall into the easy traps of addiction and infidelity that plague marriages today. I don't think this is a fail safe for a long and happy marriage, but I think delaying sex is a pretty solid beginning." 

One Month

Caid brought me flowers yesterday. The perfect kind for me, and they meant a lot. I didn’t even realize (and neither did he) that yesterday was our one month anniversary. We don’t remember dates well. But we celebrated and had an amazing day—we lived it, a normal day, like it was a special day, not knowing it really was a special day. And that is how it should be.
I hope this isn’t just a “honeymoon phase” thing. I want life to keep on like this. Some people say it can, others say it can’t. We are celebrating Christmas tomorrow, because Winzeler Christmas is flexible, and Ferguson Christmas will be on the 25th in Connecticut. So one month married, living on two continents, four locations, two holidays, and plenty of fun.
I am trying to put my brain to writing down the things I have learned about life and love and marriage in the first month, so that next month I can laugh at them and write new ones. This article had good points, so I took their headings and wrote me own explanations.
1. Marriage is more intimate than sex
Oh, you want to talk about sex? It is more and less than I thought it would be. I am glad it is a part of my life now, but it is just one part of a bigger thing called “us.” I loved how “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” put it: Western thought puts sex as the climax—of love, of marriage, of whatever, when really, Jewish thought put sex as a building block of marriage: something amazing that grows “us.”
2. Marriage reveals selfishness, but can also cultivate selflessness (I am adding stubbornness)
I never knew I was stubborn until Karine told me. I never realized HOW stubborn until I sat across from Caid and refused to apologize for something we both know I was clearly wrong about. I sat there until I could squeeze the words out that we knew I didn’t mean. Oh, I meant them five minutes later, but GEE Rachel. Really?
3. Oneness literally means one
It means I don’t get my to-do list done the same way. It means I talk to him before making final decisions. And it means ministry looks different. No more 80 hour work weeks for Living Stones.
4. At some point, you will be disappointed (don’t need to explain that)
5. Like it or not, you will learn the meaning of forgiveness (or that)
6. Marriage will cost you (ya)
7. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a series of decisions
Normally when you make the decisions, the feeling happens
8. Marriage will require you to learn how to communicate
And I thought I was good at it. Nope. Seems I have problems with details.
9. Marriage is not the end of your destination.
I was very amazed that after I got married—and while I got married—I was still just me. A week before my wedding I sat on my bed and realized I wouldn’t suddenly lose 10 pounds and have perfectly toned muscles in my wedding pictures. It was depressing. Disney movies subconsciously streamed through my mind and I figured that of course it would be perfect.
I never said this out loud (and would have never thought I believed it), but something in me truly thought that wedding, sex, and marriage would “poof” something to make me more/different/magical. Nope. But it all has been pretty darn great. Even if I am only just me.
10. Marriage gives you a glimpse of so much more

I’ve turned into a snoot that looks at the single person and feels sorry for them. Oh darn. But it really is like opening a door to another world. 

Monday, December 2, 2013


I made a sack lunch and kiss my husband off to work this morning. WOW. How quickly things happen. During the honeymoon, Caid looked up at me and remarked, “We just sorta slid right into this, didn’t we. How did this happen?”
It wasn’t said in a negative tone, just of pure surprise that comes some moments when you look at your partner and think “I just gave this perfect stranger the rest of my life? Who are you and who am I?”
I have to admit, the whole dating process went really smoothly (well, except closer to the end of LONG DISTANCE WAITING. Sometimes it got to be TOO MUCH). The engagement process went off without a glitch—I was holding my breath for someone to come up and say, “HEY! You can’t get married! What are you thinking? You aren’t ready for that! You haven’t been together long enough! You are rushing things! You aren’t this and this and this….”
AND NO ONE DID. I kept waiting for my cold feet to show up, or for Caid to run away, but it never happened. By the time we got married, I started getting suspicious—why is this so easy? Why aren’t people stopping me from giving my life to this man? Don’t they know this is one of the most important decisions of my LIFE?
Every single person in my life was supportive, encouraging, and loving. And that blessed my socks off. But it still made me wonder if everyone was simply too busy to notice, or just so happy I wouldn’t be an old maid that they didn’t question me.

I realize now that I am too used to Naysayers and criticism. It also confirms my belief that there isn’t THE ONE out there, but you can choose wisely and find “The-one-that-won’t-be-easy-but-works-perfectly-to-create-an-amazing-life-together.” And when that happens, it is okay to let the puzzle pieces fall into place and look up to find the whole picture complete.

Three Weeks Normal

I got married three weeks ago. And I am amazed at life and change, and how smoothly and quickly it can happen. I am captivated by the idea of “normal,” and how we CREATE our own version of normal. I have worked a long time to live an intentional life: choosing what I wanted in my life, creating a life that pleased God, made me feel good, and helped others.
For 30 years I created the normal for Rachel Winzeler. And I did it pretty darn well. And then, I changed my name. Symbolic for changing everything. The normal I see right now, this morning, typing on this computer is so completely different from the normal I had one month ago—and yet—it is still ME.
Caid and I are now intentionally working on this new “normal.” This isn’t easy because there are two brains/ideas now. My previous version of productivity has decreased 90%, but my happiness and completeness has increased 80%, and in ways I never expected: there is a whole world of companionship I never knew existed.
I looked at the row of single students at the Thanksgiving Eve service and I gasped at the idea of going home alone. I never missed it that deeply while single—but I must admit, it was because I didn’t know how nice it could be to go home with someone, your someone every night. It is an unexplainable comfort and joy to me. A blessing I never expected.
And we stay up late to talk through something that bothered one of us until we figure out why. And then we snuggle together in the firm belief that nothing can touch us there and honeymoons last forever. No, it isn’t perfect, but it is honestly better than I thought it would be. Not that I thought marriage was horrible, but I’ve seen quite a few, and it just seemed generally…hard.  But I see why nine out of ten people get married now.

And my normal has already changed to not being able to imagine being single again. My normal is okay with spending an evening “accomplishing nothing,” because I simply spent time with him. For the first time in my life, I am fine with doing nothing, because I realize it isn't NOTHING--it is the most BEAUTIFUL thing--because when I am doing "nothing" with Caid--it is relationship building, it is deep soul growing...and even if we are just snuggled up and watching a movie--it is something important I am doing--I am creating a most amazing wonderful marriage/relationship/soul bond forever. And that is worth investing my life into making.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Washington's Car

He left early, to deliver food baskets for the families that needed it, and to get the children from the dump ready for the bus that was coming to take them to my wedding. There are few people that I admire in this world as much as Washington and his wife Andrea. They started Massa Humana, the project with their church to work with the families at the dump—Living Stones just works with them—they are the backbone of that ministry.
Washington is a true example of what it means to live the Christian life—ministry just happens to him. We have pick up the soup to take to the dump—now we stop and pray, share, encourage, and sometimes even sing with the ladies who cook in the kitchen. He knows each one by name. He has saved the lives of different people from the dump community, driving out there in the middle of the night to take them to the hospital because the ambulance wouldn’t go.
He left the city, following the road that leads to the dump and saw a motorcycle coming towards him. It turned sideways suddenly, tipping over. He stopped, and got ready to jump out to try and help when he saw two men running towards him, one with a gun. They told him to get out of the car. “He looks like police!” One man said to the other, “I will kill him.” He told Washington to stand up slowly and turn around and pressed the barrel hard against the back of his head.
The other man grabbed Washington’s wallet and flipped through for his license, “No, He isn’t a cop.” Washington felt the gun loosen. “Start walking,” The man said, “Don’t turn around.” Shaken, Washington started walking back to the city, with nothing. Then he started running. He went to the police station and reported everything stolen—even the food baskets for the families. He was still able to get all the children together and on the bus for my wedding—and get there, dressed, only a little late.

He and his wife hugged me. They said nothing, and I went to my honeymoon not knowing about the dangers that had happened. They didn’t want anything to take away from my special moment. The police located the car a couple days later, and chased away the robbers, leaving a bullet hole through one side of the car. Worse for wear, but still working, Washington got his car back and gave me a big hug. Please pray for Washington, his family, and this ministry at the dump.  

Making Special

She spilled beans and orange soda down the front of her white flower girl dress. I took her into the kitchen and rinsed her down the best I could and has someone help her change back into her clothes. In that moment, I remembered she’d never had something special like this before.
She was quiet and still like an ice princess. I’ve known her since before she could talk, peeking out from behind her mother while her sisters ran to hug me and join in the fun at the Living Stones program. Josefa, number 6 of 8 girls. “Why do you like her so much?” My friend asked, “Just wait until you meet her and you will know.” I responded, “Some of the kids just attach themselves to your soul in a way that surprises you both.”
She has changed. Last month, she contracted some kind of parasite from the water. They live at the bottom of the hill, next to the polluted lake where all the sewer run-off meets. She spends her days wearing torn panties and tearing down the road to go swimming at all hours, and then home again to the simple mud floor where the same water is used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. 
Josefa had to spend two weeks in the hospital. Her mother, taking care of seven other girls. Her father working. A family friend stayed with her as she could, but she was alone. She wears her six years a little heavier now.

I giggled at her crush on Caid. All flower girls should blush at the groom. Her mom told me that she would stare at the picture of us for hours. She and her sisters came stomping down the hall while I was getting my hair done for the wedding. In the room, she glanced longingly at the makeup as we put on her dress, until we finally dolled her up as well.

It was a long wait. In Brazil, the bride is normally an hour late. Two hours late is not uncommon. But I am not a Brazilian bride—I was ready ten minutes before. The children from the busses kept peeking in the windows, wanting to get a glance at me. When I shooed them away, they pointed to Josefa and said “How come she gets to be in there?” Oh life is unfair.

Josefa was a champ. She waited with me for half an hour until all of my witnesses arrived (In Brazil, you have couples as “witnesses,” who sign the marriage covenant in the place of bridesmaids and groomsman). We practiced walking, Josefa holding my veil. As we lined up to the entrance, a gasp went up from my Living Stones kids, and the girls, who had their tiaras and has just put down the flower petals—came running to help me as well.

I almost lost my veil from all the tugging of little hands. So much was happening that I didn’t even care anymore—they could all carry it. The boys were all lined up along the aisle, and the sparklers started—and smoke and sparks and fire and children and there was Caid at the end. That moment was truly the most magical of my life—to date.

I didn’t see Josefa again until there was orange soda dribbling down her dress. And I gave her a big hug and am so glad she could be a part of my special day—no--she is part of what made my day special. To all my kids--I love you so much!

You Can...You are Married now

He says I am short. At 5’3’’, I am one inch under the USA average for women. To me, this makes me just a little under average, not short. We have agreed for him to call me petite.
It is the little joys of him sweeping the floor while I do the dishes. Cheering when fixing the oven. High fiving it when the toilet finally flushes. Rolling over in bed and finding someone there. Having an arm wrap around you in the dark. The honeymoon was really nice. We slept alot, and didn’t go out and do anything. Sex is exhausting.
He shakes his head and mumbles “Type A” under his breath again. I like getting things done. Before our honeymoon, the longest I’d been able to last at the beach (without internet, without doing work) was five days. The honeymoon was nine days, and I was sad to go. This marriage stuff could be really good for me.
We have started our own collection of secrets. I’ve never done that before. Growing up, I never really had secrets. All my awkward quirks were already obvious. My friends and I giggled about boys, but I was too shy to talk to them. But now I have this friend—this best friend—and we read about keeping some things secret. Sacred. Just me and him.
They all have the same look on their face as they hug me: “How was your honeymoon?” (Smirk) “It was fantastic! So relaxing and fun!” (More smirk) “Oooooh, reeeeeeally?” And I turn red not because I know they are thinking about how we had sex, but because we can’t say it for what it really is. No one ever says the S-word. Our culture is so interestingly screwed.
I am the product of either sex-overload or sex-silence. Culture and movies have created 30 years of what I thought sexuality was. A few good conversations with a few good people gave me some perspective, but most everyone else was silent.
And then a man and a woman come together and have sex for the first time, and it is like a whole pot of issues and confusion is opened. 95% of what we knew was wrong. It is so much more and so much less than what we were told.
Christianity told me to “Just wait and then it will be great.” What? I put on hold a whole part of my life—my sexuality—because I figured it was just to be ignored until it was unlocked on my wedding night. I have come face to face with a huge part of ME, who I am, that I have never met.

I’ve read every Bible verse there is about sex, I have read every popular Christian book about it—and yet, I still feel like I have no idea what God thinks about sex—and wants me to think about it—while I am actually DOING it. And in the end, this is no one’s fault but mine. And so I am getting to know myself.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Permanently Ever After

He played it cool. But if you saw the video, you would giggle a little. 
I made funny faces and went to my happy place away from the dentist-like drill making marks in my hand.
And they turned out beautiful--I love it, and am so excited about never losing my wedding ring. I am amazed at how many people look at me incredulously saying, "But it is permanent!" To this I wonder what they think marriage is...

Marriage is saying yes. And that is what I need to focus on. Because with trying to finish everything with Living Stones, organize 9 years of being in Brazil coming to a close, being with everyone I love, and a often looks more like a lot of "no"s: No--I won't be doing that anymore. No, I don't know those future plans. No, I can't anymore. Marriage is saying yes. 
Countdowns have begun. I go places knowing I probably won't be back for a long time. I hug people and children that I won't have a chance to hug for I-don't-know-when. 
Today I realized another problem: Brazilian culture. Around 500 people have personally told me they were coming to my wedding. So I am planning for 300 (because you ALWAYS tell the bride you are coming--it is polite, and she probably won't notice/remember anyways), and actually, I am sure 100 will come. I fluctuate between being worried that everyone will come and no one will come. I also am realizing that while I am fluent in Portuguese, planning a wedding for 100-500 people in another country is quite an ordeal. Especially only using public transportation. Thank goodness a lot of people love me a lot.:)
Like these people:). So glad to have Jackson here! I have started doing wedding-ish things. Like whitening my teeth. hum. And getting a wedding tattoo. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Unlawfully wedded

Have you any idea all of the hoops you have to jump through to get married (lawfully through the government) in Brazil? Let's just say step one involved a professionally translated birth certificate validated in person at our respective Brazilian consulates in the USA. We didn't get to step two.

We are getting church married. And then when we return to the USA, we will visit the Justice of the Peace to get everything official. So I am currently writing the document we will sign during the ceremony.

“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.” Hos. 2:19

We, Caid and Rachel, founded on Jesus Christ,
Are consistently and actively growing in love and grace,
Ministering to others and each other
Through the arts, multicultural communication, and creatively sharing
To bring us all closer to the heart of God.

We take each other,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better or for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish;
From this day forward until death do us part.

The first paragraph is our Marriage Mission Statement. Isn't that the coolest idea ever? We had a lot of fun putting it together, combining our own personal mission statements. I had to keep going and make our goals/values...and Caid was a good sport and put in his two cents:

Rachel's: I am a passionate sharer who creates family/community that glorifies God through teaching, writing, and assisting seekers 

Caid's: I am a strong spiritual leader who creates family/community that glorifies God through the arts, sports, and multicultural communication while striving for excellence

Our goals/values:

1. FOCUS on what really matters: God and love
2. Work together and find BALANCE alone and together
3. Have true INTIMACY--physically, emotionally, and spiritually
4. Have a godly HOME that we can bring others into, with lots of traditions and celebrations
5. Be CREATIVE--Life full of music, arts, communication, and sports
6. Have MINISTRY outlets for what we are passionate about
7. Stay HEALTHY, pure, fit, and disciplined--clean and limited media to make room for outside life/exercise, natural and simple food/surrounding 
8. Laugh, have FUN, and stay forever young

Friday, October 18, 2013

He is my Best Friend

I woke up the other day, so excited about the idea that I am walking into the future with him, hand in hand. He is a good choice. And if I could forget I was so in love with him, I would still think he was a good choice. So there, rationality.
For me, the three weeks until our wedding are just there to make sure I can get my "to do" list done--as far as the decision-I am ready. I am his. I feel that deep peace that pragmatic people shake their heads about and you can never fully explain. 
But that doesn't stop doubts from coming in. The "But have we been together long enough?" "Are you both prepared enough?" or when someone asks me what he thinks/wants/likes and I realize I have no idea and "WHO IS THIS STRANGER I AM GOING TO MARRY?" passes in hurried capital letters across my brain. 
I am choosing a permanent family member. No easy way out. No "opps." I am choosing a partner, joined at the hip, and choosing him says things about me that I am still learning. We argue a lot. He is detail, I am big picture. He is laid back, I am pushing forward. He is smooth, I am awkward. He is people, I am projects. 
And I know enough to know I don't know the half of it when it comes to marriage. "What do you mean 'you want alone time?' Does this happen often?" sigh. Yes, my love, it does. And so does my controlling, getter-done attitude. 
Because unfortunately, I've gotten very good at doing things well--alone. Now the game changes--no more brownie points for staying up late and getting the paperwork done--relationship is more important. And charging through my checklist? It doesn't bring the same satisfaction because it sacrifices conversation. 
My goals are changing. My definition of success is being reset. Transition is slightly awkward with tears and laughter sandwiched in between. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. 
I asked my friend Joelson what getting married was like: "It magnifies everything--joy, sadness, love, anger, failure, success...but there is nothing like looking at the person next to you and knowing they got through all that with you." 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Preparing for Children's Day

Step 1: Upload cute baby picture on to Facebook
Step 2: Prepare presents and games for Lagoa and Guadalajara
Step 3: Prepare 50+ presents, plan party, and trip to Recife with the kids from Cajueiro Claro
Step 4: Prepare 120 presents for the trash dump this Saturday, as well as organize people and transportation
Step 5: Organize (still need to wrap) 100+ presents for Mussurepe, and organize the International school children to come and give a literacy party next week. 
Step 6: Wish I still looked like this so I could be on the receiving end of all of this:).

Monday, September 30, 2013


Half-way through my normal Friday schedule I was kidnapped in a closet and told to change clothes. I was then led out to the car and we started driving--SURPRISE! Bachelorette party! Why so early? I am not getting married until November 9th.
Well, as someone was remarking, "It is because she is pregnant." Then, luckily, it was announced that LINDSAY was pregnant, not Rachel. whew. Lindsay is due in a couple of weeks, and post-baby is no party, and going-into-labor-during party isn't very fun. Besides--this way, I was completely surprised.
Picnic at Olinda
Alice: the rabbit, mad hatter, Alice, cheshire cat, and playing card
Down the rabbit hole
Good, amazing food--sugar high
fun, goofy games involving toilet paper
And finish at the beach:) whooo! 
It was amazing to just sit back and know an incredible time was going to be had. It has been a long time since I haven't had to plan, control, or figure out what was going on--and this was perfect timing to just let go and enjoy some of my favorite people in the whole world--Thanks you guys:)