Category Archives: settling in
I’m finding myself in a fairly familiar, regular place this peaceful Saturday evening: in Kohinoor 553, at the Garrett’s home. We have collectively agreed/decided/fulfilled the plan to do nothing today… a first, since Dax and I returned from Iowa in January-an honestly probably many weeks before that.
This spring has been full of so many thoughts I never thought I’d be addressing in my first year of teaching…. Thoughts on how to get the kids to remember to call me Mrs Garrett next year (not Mrs Dax or Mrs Coach as many of the younger ones guessed initially), how to legally change my name in two countries (not to mention my passport eventually), where to live as our school expands to two campuses, how to best maximize the time on spring break to source wedding fabric, where to teach-as 30% of our physical building is shutting down by May 5 and I’ll finish the year without an art room, how to grow with Dax and strengthen the relationships we have with both our families, where we’ll honeymoon, wedding planning from abroad, how to travel to the states with a wedding dress and not go too crazy on the delicious Iowa summer food so I can still fit into it, thoughts on how to cherish every moment spent relaxing together, how to find a relaxing moment to spend together…
The list could go on and on… and it does in my mind… to more personal things… more school things… my head and heart have been quite busy… But I am so thankful to say that I am content in all of this. Of course Dax is helping me through much of this… I have said many times now that certainly my time in India would not be the same without him (duh) but also, I don’t think my coping with India and learning to grow and develop here would have been the same specifically…
However he is not the only one… My parents back in Iowa have coped with my emotional roller coaster… Smiling and telling me they love me when I burst into tears on skype for simply missing them as any 24-yr old would half way around the world, keeping me up to date on extended family… Helping line up logistics for the wedding.. Making phone calls and helping get everything set up for the big day this summer….My sister dedicated her entire spring break to trying out Pinterest recipes and crafts for the ceremony and reception and she’s even writing a song. My brother has spent time talking on the phone with me.. checking in when it’s been too long.. doing that brother thing that makes me smile…
And of course…. they are not the only ones.
Back to the start of this post. Sitting and enjoying a relaxing Saturday night in the Garrett home has become tradition. Althea, Donford, and Aiyesha have been absolutely amazing through this entire season. They’ve spent long hot hours searching for fabrics, included me in special family events, literally fed and housed me a large majority of the past few months (really can’t emphasize enough the amazing cooking that comes from their kitchen and the mattress slumber parties that happen in the living room as a family). They know what tea I like to drink and my favorite ice cream. They’ve taken care of me when I was really sick-literally layed in their house for days and they nursed me back to health. They’ve rounded up countless emails for our invitation list, and provided most importantly a loving, supportive environment and family to be part of. Aiyesha has been an amazing sister-in-law, proudly telling kids at school and stepping in to help with design ideas and wedding reception possibilities. Words can’t express full the peace this family has covered me with. Because of their generous care…. I have been able to focus on the pressing needs of the day to day with considerably less stress. I spend so much time at their home now, it’s such a relief, such an escape and such a relaxing place to just be. They have opened their home and their hearts to me… in a way that moves me to awestruck gratitude.
I’ve had several conversations lately with Jayshree, the other art teacher at school. It’s been a hectic time at school too with the art exhibition getting organized, hung, and run… She is always telling me she’s so amazed by how blessed my life has been this year… One day she told me I had big luck this year: finding a great job, finding an amazing man, finding a good family… I told her it wasn’t any measure of big luck that has put me where I am today… It’s a big God who has a plan for me, loves me, and encourages me with blessings every day.
Thanks for reading through this massive post. It’s been a while since I really let it rip on writing, but this is very typical rambling/unending blog writing here… There are just some things that are too important to cut out or briefly sum up…..
As always… thankful to simply be blessed beyond belief.
A friend reminded us last night that a great blessing to teaching is the aspect of scheduled holidays and breaks…(in addition to the joy and challenge of connecting with and helping students learn and grow every day of course). Ironically, I’ve spent every spring break traveling abroad the past 6 years. (Mexico, Guatemala, Guatemala,Pittsburgh, Florida, Seattle) This year… I actually live abroad (and have an income!)… but am staying put for spring break 🙂
Dax and I have been using this much needed pause in classes and school to try to get some planning and logistics figured out for the big day which is now less than 3 months away! We have visited tailors for both Dax and I (I’ve decided to get my dress made here in India-which is exhausting and exciting), hunted for fabric in Crawford market and a half a dozen lace and fabric supply stores, skyped with family and friends abroad, visited with friends in Mumbai, spent time with family, SLEPT, eaten great food and watched a few movies. Still to come: finalizing meetings with both his tailor and mine, finish some paintings for Easter arts service this weekend, l.e.s.s.o.n. p.l.a.n.n.i.n.g., cooking Mexican for the Garretts, more skype dates, and goodness gracious me finally finishing our e-invites and website for the wedding.
Slowly but surely it’s all coming together. I’m really thankful that we’re keeping this as simple and practical as possible… no full on bridezilla moments (yet)… however I do easily get caught up in the stresses of details and reactions from others…. and Dax is such a patient supportive groom-to-be…
Now in the midst of all this planning and preparing, we settle into another day in this holy week where we focus on the gift we recieved on the cross through Jesus… I am already eagerly living in the joy of the fact that on the third day, He rose again…
After being sick all week with Bombay belly (a complete emptying of all that was within me, followed by weakness, followed by slowly restoring strength)…. I was so thankful to have such a peaceful, enjoyable Saturday with Dax in Mumbai simply enjoying the weather, conversation, visiting friends, and resting our bodies for another week ahead. The weekend started off to a fun surprising start with yet another textile exhibtion rolling into Bandra. I tell you these shows come and go- set up, tear down as if they were never there… Bought a few pillow cases, scarves, a skirt/dress, shirt, purse… all for less than $20! Even got to see a few live demos from Indian artists and drooled with envy as Dax took advantage of the Rajistani food…
Today I took my camera out with me.. and took a few snapshots of my favorite things along the walk to lunch… Bizarre and beautiful little details in nature… colors… sunshine… I started the morning with house cleaning and a body balance class… had black dal and rice for lunch with Dax at one of our favorite local restaurants, had some really good conversations through the day about future plans.. wedding.. honeymoon.. etc… and ended the day with a great visit with the Weehunts who are back in Mumbai for a few weeks. Thankful for weekends.. Thankful for this Saturday.
… an extra day in February, my first ASB UnPlugged conference + presentation, a life filled with great friends, restored health, Dax making me smile in new ways every day, trimester 2 narratives complete, getting back to the gym, thankful for safety on the roads in Mumbai and intruiged by imagining the story behind each rickshaw driver I encounter, awesome strawberry peach froyo, great stuff happening in art classes…
And I’m thankful to have a relatively peaceful upcoming weekend with time to Skype with family and update you properly on many of the above mentioned happenings.. but for now.. I’ll leave you with a photo that never ceases to make my day in India: buying food wrapped in recycled newspaper bags.. In this case, one dozen eggs to go 🙂
I might actually need it assuming I survive my first year teaching, planning a wedding half way around the world, presenting at the upcoming conference, actively helping plan our new school facility, and organizing and putting together our spring art show….
But for now, I’ve found a great way to relax, block everything else, and better myself while working out. Yes, going to hte gym has become a brilliant go-to for me the last few weeks. Surprising to say the least but I am actually really loving making this a priority… any hope for an extensive social life may plummet as I typically get home from school around 5/5:30 and head to the gym for 1-2 hours of Les Milles excersize classes, come home eat, finish work and planning and go to bed…. But.. for now, its a priority I’m making in my life that is good for me in so many ways..
ps. no, this has not started because I’m getting married in July- I’d look awesome in a dress if I was married today 😉
In less than six months, 8,176 miles away, with the wedding party in 4 different countries,
and just over 3 weeks back in Iowa before the wedding itself…
No big deal… right? … Many prayers of blessing have already gone over this process, and I’m very thankful to be going through this with the most loving, supportive, prayerful families I could ask for… And (though I may be bais I think I’m right) the best fiancee in the world.
Bring it on: July 3, 2012 ❤