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To my dear Husband: Happy First Anniversary!


My dear husband,

Falling in love with you was quick and easy. A whirlwind romance. Our wedding day was full of joy, laughter, and love. God’s presence was so evident as we declared our vows to love and cherish one another.

And here we are, already celebrating our first year together. You have been the happiest man ever, declaring you have the most beautiful and amazing wife in the world. While I would not trade our first year of marriage for anything, for me it has been of a combination of feelings. Such joy and growth in marriage, changes and transitions, and the ups and downs that happen along the journey.

All I can say is thank you!

Thank you for showing me such grace and forgiveness. I know more of God’s grace now than I ever did in all the years of Sunday School.

Thank you for loving me so well. I am one of the luckiest women. Thank you for how very often you tell me that you love me, you find me beautiful, and speak words of affirmation into my heart and life.

Thank you for how you challenge and grow me. Two stubborn people in love. Yet we are stronger together, better together, and truly compliment one another.

Thank you for how you take care of me. Whether attending school events with me, making me dinner, or just holding me when I feel sad. You have loved and cared for me throughout this year.

Thank you for the times you are silly and make me laugh.

Thank you for all the memories we have made together this first year. Quiet Saturday mornings, buying our first Christmas tree, watching the World Cup, our first time traveling together, watching ocean storms, the Noah movie, your graduation, Easter Sunday baptisms, our picnic on the beach, and so much more.

Thank you for waiting forty years for me. For allowing God to prepare you as you trusted in His timing. Thank you for living your life fully for God while you waited.

Thank you for being you. You are beyond everything I hoped, dreamed, and prayed for during all the years of waiting. You complete me.

I love you so very much.

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Welcome to our Home!


For a girl who likes to be settled and organized, a year has been a long time to feel in transition. It took us months and months to unpack all the boxes. The first few months of marriage, our free time was spent going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We had items to return, gift cards to use, and things we still needed for our home. We had one very successful Craigslist run. Which I give all credit to God.

For our first month of marriage, we had only a few pieces of furniture. We ate dinner sitting in our two computer chairs while using boxes as our table. When I was tempted to complain about our lack of furniture, I looked to my right and saw my husband who loved me more than I could grasp. I looked out and saw the beauty of the ocean. All I could think was “Wow, I am blessed.”

Then I started work. After the first week, I came home and declared that we needed a couch. I spent a few hours on Craigslist and the next day we drove around Boston to discover some great finds. A couch, coffee table, a large chair for our study (someone gave to us for free!), and a dresser and nightstand for our guest bedroom. All God. Thanks to my husband’s prompting, we were able to bargain and get better deals.

Our home has come together in waves. Every time someone came to visit, a few more boxes were unpacked and our home became a little more organized. When we had friends over, more pictures were hung.

We had friends and family visit for Stephen’s graduation in May. That was our motivation to get the final things done in our home, like putting together our dining room table!

My husband has been super helpful. He has a great eye and we have a similar tastes in decorating. One evening during our first few months of shopping and returns, Stephen spotted a perfect accent table. We were able to use the money that a good friend gave us to purchase it for our kitchen.

We are so grateful for the many gifts we received from wedding showers and our wedding. SO very grateful! 

Below are a few of my favorite things…


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Our kitchen is full of the accent colors turquoise, teal, and aqua blue. I love the canisters. I added them to our registry as a last minute whim! I was excited to find this decoration on sale “Love builds a happy home.” The tea kettle got lots of use during our long Boston winter! What is better than using a kitchen aid mixer to make chocolate chip cookies? Using one that is aqua blue! The accent table my husband found for our kitchen. Did I mention how thankful I am for all of our wedding gifts?

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We got married in Vienna, Virginia and I love how unique this decoration is in our home. Some friends saw it in a random store window and knew they had to get it for us! The Mr. & Mrs. decoration was also a gift and full of timeless reminders for our marriage.

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This dresser is one of our great Craigslist finds! My cousin Priscilla dried my wedding flowers. They are in the pitcher Stephen used to wash my feet during our wedding ceremony. This is part of our guest bedroom…. who wants to come visit us in Boston?

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The free chair someone gave us while Craigslist shopping. Perfect for our study!

What are a few of your favorite things in your home?

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Icecream dates, ocean storms, and pretty plates

 32 things

32 things I am grateful for during this past year. (There’s no particular order to my list!)
1. Pretty plates
2. Running along the Charles River
3. Ocean storms
4. Our home by the ocean
5. Boston Red Sox winning the World Series
6. Stephen’s graduation
7. Ice cream dates
8. Visits from friends and family
9. Working out with my husband
10. Spring in Boston (when it finally came!)
11. Hiking in New Hampshire
12. Crane beach school trip
13. Surprise Starbucks drinks
14. Long distance travel over
15. Creating a home together
16. Writing once again
17. Daily praises
18. Husband’s African tea
19. first Christmas together
20. Creating traditions
21. Jesus Culture concert
22. Sunrises and sunsets over the ocean
23. Visiting dear friends in Virginia
24. Phone and skype conversations
25. Our wedding- my husband!
26. Beautiful honeymoon
27. Lunch breaks in the public gardens
28. Shirley church family
29. Husband driving me to work every morning
30. Birthday wishes
31. Love letters
32. My identity as God’s beloved

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Congratulations dear husband!


I am one proud wife! A week ago my husband graduated from Emerson College with a Masters degree in Broadcast Journalism.

When I told my second graders that Mr. Nyakairu was graduating on Sunday, one little girl said with great surprise “your husband hasn’t graduated yet?!” Her surprised reaction changed to an impressed “wow” after I explained that it was in fact my husband’s fifth graduation.

1. Shoreline Community College

2. Bachelors degree in Religious Studies at Seattle Pacific University

3. Masters of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

4. Masters of Theology in Preaching from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

5. Masters of Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College

My husband loves to study, learn, and grow. He is constantly listening to podcasts and books to grow as a leader.

When Stephen was in seminary, he would get up early in the morning to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. He knew that Haddon Robinson, a professor of preaching and interim president of Gordon Conwell, would be there. Stephen would join Dr. Robinson for breakfast. My husband surrounds himself with great leaders. Dr. Robinson would give Stephen tapes of his sermons. Stephen would listen to these tapes to learn and grow from a great preacher and leader.

My husband is a pastor. Why did he get a degree in Broadcast Journalism? Dr. Robinson was actually the one who suggested this degree to Stephen. One logical step after the seminary degrees would be to continue on for a PhD. Yet another option that Dr. Robinson suggested was to pursue a degree in communications. Stephen learned Greek, Hebrew, and studied the Bible in great detail in seminary. Even after graduation, he continued to go back  to seminary each semester for one free class.

My husband’s passion is for people to experience a changed life through knowing God and His Word. His desire is to preach and teach in a clear, compelling manner. This Broadcast Journalism degree allowed my husband to grow as a communicator in his speaking and writing.

Graduating from Gordon Conwell and Emerson College allowed my husband to have strong credentials in both the secular and christian world.

I am proud of my husband. I am proud of who he is as a pastor and leader. I am proud of his accomplishment in graduating from Emerson.

What I love most about my husband is his heart. His prayer and desire is that God uses all of his life experiences, education, and knowledge for His glory and to further His kingdom. I look forward to seeing how God continues to use my husband!


Side Note: Now that my husband has graduated, he will have more time to write on his blog. You can check him out at

A big thank you to all of our family and friends who joined us for this celebration! I am grateful that Stephen continued to go back to school so I could finally be at one of his graduations as his wife!


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Six months of marriage!


I freely admit that I am a romantic. At times, I am a hopeless romantic. Needless to say, I was excited to celebrate six months of marriage with my handsome husband. We had fun experiencing a new little Thai restaurant with delicious food and a great atmosphere.

We have actually celebrated each month of our marriage. While we did not formally celebrate, we did rejoice in each new month. For a couple months, my wonderful husband even watched our wedding video with me.

While I am a romantic, there were actually several reasons why I have marked each month of our marriage. The most important reason being that I love my husband. With each passing month, our marriage truly gets better and better. I am so grateful to God for how He fashioned us for one another and brought us together.

The other reason I have marked each month of our marriage is because of all the life changes I was experiencing. Each month meant I was just a little more adjusted to marriage, work, and living in a new area.

If you were to ask us about our first few months of marriage, it is actually quite funny how different our perspectives are from that time. Stephen was the happiest man alive. My husband is normally optimist, positive, and energetic. Add on top of that an enormous dose of excitement and happiness and that gives you a picture of my dear husband. Stephen proudly showed off our wedding pictures to anyone and everyone he met.

The first few months of marriage were wonderful for me. Long distance was finally over. I was married to the man I deeply love. We had many sweet newlywed moments. The first few months were also difficult for me. We were adjusting to marriage, developing stronger communication, and finding our rhythm as a married couple.

Our four month wedding anniversary happened to fall on our date night. On this peculiar evening, I was exhausted from work. Our lack of plans left us wondering what we would do with our evening. God came through for us. Our wedding pictures showed up in our mailbox. Perfect timing. As we looked through thousands of pictures that captured fun, joy-filled and unforgettable memories I realized that this month was significant. At four months of marriage, I felt like we were settling into a wonderful season of our marriage. We had made it through the first few months. God faithfully grew us closer together as a couple.

At six months of marriage, we are enjoying a sweet season of marriage. The best part of marriage is simply being together.

My mother recently described our dating period as a “whirlwind romance”. I could not agree more fully. While it was certainly an exciting and special season, it was also filled with months of long distance travel and constantly saying goodbye. The best part of our marriage is simply doing life together. Waking up together, spending quality time together, enjoying the simple things of life. Life is better together.

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2013: Best year of my life!

My 13 highlights of 2013. Enjoy!

1. I said YES!
Stephen asked me to marry him in NYC. Thanks to his best friend Mark, Stephen pulled off an incredible engagement story.

2. Wedding dress shopping
I had the time of my life trying on wedding dresses. I enjoyed modeling every style of wedding dress with my mom, bridesmaids, and flower girl. I fell in love with the perfect dress!

3. Engagement photos in Philly
I have the best sister who also happens to be an amazing photographer! Stephen and I had so much fun going around Philly with Ben and Natalie. The day flew by!

4. Half Marathon with Jonathan
This was the first race my brother and I ran together. I was reminded of how powerful it is to have someone running alongside you. The thrill of crossing the finish line never gets old!


5. Wedding Showers
I have never felt so loved by others!!! After 8 years of teaching at my school, it was finally my turn for a shower! My mom threw me a beautiful shower in NY with family, friends, and sweet old ladies from church. My bridesmaids surprised me with an Anne of Green Gables shower. Big hats, tea cups, and raspberry cordial. Lastly, my church family gave me a powerful time of prayer and encouragement.

6. 31st Birthday
Celebrating my birthday is a highlight for me every year! This year I celebrated with two of my favorite people, my best friend and fiancé!

7. No more goodbyes!
After eights months of long distance travel, FaceTime, and constantly saying goodbye I was beyond excited to pick Stephen up from the airport the week of our wedding. I was never so happy to see him and be done forever with goodbyes!


8. Our wedding day!

I loved every single moment of our day! The ceremony was worshipful, the reception was a blast, and we spontaneously ended the day with pictures in DC. One of my favorite moments was when Stephen twirled me around and we danced our way down the church aisle to the song “Oh Happy Day“. Such pure joy… We are married!!!


9. Honeymoon in New England
Life is better together!

10. Getting Settled in Boston
God provided a teaching job in Boston and a home by the ocean. We were so grateful for each person who helped us get settled! My parents were our first house guests and my mom spent hours setting up my classroom. Our friend John moved all my belonging up to Boston and stored them for us until we were married. Our friends Mikala and Tom were a huge help to us.

11. Rebekah’s visit!
This fall I missed all of my friends in Virginia. I was excited when my best friend Rebekah came to visit. In our short weekend together we hiked a mountain, went apple picking, made pumpkin pancakes, and explored Boston. There is nothing like a visit for a “bosom friend” to cheer you up!

12. Our first Christmas together!

13. New Year’s Eve
We entered and ended 2013 with our good friends Micah and Jannat. We recounted all the memories we had together in 2013 while making plans for new adventures in 2014!


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Our First Christmas: Part 2

My first Christmas Eve service was a beautiful experience. As we stood in a circle with lit candles singing Silent Night, the beauty of the candles shone forth in the dark of the night. I stood there taking in each person’s face, the beauty of the old church building, and reflecting on the words we were singing…
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
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We stopped by a couple Christmas Eve parties and spent time with friends. It was a delightful and quiet Christmas morning as we made brunch together and opened presents. We drove down New York for a wonderful Christmas dinner, presents, and time with family.
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Stephen got to experience a loud, feisty Italian Christmas at my Grandma’s house. Our competitive nature comes out during our white elephant gift exchange and playing card games! We began the evening with our homemade spaghetti dinner. Stephen helped Grandma made the homemade orecchiette. Delicious.

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 Merry Christmas from the Nyakairus!