Last time I was packing for Italy, Adam was with me and we were gearing up to say goodbye for 15+ months.

It was so exciting. My dream of living in Italy was about to come true.
But it was also bittersweet. Because I was leaving Adam. And he was about to move to New Zealand.

My, haven't times changed...

Today we are frantically cleaning the house, buying last minute things that we need for wedding week and for the honeymoon, checking things like

warm socks,
wedding rings,
camera battery chargers,
table numbers,
corner rounder,

off our lists. I'm sure we'll forget something! We leave in the morning for Virginia.

I just started packing all my cutest sweaters and boots into the same red suitcase that travelled to Italia with me last time. But now, Adam's brand new, dark teal, suitcase is sitting next to mine. And, He's coming too.

This time, we aren't about to say goodbye. Instead, we are about to get married. And go to sweet, sweet Italy. Together. As husband. And wife.



Christmas Eve

If the honeymoon phase comes just after the wedding,

Then the Christmas-Eve-when-you're-5 phase comes just before the wedding.

Everyday just seems sweeter and sweeter as the anticipation builds for our wedding next week.

Sunday we went mattress shopping and picked out our mattress. Adam flexed his bargaining muscles and got it for about $300 less than the marked price. (That's my man.)

Tuesday we had a small group pot luck at which the entire group spent time praying for us and the wedding, and the honeymoon, and our first year of marriage. What a community God has gifted us with here.

Wednesday I started to move some of my things over to Adam's house...!

Yesterday I TA-ed my last class as an unmarried woman and when I got home to Adam's house, this was hanging on the entry way to the kitchen:

Tomorrow is Adam's last day at work, and we leave late morning Monday for Virginia.

We thought that our 300-and-something day countdown would never get this low. But here we are, 8 days out.

For those of you who either are engaged, or will be engaged, let me just say, engagement is a time to treasure. It is so wonderful (even if it lasts almost a year...) It's a time to be:

Intentional in your pursuit of Godly wisdom,
Intentional in your pursuit of getting to know each other better,
Intentional in your pursuit of learning how to love the other selflessly,
Intentional in your pursuit of knowing God better and being more saturated with His great Love.

And, with true intentionality, it is just the sweetest time of growing closer, more prepared for marriage, and more and more anticipatory to begin married life. And before you know it...

It will be Christmas Eve.

And you won't be able to sleep because you know what is coming next, and the excitement is just too much to bear.

Trust me, because we're there.


Every Morning

Things that would make getting out of bed in the morning much easier:

-A remote to start the shower so that the water could start getting steamy.
-An alarm clock that could somehow sync with my REM cycle so I'd never wake up in the middle of one.
-Having it be light outside when I have to get up, rather than dark.
-An alarm clock that told my coffee maker to brew 8 minutes before it went off.
-Having said coffee maker within arm's length of bed.
-Going to bed at a decent hour.
-Not facing a 30-40 minute commute.
-Having a room that was as warm as my bed.
-Getting to wear PJammies any day I felt like it.

-Knowing that NEXT week I get to marry my very best friend. Oh, wait...!!!

What thoughts/liquid happiness/inspirations/prayers help get you out of bed in the morning?

Here are a couple verses that I like to remind myself of each morning. Hope they encourage you today. Happy Tuesday friends!

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life." Psalm 143:8



Adam and I have started going to Saturday night church.

For a couple of reasons:
1. Our pastor tells us all the time that we should so that we have more room for visitors in the Sunday morning services.
2. Most of of friends from church have switched to Saturday night.
3. It gives us a day of the week that we can sleep in, rest, and do fun random things like have picnics for breakfast.

Like this morning for instance. We both slept in until we felt perfectly well rested. Then, I decided that I would make us breakfast at Adam's (almost our) house, and that because the kitchen table is strewn with wedding project delights, we'd eat on the floor. Which we just got a rug for (Home Goods, you are our friend).

Wait, something's missing...

Ah yes, of course. The (non Elise-friendly) muffins. See GF cereal to right. Doesn't seem fair when you see the two side-by-side now does it?
Careful now...

"You didn't think l'd make it without dropping something did you..."

This is what it did to Ad. Note: 6 big muffins and 5 mini muffins later...
Not to mention the heavily depleted stick of butter.

As it turns out we also got to use a lot of our new wedding gifts for the breakfast, which was an unexpected treat! (See video below)

I think this church on Saturday night thing is really giving Adam and I a whole new sense of Sabbath. And so far, I like.

And, if anyone every wants to have a Sunday picnic...come find the Nelsons!


Dance Songs. Dance Moves.

This is a snapshot of my awesome family. In fact, it's one of my favorite pictures of us ever. It was taken at my cousin Chris' wedding. On the dance floor. Please take a moment to look at the ridiculous faces of each and every member. From Ad, to my dad, and my mom who is in her own world, to my brother who looks pained, to my sister and cousin Cae who, if we could see their faces, would look equally out-of-con-trol, and finally to me--who apparently has an urgent question.

So, one of the last tasks that Adam and I are working on,

(Besides, of course, our vows which are still not written...)

Is coming up with some CDs of good dancing music for the band's breaks. We love to dance. And I think a lot of people at our wedding love to dance. So we need some good music folks.

The Jordan family has a song that is our go-to dancing song. Whenever we hear it, no matter where or when, we have to stop and dance. This is mostly because of that fateful time years ago when my dad was dancing to it at a wedding and he made up the most awesome dance move in Jordan family history. At every wedding since, not only have we danced to this song...but we've gotten other people on the dance floor, in on Dad's super-awesome-oh-so-catchy move. Haha, it's actually just ridiculous. But we will always just keep rolling with it.

The Song: Billy Jean
The Move: It just can't be described.

So, bottom line, we need songs. And I was just wondering, what are some of YOUR favorite tunes to boogie to?
Does your family have any go-to grooves?
Help us out here!

This one was taken at my sister's wedding last summer. Note: everyone at the wedding is on the dance floor. This needs to be re-created in two weeks. So help us out with some tunes! Oh, and bring your dancing shoes.

And just for your viewing pleasure, here are my parents at my sister's wedding doing their other favorite dance move...

Don't know what to do with this information? Don't worry, neither do we.

Power to you parents.



There are nine girls that will be standing with me on October 29th. This may seem like a lot to you, but honestly, there were several more who I just as easily could have asked as well. 9 was with constraint.

I think I was just afraid of having double digits.

Which now that I think about it, is silly.

(But I also have a thing for perfect squares...)

Regardless, 9 of my best friends have agreed to be there with me.

3 are related to me.
4 are friends from home.
4 are friends from college.

2 are former NCAA athletes.
4 are graduates from Life Christian Academy.

3 are wives.

3 are teachers.

1 will only be standing with me in spirit because she just got stationed in Germany and can't take leave.

9 are beautiful. Inside and out.
9 love Jesus.
9 love me. Even when it's really hard to love me.
9 have challenged me in my faith in profound ways throughout the years.
9 have gone above and beyond to make me feel celebrated and supported during my engagement.

I could write pages and pages about these special women. Which I won't right here, right now. But, I do at least want to introduce you to them. Because they are worth knowing. Even if just on a blog.


-She is...My sister. And my best (female) friend.
-She lives too far from me in...Richmond, VA.
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Take turns going back and forth playing good songs for each other. Singing along and sporadic dance parties likely.
-My favorite thing she does is...Sing. Like no one's listening. Even though everyone is. Especially when she is leading worship.
-One great memory that I have with her is...The time she gave me my very first haircut ever. I don't actually remember this, but all I know is it "must have been her dream." And she must have thought I was her new toy doll. (She made such a fool out of me).
-The things that make me think of her are...Other people's sisters, red jeeps, red framed glasses on sixth graders, American girl dolls, hair accessories, high heels, my entire childhood, anyone from Africa, buckets, keeping it going for Dane Cook, sarcasm,
-Something that makes her so special is...She abides with Christ and bears fruit as a result. There is just no better way to say it.


-She is...One of my best friends from UVA and sorority sister!

-She lives too far from me in...Charlottesville, VA.
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Stay in when everyone is out but have no shame because while it looks like we're working we are really just playing around on our computers together. Text Twist!!
-One of my favorite things she does is...Her crazy contorted over-the-head-with-her-legs stretch. It's flabbergasting.
-One great memory that I have with her is...Last summer when she came out to Seattle, Adam took us sailing, and even though the water was freezing she jumped off the boat with me into the harbor to swim.
-Some things that make me think of her are...Gluten Free Snickerdoodles, Hillsong, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Track stars, Awesome hand-me-downs, Yummy candles, Purple.
-Something that makes her so special is...She loves Jesus and so she goes out of her way to serve others and show those she cares about most, Jesus' love. Even when it means being really brave, bold, and persistent.


-She is...One of my best friends from UVA and sorority sister!

-She lives too far from me in...Germany. Yup, THAT far.
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Go to Italy! And practice our Italian by ordering some yummy food and wine. Then we'd stroll along the streets holding hands.
-One of my favorite thing she does is...Pack her snacks for the day. It takes her about an hour to prepare and pack her daily supplies. She is the queen of having snacks with her at all time.
-One great memory that I have with her is...Senior year when she'd come get in bed with my in the mornings and snuggle and listen to Jon Foreman, until it was time to get up and go do Yoga together.
-Some things that make me think of her are...Walnuts, running, smiling, having someone to talk to while I shower, perfectly peeled hard boiled eggs, stinky cabbage, ice cream time, the AirForce, and Charleston.
-Something that makes her so special is...Her smile. There isn't another one like it in all of the world.

-She is...One of my best friends from UVA and sorority sister!
-She lives too far from me in...Falls Church, VA.
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Walk/Cartwheel on the beach. This girl loves the beach as much as I do, and then some.

-One thing I love that she does is...Plan things with people. She always wants to get people together and doesn't mind bouncing from place to place to make sure she doesn't miss out on anything.
-One great memory that I have with her is...When she came to Seattle with me for Spring Break of 3rd year and we went skiing in Whistler. She waited till we were on the slopes to tell me she'd never downhill skied before. And there and then the lessons began...
-Some things that make me think of her are...Sundresses, stretching, cinnamon, strange combinations of flavors, frolicking, the ocean, secret gardens, worship music.
-Something that makes her so special is...Her heart. I don't know if anyone in the world has a more beautiful heart than this girl.


-She is...One of my first and best friends from UVA.

-She lives too far from me in...Arlington, VA. On Nelson Street!
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Probably either get coffee, or go to church. Haha, can't you already tell why I love her so much?
-One of my favorite thing she does is...Blog! She is absolutely hilarious. Refreshingly honest. And a natural blogger. I read hers more than any other blog I follow. Easily.
-One great memory that I have with her is...Last Christmastime we visited the Porters together and we dressed up in all of Amber's old prom dresses and had a photo shoot. It. Was. Glorious.
-Some things that make me think of her are...Swimmers, blogging, mazdas, cars that yell at me for not buckling up, Taylor Swift, Bojangles, Porters, Portico, going to coffee with anyone else, cool jewelry, tall girls that work it.
-Something that makes her so special is...She is a phenomenal friend. And not just to me, but to many people. I honestly am wow-ed by how she maintains so many meaningful, deep, wonderful, intentional friendships. She is just the kind of person that everyone wants to be best friends with.

She is...One of Adam's and my best friends from High School.

-She lives too far from me in...Tacoma, WA.
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Meet for a gluten free dinner and wine, over which we'd talk a lot, laugh a lot, and always about things that really matter.
-One thing she does that I love is...Quote F.R.I.E.N.D.S. And then laugh at loud at said quote. No human has ever loved that show more than she does. And it is absolutely endearing.
-One great memory that I have with her is...Being a bridesmaid in her wedding a couple of years ago. The whole experience was a gift and SUCH an honor--from our "girls night out" a couple of weeks before, to looking at her wedding album and reminiscing a year later.
-Some things that make me think of her are...The eye of the tiger, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., any phrase/word that I was too naive to know what it meant, the numbers in my head and their position and/or color, spilled wine on carpet.
-Something that makes her so special is...Her grace. She lives, speaks, and treats people with such grace. And, she is so wise and knows how to articulate her wisdom so well to others, again, with such grace!


-She is...My cousin, and also, one of my dearest friends.

-She lives too far from me in...Alexandria, VA. (But what's your address again?)
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Probably find my sister Laura and just hang out. It wouldn't matter where we were or what we were doing because regardless we'd probably be acting ridiculous and having ridiculous amounts of fun. Unless, of course we were hiking.
-One thing she does that I love is...She makes time for family. She has always gone out of her way to visit and spend time with Laura and me and as a result, she has become like our third sister. A lot of cousins wouldn't do that. But she always has.
-One great memory that I have with her is...That time that Uncle Bob made her play with...I mean that time when we dressed up like the Spice Girls and danced to "The Barbie Song" in our annual family talent show. She was baby. I was Sporty.
-Some things that make me think of her are...Fishing bait, closed doors, Forrest Gump, GB, matching pajamas, people who breath loud when they sleep, Thanksgiving birthdays, Whistler and that "magical" room (wink wink).
-Something that makes her so special is...Her sense of humor. It is effortless and hilarious and I can never get enough of it.


-She is...One of my best friends/practically sister and has been since middle school.

-She lives too far from me in...Los Angeles, CA.
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Probably sit at my counter or on my deck drinking cocktails that are made special by Dr. J--catching up on life. Not missing a beat.
-Something she does that I love is...Speaks her mind. She is always honest and it's the MOST refreshing thing.
-One great memory that I have with her is...In high school we went on a mission trip to Costa Rica together. After sleeping in a stuffy attic with bugs and 15 other girls for a week, we went to the beach and had a room to ourselves. It was great quality time serving others together followed by quality time relaxing together.
-Some things that make me think of her are...People with good fashion, frosted Christmas trees, sitting at my kitchen counter, Harry Potter, mid-night premiers, LA, Jettas--especially if they are teal, Mommys and their daughters, great, great jeans.
-Something that makes her so special is...Her loyalty. I mean, fierce loyalty. If she is your friend, she will defend you to the end. But she's not afraid to call you out on things that you need to hear either. It's the best combination.


-She is...One of my best friends from High School and on October 29th she will become my sister in-law too!
-She lives too far from me in...Bellingham, WA.
-If we were going to do one thing together we'd...Go strolling in the park by the water, maybe get coffee, then definitely get ice cream.
-One thing I love that she does is...She makes all of the cards she ever sends me by hand. And they are the coolest, artsiest, sweetest, dearest cards ever. Who takes the time to do that anymore?? (No pressure Em...but just saying, I do love it.)
-One great memory that I have with her is...When she came and spent her senior year Spring Break with me at UVa. The WHOLE week. It was amazing. We even snuck in a weekend trip to the nation's capital! And a few baseball games...
-Some things that make me think of her are...Star wars, M&Ms, banana bread, her brother, cute printed tees, stuffed animals that have names and personalities, being "cool", breaking apples in half with our bare hands, good hugs, pillow talk.
-Something that makes her so special is...She has an attitude of confidence that I see in few other people, much less young women. She is so comfortable with who she is. It results in this totally free spirit that just makes you want to not care what others think either, and just be yourself.

Well, there they are. This might be my longest post ever. But introducing you to these girls--that's about the best use of blog space-age I could think of!

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