There is much to celebrate today!
My heart is overflowing with jubilation!
I am grinning ear-to-ear!
I am elated to celebrate today!
Why so much joy you ask?! You see, today marks a very special anniversary of two dear, dear friends in my life AND those friends just happened to have their first baby boy THIS MORNING!!!! Combine that with the fact that it was one of their birthdays earlier this week and we have a Celebration TRI-FECTA!
These two people, Crystalina & Jesus, bring so much into my life – joy, laughter, faith, growth, love, with a whole lotta e.t.c.! We’ve spent much time together and celebrated just about every event you can think of in each others’ presence. Affectionately, we call one another brothers and sisters. These two truly are that in my life.
In 2007, soon after I moved to NJ upon college graduation, I met Crystalina at the coffee lounge I was working at that my brother-in-law managed. It was an instant hit-off with us and our friendship has grown from those days on. We’ve not only spent time together, we’ve mentored teens together, had long talks over coffee, discussed and struggled with life decisions together, traveled and established a deep life-long friendship! I met Jesus practically the same way – through my brother-in-law – he’s from Costa Rica and became closer than family in a matter of months. By the way – Costa Rica – what a beautiful country – if given the opportunity, I’d move there in a heartbeat!)
Last year, I got a call from Crystalina while she was down in CR visiting her (then) fiancé! They were thinking about getting married within a few days instead of the bigger wedding they’d been planning for later in the fall. I was so on-board for many reasons and in an instant knew I just had to figure out how to be in CR for the big event! Given about 48 hours until the ceremony, I hit the internet in search of tickets, ok’d it with Keith and called my Dad. Since I knew their wedding was happening quick, not many others from the US were going to be able to attend, which made it all the more important to conquer this feat and be there to celebrate their marriage as they said their vows.
Two frantic days later, I was packed, had a cell phone that would work in CR (try explaining that situation to the AT&T rep!), was packed and…. did NOT have a ticket! That’s right, it was now Saturday morning and I was waiting for the last minute ticket price to lower once more before confirming my flight that afternoon! Keith and I headed to the food market we volunteer at and he was on his iPhone every five minutes checking. With my bags in the car, I was ready to go straight to the airport! An hour and a half into our 3 hour shift, I told our team leader that we had to go – that I was actually going to Costa Rica and we had just bought the ticket on the iPhone! Needless to say, there was a lot of fast-paced explaining before we hit the highway to get me to my flight which was boarding in 2.5 hours!
That day, I was full of joy – not only was I getting to go back to Costa Rica (where I’d been the past two years in April as well), but I was going to be participating and witnessing two of my closest friends say, I do! Armed with a boarding pass, cell phone and camera, I was off! I arrived in CR that night and stayed with some missionary friends we know there. The next day began a whirl wind of wedding planning if I’ve ever seen it!
Due to the surprise of deciding to get married within three days – Crystalina was off to find a dress and I joined in the decorating committee, became the driver for the groom, and the event photographer! We had so much fun and there is not another couple I would want to go through that expedited process with! From grabbing flowers on our way to Jesus’ hometown from the airport, to stopping by the local hardware store to have a 12 ft plastic pipe weaved through our car, to finding a wedding night cabin for them which & having to call the fireman to come exterminate a swarm of bees in the area, to being asked within 10 minutes of the wedding if I’d walk her down the aisle! Much fun, stress and laughter was had to say the least!
As I think back, that trip was fantastic, and it also came at a time where I needed a revamp and a time away from MN in the most serious way. Things were rough around here last spring as we settled into life in MN and a trip away, to reconnect with a place I so long for almost every week, was just what the Almighty Doctor ordered!
So, a year ago today, I witnessed their marriage and was able to support them in a unique way being in Costa Rica…. and yesterday, I was sending text messages back and forth with Crystalina as she experienced the ups and downs of labor as she prepared to give birth to their son, Micah! What a year!!
This morning, at 8am,
Micah Mauricio Solano
Making Crystalina and Jesus parents on their first wedding anniversary! A long and hard night for both, yet such a joyous occasion for so many as we all welcome this little boy to the world and our hearts.
I am so freakin’ proud of these two, the trials and challenges they have face and continue to face seem like immoveable mountains often, but they cling to their God and trust in His unfailing plans for the fullest life He has for them. They constantly encourage one another, seeking out the best in each other so that not only in their marriage but in their friendships and family life they are working to be who God has made them to the utmost! And now, happily entering parenthood and so looking forward the adventure that will bring to their family!
There is much to celebrate today! There is much to be thankful for – their love & marriage, their healthy baby boy and our friendship with one another! Shortly after waking up this morning, we were able to Skype with Jesus and to hear the excitement through the tiredness of his voice was amazing. If only I could give each of them a giant bear hug!
I am thankful for the peace God brought through the labor and delivery, for the joy of new parents and the miracle of life that God allows us to experience as mama’s and papa’s. I’m thankful for friendships that go beyond talks – that are real and that we know we each would do anything in the world to be able to support and show love to one another. From airport pick-ups, to traveling for weddings and text message galore… this is what life-long friendship are for!
Seeing as this much has happened in a year – a year and a week ago, they didn’t even know they would be married within 7 days – I am wait in anxious anticipation over what God will bring them through and the adventure that is to be had throughout the next year as they welcome Micah into their lives and arms!
Crys & Jesus – SO proud of you guys! May God bless you today as you celebrate the life that has been added to your family! And may rest from the past few long days be found for each of you! Micah is such a precious boy and a joy in my life already! (PS – we did tell Brooklyn that her husband was born today! And Keith followed that up with the fact that he’s Costa Rican so they’d have cute kids one day! Never too early to start arranged marriages! ha) We’ll take you to POPS to celebrate when we all are in CR together SOON!