i write this post, still dumbfounded by the events that took place approximately a week and a half ago. let me start from the beginning:
on a drive home from colorado to delaware, monica and i were sitting at her friend's house. monica is on her computer and sits up for a second and says " DID YOU SEE THAT?" when in reality, i had no glasses on and saw nothing. this short conversation made me quite curious about what she was up to. sidenote: monica is a really bad liar, so i knew it was maybe something special.
once i am in delaware for a few days before leaving for finland, another suspicious event takes place. my dad asks me to show him how to check his messages on facebook and when i did, i happened to see a message entitled "Let's Surprise the Luce's!" - but by God's almighty power, i for once in my life, had self control. it was the strangest thing. women in my family are just snoops. it's what we do, if given the chance :D so instead of reading it, i tell my mom to HURRY UP and read this secret message so that i can know what it is about! at the time, my dear mother lied to me and said "awww honey, it's sweet BUT don't get your hopes up." and there it went. i figured it was something nice but small and i let it go.
fast forward about two weeks to august 22 - our first anniversary. it was quite an emotional day for me with Halo happenings. because of this, when my dear friend Christian played "beauty" to me in our improv. session (which happened to be the song Greg and i danced to) i LOST it. the day came and went and i thought - hmmm where is that little surprise? no sweet notes from anyone? no nothing? c'mon, guys!! and again, i let it go.
well that was sunday. monday was a rough day also. we were all preparing for our concerts beginning on wednesday, so the few days leading up to these concerts were jam packed. being in charge of the food for 20 people took up every spare moment i had and left me pretty darn tired at the end of each day. so monday night, when jess subtly suggested that we have a "dress up, feel good day" - i was reluctant to say yes. and in the morning when she reminded me to look good and feel good about myself, i thought about it and said.......... NOPE.(bad choice, btw.) so on the 24th of august, i set out in my mostly homeless attire with ratty hair, no make up and hardly brushed teeth. while most had the morning off, my constant grocery companion daniel perry, set off for grocery ritual with me(which includes a lot of sweat, somehow) with a rehearsal to follow.
the rehearsal went well and we ended with a run through of the copland (appalachian springs.) during the middle of the run through, i noticed that jess was tearing up. i mean yeah, she can be emotional sometimes. so i thought about getting her a kleenex then realized i was supposed to be playing and hoped she would be alright. but after her sniffles, laura started up, too! at this point i am thinking "ok, i know we sound better. we sound good even... but NOT that good!" and before i know it, the run through is over - and james is asking for my violin (thanks to pauliina who realized what an expensive surprise it could have been had i dropped my instrument....) and bewildered, i look up - and see the impossible. Greg, walking towards me like a ghost. and my honest to goodness first thought is - crap, we all died and we're rehearsing in HEAVEN? DANGIT. NOT IDEAL! this is the point at which i shut up and hugged him for what seemed like an eternity. to make that even better (which isn't actually possible) we had a clean sheet to sleep on thanks to our friends AND a night in a hotel!
i am still completely overwhelmed and thankful for the gracious generosity of our friends and family. i cannot fathom the love and selflessness that you all have. you have truly touched both of us to the core and we wish to do something as great for each of you.
after not being able to have a honeymoon and then getting to go on a great getaway and being sick, this wonderful surprise made up for any of the sadness i had about those things. time and time again, you all show us how much you love us. and each time, i don't know how to respond. i just love you all. thank you, from the bottom of my heart <3