Wedding Gift List and Information

We just want to say thank you so much in advance for any and all help with our religious wedding. It has meant so much to us to even have the opportunity to begin our lives together, and to have you all be a part of it makes it even more special. So, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Many of you have wondered about gift lists or where to send money so we figured this would be the easiest way to get you all that information

We initially registered at a department store down here called Ripley.

Our wedding code is 2816749-0

(and yes, it appears as Barrenechea – Reimers Allen since they use two last names here)

At the moment we know it works in the store, but we are unsure about online. It won’t even let us find and download the list so I can just post it here for you below. Their list has over half of things we did not even choose so we fixed it ourselves.

I put the things we need the most in blue. We live with my Mother-in-Law and she has graciously allowed us to use her kitchen items and other things. The stove and oven Pieces are because I would love to be able to cook again on a stove like my Mother had up in Iowa with the flat surface and no fire. A pressure cooker is the closest thing we have to a Crock Pot here (which I miss so much).

Also, the list is in two different currencies as Peru uses soles, and of course, we in America use dollars. For every $1 of ours it is worth about 3.30 soles down here. Honestly, that has been something really funny to get used to.

We get rewards of some sort depending on how much people spend under that number. I am unsure of all it is but we could get anything from a gift card to a honeymoon getaway (or both?)

You can look at the list at https://novios.ripley.com.pe/services/club-de-novios/

Click here ^ to see it in readable size

For those of you who would just rather just send us money (which is also greatly appreciated) I have an active account in Iowa still at Quad City Bank and Trust.

The routing number is : 073902232

The account number is : 1189810

With that information you should be able to transfer it easily as my card to the account works down here. My parents said that you can also make a check out to them and they can transfer it over to my account as well. Whichever is easiest for you.

Carlos’s Bank accounts are as follows:

BCP SOLES : 191-31142138-0-04
CCI: 00219113114213800459

BCP DOLARES: 192-92658091-1-28
CCI: 00219219265809112832

Thank you again for everything. If you need anymore information or have any questions at all, feel free to message me or Carlos on Facebook.

Kendra and Carlos

The Gofundme Site for Our Wedding Paperwork

https://www.gofundme.com/an-8-year-journey-of-love-realized

I admit I am not one to ask for money unless it is important. I made this gofundme campaign to raise the money for my fiance and I to get all our paperwork for both our wedding ceremonies handled and have a small church marriage paid for. I wrote the whole thing if you would like to click on the link above as to why it is important and time is running against us. We know what we want to do, and that we were meant to be together but we are lacking funds at this moment to make this last dream a reality.

A New Year Brings with it Many Things…New Goals, New Opportunities, New Discoveries

A new year brings with it new goals and new opportunities to grow. Goodbye 2018, hello 2019!

This year I wanted to make my resolutions and goals simple yet long lasting.

~ Staying positive and remembering there are always better days ahead.

I seen on the internet that people posted about making a positivity jar. You write a positive thing a week on a piece of colorful paper and put it in a jar. At the end of 2019, you open it and relive the amazing year you had to start 2020 on a good note. I liked the idea, except there are only 52 weeks in a year and I wanted to give myself a real challenge. So I am going to write something positive that happens to me everyday leaving 365 notes to go through. How exciting is that?

~ I am still going to work on getting my health better and working on losing weight.

The heat here makes asthma hard to deal with right now and I am used to this time of the year being snowy and too cold to breathe. There is no air conditioning in most places so they are used to this heat, whereas I am not. I have to take my nebulizer on a regular basis but anything is better than going to the hospital for asthma. I am still planning to go through that program they have here to help those with asthma, depression, and anxiety cope and they have a high rate of people getting off thier meds or greatly reducing them. To me that was one of the main reasons I found myself coming to Peru. Luckily my fiance and his family are here as well. So I am hoping once summer here wears off and it gets cooler my asthma will also improve.

~ Another goal I want to set for myself is to be happy.

So many big things in my life as of late have been so happy. I finally came here to Peru and live my life with my fiance. We are looking forward to planning a wedding and getting married in the next month(s) and after that who knows? Perhaps in a few months or a year afterwards eventually tackle parenthood? For now though, I am just happy to keep his parents company and help them out all that I can.

~ I want to do something (or a few things) everyday that is productive.

Would that be an art project or something small like cleaning off the table and doing dishes after we eat, it matters not. Just something that at the end of the day I can say that I accomplished something. With my asthma I am very limited to what I can do so little victories and doing many small things are essential.

~ I want to give a home to a dog in need.

This one I have to save for later in the year to accomplish but I want to adopt another Dachshund like Bubba. Or even one of those adorable Incan Orchid dogs that are from here. They are hairless except for thier tails and the top of their heads. Also they are hypoallergenic so allergies and my asthma shouldn’t be a problem around them. Carlos (my fiancé) still has to take me to the place about an hour and a half from here that breeds them. They have different sizes of the breed and the smaller the better. I am used to small dogs that are easily picked up and carried around. I am such a dog person I get myself in trouble by giving attention to the strays around the area. I see a dog and I just can’t help myself. I have always had them as companions alongside me and seeing them meander around homeless is a sight I am not used to.

~ I want to start a rock painting group here in Lima and Peru on Facebook.

I had so much fun in Iowa with my Mom painting rocks and having her hide them as we ran errands. Later people posted where they found them and took pictures with their children or families. I am thinking though, with such a focus on family here in Peru it would be perfect to start. So much joy is spread by such a simple gesture I would like to pass that onto everyone here. We have entire beaches filled with the perfect rocks for painting, all sorts of shapes and sizes. I have painted a few rocks since I been here and a few bottles to be given as Christmas gifts but I need to get back to it.

 I still need help with naming the group, so if you have any suggestions leave me a comment! So many good suggestions have come up so far, but the more the better! Be creative! I plan to have the #QCROCKS people I painted rocks for up in the Quad Cities area vote on it on later on Facebook.

~ Most of all, I plan to catch up on this blog and continue writing future entries.

All I can really say is that so many things have happened so fast. I find myself so wrapped up in the moment just living for once. Life for me has changed so much in such a small amount of time and I am finally just loving it for once.

My hope for you all is that 2019 brings with it happiness, health and many good memories with your loved ones. Let’s all make this year the best yet!

My First Christmas in Peru

As exciting as it is to be in a different country so far away from the United States the topic of what do they do here for Christmas was quite an interesting topic.

The people here are very grounded in their Catholic beliefs. You go anywhere and you can see statues of Mary or various Saints. I know they aren’t shrines, but the way they have all the candles and flowers around so beautifully it is the only way to really describe it. Even in some of the parks they have them as well. I got to wondering who does the upkeep on all them because it is no doubt a special job. I am going to have to look up what they are called. Art here is everywhere, no matter if it is of wildlife and animals, or of huge religious murals. It is just amazing. So it really did not surprise me that the focus of the traditions here in Peru had to do with the Nativity and the Birth of Jesus.

We put up a tree and everything and decorated it, and also the Nativity scene. Madre had so many pieces of different Nativity scenes it made it a bit confusing to me. My creativity took over and I had a bit of fun with it. Later she rearranged it all correctly and explained that she had one for every area of the country. It was a total eye opener, she spent years collecting these intricately beautiful sets and they were from all over Peru. You could tell many were handmade or hand painted. Some were even over 30 years old! I had no words, it was so neat to imagine what everyone else would be doing. Obviously all I had was my imagination, but still. I noticed she took the baby Jesus from the scene as well. She explained the birth had not happened yet until midnight on Christmas Eve. I accepted that and stayed quite curious about it.

So midnight on Christmas Eve finally came, to my surprise there were fireworks everywhere. (Imagine our 4th of July, only with everyone around you setting off fireworks) The air was so thick it was hard to breathe, and it was so noisy. But the view of all these bright specks of light going off in every direction was just so beautiful. They ended up going off through the night and much of the day on Christmas.

Meanwhile, during all that commotion outside, Madre gave me the baby Jesus from the manger of the big Nativity set and told me to make a wish and place it in the scene. Of course I can’t tell you what I wished for, but all I can say is the wish was not for me.

Interestingly enough the 12 days of Christmas actually exists. It is simply the time between Jesus being born on December 25th, and the Epiphany when the three wise men came to see Him on January 6th. (I wondered why they would stay in an icky barn for that long, but it is not for me to ask questions) So all the Christmas decorations and lights everywhere stay up until the 6th of January. To me, it was really neat to see that there was more to celebrating Christmas. Honestly I thought they were just late taking everything down. But to know there was a deeper meaning meant alot.

In the United States, we usually have a big dinner as well, but the push of buying things starts on November 1st and continue to get more and more annoying until December 24th and poof, another Christmas done. Perhaps working in retail during the Christmas season has made it more annoying to me but America places way too much emphasis on materialism, especially during the holidays. It is practically to the point of brainwashing I would say. In contrast, the main focus here is time with family and making lasting memories. Of course they do presents as well, but it is not as important as people in America make it to be. I told them I didn’t expect anything, being here and living my life with them was more than enough. My fiance had paid a lot of money to get me here to Peru and I consider that to be more than enough for an early gift. Now everyday I wake up here with him beside me on the futon is a gift. I do have a great idea for something perfect for them as a late Christmas present. It was something they no doubt would need, but as of yet haven’t gotten. It costs a lot but the fact that it would make their lives much much easier and help them out is all that really matters to me. I am hoping I get those funds to do it soon, it would be the perfect surprise for them.

I think the most fun thing about the holiday season is what they call “panetone” I was eager to look up this information. It comes from Italy, and the original recipe is over 500 years old. One of the most popular stories of it’s origin tells about Ughetto degli Atellani, a nobleman who lived in 1400’s in Milan. He was in love with Adalgisa, the daughter of a poor baker named Toni, who worked in the kitchen of the powerful Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. To win her love, he disguised himself as a baker. To impress Adalgisa, he invented a special bread, adding new ingredients: butter, eggs, dried raisins and candied peel. Pan del Ton (Toni’s bread) was a huge success in many ways: Ughetto gets the girl, Duke approves the marriage and Toni’s invention is welcomed with an enthusiastic response. A new dessert is born, called forever Pan del Ton, or: panettone. The process of making a panettone can take several days and has been improved through the centuries. Nevertheless, the original cylindrical shape and the paper wrap around it (a smart fix to prevent the dough from overflowing) is still the same.

It is basically like fruitcake only actually it tastes really good. Personally, I love the bread part but not the little dried fruits or raisins. They actually laugh at me because I pick those out! Who knew?

My Embassy Escapade

Let me just say I was not looking forward to going to the Embassy to get my single status affidavit signed and notarized. To my understanding it basically declares that I am not previously married or anything in the United States. I had no idea why it was even important or even what to expect. No one in the State Department in Davenport office could tell me anything about it when I asked them and paperwork seems to be a complete annoyance. They expect so much and payment for all of the paperwork you need to get married abroad you wonder how anyone can afford it. It was not just this affidavit I had left to get, we need to translate my birth certificate, my passport and other things too. The list keeps growing and it is a total ripoff what they charge do do this with. Literally it takes about 3.50 soles to make $1 USD. This affidavit I was after ended up being $60 USD.

I think the saddest part of having to go to the embassy was Carlos could not come with me and I was to go in alone not knowing what to expect and without my phone. I wanted to take pictures because I expected it would be really pretty. With the natural mountains and an ancient pyramid nearby that dated to before the Incans, it seemed to take the semi-Egyptian pyramid theme. It was a beautiful building from the outside with the United States seal everywhere and they even have a US flag seeing as it is “technically US soil”. The guards were all super nice but no one really spoke English. There is a long sidewalk going towards the front door, my feet were already tired and I just wanted to get this over with. We were going to explore this side of Lima afterwards. I went through the front door and went to the window to ask the lady where I went to get the paperwork I was after. She did not speak English either but pointed me to a door on the left side. I went there and there was a couple there and an older lady sitting in the chairs waiting. She started telling me to get a number and sit down. I was still lost so I did just to shut her up. Before long they called her up, then the couple. I was sitting there still and realized none of them were speaking English. It’s the embassy, I was looking forward to at least someone who was fluent in English! The only one who was that I found was the notary that signed the papers.

I wasn’t thinking about it when we filled out the form earlier and signed it to have it all ready. He asked for my passport and gave me a large post-it notepad to sign my name on so he could verify the signatures. I told him to forgive me because I was shaking so hard. He asked me about if I was nervous about being there or getting married. I said both. (I never been married before and I have no idea what to expect. It is a huge huge step but it finally feels right.) He stamped the paper after he signed it, and returned it to me and told me congratulations and good luck. He was a very nice person.

When I paid the clerk she gave me my change and one of the coins was a 1 sol coin that had the image of the Real Felipe Fortress in Callao that Carlos had showed me for years. I kept it afterwards as a token of indirectly my government gave me a memento of him and didn’t even know it. He always told me If I find that that fortress that it was close to his home. I used to spend hours on Google Maps exploring everything in hopes that one day I would see it all for real. I still find myself in awe of this place even though we have yet to visit the fortress, its all so different from Iowa.

All in all, the embassy wasn’t the experience I wanted. Little to no English, and I didn’t even get to see the American squirrels they apparently brought over here from the United States since they shipped in trees from over there. Oh well, maybe next time if I ever find myself back there again I will find one.

Today Was The Surprise of a Lifetime

As many of you know I have been in a long distance relationship for about 8 years with the same man. Recently we closed the distance of 3,797 miles when I came to live with him and his family the 17th of November. Since then we had toured around the Lima and Callao area with his family and they took me out to different places. I absolutely love it here.

About a week after I got down here we went to this market and he had to talk to this jeweler while I walked around some more with his mom. I wasn’t sure then what he was up to, but I had a suspicion. He acted all nervous for days afterwards. I didn’t ask about it. I was sure he would tell me in his own time. All I told him was that what ever he was up to, jewelry related of course, if it is from him and he likes it I am sure it will be beautiful. Price doesn’t matter because it came from the heart. To me that makes what ever it was priceless and very precious. We didn’t talk much about it after that.

That afternoon we were texting and he told me he had a surprise for me that was metallic and had me guess.  I didn’t know what to expect. A few days before they surprised me with such beautiful paints to do rocks with. All he would tell me was I would love it.

That night his mom came home and was picking out pretty clothes for me to wear and did my hair all nice to go out. She just told me we were leaving with Carlos once he gets home. The metallic clue was actually silver paint. It was so pretty and I was so excited. Even better he found me some pokey tools to do crafting with. I used to use mine to paint really fine lines. He also found a real fine tipped Sharpie. Imagine how excited that made me, craft things I had been missing…oh joy!

We ended up going to the beach to pick out some rocks for me to paint since I love to do that.  I had so much fun just looking over the whole beach full of all these perfect rocks. He gave me a limit of five rocks and I found a really neat small one…so six rocks it was. They all fit in the purse his mom got me before I came down here. He carried it for me of course, being the gentleman he is. (It is just black and plain, I had to leave my sparkly one in Iowa as it would draw too much attention here.) He was teasing me the whole time with “What do you carry in this bag? Rocks?” of course I replied “Yup, how did you know!”

We went to this beautiful restaurant not far from the beach called The Deli Bakery. They opened this part in the back that was like a garden oasis. The cool night air felt so amazing and we were the only ones in there other than a few workers making drinks. There was even a lit waterfall. It was just too perfect. We were talking about stuff and his mom was excited that they were playing Barry White on the radio. I couldn’t tell what song it was because the guy was having a bit too fun with the blender. I was watching Carlos telling his mom something and he looked at me. He took my hand and said that he had not seen the ring yet because his Mom picked it up for him, and I already knew what he was up to. He opened the little box and there was this beautiful glint of blue.

He didn’t get down on his knee, I wanted him to but he worked all day so I didn’t expect him to. I could tell he was still really nervous though. Maybe it is our close connection to each other I could just feel it too. I looked up at him and took his hand and told him that I have known for so so long I wanted to live my life with him, and the fact that now we have the opportunity to live our lives together makes it all better. I want to experience all of it, the good and the bad. Growing old together and doing everything together. Now ‘us’ begins to become ‘we’.

He kissed me and put the ring on my finger. It was a bit big so I had him put it on my middle finger so it would be secure. It was so beautiful. He told me it was a sapphire and the jeweler was so talented that he made that from only a picture they gave him. It was perfect in so many ways. Just looking at it in the light the sapphire changed colors and the blue moved shades inside it. I never seen anything like it. It was too good to be true, like a dream almost. I really could not stop staring at it.

I had to call my parents and give them the good news, I don’t think it surprised them as much as it did me. But I knew one day Carlos would be brave enough to pop the question. That day came sooner than I imagined but it just showed that over the time we were apart all those years we fell in love with each other’s personalities. He has seen me at my best, and certainly at my worst. Yet he has been there with me in spirit through it all. Now our situation has changed and I realize he knows me better than anyone. He can pick things out for me on a menu when I can’t make up my mind since it is in Spanish and he gets it correct. Sometimes we can even finish one another’s sentences. Little things like that are built over years and years. Yet even after all this time I still get lost in those big beautiful brown eyes of his.

So now we begin planning for the future, our future, we both fought so hard for. I am just so overjoyed at this point.  Is it really this possible to be this happy?

Our goal was to have the civil marriage done on the 12th of December. We both think it’s a bit too soon because paperwork takes forever. But whenever it is I know I will be happy knowing I am one more step closer to spending my life with him.

The church marriage ceremony is a huge thing down here. I always dreamed of getting married in Disney World since I was a child and wearing a big beautiful flowing gown. Honestly, now that I get to that point in my life I want it to be small. Sadly I know loved ones and family probably aren’t going to be able to make the long trip here. It does bother me, but this was part of the choice I made to live on the other side of the world. I am still hoping they can come visit sometime to see how great it is down here, and I know I will eventually find my way back up there too.

A Journey Eight Years in the Making Finally Begins…

It began like any other morning, the night before my parents took me out to Olive Garden for the last time. I did not sleep at all and stayed up late talking to Carlos (my boyfriend) until he went to sleep around 1am.  The last thing Carlos told me was “See you in a few hours, rest while you can. I love you.” I was reading stuff on my phone till about 2:30am when I passed out. I knew I was going to have to get up in a few hours but I was so nervous.

I woke up to my Dad hollering at me at 4:30am to get up while he took our dog Sophie outside. I had one long day ahead of me. I started to double check I had everything I needed. I was still mad at myself I had to leave the craft stuff I planned to bring with me behind. But how do you fit 31 years in a place into only 150lbs of luggage. It is near impossible. What do you know you cannot live without? What is most important to you? I struggled with these questions the past few months as I went through things and put what I thought I needed. Leaving all my books and craft stuff and parts of my gaming computer behind…it was tough. But material things aren’t important. My mom was going to start sending me stuff too so I could make cards while I was in Peru and send them back to her. She even asked me to send her some rocks because Carlos said the whole beach was covered in the rocks we buy for painting. (I can’t wait to see that)

Of course we rechecked that my bags were within the weight limit and a few were off by a few pounds. I had prepared myself to just be able to have everything ready and go. We had a three hour drive to Chicago ahead of us as well and my Dad did not want to have to rush. I rearranged a few things, took a few things out and we called it good. I got outside and I seen it had been snowing. Everything around me was covered in a blanket of white. I thought it was fitting because I was going to completely skip winter and go straight to spring and 70 degree temperatures once I arrived in Peru. I would tease friends of ours to enjoy the snow and cold. Of course they would laugh, but I didn’t really know if anyone here really took me leaving to live down there seriously. Most people told my parents I was crazy and of all places why Peru? I had an opportunity of a lifetime to change my life and be with the man I have loved for so many years. If I never took it, I would never know what we could be. I was scared, I was anxious, and I kept myself from doubting my decision. I admit I spent many nights crying because I didn’t even know what to think. I knew what I wanted but taking that first step out the door to reclaim my life was harder than I ever imagined.

It had snowed most of the way to Chicago. When it was dark still the snow made it look as if we were watching the space scenes in Star Wars when they traveled and the stars flew past them in the windshield. I took my last Mountain Dew my Dad bought me a week earlier and we shared it in the car. Enjoy it while you can, you don’t know if we will be able to find any down there. I wasn’t hungry and I had too many nerves to even want to eat. I did not want to risk getting sick and miss a flight stuck in a bathroom. (knowing my luck, it would probably happen) We got to the O’Hare Airport faster than I expected. I wanted more time with my parents. I wanted to have them finally tell me that they were proud of me and they approved my decision even if it was hard. That was all I really wanted. I knew they loved me and I knew this was just as hard on them. I made a choice and I had to see it through to the end.

Having them go and leave me there was even harder. Was this what I really wanted? Am I really crazy like everyone said I was? My Dad had to stay with the car so it wouldn’t get towed. He gave me a kiss and hugged me and I remember thinking I never wanted him to let me go. We were all crying. My Mom came in with me to be sure I got where I needed to go and I didn’t get lost in that huge airport. A nice security guard gave us directions to where to go into the security line to go where they had planes boarding on the other side. The whole thing was just so surreal. Almost like a dream, was I really doing this? Both me and Carlos assured them of my safety and that he would be texting me and watching the flights the whole way. It wouldn’t move or do anything without him knowing, and he would keep them updated as well seeing as there were times in between I would be without cell phone reception. Everything would be ok. I had to keep telling myself this too. I was so nervous I was shaking as my Mom gave me a hug and kiss and told me she loved me as well. She left to go back to my Dad and make the trip back home to Davenport. I promised her that I would video chat them when I got to Peru when I was with Carlos and his family so they knew I was safe. And that was it…

The more I stood in that security line, the shakier I got. I was so worried they would think I was suspicious and haul me off somewhere never to be seen again. It wasn’t like that. I got to where you check in all your things to go into the x-ray, wouldn’t you know it included every electronic thing and they had to be in separate bins. I had nothing but electronics including a laptop, computer parts, a nebulizer, tons of meds, and a Playstation 4 with controllers in my backpack and carry-on. This was going to be a while. Surprisingly enough it went well, one part done. I got to the other side and the TSA agent told me to open my carry on bag. I opened it as he was asking me about the rocks in my bag. I explained they are painted rocks we do in the Quad Cities area and I was bringing a few with me on my trip. He was very kind and just wanted to be sure they were rocks since he seen them on the x-ray. He helped me get my bag closed again and I was on my way to the first flight.

I was early of course and I was walking through the airport looking at all the holiday decorations they already had up. Tis the season! I had plenty of time and was tempted to go look in the shops there, but decided I was going to just sit and wait where I was supposed to be so I wasn’t rushed. Relax while I can. I was sitting and watching it snow outside as a plane was getting ready to leave for Tokyo, Japan. Wow…now that would be a long trip too. I was looking at the back of the plane, it had an elaborate bird on the tail. Pretty soon they had people go around it and put de-icer all over the plane and it too left. It was soon time to board the plane to Miami. They did the same to our plane and we took off. It was a pretty uneventful flight, they had tablets on the back of the seats in front of you and you could watch movies or play games. It was pretty fun. I also was talking to a lady next to me, she and her husband were from Idaho and moving to Ecuador to retire. Apparently people leaving the United States and moving out is more common than I imagined. Who would blame them though. The United States…well…its a mess, that’s all I can really say about that. She explained to me how things were different in Ecuador and many South American countries. “The environment is different and has a better feel to it than the US” is basically what she told me. Knowing I never been to a country so far away and on my way to Peru I would soon see what she meant.

We got to Miami and it was about 72 degrees outside and sunny. I couldn’t believe it, almost like magic from snow and 30 degrees, to sun and heat within hours. Isn’t technology grand? I just hoped I wouldn’t get sick from such a change in temperature so fast. By the time we got off the plane to Miami, the one to Lima was already boarding. So, the nice walk through the Miami Airport taking in the artwork and things they had up wasn’t going to happen. Instead I had to walk pretty fast to the next area. Carlos was on the phone with me the whole way and my asthma was acting up on me since I had walked so far. I looked at the floor and they had these amazing murals made of tile of large hurricanes. Neat…but isn’t that the last thing you want to think about there? Just saying! There were also little metal cutouts in the floor of fish and coral. I wished I could have gotten pictures but had no time. I took it one terminal at a time and Carlos was watching me go past them as he directed me on a map. Finally I got to the terminal I needed to be at and it was pretty full already. Good to know so many people want to go to Peru at once. It was comforting at least I wasn’t the only one. They closed the terminal when I got there and the nice stewardess followed me and we talked a bit. She had an interesting accent and I kindly asked her about it. She was from Venezuela. It’s so neat actually meeting real people from all over the world, and look I already met my first Ecuadorian, now my first Venezuelan. Things were looking up.

On that flight to Lima I was on the inside by the window. I had a view but by then the sun was setting fast. I wanted pictures of the ocean knowing I would get to see both oceans and plenty of countries under me. Before long I started talking to the people next to me. They were a husband and wife, and were going to Lima for 2 weeks for an International Jehovah’s Witness Convention. Interesting reason to go there, yes, but I never really met them or talked to Jehovah’s Witnesses except to tell them no thanks when I accidentally answer the door and they are there. Or of course playing James Bond and sneaking around hiding from the front door when some stranger in a suit comes by. So I really did not have a fair point of view about them at all. This lady and her husband were so nice though. We talked and talked. I told her about Carlos and why I was moving to Peru. She wished me luck and was surprised that we had been together that long and never been face to face. The fact I left everything to be with him was very interesting to her. but even she told me what many people had told me before, “The Lord works in mysterious ways and things happen as they do for a reason. We cannot rush His plans, we must be patient and he will show us the way.” Yeah,  that blew my mind too. So I stayed with them getting off the plane and going through customs (I got a 90 day visa woot). We got to where we claim our baggage and they had to leave. The wife hugged me and wished me well. I hope they have lots of fun around Peru too.

After that I was alone again. Worst part was for the life of me I couldn’t get my phone to get any reception. I had all my bags and no idea how to begin to move them. There was an attendant that came by and I asked him if we had to pay to get a luggage cart. He was going to check the tags all matched and I had to find one more for him and he went to get me one while I looked. How sweet of him to do that. He even put them all on there for me after he checked they were all mine. I asked him where to go after that and the next room had a ton of people wanting to have you rent cars and drive you in taxis. (Ooo fancy, taxis) I asked the first attendant I seen about where to go and he started leading me into the next area where a ton of people were. He even started pushing the cart with my luggage on it for me. How nice was that? About that time I seen Carlos and his mom. She ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. Yeah, I been waiting to be able to do that since forever. Carlos wasn’t too far behind her and gave me a kiss and a big hug too. It was like a dream, I kept feeling his face and shocked there was no screen there in between us. Was I really in Peru? Was this really him in front of me? I looked up into his eyes and I knew I was home. I used to watch him work on the computer for hours and just stare at his eyes. They were so much more brown and beautiful than I ever thought. A webcam does not do justice to little important details like that!

That airport attendant even wheeled out the luggage for me too. Carlos had to tip him and I thanked him for his help. His uncle had a large taxi and was loading things into the trunk of the car. I was just looking around trying to take all this in. It was like being in a different world. We tried calling my parents first and of course, no answer as usual. So we called another close friend of ours and we spent about five minutes squeaking at each other in excitement that I had finally made it. She has known Carlos since we started off friends and began our relationship. More than anyone she has seen it grow over the years. My parents soon called back and we let them know I was ok and safe. Everything was fine. I was tired but the trip was finally over. They were happy to hear that and of course thanked Carlos and his Mom. It was late and they were tired from their six hour round trip to Chicago and back. I would talk to them later anyways. Just wanted to check in with them so they didn’t have to worry.

We got to the house and Carlos’s Dad was waiting for us here. Finally at long last I got to give him a hug too. He has had major health problems the past year and part of the reason I came to Peru was to help him too. Both Carlos and his Mom work as his Dad is unable to now. So keeping him company and helping him were both things I had looked forward to doing. I did the same for my Grandma when I lived with her. It was one of the best times of my life and I got to spend plenty of time doing things with her during that time.

That first night was…well…how do I say it, I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid if I fell asleep it would end up being a dream and I didn’t want to wake up. We stayed up until 5:30am and until we both passed out. He took my hand and promised me he would be there when I woke up. That was how we slept.

I woke up again once the sun came up a bit lost but Carlos was curled up on the futon next to me and I knew I would be alright. So thus the next journey in life begins, my life with my boyfriend and his family. He took the week off so he could help me adjust better and take me out places to show me around. I am excited yet a little overwhelmed with all this change at once. I knew this was not going to be easy but if I wanted this chance I had to work at it. Nothing worth waiting for and worthwhile happens for free. In the next weeks, months, or even years…I plan to keep blogging the things I experience. Suddenly now every day is a new adventure and I am excited to go out and explore it!

 

New Inspiration Sometimes Comes In the Most Unexpected Places…

Over a month ago I had to say goodbye to Bubba, this put me in a sad and uncreative state of mind for longer than I would like to admit. My mom had told me about people in the area doing art and painting on rocks then sharing experinces finding them. Even children and thier parents go out to parks to hunt for these. It wasn’t until I had found one on a random restroom break on the way home from being out that I got to experience it for myself. I found this rock with an adorable little hen painted on it. More than anything, it made me smile knowing that somewhere someone took the time to paint this simple rock just to share joy with someone else. I came home excited and was so proud of this little treasure. I decided to keep it and take it with me to Peru to remind myself that even the simplest little things can bring joy and inspiration. I then started to paint them on my own. It was amazing how the ideas just started to flow out of me again unlike they had in what seemed like forever.

So, the object of this little idea was to paint positive images and quotes to uplift others and they can pass this kindness on to someone else by rehiding the rocks and the journey continues. I think I am addicted to this tiny art form, not only for how fun it is, but for the laughs I have with my Mom when we go “kidnap” rocks donw by the river. The first time we went she decided I was the lookout and I couldn’t stop giggling as she kept looking out the window and having me fetch the rocks for her. I can only imagine what random things the passerby’s thought were going on. We found a good number of them. They sat in the car for perhaps a week before I had a real good idea of what to do. I made the purple Bubba angel rock and decided to keep it. Soon after, I began to do different quotes and designs. It is almost like life had given me something new to occupy my creativity with. So, with that, I begin this new fun way of spreading joy to others.

My Crafty Adventures In Peru – The Journey

This has really been a journey of a lifetime. When we met each other, me and my then long distance boyfriend began dreaming of the day we would finally meet each other. Time passes by so quickly sometimes. Last year we finally began planning for me to visit there. I made this journal to be able to write everything and add pictures as well. I have alot of health problems such as severe asthma. Not long after that, one of my doctors told me I could not go. We were both heartbroken by this and it just added undo strain to our relationship. A few more months passed by and we barely talked. It wasn’t until fairly recently we worked all this out between us. We learned more than ever the importance of communication within relationships. We now are getting closer and closer to the goal of seeing each other. I just applied for my passport days ago and I am getting things ready to beable to go and stay with him and his family for a time in Peru. It is a brand new beginning with new experiences, and I am happy to be able to do it. I plan on not only learning spanish while there, but they have a medical program that focuses more on natural cures than pharmaceuticals to promote healing. They have a large success rate of people taking less medications for depression, anxiety, and asthma. This was alwatys one of my goals, to have my asthma controlled instead of being controlled by it. Getting that passport was the first major step towards that and a better life. I am also excited about the huge art following they have there in Peru. So many beautiful things to see and do. I literally can’t wait.

Welcome to Our Page!

We are happy to announce our new website! We plan on having lots of fun tutorials and crafty adventures. There are so many artistic things to experience and learn. Most of what I do involves many die cuts and building intricate designs from them. Coloring is another joy of mine and I have an amazing set of Chameleon alcohol markers that allow for many different color variations. The best thing about them is that you can match anything to the colors of the markers just by coloring it. Also there is a way to use them to make gradients. Have you ever seen a marker do that? either color to color, or clear to dark. We will explore that and many other interesting topics in the future.

For now all I have to say is thank you for being a part of this journey and dont forget to like us on Facebook as well!

https://www.facebook.com/cuddlebugdesign/