comments on being married, year one.


well, we decided on forever.

so a year seemed like a good place to start. 

and while this is an important milestone, i don't think it is going to change things too much. after all, we decided on forever and this has only been a small drop in thatbut there is something sweet about the beginning of any journey. wouldn't you agree?

even if it doesn't prove to the be 

the most significant, 

the most eventful, 
the easiest 
or the hardest year, 

it will always be the year that we became one.

it sounds cliche. but it's true. this transition from two to one--only happens once. it can be awkward, fun, difficult, hilarious, frustrating, blissful, complicated, and comforting all at the same time. that's just the first year of marriage. 

we feel settled now. confident in this baby marriage that God has established. 

and while i've come up with comments to share each month (15, 6, 7, 8, 9 10, 11) the one thing that keeps coming back to my mind--the thing that i've really learned most--is this:

let grace be your default. give each other the freedom to be human, mess up, be moody or tired occasionally, or just have an off day. because don't we all have those moments? days? weeks? where as soon as we've done or said something--we wish we hadn't. and we know it's just because we're tired/hormonal/frustrated/etc. and we hope that whoever we've done it to will just shrug it off and hug us. instead of give us the "you hurt my feelings" cold shoulder? 

that's what we try to do. 

just give each other a break, and show grace! choose not to take offense.

it allows us to breathe--not living in fear of doing something wrong or being criticized for it. and it makes us want to show grace and love right back at 'em. 

oh, and one more thing too:

the other thing that makes moments in marriage golden,

is laughter.

it's the best way to get out of a silly fight. the best way to bring someone out of a sour mood. and the best way to lighten the load and remember you are best friends first. 

and, it's fun. 

so just be darn right silly sometimes. if only for the sake of laughter.

so there it is: grace and laughter. 

year one, it's been real. easily the best of my life. here's to year two! 

(love you so much adam.)

ps, can't wait to watch our awesome wedding video tonight to celebrate! jon schaaf photography is amazing!

pps, adam and me on our anniversary getaway. more on this soon!



today we are leaving to celebrate our very first anniversary. we're heading to the mountains in the great state of virginia. yes, virginia again. our bags our packed full of yummy treats to indulge in while we are away. i'm hoping this retreat will somehow take us back to our honeymoon...

colorful hills, check!

middle of nowhere, check!

cheese, wine, sweets, check!

warm scarfs, socks, and blankies to bundle up with, check!

so we may not have our beloved little fiat, or all those folks speaking that (beautiful) language...

but we'll have each other, and a wonderful first year to reflect on!

can't wait to hit the road.

happy weekends to you all as well! 

ps, fun posts from the honeymoon here, here, and here! (including a rather ridiculous video of the highlights.)



the other day my brother and i were eating lunch (love this part of working at his school!) and he told me that he was surprised that i'm not a vegetarian. why he said that is another interesting story...but the funny thing is i am, in fact, a vegetarian! i just hadn't really mentioned it to him. over the past year, adam and i have been eating less and less meat. for lots of reasons. i won't get into them here...

and after awhile we weren't really eating it at all. kind of like i talked about here, it was just one of those things that evolved naturally for us. we never made a hard fast decision. a couple of months ago, we just realized that we didn't really eat it. that we really didn't miss it. and that we actually preferred the way we felt and ate without it. so that night we officially became treehuggers, veggiehuggers vegetarians. 

i don't think i'll ever eat meat again, to be honest. i've found a wealth of delicious things to cook and eat that are meatless. and we have a lot more money for delicious high quality produce when we aren't spending it on meat. so for us, it's been working really well.

i usually don't cook with recipes (not that good of a meal planner...) i just use whatever we've picked up at the market that week. but i have tried a few new recipes as i've been intentionally cooking meatless. this potato and kale curry was great. and this almond-cranberry rice pilaf is stinking-wonderful. i've been dying to try this eggplant recipe (but it's so unbelievably high maintainence...) and i'm pretty sure i'll be attempting this before long.

so many people ask me--what DO you eat elise? you can't eat grains. you don't eat meat. and it's funny, because i never feel like there is a lack of things for me to eat! 

people, trust me, i eat so well (see recipes above for proof). one of the greatest things about knowing your body, is knowing what makes it click along well, and what makes it hold on for dear life.

once you know your body, it's not hard at all to find some of the millions of varieties of food on this planet that will make it happy. 

that's all i've got on that. 

now i think i'll go hug eat some veggies...

(but ps, are you vegetarian? hate it? love it? could never ever ever do it? why did you choose to be/not be? do you think vegetarians are crazy people? so interesting to me!)


cville, in photos.

i may have had a little bit of an attitude problem when we arrived home last night after our weekend in cville. no matter how much i love (_fill in the blank with any other place on the planet_) there is no where else that holds the same place in my heart as this lovely little town in the blue ridge mountains. adam is probably going to stop taking me there if i don't stop being so pouty as soon as we leave. so, i'll work on my attitude, but in the meantime i'm loving remembering our weekend with all these fun photos.


we got to visit with good friends, tailgate, wine taste, cider taste, play at the farmer's market, enjoy the fall colors, eat great meals, eat crepes twice a day (adam...), go on beautiful drives, swing in trees with some sweet monkeys kiddos, and worship at one of my favorite churches. and then, of course, we said goodbye. don't worry cville, we won't be gone long.



more homework! yippie!

like i explained before, adam and i have been doing a lot of "homework" for our marriage study. let me say first, 

not ALL of it is this fun. sometimes we have to talk through some tough stuff and blah blah blah...we get to go to cville!!!!!

for homework!

(not trying to downplay the tougher aspects of the study...)


homework this week was for the husband to plan a date full of the wife's favorite things. 


said the husband, 

"looks like we'll be heading to cville." 

bingo! what a sweet man who knows the desires of my heart so well. :) we take off this afternoon.

as we get closer to our first anniversary, there isn't a more appropriate place to spend a weekend than in the town where we said i do. :) me-oh-my i can hardly wait. adam has planned lots of fun things--including dinner at my favorite cville restaurant. also happened to be the venue of our rehearsal dinner. oh memory lane here we come...

can't wait to see some good friends! play with some of my most beloved kiddos, and take a little stroll around my college "grounds". all with my favorite person.   

(i do love durham, i do love durham, i do love durham...oh sorry, how embarrassing. i was just reminding myself that i do...well you get the point.)

but there is only one cville

can i get an amen? 

do you have any fun plans for the weekend? if you could get away to your favorite town, what town would that be? happy fall weekend friends!

by EK.
by EK.


a new (healthy-er) pumpkin recipe.

everyone who loves pumpkin, knows the sweetness of baking with it for the first time of the season. i have a few staple pumpkin recipes that i call upon each year. i also try to add a few new ones to the repertoire every once and again.

this week, i decided to try a new one. pumpkin oatmeal cookies

1. they are pretty healthy (just 2 tbs butter, and 1 cup sugar. not bad, not bad).
2. they use very little flour = could easily be done gluten free.
3. they are easy-peasy.


and behold, i was brining snacks for small group this week, so it was the perfect opportunity.

basically you make them like any other ordinary cookie.

you mix the dry ingredients (hold the nuts).

in the meantime the butter and sugar are creaming. note: when using only 2 tbs butter, it doesn't get quite as creamy and fluffy. no worries, it works out.

you don't need a seven pound bag of brown sugar. but it never hurts.

then you add the wet to the dry. mix in the pumpkin and toss in those nuts, and voila, on to the sheet zeh go.

they only bake for about 10-12 minutes. note: at about minute 8 your house will begin to smell like heaven.

 serve them warm, or cooled if they are for later. i, personally, am a strong believer in the cookies-right-out-of-the-oven theory. 

they seemed to be a hit at small group, and i'm already really looking forward to making them again. next time, experimenting with a gf version so that i can eat them too. gosh, the smells in the house while these were baking was a big fat tease. pumpkin, you just have a crazy effect on me.

what are some of your favorite pumpkin indulgences? recipes to share?

ps, i'm going pumpkin picking for the first time in my life saturday! have you ever been?


in town.

last weekend two of my best friends came to town. these are very special girls to me. i always cry a little when they leave. it's pathetic. but the good thing, is we had such a great time while they were here. we spent a leisurely morning at the durham farmer's market--where we ate lots of cheese and bought a large quantity of kale. and took pictures of cute puppies in bikes.

we went shopping, walking on pretty trails, to church, and made a delicious supper of this potato and kale curry. we used white sweet potatoes instead of regular and two bunches of kale instead of one. it was the perfect fall dinner! and to have these sweet things in my kitchen with me, was heaven. who said three cooks in the kitchen was too many? i love cooking with my best friends. (and i'm learning how to be less of a kitchen control freak!) 

we also snacked on award winning cheese from here and sipped on this yummy wine. which made the cooking all the better. you know how it is...

what do you like to do with your best friends when they come to town? do you live close to them or far away? even though i live far away from most of mine, we always make the best of the time we get together. :) 

but we also try to make the most of our time apart. i think you've got to. 

well, hope your week is going well and that your fall weather is putting on the show that ours is. ahhh, how i love fall. happy wednesday!


things i'm a bit obsessed with lately.

-this tank from anthro. i have it in three colors already, but i'm craving a fourth. (and i just noticed they're on sale...) they are the yummiest!

-for that matter, anthro's entire fall collection this year. it makes me want to cozy up and look great while doing it! 

-pumpkins in pretty colors.

-pistachios! i can't stoppp eattting them!

-talenti gelato. any flavor.

-my electric blanket. it will be my best friend until about april.

-playing spades. especially with great friends or parents!

-my new iphone. :)

-durham, nc.

-going to monday night yoga class with adam.

-thai food. i'm craving it like mad.

-roasted acorn squash.

-bedtime yogi tea before bed.

-smart wool socks.

-cool sunny fall days! oh how it's reminding me of that sweet time of year when we were wed. which, speaking of, is quickly approaching. we are planning a fun get away to the mountains to celebrate at the end of the month! more on that later!

what are some things that you can't get enough of lately? do tell!


what's my name again?

we have been getting some strange mail lately. in fact, it's kind of left me wondering if someone is trying to steal my identity. or at least trying to change my identity. 


i got a piece of mail addressed to "elfie" nelson. elfie. e-l-i-s-e to e-l-f-i-e. i've been called a lot of things that are not elise in my life, but this one is new to me. 

the funniest thing is how huge they printed in on the front. (hey elfie!) i can't tell you how hard we laughed. and how good it looks on our fridge. i do have an affinity for elves. i was born an elf, after all. but i'm not sure how the folks over at firestone figured that out.

then, the very next day (no joke) i got a letter from the university of new orleans alumni association offering me some special benefits for (apparently) being a faithful university of new orleans alum. hmm. the weird thing is this letter was actually addressed to "elise." so they seemed to at least know my name this time. i've been to new orleans. once. guess it doesn't take much to be considered an alum...

i wonder what my degree is in. perhaps concert jazz. wouldn't that be a splendid past life to discover?

well, anyway, hope your mail is less crazy than ours lately.

happy monday!


elfie nelson
b.a. concert jazz, university of new orleans


a birthday effort.

today is a very special boy’s birthday.

ain’t he a cutie?

ok, so he’s not really a boy anymore, but i’m sure he’ll always be one to his mother. and i just happen to think this is the sweetest picture known to man. i hope our future son will smile just like this. this is about what he looked like thursday night when his huskies upset (no. 8) stanford. he’s a husky through and through.

but to the point, today is his birthday. and, while i’ve been around for many-an-adam-birthday, this is the first one on which I am his wife.

so my goal was to make him feel especially celebrated. that, was the goal.

which is why i set my alarm clock extra early this morning so i could make him yummy muffins before work. and why i felt like a jerk when i slept through my alarm clock and made no such muffins. it’s also why i felt like a jerk when he woke up to my (early) alarm clock when i didn’t. it’s why i felt really badly when i missed three calls from him earlier when he was stranded (out of gas) in the rain, and some other nice person (stranger…) had to rescue him instead of his dear wife.

but hope still lingers…

we are going to one of our favorite places for dinner tonight to celebrate. and if any restaurant could redeem a poor birthday effort by a wife, it’s this one. have you been? if not, you should go right now. it’s so good. and i’m counting on them to help a wife out and make this birthday celebration a fun one.

sorry for no muffins. sorry for waking you up early on your birthday. sorry that you got cold and wet and stuck in the rain today. but trust me, i love you to the moon and back and I love celebrating you being another year older, wiser, more handsome, and more wonderful. love being your wife more than you know. glad I get to be your wife for all the rest of your birthdays too. here’s to hoping i get better at them… happy birthday!

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