chasing the wind

last week might have been the craziest week of my life. 

-monday we put an offer in on our first home. my in-laws were in town visiting from washington.

-tuesday our offer was countered. big time.

-wednesday i didn't get the job i was sure i would get. we decided not to pursue the house any longer.

-thursday i got an email from someone at duke about a different position.

-friday i was offered a job. we put a counter offer on the house that evening.

-saturday morning i threw a baby shower.

-saturday afternoon we had more out of town company arrive.

-saturday evening we went back and forth with the sellers and finally agreed on an offer.

-sunday we went and played around in our new town--apex, nc. and celebrated our ninth month of marriage.

yesterday i was watching this guy and this lovely lady's two year old son. as we played thomas the train, ate animal crackers, and went on a walk to the fire station, i tried to wrap my mind around the difference between this monday and last. and how much had changed and happened in one week.

nothing happened for so long. then it did, all at once. have you ever experienced that?

the past few months of unemployment have tested my faith in God's timing and intimacy. they have also tested my pride, selfishness, and impatience. (just being honest.) the entire time our prayer has been that we would hold everything loosely, except Christ. even the things we want badly. we're studying ecclesiastes right now solomon's and conclusion seems to be this:

everything apart from God is meaningless--a chasing after the wind.

new house. new job. suddenly things are moving at full speed. but i'm praying that i keep chasing after Christ and not get swept away by the novelty of it all. 

that i'd keep chasing the giver and not the gifts.

have you ever had to learn this?


comments on being married, month nine

adam and i got married at a place called the haven. it's an old church that has been turned into a homeless ministry. the educational buildings serve as a homeless shelter and the beautiful sanctuary hosts concerts and events (from which the proceeds help fund the shelter.)

i love what the haven does for the homeless in cville. 

and i love what its name stood for the day we got married there.

the thing i've experienced the most in this ninth month of marriage is this: God is our ultimate haven. but a God-centered marriage also serves as a kind of haven. it's one of my favorite things about being married. what a gift it is to have someone to crash into when most of life is uncertain. someone to always help you make decisions. someone who will defend you. someone who is just always, there. and safe. oh, and who loves you.

i love that the day i was turned down from a job, adam was as proud of me as ever. i love that friday, when i was offered a job, he was as proud of me as the day i was turned down.

i love that the day the house we loved was purchased by someone else, he assured me we'd find another one. i love that saturday when our offer was accepted on "another one" he assured me that we are taking the right step, even though it is scary.

in month nine i've been so grateful for the haven-ness of marriage. the shelter of love that God covers us with, and the shelter he has created for us in one another.

and today, i'm especially grateful for the new physical shelter he's blessing us with. more on this (exciting!) news soon.

ps, photos by eric kelley photography.



this past week we have had some wonderful time with adam's parents. they travelled here from steilacoom, wa to spend a (hot) week with us in north carolina. they didn't melt in the heat, phew. we made sure to feed them good ice cream and milkshakes when appropriate. we got to show them our town, all around duke, our church, our baseball team (go bulls!), and even shared a delicious meal at our favorite restaurant in durham! 

my mother in-law even brought her insanity dvds with her and the two of us had a fun time with those. and by fun, i mean brutal. she is so athletic and totally inspired me to get into insanity myself. (have you ever tried it? what do you think?) 

we were sad to see them go tuesday morning. luckily we have a few sweet pictures (and lots of great memories) to remember the trip with. can't wait to see them next--on one coast or the other! 

miss you marc and cindy!


pesto, nonna style.

last night adam, adam's parents (!), and i shared a delicious dinner. let me tell you:

about two months ago one of adam's customers sent him home with a couple leaves of basil for me to plant. she had heard i was trying to establish an herb garden and that i couldn't find any suitable basil. 'twas true. i was being a bit of a basil snob, i suppose. 

well, i planted those little leaves and soon a huge basil plant exploded on my back porch. last night i finally decided to harvest all the luscious greenness and make some homemade pesto--italian style. 

i hate that pesto here doesn't look or taste like pesto in italy. why can't we make any food as well as they do???

so i tried to find a recipe that was written by an italian. this is what i found.

"how to make pesto like an italian grandmother" 

(aka, "una nonna")

you can click the photos to read the recipe. it's kind of long. but here are the main points:

-cut the ingredients don't process. it makes a huge difference for the texture.

-add in little bits at a time as you chop so that by the end you'll have a variety of sizes of "chopped". again, makes the texture and the flavor better. it also makes your hands and house smell amazing. even without cooking anything.

dins was great! the pesto took us back to italy. (well, almost). we put it on pasta and paired it with a delicious arugula and beet salad, courtesy of my favorite local farmers. and one of our favorite wines, apothic red. hooray for having the in-laws visit from washington. and hooray for good meals.

try this pesto! and let me know how it goes. i think it's as close to italian as i'll get here. so good!

have you made any noteworthy recipes lately? 

do share. 


for scoops, thank you reagan.

news flash: today is national ice cream day!

i know, i didn't believe it either. a whole holiday dedicated to none other than, 

ice cream!  (you scream, we all scream!)

apparently while reagan was president he determined that july would be national ice cream month and that the third sunday would forevermore be national ice cream day.

adam and i heard the news while hanging out at eno river state park today. two ice cream lovers discovering that 1. there exists such thing as national ice cream day, and 2. that we were in fact living on national ice cream day at that very moment. we had to come up with a worthy celebration. so we headed here. we love maple view farm's ice cream (thanks to whole foods for keeping us hooked up). we keep promising each other that we'd make the trek to hillsborough someday and eat it at the source. so today, we did. phew.


we love their milk too!

rock a spell, while eating. ps, that dog was loving how drippy the little boy's cone was. 
the view from the rockers...lots of farm.

wikipedia says that reagan's decision was based on the fact that 90% of americans consume ice cream. i think it was because he knew that i was going to be born during his presidency. and that i needed another excuse to indulge in my favorite treat. 

either way, thanks reagan! hope you had a scoop or two yourself today.


1 %

before we were married i wondered how we would do things in our new family. would we do things like his family does them? like mine does? a different way all together? was there a right equation for blending the two or was it going to just fall into place? or was it going to be a disaster?

the things you are so confused about before you are married,

are sometimes the things that happen with the least amount of thought once you are.

we never talked about that fact that we'd buy 1% milk. he always drank 2%. i always drank skim. one day, we realized that we always buy 1%. i chuckled, wondering how that had happened.

we do some things like his family,

homemade applesauce,
sourdough pancakes,
cowboy caviar,
watching lots of tennis,
cribbage and other fun games,
sailing (when we can),

we do some things like my family,

folding shirts and towels,
husband making coffee every morning,
living in the south,
eating great meals after church,
drinking whiskey (adam...)

but, as it turns out, most of what we do has evolved kind of naturally based on, well, what makes most sense to us.

we have a system where one person makes dinner, and the other person cleans up, 
we have found that we like it best when we do both, together.
we rarely eat out.
for some reason, we usually have frittata for dinner on thursdays.
we buy produce that is local, mostly from the farmer's market.
we don't eat much meat.

we leave our shoes all over the house.
we each use our own dirty laundry hamper.
we don't have cable.
we like to run together in the evenings before dinner.
we go to church on saturday nights and small group on tuesday nights.
we always sleep on the same sides of the bed, except for some nights when we switch.
we always sleep with our ceiling fan on medium.

we buy 1% milk.

some of marriage, you can prepare for.
most of marriage, you figure out as you go.
some things, you never mean to figure out, they just happen. 
and then one day you realize, this is just how we do it. 

what are some of the things that you "do."
how did they start?
do you do things more like "his" family or "hers"? 
or do you do things entirely differently than either?

i'm sure there is no right combination. i'm curious to hear how others do it!


fourth, and first kisses.

july has mounted a sneak attack upon the nelson household. we keep looking at the calendar thinking, really? it's july? and today is july third. making tomorrow, july fourth. wowzers.

july the fourth happens to be a special day for adam and me. it was the day we officially went from being "just best friends" to "i'm going to try to kiss you and see what happens". when adam planted his first smooch on me, we were sitting on the rocks on the beach in steilacoom, wa. watching fireworks. i was seventeen. 

fourth of july became a special holiday for us. we'd go to the third of july rainiers game and watch the firework show after. some years we were on smooching terms. some years we were on "just friends" terms. but i tell you what, every time those fireworks started, we at least scooted a little closer. 

what are your fourth of july plans this year? do you have any special associations or memories with the fourth? growing up we always had a picnic and huge family softball game in north carolina. then we'd make homemade peach ice cream at night and set off fireworks. 

this year, my parents are here in north carolina. they just bought a home here. adam and i are going to have our first sleep over at their place tonight and start tomorrow with a big breakfast all together. in the afternoon we are going to hit up fullsteam (the one and only) for their fourth of july bash. the parlour ice cream truck may or may not be involved. and to finish the evening off, we'll head over to the durham bulls stadium for some good old fashioned baseball and fireworks. 

and luckily, this year we are on smoochin' terms. 

i'd love to hear about what you are doing, 
good ideas for family fun on the fourth, 
cool events going on! 
(yummy things you are making...)

i hope wherever you find yourself and whatever you do, the sun is shining (but maybe not 105) and the company is good (smooches, or none).




anyone else start to feel like this during the summer in the south? anyone else give up on blow drying their hair for three months straight? this fuzz ball made me chuckle. 

welcome: hot hot heat, frizzy hair, and "glistening" skin. i will take you over being cold ten out of ten times.

happy july friends! 

ps, got any fun plans for the holiday?

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