dear baby-gaba,

hi there cutie. i am your aunt. my name is elise, but if you are like most american kiddos, you will call me weese. if you are like most rwandan kids you will call me eh-reese. you will probably be a little like both, actually. and i'll answer to whatever you call me because i will love you. nevermind, i already do love you. 

you are so special. you see, your daddy is from rwanda. and your mamma is from gig harbor, washington. these places are not like each other. and they are very far apart. and you have blood from each of them in your itty-bitty body. and you will probably come to love both. and you will probably feel torn between them at times. and that's okay. so do your parents. it keeps their hearts soft to both worlds. speaking of hearts, your mom was gushing to me this morning when she heard yours beat. 

also, about your dad. be ready. he will tell everyone that you are a prodigy. even if he hasn't discovered what you are a prodigy at yet. he thinks he is one too. but just between us, it's ok if you aren't a prodigy at anything. most of us aren't. 

me, i hope you are a prodigy at snuggling your aunt. 

i just want you to know that there are lots of people who are very excited to meet you, and love you, and be a part of your life. and that you have two very amazing people to call mom and dad (see above). they will be with you as you learn and grow. and they'll teach you little by little about where you came from, and who you are. some of it will be hard to hear about--it was hard for me when i learned about it too. i'm sure your dad will teach you when you are old enough. but you'll also get to hear the amazing story of how God brought your parents together from worlds apart to meet, to fall in love, to get married. all so that He could make you

you are just the most special. 

i hope you always know that.

i am your aunt, so i will always think this. but regardless, it is true. don't forget it. 

love you baby-gaba.

(and so does your unki addo. just you wait till you get to meet him...)


auntie weese


i woke up with a smile, once.

the other day adam and i spent at least an hour watching all the random footage from our wedding week that all of our friends took on flipcams. for no reason except that we remembered we had it. it was fun to recall all the little details. like what adam ate for breakfast that morning. and how disgusting the weather was when we woke up. or the quiet little toast that my mom and mother in-law made with one another "to grandchildren" at our rehearsal dinner. sneaky sneaky mammas. 

but this was a favorite. my sister took a video of me waking up that morning, which she claims is the only time she has seen me wake up with a smile on my face. 

what she says, it's possibly true. 

i'm not the morningest of people.

but here's proof it can happen. 15 months ago today! 

loved every last second of that day. and i've loved every last second of these past fifteen months. 

and i love you adam. 

for spending them with me. 





the perfect way to start a new year is to take a weekend away with friends. particularly, if that weekend takes place on a beautiful farm in a house that is 200 years old and decorated to perfection. is there anything quite like pizza, wine, a crackling fire, and great company? because, i’m not sure there is.

this weekend we took a little trip up to old virginny with some of our favorite friends from nc. i played hooky friday since adam didn’t have to work, so we had a nice long weekend before he starts his new job (this week!). we went wine tasting at this wonderful winery, owned and run by italiani! it’s no wonder their wine is so good. we went to dinner here one night, played with all the animals living at the farm, and even got fresh eggs from the hen each morning!

and on top of all that, we had some wonderful time to read, relax, talk about God, and pray together as couples. yes, it was as wonderful as they come. and yes, like all good things it came to an end. luckily, my parents were in town from the west coast and waiting for us when we returned. life is good.

how did you spend your weekend? i hope it was lovely and relaxing. any big plans for this week? for superbowl sunday? my team lost a heartbreaker a couple weeks ago, so we won’t be playing sunday. but i’ll still enjoy participating in the festivities. (aka, food/comercials).

ps, thanks west, for this picture of the ladies!


the right time for munchkins.


as i've mentioned before, a lot of people in our lives have become withchild lately. or else, have become parents. it's exciting! it is. i mean, what could be more wonderful than little ones in your life to hold and play with and love? and it has gotten adam and me thinking about when we might decide to have kids. and it feels like we go back and forth, every day.

some days we feel like we could wait forever. things are so fun and simple the way they are now. i think we'd really, really miss that. and we don't want to rush out of this phase. and other days we get so giddy about the thought of starting a family soon. 

personally, i believe that your spouse should always be prioritized above your children. and so to me, part of that prioritization means giving my spouse a lot of time with me, and me with him, before having kids. i've always thought, if you really want your marriage to come first, you have to give your marriage plenty of time, first. right?

but, a lot of people i know have gotten pregnant in their first year of marriage and things seem to work out great for them too! and in the end, it's such a personal decision. i've always known i wouldn't be rushing into parenting. and adam felt the same. but for some people i know, they've been ready to be mammas/papas since the day they were born.

we are excited to start thinking about when it might happen. and what our lives might look like with a munchkin around. as of now, we've decided we will wait until we are at least into our third year of marriage to start trying. maybe longer! but really, who even knows?


do you have kids? are you cooking one right now? how long did you wait after being married? how did you make your decision? did you make yourself wait awhile or did you have them early on? why? would just love to know what the process has been like for others! 

(ps, photo by kristal joy. definitely the most talented newborn photographer i know. love her!)


life lately

adam and i have thoroughly been enjoying this long weekend. i hope you have too! nothing like a three day weekend and four day work week to really cheer my spirits. adam finished his last day of his job on friday and won't be be starting his new one till next week! so this weekend was only the beginning of a nice little (and much needed) break for him. did i mention how beautiful it's been here? other than the small snow flurry we got thursday night it's been sunny and, get this, warm! what? winter here has me so confused.

but, i'm not complaining about running outside in january without my lungs freezing shut.

here are some snapshots of our life lately:

(recruiting people for our small group! not sure why i look angry...)

projects around the new house continue, slowly by slowly. today we tackled painting the master bedroom. after much discussion we went with sea salt (sherwin williams). it's looking pretty wonderful on the walls. (and on our faces, clothes, floors...). we hosted folks for dins on friday night (homemade pizza!) and sunday night (homemade vodka sauce!). yes, i know how to cook non-italian food. but this weekend i didn't. because, yum.

how was your long weekend? happy monday to you.


my favorite post on the web today.

i think i'm starting to get a little sick. and i am blaming babies. what is it about kids being so good at spreading germs? we worked in the nursery this weekend at church, and boy were those one year-olds cute. but my throat is just a little sore and i'm feeling a little funny this week. i'm sure it's in my head. i'm willing myself not to be sick. i think more kale might be the answer.

adam also picked up a sickness from the nursery. it's called baby fever and it's much more severe and scary. but we won't say much more about that...

speaking of babies, i just wanted to point you toward this post about the most exciting baby news that has come into my life lately. there is a little bitty cooking in my sister's belly. can i get a woot!

and i will call it squishy and it shall be my squishy. (finding nemo, anyone?)

i am the proudest aunt on the block and i can't wait to start celebrating. and then to meet the little person this summer. hopefully by the time he/she arrives my sister will have stopped puking 24/7 and not feel so tired all the time. she is so tough. all women who have ever carried, birthed, and taken care of a baby are tough. just, period.

and i'm so excited that it's my sister's turn. couldn't be more happy for the agabas!

ps, photo is of some of baby's first gifts from aunty and uncle nelson on christmas morning. don't you just want to cuddle that elephant so hard?


one new goal.

so i'll let you in on a little 2013 goal of ours. it's going to sound dumb. but let me preface it with this:

we are vegetarians. i am allergic to about one million foods. while i completely maintain that there are so many delicious things that we both can and do eat in the nelson home,  i will also admit to this: i used to be a lot more passionate about cooking. when i was little i was wild about cooking. and in high school it was all i wanted to do. i decided i was going to go to the culinary institute of america for college. my dad said no you are not. so i didn't. but that tells you something about how much i loved to cook. correction, how much i do love to cook. but i've lost some of my cooking excitement. and it's harder when your diets are a bit more limited. it could also be the wife factor. you know, trying to make good meals for two every night is much harder than cooking for one, and throwing the occasional dinner party. wow, this preface is getting much longer than i had intended. i guess this whole post is basically one big preface for this:

this year i am going to make one new recipe each week. i never cook with recipes. i just buy ingredients that we like and make stuff with them. it always tastes good but it gets a little repetitive. any repetitive meal makers out there? i mean, each season has its few staple things that we eat over and over and over...

for example: spaghetti squash. sooo much spaghetti squash.

so that's all. i'm going to make something new each week. we had one of our most favorite people in the world over for dinner monday night, so we made these things: 

shepherd's stew with these yummy mashed po-tats. also, this salad. are you surprised that it's a kale salad? we eat kale every day. i'm not lying. see? repetitive.  

i left the potatoes out of the stew and served it over the mashed potatoes instead. but if you are a potato lover, you could leave 'em in there too. to each, his own.

i probably won't blog about every new recipe. there are way too many good food blogs out there to try to take on the world of food blogging. but perhaps each month i'll share the best ones. who knows. 

if you feel stuck in the same rut, feel free to try this too. and let me know what turns out well. i am a fan of recipe sharing!

wish me luck!


highlights, or everything.

i'm finally looking through and sorting out all of my photos from our time home in washington last month. i can't believe i didn't share anything about that trip. terrible of me. it was so fast and so sweet and we have been feeling a little homesick since we left. 

there were many lovely things about our time at home. the weather was not one of those lovely things. it was the most stereotypical seattle weather. maybe worse. but it didn't slow us down. and for about fifteen minutes on christmas day, the rain turned to snow and we all got to oooooh and ahhhh. and then it was rain again.

since i've shared a few too many times about how much i love my hometown and the great evergreen state, i'll just leave you with photos here and i won't say too much more. so many highlights, but here are a few:

(good to be home with the sibs.)

(the last annual jordan christmas party, on our first night home.)

(after that, we spend nearly an entire day doing this. watching football, relaxing, staying out of the rain.)

(until it was time to go explore christmasy seattle at night. where we got wet.)

(my favorite thing about pike place market is the flowers. always so so beautiful.)

(breakfast and church with our two favorite seattle residents. so dang cute.)

(then an evening with my family at benaroya hall!)

(of course, we went to the christmas eve candlelight service.)

(and then, it was christmas.)

(we have a house rule that no one can get dressed on christmas. it's a good rule.)

(the day after christmas we got to spend time with all six of adam's sisters!)

(and the night before we left, we got to spend a few hours with some of our dearest friends.)
(man love, at its finest.)

so by highlights, i clearly mean every detail of our trip. but really, there was so much more! our time at home was so full; both literally and metaphorically. we came back remembering why we love that place and those people with so stinking much of our hearts. and feeling grateful for each and every minute of it.

(photo credit to mamma, sister, heidi, and me).

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