Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recap: The Wedding Reception

Oh the reception...I know everybody says this about their wedding reception but I have never had so much fun in my LIFE! Of course part of that is because there are very few instances in life where one has this huge glamorous party thrown just for them, where everyone who is attending is close to you and you are the center of attention the entire night. I truly felt like the queen of the evening. Everywhere E and I went and everything we did the entire night, we were celebrated by everyone dear to us. Everyone treated us like we were superstars, and I loved every minute of it! How often does one get to feel like that? To that extent, probably only at your wedding. And to think that one of the biggest things I was nervous about before the wedding was being the center of attention, since I usually don't like to be in the spotlight. Well that definitely changed that night!

We arrived at Casa Bosque after the ceremony and got out of the car a little too fast for the videographers so we had to get back into the car and do it all over again. We had a good laugh as we got back into the car, pulled out of the driveway, circled around, and then pulled back into Casa Bosque. We immediately went to the hotel to relax and freshen up while the guests were arriving to the cocktail. There we met with our family members, took some famiy photos, and then some bride and groom photos in our room which turned out amazing, before heading to the cocktail. The day planner and producer were there at the hotel waiting for us and signaled to us when it was time to walk into the cocktail which was in a tented area outside the restaurant. They had everything figured out and planned and we didn't have to worry about a thing the entire night. I can't stress how amazing the services at Casa Bosque were. We walked into the cocktail to the music of Los Tres "Quien es la que viene alli" (at least I think that's the title) with bubbles floating all around us. We then gave our "welcome" toasts and started the evening. Throughout the cocktail we mingled and greeted guests. It was amazing to see all those we loved beaming at us as throughout the night. Everyone radiated happiness.

Before dinner, we were escorted inside the restaurant to make an entrance to dinner down the main stairway after all the guests had found their tables and made themselves comfortable. We made our second entrance to the music of the Beatles, "All you need is love", and at the bottom of the staircase, gave another quick toast to al our guests. As E raised his glass to toast to our friends and family, he hadn't realized that wine or drinks hadn't been poured yet so everybody raised empty glasses instead. Another minor glitch in the night. I've learned from previous wedding experiences that you can never expect a wedding to go completely according to plan. There's bound to be mistakes that happen throughout the night. After all the little mistakes in the ceremony, any other little errors that occured afterwards seemed like nothing. So everyone happily raised their empty glasses to E's toast and just smiled and went with it.

Finally the time came to just sit and enjoy our meals with our families. By that time I was completely relaxed and just so freaking happy. We chatted and laughed and joked with all our family members who surrounded our table and had such a fun and memorable dinner. Then came a little surprise. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, some beautiful Chilean folkloric music, whose title I can't remember, began to play and in enters the fabulous musical duo who perform regularly at one of our favorite restaurants, Don Peyo. We have always admired them and love their music and their ability to entertain a crowd. We had talked about having them play at our wedding reception but finally dropped the idea when we saw that it really wasn't in our budget. But my sneaky little husband went out and hired them as a surprise for me! Oh how I love him! So they played throughout the dinner, entertaining the tables as they went around the restaurant. People clapped to their music, and a few tables even chanted together, "Otra! Otra! Otra!", which means, "Play another, Play another, Play another!". They were so great and added so much warmth and animation to the dinner.

The dessert was incredible, I've never seen such a huge and beautiful dessert buffet. There was home made ice-cream that you could put into different cones, cakes, puddings, mouses, and my amazing wedding cake made by my friend Sam who is actually starting her own baking business. For those of you looking for a wedding cake or any other baked goods, check out her website. She also made me a little Christmas package full of delicious sweets and between that and the wedding cake, I can honestly say she is one talented baker who makes very delicious goodies!

After dinner and dessert, E and I headed back out to the outside tent area where we were going to show a presentation we made which was a summary of our 6 year relationship. To kick things off though, my dad spontaneously grabbed the microphone and began singing Louis Armstrong, "What a Wonderful World" in his Louis Armstrong impression. I think he completely caught the crowd off guard and everybody went silent but applauded like crazy when he finished. He then went on to give a very sweet and halarious speech. Now that he had given a toast, the rest of our parents got involved and spontaneously gave their own separate little speaches which I thought were very honest and touching. It worked out great because I really wanted them to say something during the reception, but we had never planned a time for them to say it so it couldn't have been more perfect.

With that we showed the presentation, and then went into dancing the waltz. I was so worried E and I were going to screw up but thank god we didn't. It was actually with my dad that we screwed up a bit...something I did not expect since he is quite the dancer. My dad was dancing so enthusiastically that he accidently crashed right into my mom who was dancing with E ha ha. Woops! After the waltz, the music started rocking and the party started kicking. Despite the cold, I think we had quite the party. For me, though I only had one drink, the party was one big fun blur because I was on such a high but I distinctly remembering dancing non-stop until 5:30am with all my wonderful friends and family. The night absolutely few by. One minute we were eating dinner, the next we were dancing into the wee hours of the morning, and finally we were passed out in our room as the sun was rising.

I remember that the party was very united and everybody was constantly forming circles where the crazy ones danced their crazy dances in the middle. The catapillar was also formed a couple times and at one point my awesome lady friends picked me up and carried me through the crowd. One of the best parts was where the whole room danced to the Zorba (this awesome Greek song whose title I also can't remember...I suck at remembering music), we all linked arms and danced to the music in this one big massive circle. And my parents stayed dancing until the end! I couldn't believe it! They were having such a great time, they didn't want the night to end. Numerous times throughout the night people came up to me to tell me how awesome my parents were. I think my dad's song and speech really made an impression. That and the fact that my parents were dancing with absolutely anyone in sight made me so proud of them :) On top of all that, the little match-making scheme I had been working on to set up my sister with one of E's friends, who I thought was her soulmate, worked beautifully. They hit it off and have been meeting each other here in Santiago regularly since the wedding. He he...I'm such a cupid! My mom told me that she would kill me if I was responsible for another daughter going off to live in Chile. Woops!

At 6am, once E and I had finally collapsed on our bed exhausted, I remember feeling so full of happiness and though I had blisters all over my feet and my legs hurt from dancing so much, I know I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.

Coming up...the semi-honeymoon and adventures with the family!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

OFFICIALLY MARRIED!!! Recap: The Ceremony

I can say it now! I'm married! I have a husband! I am a wife! I have been dying to say these words for quite some time now. I'm not embarassed to say that within the first year of dating E, I couldn't wait to walk down the aisle with him. I knew very early on that this was the man of my dreams and that sooner or later we would end up marrying. For me, I couldn't get him down the aisle fast enough! But of course, E, being the responsible man that he is, made me wait 6 years before finally tieing the knot! Not that I was desperate to get married in general, I just couldn't wait to marry him. And now we've finally done it!. We're finally husband and wife and I just can't get enough of saying that E is my husband and I can't stop looking at my wedding ring! He's finally all mine now! Muahahaha!

I know it's been said over and over again, but I am so serious when I tell you that my wedding day was the best day of my life!!! I have never had so much fun before. Of course I'm sure it had something to do with wedding days in general where the bride and groom are the center of attention the entire night and are surrounded by all the people they know and love. The whole night, no matter where I went, I was with someone I loved. Also, the incredible people who worked at our reception took care of everything for us and constantly asked us if we needed anything so we didn't have to worry about a thing. We didn't have a care in the world and everything went so smoothly...at the reception that is. The ceremony was a different story...

I guess I can finally reveal my wedding venue to you all. We got married in a little chapel in Las Vertientes in the Cajon del Maipo and had our reception at the beautiful Casa Bosque. My family and a good friend of mine and I all headed up to spend Friday night at the hotel at Casa Bosque so that we could all get out of the crazy city and unwind before the wedding Saturday night. That night before the wedding was such a great night. It was my sister, friend, and I in one room and my parents in another. We spent the whole day lounging by the pool, tanning, and just doing things that girls generally do together: gossip, drink wine, eat chocolate, and get excited about the wedding! The next day, Saturday, was when things for the wedding started getting underway.

We all ate breakfast together and relaxed for most of the morning. Then after lunch, my make-up/hair stylist, Rodrigo Farah, arrived and began getting my hair and make-up ready. Soon after our photographers Kyle Hepp and Sebastian Larco arrived and started doing their thing. I was fine for most of the day until the last 20 minutes before leaving for the chapel. Our priest called me just as we were leaving...he was lost and was 20 minutes up the road in San Jose, a different town. We had mentioned to him at some point that we were getting married in the chapel at Las Vertientes but somewhere along the way, he got confused and was thinking we were getting married in San Jose. Most people think of San Jose when they mention the Cajon because it's the most touristic and biggest town in the area. So I had to wait at Casa Bosque until the priest was close enough to the chapel so that he would arrive before me. We were also short on time for my hair and make-up and I was starting to get anxious that we would keep people waiting too long so I started to get a little nervous and stressed out. Luckily I had Kyle there who is a photographer and brides personal cheerleader/therapist/confidant all in one. She was so relaxed and calm and said all the right things which helped me relax a lot. Thank you Kyle!!!

Finally we took off to the chapel. It had been sunny and warm for weeks but that day happened to be the coldest day in the past couple months! It was only 21 degrees celcius and by the time I had finished getting ready, it started to rain. On top of that it was really windy and cold! I couldn't believe our luck. It hardly ever rains in the summer in Santiago! Oh well, they say that rain on your wedding day means good luck. I just felt sorry for all the people waiting around at the chapel who were probably freezing their bums off. The other crappy thing was that we never got to get pictures outside like I wanted to because it was too cold and rainy. Ohh well!

About 45 minutes after the time our ceremony was supposed to start, I finally arrived at the chapel and prepared myself to walk down the aisle. As I walked closer to E, he started clapping, which I never expected and thought was so sweet! I started tearing up then and was crying by the time I reached him. It was such a perfect and emotional moment and I will remember it forever.

Never would I have expected so many things to go wrong after that. Our ceremony was quite the disaster ha ha! Now we just look back and laugh but in the moment it was quite embarassing. After the first mistake however, I finally didn't even care anymore and just went with it. We never had a chance to practice the layout of the ceremony and so everything was improvised. The first thing that went wrong was with the reading. I had previously given a paper to E containing the passage I was supposed to read to leave on the reading stand for me so that I wouldn't have to carry it. However, as I make my way to the reading stand, I see that it is empty. No paper. Damnit E!!! So, infront of everyone I had to ask E for the damn paper! To make matters worse, the chapel was very small so it amplified every mistake we made and everybody could hear all our embarassing slip ups. Ugh...So, I got the paper from E...fine...then the priest made matters worse by telling E to join me at the stand when I read. We originally said we were going to read together but then changed our minds. I had emailed our new plan to the priest but he obviousy didn't get it and was changing things mid-ceremony! So there were a few minutes where the priest, E, and I stood around confused and trying to figure out what was going on lol.

Okay so E finally just went along with it and joined me. I read the passage, E read his, and we went to sit down. I was praying for no more mistakes...my prayers were not answered...

Thankfully our priest lightened the mood by pointing out that we were nervous and cracked a few jokes. Then came time for the vows. We planned on memorizing them in a certain format. I was going to read my vows in English and E was going to read his in Spanish. I read mine (way too fast because I was so freaking nervous and embarassed after all our previous mistakes) but since the priest didn't speak perfect English he told me to say "Si, yo quiero" (Yes, I do) after I was done, even though I had already incorporated it into my vows. He misunderstood the format and didn't realize that I didn't have to say it again so to all the guests listening it sounded like this...


"I Lucie, take you E to be my husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for all the days of my life."..........

Priest: Don't forget to say "Si, quiero!" It's the most impotant part! (everybody could hear this)

Me thinking to myself: "But...but....I don't understand...ahhh! That doesn't make sense"

Priest, E, and guests: ......waiting patiently.......

Me: (Arhg, whatever!)...."Si, quiero!"


Then came E's turn. He started out saying his vows but fumbled and got confused since the priest changed the format of my vows. So he finally had to ask the priest to dictate the vows to him so he could repeat them correctly however the priest wanted it. So E repeated after the priest, who then told me again to say "Si, queiro". I think right there he finally realized that he screwed up but we couldnt' do anything about it at that point. So I married him twice! Now we can all be extra sure that I did in fact agree to marry him lol. Oh boy....

The priest saw that we were hopelessly lost and so he had to dictate to us for the rest of the mass what we were supposed to do. He had to correct us numerous times on little mistakes we made which was quit embarassing. Now when I think back it was all a blur because I was so nervous and embarassed but I'm sure there were dozens more mistakes! Good thing we both didn't care anymore after the first mistake. I mean we were definitely embarassed but that didn't shake our focus of the day. We were both completely wrapped up in each other. Too much so, maybe that's why so much went wrong.

Besies the mistakes, it was a beautiful ceremony. Our good friend and his brothers and sisters sang for us during the ceremony. They have the most beautiful voices, I tear up every time I hear them. My parents were so emotional and were tearing up the entire ceremony. My sister outright broke down in tears! She did a reading and couldn't finish because she started crying. However, to me (and the rest of us) it sounded like she was laughing! I assumed she made a mistake which is why I thought she was laughing (she couldnt even finish and just walked off!) It wasn't until later that she told me she was crying and was too emotional to finish! Sniff...

Good thing that after the ceremony, everything started going smoothly! Stay tuned for next post: recap of the reception!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Only One More Week!!! When Did This Happen!??!

I'm guessing now would be a nice time to post about my life again...seeing as I'm getting married in a week and this is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of my life! And it is, it really is! However, up until yesterday, I have mostly been stressed instead of happy and excited. These last two weeks have been filled with wedding madness and E and I haven't had much time to think about the light at the end of the tunnle since we've just been too busy trying to get through the damn tunnle. There are so many little details to take care of but finally, with a week to go, there only remain a few minor things to take care of and then we're all set! Yesterday I had my hair and make-up trial with my fabulous hair/make-up artist Rodrigo Farah and it was then, while looking at myself in the mirror after Rodrigo had worked his magic, that all the excitement and emotion came flooding over me. I had never felt so beautiful in my life and then I started picturing what E would think when he saw me and how great my done up self would look in my gorgeous wedding dress and I started to be swept away in happiness. I wanted to hug and kiss Rodrigo, he did an amazing job! It all started feeling so real and I could finally start to visualise the big day. I think the reason that all this hit me yesterday was because that day was all about me, not about all the work we had to do, but just about me being happy and feeling good. I was happy and I am happy :) I am now at the point where I don't care if we don't finish everything we wanted to, I don't care if we screw up the ceremony or make mistakes, I don't care if people think our wedding isn't personalized enough or not, I just want to be happy, relaxed, and have fun in this last week with family and friends and enjoy the big day!

Next week is going to be one hell of a week. We have Canadians arriving on three separate days beginning with my parents who arrive on Sunday! Another friend and her mom are arriving on Tuesday, and then my sister and another friend are arriving on Friday. That means a lot of trips to the airport. On Sunday evening, after my parents have rested up, we are going to spend time with E's parents. On Monday night, we're going to spend time with E's brother and his family after spending all day relaxing at E's parents pool. Then on Tuesday we're picking up my friends and helping them settle in. Hopefully that night, after they've rested up, we'll go out for a drink. Wednesday and Thursday will be spent doing touristic activities. I'm trying to look at different options for vinyard tours and then I'll do a city tour with them one day. On Thursday is my mom's 50th birthday so we're going to celebrate by having a big bbq with all of E's family. Then Friday morning my sister and other friend arrive. We are picking them up in the morning and then going straight to the hotel beside our reception venue to relax until the wedding. Sigh...it will be so nice to get out of Santiago and have some peace and quiet before the big day! Then finally, Saturday is the day we've all been waiting for! The day I thought would never come...I remember when we got engaged at the end of August of last year and the wedding seemed like an eternity away and now here we are. Wow, how time flies.

Since my parents are coming on Sunday, tomorrow is E's and my last day and night together :( He's going to live with his parents the week before the wedding to give my parents more space in our apartment since it's not big enough for all of us. What a great guy. I think it's also fun to be separated for a while before the wedding since by the time the big day comes around, we will be dying to be together again which will make it that much more special. Well, we're still going to see each other during the week, but just not for long. So since tomorrow is our last day to get things done, we have a jam packed schedule. We have to get the apartment clean and ready for my parents, pick up an extra bed we are borrowing for them, go grocery shopping, put up Christmas decorations, and finish last minute wedding details. And we're kicking Saturday off by going bright and early to La Vega. Love that place! I want to have a ton of fresh fruits and veggies waiting for my parents since they're coming out of the cold Canadian deep freeze of a winter and will be so happy to dig into fresh summer produce. The last two weeks at my home town in Canada have been below -20 degrees celcius so everyone is pretty jealous of my parents warm winter getaway and my parents can't wait to get here and thaw out.

This summer is going to be the best summer of my life! As I mentioned, after the wedding E and I are taking off to the beach for a week for our "mini-homeymoon" (the real honeymoon will be a trip around Latin America next year for a few months). While we are on our mini-honeymoon, my parents are travelling to Buenos Aires so they'll have some nice down time together. The last weekend of our honeymoon we're coming back to Santiago because E's comapny is having their famous huge Christmas party on Friday night at a luxury hotel and are paying for rooms for all their employees! Then that Saturday night we're going to another luxury hotel for the "wedding night" which was given to us as another gift from E's company. So we have a week of pampering :) After that I work for a week, and then it's off to the beach again for a week with my family and then meeting E in Vina for New Years! Then in January, my mom is taking me to Pucon for a week on a "mother-daughter getaway"...I love my mom. Also, my 25th birthday is in January so we'll have another fun celebration. Ahhh! So many fun things going on! I am seriously going to expload from all this happiness!

After my mom leaves however (which is at the end of January) it's time to buckle down and start looking for a real job. Teaching English is just not working for me. I make half of what I should be making every month because of constant cancelations. I can't live like this. I need a stable salary. So in February, I will be job hunting in full force. But I don't want to talk about that now. Right now all I want to talk about and think about is wedding bliss, time with family, Christmas parties, luxury hotels, and the beach beach beach! You can't imagine how excited and happy I am, and it all begins next week!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching, Cotillones, and Wedding Planning

Hello Monday! For most people Monday sucks but for me it rocks. One of the perks of being an English teacher is that you get to plan out your schedule. You do classes when you want to do classes and with the wedding fast approaching, I decided to book Monday off so I have it completely free! This means that every weekend is a long weekend in my world! Yaaaayyy :) However, now that I do have a lot of classes and booked them all from Tuesday to Friday, I do end up running around like crazy on those days going from class to class as fast as I can...Okay I'm not going to lie, I don't have it that bad. Even though I have lots of classes on those days, I still have plenty of time to go sit at Starbucks and have breaks throughout the day. But I'm fine with not working like crazy one month before the wedding. Next year when things calm down and everybody is done visiting, I'll try to work a bit harder...but just a bit ;)

So what do I do with my Mondays? I start the day with a nice long early run. Now that I teach early the rest of the week, I don't run as much as I used to so it's awesome waking up on Monday and starting the day with a run. Then I have all day to myself. So far my Mondays have been dedicated to housework, wedding planning, and cooking. One of my favorite things to do on Monday is to try a new recipe because I actually have the time to do it. I think everybody needs a three day weekend. A two day weekend is not enough time to do anything and E and I barely make a dent in the list of things we need to do every week. And when you add time for friends and family somewhere during the weekend, it practically dissapears in seconds. This weekend for example, we went to get together with some of E's friends on Friday night and got back at 4:30am. We slept almost all day, then that night we had a wedding and got back the next morning at 5:30am. Then slept as much as we could but had to go to E's parents for lunch and by the time we got back to our apartment, it was 6pm and hadn't accomplished anything. It's so frustrating! This is why I am so happy I have my Monday free. Now I can take care of all those little things we needed to do on the weekend, or at least take care of some of them.

And now for a wedding planning update. We bought the "cotillones" for the wedding. I have no idea how to translate that in English, especially since we don't use them in North America. However, they are types of festive party costume type deocrations like crazy hats, masks, necklaces, etc...that people put on in the middle of the wedding party to get the party going. This moment of the wedding is typically accompanied with funky music like cumbias to boost everyone's energy and get them all on the dance floor. We had so much fun buying the cotillones. We went to this place called "Meiggs" (sp?) which is a place in Santiago where you can find really cheap "made in China" type shit including all types of party supplies. That's where most couples go to buy their cotillones and we had a great time trying everything on and making asses of ourselves he he. They have some crazy stuff there! I think we bought a good variety of things.

As usual, we have been having so many problems with the Catholic Church...this time with my baptism certificate. The secretary told me I needed a recent copy of my certificate and so I had to get my mom to get it from the Church in Canada where I was baptised. That church scanned me a copy to give to this Church in Chile because mailning it was going to take too long but this stuffy old lady would not accept it, even though my Church back home told me that they send these all over the world and Churches should accept a scanned copy or a photocopy. However, this lady is so difficult so we now have to wait for the mailed original copy. However, we can't do any other paperwork until I have that copy so everything depends on it. We also can't pay for the Church where we're getting married until we have that certificate and if we don't pay for it soon, we're going to lose our reservation. Actually, E had previously called 3 times to confirm our reservation there and make sure it was all good, which it was, and then he called a few days ago to confirm again and they said they didn't have our reservation! So E told the secretary to put us down for that date and time but she told us that she couldn't because the Church office hours were over so it wasn't possible and that we wouldn't know anything until the next day. So we went the whole night freaking out not knowing if somebody else took our reservation. Thank God the next day we were able to re-reserve and everything turned out to be fine! However, if we don't get my certificate to them soon, things might really get screwed up. Arrghhg!!!! I never expected the "Church" side of things to be the most complicated part of wedding planning. This isn't even the half of what we've been going through with them! I'm starting to be convinced that the Church does not want people to get married.

E and I both have our bachelorette parties planned on the same night for only 2 more weeks away! I can't wait! I have never even been to a bachelorette party before so I have no idea what to expect, let alone a Chilean bachelorette party. And word is there is going to be a male dancer ha ha! I am very curious as to what kind of a show male dancers put on and I can't imagine keeping a straight face while watching one dance lol.

Up this weekend: confirming wedding guest numbers (though we haven't even got out all the invites yet! uff...), seating arrangements, paying the vendors, and working on our bloody first dance that we haven't even started yet!!! If we don't get this going soon we're going to end up being stuck with the normal waltz. Not that the waltz isn't great, but we had a good idea in mind that we wanted to try out. The problem is that to execute this idea, we need time, and we don't seem to have enough of it lately.

Alright, no more time for blogging, must.get.stuff.done! Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wedding Flowers

Here I sit, at my favorite Starbucks with hours to go before my next class. My morning class cancelled so instead of going home, I came here. Oh well, I happen to love sitting at Starbucks. It allows me to catch up on things such as blogging for example. The weather has been crazy here. A few days ago it was almost 34 degrees celcius and then yesterday was only 17 degrees and cloudy. Today looks the same as yesterday: cloudy and cool. And I am loving it! They're even predicting rain for the weekend. Winter is giving it's last hurrah. This morning E told me that it was because of La Nina which happens to be in effect this year and results in wetter and cooler than normal weather. That explains a lot. If this is true, this summer isn't going to be as crazy hot as it normally is. No complaints here! I really cannot stand Santiago in the heat. I love the heat back where I'm from (a small city in Canada) because we're surrounded by mountains and lakes and green so you don't feel like you're living in a city of concrete. Here however, with the herds of people everywhere and the concrete buildings that saturate this city, heat makes me miserable. Especially when you're an English teacher and have to walk around this city all day giving classes. I don't think it's particularly attractive arriving to my student's offices dripping with sweat. Ew. So for now I'm happy with this extended winter. I'll take as much of it as I possibly can before the heat arrives!

Today is a special day because it marks just 1 MONTH UNTIL MY PARENTS ARRIVE!!!!!! Ahhhh!!!! I still can't believe it's real!!!! Oh my god I miss my parents SOOOOO MUCH!!!! We're going to have such a fabulous time here together too. They get here a week before the wedding so that week will be full of catching up and hanging out and taking care of last minute wedding details with my mom who, despite living on a different continent, has helped me out more than I could have ever possibly imagined! She is a god send and I love her! We are also going to have a big dinner/party/rehersal dinner the week of the wedding to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday and to have a chance for our two families to get together.

Then, the weekend of the wedding my family, along with E's, are all staying at the little mini resort that is our wedding venue. My family and I are staying there the night before the wedding, the night of, and the night after to have three days of relaxation together. Then E and I are booking it to a wonderful 5 star hotel for a wedding night package given to E by his company before setting off to the beach for a week to just relax after all the wedding planning stress. During that week my parents are off to Buenos Aires and Mendoza, my sister is off to travel with a friend of hers to somewhere in Argentina. Then we're all meeting back in Santiago for Christmas and after that taking off to the beach again and then hitting up Vina for a few days to celebrate New Years there. After that it's just some more family time in Santiago before my dad has to go back home at the beginning of January while my dear little mother is staying until the end of January so she can be here for my birthday :) December and January are going to be AWESOME!!! I'm pretty sure while my mom is here we will be hitting up Starbucks every day as well, something that my mother and I do religiously back home. I can't WAIT to have her here with me again!!!! And only one more month!!!!

On Tuesday we completed another fun wedding planning task and we chose the flowers for the venue and the church. We didn't go crazy in order to save money but we got just enough I think. Plus our reception venue is really beautiful and has enough decorations as it is so we really didn't need to add too much more. But it was fun meeting with the florist and chosing the flowers and the colours. I also chose my bouquet! I really didn't know what I wanted when I went in there, I just knew in general the colours and the style I liked. I like having a natural feel for things and like warm earth tones so we went with these family of flowers that are related to sun flowers (and including sun flowers) and we went with warm tones of oranges, reds, yellows, creams, and then greenery. The church and the reception venue have a lot of wood so these colors really go well and warm everything up nicely. For my bouquet I chose these soft orange/red calla lillies with these weird green bulbous flower thingies. It might sound weird but it looks really cool! At first I was just going to ask the florist to make a bouquet out of the same flowers we used to decorate everything else but then we all decided that the brides bouquet should be different and special. So there you have it, our flowers for the wedding :)

We were originally planning on going to the terminal de flores (a big market where you can buy flowers in bulk and for really low prices) and doing the flowers ourselves. But then we met with the florist, since she works for the place we're having our wedding reception, and when we saw all the work and effort that goes into making flower arrangements and actually transporting them, we decided to forget it. I really don't want to have to worry about all that the day before the wedding. And the price for everything she gave us was nowhere near what I thought it was going to be (in an awesome way) so we are happy. The actual price for all the flowers was actually half of what we thought it was going to be! Score!

So everything seems to be going along swimmingly...except for one thing...the Roman Catholic Church!!!! I never expected things to be so complicated and stressful!!! First of all, we are foced to deal with all the church paperwork at the parroquia (kind of like cathedral per neighborhood) that corresponds to us based on where we live which makes no sense because whose to say you're going to live in that one area your whole life, let alone the year. So anyway, because of this we have to deal with this totally obnoxious unpleasant woman who is the secretary of the parroquia. In general, the type of person that dedicates their life to working as a secretary in a church is a special type. We've delt with a few of them here in Chile and they all seem to be the same. They are all old unhappy women who crave attention and power and have nothing better to do with their time than sit in a dark dusty old office making people miserable and as a result, giving a bad name for the church and making it difficult to have any part of it. And people wonder why nobody practices Catholosism anymore. The church is so behind the times on so many levels. I am Catholic and I respect many beliefs of the Church, but I think they really need to wake up and adapt to modern times. However, I'm not going to get into what I think about the Church right now. Let's just hope we get through this with no problems!

Alright, now I better start figuring out what I'm going to do for my next class. Just a warning, most of the posts for the next month will be primarly of the wedding so bear with me.

Only two more days until the weekend! This weekend E and I plan to perfect the dance we are doing for our first dance at the wedding. Well, more like start practicing the dance. Enjoy the last couple days of the week everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

This and That :)

I miss Halloween. I know Halloween was yesterday but it didn't feel that way at all. All the spookiness of Halloween is lost when celebrating this day in the spring. Last night there was a warm night breeze that carried so many delicious flowery aromas and it was therefore impossible to think of Halloween. On top of that, there is no real hype over this day here. For me Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and I would plan my costume and the Halloween festivities all month. I love that back home whenever you enter a mall or coffee shop in October it is usually decorated from head to toe with pumpkins, fake spider webs, and other creepy things. Here in Santiago I haven't seen a single Halloween decoration so I was kind of bummed. Halloween was always the best party of the year and I love that crisp, fresh, smokey autumn air and the falling leaves that accompanied this day. The fact that my favorite time of the year is the fall might have something to do with this. Knowing that I was a little bummed about Halloween, my wonderful E brought back a little Halloween surprise when he came back from buying produce at the market. He brought me back a pumpkin!!! It was just so sweet and thoughtful and I was so happy I almost cried. Okay, granted the pumpkin was white and might have actually been some kind of squash hybrid, but it's the thought that counts and it made me happy :) We put it up in our living room for decoration ha ha. Our one little Halloween decoration.

It's the same in Chile with Christmas. I am so not looking forward to spending my 4th consecutive Christmas in Chile. I mean, it's going to be a blast sending it with my family who are coming down for the wedding, but it just won't be the same. It seems that people don't really celebrate anything here. Christmas is over in just a few hours here and nobody goes out of their way to decorate or bake or do anything special for the month of December in preparation for Christmas. E's family puts up their fake plastic tree a couple nights before Christmas eve but that's about it. Back home I'm used to preparing for Christmas all of December. We bake all month and have plenty of get togethers with family and friends. But oh well, enough complaining. I guess I'm just starting to miss a few things from back home. It was bound to happen.

In happier news, the wedding preparations are going along wonderfully! We had our food tasting on Saturday and invited E's parents and sister and her boyfriend. The food was amazing and they served big portions which I'm so happy about. I hate going to weddings where you're served a tiny portion and are hungry the rest of the night...it's suprising how many weddings I've been to where this has been the case. Anyway, back to the food...it was a tough decision but we finally settled with two options: a lighter option and a heaver option. I was so tempted to chose the big delicious lomo (filet) as an option but we finally decided against it (though it was delicious) just because that's what most people eat at weddings. So we went with another option that was a bit different, but I hope people will like. Well, all the food was excellent in my opinion so I'm sure it won't be a problem. We also had a meeting with the wedding planner who works at our venue and we went through a list of things we have to take care of and he gave us a break down of the evening.

After talking to him I now have so much more confidence in everything and am so much less stressed. It turns out they take care of most of those little details I was worried about which is great! And the wedding planner is there to make sure everything goes according to plan that day and there are different people in charge of music, food, and all those other little details so that we don't have to worry about a thing. Deciding to have our wedding at this place was the best decision we ever could have taken. To anybody planning on getting married, I highly recommend a venue that takes care of everything for you...it's amazing how much time and effort and stress you save yourself! Of course we get to tell them exactly what we want but the point is that they do it all for you. Such a relief!!!

I can't believe it's only a month and a half until the big day! My parents are going to be here in practically a month!!! Where did the time go?! Wow...


Alright, now I'm off to work on some more wedding details and then tonight we're meeting with our priest. This long weekend was a godsend for getting things done. On top of that we had some much needed down time and spent some quality time with some great friends one night and had a movie night another night. I just love vegging out with some wine and popcorn and watching a good movie.

Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend as much as we did!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Teaching English and Chilean Miners

Well, I'm back to the life of being a teacher. So far so good. I've never done private classes before and now have four, so it's definitely better pay which makes me happy :) And I've been lucky enough to get great enthusiastic students who are eager to learn and are just fun to have class with. Yay! Not to mention that all my classes are within walking distance from where I live and I barely have to work to make a descent living. All thanks to you Isabel! Isabel is a gringa friend who helped me get these private classes. Boy it helps to know people when you're trying to get any type of job!

Right now I'm working about 15 hours a week so I have lots of time for me and wedding planning and I still make pretty good cash. This teaching experience is completely different from the time I lived here before when I taught for a year and a half. I worked for a not so great company that sent me to the farthest places possible such as the depths of Las Condes...places where you needed at least three micros to reach. So that put a whole damper on my teaching experience. That and the fact that most of my students were children. Not that I don't love children, but children generally do not want to be in English class. Especially very young children. They have better things to do than come home from being in school all day and then having to sit in English class for another hour. I was so happy when those classes were over! Right now I'm happy I have those free moments during the day where I can grab a coffee and chill on my labtop and it really is nice to not get caught in the 8-5 or 9-6 working routine...for a while anyway.

Yesterday we went to register for gifts at Falabella. Who would have guessed that they lost our confirmation? So we didn't end up getting to resiter...buuu. And of course they had no other free day until mid-November which was too late. Ohhh welll....things happen right? Poor E. When the lady told us that we weren't booked I could see his face and he looked like he was about to expload. He left early from work just to get there and has been so busy lately. He had even previously showed me the emails with Falabella confirming our day and time. For some reason we've had a lot of these little inconveniences along the wedding planning journey and E likes to fight to the death for things he believes in so I had to hold him back from pouncing on the woman. I took over and did the talking and we determined that we could register online, which isn't as fun but oh well. Later E said that he was THIS close to telling Falabella to just screw off and that we were going to Ripley ha ha. Poor guy.

I guess this is the part of my post where I should mention the miners, since I can't write this post without discussing the incredible miracle that took place just a few days ago. What an event! I still can't believe it actually happened! When we started watching, I didn't know they were going to lower rescuers into the mine to help them out and was dumbfounded at the bravery of those rescuers in willing to take on such a risky challenge. I would have thought that those running the operation wouldn't have wanted to jeapordize any more lives and would have settled with explaining to the miners how to get inside the capsule themselves. But nope, in went the 6 (or was it 7?) rescuers to help them out, risking their lives...What blew me away was the first rescuer, Manuel Gonzalez, who was pretty much an experiment to see if the capsule could actually work. Could you imagine the risk he was taking? If anything went wrong, he could have been trapped in the middle of meters of rock in a 60cm space for who knows how long! I shudder just thinking about it. What total and utter bravery!

And of course hats off to the miners who went through hell over the past two months and through their hard work, determination, and faith, made it out alive and healthy, both physically and mentally. I couldn't believe what good spirits the miners were in as they resurfaced. Who would look or act like that after being trapped in a dark hole for over two months??? I really can't even fathom it. Most people would have been basket cases upon reentering the world again but these miners looked like they were coming out of a normal shift, a normal day in the mine. Totally unbelievable! I am so proud of them and of Chile for uniting in under such tragic circumstances and doing everything possible to help those poor trapped souls, even though the prognosis looked like complete doom. I also found it amazing how many people tuned in to watch this event. I read that over a billion people watched the rescue live on TV and millions more watched it live online breaking records in media viewing history. There's no doubt that everybody watching was left with a deep respect for Chile and the miners and rescuers. I think it was Micheal Moor that was quoted saying that the next time the US has a national disaster like the Gulf spill, they should call on Chile to help out since they seem to solve problems way more efficiently and effectively ha ha!

Great job Chile, I'm proud of you!

And now I'm off to try to get some wedding related things done and plan classes before my next class! Chao!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Little Update Along With Some Big News!!!

I'm ALIIVEEEEE!!!! Sorry dear blog readers, I am aware of the fact that I have been neglecting blogging but I have a very good excuse. Well, sort of. You see, here at our apartment we don't have internet. We occasionally manage to use some open signals but they come and go and lately they've been failing us! I used to check my email and facebook from work but I didn't have the time to write emails or blog posts so that's about as far as I got. So I have been following your blogs but I just haven't been able to comment much! Sorry! I think it's about time we finally contract our own internet provider...it's just that it's so damn expensive here!!!

Okay so be prepared, I am about to give you a long update on my life here. Well, maybe it won't be too long since I'm already forgetting half the things that have occured in the last month, but we'll see how it goes. Let me begin by just saying that all is well, I continue to be happy as always and am loving my life here in Chile living with my wonderful man and excited to be getting closer to our wedding! Some might have thought that I stopped blogging for lack of inspiration or because I was going downhill emotionally and wanting to go home...but that is not the case! I could not be happier! Every day I fall more and more inlove with E and find myself becoming more and more attached to him. I was "supposed" to go to Brazil a few days ago (I'll get into the full story in a bit) and even the thought of leaving E for 10 days gave me a pang in my heart. I'm not one of those super dependent people and I definitely need my own time. I take pride in my independence. But now that E and I are finally living together permenantly, without all that separation, our lives our merging (in a good way) and becoming more intertwined. And I love it. We begin each morning by setting our alarm clock a few minutes ahead of time so we can just cuddle in bed as we slowly wake up. We do the same when we get back to work. I can't believe what a comfort it is to have those few minutes of someone hugging you tightly and telling you that they love you more than anything before and after a long busy day. I look forward to those moments every day. These are the moments that I have come to depend on and can't imagine living without. So, in the relationship department, things couldn't be better!

Now, onto the update. Let's start with the 18th, the Chilean National holiday! We did every possible typical Chilean thing imaginable for this 4 day weekend. In summary, we went to 3 fondas, 1 rodeo, 1 military parade, 1 lightshow at the presidential palace, had 3 bbqs, ate about at least 10 empanadas and XX kilograms of meat, drank god knows how many terremotos, pisco sours, and glasses of wine, and divided our time between Santiago, Olmue, and Vina. We had a busy 4 days! Needless to say, the week after we ate nothing but vegetables! My oh my do Chilean's like their meat! My poor stomach! I'm sorry I'm not putting up photos of the 18th with this post but my connection is so slow right now and it's taking forever. I'll try to put some up later on :)

Another new development is that I an now officially jobless. I finished my internship and am now hoping to make the big switch back to teaching English but things are going slow. My old institute has only given me one class and I'm hoping to start working for a new insititute which was recommended to me by some friends here but they haven't gotten back to me yet either :( I'm really hoping I can start teaching a lot soon since I really need to make money! Poor E, he's working hard supporting both of us and I feel so bad! So, English institutions out there, hire me and give me lots of classes!!!

Now on to wedding planning! It is going along slow but steadily. We finally have our invitations ready to go, now all we have to do is print them and send them! It took us forever to finally sit down and figure out the wording, but we finally did it! This month we have to do our "charlas" or meetings with the priest to prepare for our wedding. Getting married in the Catholic church means you have to go to wedding preparation classes so that the priest can determine if you are actually ready to get married. I don't know if they have the power to refuse you but I wonder...that would suck. So, I hope we pass and are allowed to marry! This month we also have the food tasting at our wedding reception venue, we also have to discuss the general layout and evening plan with the coordinator there (music, lights, presentations, etc), we have a date to register for gifts at Falabella, we have meetings with our priest to go over the mass, we have our engagement photo session with our fabulous photographers Kyle and Sebastian (which I'm SOOOO excited for!!!), we have to finish some personal details we have planned such as putting a presentation together and figuring out what we are going to dance as our first dance, and I still have to find wedding shoes!!! Things are going to get really busy from here on in! But I love it, you only get to do this once in your life and it's so exciting! How often do you get to have a huge celebration that is all about you? Actually, I hate being the center of attention and tend to worry too much about whether everyone else is happy and having a good time or not instead of worrying about myself so I'm starting to get a little nervous about a night all about us! Anyhow, so far we've been having a great time with all the planning, even though it's been coming along slowly, but we have loooots more to do. The hardcore wedding planning is only just beginning! I can't believe it is only just over 2 months until our big day!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!!

Moving on...I experienced quite the shitty situation this past Friday...which I'm still struggling to deal with. I was supposed to go to Brazil on Friday for 10 days to go to my host-sister's wedding! I did a year long exchange in Brazil when I was 16 and haven't seen her since then so I was DYING to finally see her and the family again! We were really close. However, I got to the airport about 5 hours early, since I had to get their on my own and overestimated the amount of time it took to get there by bus and metro, and I was hungry so I bought a chicken salad and killed time reading. Then about 3 hours before I was supposed to board the plane, I started breaking out in a cold sweat and began shaking and feeling freezing! I popped an aspirin and soldiered on, determined to go to Brazil. However, about an hour later, I started violently vomiting (sorry for the info) and was a wreak. I can't even remember much after that. All I remember is calling E and having this LAN agent escort me back through the international police to void my exit stamp and pass and lead me back to the departure area of the airport. E came shortly after that and I went home right to bed and was in bed until the evening of the next day. It.was.horrible! Thank god they managed to get my bag off the plane! The LAN agent was so great, I didn't have to worry about anything, she took care of it all as I sat hunched over in a corner by her desk.

Late Saturday I started feeling better and by Sunday I was fine so now I feel like absolute poo that I didn't just suck it up and get on that plane. Looking back, I think that the chicken salad was the culprit and that I had food poisoning since it passed so quickly. But at the time, I had no idea it was food poisoning and that it would pass so fast. I was schedules for a 12 hour layover in Sao Paulo airport before heading to my final destination so I absolutely could not imagine having had to spend the night in the state I was in a big abandoned airport overnight with nobody to help me. So I guess I made the right decision but still...it stings. Of course we didn't have any kind of insurance for our ticket because E bought it with his points and so we didn't really care too much. But I'm still going to go to LAN today and see if there's anything we can do. Maybe pay a fine to recuperate our points or something? I don't know...it's worth a shot! The only thing that makes me feel better about the situation is knowing that my host sister is probably coming to my wedding, but even if she doesn't make it, E and I are planning a trip to Brazil next year so we'll see them all then. So, what did I learn from this whole situation? Do NOT eat ANYTHING a few hours before some big important event!!! This experience terrified me and I'm pretty sure I will now not eat a thing the day of my wedding!

Finally, last thing to cover...I have some pretty big news!!! So far E and I have only told close friends and family but it's official now so I might as well get it out. No, I'm not pregnant! E and I have been dreaming our whole lives of doing some big life-changing trip. And ever since I got to Chile, we have been talking about it more and more. It was becoming clear that if we didn't do this trip soon, we would fall into the typical routine, have kids, and then never get around to it. So we decided to put our foot down and do it! Soooo, at the end of next year, as our honeymoon and as our life-long dream, we are taking off to backpack around Latin America!!!

And we are going to do it adventure style! We're going to kick off the trip by doing all of Patagonia and doing a 2-3 week bike trip on the Caretera Austral. We're big into outdoors sports and we want to do every trek and climb every mountain, and do every excursion we can find along the way. We want to go off the beaten gringo path and do things that most people don't do. For example, there are these ruins in Peru that you can only get to by hiking through the jungle for 2 or 3 days. They are supposed to be even bigger than Machu Picchu! There's also this famous waterfall in Venezuela called "Salto de Angeles" or something like that which is the highest waterfall in the world and to get there you have take a plane to a remote area, hike for a few days through the jungle, and you even stay with a native tribe that lives near there! Well, this might be on the gringo path but anyhow, it's definitely on the list! These are exactly the kinds of things we want to do! We also want to travel through the Amazon from Brazil to Peru. Half way through the trip we're going to do our "actual" honeymoon and splurge somewhere in Central America on some nice resort and just rest for 2 weeks or so. It'll be a nice break after all that backpacking! I want to visit every island in Central America too! Since we'll have the time, we can see all those little things that most people skip over. If we like a place, we can stay there a month if we want to! So our plan is to save up for all of next year for this trip and then sell everything we have. That is why for our wedding, we're going to let people know about our trip so that they can deposit money towards our trip as a gift if they like. Actually, that is what we're hoping for! So I'll definitely have interesting things to blog about during that year!

Okay that was a lot of information to take in. I have so much more to say about our trip but I'm just going to leave it there for now. I have some other big news but I think this was enough big news for now. Now that I am jobless, I will have much more time to go to Starbucks and blog! If anyone has any tips for our trip, please email me (see email at my profile)! I know that a lot of people do this kind of backpacking trip and would love to hear any recommendations, cautions, advice, or just your own experiences! Hope everyone in the blogging world is doing great! Peace out!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back into the English Teaching Game

Well, I'm doing it...I'm making the transition back to teaching English (sob!). I know I said I would never do it again, but...it really seems to be the best decision for me fornow. I finish my internship at the end of this month and that only leaves me a couple months to find a job before getting married. However, starting a new job 2.5 months before my wedding seems a little crazy when I could simply teach English, a job that would allow me to have more free time and flexibility for the busy months ahead. Plus I would probably end up making more teaching English 3 times a week than starting any new job working full time. I thought that the amazing flexibility of an English teacher would give me extra time to spend wedding planning and with my family when they get here...a big bonus! A girl only gets married once right? So why stress out over a new job right when I'm supposed to be planning my wedding and enjoying time with friends and family who will make the journey here. I think it makes more sense this way.

So here I am, getting back into the English teaching routine. I still do my internship on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and have Monday and Friday off this month. I requested this so that I could start picking up English classes again. So far I only have one class but I'm in the process of getting another one and by October, I should hopefully have a busier schedule. Thank goodness my old English Institution excepts me as a teacher whenever I need it. And to tell you the truth, I kind of miss Teaching English. I think I was pretty good at it and I always liked getting to know such a diverse group of students and talking about so many interesting topics. I've never had a bad experience with a student so far...hopefully it stays that way! (Knock on wood!) So next year, right after the wedding, I will officially be out job hunting for a stable, permanant job where I actually have prospects for a good future. But that's a worry for another time. For now I'm happy with things and happy to get back into the relaxed schedule of an English teacher.

Last night E and I FINALLY sat down to make a list of the things we need to get done for our wedding...something we have been planning ever since I got here! I am really starting to feel like anti-bride! So, we finally made a list. One of the things on that list was to make a photo/video presentation for our guests. We want to kind of make a story of our relationship and show people what we've been through to get to this moment using old photos and parts of videos. During our long distance relationship, we sent a ton of videos to each other telling each other how much we loved each other etc. We both hadn't seen those videos for years...until we pulled them out last night...and almost peed our pants laughing!!! Most of these videos were taken about 5 years ago when we were still in that beginning "desperate crazy in love phase" and our videos documented it very well. I could not bring myself to listen or watch myself in some of them! I was such a cheeseball! And E couldn't even breathe he was laughing so hard when we watched the video of him breaking out into a song and dance. He recorded himself singing this romantic Ricky Martin song (I forget what it was called) and he didn't quite hit all the high notes. There were parts where he switched it up and went into Barry White mode and kind of half whispered half talked some romantic nothings while the music was playing. Oh man it was priceless! We were both thinking the same thing: boy we were rediculous! It's amazing how at the time, we both thought these videos were the most romantic and amazing things ever. I still think they're pretty amazing. But now watching some of the videos I sent to E, I can't understand how I ever thought E would have been able to watch them with a straight face! Ha ha ha! Oh my...the things love does to you...I can't wait to show our future children those videos and show them what a superstar their dad is ha ha! How lucky am I!?

So now I sit in Starbucks, pondering life and looking forward to the road ahead. I'm trying to get some wedding related things done so I can cross them off the neverending list of things to do. Hope everyone's having a good week!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chileans and Marriage

Why is it that though this country professes to be so Catholic and family oriented, unofficially, everybody hates the underlying principles of these values? One thing that is really starting to get to me is how negative everybody seems to be about marriage. I kid you not, almost every person we've told we're getting married, they have some kind of negative response that generally falls under the following categories: "Are you sure? But you're so young? Maybe you should think about this. What's the rush?". A colleague at work the other day told me that when he got married was when all his problems in life started. He said he was completely happy until he tied the knot, and then proceeded to tell me that maybe I need to think about this a little more. Another person told me I should get a prenuptual agreement and was practically giving me advice on how to prepare for my eventual divorce. When I mentioned I was getting married to this random lady working at a clothing store, she have me a god awful cringe of the face and looked at me like I was this poor little girl about to go ruin her life as she sarcastically said, "Good luck". The things E's friends and colleagues have told him have been even worse, something along the lines of: Once you get married, the wife turns into a bitch and screws up your life. Things will never be the same. She'll boss you around and you'll never enjoy life again. You know how guys can be. The other day he told me that one colleague at work was walking him through the series of steps one needs to proceed through to get separated. Imagine! People giving us advice about divorce and separation even before we've walked down the aisle!!!

At first I just igored these comments, but it's getting kind of annoying when I hear these sorts of things every day, with my wedding only 3 months away, a time when I'm supposed to be happy and excited about getting married! I don't know if this just happens to be my personal experience, or if this really is some kind of phenomenon down here in Chile but what's the deal people?!?! Getting married should be a joyous occasion so why is everybody trying to steal our thunder and make it into a doomsday scenario?! I want to feel happy and excited to be getting married and it would be nice to hear people's support and approval instead of constant negative feedback. Why does everyone seem to be so miserable about marriage?! I don't know if this is strictly related to Chile or not but I do know that never did I hear one peep of negativity when I told someone I was getting married in Canada.

I have a theory...I think that my blogger buddy here was onto something when she talked about marriage in this post. I think that here in Chile, as well as in many Latin American countries where family and religion are supposidly the top priorities, people have it so ingrained in their heads that they have to get married and start a family that many do so without thinking. I've noticed that many people here got married during or right after university and then had kids shortly after that. It seems like it's the general rule here and so many people follow it without thinking that it might be better to wait a while, get to know oneself and the world a bit more, and just enjoy their youth for a while. For so many, jumping into marriage and having kids right away is the next obvious step in a relationship and everyone seems to follow the pattern: find a girlfriend/boyfriend, get married, have kids, asap. This is understandable in a country that has family and religion as their number one priorities but I think that this CAN be a recipe for an unhappy marriage.

Note that I said CAN. I know there are many people who get married young and have kids right away and are happier than anyone I've ever seen. I'm just giving my my point of view which I think might account for many unhappy marriages here. When you're so young, you still have a lot to learn about yourself, your partner, and the world and its the prime time to dream, explore, and discover. When you have kids, much of your freedom and ability to do these things is taken away. Your relationship with your partner also changes and so for many, this change might be pretty hard on a marriage, especially if it's so early on in the game and if you don't have a stable foundation together on which to build a family. Here, because people are so family oriented, women seem to take their roles as mothers way too seriously. According to E's friends and colleagues, many women turn into a maternal nightmare once having kids because they tend to ignore their husbands and focus too much on their children...which would obviously make men unhappy with their marriages. And again, if this change occurs so early on in the marriage, you may have a recipe for disaster.

I'm no psychologist or anthropologist and I don't know if I'm on the right track or not but I can't really think of another explanation and I refuse to believe that marriage in general just sucks. I feel like I might expload and rage at the next person that tells me to really think about our decision to get married. I feel like yelling at them, "Okay, we've been dating almost 6 years, we've travelled the world together, something we plan to continue doing, we know each other inside and out, we've been engaged for a year now, we've had plenty of time to think about it...I THINK we know what we're doing!!!!" Not only that, we don't plan on having kids any time soon which will give us a lot more time to be together and enjoy our lives together before we settle down. We're actually thinking of doing a year long packpacking trip around Latin America in a year or two. My point is that right now, marriage is NOT going to change our way of life in any way. Having kids might but that won't happen for quite a while and when it does, we'll be satisfied with our lives and relationship and ready to take on that new challenge.

Is this just me? Am I crazy or does anyone else have a similar experience?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quality Time at the Beach

Ahhh...the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean, the feel of my tingling skin after having a siesta on the sand under the sun...I’m at the beach and loving every second! Well, maybe not every second. Last night was a little bit creepy, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Right now I’m sitting on the balcony with my morning coffee, gazing out into the ocean and about to finish reading “Turn of the Screw” for our bookclub meeting on Wednesay. I am sitting in absolute solitude. There is nobody else around. During the week in the winter, not many people come to the beach and so the only people I have seen in this resort complex so far have been the occasional gardener. What a drastic change it is here compared to the busy life in Santiago where you’re constantly walking and talking with people or pushing and shoving them.

My lungs are so grateful that I’m finally taking a break from the Santiago smog and breathing this delicious clear air. The air here is so pure, your body literally goes dumb from breathing it in all day. Here I tend to sleep a ridiculous of amount of time and I just can’t seem to exercise! Every time I try, I can’t run or do nearly as much exercise as I can when I’m back in Santiago. I’m sure it’s because of the air and the process of detoxification while transitioning into a state of pure clean bliss and relaxation.

The plan was to come to the beach on Friday after E finished work but then I forgot I had two free tickets to Inti Illimani given to me from work and since they are one of my absolute favourite groups, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I have actually been waiting to go to one of their concerts ever since the first time I saw them a couple years ago! They are truly amazing. If anyone has not seen them yet, please go! However, make sure you go to the group entitled “Inti Illimani”. There is also a group called “Inti Illimani Historical” (or something along those lines) which is actually a different group. The former is the better of the two in my opinion because they incorporate new talent and instruments into their group and so their music is such a dynamic mix of sound and energy and they get better and better every time. The latter group is a branch off the original group who refuse to change and keep to the same style as all their original songs. I’m not exactly sure on the history but years ago, the original “Inti Illimani” group split up because half of the musicians wanted change and wanted to re-vamp their music a bit by adding in some new members and new ways of doing things while the other half wanted nothing to do with the idea and so the group split.

Like I said, I’ve seen both groups play but the group entitled “Inti Illimani” is just so much better because their music is always evolving and getting better and they always find new ways to incorporate unique sounds and instrumentals. Their music has such power and it captivates me every time. This group holds a firm place in Chilean history and it’s original members were forced to flee the country during the dictatorship because of their leftist ideals. Many of their songs speak of things like revolutions and communism. There is one song entitled, “El Pueblo Unido” (I think that’s right) that is heavily geared towards the lefties and during the chorus, everyone raises their left fist and together in unison pumps it up to the rhythm of the music while singing the chorus...the effect is powerful. Many of their songs contain such meaningful words and you can hear and feel the oppression, determination, and emotion in their voices as they sing. Their music is so lively and energetic and when they add their voices to the mix, it is absolutely spellbinding. In both my times seeing this group in I was fixed in an unbreakable trance until the concert was over. In both concerts, nobody in the audience could stay in their seats for long and before we knew it, everybody was up and dancing, even though on Friday night we happen to be in a theatre! When the group was finally going to take their leave, it took them 4 more songs to satisfy the audience before they could go and even then, the audience was cheering and yelling for more! I left that concert with the same feelings and emotions I had when I saw them for the first time: awe and a deeper connection and understanding of Chile, its history, and the incredible musicians it moulded. You must go see this group!

Anyway, back to the beach...We got back from the concert late and we were both exhausted so we thought it was best to spend the night in Santiago as opposed to braving the 2 hour drive half asleep. Saturday first thing we went to the supermarket and feria and then hit the road. Saturday was spent being lazy and taking a nice long siesta after lunch followed by a walk on the beach where E and I decided to be creative and take some pretty pictures with the camera. That evening we went to our favourite empanada place, which just so happens to be the best empanada place ever. It’s an adorable, rustic little place right on the beach with sand for the floor, candles in paper bags on the tables, and cute little lanterns hanging all over the place. Then we went to our favourite little pastellaria (bakery) to buy some homemade goodies for dessert so we could have something to munch on while we watched, “El Secreto en Sus Ojos”, an Argentine film which turned out to be pretty good!

I don’t even remember what we did Sunday in part because we slept for most of the day and it just went by so fast. The day consisted of some blend of walking on the beach, going to the cute little village just a kilometre or two up the beach, and lounging around. I attempted to go out for a run at some point, but as I’ve mentioned, doing any kind of exercise here is almost impossible and I failed miserably after about 20 minutes.

On Monday morning, bright and early, I went to drop off E just a few beaches down from here where his work was meeting for a two day retreat. This meant I had all of Monday and Tuesday to myself. Monday was glorious! I read all morning, took a walk on the beach, and then took a siesta on the beach. Though the sun was shining, it was still a bit chilly but with my two sweaters and the sun beating down, it was perfect. I even managed to get a bit of a tan/burn on my face! Then I read the rest of the afternoon away and watched a movie. Sigh...such a relaxing day!

Once it started getting dark, I started realizing just how lonely it really was here. As I looked around, I noticed that not a single other person was here at the resort. This resort complex is made up of about 60 apartments strung together in a half moon shape facing the ocean so I can see all of them. It's also very isolated. There are only 3 apartment/resort complexes in this area which are surrounded by a forest on one side and a desolate and empty beach on the other. The actual village is a couple kilometres away and you have to walk down the long empty stretch of beach to get there. Because of these facts, one feels completely isolated in this little corner of the beach. When I noticed that there was not a single other car in the parking lot and not a single other light on in the resort complex, I started remembering a flood of horror movies that took place in exactly this type of setting and of a sudden, my fantastic, relaxing, beach holiday had turned into a creepy horror movie setting! There was even a light mist slowly creeping in off the ocean and everything was so quiet...even the waves appeared to have settled down so I couldn’t hear them as loudly as I usually do. Ahhhhh!!! Then of course my mind started playing tricks on me and I thought I heard someone knocking at my door every so often as well as some freaky noises coming out from the dark abyss that had once been my beautiful view of the ocean. All night these terrifying yet ridiculous scenarios started running through my mind like, what if there was maniac hiding in the forest who noticed that I was all alone and the only one here and wanted to come break in and kill me?! Ahhh! I don’t know how I finally managed to get to sleep last night...I suppose downing half a bottle of wine had something to do with it, but thank-god I finally managed to get some rest. At one point I thought I would have been up all night freaking myself out. Yes, I’m a big baby. But seriously, if you had been here you would have understood!

But alas, I made it through the night and now it’s morning. I’ve just finished my wonderful coffee and breakfast and I think I’ll go walk into town and along the beach for a photo-taking spree. I love this quaint quiet little village. Oh it’s so good to still be in vacation mode on a Tuesday! This week is so wonderful, I only work Wednesday and Thursday and have Friday and Monday off! Whoo hoo! You all probably want to kill me right now. At any rate, I hope everyone’s having a great week!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beach Bound!

Ahhhh....tomorrow is Friday! How wonderful it is to be at the end of the weekend. It's especially wonderful when you only work half a day on Fridays, and even more wonderful when this week you happen to be going to the beach Friday after work for a total of 5 days!!! YEEESSSS!!!! We haven't been to the beach for this amount of time since Christmas vacation in December! Now that I have been working a regular routine job, I was starting to get sad knowing that I would never have more than 2 days of free time in a row for a long time. But as luck would have it, this weekend is the weekend E and I get to take a nice relaxing beach weekend together! Well, actually, we're not going to be together 100% of the 5 days at the beach, but we will both be at the beach for all of that time. The reason we decided to go to E's beach apartment this weekend was because it just so happens that his work is having a two day long "fun at the beach" time for the employees and since they are doing this fun little outing a mere 10 minutes from E's beach apartment, we thought it would be perfect to go. So on Monday morning, after spending the weekend together at the beach, I will drive my darling finacee to meet with his co-workers at the neighboring beach and then return to the beach apartment where I will have two full glorious days all to myself!!!

As much as I love being with E all the time, it is going to be damn nice to have some down time just for me. I have found that life in the big city is busy and chaotic and leaves little "me time". Almost every day after work I go to meet with friends or do something with E and so by the time I get back to the apartment, it's usually time for bed. Don't get me wrong, I am loving life in the fast lane! It's such a nice change after coming from a small town where I lived a very boring and quiet life. But I definitely think it's necessary to get out of the hectic life for a while and take some time to relax, breathe, and regroup. I'm so looking forward to two straight days of reading non-stop, relaxing on the beach, mozying through the cute little fishing village of a town, and cooking fresh seafood. I'm hoping to break out of my creative rut and draw something as well. I used to be quite the artist until school took over my life and I had no more time to do anything but study! So we'll see how that goes. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

So, that's it for now, but you will be hearing from me again at the beach where I'll have lots more time to write a longer and more interesting post! Happy Friday everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just Another Random Post :)

Ahhh the weekend is here! It's 10am and I'm sitting here typing while sipping my delicious hot coffee. The perfect morning. My poor baby is still in bed since he didn't get home until 3:30am last night ha ha! Last I heard he was planning on grabbing a few drinks with some friends and coming home early since he was exhausted after a busy week at work. I guess that plan didn't go over too well!

This weekend is another busy weekend for us. Today we have a wedding and tomorrow we have a birthday party and in between we have to go to the feria and clean this apartment since we haven't done it in soooo long! On top of that, this wedding pretty much makes today useless for doing anything else since it starts at 4pm!!! I've never heard of a wedding starting so early but oh well. I'm just hoping they don't do one of those weddings where you go to the ceremony, then have to wait hours before the actual reception. This would suck since the wedding is about an hour from where we live. I'm very curious as to how this will all play out. I guess we'll find out! Well, a wedding is a wedding and I'm happy to attend no matter what happens! It's a wedding of one of E's high school friends so all his good old buddies will be there. It's always fun when we get together with that group!

Off topic, but it appears I'm going to have to do a Mendoza run in the near future. My "en tramite" paper for my temporary residency visa application hasn't come through yet and I only have less than a month left to legally be in Chile. The "en tramite" is a paper that confirms that your visa is on the way and with this paper, you are legally allowed to stay in Chile and travel and work. So until I get that, I'm still a tourist. But I'm actually pretty happy about the prospect of going to Mendoza. I would have to go without E because he's been super busy at work and can't risk the mountain pass closing up like it did with me a couple years ago. At this time of the year it's very risky to go to Mendoza since the weather in the mountains is so variable and the pass can close down from one day to the next without any notice. Once I went with a group of foreigners to Mendoza to renew our tourist cards and we ended up being stuck there for 10 days!!! If something like that were to happen to E he could get fired. So, it looks like I will be going alone, unless I can convince a friend to come with me :) But it will be nice to have some down time and do a little "travelling". I'm a very independent person and love getting the opportunity every now and then to do things on my own. So with or without a friend, it will be a nice little mini-vacation. I can't go the first week of September (which is my last week as a legal toursit in Chile) since it's E's birthday so it's looking like I'm going to have to go in the next two weeks.

Now to change the topic again, work is going great. I'm really happy with the progress and the work that I'm doing there. I'm so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to have this type of internship where the work that I'm doing is actually important and I'm really contributing to the goals of the section. This has been an incredible learning experience and I've been getting some really good feedback from everyone! Only a month and a half left to go and then I'll be done and hopefully working with a real job and a real salary!

So, on the work front I'm happy, on the relationship front, I could not be any happier even if I tried, on the friend front...I have met some of the most wonderful girls here who have been so much fun and so supportive and have made the transition to life in Chile soooo much easier! Work and love is important in one's life, but it's not enough to complete you...I think everyone really needs their group of friends and their own little corner of life to be completely satisfied. I once heard that to be completely happy, you have to look for happiness in various corners of life: friends, family, love, work, past times, etc. Finding all your happiness in one area, is dangerous because you learn to depend too much on that one item and that item ends up defining you. Then if anything goes wrong with that item, you're left feeling destroyed and empty. I'm not sure if it went exactly like that but that's the best way I can remember to put it into words. Basically, the point is to invest your time and energy on various aspects of life, not just one. And I couldn't agree more.

It's so easy to forget about certan areas of life, especially when some big life transition occurs. For example, something that I see a lot (and something that scares me) about the transition into parenthood is that so many times parents end up forgetting all about their friends, quit all their hobbies and past-times, and start to isolating themselves into their own little family circle. I know I probably don't have the right to talk about this since I do not yet have children and have no idea how big of a transition it will be, but I just can't fathom dropping everything once you have children. I've seen it happen so many times and already see it happening to some of E's friends and family. Seeing these scenarios has been good though because it reminds me of what I don't want to be like when I have children. I want to continue making friends and maintaining friendships; I want to continue to run and be active; and most importantly, I want to continue to nurture my relationship with E and not have our worlds revolve around our children 24/7. That may sound like bad parenting but I think it's sometimes necessary and for the kids to be happy, the parents have to be happy too. E and I both feel the same and have talked about this aspect often. I think it's great that we can identify the dangers of parenthood and determine early on how we want to try to live our lives in the future. I know I know, to any of you parents reading this, you're probably thinking "It's easy to talk the talk" but I really want to remember this and strive to maintain a healthy and balanced life in the future. It might be incredibly difficult, especially at the beginning, but I think it will be worth the sacrifice in the end!

Okay and that concludes my random "all over the place" post for the day! I realize that many of my posts usually contain various different topics and I'll try to be more organized in the future but when I start writing, words and thoughts just start sprawling out on the page and before I know it, I have 5 different topics going all at once. I'll work on that. But for now, bear with me :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Running in the Rain

This morning I had the most glorious run. After reading this first sentence, most people would immediately think of sunshine, birds chirping, and blue skies. Not the case. This morning I got up at 6:20am, as I normally do when I go for a run, had a morning coffee, and took off at 7:10 to start my run. As soon as I stepped out, I felt the fog engulf me. There was a faint drizzle in the air that was so light it felt more like a spray. At first I couldn't see the fog because it was still quite dark out but after a few kilometers, when the light started slowly creeping in, I noticed that the city was covered in a blanket of mist. It was such a mysterious and enchanting feeling running through the quite streets, feeling the comfort of the light mist clinging to my skin and cooling me down. The feeling immediately took me back to the Inca Trail where for four days we had the same type of mysterious fog and cool spray surrounding us as we hiked. I find these conditions so comforting, god knows why.

As I ran into the busier part of town (Tobalaba area) the sight began to look like something out of a movie. I couldn't see the tops of any of the sky scrapers because they were reaching up into the fog. Everything seemed so quiet and eerie and peaceful even though there were people about. There is something so calming about the fog. As I ran past the building I work in, thinking that in a mere hour and a half I would be there, working away infront of my computer, I couldn't help wishing that I didn't have to go in to work today and could instead just keep on running as long as my legs could keep up. Oh the freedom of being a student! I know I've always said I was sick of studying and wanted to finally experience the professional life, but now I'm remembering with a pang the carefree life of a student. Sigh...

Though the fog eventually let up, the day remained dark and drizzly, which I loved, especially after so many days of sun. I love sun, but after a ton of it, I start to feel a desperation for the rain. Maybe it's the Aquarian in me that's always searching for water. Or am I just weird? At work today, I had my first official meeting with the new boss of our section and when he commented about the rainy day, I couldn't help but tell him how much I was enjoying it. Then, if that wasn't strange enough, when he told me that he was feeling a bit of winter depression since he had just gotten to Chile from the sunny and hot Northern summer, I proceeded to tell him how much I enjoyed the winter and the short days as well as all the rain that came with them. So now, to him, I like dark, cold, rainy days...could I sound any more depressed? After the meeting, once I thought about what I'd said, it occured to me that if he was really into all that psychoanalytical Freudian mumbo jumbo psychology that so many Chileans here are into, he would have interpreted my love for rain and the dark as a "dark" and "unstable" personality or possibly worse ha ha.

I promise you that I am none of these things. I am not depressed and I do not have a dark or unstable personality. I am generally a very happy, optimistic, adventurous, and outgoing individual. If I had to guess, I would say that my love for the not so popular weather and temperatures has to do with: Number one: me having sensitive eyes. I swear, if I'm in the sun for too long I start to get migranes. Number two: I am generally always hot and always feel the need to be in cool places so when I'm in the middle of the summer in a city of concrete (and not infront of a body of water) I get quite uncomfortable and cranky. I feel more sane and stable in the cooler weather. And number three: as I previously mentioned, I'm an aquarius and since water is our sign and our element, I'm sure there's some kind of astrological explanation for my love of water coming out of the sky. I don't know, you decide. Am I weird or do these explanations sound reasonable? Does anybody else share this love of the cold and rain with me? Because I have yet to meet someone that does! No? I didn't think so...

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to finish reading my book in my cozy little bed with my sturdy little estufa flickering away beside me and the glorious and comforting sound of the rain tapping against my window. Good night!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dancing the Night Away!

I told my friends I would blog about this night and so now I am! Last night I was reminded of the importance and absolute necessity of having girls nights out. Last night a bunch of my new girl friends here in Santiago and I got together for drinks and appies and then went out to dance! The classic girls night out. It's definitely fun going out with the men but it's different. Going out with the girls you can feel free to just be crazy and let loose and dance with whomever you please. There's a different vibe in the air and you don't feel like you have to stick with your partner the whole time or entertain them if they don't happen to know anyone...though don't get me wrong, I love going out with E too. It's just different. Once in a while I enjoy the opportunity to be independent and free. I think everyone needs their down time with the "guys" or "girls" or "possy" or whatever you want to call one's close group of friends.

The night started out by going to "gringa number 1's" house. We'll call her S. We all brought drinks and appies and enjoyed a nice evening of great food and great conversation. After happy hour is when things started to get a little more crazy. We went to the club around 12:30am, which of course is still early for Chilean partygoers, and the place was quite empty. It was nice however to have a bit of space in the club at the beginning for getting 2x1 drinks without the line up and taking over the dance floor and hanging out.

After about an hour, once we started kicking back the piscolas and the place started to get more crowded, the night really took off. There was such a great vibe in the place, the music was great, and we danced non stop until about three something am. There were some really cool guys that joined our dancing group throughout the night (and other, not so cool guys) who also happened to be professional break dancers!!! Various times throughout the evening almost everyone in the club formed a circle and people took turns dancing in the middle. I love it when that happens. So we all got to show off our dancing skills one at a time ha ha. Every time one of the break dancers took the stage, the crowd went wild and everyone was clapping and cheering them on. They were really good! And they were sweet, not the dirty type of guy that tries to hit on you at the club. We had other randoms join our dancing group that evening as well, some were good dancers, some sucked, but we could all care less because we were just having too much fun. The thing that killed me was my friend S who went about and started twirling random people around ha ha! I quote, "I love to see them twirl!" It may not sound very funny but you had to be there. She was going around twirling everyone in sight. Throw in a bunch of drunk gringas and everything is funny. Great way to meet new people though ha ha! That and her falling down on the dance floor were some of the various highlights of the evening. Oh man, too much fun!

So now it's almost 1pm and I am happily sitting in my bed, hungover yet content and smiling while remembering last nights events. My wonderful E has gone out to the feria to buy our weekly produce (I heart my man) while I sit here lazily sipping my coffee and wondering what we should do today. I think this is a great day for exploring a new part of Santiago. Perfect.

And now I'm off to make breakfast...or lunch...brunch!!! That sounds good to me! Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone! And thanks to all my wonderful new friends here that made last night so much fun! Can't wait to do it again!

Friday, August 6, 2010

We Officially Found the Coolest Priest in the World!!!

I could not be happier at this moment. E and I have finally checked off one of the most important things on our wedding to do list: last night we met THE coolest, funniest, happiest, sweetest, most adorable priest I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in my entire life!!! I didn't know priests like this even existed! Where are they hiding!?

If you read my last post you'll know that just after writing it I was off to meet our potential priest with E. We had never met or even talked before last night. I was given his information from a fellow Chile spouse and I will forever be thankful to her for giving me this precious dato! This particular Chile Spouse wrote an email to me singing his praises and after reading it, I was sold and I arranged to meet with him through email. I had previously sent out a request to the invaluable Chile spouse network for information regarding priests because the priest who was originally going to celebrate our wedding "accidently" booked another couple for our wedding date, even though we have been telling him for months now. Oh well, he's old, I'll let it slide. I didn't know the guy anyway, it was more E's family priest so it wasn't a big deal to me. Now I am so happy E's priest backed out or else we would have never met this new one!

In the original email I sent out via Chile spouses looking for anyone who knew of a good priest, I told the ladies that E and I were looking for someone more on the modern side who is personable and easy going...unlike so many of the stuffy, traditional, overly-conservative priests out there. Not that there's anything wrong with very traditional priests, but it just makes me feel uncomfortable and I don't want my wedding to be rigid and strict and unpersonable. So when this Chile spouse wrote me back saying that she knew of a priest that was everything I was looking for and more, I had to meet him!

Trying to arrange a meeting with this guy however was a bit tricky. I first emailed him to see if he was available for our wedding date. He wrote back saying yes he was, and immediately took my email as a request for his services on our wedding date. He wrote that we could be in touch by email and eventually closer to the wedding, get in touch. I didn't know how to write back to tell him that we actually wanted to meet him first before we officially asked him to be our priest. I guess in Chile, it's not very common for people to get to know their priests before they get married. So I typed about 5 emails to him trying to side step the main issue, which was telling him we wanted to meet him before we decided on him, in a nice and un-offensive manner. However, he didn't seem to get my drift and I'm sure he ended up thinking that I was a wacked out bridezilla who wanted to meet and plan the ceremony asap. So finally in my last attempt to communicate my point across to him, I was a bit more blunt, figuring I had nothing to lose and told him we would be more comfortable meeting him before we actually made any decisions. Luckily he understood and wrote back jokingly saying it was great that I was "window shopping" for priests and was looking for someone who would best suit us. And with that, we finally arranged our meeting.

It turns out he really is everything we were looking for and more! We went to pick him up at his house and take him out to dinner and we were quite surprised to see a very tall and un-Chilean looking man open the door! The moment we all met and said our hellos, we felt like old friends. There was an instant connection, the kind that people feel with those they end up being friends with for the rest of their lives. From the moment we met, the conversation didn't stop flowing. This guy was so hilarious, I was cracking up constantly! I was so worried I had offended him with my previous insistant emails and told him I was sorry if I he felt like I wanted to interview him or whatever but I wasn't used to the way things were here in Chile regarding religious customs and priest hunting lol (since they tend to be a lot more traditional with their religious practices down here). He ended up turning it into one big joke and the entire night, every few minutes he would ask, "So Lou, how am I doing? Am I passing the test?" and things like that, to which I would burry my head in shame and turn bright red. From then on he referred to me as the priest window shopper (Sounds funnier in Spanish ha ha! It's not really translatable to English.). So I guess that will forever be our little joke.

Everything he described to us regarding the wedding ceremony was exactly what we wanted. He also reminded us that we are in charge and to not let people step all over our wishes, including him. He gave us so much useful advice and told us we could meet as many times as we wanted to discuss wedding related things. He's so down to Earth and is just the type of person that would stick in our lives forever. E and I can't wait to get together with him again and are already planning the next outing. As soon as he stepped out of the car to leave and we said our goodbyes, E was like, "Omg I love him!" We were both so amazed and impressed. It's like it was meant to be. I know that to some people the priest isn't such a big deal, but for us it's huge. For me it's important to have our priest involved in our lives and have a relationship with him. I have been a little lost in my religion for a long time now and I feel like I've finally met the spiritual leader I need to help me get back in touch with my faith. We need more priests like him in our religion. I'm so tired of all the radical, traditional, boring, crazy religious leaders out there.

This priest made us feel so comfortable. He told us that we would go through everything and practice enough so that we would be completely relaxed and comfortable at the ceremony. And then he said that whenever we get nervous during the ceremony or forget what we're supposed to do etc, to just look at him for strength and confidence. He told us that ultimately, the wedding ceremony is between us and him and God and that in that moment, that's all that matters. I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to make us feel like we're in this together and that he'll be there for everything and help us through. What more could I ask for in a priest? Seriously!? It's great, I feel like I've discovered an inspirational new spiritual leader and role model as well as a new friend. We're planning to go to his chapel next week to his Sunday ceremony and he was so happy about it. He's like, "Okay just let me know ahead of time which mass you're coming to so I can prepare a good homily!" ha ha. So cute! I can't wait to introduce him to our families!

Okay, I guess that's enough raving about our new priest! I can't believe we found him! That's one more big important thing crossed off our wedding list! Now it's just time to get on with these invitations and start planning a few of the little personal details we want to put together. I can't believe it's already August! We're getting married in 4 months!!! That's nothing!!! Where did the time go!!?!? And I already feel like anti-bride. I was off to a good start but now I've majorly slowed down and haven't been doing anything wedding related for quite some time. It's time to pick it back up again! And soon!