What Now?


Yesterday marked 3 months of being engaged. And as the day passed I was thinking two things:


1) I'm feeling entirely ridiculous that in the first three months we have literally planned the WHOLE wedding. And
2) We're going to be engaged for 8 more months...Really?

To prove to you the absurdity of all of this, here is our 3-month progress report:

Date and Time...Check
Guest list...Check
Wedding party...Check
Wedding Coordinator...Check
Ceremony Venue...Check
Reception Venue...Check
Officiant...Check
Ceremony Band...Check
Reception Band...Check
Photographer...Check
Videographer...Check
Hair/Makeup artist...Check
Engagement photos...Check Check. We've had some made at home and some in Charlottesville.
My dress purchased...CHECK!
Adam's suit pick out...Check (pretty much)
Bridesmaids dresses purchased...Check
Trying on wedding bands...Check
Save the Dates/Invites designers...Check
Registries...Check (Well, at least partially)
Website...Check (Will post this soon)
First dance song...Check
Ceremony songs...Check
Starting pre-marital counseling...Check
Caterer/Menu decided...Check
Hotel blocks booked...Check
Planning our dream honeymoon...Check (whether or not we'll be able to do it, still unknown.)
Starting to plan where people will sit and how tables will be laid out...yup, Check.

See what I mean? Absurd right? It's just, when you are this excited for something, it's really hard to NOT want to plan it and think about it incessantly.

I am sure there are things that I forgot to even include on this list. But it does a nice job of starting to illustrate why I'm not sure what to do for the next 8 months...

I guess I can just enjoy my fiance, engagement, and this season of anticipation!





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LAUR-day


Today is a special day...for several reasons.
One, is that I am leaving Durham and going to the great state of Virginia.
Two, is that it's a perfect square day. Which always excites me.
Three, it is going to be 70 degrees, again!
But Four is the most important. Four is that it is LAUR day.

You see, I have two wonderful, special, couldn't-live-without-em friends who were born on this day 23 years ago.

Meet Lauren


Meet the real Lauren...



Meet Laura

Meet the real Laura...




Yes, I know they are both gorgeous. But come back now and focus so I can finish this post...

These two girls have been great friends to me since college.
They've spoken truth and wisdom into my life in times when I've needed it.
They've encouraged me when others didn't or couldn't.
They shared Christian fellowship with me.
They've broken bread with me. And dessert.
They've broken wine with me...
They've been silly with me, and serious with me.
They love God and constantly encourage me in my faith.
They are both so much FUN. It's true.
They love people so well. Even me. And that's hard to do sometimes. Actually, a lot of the time.

And even though I rarely get to see either of them anymore...
They have both been so adamant about calling me regularly since we stopped living in the same town (even though I am often really hard to get in touch with...)

Yes, I know they are both beautiful looking.

But they also ARE beautiful.

If you know a LAUR- who is as awesome as these two...you should call them today and wish them a happy perfect square day. And then, tell them you love them.

As for me:

Dear Lauren and Laura,

I love you so much. Thanks for being two of my best friends. HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY! It's not that old, trust me. I've been here awhile. Xo.

Elise

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A Project Preview...

As I sit here and blog on this sunny Monday morning, my fingers are stained with a perfectly lovely shade of dark teal. I spent a good portion of last night and this morning scrubbing, but I can't seem to get it all off. You see, this weekend, we did a project. A really cool project.

I can't tell y'all what it is quite yet...because it's kind of a surprise. But it consumed a large portion of our weekend and involved things like:

***********************************
-Large pieces of wood.
-A salesman who was doing "extraordinarily well, thank you."
-"Our first...ceiling fan?"
-Cramming lumber into Cameron.
-Splinters in our rumps and feet.
-Paint on our faces, fingers, and floors. Also on Adam's new wool socks.
-Discovering our artistic sides.
-Disney colors.
-Scissors.
-Stencils.
-Gooey paper.
-Power fingers.
-Tifts.
-Cackles.
-Dinner on the floor.
-Tea all over the couch.
-Quality time creating something beautiful for our wedding. :)

******************************************

Intrigued? Maybe. Probably not.
But, just for the record, it's a masterpiece.
(At least to us)
And it made for a fun few days.


Now, it's Monday morning.
But my colorful fingers are still clinging to the weekend.


Have a lovely week my friends.




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Why, Hello.



Ahhh, Heeeelllo Sunshine!

As noted in a previous post, I have had this really bad itch for Spring to arrive. I've been real patient. But now, I'm really and truly and honestly and earnestly...ready for Spring. And today, friends, it is sun-shiney with a glorious temperature of 77 degrees. I'm not lying.
I'm so happy I could scream. Or eat ice cream. Or something.

When the sun starts to come out and the weather starts to warm up I just get cooky and giddy and things like this start happening:

-I wear short sleeves and shoes without socks. And before long I've ditched the shoes (barefoot = best) and rolled up the legs of my jeans.

-I walk home from campus rather than taking the bus.

-I try to hold an automatic sliding door for someone at the grocery store.

-I listen to the radio in my car rather than my ipod and belt out "All I wanna doooo is have some fun" with Sheryl Crow when she comes on. Windows down of course.

-I wear my favorite big green sunglasses (cause I NEED them!) that my Mamma and I found on sale at Anthro over Christmas. (Note: There is a reason that it's easy to find sunglasses on sale in Seattle...)


-I open the windows and doors of my apartment so it, too, can get filled with the happy-goodness of sunshine and warmth.

-I don't clean my room and change my sheets like I do most Friday afternoons, because I have one of those rooms that's inside.

-I don't listen to music while I'm making a dessert (tirimisu!) for a dinner party tonight. I usually always listen to music while I bake. But today is sunny and warm and my windows and doors are open and instead I listen to all the sounds and happenings on my street right now. Sunshine brings out lots of lovely sounds: Like birds, and kids playing, and laughter, and the ice cream truck. This is TRUE music to my ears.

-I accidentally put 6 cups of sugar instead of 6 Tablespoons of sugar in my tirimisu...whoops!

-I blog...while sitting on my front porch. :)

-I put my sunflowers (that are still looking beautiful a week later) out on the porch with me so that they can soak up some of this sunshine too.

Sunflowers, meet Sunshine.


The seven of us (Me + 5 Sunflowers + Sunshine) all wish you a very merry Friday. Even if it's not sunny and 77 degrees where you are, I hope that something bright fills your day and your spirit as you exhale and get ready for the weekend.

We'll leave you with this verse from the Psalm I studied this week:

"For the Lord God is a SUN and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Psalm 84: 11.

Peace and Prayers and Popsicles,

Elise



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C-O-I?


Today in my Research Ethics course we learned about Conflict of Interest (COI).

This is ironic because today is the day that UVA (my alma mater) and Duke (the Type of blood that runs through my family's veins) are playing each other. In fact they're playing right now.

I feel like this should be a perfect example of conflict of interest. Yet, it's not. I'm fully-heartedly rooting for my Blue Devils. Duh. Even when I was at UVA I rooted for Duke in basketball (see pictures below). I can't help it.



This was my first year when we actually got beat by UVA with a buzzer beater by Singletary. Sad, sad moment. This was the first time I ever saw Duke play in person. That grey shirt I have on underneath is my Cameron Crazie shirt...and that blue #1 on my face is for Duke. Sneaky huh?
(My friend and our wedding photographer, Eric Kelley, took this pic.)


By fourth year...I was just sporting the Duke pride without shame. And that cute thing next to me is my Grand-little. Love you Jaclyn!


The real COI is that I have an Epi exam due in the morning which I need to be working on but again, the game is on. Hmmmm, what should I do........
.
.
.
.
.
Oh, commercial is over, got to go! Go Devils!


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Whole (Lotta) Foods


Adam and I are not big fans of Valentine's Day.

We just aren't.

Plus, WE'RE ENGAGED! So let's be honest, everyday kinda feels like Valentine's Day.

But there is something we've been dying to do and couldn't justify it any other day because of the tightness of our budgets currently...so we did it.
Yesterday.
On Valentine's Day.

There is this Whole Foods in Chapel Hill that is about twice as big as any WF I have ever been to. And their cafe has so much good food that I don't know how people actually grocery shop there without getting distracted and just sitting down and feasting.

Background #1: Adam and I love WF.
Background #2: WF is catering our wedding (yep yep).

So...we decided to go and get some of every kind of food that looked good in their entire cafe and have a feast at Whole Foods. This is the kind of thing we always dream about splurging on but can never justify doing. Well friends, we used the holiday we dislike to justify something that we love. Is that wrong? Probably.

We made pigs of ourselves. And boy did it taste good.




But the best part...afterward we went back to their gelato bar for dessert. And WF gelato bar is our weakness.
(In case you are wondering, WF will also be doing a gelato bar at our wedding. Heaven.)




So in a nutshell, it was kind of like a wedding dinner preview. Except we actually got to EAT the food. Which I hear you don't do much of at your actual wedding.

Perhaps not the traditional V-Day. But it was perfect for us.


And aren't these lovelies just looking prettier by the day? (And apparently getting a lot of face time on my blog.)


They are also from WF.
WF might be doing our flowers too...
Again, we REALLY love WF.

Happy second half of February y'all. Xo.


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BHLDN




I'm a bride-to-be.


I'm obsessed with Anthropologie.

Today is Valentine's Day and Anthro launched their BRIDAL shop.

It's a happy day.

Y'all should go check out this beautiful addition to the lovely world of Anthropologie.

Meet me there...because you know that's where I'll be!


But in the meantime...here's a sneak peak.






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Better One, Than a Thousand



Today as I'm sitting here blogging (for the second day in a row which is a record for when I'm at school) Adam is sitting across from me on the other couch (note: his computer is making this really loud motoring/buzzing/hissing sound because it's old and working too hard, and I'm trying not to act annoyed about it...) and I'm thinking about a passage from the Psalm that we are studying this week in my small group--Pslam 84. The Psalm starts out by saying "How lovely is your dwelling place LORD almighty. My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the LORD..." and a few verses later gets even bolder and says, "Better is ONE DAY in your courts, than A THOUSAND elsewhere."

Sometimes I limit myself to thinking of God as Refuge from danger, and very present help in trouble. In fact, this truth is in the Psalm that we studied last week (46). But, I fail to remember that he is not just an escape from harmful things, he is somewhere where I should want to be more than ANY other place. Sure when I'm in danger, I'd rather be somewhere safer. Wouldn't you? But when I think about the places that bring me immense joy, peace, restfulness, excitement, I don't often think about needing to escape to God as a refuge. But this Psalm says better is one day in God's court, than a thousand days ANYWHERE else.

Better than a thousand days here:


Home--Gig Harbor, WA?

Mt. Rainier?


The Outer Banks, NC?

Capri, Italy?


San Gimignano, My favorite town in Tuscany?


Rawnada, with Sister?

Mexico?

Skyline Drive...in the Fall?

Wait, does this count for here too??

Charlottesville?

Or here??

Or HERE??

"Yes Elise, better is ONE day in My courts than a thousand days in any of these places you love. Don't you realize, I created each and every one of these? I know what beauty is. I created beauty. I embody beauty!

So, how much more beautiful must it be to dwell in My presence; in MY dwelling place?

Yes Elise, better is ONE DAY, than a thousand elsewhere. Period."

May you dwell in God's presence today, in this coming week, and always. And may your heart yearn and faint for the day that you will see Him in His dwelling place.



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