All These Things That I’ve Done

How on earth do I catch you all up with the last several months? Do I really even want to? No, not really, but kinda, in a short way, so as not to overload anyone’s senses…

We’re in an up spin. After moving 3 times in 3 months, coming back to a faith I turned away from years ago and being baptized, a doubled workload due to the departure of a co-worker for greener pastures within the company, getting a van, then a car, selling the van and having the car stolen within the same week, recovering our car and being intensely paranoid about everyone we see wondering through the parking lot, staying up at odd hours and waking up randomly to open the blinds to check to see if the car is still there, crazy anxiety dreams about bad things happening to us and our possessions, gnawing-on-my-guts of my old companion “depression”, illness, financial drama, and anything I might have missed…*deep breath*…I actually feel calm and pleasant at the moment. I’ve worked hard to mentally let go of my fears, my worries, my sorrows, and give them up to a God who is bigger than I am and more well equipped to handle such matters. I feel relief.

I’m going to have to say that K and I have done well by each other through all this, and that gives me immeasurable hope for our future. There were a few times when we snapped and let stress get the better of us, but those were the times when instead of pushing further apart or building walls, we clung to each other all the more tightly and held on. To me, that says a lot about how deeply we value this love and partnership.

Are some things still unresolved and need additional attention? Yes. I have serious work to do on my weight, fitness, and overall health. I have a husband I need to learn to be even more patient and understanding with. I have a job that is no longer overwhelming and is ripe for tackling new and exciting projects. I have speeches to write and deliver, recipes to practice and record, in-laws to strengthen bonds with and make them aware of how much I care for and love them. There’s work to be done. There’s blogs to write (and read! my fellow bloggers I have so much to catch up on with you!).

I have returned. The Lord has brought me through the chaos and tumult. Amen.



One month down…lifetime to go

5 weeks post marriage and I am finally coming back to you, dear blog. It’s been a whirlwind! Let’s pick-up right after where I left off…

On June 4th, 2011, K arrived. It was a 48 hour journey for him due to flight changes and delays. He actually almost made it here, was in the states, then got stuck in Vegas over night due to another missed flight. When he finally got here that Saturday morning, we were both relieved and exhausted.

I was so worried I would miss him at the airport and we’d be wondering around trying to find each other for hours. But I waited at the baggage terminal faithfully, and within minutes of my arrival I saw him come over the horizon up the escalator and reality rushed in. He looked like a school teacher or college professor. Long sleeve-button down, sweater tied around his shoulders, khakis and dress shoes. He definitely had quite a substantial presence. A calm sort of power, I guess.

As we hugged for the first time I felt such incredible relief. He was here. There was no kiss. I think we were both nervous in such a public place. And while he stepped forward to look for his bag, back turned to me, a moment of panic set in. Suddenly it struck me, “He’s so foreign!”, and I had a brief moment of thinking about leaving before I caught myself and put my thoughts back in order to face this new change. Within minutes we were out the door waiting for the bus back to the apartment. There was no going back.

The wait for the bus and the ride itself did a good job of relaxing us. We had a few moments of relative peace to settle down, talk, and lean against one another to become familiar. By the time we made it back to the apartment we were both much more relaxed and really just relieved to be home after the ordeal of travel. Once we entered the apartment and were finally alone, that is where we shared our first kiss. Can I recount the exact details? No. Partially because I was lost in the moment, and partially out of privacy. However, I will tell you this:

It was everything I could have wanted and hoped for. K is everything I could have wanted and hoped for.

All the Questions

I’m going to share with you all of the questions swirling around in my mind. Heh, this probably isn’t all of them, but as many as I could get out at one time, anyway.

What will it be like when he touches me, kisses me? What will I feel?

What if I don’t feel “love” when we meet?

What if he doesn’t feel “love” when we meet?

What is it going to be like living in the same space as another man who is not my relative, all by ourselves?

What on earth is he going to do when I am at work?

What is he going to expect from me when I come home, or in the mornings before I leave?

Will he enjoy doing the same things I do?

Will he be open to learning how to cook and will he be any good at it?

When should I put my foot down and when should I compromise?

Will he be able to read me even more easily in person and how will I handle sharing absolutely everything?

Is he going to think there is something wrong if we don’t conceive right away?

How often will we speak with the family back home and what will they ask of us?

How long will mum be able to handle having her son away and how will we deal with it when she cries?

What if he gets sick or injured or I do?

How will we both handle compromise?

Will we communicate as well in person as over the phone and in email/chat?

How is he going to handle me being on my period?

Is he really going to follow me everywhere and am I ok with that?

How will we handle socializing with my American friends who are not religious?

How will I handle him being mad or upset with me?

These are a lot of the questions circling around in my mind. We have talked about a lot of it, but you know, the proof is in the pudding; we won’t really know the answers until we are faced with the situation. I love him and don’t ave any question as to whether he loves me. It is clear always. But I feel like with all of the similarities in personality we have, I’m probably blind to the cultural differences that influence us right now and may be in for a shock soon. Maybe I’m still in the too-good-to-be-true phase? I think a little perhaps.

And when I am not worrying myself over these questions, I’m wondering what it is going to be like to have a mother again. I started to write a post on those feelings last night, but got too choked up in the middle of it to go on. I haven’t had a mother for more than 16 years now, so I didn’t grow-up with one. I have no idea what or how to communicate or what to expect or if maybe I will expect too much from her and that will become a burden to us both.

I must admit that I feel incredibly small right now. Too small to handle all of this by myself. I’ve been asking God to give me the strength to face these challenges and build a strong partnership with my husband and new family. All I can do is pray. Last night I broke down in overwhelming gratefulness for what God has given me again that I haven’t had in so many years; a family.



God I hope I don’t pass out!

My subconscious decided to give me a dream of the wedding ceremony last night.

We were standing next to the river, holding hands in front of the officiator who was speaking the, “Will you promise to love, respect , cherish, and obey each other as long as you both shall live?”. K went first, said his “I do”. Then it was my turn and as K placed the ring on my finger it felt like my chest was being squeezed. I couldn’t breathe and my eyes rolled back into my head. As I was about to faint backwards and the shocked voices around me faded into the distance, I woke up. Still feeling the clutching of my chest, panic started the day with, “Ohno, I’m going to pass out at the wedding!”.

Did any of you have anything crazy happen at your weddings?


Panic, Excitment, and Thankfulness

    The ticket has been bought. And the date moved up to June 3rd. K will be here this upcoming Friday afternoon. I..I…I…I….I feel like my body is shaking from the inside out. Holymoly!

    I’M SO EXCITED OMG! OMG! OMG! I can’t believe this is happening so fast and finally!!!! Two and a half months seemed like forever. Now we are at less than six days. 6 DAYS! What I thought would be a couple more relaxing weekends tieing up loose ends, organizing, cleaning, is now one half of a weekend of my final days of singlehood. No more early morning international dialing. No more late evenings chatting online. No more emails. No more smooches over the phone. No more longing. No more rolling over in the night or morning to find the other side of the bed empty.

    My hands have been so empty without his beneath them. My lips, my forehead, my cheeks, all homeless without his. My baby is coming home. To our home, to start our life together as one. And I am so thankful. Thank you, God.


So tomorrow I’ll be giving a speech at my Toastmasters International meeting. I’m full of nerves! As if speaking publicly didn’t carry enough fear, I’ve decided to share personal information which is something I rarely do and feel awkward doing even with friends. I thought I’d share my speech here. Maybe it will take away a little of the anxiety…

“As my wedding day fast approaches, I find myself looking to Homeland Security’s former color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale as a means to help me gauge the level of fear I should be feeling. What can I say, I’m a sucker for color-coded charts! So, to properly estimate the threat level, let us begin by examining the risk factors:

It’s said that, “Marriage is an adventure, like going to war.” And that “Marriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy.” So we have risk factor number one, the groom. He’s an intelligent enemy with an uncanny ability to read my thoughts. By the looks of him you’d never know how much power this man holds. But it is very important not to underestimate the abilities of your soulmate. One day my heart was empt, then, within the blink of an eye, it was full! Yup, that crafty sonofagun snuck right in. For this one, we’re gonna have to go with red. Severe risk. He scares the hell outta me.

Now, risk factor number two, my mother in law. This risk comes with its own unique set of weapons that due to time and circumstance have the possibility of coming in waves of attacks. She’s in another country and we share only part of a language. Taking into account what her son has told me of her, the brief conversations we have had, the fact that he chose me and she didn’t object, and my deep admiration for her I’m going to have to put this one at threat level yellow for now. I know you’re thinking, “Noelle, are sure that’s wise? Mother in-laws are dangerous animals!” But there are two things really working in my favor here: One, distance. Twelve and a half thousand miles gives me several hours to prepare for a strike. Two, I have a hostage; her son.

Risk factor number three is Time itself. Two and a half months ago I thought, “Oh I have months!” and thereby was lulled into a false sense of security. Time is relentless and unstoppable; the universe’s freight train of change. It’s either with you or against you and you never know which mood it’s going to be in. I have the bad habit of too often thinking I have more of it than I really do. With just a scant three weeks until what I am calling “M Day”, I am putting Time at threat level Red. Not only its threat severe, but inevitable!

Red. Orange. Red. It doesn’t look good, folks. I mean, just look at its acronym: ROR. RAWR! Like an angry beast! That’s a heck of a threat level. I’m not even sure what to do with it, such is my level of fear that it has paralyzed my senses! Marriage has calmly walked up to me, smacked me in the forehead, and left me stunned and amazed. All I can see are the pretty colors.”

Sigh. I think I already have “death hands”. You know, when they go cold and numb on you?


Stair – 1, Me – 0

I’m a clutz. It must run in the family, because all of the women seem to have the same problem. Falls, cuts, scrapes, stubs, burns. And on a regular basis. Thank goodness I have learned to fall with more grace these days. Buuuut….not yesterday.

So I was talking to K in the morning and, trying to multitask, was also getting cash from the ATM and heading down the street to grab some breakfast. Missing half a step, and a step that only is about 4 inches up mind you, my foot came half way down it and in very slow motion I realized I was falling and took a moment to wonder why it was taking so long instead of trying to stumble forward and catch myself. That’ll show me to go out anywhere before coffee! I fell straight to my knees, hard, and continued down to my side. Then slowly got up, dusted off, and started to explain to K what happened as I continued walking down the street.

Later in the day, after a usual day of roaming to various meetings, and the usual up and down you do in an office environment, I finally started to notice the pain in my knee. And that my jeans were sticking to my knee. Uhoh. So upon closer inspection after rolling up my pant leg I discovered my knee had been scraped worse than I thought and was red, swollen, and painful to pivot on or touch. Yuk 😦

So, I’m home today, putting it up as much as possible and staying off of it while I do my work from home. Hopefully it doesn’t end up requiring a trip to the doctor. I really hate going to the doctor.

This whole situation, as well as the amount of times I’ve been sick this year (much more than usual), and other injuries that have occurred (again, more than usual) is leaving me really self-conscious about telling K about any more. I don’t want him to worry or not allow me to go anywhere by myself when he gets here in a couple of weeks. Do any of you find yourselves doing this? Any other clutzes out there?


Sunday Morning Surprise

Weekend mornings were, and still are my most favorite time to sit and talk. It’s such an enjoyable way to wake-up, and leaves me with a smile for the rest of the day. Sunday, April 10th was one of the best…

As was becoming my habit, I’d wake up around 10am, look at the clock, and calculate what time it would be in Bangalore. Then I’d stretch, roll over, burrow further down into the covers, and dial K’s cell. Sometimes he would be still wrapping up the day, but today was a special treat as he had come to bed early. So we both lay in our beds, 12,000 miles apart, having our version of pillow talk.

I asked him to teach me some words and phrases in Malayalam, which is spoken at home (family is originally from Kerala). Well, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! He’d say a word or a short phrase and I would struggle and struggle through it finally giving in to the fact that this just can’t be learned over the phone. It is going to have to be in person. So we talked and laughed and talked about family and such.

Then, he says, “Hey, Noelley…” paused, and said something in another language. After he said it I asked him, “What?” So he repeated in English. “Will you marry me, Noelley?”. Dead stop. I lost the ability to speak. So he asks again, in a different language this time, then repeats in English, “Will you marry me, Noelley?” I’m still stuck completely still and soundless. So he asks yet again, in a third language this time, then in English, “Will you marry me, Noelley? I have asked you first in Malayalam, then Tamil, and Hindi, and English. So will you marry me, Noelley?” I shook my head slowly, stunned, and with my heart in my throat answered, “Yes. Yes, I will marry you, K.”

We had spoken about it before. He had told me that he would have asked months ago if I had been paying attention and there wasn’t anyone else at the time. But I definitely wasn’t expecting it now. I had just started to wonder when it will be, but didn’t feel like pressing. I was simply enjoying this bond we were building and discovering. K had other plans, though. He knew from the very first that I was his, and even told mum way back then lol.

I’m still amazed. Thankful. Grateful. Left in awe by how humble and good K and his family who have accepted me from the beginning are. Sometimes I wonder if I should let them know exactly how much they have me :-).


T-Minus 3 Weeks-ish

I have a secret to tell you: I’m getting married!

At this point, the idea is generally out there that this is happening soon, but no-one knows the exact date, or the groom. While I have the date fairly pinned down, and have communicated that to the officiator (a friend from high school), I’ve never met the groom! Let me explain…

Several months ago I joined a website geared towards those seriously looking for a marriage partner. I’d grown weary of dating and continually running into those who just weren’t as serious as I am. I don’t want to do the indefinite dating thing; it doesn’t work for me.

Alas, this goes deeper.

Over the past year I have continually run into, been asked out by, and gone on dates with South Asian – Indian men. I wasn’t looking for them or trying to get involved with a specific ethnic group, it just happened. But for one reason or another, even though a couple of them did come to be good friends, it just didn’t work out. I didn’t really wonder if this was part of a larger picture or delve into what this may mean until later.

One day an ad for this site popped-up during one of my meandering web-surfing sessions. I clicked it and started exploring the site to find out more. I’d never heard of a site with the specific aim of making marriages. To me, everything else I had encountered seemed to fall into the “dating” category with maybe a slight hint of marriage or long-term committment.

Of course, this site had an extensive success stories section which, due to the region of the world it primarily catered to, was full of South Asian couples. Being a sucker for a success story, especially if it may hold the promise of a love story, I couldn’t resist. I must have spent hours looking at all the beautiful pictures of happy (and not so happy looking, really) couples, and reading their stories however short or long. Then, surprise of all surprises, I am across a mixed couple! Indian groom – white bride. This spurred a search within a search. Could there be more? Pages and pages later I had found perhaps a dozen! And I started to wonder if I had the guts to try such a thing. Could it work for me?

So I joined. I wrote out a detailed description of my character, where I come from, who I come from, and who I am looking for. Though one of my secret desires is to have the power of invisibility, I even uploaded several smiling photos (which looked a lot like this: 🙂 : only right-side up and filled in and with teeth and hair and…). Within a few hours my profile was alive and jive! Ok, jive isn’t really accurate, but I’m not good with rhyming. If I ever post my poetry, you will see. Also, see “dork” in the dictionary and you’ll find some of my other photos. I digress…

The responses were quite a bit more than I had imagined. Dozens a day. General interests, one-liner messages, detailed and heartfelt emails; thank goodness I didn’t make my phone number viewable! I made an effort to respond and genuinely consider as many as possible, but it really became too much. I found myself wishing I had parents to do this for me as some of them had! So after a few weeks I decided to delete my profile and focus on other matters for a while. I kept in a sort of general contact with a couple I had made friends with and who didn’t seem pushy or serious enough to be that I might hold them up from looking elsewhere. I had a troublesome ex creating some issues and I didn’t want to bring anyone else into that headache. I wanted my energy to be clean going into a new partnership.

That, of course, isn’t the end. After a coupe months break of handling issues (the ex story is best left for another time, or maybe to be set on fire), and doing some soul-searching, I came back to the same site for another try. Even though logic tells me I should probably have been trying other avenues, it is hard to explain exactly what drew me back. I felt…compelled.

This time the response wasn’t as large as last time. It was much more manageable. That coupled with a better understanding of what to expect, and what would be and not be acceptable, made this time much more fulfilling. I got down to business. Serious business. I had long email conversations. I spent hours on the phone. I freely said “no” and cautiously said “maybe”. This narrowed the field down to a couple, genuine proposals that really deserved considering. But, there was a very great and very wonderful surprise still in store.

While I considered these proposals I also spent a lot of time in a long email discussion with someone who had become a friend. We shared our days, our thoughts, our beliefs, our relationships, our families, our history, and even our trials on this website. We emailed often, once or twice a day, and chatted in the mornings and evenings for an hour or two or more at a time. We quickly became a part of each others day. I didn’t even realize how much until the few times other things got in the way of us conversing. He had become more and more a part of my life, a part of me. We exchanged “I love you”‘s as is common to me amongst my close friends and people I truly care for. It never occurred to me that it meant far more on his side.

It wasn’t until we spoke on the phone for the second time that the realization hit me. And I do mean “hit”. The first time he said “I love you” I was stunned as if I had just been smacked between the eyes. Everything stopped. All sound, all senses. Everything. Just for a few seconds. Maybe fractions of seconds. Then my heart kicked back into gear at full speed, my mouth went dry, and for lack of better words “it got real”. I had some more soul-searching and discoveries to make. My attention was suddenly completely focused and on alert. I gave him my friendly “I love you, too” back, and drew the conversation to a close. We continued to chat and email with renewed frequency. I started to distance myself and cut communications with others. We spoke more often on the phone, although typically briefly. I wanted to make sure that I completely understood my feelings and what they meant. Then, one day during one of our phone conversations, he says to me, “You’re so deep in me, Noelley.” The sincerity of his voice, the words, what I felt as they struck my very core, was not to be ignored. It chokes me up thinking about it. I realized then in full what this was. I loved him. I felt connected to him in the same way he did me. I couldn’t and didn’t want to live without him. So with an open heart, I said it. “I love you, K.”

That was at the end of March. Two months ago. And now we are three weeks away from tieing the knot that will legally bind us together; our souls are already united.

Next I’ll share with you the proposal. It’s beautiful; you’re gonna love it!


What’s in a name?

I know, it’s an odd name for a blog or anything really. But it alludes to an important aspect of how others view me, and how I have come to view myself. It’s also a part of the reason for this blog, which I will attempt to explain…

Throughout my life I have attracted many people seeking to share their very personal business. Family, friends, strangers. Anything from the color of their urine that morning to the their frequency of copulation; hidden political views, secret fears/desires/fetishes, and of course lots and lots of lower G.I. tract stories. Now, I am only mildly surprised when friends and family come to me with this information or for advice. However, it is the frequency with which strangers do it that leads me to wonder, “Do I have some sort of sign on my forehead?” Do I carry a plaque that can only be seen by others with the inscription, “Give me your sex stories, your fears, your desperate stories of intestinal masses yearning to be free!”

With all the time I spend listening to others, something has fallen by the way side: my own story. When I do occasionally bring up my own personal thoughts with my friends or family they are left amazed, shaking their heads in stunned bewilderment. There’s so little they really know about me and what I think. They truly know so precious little of my life even after many years of “knowing” me.

So, here I am. I’ve come to bare my personal stories to the world at large or whoever happens across this blog. I will be as uncensored as possible without being vulgar. I will not speak about my, or anyone elses, digestive processes in any more than a general, non-descriptive fashion. I’m going to share with you my past, my present, and my hopes and fears for the future.

If you’re into that sort of thing, come on back 🙂