Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our Oregon Honeymoon

When we decided to get married in the middle of the semester we knew we wouldn't be able to take a long honeymoon immediately after. Instead we decided on a quiet weekend getaway to a stunning Bed and Breakfast not too far from home. It was cozy, happy, and perfect.

However, we also decided that when school was out we'd go on a proper honeymoon. And so it was that we got to spend a week a Nate's favorite place in the world-the Oregon coast.

 Ok so place was just on the drive to the coast-but still-isn't it stunning?

 Since we were already heading to Oregon for a reception/open-house in Bend, it worked out so well to go to the coast after. I always knew I'd like the Oregon coast. From everything I'd heard I considered it my kind of coast-gorgeous in a rocky, rainy, grey kind of way. I loved it, but I've got to admit-I loved it even more than I thought I would. It was so beautiful, and such a romantic place.  

We got to stay at a condo right on the coast where we could see the whales majestic spurts from our bed. We had such a good time going to the tide pools, looking around the shops, flying kites, touring the Tillamook factory, look for sea shells, checking out the aquarium, and going out whale watching. Each day brought a new adventure, and each night I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean beating against the rocks right outside our window. 

 After the beach we headed straight to the Sea Hag for the best clam chowder of my life

However, the very best part about it was that I got to spend all day, each day, with my best friend. We'd come there right off of his finals, and once we got home he left for a three week field study-so we especially enjoyed that week we spent together. 

At the end of the week I told Nate, "You know, I think we should retire here someday." He got the biggest smile and told me that was the point of the whole trip-to make me fall in love with the Oregon coast. Apparently, the trip was a success. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What I Know.

I grew up in a house fundamentally ruled by women. Poor Dad, all those daughters. And although there are many comical and quite true jokes to be made about a house full of women, I'd instead like to focus on the serious aspect.

I was raised by contemporary and quite modern parents. Parents who very well understand the call to be "in the world, but  not of it". As such I was, from a young age, a woman empowered. My sisters and  I were told,for as long as I can remember, that we could do anything we wanted, and become whatever we set our minds to become. 

My father is a man with a great respect for womanhood, the kind that only comes from actually understanding and rejoicing in educated, powerful, influential, intelligent women. He made us promise to get as much educations as possible, engaged me in many a conversation regarding political and hot button issues of our day, and had me participating in "tough" activities (yard work, church ball, etc) from a young age. 

He had a house full of girls, and never once complained about that fact. He never felt cheated by not having sons around, instead he would probably say that he gained so much more by having all daughters.

Indeed, it may be said, that for years I was brought up with the inclination to believe that perhaps women, with their divine capability for so much love, were the favored sex in the eyes of the creator. As I've grown older I've come to realize that God has no favored gender. Men, and women are equally favored, equally ranked, equally trusted and equally loved. 

And as I firmly believe, given equal responsibility in his kingdom.

Our loving father in heaven has given both genders divine roles and responsibilities. Individually we can carry them out well, however it is only after joining together-our traits, our capabilities, our work, our purpose and our responsibilities that we come the closest to godliness. 

There is divinity in the reality of needing one another in order to become perfect. 

This knowledge is the reason I have no desire to be ordained to the priesthood. 

Some women are yearning so badly for it today, calling upon church leaders to grant women the right to be ordained to the priesthood, and demonstrating their devotion to this desire above all other devotion. Some even at the cost of their devotion to God.

It's not the fact that these women are asking questions that may make some uncomfortable that is getting them into trouble. It's that in some cases this desire of their heart has taken over other desires. What was once a curiosity, a simple yearning has become so powerful that they are willing to put their membership and all sacred covenants in jeopardy in order to demonstrate their devotion to this desire. 

A devotion perhaps better focused on understanding their role in God's kingdom, a role which inherently involves the priesthood. 

I'm not claiming to understand my role as a woman in the gospel any more than these other woman, however  perhaps my newness to some sacred covenants has given me a different perspective on this role.

We're taught often through the Family a Proclamation to the World that men have the responsibility of holding and honoring the priesthood and women have the responsibility to bear and nurture children.

 I believe in a God of logic, and therefore I believe that man cannot participate in the fullness of priesthood without a woman, just as a woman can not bear children without the man. When men and women come together over the alter in the house of the almighty Lord they are joined for eternity, giving all that they have to each other and to God. There is no more hers and his-for they are one. In this way women have every blessing to the priesthood, as men have every blessing of children, and posterity.

It is this view more than any other that has made me never desire to be ordained to the priesthood. Personally, I believe that man and women were meant to rely on one another in their journey home. To rely on their complimenting talents, responsibilities and abilities. 

Also, I've had far too many spiritual experiences in callings in which I was set apart by priesthood holders to do God's work here on the earth-the very definition of priesthood. I've felt my role in the priesthood too surely before to every understand the need to be ordained to it. Why go through that formality, when at times when needed, it's power is given to me.

I'm still very much learning my role in this gospel, my role as a  woman, a wife, and most importantly a daughter of God. This I know though-I am his daughter. I feel strongly that the quality my earthly father exhibited so well to me through the years-his great respect for and rejoicing in women-is a godly characteristic. So I believe that my dear Father in Heaven feels the same, and that he wants me to understand my divine role as a woman and to feel his love. 

And you know what,  I don't need to be ordained to the priesthood to know these things. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Wedding: The Whole Reason

Thanks for bearing with me through so many pictures and posts about our big day. There were so many pictures that I love that I couldn't help but share as many as possible

And, I saved some of the best for last.

There was a day, in early March, where we realized that we had sent out approximately 600 wedding announcements with the wrong address. The address that was sent happened to be an address for a funeral parlor. I was at work when I found out. I quickly left the office, and called Nate.

By the time I finally got him to call me back I could laugh at it, a little. Talking to him made everything better. We decided it made sense after all, since we were dying to get married. He made me laugh, when I was the most exhausted and overwhelmed.

That night I saw a quote that summed up exactly how I felt about the man that could always make me smile:

"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

Being engaged to Nate was like that. 

I'd found the man I wanted to spend my forever with-the man I wanted to never, ever be parted from. Once I'd decided that I couldn't wait for the day to come where eternity would be our reality. 

That day was the happiest of my life up until that point, but each day with him gets happier and happier. I've said before that I'll never forget the way he looked at me that day, and how could I when he still looks at me with such love?

He was the reason the wedding was so happy, and he is the reason I am so incredibly happy. 

All our beautiful wedding pictures were taken by the very talented Tracy Hill

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Wedding: Our People

I've always maintained the firm stance that the people in my life are simply the best. The people I'm honored to call my family, and friends are quite frankly, the most kind, giving, happy group. The love, joy, laughter, peace and clarity they bring to my life leaves me overwhelmingly content. Words do not exist to express the way I feel for them.

One of many good things Nate has brought into my life is his circle of people. I've been surprised at the love I feel for his people, some of whom I've never even met. As I've listened to his stories involving these people, the impact they've left on his life is evident. I've come to love strangers because of the love they've shown to the one I love the most. It's a new, and beautiful feeling.

So we were very pleased to have so many of OUR people celebrate with us. Our people, because that's what they've become. So many of our people sacrificed so much in order to be with us, others unable to attend sent their love through cards, texts and phone calls, and the happiness they all brought into our day is immeasurable. 

Because our people are simply the best. 

I can't finish a post about our people without a shout out to our parents. It was because of them that everything from this day was possible. So thanks Mom and Dad for looking at venues, watching me try on dresses, taking me to fittings, meeting with awful caterers, tracking down addresses, paying for all above things, and often calming my stressed soul. Mom and Dad Rau thank you for Nate's suit, for traveling, for the dinner, for the open house, for making me feel so welcome through this whole process, and for raising the man of my dreams. We love you all. 

All our beautiful wedding pictures were taken by the very talented Tracy Hill