Thursday, April 30, 2015

16 Hour Days and Pinterest Inspiration

8 months in Alaska and I'm still in awe. This is the view from our driveway looking down our street. Look at those mountains. 

Alaska is remarkable. Today we had (/have because the sun is still out at 10:30 p.m.) 16 hours of sunlight. It's incredible. It's light more than it's dark. And the weather has been nice too. The mornings are a little cool but it's been warming up to 50 in the afternoons. 

This week has been really great. Thanks in large part to a day of grilling on Saturday. Nathanial received a new charcoal grill as a birthday gift from his mom. I'm not sure who was more excited about it - him or me. 

Nathanial is quite the grill master. He cooked enough meat to last the week. It has made a huge difference in our evenings. 

He grilled 4 sets of shish kabobs, 8 pounds of chicken, a pound of sausage, 2 pounds of pork chops, hamburgers and corn on the cob. 

He's also been a champ at preparing dinner while I get in a run after work. My favorite meal was the lemon chicken pasta he made with some of the grilled chicken. 

He's a man of many talents that husband of mine. He surprised me Tuesday night with a ukele serenade. While I was out on my run, he bought a ukele and taught himself "You Are My Sunshine." It was awesome. It's more impressive considering I wasn't gone that long and knowing the ukele is an instrument made for right handed people and he's left handed. I'm trying to convince him to take his show on the road - to Hawaii :)

I've been talking a lot about running lately because I've finally found my love for it again. I've already signed up for another half marathon this summer and am eyeing several more. This time around I'm determined to be more consistent in my training. I decided to join a training group to help with that and so far so good. The group is organized through the local running store. There are four coaches and over 100 women. It's such an empowering group of ladies. We will meet twice a week. On Wednesdays we do a track workout with tempo and stride work and on Saturdays we will do long runs. This was the first week and I couldn't be more thrilled with my decision to join. I wasn't so sure on Wednesday morning when I had to be at the track at 6 a.m. in the pouring rain. Early mornings  are not my thing and showing up at a place I didn't know with a group where I didn't know a soul was nerve-wracking.   

Turns out Pinterest is right sometimes. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Outer Space and Old Age

I thought I'd start by clearing up some confusion. I wanted to set the record straight that we live in Alaska. I've been calling it the Final Frontier since we moved and Nathanial just decided to point out that the Final Frontier is outer space. Apparently Alaska is known as the Last Frontier. Oops. Sometimes it seems like we're living on a different planet so I understand why no one has corrected me before.  

Now that we have that settled, let's move on to more important things. I started a job this week! It is such an answer to prayer. While it was a blessing to be able to have time at home being a wife and working on renovations, it never felt like my calling. I struggled a lot with a sense of purpose and often felt like I wasn't using my talents. 

I am working at the university in town and could not be more thrilled! I had some great meetings last week and am excited for things to ramp up. 

One afternoon I had Pandora playing and Taylor Swift's 22 came on. The lyrics "I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22" really made me laugh because that day I couldn't have felt older. I got a coffee at the student union building and was laughed at by the barista when calling for a grande. Apparently that's a Starbucks term not used on a college campus. Then one of the student workers in the department invited me to join in with he and his friends for a break dancing session. Ha. 

Even though I look similar to my 18 year old self, a lot has changed since then. 

My first week was great. I had plenty of time to get settled in and to start getting to know people. 

Other than work, church is what is keeping us the most busy. 

Nathanial has quite the reputation as the trumpet player. The older people get grumpy if he doesn't play each service. He was even called up to the pulpit to play a Jewish shofar (authentic ram's horn) in the week leading up to Easter. He has also recruited another trumpet player. The two of them along with a trombonist create what he describes as "a wall of sound." I would describe it as awesome. 

Some friends and I sang a special last weekend during the Easter service and had a blast doing it. We're looking into making it a regular thing. 

I have to work on my stage faces if that happens. I also need to make sure the photographer is further back in the auditorium and gets a better angle. :)

I'm still working hard on the Preschool Committee trying to improve that ministry. We have so many sweet babies at our church. 

Nathanial and I have been teaching the 3, 4 and 5 year old class on Wednesday nights. We study different missionaries and the countries they serve. This month is all about Mexico which is so fun. We already taught our little friends some Spanish songs, played maracas and made tissue paper flowers. I can't wait to bring in a piƱata for them. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Who You Should Marry

If you aren't one for sappy, then you'll want to skip this post.  Sometimes (as evidenced by the lack of posts lately) I have such a hard time coming up with what to write; other times an idea sparks and the words just seem to flow out of me.  That's how I feel tonight.

Recently Nathanial and I saw the new Cinderella movie.  There's something so enchanting about that story. It still seems to conjure the same excitement and awe in me as it did when I was a child. Tonight as I reflected on the day, it dawned on me that there is so much more romance in the every day.

Little girls should dream not of being swept out of a pumpkin carriage and off their feet but should dream of a Godly man that will make even the most ordinary day seem like a fairy tale.

They should want a husband who (in no particular order):

  • Would rather spend an evening listening to a podcast about the Bible than finish the show you've been binge watching on Netflix
  • Will start talking in a fake accent to keep you calm and laughing when it's 11 p.m. the night before Easter and you still have 4 more dishes to make for the church luncheon you planned
    • And will also jump in to help where needed and grate carrots like a pro
  • Will make multiple trips to the church dumpster during the lunch because he's the only one who notices the trash cans are full
    • And will still graciously take a selfie with you afterwards because you forgot to take any pictures
    • He'll also agree to wear a hot pink tie so you look coordinated

  • Who will start a Bible study because he's tired of your church not having anything for men
  • Who may not have much experience with kids but will still agree to help you teach the 3 & 4 year old class at church. He'll also be a good sport  and volunteer to watch your friend's three little girls on a Friday evening

  • Will be your biggest supporter and cheerleader even if that means standing outside in freezing temperatures while you run

  • Will inspire you to be the best version of yourself 
  • Will use his talents to worship God but also to serenade you with your favorite songs on a week night
  • Will encourage you to always be kind and will selflessly show up to help remodel a basement or help an elderly couple move
  • Will wake up early to make you breakfast on your first day at a new job
I am so incredibly blessed to be Nathanial's wife.  I am so thankful for a husband whose love for me is only surpassed by his love for his Savior.  This list could go on for pages but I also married the man who will be so annoyed by this post.  Who wouldn't see any of these things as something to be bragged about.  That's the beauty of it though. It's the little things; the every day moments, that make for the best romance.