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The FBI, An Engagement Ring and The Gift of Belonging

Ayiyi, what a week it has been!! I’ve been frazzled as can be filling out reams of paperwork, tracking down documents and even getting finger-printed at an Australian police station so I could be verified as legit by none other than the FBI. Phew!!

It’s been a bit crazy.

But even in the midst of the mind-numbing paperwork and angst-ridden waiting for documents to arrive, there is much happiness for I am engaged!! πŸ™‚

Yes, my dear Bear proposed and I accepted. Together we chose this beautiful antique jade ring. It’s not traditional but I love it to pieces and it makes me happy every day. It’s awfully nice to have something to remind you that no matter how bad things get, there is someone in this world on your side cheering for you. πŸ™‚

This weekend Bear took me out for a drive in the mountains to celebrate our relationship and get away from the stress of everything.

It was so good to leave the plains and climb higher and higher into the sunny, cold, and oh-so-refreshing mountain air.


Bear made reservations for us at a place called the Spring Creek Mountain Cafe.

We’d heard the views were spectacular, but nothing prepared us for the stunning vistas of Condamine Gorge, Wilson’s Peak, The Border Ranges and a World Heritage listed rain forest.

Our table was right in the corner near the edge of a hill that plunged down into the valley below.

Although outside the cold winds were blowing fiercely, inside we were toasty warm in a pool of sunshine.

I had pan-fried Barramundi with macadamia cilantro pesto, and Bear had a steak burger with caramelized onions and homemade mayo and the best chips either of us have ever had.

Although the food was fantastic, it was the view we enjoyed the most. Both of us were tuckered out, and sitting there in the winter sun, drowsy from a delicious meal, was absolute heaven.


Being engaged is strange and wonderful. It’s made me think a lot about relationships, particularly about belonging. A friend recently told me that apart from necessary sustenance, mankind’s most basic need is to belong. To someone. To something.

I love belonging. Love being part of a healthy relationship, community, goal or project. I’m thrilled when I see someone’s eyes light up because they like belonging with me too. That is exquisite.

But I’ve also seen the dark side of this need. I’ve watched myself and others subject ourselves to abuse of all sorts, overlooking egregious treatment and behavior simply so we could belong. The need for belonging is so strong, we’re even willing to belong to bad people, bad family members, and bad groups just to fill that need.

Before I met Bear, I willingly subjected myself to neglectful, unloving, and downright abusive relationships simply so I could belong somewhere. It took me a long time to realize that in a healthy relationship – be it friend, family, or loved one – you never belong to someone, you belong with them. Equals and partners, respectfully learning and growing together. There’s no control or manipulation or crushing of body or spirit in this sort of belonging. It is safe, peaceful and happy.

Healthy belonging is not perfect. There are still apologies to be made and forgiveness to be given, fights to be had and misunderstandings to be sorted out. But the goal is always wholeness and happiness for all parties involved. I love that.

It is this new understanding of belonging that gave me courage to embrace my past, my present and my Bear with a delighted, β€œYES!!!”

I don’t belong to him, nor he to me, but we belong with each other, and that is the coziest, happiest, most peaceful thing.

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Gitte - Dear Krista, a big congratulations to both you and Bear. it sounds like the two of you are made for each other and I wish you many, many years of joy, peace and happiness.

Celebrating Belonging » Rambling Tart - […] I belong here now. I’m allowed to stay. I’m truly allowed to call this place home. […]

Jacqueline_at_Bliss - This is such thrilling news … and yet so peaceful. Everything seems just RIGHT for YOU! And your ring is particularly gorgeous. I can’t imagine a more lovely ring. Great big congratulations to you Special K, from the deepest place in my heart. XX

Rebecca and the World - What a gorgeous ring! Congratulations!

Mary Beth Jones - Congratulations on your engagement, Krista! May the Lord bless you with many happy years together! πŸ™‚

Jeanne Horak - Oh – I just saw this now – CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! That’s fantastic news :)) Love the ring (and the scarf you wore to be fingerprinted ;))

erin - I am THRILLED for you! You deserve so much love!

El - Congratulations> That’s wonderful news. So happy for you both!

Ayelet - All Colores - Big congrats on your engagement! Especially considering everything you shared about how healthy your relationship is. I so agree with what you said about belonging. I wish you countless years of joy and healthy, empowering belonging and connection, and wishing you two much bliss πŸ™‚

Only one question, because you got me all curious…. I’ll understand, of course, if you can’t answer…. Why would the FBI want to verify that you’re legit?

And congrats again, very exciting πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, my darling Corrie. XO I’m so happy and so excited to share this with you. πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - Thank you, dear Cailin! πŸ™‚ It means so much to have your support and friendship. XO

Krista - You made me grin so big, Leigh! πŸ™‚ I can just picture you! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much. XO

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Joanne! πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - Thank you SO much, dear Tuula! πŸ™‚ We aren’t planning anything until my visa stuff is settled, but then I’ll fill you in on it all!! πŸ™‚

Corrie - Most incredible post Krista. All beautifully said and I am so happy for you and proud to watch your incredible journey.

Cailins - Congratulations Krista! I am so happy for you both. A person as kindhearted as yourself deserves all the happiness in the world. xo

Leigh - Oh, Krista! I am so happy for you! I just ran down the stairs to share this great news with my parents. We all wish you the best and love you!

An Early Morning Boat Ride Through Venice, Part One » Rambling Tart - […] – Thank you with all my heart for your unbelievably kind responses to my last post. Your supportive and celebratory words made me laugh and get teary and feel so lucky that you are […]

Joanne @ Eats Well With Others - !!!!!!

I couldn’t be happier for you!!

TuulaR - Oh wow oh wow oh wow!! Congratulations on your engagement Krista, it’s such a wonderful feeling and I couldn’t be happier for you! The ring is so pretty and I can’t wait to hear more about your big plans! Wishing you all the best always, Tuula

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Vanessa. πŸ™‚ That is so kind of you to pray for me. πŸ™‚ Bear is a truly wonderful man and I feel so grateful to have him in my life. πŸ™‚ XO I hope to share our story soon. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Janelle!!! Wish I could meet you for a scrumptious dinner to celebrate. πŸ™‚

Vanessa Belardo - I am so happy for you and Bear!!! I’ve been praying God would bring the most amazing person into your life and He has answered my prayers. I am so glad you are in a healthy relationship! You are truly a treasure and I am so happy to hear about this part of your journey. Looking forward to hearing more….like how you meet, etc. =) Love you!

janelle @talkoftomatoes - my heart is so happy for you!!!!!!!

Krista - I will happily toast to that, Amy! πŸ™‚ YES, a supportive partner makes all the blech so much easier to bear and work through. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad we both have such good men. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Paula!! I’m feeling it! πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, my dearest Ozoz. I miss you terribly too. I hope one day to sit at your kitchen table with you and talk for hours. πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - Thank you, Paradis! πŸ™‚ I love my ring so much. πŸ™‚ One day I WILL share the story. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you very much, Lindy. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you like the ring too. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Juci! πŸ™‚ I love it. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Andrea! I can’t tell you how much YOUR immigration story has inspired me to press on when it all seems too daunting. πŸ™‚

Krista - My dearest Robin, I think about you so often as I’m wandering about the farm, wishing to show you this and that. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait for you and Cam to come. I’m hoping you never want to leave. πŸ™‚ XO I love you too!

Krista - Ohhh, thank you so much, dear Faith! πŸ™‚ We are so happy to be together. πŸ™‚

Amy @ Seven Grey Sweaters - What wonderful news! Congratulations! That ring is amazing. I love that you chose something so unique and special. And I LOVE what you wrote about belonging. So true. Here’s to healthy belonging! (A supportive partner makes it so much easier to let go of some of the less healthy stuff, doesn’t it?)

Paula - Krista, I am sooo happy for you!! Wishing you all the joy and blessing I can send!

Kitchen Butterfly - I love you Krista, and I am so thrilled for you and Bear. I’ve missed you loads

mlle paradis - Brava!!! And congratulations!!!! What a lovely and happy post – gorgeous ring too, I know some Chinese ladies who would be very jealous. some day you’ll share the story of how you and Mr. Bear met and what the FBI have to do with a Ca nadian girl moving to Oz. (huhhh?). Enjoy Enjoy!

Krista - Bahaha!! My poor commenting system went wonky and showed the name of a friend of mine in Canada instead of YOU! Of COURSE I know you’re from Australia. LOL! LOL! I’m edited the comment to be sensible now. πŸ™‚ XO

Lindy Taylor - Congratulations on your engagement Krista & such a beautiful ring. πŸ™‚

Andrea and John - Oh Krista, how wonderful! I am so excited for you and Bear – huge congratulations!! I remember getting fingerprinted – still have mine, actually =)

Jucisjourney - Well deserved ring, Krista! Congratulations!

Robin Meyer - Krista this is so wonderful. you words are moving around this world and with them go new thoughts, dreams, and hope for others. thank you for the spark that your words always are. Can’t wait to come see your home there and meet this wonderful Bear. πŸ™‚ love you!

Jackie Robertson - Krista – the lurrrve thing has gone to your head, I’m up the hill from you! Of course I’m in Aust girl you had lunch with me last week! Oh love does wonderful things – causes amnesia lol

Faith - Such a gorgeous post for so many reasons! I am absolutely thrilled for you, my
friend. You deserve all the best in life and I truly wish you and Bear every
happiness. Love and hugs, Faith xoxo

Krista - You did?!! How amazing, Dawn! I didn’t even know you were ever in Australia. How amazing. πŸ™‚ Copious amounts of Prosecco sounds absolutely fantastic. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Susan. πŸ™‚ I’m so grateful for your kindness and love. πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - Thank you so much, Dawn! πŸ™‚

Krista - Bethany, thank you so much. Your happiness for us makes this time even better. πŸ™‚ Thank you. XO

Krista - Thank you, dear Zory. πŸ™‚ It makes me smile to know we both have such good men who love us. πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - Thank you so much, Christina! πŸ™‚ In some ways it was very difficult to write this post, to sort out my feelings into words. I’m really glad you like it. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear, dear Tanya. πŸ™‚ Your words mean so much to me. πŸ™‚

Jackie Robertson - Oh my Krista, I’m absolutely delighted for you! We’ve spent a new years eve with the boys exactly where you sat at Spring Creek. Your engagement ring is stunning and I love it to bits, the setting and the stone are exquisite. Congratulations to you both, you know what this means don’t you? Copious amounts of Prosecco! big sloppy kisses and hugs to you both xxoo

Krista - Oh Katy, I’m crying after reading your post, wishing so much I could kidnap you and bring you here where I could love on you. XO You always, ALWAYS belong with me, and now with us. πŸ™‚ You always have a place here. Wishing you so much courage and strength and beautiful people who love you so dearly. XO

Krista - Thank you, Christy! πŸ™‚ I’m so happy. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Chaya. It means so much to me to have your support and encouragement. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, my dearest Breanne! It makes my heart happy to know you are celebrating with me. πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - Thank you very, very much, dear Cathy. πŸ™‚ We are both so happy and grateful to have found each other in this big ol’ world. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Kristine!! I’m so happy for YOU too!! So many good things to celebrate. πŸ™‚

Krista - You are so right, Valerie. πŸ™‚ I remember wishing I could get married when I was young, but now I’m so glad it’s taken this long. It is peaceful. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you like my ring! πŸ™‚ The FBI aren’t here, but the Aussie gov’t requires a background check from where you’ve lived for 12 mos or more. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the hug. XO

Krista - Thank you so much, Nina. I’m so glad it meant something to you too. πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - We sure do, dear Blaze!! How I’d love to meet you for dinner or coffee and talk interrupted for hours. I WILL write to you soon – I just need to get this paperwork done and then I’ll be free again. πŸ™‚ XO Love you too!!

thefisherlady - I am so very happy for you dear friend. I pray happiness and peaceful togetherness for you and Bear, along with all God’s many blessings. I have a very big smile on my face… brimming big with you both!

Krista - Thank you, dear Kari, I know you understand what a gift it is to belong and be loved. XOXO

Krista - I’m so glad you like it too, Laura. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Bess. πŸ™‚ I will definitely keep you posted. We can’t make plans yet, still waiting on visa details, but once they’re taken care of we will. πŸ™‚

Krista - Ohhh, you’re the best, Adriana! Thank you so much. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you’re back in my life again. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Jenny. πŸ™‚ I’m so very, very grateful. πŸ™‚

Krista - Dearest Andi – thank you with all my heart for your never-failing support and kindness. πŸ™‚ I would LOVE to have you photograph our wedding, but will have to keep you posted. πŸ™‚ Everything is hinging on visas right now. πŸ™‚ XO

Krista - I’m so glad these words meant something to you, Ronie Sue. It took me a while to express what was in my heart, but I felt such peace when I was done. πŸ™‚ love you!!!

Dawn Fox (Hill) - Congratulations! Wishing you a beautiful wedding day and a beautiful marriage too.

Bethany Bassett - Oh sweet friend, I am thrilled to pieces for you!! I love that last line — “I don’t belong to him, nor he to me, but we belong with each other, and that is the coziest, happiest, most peaceful thing.” My relationship with my husband has always felt more like a privilege than any kind of possession too, and I’m so happy that you and your guy have that together. SO happy!

Zory - Congratulations Krista, I’m so very happy for you!! Wishing you and your man many wonderful years together!! πŸ™‚

Christina Fields - Congratulations! This is a beautiful post filled with so much joy. I loved hearing your understanding and definition of belonging. So wonderful!

Tanya Lloyd - Beautiful Krista! What gorgeous news, oh my goodness, I am absolutely thrilled for you! Congratulations, you are so deserving of happiness and beyond. Big hugs and much love, Tan xx

Christy Mather - Congrats dear Krista! love this post!

katyabroad - Krista, dearest girl, I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear you and Bear are engaged! Please pass on my congratulations to him and tell him from me that he is one lucky guy πŸ™‚ I love that you chose such a unique ring, it suits you so well. What you said about belonging – that is really powerful. I am desperate to belong at the moment, to someone, to somewhere, and I don’t. But you’re absolutely right that it needs to be the right kind of belonging with the right person. That will give me the strength to wait a little longer. Lots of love xo

Chava Sonnier - I am SO happy for you!!! Wishing you endless joy and deliciousness… and thank you for your wise and gorgeous words about belonging with someone. Bear is truly blessed to belong with you!

Breanne Mosher - Darling, I am absolutely thrilled for you!! I have the biggest grin on my face when I think of you two. I appreciate the true words you wrote about belonging…so very true. We are SO happy for you and Bear. =)

Cathy Powell - Krista this is absolutely fabulous news. I’m so happy for you, congratulations. Your ring is just beautiful, and you went to such a gorgeous place to celebrate your relationship. All the best for your future with Bear πŸ™‚

Kristine Thomas - Krista! I am so happy for you!! This is fantastic. I love how you’re written your story. Lovely.

A Canadian Foodie - Congratulations, Krista!!!!
FINALLY. There is NOTHING like mature love. It is so peaceful, and comfortable, and right.
Traditional would not be your style, ring wise. Love your ring and this post. Am surprised the FBI are in Australia – that IS where you are, now, correct?

Nina Zinn - I am so very happy for you and “Bear”! I appreciated what you wrote on belonging and completely agree.

Blaze - We have so much to catch up on my dear friend! I’ve been following your adventures and hoping NYC would be in your travel plans, so I can get to see you! Congratulations on your engagement! I look forward to hearing all about your journey and this wonderful man that won your heart. Please get in touch soon! Love you, Blaze xoxo

Kari Murphy - Brought tears to my eyes… so very happy for you! You deserve nothing less than to be at peace… belonging πŸ™‚

Laura @Travelocafe.com - Congrats! You have got such a lovely ring.

Bess - Congrats to you both! You’re right, no relationship is easy, but a good one like you’re describing will bring you both a lot of happiness in the years to come. Looking forward to wedding details!

Adriana - Tears of joy for you precious Krista! (also — clapping, squealing, and a long sigh!)
Many blessings as you enter this new chapter with the one who nourishes your soul!
And I LOVE the ring! Yea! ❀

jenny@atasteoftravel - Congratulations Krista. I’m so happy and excited for you. I love your ring too. Peace and happiness are now yours

Andi Perullo - I have tears in my eyes I’m sooooooooooo happy for you two! I love that you picked out a non-traditional ring. I have one too! If we’re going to wear something most likely for the rest of our lives it should be what we pick out and something that we absolutely LOVE. I can’t wait to hear wedding details. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!

RonieSue Ullrich - So so so thrilled for you & Bear. MANY blessings as you prepare for your special day and life. Belongingwith’ not to’ thank you for capturing the exact words to what has my heart and mind…sort on the tip of my tongue. Thrilled to pieces for you my love!!!

Krista - Thank you, Christine!! πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Val!! πŸ™‚ It means a great deal to have you celebrating with me. πŸ™‚ xo

Christine - Many congrats! So happy for you πŸ™‚

bellini - What exciting news Krista. It warms my heart to see you so happy and to feel that sense of belonging to your friends and the land. Australia has a way about her.

Krista - Oh Jamie, thank you SO much for your wonderfully encouraging words. πŸ™‚ You put a huge smile on my face tonight. I’m so glad you like my non-traditional ring. πŸ™‚

Jamie - Oh beautiful beautiful!!! Congratulations, dear Krista and wishing you all the happiness in the world (what I don’t save for myself!). Your ring is stunning and I probably would have chosen something as unique, unusual and untraditional as well. The better to represent the special relationship you two have and your great adventure! Ah, I had to go through a tough parcourse as well so I could marry my Frenchman, but no fingerprints!! I am happy someone thought to take photos of the process πŸ™‚ Enjoy, darling, and you are so right about needing to belong… it changes your life. xoxox (hug)

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