Early this year the stars aligned and we somehow managed to learn of the existence of the other (thanks, Facebook!). We had several mutual friends and at some point we realized that he even knew my cousin from nearly 7 years ago! We also realized that we were made for each other (and that we'll have beautiful babies ;)).
I went to Brazil, and he came to Texas. We spent hundreds of hours on the phone and skype together. Hundreds.
Last week we went with some friends to a Brazilian restaurant where Allan was planning to teach forró after he and I did a little demonstration. He is obsessed with this Brazilian dance and incredibly talented at it!! He started teaching me not too long ago so I was really nervous! I actually asked him to do it with a friend of ours who knew the dance more, but he insisted that we do it together. Little did I know that he was going to pop the question! You can watch the whole thing in its magical wonderfulness here:
It was a complete surprise to me as it's not Brazilian tradition to do a big formal marriage proposal, so I didn't really expect him to do anything quite like this.
It's Brazilian tradition for both the bride and groom-to-be to wear a gold band on the right hand when you get engaged with the other's name inscribed inside. When you get married you move it to your left hand and get your wedding date inscribed as well. I love this!!
And in case you're wondering what we're going to look like at our wedding, here's my little niece's representation ;). She drew this months ago when I was on the phone with Allan and we asked her to draw us a picture to keep her busy. We will treasure this always :).
PS: For those who are wondering, we will live in Houston once we're married! There's alway the possibility of moving, but we don't have any plans to do so at this time :).
When I was in college I had around 32 roommates total. Chantel was in my last apartment and was one of my very favorites! She studied accounting and would stay late at the library, getting home past midnight every night. I frequently waited up for her and then we'd talk and giggle in the bathroom until our roommate Tina stumbled out of her room and asked us to keep it down (usually around 2 am). Memories of these late nights and our exploits around town made me really miss Chantel, so I made her come visit me in Houston!
Chantel is one of the most incredible people I've ever met! She's deeply dedicated, passionate, loyal, ambitious, fun, spontaneous, and contemplative. I don't know how many people will join me in chasing and following rabbits into bushes and then have a serious discussion on behavioral economics. You can see what I mean when you look at her blog here.
By the way, going to a carnival in the middle of a work day in a sketchy part of town is a little disconcerting. The few workers that were there just stared at us while we took these shots.
After all the fun we had in Houston I asked her to come to India with me too :). Working with kids in an orphanage/school there was quite exhausting, but one of my new favorite memories with Chantel. I'm so glad we're friends! I'll treasure these memories and these photos when we're old and wrinkly :).
Kelli, since you have been so busy the past few days weeks months year I thought I would do a guest post...
Remember all the fun making Texas Christmas gingerbread houses? I thought a few others might enjoy your work.
Also, please let me know when the shipment of mistletoe arrives so the IT department can pick it up. Thanks!
- Mr. C.P.S. Yea, it's snowing on your website.
I'm a firm believer in helping people become self-sustaining. I believe the best way to help others is to teach them and give them the resources they need to help themselves.
I'm sure many of you have already pulled out your wallets to send help to Haiti or some of the other regions of the world that have recently sustained damage due to natural disasters and I know your generosity is greatly appreciated by many. The current economy has affected many people, including members in my immediate family, yet people continue to donate their time and money to help those in need. What a great country we live in that we're able to help so many others! If you're able and feel so inclined, here's another great way to help.
One of my past grooms (and a close friend for the last 8 years) has helped build an organization called Sustain Haiti. He recently served a mission for our Church in Florida, where he learned Haitian Creole and frequently interacted with and taught Haitians and is now looking forward to helping them this summer in their homeland.
This is Craig (and his lovely wife Jackie) back in October:
More than 100 BYU students have formed Sustain Haiti, a group dedicated to helping the victims in Haiti. Led by Warner Woodworth – founder of HELP International and Humanitarian Action Research Team – they are graduate and undergraduate students (some speak French or Haitian Creole and some are native citizens of Haiti ) looking to make a difference to those affected by the earthquake in Leogane.
1) Provide hands-on education in square-foot gardening.
2) Provide sanitation/hygiene education.
3) Work with and through Haitian micro-finance institutions to identify micro-enterprise.
4) Provide clean water technology.
How You Can Help:
For more information and to make a donation, go to:
Volunteer! They're still looking for volunteers and if anyone is interested in going to Haiti to help out you can contact Craig directly at palssonc (at) gmail (dot) com or you can send me a message from my contact page above and I'll forward the email.
You can stay current on the project at their blog:
You can read a short news article here:
In the past I've been able to travel to the Philippines and Africa to serve in orphanages and I would have never had such an opportunity without the generous donations of others. Here's a picture of one of my sweet little African orphans.
While I can't show you any pictures of the kids from the Philippines (they had a strict picture policy and I made a promise to the nuns; you can't break a promise made to nuns!), but here's a shot (back when I shot 100% film) of some other cute kids:
Their goals for Sustain Haiti are so practical in helping the people in Leogane become more self-sufficient. It sounds like such a great opportunity to all involved. Go here to donate!
To the mom who carried twins to full term while raising three other crazy little kids and then continued to carry us both (I'm sure we both weighed more here than all the camera gear I carry at a wedding. Moms just have arms of steel, you know).
To the mom who taught me a love of photography by taking me into a dark room at the tender age of 14. Where would I be without you?
And to the mom who forced me to learn how to cook and become awesome at it (um, due to not cooking amidst college classes and raising 5 kids) 😉 and to always use real butter and make brownies from scratch.
I love you Mom!