This year I have:
Flown 34,596 miles. (Almost one and a half times around the globe). Gotten married. Tried to learn a new language. Read a lot of books. Celebrated friends' weddings, engagements, babies. Learned to live with a man. Got bangs. Had four bridal showers. Done original research in the third world. Thought about getting a dog. Thought about not getting a dog. Turned 24. Turned my facebook to timeline and couldn't change back. Gone skiing in my very favorite place, Whistler. Learned to make pimento cheese. Hiked in the foothills of the Himalayas. Moved into a yellow house with a white picket fence. Shopped at Anthro too much. Visited friends. Got a NC drivers license. Sent out my first Christmas card. Wrote 100,000 thank you notes...and counting. Changed my name to Elise Jordan Nelson (or "Coach Jordannelson" as Adam now calls me). Began taking vitamins regularly. Joined a new church. And attended my first ever Duke-UNC game, in Cameron.
(In no particular order)
What a year.
I also just lived. A healthy (mostly), active, gluten-free, grain-free (nearly), chaotic, crazy life.
And now it's about to be 2012.
I'm in the boat with my friend Marcy, in that I don't care too much about New Years. I think it's always a little anti-climactic. After all, the next day just comes, and you are still the same person living the same life.
But, kinda like Mondays, I do like the idea of the start to something a little bit new,
and markers that we can look back to, and forward to, to remember and count our blessings by.
Maybe I'll come up with some goals in the next day or two that I will try to use to define this next marker,
(I'm thinking about giving up red meat.)
But, maybe I won't.
Either way, Happiest of New Years to you all. And if nothing else, here is to another year of writing on this random little space of mine. 2012 resolution: Keep blogging!
This year I have:
The week after Christmas,
Usually my favorite.
Full of good sleep and good company.
New gifts to explore.
Shopping the sales.
First trip to the slopes.
Always takes place in Gig Harbor.
things are different.
I'm in Durham.
Adam's back at work.
it's been a sick week.
I guess that's what you get when you fly 3,000 miles for 2.5 days.
And sleep 10 hours over 4 nights.
Sick weeks mean:
Emergen-C, four times a day.
Trips to rite aid.
Being taken care of.
Lots of snuggle time in bed with my sweet husband, reading, watching Once Upon a Time, trying not to spread the love/sickness.
Lots of water, no coffee.
Despite the obvious icky factor,
This might sound crazy,
but there is something kinda nice about a sick week,
every once in awhile.
Not the being sick part,
but the little pleasures that being sick allows you.
Anyone else with me on this one?
Here's to health and activeness!
But, in the meantime, I think I'll finish my new book,
I can remember one Christmas Eve, when I was really young, being awake all night long waiting for the next morning. I'm pretty sure I didn't even believe in Santa anymore. But I was still so full of excitement because I really only wanted one thing that year, and I was pretty sure it was going to be waiting for me the next day:
My American Girl Doll.
It's the only Christmas gift I ever remember truly anticipating and waiting for.
I had asked for Addy:
We woke up Christmas morning and went through the usual routine of waking the parents, waiting to go downstairs, and finally being released to see what "Santa" had brought.
I didn't get Addy that year. Instead I got a note from Santa saying that He only had one Addy left and that there was a little African girl that wanted her too, and that he knew I'd understand and want her to have the last Addy. So instead, he brought me Kirsten.
I guess my mom just couldn't get her hands on an Addy doll. I don't know if I've ever asked her about it.
I, of course, was grateful for Kirsten too. But I will still never forget how long I had waited for Addy. And how it wasn't her that showed up.
This is kind of a silly story, but it came to my mind today when I was thinking about the anticipation of Christmas, and how sometimes, it just doesn't bring what you expect. There is always so much build up about family traditions, Christmas events, holiday parties, etc., but if you really think about, or at least when I did, I realized that it's not really the things that I most anticipate that make the moments surrounding Christmas so special, so meaningful.
See, I think it's really the things that God has brought you through to get to those moments that makes them so special. Let's see if I can wrap this up in a way that makes sense:
In the past year,
I have spent time in a country where hardly anyone knows Christ or His love for them. I have spent time with folks, even friends, here who don't know Christ's love for them. I have seen friends begin to get to know Christ.
I have joined a new church and built a strong Christian community of friends in Durham. I have become part of a new family, I have also started a new family with Adam. I have had a best friend at home be diagnosed with cancer 4 days before her wedding, go through chemo, and prepare for her final stage of treatment to start.
Our family has seen divorce and marriage, diagnoses and healing, love and hurtfulness, peace and chaos.
All since last Christmas.
And isn't this true of most families?
This year I think that it's these things that are going to really breathe meaning and life into the interactions we have at Christmas. Traditions may be similar, but the people in them come from different places each year. We all bring with us what we've been through. Good things, bad things,
But this is a beautiful thing about Christmas to me.
It's why Jesus came.
He came that we might have life and life abundantly.
And so that we could walk through this life with Him.
We come to Christmas full of anticipation and wonder why sometimes what we expected to come doesn't come. Rather, just some second hand version of it. Happiness in the moment, but perhaps not deep joy that satisfies.
I think what really fulfills us is when all of that anticipation points back to what brought us to this moment, or rather who brought us. That Christ has been with us through it all. And that He is with us still.
Well, more like this
-He has six sisters. 7 if you count my sister. So 7 sisters.
-When he was little he was addicted to Pepto Bismal. This disgusts me.
-Before our honeymoon he claimed that the new (2014) VW microbus was his dream car.
-He lived in New Zealand for a year and taught kiddie kiwis how to sail in the open water. He may never have come back to the US if his visa hadn't expired.
-He would rather be on the water than anywhere else in the world.
-He can't skateboard...or any other kind of board.
-He wears wool socks just about everyday.
-He hates sweater vests. My mom and I learned this the hard way.
-He wont wear any shirt that has a button down collar.
-He is extremely ticklish. More than me even.
-He takes very long showers.
-He pees his pants when he thinks about the new Batman movie coming out. I think it's replaced the Fiat 500 as his new obsessive conversation topic. In fact, the other night he took me to see Mission Impossible 4 on IMAX (at which we saw a preview for Batman) and when it ended instead of talking about how freakishly awesome MI4 was, all he could talk about was that Batman preview.
-The only time I've EVER gone to a midnight premier of any movie was when Adam wanted to go see Batman-The Dark Knight.
-I wonder how Batman would feel if he knew Adam had betrayed him and dressed as Superman?
-If I would let him, he'd wear shorts in the dead of winter.
And probably flip-flops.
With wool socks.
Ok, maybe not that.
-He writes incredibly sweet notes/cards/letters/thank yous. He puts a lot of thought into his words.
-The most beautiful thing he's ever written, was his vows. Made a complete mess of me.
-He would be just fine if TV didn't exist.
-He loves whiskey. This works since my dad and brother and uncles and mom and...well my family, they like whiskey too.
-He loves doing laundry! This is much appreciated.
-He tells the most detailed stories of anyone I know.
-He likes to surprise me. Also appreciated.
-He is a Husky...not those icky UConn Huskies. These ones:
-Elderly women have a thing for him.
Especially the elderly women in my family.
Particularly my Grandmom and my Great Aunt Bootsie.
-He is the sweetest husband. Just the sweetest. And I love him very much.
If you have a sweet husband too,
You should tell him so.
It's the week of Christmas.
(Christ-mas is all around us...and so the feeling grows..., BAH!)
How on earth did this happen?
Christmas is going to be different this year for a host of reasons:
-We're married. So there's that...
-We are in Durham for (most of) the Christmas season.
-Christmas shopping is now done as a unit.
-We will be splitting up our 2.5 days at home between 3 families (hence, the title).
-We watched Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time ever.
-We actually own Love Actually now, the movie we love to watch together this time of year.
-We will wake up on Christmas morning, together.
-(Then we'll wake up the next day at 3 AM to fly back to Durham...but, still together.)
Here's to first married Christmases!! Anyone?
Today: Two of my best friends come into town and they are staying until Wednesday!
Thursday: We are going to the first of the 4 Christmas weekend services at our church in Durham. If you live in Raleigh/Durham, here is my official invite: Come to one of the 4 services at Summit this Christmas. Times are listed below on these sweet inviter cards. They're all the same though...so just pick one.
Friday Morning: We leave Durham at 5:45 AM to fly to Seattle, where we'll be picked up and escorted to Gig Harbor for sibling Christmas photos with this talented lady. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad!!
Friday Evening: We help host the xth annual (I've totally lost count) Jordan Family Christmas party--this is inevitably the favorite event of the season for us.
Friday-Saturday Wee hours: We're hanging out with our "group" from high school. Some of our favorite friends in the world...
Saturday morning: Christmas Eve brunch with the Guilds (Adam's Mom's family)! So excited for this.
Saturday afternoon: Visit to the Nelson household to see Adam's Dad's family. Here, we'll get to visit with 3 of Adam's 6 sisters! Can't wait.
Saturday evening: Christmas Eve service at Harbor Covenant back in Gig Harbor with the Jordans/Agabas.
Sunday morning: CHRISTMAS!! Eating, Church at HCC, Eating, Presents, Eating, Games...Crashing. All with our best friends, the Prossers of course!
See what I mean...WHIRLWIND.
But, as is usually the case, the chaos will be beautiful.
And, one of my favorite parts is that (because I married into one of my best friends' family...) more of these events than not are going to be spent with this wonderful couple who we adore:
How are your holiday plans shaping up?
I don't know if they are as crazy as ours. Some of yours, probably will be.
But, like I mentioned a couple posts ago, I hope and pray that no matter how chaotic and whirlwindy this season is for you and yours...
Or me and mine,
that we'll all make a priority of finding time to just,
Be still and remember.
Be still and adore Jesus.
Be still, and be moved by the love God showed to us at Christmas.
Have a very merry week my friends.
Last night as Adam and I were laying in bed reading, he kind of started to smile at me and laugh.