Monday, September 24, 2012

Doodle 055- Mawwaige - Or how I kinda wasn't really mawwied for nearly 11 years

First, today's doodle, (this way if you want to skip the long post you can do so lol), I drew Tinkerbell, what? You thought I would forget a suggestion? Never!

Tink - blue pencil, mechanical pencil and micron pen on plain Moleskine notebook. Aprox 15 mins.

And now, for yet another long story:

It's hard to come up with beginnings for stories, overall when none of it begins on a dark and stormy night or when it wasn't the best of times or the worst of times at the same time... aaand that's a lot of "times". Anyway, it was around the year 2000 (no, really it was actually 2000, but it sounds cooler that way, no?), I had left my friends, family and the country I called home in one epic romantic leap of faith to be with a man I had known for about a year but had only spent 10 days total with face to face.

Andrei and I met online back in the day when online dating was rare and rather odd. I was 18 and playing on an old timey word based game based on Ender's Game's battle school. He started playing a while after I did, we became good friends, then better friends, and before I knew it I was telling him to leave me alone because I was a free agent and loving it. LOL no, I am not kidding. I never quite believed in mawwiage , I liked being single, having the occasional boyfriend and going on adventures. I was young, free and trying out the whole fledgling grown up thing from the comfort of my parents' nest.

But love knows nothing of plans and before I could do much about it Andrei had managed to smite me through sheer will power and perseverance (that man doesn't know when to give up). After a while he came to visit me at Spain and spent 10 days with us. My family loved him and I loved him even more, and well, I somehow decided that I couldn't live another day without him, so after trying to go on with my life and a long distance relationship for a month without much success, I packed my bags, dropped out of school and just left (kids don't try this at home, I mean eet!)

At the time I was 19 about to turn 20, I was scared, determined, crazy and reckless, but still scared.

I figured I had a two way ticket so if I didn't like what I had done I could always return home. Just for the record, it is now 2012, so you can tell that didn't happen.

After a month or so living with Andrei, we decided we just needed to get married since it was obvious we wanted to stay together for as long as we both should live. We were broke, spaghetti and tuna cans plus no car broke, my parents were an ocean away, his family was a little closer, but still several hours by car. We decided a small courthouse wedding would be the way to go since my folks couldn't be there.

We notified the parents and promised that one day, when we had "made it", we would throw a big party and have a wedding they could attend. They gave in reluctantly, I am known for being single minded, so there wasn't much they could say/do to stop me anyway.

A good intentioned friend heard of our plans and volunteered to help us have a small chapel wedding. I have never been very religious neither attended church regularly (or at all really), so it really wasn't a big deal to me, but eager to start things right and accept my soon-to-be-husband's friend's kindness I went along with it happily.

We started looking for affordable wedding dresses/outfits, it was a mess, Tallahassee barely had any wedding dress shopping options back then and the one boutique (that is no longer in business for good reason) that was around sent us packing the moment they didn't see an engagement ring on my finger... like I said, we were broke, so I didn't want an engagement ring, we saved instead to buy wedding rings.

After a trip across state lines and a very generous monetary gift from another friend, I purchased a big white wedding gown off the rack. It really was the one that fit and didn't look crazy on me a week before the wedding.

Andrei's sisters came to town to see their brother get married to a girl they had never met. I loved them immediately and they loved me back just the same, I was lucky that way and got awesome in-laws. The night before the wedding I was told by the good intentioned friend, that the whole chapel deal was out the door, but that she had arranged a small garden wedding for us at her grandmother's house somewhere off in the country.

Not being one to complain and clearly caught in other people's plans I took it all on stride, let her take me to a hair salon and breakfast and then I was driven out and away to wherever this ceremony was bound to take place... I did notice though, there were no paved roads where we were heading... panic started to set in then, I had no idea where this place was and Andrei had told me he didn't know either.

The weather wasn't cooperating, dark clouds loomed overhead, so as we pulled over at a modest home I was again informed that the whole thing had been moved indoors... and now we were going to have the ceremony in the sitting room of the friend's grandma... and the grandma was a justice of the peace, so she would do the honors of officiating the ceremony.

I just smiled and I was ushered into a room and I tried to get into my now ridiculous large gown while people I barely knew rushed about. Looking back, I really can't remember getting disappointed, confused, angry or nervous. It sort of felt as if I had been swept away into this real surreal and bizarre situation, I just wanted to get things done with as much dignity and grace as I could muster and forget about the mess I had gotten myself into.

The ceremony started as normally as it could under the circumstances and it was going smoothly... a CD was playing some ambient music, people were standing or sitting around furniture that had been pushed around to make more room.

As I saw Andrei waiting on the corner I decided things were going to be ok, after all, all I really wanted was to marry the man I loved. The justice of the peace was rather elderly, she probably hadn't performed weddings in a while and was reading the script as well as she could, maybe a bit, ok maybe a lot rushed. The vows came up pretty fast, Andrei did his bit, said his vows to me and slipped the ring onto my finger and then I waited for my turn, heart pitter pattering... only to hear the justice of the peace go straight to: "And by the power invested in me...", my heart nearly stopped, I panicked a bit, looked at Andrei, who looked at me rather puzzled, I quickly grabbed the ring from whoever was holding it at the moment and slipped it into Andrei's finger right before hearing the "I pronounce you husband and wife" part.

We kissed, signed the paperwork and I asked Andrei in a whisper if the justice of the peace had skipped my part or if I had imagined it. He confirmed it, I had been skipped and made no vows. I shrugged it off, we had punch and toasted with sparkling apple cider since I was underage for drinking in the US, a fact that made me giggle since in Spain legal drinking age was 16, so by then I had drank plenty and developed a taste for fine wine. Our first wedded lunch consisted of chicken salad and a slice of cake and that was the end of it.

We drove home with Andrei's family all piled up on an SUV or van (It is all a blur really), and went back to the one bedroom apartment we lived in along with my sisters in law, my new nieces and more company. We didn't have a honeymoon, the next working day everything was back to normal again.

For the next 9 years I often teased Andrei telling him he was married to me, but since I had made no vows I was still free, yup, just like Buttercup. Of course we were legally married, but it was fun to poke a bit at him sometimes.

As we both finished school and got well paying jobs and worked hard to move up on life, we started taking actual vacations and leaving town more often. One year, as we cruised down to the Caribbean aboard a Disney cruise ship and we watched the sun set over the ocean he said: "Let's renew our vows, or I'll renew mine and you can say yours", I thought he was joking, turns out, he wasn't.

After much research, number crunching and planning, we decided that a vow renewal for our 10th anniversary at Disney World would be the best solution for us. It was a shorter drive away from his family, it had an international airport and built in shuttles and hotels for mine. Plus our trips to Disney World after my hospital ordeals had managed to keep me sane (or as sane as I was gonna get anyway), so it had great memories for the two of us even during really dark days.

Now, having a Disney wedding wasn't cheap, but it came with a great perk, I had a virtual army of people taking care of things and all I did was come up with a look, add several personal touches in the shape of paper goods we did ourselves, wedding favors etc, and keep within our budget.

Andrei and my friends helped me find the perfect wedding dress, this time it was one I really wanted and loved and was ordered a year out and made for me. The food, cake, everything was planned with care and with the help of Andrei an awesome team.

I really won't describe it all, instead I will post a few of the tons of incredible photos taken by our wonderful photographers and friends Becka and Nate from Studio222 photography, because they pretty much say it all about the day:
Ender's Game, first chapter, Third.
I patiently hollowed a hardcopy of Ender's Game to make a ring bearing book. Nobody panic, we actually own 3 more copies and they are all safe and sound including my original Spanish first edition that Orson Scott Card signed for me. - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Steampunk detail!
I gifted Andrei a limited edition Up bottle cap pin, because, well the story of Carl and Ellie is so similar to ours that we wondered if Pixar had been spying on our lives. I must also note, that to this day I can't see the "Married Life" montage at the start of that movie without crying, and it has been the only movie that has made me cry at the theater - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
So very happy it is redonk
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge during the festivities, it is still my very favorite resort in Disney World - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Not really Africa
The lodge provides with awesome backdrops - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Monorail gold now belongs to me ;)
We couldn't have a Disney wedding without a monorail pic, could we? - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
We wanted a personalized ceremony, so we each wrote our own vows and then made our own vow booklets so we could have them as keepsakes and read them to each other on anniversaries - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Near kiss
:-) - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Buttercup no more
Finally mawwied, and this time I said my vows and everything! - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Another small homage to Up, I put the small house together and our awesome florist got the balloons, this was the kid's activity table - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
I drew different things that had special meanings to Andrei and I for each table. He was a launchy on rabbit army on the game where we first met, hence the bunny - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Overall look of the tables once put together by our awesome Disney Wedding team - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
Us checking out our amazing cake, it was so beautiful we felt guilty cutting into it - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
We couldn't have a Disney wedding without Mickey and Minnie, could we? - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
At the end of the day, tired but oh, so happy - Photo credit: Studio222 Photography
 When the day was over and we had finally gotten out of all wedding finery and sat exhausted while the TV played some Phineas and Ferb cartoons he said: "Well, now you said it" I laughed and replied: "Yup, I did" "You can never take it back now. Ha!" he added.

And so, that's the story of how I wasn't quite mawwied and then how I finally got to say my vows. It was one of the most amazing days I have ever lived, and I can say without a doubt, I love Andrei more than I ever did and I am sure I'll grow to love him more as the years go by.

We aren't the same two people that we were when we first embarked on this crazy adventure we call mawwiage, together, we are older, wiser and we have weathered more than I ever expected we would or could. Over the years we have learned more from each other than any other person we have ever met, we spend most of our days together and never get tired of each other's company, we have learned each other's boundaries, limits, buttons and secrets; in a way he is now so much a part of me as I am part of him and I still find that mysterious, slightly scary and altogether wonderful.


Susanna King said...

That is a wonderful, beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

IMQTPI said...

Freaking Awesome!!!

Thanks for sharing! :-)

Running Betty said...

So glad we got to be a part of your magical weekend! It was truly a dream come true moment after moment! And dancing with Mickey and Minnie on the dance floor just may be a highlight of my life :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you <3

Brooke said...

Aww, what a great story! Thanks for sharing!

I met my husband (quite randomly) online too - it was near the end of '97 and people always asked if I was sure he wasn't a stalker, hehe. During our wedding ceremony my husband kissed me too early because our pastor had told us he wouldn't say "you may now kiss the bride" and it was up to us if we wanted to kiss at the end. The funny part is, no one thought it was a mistake. =)

Jen said...

What a sweet story you two have! And you are a gorgeous couple. I'm sure you'll have many many more happy years together.

Misti K said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. Your Disney wedding looked amazing and you both just glow in those pictures.

Also. I saw up in the theatre, with my husband deployed to Iraq. We never plan to have children and that opening sequence....I was biting my hand to keep my sobs as quiet as possible. I cannot watch any part of it without my chest starting to heave and my eyes immediately filling with tears.

Project Cat said...

Please forgive any typos- but I can't see very well because I'm tearing up over how sweet and wonderful you two seem together and how glad I am that you got the wedding you wanted at 10years in. :) Thank you so much for sharing!!

MichelleH said...

I love your cute little veil! Adorable!

My husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this year...we're waiting until year 25 to have a bit vow renewal though, because I quit my job and went back to school, so we're broke again like we were ten years ago when we were just out of school in the first place. :)

Anyway, may you have many, many more years of learning from each other!

Melody said...

You and your story are equally beautiful. :)

LeAnn Woodward said...

What a great story! I'm all teary eyed. <3!

My husband and I will celebrate our 25th this coming year and I want to go to Disney Land for our anniversary. I'd love to renew our vows as our wedding was not the wedding I wanted but the wedding my mother wanted me to have. Nothing went well and I was crying before and during the actual ceremony. Thankfully the man I married is awesome and I can't wait to spend 25 more years with him! :)

Jennifer said...

Oh what a truly beautiful happily ever after! The way y'all met, the whirlwind ceremony, the justice skipping your vows to that AMAZING wedding!!! Those are true fairytales to me.

Maple Girl said...

I've been married for 8 years, and we got engaged 10 days after we met, married 3 months after we met, and got pregnant 3 months after that! (Very fast in our family ^_^) Also I only have 2 kids and they're less than a year apart.

But thank you for sharing your heart-warming story. You guys sound like an ideal couple. May you have many more years of loving wedded life.

Nomi said...

Man, that is sweet. <3

Melissa said...

First of all... HURRAH FOR TINK!! She was the perfect doodle to start of this super fun post about your Disney wedding... well, second wedding :)

Marebabe said...

Wonderful! Thanks so much for your recent drawings (you're really on a roll with the fairy tale characters!), and your beautiful wedding stories (you had TWO!) complete with awesome PICTURES! So lovely. Not just the photos of the day, the decorations, and the venue, but the glorious and radiantly happy Saudade and Andrei. It's nice to know what you look like. We're getting to know you better!

vas said...

Love love love!!!!

Melissa said...

I just showed by 8 year old Tinkerbell fan your picture and she gasped and squealed, "It's TINKERBELL!!!" :)

Drawing Saudade said...

Awww, you guys are so sweet. I am very happy you liked my story, to be sincere I was a bit worried that it would be boring, sort of when you get stuck watching a loooong slide show of somebody's vacation... that could explain why I tried to keep the photos to a minimum LOL.

Thanks for all the lovely compliments and for sharing your own stories as well!

on and @Melissa, yay! Mission accomplished, happy your daughter liked the doodle :)

Jan said...

Doesn't it make the second wedding all the sweeter by having the first be just as special in it's own way? It makes me so happy to see couples that are just made for each other. It makes you see that the world really is filled with beautiful people and not just the unrest you so often see on the evening news. Many more happy years to come for you two!

Megan M. said...

What a crazy story! But a beautiful one. Loved seeing the pictures, y'all are a gorgeous couple!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. I too, cannot watch the beginning of Up without crying. I went through 3 miscarriages before my ex husband and I stopped trying. Turns out we weren't meant for each other, but I found my soulmate recently, and married him on the 15th of this month.

I'm so thankful that I found your blog to read. I absolutely envy your drawing capabilities, and I come daily to see what you've drawn. I'm a Disney fanatic too, and loved seeing the pictures of your beautiful vow renewal! Congratulations!

Sarah said...

You are freaking adorable. Love it all.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful happy couple in love! Blessings to you both.
-Julie G. from Iowa

Rhissanna said...

Oooh! This is a lovely story! (I came over here from the UK and we ended up married in the back office of a scruffy used car dealership. We hadn't planned it like that, of course! I laughed and laughed! So I understand how these things can go.)

As for the drinking laws, I know! Coming from Europe, I really didn't understand that no drinking under the age of 21 meant no drinking anywhere! Not even in your own home, or with your parents. It's really, really weird.

I love the pictures. You both make such a lovely couple. Of course, there's rabbit pictures at a wedding? What kind of wedding would it be without bunnies?

Libby said... two are adorable!