Thursday, July 26, 2007

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Lane and Sarah Keister on the birth of their third child! I can't wait to meet little Edmund, as well as all of the rest of them, in September :-). Lane explains their choice of names here. I just love the name Edmund :-).

When I marry, Lord willing, I'll have 13 nieces and nephews(!). Fun, fun :-).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Our Story

One of my pet peeves is wedding websites that have "coming soon. . . " permanently published as the couple's story of how they met. I'm a female, so I like details! I love hearing how a couple met :-). So I vowed quite a while ago that I would definitely publish a story of how I met my future husband, when the time came. Of course, now I also realize why that story so often doesn't materialize. Time just gets away from you! So finally, 7 months after we began our courtship and 3 1/2 months after our engagement, here you go. I think some of you definitely pieced most of this together, but I still occasionally get questions from people who have read my blog, and still aren't quite sure how Adrian and I met. No, this doesn't contain every single detail (that's known as "privacy" ;-D), but I hope it satisfies some curious brains:

I dabbled in internet forums and blogs throughout college, finally signing up for my own blog in fall of 2005, soon after graduating college. My purpose in doing so was two-fold: (1) to have an outlet for my love for writing, and (2) to meet like-minded young women. I actually vowed to my mom that my purpose was not to find a husband online. *laughs nervously* Ah, irony.

I had briefly interacted with Adrian before I started blogging myself, both on his blog (which he had recently started) and a few other blogs. He seemed well-informed, but that was about the extent of my impression. Oh, and he liked math and was reformed in theology; I thought that was neat. Through the next year+, Adrian and I blogged quite a bit back and forth, going in spurts of greater and lesser blogging activity. At first we started out very casual, before later moving to deeper and more involved conversations.

Adrian intrigued me. He was very knowledgeable on a variety of subjects, very interesting to converse with, and his awareness of God's grace permeated his posts and his comments. I thought of him merely as a friend for quite a while, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized just what a dear brother in Christ he was, and how well-suited he seemed for me. He made me laugh, think, debate; sometimes he made me furious! He challenged me to think. He competed with me in math and constructively critiqued my poems. We discussed literature and debated every topic under the sun. I even challenged him to a debate on whether his blog background should be changed to something more exciting and easy-on-the-eyes than black (bleck!); I won that debate handily, for the record :-). Actually, I've remarked to Adrian that it's rather infuriating that I seem to win the inconsequential debates, and he always seems to win the more weighty ones. Ah well.

As we got to know one another, I found it quite amazing - and amusing - just how much we had in common. I mean, c'mon! The guy was a bigger math geek than me! He loved classical literature :-). He had a great taste in music. We had similar views on marriage, children, family life. We had almost identical views on Biblical doctrines and practical outworkings of those doctrines. And the man oozed the grace of God. So I watched, and waited, and typed, and prayed. Meanwhile my family had kept abreast of our internet activities, and I think my mom had read just about every word Adrian and I had ever typed to each other, since all our blogging interactions were public :-). Adrian's brother Lane had also interacted a bit with me, on his blogs and mine.

On November 1, 2006 Adrian e-mailed me, "casually" asking if he could come for a visit to meet me and my family. He said the reason, of course, was to claim a prize he had won a while back, on one of my geeky math posts in which I had offered cookies to the solver of a ridiculously-hard math problem; Adrian had solved it, naturally, but had never claimed the prize. In all my smart-aleckness, I e-mailed back, telling him that if the reason was for the cookies, we could overnight mail those to him, and save him time and gas money ;-). The man takes teasing very well, you must know; he revels in it, in fact. Good thing, or I'd drive him nuts! Anyway, Adrian came and visited for 3 days in early December, and we had a grand time. We met for the first time in person on December 8th, 2006, at approximately 1:25 p.m. At the end of his visit, he asked my dad for permission to court me, and my dad granted it. I accepted when Adrian asked me as well :-).

So we began a long-distance courtship. We've been very blessed to see each other every month since our first meeting in December, even with 6+ hours of driving time between us the whole time. I flew to Minnesota to meet Adrian's parents in January, and then I drove to Louisville, KY in May, to meet more of his family. Adrian spent 10 days with our family over his spring break in March, and he also drove here in June for my brother's wedding. We spent Valentine's Day together in Blacksburg, VA, where Adrian was finishing up a degree in Mathematical Physics at Virginia Tech. My parents were able to drive with me to Blacksburg in July as well, and Hannah plans on coming with me to visit Adrian in August.

I also drove up to Blacksburg in April, over my spring break from teaching, and Adrian proposed to me at the duck pond on Virginia Tech's campus, at sunset the day I arrived. I recounted the proposal in a separate story, so make sure to read that as well. I hadn't found the man of my dreams, as I've told Adrian several times. My dreams of the man I wanted to marry were far too small. Adrian surpassed those dreams; God has a tendency to bless us far more than we can imagine or ever deserve. So on April 2, 2007, when Adrian C. Keister got down on both knees and proposed to me, I said yes to the man beyond my dreams.

On September 22, 2007 when, Lord willing, we are joined together as man and wife, we will sing a beautiful song of God's grace, love, and sovereignty - a hymn that Adrian first introduced to me almost 2 years ago. Only God knew at the time that we would one day sing it at our wedding. Great and unsearchable are His ways. God also has a sense of humor. Not only did I end up falling for an "internet guy" after all, against my firm insistence to my mom, but the young woman who named her blog "An Old-Fashioned Girl" certainly found her husband in a very new-fangled way :-).

Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday, July 07, 2007

*hyperventilating*

I'm going to go through book withdrawal this summer! Not reading so much as gazing. I'm only keeping about 15 books out until the wedding, and I have 25 boxes packed and ready to take up to Blacksburg next week. Almost all of my wonderful theology books are packed. And literature! I packed most of my copies of Austen, Bronte, Shakespeare, etc. And *gasp* - I packed Anne of Green Gables! It seemed like such a heartless thing to do. But I only saved out the books that I think I will likely read in the next two months, and I felt like a traitor deciding she was not one of them. But if I'd saved her, I would have wanted to save out the other 7 Anne books, and the Emily books, and the Pat books, etc. *sobs*

My room looks really bare right now. This is strange!


This post is written in honor of Jessica Slagg :-), who I undoubtedly thought of while I was composing it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ramblings of a Bride-to-Be

When I registered this blog in late September of 2005 (my first post was actually not until October 2nd), the second post I wrote was a musing on the words "awesome" and "awful." Adrian commented to that post, his first (of many!) comments to my blog, and directed me to a hymn that demonstrates exactly what I was discussing, namely a misunderstanding in our culture of exactly what awe is, and what it means for something to be awesome or awful.

This September, Lord willing, almost 2 years after that blog exchange, we will sing How Sweet and Awful is the Place at our wedding. We wanted a solemn but beautiful hymn to open the service, and this one fit the bill! I love the old Irish melody and the words are simplify lovely and rich in meaning. I think it will be neat to sing this hymn, especially, because of our history with it :-).

Okay, so everyone wants to know more details about the wedding. I'll list some major ones, and feel free to ask for more details on comments. I'll probably oblige, assuming you ask usual questions. Don't ask me to post pictures of my dress, though :-).

So, our wedding is set for September 22nd, around noon or 1:00. My pastor will be officiating, and it will be held at my home church. Lane is the best man and Hannah is the maid-of-honor (those were really easy choices for us to make - hehe). Oh, and Lane's daughter (3 1/2) and son (almost 2) are going to be the flower girl and ringbearer (all the girls say "awwww"). We're Presbyterian geeks, er. . . traditionalists, so we've chosen to use the PCA BCO marriage service as the template for our service. The reception will also be at my church.

My church's sanctuary is in tones of green, so we chose burgundy, ivory, evergreen, and a medium dusty rose pink as our colors. Hannah and Ila will be in burgundy dresses, and Lane and James will have burgundy vests to match. Hannah's bouquet will probably be ivory roses with some really dark red roses mixed in, tied with a pink ribbon, and Ila will carry a flower petal basket with ivory rose petals. I'll explain my bouquet in a different post, as I haven't completely ironed that out yet :-), and it's a whole other explanation. I'll be in ivory for the sole reason that I don't want Adrian to think he's marrying a ghost, and I would definitely look ghostly pale in white!

Um, I'm not really sure what else people want to know, so if you're curious about something, feel free to ask :-). I'm sure I'll be posting more in the coming weeks.

Oh, and for those who are interested, we will be initially living in Blacksburg. Adrian has an internship there in a fiber optics lab (same type of stuff that his doctoral thesis covered). We're not sure where we'll end up more permanently, though, until he secures a more permanent job after the internship ends.