Thursday, July 27, 2017

Our Charleston Birthday Vacay

So a couple months ago, Rory and I took a little vacation. Our birthdays are two weeks apart to the day. I was born on May 6, and he was born on May 20. May is notoriously a crazy month for our family, because my dad's birthday is also in May! We decided that this year instead of really big gifts, we would take a trip and enjoy some time away together. The plan was to go to Austin, Texas, and also swing over to Waco and visit the Magnolia Market, but it was going to be craaaaazzzyyyy expensive. So. Driving distance was a factor. We found an amazing deal on an Airbnb and decided to go for it, because Charleston was on our bucket list. To save money, we ate a big breakfast, snacked throughout the day, and then ate dinner. It was great! The whole trip was a whirlwind, and we enjoyed lots of fun activities and some seriously great food. Here's a recap of our fun!


Lunch at Artisan Meat Share - amazing but now closed :(
A lovely walk through downtown 
Dinner at Básico

One place I wanted to visit was the Emanuel A.M.E Church, which is the site of the Charleston mass shooting. That day was sobering for me as it was for many Americans, but it was also sad to know that a distant cousin of mine (whom I'd never met) was among the fallen victims. It was encouraging to see a poster for a race reconciliation event on their walls, and being there gave me a sense of hope that we will continue to have conversations about race and love one another as we were called to. 


Dinner at Poogan's Porch

I was incredibly excited to see Boone Hall Plantation because it is where they filmed part of the movie The Notebook, which we all know is one of the most epic love stories ever. It was an incredible day, and we learned so much. The history behind plantations is one that is dark and full of sadness, as it is inextricably tied to slavery. We learned about the horrors of slavery, toured slave cabins, and also learned about what it took to maintain a plantation. There was also a Gullah presentation that was incredible. Part of my family is from Charleston, and I am almost certain that we have Gullah roots! Hearing about the history and touring the house was wonderful. The grounds were beautiful, and it was a really fun day. 


Our last day was fun, even though we knew we were headed home. We visited the Angel Oak tree, which to some is a waste of time, but to me is always neat to see and behold. Just knowing that God created this amazing tree and that it is standing there for us to take in and gaze upon is fascinating to me. Rory and I are not coffee drinkers, but we love tea. We were super excited to tour the only tea farm in America (although we didn't know that until we got there). The process of making tea is quite laborious! Before we toured the farm, Rory said that he thought it would be fun for us to have a tea garden. Well. That won't be possible since you need heavy machinery to do it right, but it was worth a shot. :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What I've Learned in Two Years of Marriage

I can barely believe it, but today is Rory and I's two year anniversary! Most days I feel like we've known each other for so much longer than almost three years. We have been through a lot of change in these two short years- new jobs for each of us, a house, a puppy, a new car, and lots of miles put on my car with various road trips to see family and friends and get away together.

Getting married was a huge deal, obviously. But everything that led up to that day was all preparation for a lifetime together, and at the end of the day, the wedding is not nearly as monumental as the life that you build together for years to come. I can honestly say that the last few years with Rory have been the most joy-filled of my life. There have been many trials and hard lessons learned, along with scars and wounds brought to the surface that threatened to choke the life out of our marriage. But through it all, God has become bigger and greater and all the more powerful in our hearts and minds. He has given us a great life together, and I truly believe that the best is yet to come. We thought we knew and loved each other on July 11, 2015, but today, two years later, we know and love each other even more. People always tell us that it just keeps getting better, and now I believe them! The best is yet to come.

Rory Alexander Mathisen is not just my husband. He's my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, my advocate, my defender, and the greatest joy to walk alongside each day. He makes every day brighter and loves me like Christ loves the church by laying himself down on my behalf. Since two years is the equivalent of 24 months, today I'm sharing 24 things I've learned about marriage. Happy anniversary to my sweetheart!

1. Marriage is not about making me happy or making Rory happy. It's about glorifying God.
2. Watching Netflix on your screen while the hubs plays video games on another screen is the perfect compromise for a night in.
3. Starting a conversation about the budget before eating dinner (read: when you're both hangry) is not a good idea.
4. Starting a conversation about a testy topic right before bed is also not a good idea.
5. It's always a good idea to pursue intimacy. ;)
6. It's also always a good idea to think before you speak.
7. Sometimes (well, pretty much all the time) you should pray before bringing up something that bothers you about your spouse. Also take the plank out of your eye because chances are he's not the only one with a problem.
8. Road trips are ideal for fun and deep conversations.

9. Cooking together, painting together, doing anything together around the house is a great bonding exercise.
10. Be very careful with the way you tell stories about your spouse when you're in front of others. Always paint them in a good light and be self-aware.
11. That being said, self-awareness is all-around great for marriage and life in general.
12. Praying together morning and night brings peace and unity to your relationship.
13. If you're on a special diet and your spouse isn't, just do it with them. It makes all the world of difference. But know that sometimes you can cheat with them so that they don't want to die for lack of carbs or sweets. :)
14. Always always always share your money and talk about the budget clearly and specifically. What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine.
15. Slow dancing in the kitchen is a sweet romantic gesture, and it's free.
16. Making a little stop by their workplace during the day is a huge pick me up. Sometimes I stop by the hospital where Rory works just to get a kiss and tell him hello. :)

17. In fact, if you can, a lunch date during the work week is oh so fun.
18. And along those lines, CONTINUE TO DATE. How the dump are you going to have a relationship if you don't get out and do something together? It doesn't have to cost money, so don't make it about that. It's about quality time. Go out to eat, go on a walk, exercise together, work on a fun DIY project, garden, do whatever, but be sure to date. I love our date nights so so much.
19. Getting away doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but it sure is good.
20. Sharing the scary and ugly parts of yourself is so hard, but so rewarding because this person has promised to love you no matter what and won't walk away.
21. Say "I love you" all. the. time. Doesn't matter if you think it's overkill, the other person needs to hear it more than you know. Along those lines, be sure to say "Will you forgive me?", "I forgive you,"  "I'm proud of you," and "Thank you" all the time, too.
22. Reading the Bible and worshiping together unites your hearts and helps you grow spiritually as a couple.
23. Not taking yourself (or life) too seriously does a world of good.
24. Making things fun just makes marriage (and life) all the more enjoyable.

All photos by the lovely Elissa Ewald.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Currently: July

Wooohoo! July is here and with it the heat and full-fledged BBQ mood. :) I don't know about you, but  July is a fun month because we are officially in summer mode. I am hoping to mooch off of Rory's parents and go to their pool, and I am very much looking forward to celebrating our second wedding anniversary! Here's what's going on currently:

documenting: Last month, we did a lot of house projects, and this month we are bringing them to completion and taking lots of pictures! I am so pleased with the way our new paint color looks and am enjoying our little DIY projects.
accomplishing: I'd say our little house makeover was quite the accomplishment, wouldn't you? But I also feel proud to say that I have been doing well with avoiding gluten, dairy, and sugar. Not perfect but feeling better for sure. :)
enjoying: I've been praying for a community of women for a while and am really grateful for a new group I'm a part of that meets on Sunday evenings. We are doing Angie Smith's Seamless for our summer study, and it is so good. It's a great complement to the Covenant study that I did earlier this year. ALSO last month we got a new nephew, so I am enjoying his little newborn snuggles.
reading: So many things! The Turquoise Table, The Broken Way, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Christy, to name a few.
spending: I am spending time with the hubs and just loving being with him at home. Also we are hoping to spend waaaay less money this month than the last. :)

Linking up with Anne and Stephanie today!


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