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:).