Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Story Worth Telling

Nate & I went to a wedding reception today, and it was actually 8 months ago today that we got married! With wedding thoughts on my mind, I looked back through some of our wedding pictures tonight, and then ending up reading through several Facebook posts leading up to our wedding day.

It was neat to read back through and sense the excitement as we anticipated becoming husband and wife. Many family and friends also shared in that excitement, showing their support and encouragement as we looked forward to sharing that day with them.

Browsing through Facebook posts from last year, I eventually ended up on my blog and was reminded that today holds significance as each year I remember the love and support of my family and friends.

This day had been in the back of my mind lately, knowing it was this month, but I honestly couldn't remember the exact day. Until today. November 16th. The exact day I was hospitalized fours years ago now to sort out some mental health struggles.

When I was thinking about it earlier this month, I decided I didn't want to make a big deal about it this year like I have the past two years. But now that the Lord brought it to mind on the exact day, I do want to take time to recognize the faithful support from family and friends - in good times (like getting married) and bad (like facing unknowns related to mental health).

Matthew West's song, "The Story of Your Life" has been on my mind recently, and the last line of the chorus stuck out to me tonight...

This is the story of your life
You decide
How the rest is gonna read
This is your chance between the lines
To redefine what kind of legacy you leave
This is the story of your life
And it's a story worth telling

I've told my story. The good and the bad. And I've been so blessed by many who encourage me as the story of my life continues!

Thank you to each of you who have loved me and have shared in my joy and my pain. YOU are such a significant part of my story & I thank God for you! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Home Improvements

Nate purchased our house last summer, and we spent several months before our wedding getting the place ready to move in after we got married in March. While the house was move-in ready by then, there were still many projects on our "to do" list! Here's a look at some of the improvements:

1. New Front Deck - No more water draining into the basement when it rains!

2. Brand New Stove - We lived for 7 months without a stove. We are now enjoying several new meals we weren't able to make before!

3. Vent Covers - This task was way more difficult than we ever imagined! The old covers were...well, old! And beat up, random colors, etc. When we decided we wanted to replace them, we did not realize standard sizes have changed. Stores no longer carried what we needed. Nate ended up having to cut away some trim work in order for these new vent covers to fit. Thankfully, he's handy and did a great job!

 4. Energy Efficient - Nate received a random package in the mail yesterday. He was so confused when he opened it up and found a shower head! We recently recycled an old fridge with NYSEG, and they sent this to us so we can be even more energy efficient and save on water. This was in addition to the energy efficient light bulbs they gave us the day they picked up the old fridge - Thank You, NYSEG!

5. Fall Fun - Nate's dad gave us some mums at Easter. Even thought I thought I'd killed them and they looked hopeless, we planted them over the summer, and they came back so much bigger! They've really popped out this past week and add quite a bit of color as everything else is dying out for the year. How fun!

I realize there will probably always be things at the house we want to work on, but we're not letting the seemingly never ending list overwhelm us! The transformation has definitely been a learning experience, and things like unexpected shower head deliveries keep it fun and interesting!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Few Things I've Learned About Nate

Nate and I recently spent a week of vacation together! We traveled to visit family and friends, and then enjoyed time together in Lake George - fall is a beautiful time of year in the Adirondacks!

Today marks seven months of being married, and I've already been reminded of our wedding ceremony a couple times this morning! The scripture passage in the devotional book Nate and I use highlighted Colossians 3 today - the verses we picked for Pastor Jim to share during our ceremony. Later, I was blow drying my hair and realized I was singing "I Surrender All" which our guests sang along with us during the ceremony! Neat reminders today as we reflect on our marriage.

The other day I was thinking about things I've learned since meeting Nate. I grew up with two sisters, so he has certainly opened up my eyes to all things GUY! Such as:

  • Anything is better if it's gas powered. Give Nate a gas powered weed whacker and he's happy for hours!
  • For Nate, a trip to Harbor Freight is like a trip to Joann's for me - this guy loves his tools!
  • Breakfast isn't complete without honey or waffles - or both. We received two waffles irons as gifts before we got married. I was going to take one back, but Nate wanted to keep them both - one was for regular waffles and one was for belgian waffles - I wouldn't have known the difference! Nate is the Waffle Master.
  • Reflective listening is automatic for Nate. I noticed this early on and really appreciate it. Nate's always repeating back what someone says to him, but in his own words. He often will recognize someone's situation from their perspective. Many people have to be taught and reminded to use reflective listening skills, but Nate truly engages people in conversation.
  • Nate appreciates fun. He definitely has a goofball side and is always up for new adventures!
I could probably write a book about Nate. He lives out the life we're called to in Colossians 3, and I'm so thankful for the privilege of being his wife!

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate heartskindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesusgiving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Reality = Unplanned Frustrations

I was just finishing up a wonderful blog post about all the great things that have happened the past six months that Nate and I have been married. And then my computer shut down on me.

While I could have gone back and finished that post, I realized those "unplanned frustrations" have tended to be a theme lately, so I'm going to highlight those instead. Here's a more realistic look at what we've experienced in the first half of our first year of marriage:
  • We currently need to turn our basement lights on when we want to use the internet.
  • Nate's driving record showed he left the scene of an accident and it added six points on his license. Problem was: the hit and run was apparently in Missouri - a place Nate has never been to!
  • We still do not have a stove, and we blow a fuse when we use the toaster oven and microwave at the same time.
  • We'd been wanting to go camping at Long Pond (where Nate proposed) and the afternoon we planned to go the fridge in apartment we rent out decided to die. So instead of loading the canoe and tent up in Nate's truck, we headed to Lowes and hulled a new fridge home in Nate's truck!
  • We had Nate's family over for dinner on the grill one night and had trouble with the propane. Realizing we didn't have a stove to cook everything in, we ate in shifts as we cooked each item in the toaster oven.
  • We still do not have vent covers for our duct work and have realized the sizes we need do not line up with the current standard sizes available.
  • I found the website I wanted to create our wedding album through and spent hours uploading pictures and placing them on just the right pages. When I went to sign back in a few days later to finalize everything, it wasn't accepting my password. Come to find out: when I originally signed up, I had a typo in my email address, so created an account for an email that's not even mine! Now I need to figure out if I should finish the book under this incorrect email or start the whole book over with the right account.

Despite certain things not going as planned, we truly have enjoyed the past six months. God is good and our life is full of blessings from Him! We ended up being able to recycle the old fridge from the apartment and got six energy efficient lightbulbs with the deal too - just the number we need for our basement, so now at least when we turn our internet on, we're being more efficient with the lights that have to be on too!

As far at the hit and run on Nate's record, after countless phone calls to Missouri and New York State, they realized Nate was not the right guy, so cleared it from his record. That was an answer to prayer!

While things like vent cover sizes and mis-typed emails can prevent us from accomplishing our plans in our timing, we try to keep everything in perspective and make the most of each day no matter what it brings. We didn't make it to Long Pond the weekend we originally wanted to, so we pitched the tent in our backyard after dealing with the fridge. We had a lot of fun roasting hotdogs and marshmallows right at home and were able to camp at Long Pond a few weeks later.

Instead of working on house projects last night, we marked our six month anniversary with a movie and popcorn. I think it was just what we needed as we gear up for whatever "unplanned frustrations" the next six months will bring!

Photo Credit: Brandi Scott Photography

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1 Month Later

Nate & I celebrated 1 month of marriage today!

Since coming back from Colorado, we have somewhat settled into a routine and are slowly working through all the phone calls, decisions, and paperwork involved in changing a name and moving to a new house. Here are a few updates:

Meals: We still do not have a stove, but have been faithfully using the crock pot, waffle maker, and microwave to make creative meals - only one of which we will never make again...

House: Along with a bathroom door, we now have a bedroom door! This is key on days when Nate heads to bed early, and I am still up working on things in the house. Next up: we're hoping to paint and re-install the vent covers after unfortunately flinging an item into the open vent and losing it to the duct work..oops!

Fun: We've had several friends and family members over to the house for food, games, and catching up. And just this week we were finally able to figure out how to switch the TV mode to recognize our DVD player and [more importantly, according to Nate] the Nintendo...can you say Duck Hunt?!

We truly have enjoyed this past month as husband and wife - learning more about each other and living life together. It didn't take long to realize that we do still need to make time for just ourselves though, and I've recently been able to catch up on some blogging if you'd like to read more about our Wedding and/or Honeymoon - just click the links!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Colorado Honeymoon

We spent our first week as husband and wife in Colorado! Here are a few highlights from the trip:

 1. Awesome Wildlife - up close and personal!

2. Great Food - this was at a BBQ place after a day on the slopes!

 3. Spectacular Views - this is what we saw once we conquered one of the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park. Driving around all week, the views were just breathtaking!

4. Cozy Cabin & Relaxation - this is where we stayed. Just enough room for two, a warm fireplace, and a hot tub right outside!

We would love to go back to Colorado someday and would highly recommend you plan a trip there too - you won't be disappointed!

For more pictures from our trip, click here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our Wedding

I'm not quite sure how to sum up an entire wedding day into one blog post, but here's a look at the day Nate & I said "I do!"

All photos from Brandi Scott Photography.

First Look: We saw each other before the ceremony and shared letters that we had written to each other. This was the most teary-eyed moment of the day for me!

Ceremony: We had a traditional marriage ceremony and exchanged vows & rings. We also had our guests sing two songs with us - I Surrender All and Beauty of the Cross. Our desire was for the focus to be on God as the center of our relationship.

Pastor Jim shared from a few passages of Scripture, including Colossians 3:12-17 and John 15:4-5. As he explained Christ's comparison that He is the vine and we are the branches -  apart from Him we can do nothing - Nate and I wove a three strand cord together to represent Christ incorporated into our marriage.

 We added another guy into the Tischer Family!

 And I became a Brown!

 We were glad our brothers and sisters could celebrate with us!

Reception: After the ceremony and a few more pictures, we joined guests across the street for our reception. Highlights included:
  • A Trail Mix Bar for guests to create their own snack
  • A Wooden Bench Nate had made for guests to sign with a wood-burning tool
  • Delicious Food: a carving station to make ham or turkey sandwiches, baked macaroni & cheese, fruit, veggies, cheese & crackers, meatballs, and super tasty berry cobbler for dessert (which resulted in only a slight red stain on my dress after we fed it to each other!)
  • Thoughtful Speeches from our siblings that had us cracking up!
  • Farkle game give-away to recognize a few of our guests
  • Lots of Pictures with family and friends 

Get Away: Nate had been plotting a dramatic get-away since before he even proposed! He ended up whisking me away in this giant army truck after we were bombarded with birdseed!

 Fun Fact: We hardly had time to eat at our own reception, so we stopped for some food and snacks on our way out of town. The lady ringing us out asked if we had just gotten married - she said all the birdseed in my hair was a dead give-away!

We had a wonderful day and are truly thankful for God's gift of marriage!

For more pictures from our ceremony, click here.