comments on being married, month ten.

It’s fitting that Elise let me step in to write about some of the ins and outs of our month since, as you all know by now, her free time has witnessed a metamorphosis. That is, it has shrunk.

As a result, she has outsourced the formulation of this month’s collection of thoughts. Well, not really. It would take Elise 20 minutes to write what will now take me embarrassingly longer. She thought it would be good to let me reflect and write this time around.

Shall we?

-Every day, all the glory in what we find ourselves doing, thinking of, and speaking of, is God’s. We are continually learning this lesson since each hour brings its own challenge not to claim any of it as ours. Increasingly we see that we have nothing to boast of, except that we are here to serve the one true and mighty God.

-We were reminded a few weeks ago that there are few enjoyments able to contend with a good day on the water, with wind to keep the sails flexed.

-Elise’s favorite place to keep her retainer is on our counter, right next to the stove, just a few inches from the knife block…which also happens to be my favorite place for it (!) That is a fake exclamation point.

-My wife still looks a smidge dorky when she wears aforementioned retainer. Saving grace is it does happen to be adorable. It’s like pig-tails for her mouth.

-Like every month, there must be plenty of time spent snuggling. I’m completely serious. It is a non-negotiable built-in part of the day.

-In the near two years we have both been living in Durham, we’ve seen the Lord provide true friendship and bonds that have begun to truly strengthen and deepen. Brothers and sisters in Christ. We’re grateful for a community that walks with Jesus and seeks out those who don’t.

-It’s been interesting to learn more about how best to show Elise what women inherently treasure: that they are beautiful and they are loved. I’m not the dozen roses and candlelit dinner type because my wife isn’t that type. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t love the occasional surprise outing or gift, but the “flash in the pan” ideas are easy to come by. For Elise, it’s a lot of thoughtfulness. To listen, to lead with patience, and to look for ways to help. Practicing these with any level of consistency will be the lifelong work in progress, and it is hardly a glamorous learning curve!

-It should be noted that if we stick to our current pace, after having just finished off another bowl full of it and arugula, Elise and I will have consumed more kale than any other human pairing has in one calendar month by the time August expires.

-My favorite morning game is to ask Elise, essentially right when she wakes up, what she dreamt about. She usually goes off on a minimum 3 minute recap of very detail-laden stories, and I get to laugh. For a couple weeks we were both having odd vivid dreams about babies. Not on a nightly basis, but every few days. Truth be told, I can’t remember whose babies they were or if there were any giant babies involved. Actually, I would definitely remember if there was a baby giant. My only interpretation for why we were having these dreams is that most everyone we know is either with child, wants to be soon, or have already had a child or two, and that these dreams are manifesting in order to satisfy any similar states we may eventually think of or want to entertain in the next five + PLUS + years.

-Finally, I do have a request. In short: pray for your neighbor, your friends and relatives, pray for the lost and broken, the misguided and defenseless. If there is one human trend we can count on continuing to observe, it is that of our proclivity for evil and destruction. Wherever you are, there is a struggle of some sort nearby, regardless of whether or not you can see or hear it. Just being aware of this is a start. Taking action to serve more than ourselves is progress.

Much love to you all from the Nelsons!


training, perseverance, and trying to not die.

today i ran about seven miles and then thought i might die. i didn't die. so in the end, i guess it was a victory. a painful one, though. my half marathon training is steadily making me feel more and more crazy. crazy for thinking i want to run it. crazy for thinking i'll be able to.

but one thing i've loved about training so far is that there are so many biblical metaphors for the whole endeavor. and training, perseverance, endurance, feeling like you might die...they are all parts of my walk of faith too. maybe not the feeling like i might die. but, for some christians, that bit applies too. at church we just finished an amazing sermon series through the book of hebrews. 

one of my favorite verses in all of the bible is in hebrews. it goes like this:

"therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. fixing our eyes on jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (12:1)

when i run and i think about my tired legs, 
my weakling lungs, 
and the stinking-hot temperatures, 
it's hard not to liken it to other areas of life. 
areas of life that feel like a marathon. 

but this verse says to me, 

"others are watching. you are surrounded by witnesses. so be a witness to them too. through your life, through your perseverance in the face of difficulties, through battling selfishness and pride and materialism and idolatry and all those other nasty things that try to tangle you up and bring you down. look at jesus and remember what he did. look at jesus and remember he didn't have to. look at jesus and remember that he has made your faith perfect, and secure. look at jesus and persevere girl."

it's hard, like a marthon. or even a half-marathon. 

but we've got to persevere.

see, so i like training for this race because it reminds me of the gospel. it's funny how so much of life does.


working and wifeing

maybe i thought being a good wife was easy because i was a student. i could make my own schedule. i could do most of my work from home. i could go to the grocery store every monday and do laundry every friday. i could have a nice healthy meal ready when he got home from work. the floors got vacuumed, every day.

then, i graduated and had no job. and being a good wife got even easier.

now, i get up when he does. shower when he does. head out the door early like he does. get home about the time he does. and feel pooped the way he does. no dinner when he walks in. no clean undies to wear.* and little things sticking to your feet from the dusty floors. 

*ok, maybe one pair left.

it's all totally different now. 

i swear this to be the last post about "the transition to the working world" but seriously, can some women out there help another woman out and tell me what the trick is to having it all together?? i guess i'm learning one day at a time. and adam is responding to the transition by helping with a lot of the things i had time to do before but don't now. it's been putting our team work to the test.

in adam's vows to me he told me, "we're a favorite one actually." 

i feel the need for "teamness" more these days than ever. and i'm grateful for such an awesome teammate.

thanks ad. 
love you heaps. 
(we're my favorite team too).


new appreciations.

so, last wednesday i started my first real job. at the age of twenty-four. having been in school for the last nineteen years of my life, there are a lot of things i've never learned about the "working world." a lot of things. 

just in these first seven days, i've gained a whole new appreciation for things like:

-mothers who work. period. how do you work all day and then come home and take care of kids and make dinner and give baths and clean up messes and change poopy diapers and help with homework and not go crazy? you are amazing. that includes you, mom.

-people who work jobs that require them to be on their feet all day. one of the hardest things to adjust to has been much of the day. yet, when i get home i'm still so tired. i can't imagine how much more exhausting it is to be on your feet all day. yikes!

-people who work more than one job.

-people who have full time jobs and still keep up with their blog, daily. molly, for one.

-people who work with people they don't like or in jobs they don't like. i love where and with whom i work. it must be twice as hard to work diligently in an environment that you don't enjoy.

-people who get up and work out early in the morning before work. 

-people in offices who keep so many things ticking. particularly administrative assistants!

-brightly colored folders and post-its.


do you remember your first job? what kinds of things did it open your eyes to? did you love it? hate it? would love to hear!

ps, here is a link to the research study that i work on. (even though they haven't added my name yet :) check it out if you're interested! 


week one.

things i didn't expect to happen on the first week of work:

-actually meeting with a study patient.

-being starving by lunch everyday.

-being trained for three people's positions simultaneously because they have all given their two week's notice. 

-having a job position that is totally in flux due to (above).

-having to use a code to get into the bathroom.

-feeling like i have to pee more than anyone else in the office.

-making "work friends"(!)

-adoring my team and co-workers.

-being told it was ok to wear jeans to work on friday (and honestly any other day i wanted).

-coming home after day one and having my husband cook me dinner while i relax, drink wine, and stare at the pretty flowers he bought me. 

what a blessing it is to be working. to love my office, my desk, my folders and folders full of training materials. to not be counting down the hours to the end of the day, but having 5:00 sneak up on me. to be in an office where people come by your door and say "party in the breakroom!" on your first friday. and where the august ice cream party is an annual tradition. (i hope it's soon!) this is my kind of place. 

there have been times since may when waiting on Lord was harder than i thought. there was at least one day where i told adam that i thought getting my MSc was turning out to be a waste. i think i even cried a couple of times. how clear it is now that He was working in the details all along. 

He was waiting for the job with the ice cream parties to be open. yes, He knows me well indeed.


on my last day of unemployment

it's here. the end of this three month hiatus from organized productivity. no longer a student (girl), not yet a working (woman)? i made no big plans for these last two days of unemployment. not trying to go out with a bang. just trying to do the million little things that will be harder to do once i begin work. like:

-enjoying leisurely breakfasts. and several cups of coffee.

-talk to my mom on the phone for as long as want.

-running with hubs.

-watch the last few gymnastics events of the olympics.

-watch any other olympic sports i feel like.

-grab coffee with this sweet thing.

-pin cool stuff.

-clean out several closets + the attic.

-oil changed and breaks checked.

-writing letters to a few friends.

-catching up on blogs that i love to follow.

-heading to a durham bulls game.

-taking a nap.


i'm determined to stay dedicated as ever to this dear old blog of mine even as i enter the working world. i started it when i became a graduate student--as an outlet. it quickly became a very favorite hobby of mine. my hope, is that even as a working woman it continues to be a creative outlet for me to share with and hear from all my sweet readers. happy tuesday friends! 

ps, what would you do with a few days of "unemployment?"


annapolian weekend.

we spent this weekend in the adorable town of annapolis, md with some of our favorite friends in the world. we've been wanting to visit annapolis for awhile so this was quite the treat. the weather was lovely, and the breeze was good. it made for a perfect day of sailing, laying on the dock, swimming, kayaking, and floating. not to mention eating a lot of seafood and ice cream! after grabbing a scoop here in the afternoon, we all decided to go back for a dessert scoop after our dinner at the boatyard! annapolis ice cream co. has won best scoop in annapolis eight years in a row! we felt strongly that they should win it a ninth. it was one of the bests ever. no shame in going twice in a day!

have you ever been to annapolis? it is such a unique town full of history, lovely boats, lots of brick and cobblestone, and some really cool folks. i am already looking forward to heading back soon. 

for two people who grew up on the water, 

it was like water to our souls to be near it again. 

we couldn't get enough of the sea air and breeze. or the company. these weekends are always so hard to say goodbye to. especially with these girls involved.

hope your weekends were restful and wonderful wherever you were! happy monday! 



high five for friday

i'm back high-fiving for friday with lauren. if you want to share five great things about your week, you can link up too!

one. throwing a shower for my sweet friend karen and her baby boy who is coming soon! 

two. getting to spend monday with this precious two year old. i've loved having time (in unemployment) to help my friends a bit and play with their kiddos. this week the big event was the full tour of the morrisville fire station that we got. and free fire hats! totally unexpected. thanks fireman chris!

three. getting a fresh haircut before my first day of work next week! i just adore my hair stylist. the way she does my hair, and just her. plus she is a duke fan.

four. the us women winning gold in gymanastics. i was tearing up when it happened. the ex-gymnast in me gets ridiculously psyched out for this stuff. so proud of gabby taking the gold in the all-around too. 

these girls work their (tight) little booties off. and now it's totally paying! 

five. the epic weekend that is about to happen. we are heading to annapolis to meet up with two of my very best friends (and meet a new boyfriend!) not to mention, i am finally getting that husband of mine back out into his natural habitat--on a sailboat, in the ocean. it's been a long time since my sailer man has gotten to sail. can hardly wait to see him back in action. 

aye aye skipper.

have a lovely weekend everyone!!


sweet celebration

last weekend we got to celebrate baby boy barnes--who is arriving next month! karen is one of my fastest and dearest friends here in nc. we got to know each other in couples small group through our church. have you ever made a friend who you felt extremely comfortable with, instantly. that was karen. i'd known her for about a month when she decided she'd take the responsibility of preparing me for our wedding night--i'll never forget some of our "talks" while running at lake lynn. she is also the one responsible for me getting to eat at our wedding. so grateful!  

i just adore her. and adam and i could not be happier for the newest barnes to arrive. this i know already: he'll be handsome, smart, musical, and will have parents who love him and are eager to teach him about His creator. 

(and read him much biblical commentary.)

congrats karen and west. can't wait to meet your sweet boy!

ps, i did not have a camera. :( 

luckily, karen's mother in-law emailed me a few of the photos that she took!

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