Youtube Reboot


I’m getting back into Youtube, first by posting footage I’ve been holding onto. While it’s a lot of work, it’s also a lot of fun capturing everything and looking back at all of the great times I’ve had with my family and friends. It’s like I get to relive the moments over and over. Here’s my intro video.

So Here’s What You Missed

Elleword - Brandon and I unpacking our new apartment

Aside from reaching the big five year milestone in our marriage, Brandon and I have had so many things happening back to back. I thought I’d share what we’ve been up to in a blog post; here we go.

On The Home Front

 

We moved into our dream apartment complex a few weeks ago! Eventually we’ll be able to land our dream floor plan, but for now, we’ve settled into a cozy space on the fourth floor. Justice (woof) has adjusted pretty well to our new space. He loves his new bed that we bought for him and tends to eat snacks and store his toys there. It’s actually pretty cute to see him snuggled in there. Our complex is a great place for people who enjoy being social to flourish. There is a happy hour held every Wednesday where residents can mingle of snacks in our 24 hour clubhouse. I’ve met so many fun and interesting people who I think could become our friends in the future.

Brandon and I tend to camp out at night in the clubhouse while working or surfing the web. We could purchase an internet package but it’s nice to get out of our apartment for awhile. One of our favorite things to do is watch DVDs over dinner in our small home theater. To keep the carpet safe and our food fur free, Justice isn’t allowed in there. We’ve also walked way more than we used to now that there is a park across the street. We even took a 5 mile bike ride up the street and around the corner on a few bike trails. Hopefully, we’ll get a good fitness routine going where we can use the 24 hour gym at the complex as well. One step at a time 🙂

As Far as Work Goes

Brandon just spent most of the last two weeks out of town for work conferences and meetings. He’s been working harder than ever trying to make the project that he and his team are working on a success. There’s a possibility that he could get a raise soon but for now, we’re in the ‘waiting’ stage. It’s been frustrating for him to not know what they will decide since he’s doing his best, but we try to focus on enjoying ourselves together when he gets off work. That seems to really be helping him to relax. I hope he gets the raise but in the meantime, I’m working hard to help him with our finances by budgeting and working on finding clients.

I’ve shot two weddings this month and I have one on the 12th of November. Business is starting to get rolling for Gernelle Nelson! I hosted a photo booth at our apartment’s halloween party and landed some perspective clients, one wedding included. I even met the editor of a local magazine who asked me if I’d like to take images for them sometime. Um,… Yes!! I’m praying for guidance on how to be social, and how I can help others while building my company. Just gotta stay consistent!

That’s enough of the updating, I’ve written quite a lot for the night and don’t want to bore you! Have a good night readers.

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Five Years After I Do


Brandon and I have seen our share of great times and hard times. One thing that I’m most grateful for is that we’ve been able to maintain our friendship and grow closer over time. A lot happens in the first five years of marriage. You move in together, argue a lot about money, learn about each other’s not so great habits, and truly start to learn more about each other on a new level. Here are five lessons that my marriage has taught me. May they be a blessing in your romantic endeavors as well.

PDA is good for happy and tough times

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Yes, we are one of those hopelessly in love, always smiling couples. We hold hands because we like to. I kiss him, hug him and lean on him anywhere, yes, even in church. I believe that God wants others to see that kind of love between people in His house. But we have our tough days too. Sometimes we don’t get along or say things that unknowingly hurt the other person. But something as simple as reaching for his hand says ‘I’m mad at you but I still love you.’ When he reaches back, its like hearing ‘I love you too’. An embrace is a powerful thing. We’ve both had times when one of us has hugged the other after a heated moment and looks up to find one or both of us has begun to cry tears of relief.

What God has brought together will stay together if you keep him at the center

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I knew Christ since childhood but had fallen out of pace with His plan for my life. I knew Brandon was the man for me, the one, when I realized that he cared about my soul. He invited me to church, an FCA retreat and plenty of bible studies early on in our relationship. His love for Jesus inspired me deeply. During our wedding ceremony, we had a three strand cord ceremony to remind ourselves to keep God intertwined in everything we do together as husband and wife. Sometimes that means being a spiritual rock when he is feeling overwhelmed. Praying together is a powerful thing, it’s hard to stay mad at someone who stands in agreement on your heart’s deepest desires.

When you don’t feel like lovers, you can always lean on your friendship

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One of the most valuable things that we have is a strong friendship. When we first got married, Brandon had a good job and a large social network. He was often invited places, going out on his own and planting himself on the couch after work. I, on the other hand, struggled to find a job. All of my friends had graduated and left the state and I felt lonely many days of the week. One night, while joking around with Brandon about our living situation, I suddenly burst into tears. Even though we were married, I felt as if we were living different lives and that he was oblivious to my pain. That night, he and I talked and he started to take purposed steps towards being more available emotionally. Once we moved to Texas, just a few months after our 2nd anniversary, our friendship blossomed. We didn’t know anyone in Texas so we leaned on each other for love, support and good times. Brandon now makes an effort to spend time with me each day because he knows that quality time is my strongest love language. I’ve built my own social circle and projects so he can have some alone time to recharge.

We don’t have to compromise all the time

elleword-five-years-of-marriage7Many people think that marriage is all about compromise, give and take, win some, lose some. For us, we try to make as many decisions as possible that allows us both to get what we want. Brandon doesn’t like to cook but I don’t mind, so I cook. One of my least favorite chores is laundry so he takes care of that for us. He takes out the trash, I keep an eye on Justice (our dog). Sure, there are times when one of us doesn’t get everything we want but not compromising on the everyday life stuff makes up for those times. Part of our success is thanks to us not asking each other to sign up for things we don’t want to do whenever possible.

Loving each other for who we are and blazing our own path together just might be the secret to marital bliss

We’ve been married for five years and have received lots of expectations from others who feel we should be doing things differently. The two biggest things we hear about is the fact that we don’t have kids or live in a house. Here’s the thing, we are happy without those things. No kids means a lifestyle of dating within marriage. Clothing is optional around the house and if we want to just lay around together during our down time, we can do that. Living in a resident community means never having to fix what’s broken around the apartment, never having to mow the lawn, free coffee and sweets in the lobby and a host of happy hours where we can hang out with our neighbors. While others feel like marriage isn’t complete without a house and kids, we are living proof that marriage is complete as long as there’s two people in love and God at the center of it all.

So cheers to five years of marriage and a lifetime of more stories to tell. Brandon, you are a blessing from God, irreplaceable. Forever’s a mighty long time and I really want to spend it with you. I shine when you shine, there’s really no substitute. Forever more my love, forever more.

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Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Adventures in Marriage: The Case of the Missing Glass

Elleword - Brandon and I enjoying the view at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas

Have you ever had the feeling that something has gone MIA? Let’s say it’s not a cherished electronic or puppy but something of the practical nature. Well that my friends is what this adventure is all about.

Some of the things we use everyday were wedding gifts from our family. Included in this list are plenty of dishes and glasses. My favorite glasses were a set of short squarish drinking glasses that looked reminiscent of those you see distinguished gentlemen filling with Brandy in old movies. Of course, instead of whiskey, I usually filled my glasses with a mix of lemon and cranberry juice. As part of our agreed chore schedule, I take care of the meals and my benevolent husband takes care of the dishes. A few years later, that’s when the mystery began.

I would go to grab one of my favorite glasses and notice that there were less of them in the cabinet than usual. After only seeing three, I started looking around the kitchen – the sink, beneath the counter, my husband’s desk – but those sweet little treasures were nowhere to be found. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I heard the last glass shattering in the sink that I realized where my beloved chalices had disappeared to. While Brandon was keeping up his side of our chore wheel, he was having trouble keeping a good grip on some of our dishes. Drinking glasses gave him the most grief and, one by one, my goblets bit the dust.

Elleword - My replacement glasses from the thrift store

 

 

Of course, there was no need to be upset, it’s just a little glass in the scope of our matrimonial journey together. But let’s be honest, I missed my little cups. So I did what any thoughtful wife would do in this situation. I bought replacements! The new glasses have spiral designs at the base and best of all, they only cost me $1 each (thank you Salvation Army!). I wouldn’t be the thrift loving gal you all know me to be without adding a a pair of taller glasses with a geometrical design similar to the kind you see in crystal drink ware. They were $3 total. Do I expect these new editions to our pantry to last forever? Not unless I buy a friction grip for Brandon or vow to handle all glass sanitation from now on.

Case closed.

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

So much to be Grateful for


Hi Queens and Kings.

My Friend Elle on Thanksgiving with her family

This past week I spent a much needed week away from work at our family house in Grand Prairie. While it was a little tough adjusting to the periodic yells from my nieces, I got in some much needed relaxation, quality time with family and even some exercise. The only downside was not being able to spend that time with my husband. He spent the week with his family out of state this year but we kept in touch through text and video chats until his return on Saturday. Continue reading “So much to be Grateful for”

Getting in Sync with your Spouse takes time, Don’t Give Up


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Brandon told me that he was having a stressful time at work so I treated him to dinner and a movie. As the night went on, he told me that spending time with me made him feel relieved, relaxed and calm during tough situations. Hearing him say that means so much to me. Things were quite different earlier in our relationship. Continue reading “Getting in Sync with your Spouse takes time, Don’t Give Up”

What Letting your Husband Take the Lead Means to Me


I was reading a blog about wives submitting to their husbands and was struck by a comment that said something to the fact of falling in line behind your husband when he takes the lead or control. I was inspired to write this post and expound on the comment that I left on their blog. I hope it sparks new ideas and positive views. Continue reading “What Letting your Husband Take the Lead Means to Me”

Money Managing with my Husband


Brandon and I in 2010, celebrating our first year dating anniversary.

In the beginning of our marriage, managing money was really difficult, to say the least. We had very different views on what was a good investment, how much to spend when and how much to save. I hadn’t lived with my parents for about four years so I had a little more experience when it came to budgeting according to a set income. When we got married, Brandon landed this awesome job with a 40k starter salary. I, on the other hand, had trouble finding a good job until midway through our marriage. Whenever we sat down to budget, tensions always seemed to rise when discussing why some purchases were a bad idea or how we could possibly be set back in our goals. Even within recent months, after trying several ways of running our ‘budget meetings’ together, it still usually ended in frustration. Continue reading “Money Managing with my Husband”

Sometimes I Forget my Compassion: Working on being an Encouraging Wife


My husband and I have been married for almost four years now. Lately, when things haven’t gone the way I had hoped, I’ve been getting frustrated and saying how I feel. I am very good about being direct, about staying focused and taking care of business. I’m not so good at looking at things from other’s people’s perspectives or filling up love banks when things aren’t on track. Brandon pointed this out to me the other day as I was questioning him about something that happened between us. He felt like I was blaming him, like he was failing and should just apologize over and over.

Before he said that, I didn’t know how he felt, and I hadn’t asked. Continue reading “Sometimes I Forget my Compassion: Working on being an Encouraging Wife”

Merry Christmas Darling


This year, we weren’t able to go home and visit family. We’d already traveled twice last month for Thanksgiving and seeing our nephew before he shipped off for Navy training. So Brandon and I linked up with my twin sis Gernae (Nae) and her husband (Danio) to celebrate Christmas together. We packed up a few things on Christmas Eve, grabbed Justice (woof) and jumped in the back seat of my sister’s car. She had just finished her shift at work and was excited to get the festivities started.

We spent the night making chili, singing, talking and eating. We also watched a Christmas movie. The next day, we called up our families and sang carols to them over the phone. As the sun set, we took pictures together on the balcony. Nae an I exchanged gifts in the car. Later, we cruised through the neighborhoods, looking at Christmas lights and sipping hot chocolate until Nae fell asleep in the front seat. We didn’t do anything extravagant or spend a lot of cash, but that time I spent with them all was magical. It was our first Christmas together in Texas. I got a little teary eyed when I realized that this was also the first time my sister and I had spent Christmas together in a two years; I missed her.

New Year’s is coming up. I’m not sure what we will be doing, but I hope we’ll be able to spend it together. The four of us and our two furry kids. Meanwhile, I decided to share a few of the pics we took together at the bottom of this post.

Have courage,
Elle

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