Sunday, February 15, 2009

OK...Cat's out of the bag.

So here's a story of unconventionalism to beat the band.

A couple of weeks ago I received a friend request on Facebook from someone who I had never met. I ignored the request for a couple of days, and then thought I would do a bit a digging before denying the request. I saw that she was from Las Cruces and attended NMSU, and that she was friends with my brother. So, I figured that I would check with him. If you're familiar with Facebook, you can picture what I'm about to describe. When I went to my brother's page and clicked on "Send Michael a Message" the message box popped up as normal. I started typing...

"Do I know..."

then my eyes drifted over to his profile and saw something that knocked my on my back

"who apparently you are engaged to??? She requested me as a friend and I'd like to know my future sister in law???..."

At this time, I sent the message thinking that this was just a couple of "kids" having fun with the publicness of Facebook and looking for I just had. So I awaited his response, not worried, but definitely curious to hear his response. What I got back was not what I expected. Below you will find the transcript of Mike and my messages. I have cut out things that I felt should be kept in confidence...
From Michael:
Uh no, you don't know Monika, but yes we are engaged. I wasn't planning on telling the family yet because I haven't talked to her dad at all so please refrain from telling mom and dad until I have done so at which point I will tell them. (edited) Sorry that you had to find out this way but, as I said, I wanted to do things right and have just not had the opportunity as she lives in Cruces and I am, well, not. So yes, your gonna have a sister and you also get a new 4 1/2 year old nephew named Josh. Please dont tell mom and dad, I need to do that on my own when the time is right.

From Me:
My lips are sealed, but you probably want to take it off facebook then. There are quite a few people, for example (edited), who are also on Facebook who would not think of asking you before talking to them.Congratulations...this is more than unexpected. I guess you'll tell me more when you want to.

From Michael:
There is not much more to tell at the moment. We are not planning to get married until May 2010 so there is a bit of time before it all comes together. Thank you though Kris! It has all been pretty unexpected for me too. Go check out her pictures though you'll get to see her and Joshua, they're amazing!

From Me:
So do you want me to accept her as a friend yet, or would you rather me wait? I wil be honest with you, I won't be able to avoid being nosy. I hope you can understand my hesitation to except that you are engaged to a girl I have never even heard will take a while for anyone who knows you and not her to get used to the idea. But if you're happy and you're sure, congrats...I'll get behind you

From Michael:
For sure, Im not afraid of you being nosy and neither is she. We've discussed all the interesting situations that we have established through this unconventional engagement. But please, get to know your sister-in-law!
So after this went down I freaked out a other way to say it. This will explain the status update claiming I was abnormally case you noticed that one! At some point I decided that my brother's going to make his own decisions, there's nothing I can do about it, and I have my own issues to deal with (also part of a status update).

Around the time that I made this decision, I received a message from Monika, "the girl."

Here's more messages!
From Monika:
Heylo! I'm so excited that I'm getting to "meet" you! Lol!

Thought I would introduce myself. My name is Monika, I'm 23, soon 24. I have a beautiful bouncing toddler, 4 years old, named Joshua. He's the light of my life! I'm so blessed! I'm a senior English major, and I want to become a professor some day! God help me huh? I have a twin, other than that just a bunch of half and step siblings, some of whom I'm close to, some of whom I'm not. My twin's name is Shawn, we're night and day fraternal twins!

My father is a minister at a local church here in Cruces. My parents are pretty laid back people and they are extremely passionate about Christ and bringing people to Christ. Which is an AWESOME calling!

I am head over heels in love with your brother. And I'm beside myself with excitement to get to spend the rest of my life with him, taking care of him and raising a family together. Michael is a very special man and I'm grateful for God bringing him into my life. Anyway, I wanted you to know a little about me. Cause we're gunna be family! :-) Tell me about you! I'm so eager to know more! Your future sister-in-law! Monika

From Me:
Sorry that I haven't replied sooner. I so hope that you can realize what a shock this sudden engagement has been to me. It's not that I am not in support of it, but I'm not at the point where I can get 100% behind it either. I just have to process it. I am a protective older sister after all! From what you have written, you sound like a great girl. And I trust Mike's judge of character I'm not worried there!

Now here comes the obligatory "if you hurt him..." part of my message. This is the not so fun paragraph...but I think once we get past this, I will understand some things better and we can just enjoy eachother! I know that you must know how incredibly emotional Michael is. That's awesome and generally a true gift. It also means that he loves more and deeper than most people you will ever meet. And his loyalties are concrete.

So for these reasons, I have to ask you a question. I've read your profile and see that you have been married and divorced two times. What do you feel for my brother that you didn't feel for these other men? I can tell you that for Michael...marriage is forever. And I don't doubt that that is your goal as well, but I wonder why you feel that this is the relationship that will work. I would imagine that you felt that when you began the two marriages as well. I don't want any of this to be uncomfortable for you. I truly am happy for you two, and I look forward to meeting you and your beautiful son. I just hope you can understand why it is a bit disconcerting to find out that my brother is engaged to a woman I have never met...and to find out on Facebook...

OK...I'll let you respond to that as you see fit, but here's the more pleasant stuff to read.
I am 28 and finishing my masters in Ed. Psych.
I have worked for the NMAA for over 5 years and I oversee all of the "non-athletic" high school activities in the state.
I have incredible friends and I am truly blessed with my life in Alb.
I have no family at this time, but my animals are keeping me company in the interim.
I have 2 dogs, Sprite and Caspian, and a cat, Lucy. (If you're familiar with the Narnia series, some of these names may sound familiar!)
I love movies, games, shoes, and a whole bunch of other random things.
I can be found enjoying my shows, golfing, cross-stitching, enjoying a glass of wine and a good meal...pretty much anything. I really feel that the activity is not what makes something's the company.
Multi-tasking is probably my most prominent strength.
I don't have much free time, but feel that maintaining a social life is necessary to maintaining sanity.
I am more than slightly anal-retentive, and drive people crazy with my OCD tendencies. I believe everything has a place...and everything should be in it's place. My biggest pet peeves are 1) people who do not pay attention to their surroundings, and 2)people who don't leave things and places the way (or better than) they found them.
I drive a Jetta and love it
I am mindful of fashion and like staying abreast of the "fads"
I have expensive taste...not always a good thing! :-(

I think I have sufficiently filled your inbox with completely random facts about myself. Please consider what I have asked and feel free to respond as well. I hope you are doing well, and I look forward to learning more about you and seeing you and Michael in a relationship.

From Monika:
I am so glad that you wrote me back! And I DO UNDERSTAND, totally and completely your shock and your amazement that we would break this news to you on facebook! I'm a little shocked by the whole experience myself. Lol! I guess, as you obviously would agree, the nasty stuff is better out of the way right up front. (edited)

Now, to the part that matters. I KNOW that Michael is an extremly emotional person, and that he loves with all of his heart and it's not something he gives away too easily but once he's given it, he never takes it back. Our relationship is DIRECT proof of that quality in him. It's one of the things I DEARLY love about him.

That being said. Know this: I have no desire to, nor will I EVER hurt your brother. I love him dearly and I want only his happiness. He is an extension of my heart. Michael is different because I am actually in love with Michael. For all the things he is, and all the things he isn't. I can't wait to marry him. If only it were today! :-)

Anyway.... now you know, and now if other ppl have questions then you can answer some of them. I hope that now, you can understand a little about what I have been through and how truly grateful I am for the goodness in Michael. My mom always told me that she married my Dad cause he was the first nice guy she fell in love with. I knew I'd always be the same. My only regret is that I didn't marry him FIRST! I can't wait to meet you either, and we should get together, have lunch. I want to come to ALB soon, cause Michael and I are thinking of doing the wedding in Santa Fe, and I need to research wedding planners. He says you can help with that??? I'd love that! I'll keep you updated on when I'm coming. And you could always come here too, it's not that far!?!?

From Me:
Your response is well stated and makes a lot clear. I am so sorry that you have had to experience in your 23 years what many don't have to in a life time. Still, this isn't going to be an overnight transformation as far as getting used to the idea of this, but know that I am getting there!

Yes, I have more than a little bit of experience planning weddings. and I would be happy to help with this one. I will ask that we slow down a bit until my brother has made the engagement official with your parents and mine. I have shared with Mike that I feel pretty uncomfortable having to keep this from my parents until he decides to tell them. That's another aspect that is making this process...different...Once he tells them and I don't have to feel like I am hiding something from them, I am ready to jump in!

Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to learning more about you!

From Monika:
I totally understand that. And to put you at ease Michael will be talking to my parents within the week and so he will be telling your parents immediately after. So hopefully that will be cleared up very very soon. And I won't be heading to alb until at the earlies Spring Break week, which is the last week in March. I too am looking forward to getting to know you. I hope that we will continue to chat.
So. True to his word, via Monika, my brother talked to her parents last night. They were incredibly supportive and encouraing. He then talked to my parents, and to both of our surprise, they too were supportive of the decision that they had made together. I didn't quite understand that, but after talking to them I see where they are coming from. Basically, they realize that Mike's going to make whatever decision he is going to make. Also, after speaking with him, they found that he and Monika are planning to begin pre-marital counceling, and the 15 month engagement allows a lot of time for learning.

After my messages with both of them, I am actually to the point where I can see myself completely in support of this marriage. I can't make any guarantees until I meet her of course, but I am ready to do that and I look forward extending our family.

So, if you are interested in "meeting" my brother's fiance Monika, you can find her on my Facebook page. She really does seem like a great girl, with a great background, who has had some tough breaks. Please pray that Mike and Monika are able to build this relationship with a foundation in Christ.

I will certainly keep you updated and let you know when the wedding is going to happen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Healthy and on a roll! Random updates!

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for the wishes of good health. I am happy to say that I am 100% recuperated and back in the swing of things. I've officially hit the crazy 4 months of my year, so I may be absent for a bit!

I had jury duty again this week, and I am still pleased with the process. I am making some friendships and even though it's time I could certainly be using for other things, I'm enjoying the change of pace. Back to work tomorrow.

There is something going on within the family that I can't quite announce yet. Please stay tuned, but in the mean time, PRAY! It's not health related, and it has the potential to be great. That's just yet to be determined.

I'm taking the GRE next month. I've taken so many other exams including specific ones for my original Masters. The new program I'm going into wants the GRE so I have to get that done. This is the first time that I've ever experienced any testing nervosa. I've gone as far as to purchase a prep program...that's never even crossed my mind before. Anyway, I feel pretty confident that I will do fine (hopefully better than fine) but I will be sure to fill you in when I get my scores.

Here's the schedule for the upcoming weeks...I won't be offended if you skip right over this (actually I won't have any idea...but if I did, I wouldn't care!)

2/13 State NMASC
2/14 State Bowling
2/15 Church, work and a date
2/16 I'm OFF! Yay!
2/19-2/20 State BPA
2/20-2/21 State Swimming & Diving and State Wrestling
2/27-2/28 State Choir
3/10-3/14 State Basketball
And of course work, school, and social stuff throughout all of that.

Told you the madness has started!

My church has begun a new program that brings community choirs and church choirs together to perform major works. Last week was the first rehearsal of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy). i'm so excited and it's so great to be singing again. Although I will say that after years of not doing much more than Karaoke, Beethoven's love for soaring sopranos was a bit testing for the first day! I am loving that my voice will be back in shape (there's no other option!) by the time we perform. Yay!!! If anyone's interested, the performance is with the Albuquerque Philharmonic and will take place at 2:00 PM on Sunday March 15th at the Hispanic Cultural Center. It's going to be great! To give you an idea, our choir alone is probably 70 voices strong, and there are at least 2 community choirs joining us, and then the Alb. Phil. Choir. WOW...I can't wait! You won't be able to pick my voice out of this one mom! (She swears she can always hear my voice...even though I tell her that that's not really a good thing when in a choir...oh well)

OK, I'm officially babbling. Hope no one minds that this blog has become my journal. I have given up on the idea of making every post entertaining to the reader. I hope that you enjoy reading them, but if least I got to get it out of my head! Recently thought of an analogy that sums up most of my days...

I can generally liken my head to an air-powered bingo machine and all my "to-do's" to the bingo balls.

I like it! And it really does capture the multi-tasking craziness that is the life I love.

Love you all!