.:. 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!!


.:.from where i am standing.:. February 11, 2009

Filed under: goals,inspiration,life in general,Marriage,newlywed,running,wifery — Ellen @ 7:30 pm

I have been avoiding blogging lately because I feel a little blog-boring.  Motivated and excited about life and full of dreams – but not very full of interesting things to write about.  Then today while I was running my three miles on 4 hours of sleep and too much espresso I was thinking about blogging, and thought, “who is this blog for, anyway?”  And, “what IS blogging?”  and thinking about how anything I put out there into the world – for myself or for whoever – I want it to be genuine and honest and I want it to be a time capsule and I want it to be fun and inspirational and true and brave and humble and lots of other things that if I spent too much time analyzing (read: comparing to others blogs) would amount to me either quitting altogether or trying to become something I’m not naturally.  And I am saying no to both of those because I like blogging, I believe in it, and no matter how unineteresting, I want to be myself.  


RUNNING: Yes, I have been doing it a little bit more.  We have a plan that starts from the Shamrock Shuffle 8k in March and works up to a very hypothetical marathon in Alaska in August.  I’m not going to talk about that anymore though until I/we are doing at least ten mile runs without dying.  I did three miles for the first time in months – maybe even a year or two – last week and was so proud I couldn’t stop talking about it.  Unfortunately I think it made me a little too confident, because to be fully and one-hundred percent honest with you, my

EATING: has been very, very bad.  I am craving all kinds of ridiculous things, and haven’t been to the grocery store yet this week and we are out of my fresh food daily staples: macintosh apples, red bell peppers, spinach, green beans and minestrone soup (not fresh, but a staple.)   I have been hungry at weird, non-meal times, because I get up at 4 in the morning and that is supposed to be sleeping time…. and I drop pastries on accident occasionally at work and can not find it in me to throw them away… so I mark it out as “discarded” and eat it.  And I was telling Diane today that I think if I could have one thing a day for the rest of my life it would be a vanilla soy latte.  Believe me, I know about soy.  I have read up on it in multiple reliable sources, and no about the hormonal risks, overprocessing, etc… but THEY TASTE SO GOOD.  I just heaved a huge sigh because I know what I wrote down on my goals list that I will talk about in a minute:  “Only one soy drink a week.”  It is nonfat milk for me, now, or none.  Coffee plain and simple.  And the proof is in the pudding: my go-to jeans feel too tight… and they have not just been in the dryer.  

MARRIAGE:  We are at a beautiful place right now, six months past our wedding.  Nat is such a servant, and he helps me and cares for me in ways I never even expected him to, or dreamed that anyone would.  He is teaching me more than he knows.  We are partners and pals and we are happy and I need to learn how to better hold/use my tongue, and we have been cooking a lot of delicious meals and making dinner every night really special with candles and good music lately.  And, it is good.

BABYSITTING: I seem to be doing a lot of it, and  I love it.  Tommy….. has just turned two, is very, VERY cute looking (I don’t say that about all children, either.) and is pretty obedient and VERY pleasant to be with because his favorite thing of all time is to be read to.  We can spend hours reading one book at a time under blankets on the couch, he running back and forth from the bookshelf for a new one, as happy as could be.  Besides reading, we play with toys or he takes a bath or brushes his teeth, or we walk outside and I tell him how fast he can run.  It’s wonderful.  Nat called him our stand-in child the other day because he knows how much I love the dream of having kids and how fascinated I am by discipline strategies, baby products and that I am

READING: Baby Wise, a book about a method of parenting that is very scheduled with sleeping and feeding.  I know that when the time comes, I will be fully armed with a lot of parenting information and the best of intentions, and that even so it will be challenging and different than what I expect – but I am fascinated, and so I am reading.  Aside from Baby Wise, I’m on book 7 of Harry Potter now, although I haven’t started it yet.  I’m waiting a little bit to savor it more and draw it out as long as possible.  I have been surprised by how much I like it, and I will say that I found much of the “witchcraft = horrible reading material for people” hoopla just that – a lot of hoopla.  Kids can watch tv, questionable non-wizardry-related movies, go online whenever they want, and read books about materialistic, greedy teenagers – – and they can’t read Harry Potter?  It is not unlike Narnia in the fights between good and evil, and Harry and his friends who are loyal and help each other…  Anyway, we must all choose our battles of course.  I am Pro-Harry, you can be Anti-Harry, and we can still get together and have a marvelous time.  I am also reading The Message these days… bouncing around between Paul’s letters and Proverbs and Exodus.  

LISTS + SCHEDULES:  While waiting for Tommy’s mom to come home last night I filled a piece of printer paper with a schedule for the rest of the week, a new weekly list/schedule of daily chores, ideas of ways to reach out to others, some general goals, some positive “success statements” for me to think about, and two food lists: Allowed and Not Allowed.  It was like therapy, and a self-taught lesson (I was home-schooled, I find these most effective.) in positive thinking promoting well-being.  Here are some things I came up with:

Chores: Monday – Kitchen & Bathroom.  Tuesday – Vacuum.  Wednesday  – Dust.  Thursday – Laundry (2-4 loads).  Friday – Organize, sort and label. (I was running out of ideas – our apartment is small.)  Saturday – Purge and give away.  (Every day, it seems, I come across some article of clothing or a book or a knick knack that I realize we do not need whatsoever.)  Sunday – R & R.    These are aside from the more obvious Everydays:  Dishes, clothes put away, all rooms straightened, car cleared out.  So that’s chores.    

Others:  Make and keep a calendar of birthdays.  (Birthdays are not my strong suit except for Nat and family and Amanda’s.)  Invite new people over for dinner often – maybe every week?  Remember to get decaf coffee for dad, Cafe Verona for the Mullers, and Cafe Estima for Judy every so often, as well as tea for others, and Tuesday nights.  Send baby/happy pregnancy gifts.  Call just to say hello (meaning, don’t always just send a little Facebook shout out.  Use my voice.)      ….

Goals:  No more picking at my nails.  Pick up extra shifts at work.  If no snow – ride bike!  Record music with Garage Band.  Bring healthier food to work for breaks.  Work on having better posture.  …

The Allowed list is pretty guessable and obvious (fruits, veggies, blah blah blah.), and the Not Allowed List is:  Overeating.  Mindlessness.  More than two coffee drinks a day.  Starbucks pastry case items.  Canned pasta (I have been craving spaghetti-o’s consistently for weeks.  By the way – do not let this eating talk fool you into thinking I am pregs.  I am not.)  Skipping breakfast.  Second dessert helpings.  …

And then the Positive Statements included things like:  I love to keep things clean.  I listen before I speak.  I answer my phone when I am not with others and even if I don’t feel like it (and if I really don’t feel like it, and they leave a voicemail, I call back in a timely fashion.)  I am a runner.  I do not spend our money on things I/we do not need….. and so on.  


I know that it is a little silly and funny.  I also know that that kind of thinking and putting things down in an organized way on paper really helps me to plan and think more clearly, and to stick to things.  I am going to keep this piece of paper close by and refer to it often to remind myself.   

And finally, here are some pictures out of my “artsy fartsy” folder into which I put things that inspire me from all over the internet world:

And that, my friends, whomever you may be, is that.


*~*: 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.”


round two. September 17, 2008

Filed under: chicago,Marriage,newlywed — Ellen @ 7:55 pm

Had a second interview with Starbucks today… with Jenny, a VERY sweet manager who answered every question beginning with, “Yeahh.. totally!  Um…”  She said that this district I am applying into is the best one in Chicago, a great little community, and OH goodness gracious, I hope that Guy calls and says I am hired because I will not play it cool.  I will accept on the spot.  I just got so excited for morning rushes of making coffee, greeting familiar people, and helping hand out the leftover food to various shelters, etc…  Sounds so fun.

And… sigh.  I did go running yesterday.  Sorry, I have to say “running”.  It was highly pathetic, but I am not discouraged.  I will just start very, very slow and short, and work up from there.  I feel like I must take advantage of the beautiful Portage Park while we are still living here.  I estimate that about 150 people run by our apartment every day.  Some of them I can just tell are training for the marathon, and some of them look like me – lumbering a little bit, maybe a little awkward, out of breath… but if it’s not motivation to get out and join them, I don’t know what is.

It’s Nat’s mom’s birthday today!  We (she and I) aren’t quite sure what I call her yet.  We jump around with “Mom” and “Luanne”… and nothing has quite stuck yet.

There is a man waiting near the drink pick-up counter here at Starbucks, poised on one leg, the other lifted straight up and out in front of him, foot resting on the counter, with his arms pulling it in a very distracting hamstring stretch.  Oh… now the other leg! This is too funny to laugh at.  He looks absurd. People are so funny……..

No one loves Planet Earth and Blue Planet like Nat and I do… The WEIRDEST things live at the bottom of the ocean.  Things that light up, spray laser-like films and weapons into the water that light up like neon lights.  Some of it is kind of scary… these fish look like alien/monsters, and it’s hard to imagine God creating them.  They look like they come from the other side.

Tonight, we watch Hitch.  We have a little trio of romantic comedies…first PS I Love You, now Hitch, and next… Music and Lyrics.  Can’t remember what comes after that.  Maybe The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Well, on to more phone call waiting, run attempting, and apartment straightening.

Be alive!