Comments on Being Married

Today marks Adam's and my first month of being married. I'm not sure the 29th of any month will ever pass without me remembering standing across from him at that alter.

I feel like I know very little about this crazy little thing called marriage, but here are a few comments on my experience with it so far:

-Living together is the best. It just is.

-It took me about two seconds to get used to being with Adam around the clock. Now, I actually miss him when he is gone all day. And, because I work mostly from home, I think it makes it worse. It may be mild separation anxiety. And it makes me feel pathetic.

-My dad has always made my mom coffee in the morning when she's still in bed. Adam does this for me. It makes me feel very married. And taken care of. And caffeinated.

-We enjoy discovering one another's little quirks that you only notice when you live together. Adam talks in his sleep and steals the covers. I (apparently) flare my nose occasionally when I'm sleeping, forget to unplug my hair appliances, and I can't sleep unless the bedroom door, bathroom door, and closet door are all shut. May these quirks always remain small and not annoying.

-It's funny to stay in the same room together at Grandmom's for the first time...

-Getting your name changed might be emotionally hard for some. But it's also just hard. So many offices. So many papers. And so many people to contact and inform. But, I am officially no longer Elise Leighann. I am now Elise Jordan Nelson. I even passed the NC driver's license test. Mamma says I'm bonafide...

-We have established our "places" at the table. We always sit in our place. Except when the table is so full of work and thank-yous that we eat on the floor in our family room. We don't really have our floor "places" yet. It's only been a month.

-I've wanted a dog since the 2nd grade. But, now that I'm married I feel like getting a dog means we're heading toward wanting children. We. Are. Not. I just really want a dog. And I hope we get one soon(ish).

-We're holding our breath for our wedding photos and wedding video to be finished. We fully anticipate losing an entire day of productivity when we receive them.

-Having a partner in everything is comforting in the most inexplicable way.

-Being married is a daily reminder that our ability to love is a gift. A very precious gift. Adam said it brilliantly in his vows when he said, "My vow, and my life's prayer, is for our marriage to live in the truth that our freedom to love has been purchased by Jesus Christ...and in no way did we ourselves earn this divine privilege." Talk about something to be thankful for--the gift of being capable of loving.

-I will always remain convinced that the best way to love each other better is to each abide daily with God. Adam and I both ended our vows with, "Adam/Elise, as your husband/wife, may I always remain your second love, so that God may always remain your first." Even after only a month, I'm willing to say that this is key. And it's hard.

So on this 29th I can conclude with the fact that:

I love marriage.
I love my husband.
And I love this sneak peak photo from Eric Kelley Photography.



I'm feeling a little bit apologetic this Monday morning, so I thought I'd just get a few things off my chest:

1. To anyone who sat at table 3, 13, or 23 at my wedding: I found all of the little wooden 3s in our cabinet when I got back to Durham. I'm sorry that you had no table numbers. It didn't reflect how much we love you.

2. To my wedding coordinator Katie: I'm sorry for stressing you out by forgetting all of the 3s.

3. To anyone who has sent us a wedding gift and not received a Thank You yet: We're sorry and we're working on them! But just know, WE'RE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR GENEROSITY. Truly, overwhelmed.

4. To my mom's friends Sheri and Lynne and my friend Lauren: All of your thank yous from my showers came back to me. I don't know why. But please know I sent them and I love you!

5. To UNC: I'm sorry for the feelings of joyfulness that pervaded my soul when you lost to UNLV on Saturday despite being ranked no. 1.

6. To my Christmas tree: I'm sorry for the pitiful job I did of putting your lights on. As soon as I have some time to run back to Target I'll make you prettier. Promise.

7. To my body: I'm sorry that I haven't run in a month and you are feeling yucky, full of Italian food, gelato, and Thanksgiving, and completely dreading that first run back. (Later today?)

8. To my house: I'm sorry that you look like people have been packing and unpacking continuously, you have wedding gifts that we don't know where to put yet all over the place, and now we are adding to the chaos by placing a needle-shedding tree in the center of your family room.

9. To anyone who left me a voicemail between November 16th, and November 25th when I finally got around to listening to them. There were 11 of you...I'll call each of you back very soon.

10. To God: I'm sorry for lying and saying I was sorry for #5, when I'm obvisouly not.

Nothing like starting out Monday with a clean slate. Ahh.

Happy Monday Friendlies!! I hope that your Thanksgivings were delightful and that your bellies are still full.



This morning I'm baking, packing, and drinking coffee...preparing to hit the road to Grandmom's a little bit later.

Yes I'm still in my jamies. This probably won't change for the next 2-6 hours.

In our family, we have a few staples that must appear on every Thanksgiving table. As, I'm sure, most families do. These recipes are our go-tos. And they never fail us.

Today, I'm working on one of them. I love the history of this recipe in my family:

I love to bake.
I always have.
And, when I lived at home and lived off my parent's grocery bills, I was a mean-(not-so-lean)-baking machine. And so one day I stumbled across the Williams-Sonoma Pies and Tarts cookbook. Anyone else have this one? It's an absolute must-have for my kitchen.

When I first got this book (circa age 16) I decided to have everyone in the family go through and mark with a sticky note one pie they really wanted me to make at some point. These stickies are still in my book, each with one of my family members names on it. I love this.

My Dad's post-it still marks page 48-49: Cranberry Chess Pie. Mmmm.

That year for Thanksgiving I decided to give my dad his wish pie, and so I baked my first Chess Pie. And it stuck. (Not to the pan). The combination of the cranberries, orange zest, apple cider vinegar, and whole-fat buttermilk...just jibed with my family's taste buds that year and it became a holiday pie tradition. And since then, it has always graced our Thanksgiving table. And our Christmas table for that matter.

So there is one of ours. What is one of yours? What are you most excited to be baking/making this Thanksgiving?

Today, I'm feeling really thankful for traditions, family, and Cranberry Chess Pie.


The Soundtrack.

I have had several people tell me how much they loved the music at our wedding.

Ahhhh, those words are music to my ears because music is one of Adam's and my major love languages/life obsessions. In fact [major side note] one of my favorite memories ever was years and years ago when my sister, Adam, and I laid on our kitchen floor for about 2 hours just listening to the best songs we could play for each other. Susan Tedeschi "Angel From Montgomery." Anyone? That was definitely on the playlist that day. [End side note].

So first, I have to give a HUGE shout out to the Portico Band who learned and performed all of the music for our ceremony, led by the rock star John Boggs himself. God has blessed these folks with musical talent and precious hearts of worship.

Secondly, I want to share again the music we chose. Each song was chosen for a very specific reason, but mostly they were all chosen for one over-arching reason: They really tell the story of God's love and point to the one whom our wedding day was actually about.

"Your Love is Strong", by Jon Foreman. [Seating of Mothers, Lighting of Candles, Grooms Entrance]
"How He Loves", by David Crowder Band. [Bridesmaids' and Bride's Entrance]
"How Great Thou Art" [Congregational Hymn]
"How Deep The Father's Love" [Congregational Hymn]
"Come Thou Fount" [Sung by my sister and John during communion and unity candle]

Oh, and Adam and I danced our first dance to Brooke Fraser of course: "Sailboats."

I had one friend tell me that she went home and made a playlist of the wedding. Highest Compliment Ever.

I hope these songs bless your day today, and any day, and that you can't listen to them without being awed by God's love.

Happy almost Turkey Day Friends. Today, I'm thankful for beautiful music!


Our First Fight

No, not Adam and me.

We're totally still in honeymoon phase...

I'm talking about another important relationship in my life:

Me, and

I don't even know if I can say its name right now...

Whole Foods.

I love WF. And it knows that. It catered our wedding, caters regularly to my gelato addiction, served me coffee in the mornings when I lived in Raleigh and had to commute, and, has been the provider of many-a-delicious gluten free pizza.

Just yesterday I was talking with a girlfriend about the food at our wedding. Walking through each dish, each appetizer, and, my oh my, that gelato...we were hungry just thinking about it.

But, today I went to grab a few things I couldn't find at Kroger for a dinner party tonight and when they rung me up I was on the verge of a screaming, weeping, pull-my-hair-and-tear-my-clothes kind of melt down.

Throw in some gnashing of teeth too and it wouldn't be an exaggeration.

I know their food is good quality. I know that it looks pretty, tastes delicious, and supports local farmers. I know that animals are treated better, raised more healthily, and sold fresher. These are all things I believe in strongly. But, holy moly folks. Do they really have to charge THAT much for it?


I'm sure we'll make up.

Next time I'm in need of an evening gelato run.
An early morning coffee.
Or, heaven forbid, some hard cider and GF pizza.

But today, today we are in a fight. A big fight.

And I'm not saying sorry first.


On Honeymooning, Part Three

On Taking Photos of Yourselves:

When you are a full foot or more apart in height, taking pictures of yourselves can be hard. This is something Adam and I have yet to master. But I know it's possible. Maybe someday...

I get super shy asking people to take photos of us though. So, it was what we resorted to 99% of the time. The result was almost always one of the following:
A.) I have no chin.
B.) I look like a floating head.
C.) Adam's hair (and those think, lovely, golden locks) get cut off.
D.) I am in Adam's shadow.
E.) The shadow of our arms shows up on our bodies.

What does it take to master this? Anyone?


A. & B.

A. & B.

A. & B.

C. & E.

We did manage one or two good ones. But never on the first try.

Now that's a little better.

On Having A Stalker:

Adam took most of our pictures. And so, most of our pictures are of my backside walking around Italy. If someone were to look through them, it would look suspiciously as if I was either his tour guide, or, he was my dedicated stalker. You decide:

On Coming Home and Living Together:

It's Bliss.

And Lastly,
On The Value of Taking a FlipCam On Your Honeymoon:

Do it. Even if you have to borrow one. It's the most exciting vacation you'll ever take (I'm convinced) and it's fun to be able to film random moments, scenery, meals, etc...that are so hard to recreate, even with photos. We have already watched most of the footage from ours and reminisced about it all. As a finale, here are a few of our favorite clips:


On Honeymooning, Part Two

On Morruzze:

Morruzze has 55 people. No commercial business. One old castle. One well. And enough charm to steal anyone's heart. The only directions we had for our villa, was to turn Left into the village of Morruzze. Turn Left at the well. And follow the road behind the castle. And as it turned out, that was all the directions it took. The 5 nights that we spent in this tiny village, were 5 of the most special. Morruzze is in the middle of the Umbrian countryside, up on a hill, surrounded by a cluster of other small Umbrian villages. The remoteness was exactly what we wanted to begin our honeymoon with. And remote it was.

On Driving in Italy:

Such mixed feelings rise in my heart and my stomach when I reflect on this topic. Let's make a list:

-Romantic Views. Check.
-Cute little Fiats to drive. Check.
-Crazy maniac drivers with no regard for speed limits, lanes, or other vehicles on the road. Check.
-Google directions that were written by someone who has clearly never been to Italy. Check.
-Lack of Street signs or otherwise helpful indicators of where the heck you are. Check.
-Curvy roads that people seem to think are raceways. Check.
-The impossibility of navigating well, but the magic to somehow always pop out where you need to be. Check.

Everyone says to avoid driving in Italy if at all possible when you are vacationing. To which I would answer: Try staying in a remote village in the middle of nowhere, with no commercial businesses, and not having a car. Impossibile! Plus, Adam has never had so much fun driving when we were out in the countryside. He threatened countless times to steal the little Fiat and bring it home with us. Along with all of the roads and scenery. Call it The Italian Job part II.


We returned our car in the first major city we went to and depended on our feet and trains from there on. But, we had to drive into the city to return it. Most stressful 2 hours of the trip. End of story.

On Italian Food:

Eat it. As much as you can. As often as you can. Do not be ashamed to order an Antipasti, a Primo, a Secondo, a Dolce, and an Espresso. Oh, and of course a litre of the house wine. There is nothing so simple, and yet, so sensational as the Italian's method of combining flavors and creating food. Il cibo. Il cibo delizioso. We ate. And ate. And ATE. And when Adam ordered delicious things that were not Elise friendly (Um, pizza, pasta, panini, bread...), I would close my eyes and he would describe the taste of it to me in great detail. He even let me smell it. And when I opened, I somehow felt a little more satisfied and a little less bitter toward my completely pathetic digestive system. But despite my dietary limitations, you better believe I still ate well. And often. And much. (See next topic).

On The Appropriateness of Eating Gelato:

Breakfast time.
Lunch time.
Dinner time.
Dessert time.
Snack time.

There is never a wrong time to eat gelato. And there is no wrong flavor. The only wrong flavor is to order only one flavor. Even if you are ordering a piccolo. Adam almost always chose something chocolatey and paired it with either caramel or something fruity. Stracciatella paired with either Coffee or Coconut was my delight. Except when I was eating it before 10 AM--in which case I got strawberry and lemon. Mmmm.

Can you taste it yet? If Adam were here he would let you close your eyes and he'd describe it to you. And you'd almost be able to taste it's goodness. But honestly, just go to Italy and try it for yourself. Really. Nothing compares.

Do you feel like you've been on our honeymoon yet? Well, I'm pretty sure there is still more to come...


On Honeymooning, Part One

The name of my blog is based off of a Kahlil Gibran quote from his poem, The Prophet. In the poem he speaks about many topics. And each chapter is titled, "On ___". On Love. On Friendship. On Eating and Drinking...

I found this to be an acceptable, and perhaps the easiest, means to approach my honeymoon blog posts. It's hard to summarize the most brilliant trip of your life. But here goes my attempt:

On Having Someone To Travel With:

I hate traveling alone. Especially Internationally.

But, even if your flight is 1.5 days late, your baggage gets lost even when you haven't flown anywhere yet, the airline gives you a whopping $6 voucher for food to say sorry, and all you want to do is scream...

It all seems okay when you are traveling with your husband. And you don't have to figure it all out by yourself. And you realize that you don't have to be in Italy to begin your honeymoon. Because you are together. And so, the where isn't as important.

[Not to mention you can: Sleep on them on the plane. Not feel bad about asking the person next to you to move so you can go to the bathroom. Not get skipped over by the beverage cart because you dozed off for 10 seconds. Not have to take all of your carry-on luggage into the bathroom with you at the airport. And always have someone to play games with, watch movies with, and snuggle with to make the flight pass quickly.]

On Speaking Italian Again:

The first night we were there I had my first true test: How much Italian had I lost over the past few years? We were hungry. My sweet new husband desperately needed the "Toilette," and we were in the middle of nowhere Italy trying to find our village (of 55 people) in the dark. Finally we came across a village that had exactly one store. And exactly no English in their vocabulary. Understanding how desperate our situation was, I put on my Italian stride and entered the small store. I walked up to the counter and said in my best Italian:

"I only speak a little Italian, but my new husband really needs a bathroom, and food. Please and thank-you."

The little lady behind the counter chuckled, directed Adam toward the bathroom, and continued to engage me in conversation (completely in Italian) while I waited. Afterward, she complimented me on my Italian, made me a much needed espresso, heated due panini for Adam, and sent us on our way.

I hardly wanted to speak a word of English after that. And I hardly did. And I'm still speaking in Italian even at home. What a precious gift to have such a beautiful language come right back to you.

On Hearing Your Dear Husband Begin to Speak Italian:

Before we left I tried to give him lessons. But it just didn't sink in. Until,

We arrived,

And I think the country, and all its many charms, swept him away.

And suddenly he was practicing the little Italian he knew and trying to learn more. By the time we left he was speaking as much as he could in Italian.

And it made my heart melt to hear that handsome sweet man speak the most beautiful language in the world.

More to come. It's good to be back my friends.



The Prayer

Greetings world. Or should I say, Ciao Amici!

Late last night Adam and I arrived home from our honeymoon in Italy.

How sweet it was to arrive at the Nelson residence. Two Nelsons.

Indeed, we have much to blog about, but to begin I want to return to a precious moment of our wedding ceremony. I'd like to share with you the prayer that my father prayed over the two of us as we stood at the alter in Charlottesville two weeks ago. It is the prayer that my grandfather, who was a minister, prayed over my parents at their wedding, as well as many, many others at theirs.

It might be the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. There are usually few dry eyes when it's read.

And as we begin this marriage, we humbly pray this prayer in our own hearts each and every day, never forgetting the One who remains always at the center of our lives, and our marriage.

"Our gracious and sovereign God, we rejoice that you have sealed this marriage today between Elise and Adam, recognizing that you ordained this day in their lives from before the foundations of the earth itself. Their joys in Life are now doubled since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other, and their burdens now are halved, since by sharing them they divide the load.

Bless my son-in-law Adam, in his new role as my daughter Elise’s earthly provider and protector. May Adams’s strength be Elise’s protection, may his character be her boast and her pride, and may he so live that she will find in him the sanctuary for which the heart of a woman truly longs.

Bless my daughter Elise as she becomes Adams’s loving wife. Nurture the tender and compassionate spirit that you have already given her, and promote in her an ever deepening sense of faith in Thee. Grant her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, and grant her that special eternal youth that is found by holding fast to the things that never age.

O God, I ask that Adam and Elise as a couple not expect of each other the perfection that belongs alone to Thee. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s points of virtue and strength, and may they treat each other with the same mercy and grace that you have already extended to them as the Savior of their Souls.

And now O Father, in the wisdom of your overarching Providence and Sovereignty, I beseech you to make such assignments to Adam and Elise on the scroll of Thy will as will bless them and develop their characters as they walk together. Give them a great and heroic spiritual purpose in life together, as a couple. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them compassionate towards others, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Thine, and yet enough of success to make them sure they walk with You, O God. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, recognizing that all of the other things of lasting eternal significance shall be added unto them by Your merciful hand.

May they never take each other’s love for granted, but rather be vigilant and zealous to safeguard this precious gift of marriage that You have provided for them. And for all the years ahead, may they look back on this wedding day and recognize with wonder and awe that of all their married days, this was the one on which they loved each other the least.

And finally, when this physical life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, still hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May they serve Thee happily, faithfully, together always, until at last one shall lay the other into your arms, O God.

This lifetime shepherding of Elise’s and Adam’s married life we lay before you now at its very beginning, and we place these requests before you in humility through Jesus Christ, our merciful Redeemer, and the Eternal protector of our souls.

And all God’s people said 'Amen'. "

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