together at last.

Nate ended up opening at Starbucks on Saturday morning before he went to class, so we had all afternoon and evening together! We had lunch at a park and laid on a blanket in the grass and soaked up the sun. Then we headed to Hillsboro Village for some Sweet Cece's frozen yogurt. Nate was trying to take pictures of my eyes and right when he snapped this one, I looked left. Ha!

Group hug. Nate caught these guys as they tried to run outside. Miles and Otis tolerate us just as much as we tolerate them. We really do love each other.

Odie snuggled with us as we watched the NBA Finals.

Nate, the cat hunter! Poor Odie! :)

Our typical Sweet Cece's choices. Mine is all chocolate; Nate's is all fruity.


howdy, stranger.

Nate has two weeks left in the spring semester (praise the Lord!) and I am hoping that with his freedom from academia will come a little different work schedule. Here's what we've got going on next week, and this is a pretty accurate reflection of how it has been the last six weeks.

I forgot to put on the calendar that Nate goes back to class Saturday morning until noon. This is probably a low estimate, but we're awake approximately 105 hours a week. (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) On this schedule, how much time do we spend with just each other each week? 10 hours.

C'mon, summer break! And next season of life!


end of april.

I have some beautiful rhododendrons blooming in the front yard. It was a pretty normal week around here. We worked, Nate went to class, and I hung out with Miles and Otis. Wednesday evening I made lasagna! With Nate working evenings so much, I haven't been cooking much at all. It was kind of fun to get back in the kitchen … except for the dirty dishes. Nate says I'm allergic to doing dishes because I dislike it so much. Fortunately he volunteered to be the dish washer in the house if I'll clean the bathroom. How spoiled we will be if we ever have a home with a dishwasher!

Saturday I went to the Immanuel Women's Spring Mini-Retreat at our church. I went to the fall retreat last year, but not this past fall. There were about 45 women there, most of whom I didn't know. I was glad Tonya was there because out of all the women in Immanuel, I have probably known her the longest and shared the most experiences with her. Our introduction activity included standing up and saying your name and an adjective beginning with the first letter of your name that describes yourself. I scrolled through "A-adjectives" on my phone and when it came to my turn, I stood up and said, "I'm Alyssa Jones. And I'm awesome." Then I sat down. Everyone laughed. If you know me, I might sometimes think I am awesome, but I don't usually announce it like that! ;)

OK, how can you not take a picture of a sleeping cat when he is this cute?! Otis contorts into the strangest positions when he sleeps. Miles is a more mature/normal sleeper and I do take pictures of him, but since he is mostly black it is hard to get a picture that doesn't look like a giant shadow.
This week Nate is back to working evenings every day. It's nice for him because he has all day to work on his classes. It's sad for me because when I get home from work, he has just left to go to work until midnight and I'm asleep when he gets home. He only has a few more weeks left of classes this semester and even though he will probably take at least one class this summer, I will get to see him more. We even have some points saved up with Southwest for free flights so hopefully we will take a vacation to celebrate our first anniversary.



Odie's preferred napping spot when I get home from work. I make a good pillow.


T4G photos.

We had a great and exhausting (in a good way) week in Louisville. Here are some pictures from the conference. I'll write more later.

We spent Monday on the campus of SBTS attending a class associated with T4G12. Nate took the class for credit. I sat it on a couple of talks with him in the chapel.

The actual conference started on Tuesday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. There were 8,000 in attendance. We were trying to guess the ratio of men to women since it was primarily a conference for pastors. I would guess maybe 10 to 1 or 20 to 1, but I'm really bad at guessing numbers. One of my favorite parts of the conference was singing songs led by Bob Kauflin. I have never been in a room with such predominate male voices. It was really cool.

One of our favorite places was the "Zero Dollar Bookstore." A very accurate name because it was the room where they gave books to us … for free! We each got 19 free books and then we bought some more books for Nate at the LifeWay bookstore. Including duplicates, we can home with more than 62 books. Our home library is growing but we don't have bookshelf space for them all!

I was excited to see that The Gospel Project had a booth in the bookstore. I help write and edit The Gospel Project for Kids.

Trevin Wax, Mark Dever, Michael Kelley, and Matt Chandler talked about adult discipleship during an afternoon panel in the Zero Dollar Bookstore.

On Thursday, everyone got a free copy of Matt Chandler's new (and first) book, The Explicit Gospel. I am looking forward to reading this one.

Also on Thursday, Trevin Wax and Jared C. Wilson (who helped Chandler with his book) talked at The Gospel Project booth about Christ-centered ministry. We left the talk a little early to get to another event ...

Together for the Beard 2012! Author Joe Thorn (black shirt, center front) organized this photo opportunity for the men sporting impressive facial hair. Nate is standing directly behind Joe.

This final photo is from the last session of the conference. John Piper spoke. This was his last T4G Conference as a pastor. He preached from the Book of Jude on why he is amazed he is still a Christian.

Check out all of the T4G 2012 videos and audio at T4G.org. I took notes during the conference so I will probably post those somewhere soon or at least post some snippets that I found especially intriguing. I would recommend going to the T4G site and watching some of the videos. David Platt's message on Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions really stood out. The breakout sessions are available in audio format and the panels are also available as video.

We got back to Nashville around midnight last night. We had someone check on Miles and Otis while we were gone, but they pretty much had free reign on the cat food. I am fairly certain Otis doubled his weight while we were gone!  I used the 1/2 day coupon I won during our KMP Easter egg hunt and slept in until 9 before getting up and going to work around 10:30. Nate and I were laying in bed when we heard Otis batting a very noisy ball with a bell inside around the house. "I'm going to crush that ball," Nate said. "Don't," I replied. "He needs the exercise." :)


winner, winner, chicken dinner.

This morning was the 1st Annual Kids Ministry Publishing Easter Egg Hunt. Tomorrow, Good Friday, is a holiday for us, and shortly after I got to my desk this morning, the "Easter Bunny" began hiding eggs around 7DCT: on picture frames, on door knobs, on the floor. Everyone in the office got to pick one egg. Some had candy inside, some had a slip of paper redeemable for a fabulous prize! … And I won a prize! Quite possibly the most valuable and envied prize of them all: a 1/2 day off! Winner, winner, chicken dinner.



When I got home from work yesterday, I cleaned up the house and found this reversible KU practice jersey in some of Nate's things his parents brought from their house. It was literally a dress on me (an XL with an extra 4 inches on the length). But I thought it was pretty cool so I wore it while we watched the KU v. UK game. Otis was not extremely excited about having his picture taken, but he loves me.

And … this is how I felt the majority of the game. KU was down by double digits. I was yelling at the TV. Play defense! Stop turning the ball over! Make a shot! (Totally something my high school coach would say, but definitely the right recipe for winning a basketball game.) KU did make a nice run at the end, coming within five points, but they came up short. Kentucky was good. We're hoping all their freshman draft into the NBA and KU can make a run next year.


rock chalk jayhawk.

This is my wonderful husband when he was a senior at KU. (Hardly recognize him without the beard, huh?) His friend Evan sneaked them in onto the front row of a KU v. Texas game with Kevin Durant. The photo made kusports.com.

Needless to say, Nate is a big KU fan. Even though I went to K-State, I am a KU fan too. Just not quite to the extent of Nate. When we are watching a KU game at our house there is a lot of yelling and wooting going on. We are pumped for tonight's game. Nate has class, but he is leaving a little early to make it home for tip off.

Kentucky will be a tough team to beat, but I am really hoping KU wins because in our work pool, only five of us picked KU and UK to be in the championship, and I am the only one who has Kansas winning. I don't know if I would win anything (we didn't bet anything) but I might be able to negotiate for a half day off or something. :)


 Sundays are good days for naps. Nate left for work and I laid down with Miles and Otis. They are good snuggle buddies. I think it's funny when they sit with their legs curled up under them because it looks like they don't have any legs. :)

Miles and Otis have been brothers for 7 months, and they definitely act like brothers! Usually their chewing on an ear or tail turns into a lick fest. Since it has been so nice outside lately, I've been occasionally letting them wander around by the side porch for a few minutes while I watch them. Now Miles sits at the kitchen door and meows loudly all the time because he wants to go out. And when we come home the first thing we have to do is open the door just a crack and shove our leg in to make them back up so they won't run outside.

 Saturday we got to enjoy the wedding of our friends Michael and Hilary. They got married in East Nashville and our pastor Ray (who married me and Nate) did the ceremony. It was the first wedding Nate and I had been to since our wedding last July, and it was really fun to share in the excitement from another point of view. The reception was at the Cannery Ballroom downtown. Nate and I had fun in the photo booth, and dinner was delicious.

We sneaked out of the reception a little early to catch the KU v. Ohio State game. I fell asleep and didn't see most of the game, and when Nate said, "Honey, they're tied! Wake up!" I opened my eyes and said, "There are 15 minutes left. Wake me up when there are 5." ha. The wedding wore me out! We are excited that the Jayhawks are in the championship! Rock chalk!
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