Monday, May 31, 2010

Veinte-Seis things I like about only Racher!

In commemoration of Rachel's Birthday, which she has been celebrating for the past month, I will now detail a list of 26 things I love about ooonly Racher!! There is no rhyme or reason to the order of things that I like.

1-Rachel's cleverness knows no bounds--Rachel never ceases to amaze me with her razor sharp whit.

2-Rachel loves her family--I've never met someone so sweet with her family. She is constantly thinking of them and ways that she can make them feel good about themselves and let them know that she loves them.

3-Rachel loves God--Rachel is a faithful person, a believer. Rachel's faith inspires more faith in me

4-Rachel has crazy empathy for animals--with the exception of cats, Rachel loves animals and is very influenced by their pain. When she was small she would cry a lot for the pain animals felt. Sooo sweet!

5-Rachel is a sort of social genius--it doesn't matter the situation, Rachel can usually handle it leaving all parties involved feeling loved and cared for. I wish I was as good as Rachel at knowing how to interact with others socially.

6-Rachel is beautiful--I sometimes wonder at the beauty found in sneaks up on me several times a day and dopamine is shot into my brain at a million miles an hour.

7-Rachel is competent--Though she would deny it, Rachel is good at most anything she ACTUALLY tries at. The things she doesn't do well in are things she is usually scared of. Honestly though, when she sets her mind to doing something, and she gives it her best effort, she succeeds. Even though she routinely denies it, she's a good social worker. She understand certain aspects of human nature insanely well.

8-Rachel went on a mission--I love that Rachel served a mission! I never thought I would want that, but it's been really beneficial. The gospel is very important to Rachel and I think that is in no small part because she served a mission.

9-Rachel's smile is the best--Rachels smile warms my heart, every time. My mood is insanely influenced by her bright and happy smile!

10-Rachel is dramatic--I never thought I'd say I liked this about anyone, but I sometimes love just how dramatic she is about things. It's insane sometimes, but I believe that this drama is something that comes along with the next point.

11-Rachel is an emotionally beautiful person--Rachel has sweet emotions about almost anything...except the things she's mad or hurt about, which aren't many. Besides this, Rachel usually has the right emotions about things that are important, or things that I think are important, something I've found very rare in emotional people.

12-Rachel is adventurous--I LOVE Rachel's sense of adventure! She is absolutely amazing! She isn't very scared of anything, except sports. I love this about her! I don't have very much fear of traveling to crazy places that might be considered dangerous, but Rachel has even less fear than I do about it.

13-Rachel has a lot of plasma--I'm a weakling when it comes to plasma and I quickly am tired when I give plasma. It hits me hard. Rachel is unaffected by plasma donation, including when she's on a cleanse diet where she only drinks maple syrup/lemon/cayenne pepper water. CRAZY!

14-Rachel likes Social Work--As much as I detest most things that make us more socialist, I like social work and respect the people that work in it. It's hard stuff, and Rachel is really good at it, though she'd tell you she wasn't.

15-Rachel is an amazing communicator--Rachel has a truly awe inspiring command of words. She knows how to say anything clearly, especially the way she is feeling. I'm rarely confused about what Rachel is feeling, as long as she'll tell me about it.

16-Rachel is good with children--Rachel is REALLY good with kids. They love her. She is so sweet to them.

17-Rachel has an amazing voice--I love Rachel's voice. I love when she sings too, but I'm just talking about her regular voice. I LOVE it! It's so amazing. It's beautifully feminine and it soothes my soul.

18-Rachel is very affirming--Rachel affirms me a lot. She makes me feel valuable even when it is my instinct to self-loath. She's very a very positive person when I feel negative. This helps me not stay negative, though I am prone to stay there.

19-Rachel is sensitive to my pain--Rachel ALWAYS knows when I'm hurting. The thing I love about Rachel is that no matter what mood she is in, if she perceives pain in me, she will snap out of whatever emotional state she is in and be purely empathetic and loving with me. Though this makes it hard for me because I don't ever want to manipulate her feelings, it is such a sweet aspect of our relationship and it comforts me and makes me feel so loved.

20-Rachel is hot--Rachel is very attractive...very.

21-Rachel speaks REALLY good spanish--I love how good Rachel is with language. It is no surprise to me that she is so amazing at learning and speaking foreign languages. I've always respected just how well she speaks.

22-Rachel reads really well--As soon as I saw how fast Rachel could read, I was enamored. I can't believe how fast she can read! I wish I could read as fast as she could, I hope that someday I can. There are so many good things to read and so little time to read them...lucky for Rachel she could read a book a day and not have it interrupt her schedule.

23-Rachel is empathetic--Rachel one of the most empathetic people I know. You may think that this should have gone along with the animal empathy one, but no. Animals generally haven't done you any harm and any harm they did was unintentional or feels that way because they don't have knowledge. Rachel can be empathetic even with people that have caused her serious harm. It is the most beautiful thing about my Racher.

24-Rachel is patient--Rachel is very patient with me and my issues. Though at times she may get angry with me, she always comes back and is sweet and patient with me. Though she hates my flaws, she is patient with them.

25-Rachel is unique--Rachel's likes are SOOO unique! The very fact that she didn't want a diamond is just the tip of the iceberg. She likes things that aren't the norm...and she does that without simply disliking anything that is the standard quo. She's my favorite type of person. She is confident enough to like what she really likes without being insecure and disliking things just because they are the norm.

26-Rachel is loving--Rachel loves me! This is my favorite thing about her. I guess I know why, but it still baffles me sometimes that I had the good fortune of associating with someone as awesome and special as Rachel. She is a light in my life!


love Jon

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Between the trees and the pond you put your hand in mine

Thursday May 6 was a bright day! Jonathan and I have done things a little backwards and had our wedding festivities, our first year and most of the rest of our happily married lives all mapped out before we got officially engaged. It was a little awkward to be in medium-to advanced stages of planning and have people ask how he proposed, but at the same time our unconventionality is something I really appreciate in our relationship. It fits both of us. And we fit perfectly with each other. :)

Over Christmas break I had a golden “double-feature” dream that vanquished the ghostly remembrances of wedding nightmares of old. That dream, along with some cheering talks with my sisters and my Father, and being separated from querido Jonnerthan for the first time in months, (que horror!) convinced me of what I’d really known all along. In the early winter we began having sweet talks about maybe and would you? and yes, please! and when? and I wandered through most of winter semester with a sloppy, gleeful smile on my face; my obsession with Jonathan has been like a dopamine-laced blow to the head (lovestruck!). Our tender little plans were like fire to my heart during those cold days and gray mornings. He told me we’d get engaged “soon.” I despaired a little once I realized that his conceptualization of “soon” seemed to be along the lines of the Lord telling Jose Smith that the second coming was “near, even at the doors.” We used to joke that perhaps we would get engaged for our first anniversary. He told me later that he thinks of me as a sunny person and couldn’t bear the thought of asking me to marry him while the earth was still coated in vile winter raiment. Waiting for spring. Although the weather was fickle and treacherous, Jonathan was consistently wonderful and kind.
I had the idea, then, that he was going to ask me outdoors somehow on a sunny day. The week of the great Happening was laden with plans for outdoor adventuring, which Jonathan says he did to throw me off. (The day before we got engaged we had a picnic in the canyon, we were going to go hiking that weekend, etc.) On Thursday morning when he left for work we made general plans to meet somewhere for lunch. He called me and asked me to meet him at Bicentennial Park, which is where we went on our first date (EEEEE!). I had a little blip of suspicion because he didn’t mention anything about picking up food.

Before I stepped out of my room I flipped open my libro de mormon to the chapter we’d read the night before: Mormon testifying of a God of miracles. That was what I wanted on my mind when I went to meet my beloved, because he is a miracle to me and our togetherness is a miracle.

On our first date last fall, we got Jamba Juice and wandered around the swampland, unraveling little pieces of ourselves and our lives. I remember talking about Atlas Shrugged, ethnocentrism, encounters with street kids, the wretched unfairness of the BSW program closing, and hiking with our fathers. I was nervous and self-conscious and wanted very badly for him to like me. I felt squelched between the sensation of wanting to write down everything he was saying, and to explain to him in onerous detail every thought I had ever had in my life. I guess you could say I was a little impressed, a little besotted, and a little manic. Haha!

When I got out of the car at the park and Jonathan came up to hug me, I felt all those feelings wash over me again. Sometimes a particularly acute memory will grip me so tightly that I experience the same emotions I did with the original experience. As we walked out on the boardwalk over the swamp, I told him that: “I feel like I’m here the first time with you again! It’s so weird because I hardly knew you then and now I know you so well!” He said that while waiting for me he’d seen yellow birds playing in the trees. I didn’t believe him. A yellow bird has been a very precious and potent symbol in my life and is now a symbol that Jonathan and I share in our relationship. (You can go here or here to read a little more about that). I’d never seen one IRL before and so I thought he was teasing, trying to be romantic with me.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like a heap of old clothes laying a few yards away from us. Jonathan saw me looking and asked, “Hey, what is that?” I suggested that maybe someone had gone swimming and left their clothes behind. As we got closer I could see that it was a towel covering a box-like shape. Jonathan kneeled down next to it and carefully pulled off the towel to reveal a birdcage with a beautiful yellow bird inside! My heart just melted! I dropped to my knees to look at him, and Jonathan grabbed both my hands and turned me to face him. He told me that I was the yellow bird in his life and asked me to marry him. I was all shaky with joy and I hugged him hard and said “Yeah!...yes!” It was a really sweet moment for us, and so thoughtful of him to plan something so personal and perfect for me! We couldn’t stop smiling.

A few minutes later we were sitting on a bench beaming at each other and admiring our cute Birdenzie-Deutsch when Jonathan said “Look!” and pointed over to the trees, where some REAL LIVE WILD yellow birds were darting around. I couldn’t believe it! I asked him if he had bought those birds too and then released them just to surprise me, but nay. They were legit, feral yellow birds. I think it was a sign that our engagement is blessed, either by God or by the spirit of Conor Oberst. Regardless, I am so happy! Jonathan is my life now. He is the fulfillment of my deepest wishes, hopes, and dreams. I am still reeling with the sweetness of all of this. We’ve both worked so hard to be together and now he’s going to be my HUSBAND! He truly is the best man I have ever known and I love him with all my heart. I love our life now and planning for our lives together. I know there will be trouble and sorrow up ahead, “but for now we are young/let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see/love to be/in the arms of all I’m keeping here with me.”

So. My tale is told. AUGUST 14, 2010! Is going to be epic, and full of win.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Rachel is a Sassafrass, plain and simple. Because Rachel's brain works at about 2.5x the speed of mine, she is always one step ahead of me. She quickly points out any flaws in my speech, possible puns, and cleverly conjectures about what she sees as the meanings of my words. I fall in love again every time she sasses me!

Anybody who knows me knows that I am very formal with girls when I first meet them. I don't know what it is but I'm just a super serious guy when I first meet girls. Its really unattractive to a lot of girls. I'm surprised that Rachel liked me for how fun loving she was. That worried her about me, she thought that I would never be funny. But that has all changed now. We laugh and play with each other constantly. It's amazing the side of Rachel that has come to light now that we've been dating for a while. It makes me really excited for the future.

Today I was telling her things about herself. One of the main things I told her was just how sweet she is. Rachel is the biggest sweetheart EVER! But this was somewhat undone when I pointed out that she was also very snide. "I'm not snide!" she told me. I vehemently defended my position pointing out various times that she had made snide remarks to myself. I saw her considering my arguments and then she got that sweet grin of acceptance on her face that sometimes also graces my presence when we are in a fight and she realizes that what we are doing is silly. Of course, it wasn't five minutes before further evidence presented itself of her doubted snideness.

The truth is, Rachel is a sassy girl...and I love her for it! She is endlessly clever and I am continually amazed at the crap she can come up with on the spot. It makes me so excited to spend the rest of my life with her! Sass on RACHER!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And I dreamed your dream for you, and now your dream is real

The Vantage Point staff discussed a boy today who I have never met or even seen, but the picture they painted streaked an image of my beloved Leobardo in my mind. Doesn't catch on, concepts flutter around him but don't rest in his mind. Probably low IQ, shuts down when confronted, the other kids find him obnoxious to the point that they punish him constantly for his existence. Whack-a-mole. Oh, sweetheart. Oh, sweetheart. The last day I was at Casa Juconi I played his made-up version of hopscotch for almost an hour. Leobardo played like a much younger child, always off by himself as he wasn't allowed to join in any reindeer games. I thought with a pang, oh! who will play with him now? I know I was only witness to a few flashes of pain in that little life, and I know loneliness on the cancha was the least of his worries, but it still hurts so badly to think of him. Please God protect him, please God let him feel loved. I heard many sad tales today...working for any social service agency is a story of betrayal and broken hearts...well, the business of human beings is about betrayal and broken hearts--but hearing about that boy, the one who reminded me of Leobardo--made of think of what it's for and why I want the things I do.

With the best of my heart, all I want to do is relieve suffering. We are fools to make war on our brothers in arms. I have so far to go, so much to learn and sometimes I am just floundering. But my instincts are to lift. I hope that can get me somewhere.

Once at the beginning, I told Jonathan about Leobardo, and I KNEW he felt it. It was during long, deepsweet talks like those that he "exploded into my heart." I'd felt so many precious things squelched in my soul, and it was different somehow telling him than even those who had understood best before. We didn't muddle around in sorrow and remain there. There is something about Jonathan that is so steady and so comforting. He can grieve without breathing despair. He can reverence something that hurts while filling the air around me with hope. I love the way he talks to me about the Savior. There is a strength about him that I naturally lean into, maybe too much sometimes. It's indefinable, tangible, lasting, something I can believe in. He has a goodness I can feel with my hands, with my heart. It's all I want, for that to grow in me and in us together. He understands about the People, about children and he wants to Lift too. I hope we can spend our lives that way.

Give them to me and I will bear them away.