.:. in and out of season .:.

:: i want to marry you :: March 23, 2009

Filed under: Marriage,music,Nat,newlywed — Ellen @ 1:19 pm

every so often i find myself still at the computer, and it’s been 2 hours since i sat down.   i am full of visual stimulation for great ideas in decorating, cooking and crafting so i jump up with a start and try to keep going with the day.  it’s one of the downsides of my schedule, because sometimes free time is not a good thing.

but i want to remember how last night i was playing the piano after ebeth and nikki left and nat came over and we pulled out the words to Unplayed Piano and decided to try a little duet.

It didn’t necessarily sound very good – Nat hardly knew the song at all – but after a few times he left and got the computer and put it on top of the piano and we recorded it, twice and listened and smiled at the rough patches and complimented each other on the good parts.

i remember when we were dating having these moments where i  thought fiercely,


it was the biggest thought i had, and the greatest thing i could think of.

last night i thought it again as i watched him sing.  i want to marry him every day!!


here’s to you, natty: March 12, 2009

Filed under: Marriage,Nat — Ellen @ 11:06 am

My sweet, strong and very handsome husband has recently started a blog for the purpose of remembering and writing  stories of his life, and of his time working at the hospital.  He has some really beautiful ones, and some hilarious ones, and I love reading them, and hearing them.   Here’s the link:



leave him a little love, if you’d like.

i’ll save mine for when he comes home.

[    = )   ]


…you will have your music…:. February 13, 2009

Filed under: inspiration,life in general,Nat — Ellen @ 12:26 am

Today was a very, very normal morning of work for me – opening shift, the usual relaxed beginning and then the rush hour and then all of a sudden it’s time to go home.  Normal.  Imagine, as best as you can, my surprise and and heart-stopping, breath-ceasing shock when I opened the door of our apartment and saw this:




….. Yes.  Yes.

My husband, Nat – maybe you’ve heard me talk about him – has the most beautiful heart and soul in the whole world.  I am more astonished by that than by the fact that there is a piano sitting right here next to me, that I played for a total of 6 hours today, and that it wasn’t here when I woke up this morning.  



because I know you read this I want to tell you THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for telling Nat about your piano, and giving it to me!!!  I found some sheet music in the bench – a white binder full of songs, and also a beginner/intermediate book of Romantic Impressionist songs, both of which I loved and played through because I can’t find any of my music… I’ll hang on to them and let me know if you need them!  And again… thank you!!  And come to Chicago again soon so we can play another duet. 

I will write more about this later and have some more pictures I wanted to share, but I have to go pick up Mr. Nathaniel and we’re going to the mall for what he thinks is mutual secret shopping.  Little does he know that I already went there two days ago and got a few hefty surprises myself.  Muahahaha.  



…you will have your music. December 26, 2008

Filed under: Marriage,Nat — Ellen @ 10:00 pm

img_4310My husband has such a gift for making things really, really special.  He loves the element of surprise, he loves details and the logistics of planning a holiday, and he loves showering me with gifts and meals and letters and special unexpected things.  I mean… Nat only has maybe four faults (along the lines of “didn’t put the toaster away in the usual cabinet – on accident”) and sometimes I am so in awe of his goodness that it is overwhelming.   His love for me has brought such joy into my life. 


Our first christmas was filled with beauty.  I woke up to an apartment full of candlelight and a delicious breakfast (chocolate chip pecan pancakes) and  then we cleaned up and Nat read the Christmas story out loud.  We opened gifts from each other, starting with stockings and ending with the “big ones” – a timbuk2 bag for nat, and boots for me.  

The most beautiful present of all was the very last one i opened – a small flat box.  Inside was a fifty dollar bill, a letter, and a printed email.  the letter said, “This is an iou for one piano.  I will find the right one, I will rent a truck, and move it in.  As soon as possible, you will have your music.  I love you, Nat.”  The email was one from a woman who Nat had come SO close to buying a piano from, but she had sold it to someone else after all.  He had wanted to have it all set up on Christmas day to surprise me.  THAT was the overwhelming part… and I may have shed a tear or two over that, and for how wonderful his heart is.  

We fell asleep on the couch for a while after that, and then woke up and went to Starbucks – we had wanted to walk, but the one by us was closed – and got 

big soy lattes and a french press for my dad.  We spent the evening at my house in Winfield and had de-licious lasagna and cookies and eggnog and opened even more presents.  I got a HUGE surprise when at the very end my dad pulled from behind his back a box and said, “Well, this looks like the last one!”  It was the CAMERA LENS that I had been looking at – super zoom, super awesome…they all went in on it, and I am SO happy to have it!!!  I could not believe that I forgot my camera last night, but I have been playing with it today, and it really is incredible.  I feel like it’s getting a whole new camera.  The zoom is seriously long, so I need to take it outside where it can be more useful.  So far I just have super close-ups of all the trinkets in our apartment.  = )



My dad loved his french press, and mom loved her box of things and the wedding photo book we had made for them.  Bryan was happy with his gift card, and Gary started playing his Lego Indiana Jones game right away.  I JUST LOVE PRESENTS!!  I love giving them, choosing them, buying them, making them, opening them, watching people open them…. I love everything about them, and I love that about Christmas.  


So, I am just tickled to death that we still have three more Christmases to go – Wisconsin, Sioux Falls, and Dawson.  Which equals a lot of travel, many, many hours of driving, and many hours of good quality time just alone together which we love, need, crave, and thoroughly enjoy.  


And…. on an entirely different note altogether, we are getting TATTOOS!  On our ring fingers, and possibly another one(s) but that is a secret and a surprise.  







*~*: a week in photograph :*~* December 12, 2008

Filed under: decorating,life in general,Nat,newlywed — Ellen @ 5:48 am

a visual of a very sick little Friday.  she is better now, thanks to new litter.



hmmm… to christmas card, or not to christmas card?



still life of our table.  fruit only lasts about 3 days around here.


some people take attractive photos of themselves.  i came up with this one in the car the other day…



whoulda thunk a tree that looks this long and thin could branch out to be 10-12 feet around!?



cheese, cheese, always there is cheese.



pretty first christmas tree:



loving life in the benz:







top of the morning to you. November 17, 2008

Filed under: life in general,Marriage,Nat,newlywed — Ellen @ 3:15 pm

mmmm….. not working this morning.  

once again a headache has gotten me up and out of bed.  if you ever get migraines, you might know how sometimes you want to lay down in the dark with a cold pack, and sometimes you have to get up and move a little.  for me, even if i just move to the couch and sit here, it’s better.  nat is in the shower and my christmas playlist is playing.  friday is at her picture-perfect behavior because she’s been by herself all night, so she’s sweet and needy for affection.  how i picture (dream) of her being when she’s a lazy old cat.  

we went to college life yesterday after i worked all day.  it was wonderful wonderful….. hearing judy speak is always my favorite, because she is a friend, and her words are familiar.  it feels like church that you grew up in.  as a speaker, i am always astounded at the gift God has given her to pass on wisdom, love and truth to people.  she spoke about call and conviction, and about ‘expanding your repertoire of “feeling God” emotions so that it includes conviction.  Correction, discipline, etc…  That when we are in a time where we are just not “feeling God” that perhaps we are too narrow-minded in what that would feel like, because when we feel led to do even the smallest act of kindness, or to not sin – even in the tiniest instance – or when we feel bad about a sin we have committed, that is “feeling God” and it happens a lot.  

‘The Holy Spirit is going to blow where it wills, and it will not always be to lead you into a spirit of worship or contentment or love or to be comfortable, but sometimes it will lead you to guilt and conviction and correction.’

just good stuff.  

i have been going through all of our photos because i’m making a photo album book online, and i have rediscovered some really really great ones like this one on nat’s computer – he wrote “i love you ellen” in the snow while walking alone through campus one night when we were broken up a couple of years ago:



and the first photo ever taken of nat and i:  i can really see the sure signs of a future marriage, can’t you?



and this one, when nat flew in to san francisco from alaska one summer and we took the bus back to chicago together:  



and these ones, which will always go down in history as one of our best dates:




“our memories,” joseph says, “are like a river cut off from the ocean.  with time they will slowly dry out in the sun, and so we drink and drink and drink and we can never have our fill.”    

– dinaw mengestu from “the beautiful things that heaven bears.”


* lovely day * October 17, 2008

Filed under: chicago,inspiration,life in general,Marriage,Nat — Ellen @ 2:32 pm


I woke up with a bad migraine at seven, so I wrapped a bag of frozen veggies in a paper towel, took two excedrin and lay on the couch for a while.  We had two blueberry muffins (courtesy of Starbucks leftovers) for breakfast, and then Nat left to walk to work at 8:30.  About 2 minutes after he left I realized, “I should have walked to work with him!!”  I thought about whether or not I could catch him for about 30 seconds and then leapt off the couch and decided to try.  I threw on a jacket over my pajamas, put on my slightly-too-small vans, and took off sprinting down the sidewalk.

I did catch up with him, and it was so cool to walk to work with him.  Doing things like that always feels to me like a mini-vacation, I think because it’s special.  It is a BEAUTIFUL morning, and really fall-crispy-clear, and I was glad for the migraine that woke me up.  I felt silly walking back looking all disheveled and morning face, and my toes were hurting from running so fast but it’s about a mile and a quarter to the hospital, so I think I’ll start walking him there and running back.

And now it is off to day 3 of training.  I look forward to it all becoming second nature, when I will look back on all the training and laugh at how clueless I was.

happy day!