Busy and Rewarding.

Friday night Josh and I had dinner, hung out, and went on a Christmas light adventure. He planned out a route, based on tips from friends who have done this, and we found some real gems. Probably my favorite thing we saw was an inflated concrete roller truck, with a reindeer driving… on the roller, which actually rolled, was a picture of a grandma. I died laughing. Grandma got run over by a reindeer.  Driving around with Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album, a peppermint milkshake from Chick-fil-a and my husband was the perfect end to a busy work week, and a weekend of Christmas.

Saturday morning, Josh and I got up and went downstairs to turn on our little Christmas tree lights and the lights over the mantle. I made coffee, and we dove into our gifts. This year we decided to do categories of gifts; want, need, making a meal for each other, and planning a day together. Saturday morning we opened the “want” and “need” gifts. For my “need” gifts, Josh gave me a 4 qt crock pot (the one I have spews water and leaks all over the counter…) and wine bottle stoppers that also allow you to pour without taking the stoppers out. For my “want” I got pj pants, a tshirt (LION KING) and Despicable Me 2 (and a pack of gum but I really don’t feel like that counts because I put it on the grocery list).

I gave Josh a sophisticated tie as a “need” (if you saw his tie collection you would understand), and made a “Disney Preparation Package.” If you didn’t know, Disney owns Star Wars now… and we’re going to Disney World in May, which means we’re going to be there for Star Wars day. My husband is SO excited. So I made him a package that allows him to immerse himself in nerdy excitement, including a lightsaber toothbrush, a Star Wars tshirt and a countdown calendar AND a Harry Potter tshirt for our day at Universal.

After Christmas presents we made a big breakfast including roasted parmesan potatoes, sausage, eggs and cinnamon rolls. Then I made Josh watch Babes in Toyland with me. I hadn’t seen it since I was little, and frankly it was a little strange but I still like it. I don’t think Josh was sold on it. Also, on Friday night I made Josh watch Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree (google it) which involves a very young Robert Downey Jr. (aka IRON MAN) dancing and singing in a nightgown about the perfect Christmas tree.

We had planned to watch Christmas movies all afternoon… but the disorder of the house has been driving me insane so we made some progress on unpacking instead. Now, our room is almost completely set up- including our closet, my books are put away, all guest towels and sheets are clean, laundry is done and put away, we made some progress on the kitchen, and the extra bedrooom looks more like a bedroom than a dumping ground. We worked HARD. Since we had a big and late breakfast, we didn’t have lunch. And, since I was working so hard on the house, we didn’t end up making soup as I had planned. Around 4:30 Josh reminded me he was a human, and had hunger… and we decided to get Moes instead of making dinner. So we had burritos, queso, and enjoyed our comfy couch and The West Wing.

Sunday was our one-anniversary. I could talk about this year, the struggles, the joys, the lessons learned, but I think I’ve shared a lot of them already. It’s been a hard year… it’s been a year of growth… it’s been a year of thankfulness for each other.
It’s crazy to think that a whole year ago it was 80 degrees outside on the first day of winter… and I was meeting Josh at Riverfront park for wedding photos and our first kiss. Our wedding day was truly perfect, and so were the days following (except for the fact that Charleston was ridiculously hot and we had packed the wrong clothes, assuming it was going to feel like winter). One year ago, alarm clocks went off every couple of minutes until we got to the hotel. And, when we got to our super fancy hotel (a gift and surprise from Josh’s uncle), we got stuffed crust meat lovers pizza which we ate in bed and watched The Italian Job. I wouldn’t change a single thing.

This year, we learned about anniversary expectations and I think we had a productive conversation. We agreed to celebrate our anniversary next weekend, but I said I didn’t want our actual anniversary ignored, which was interpreted as “don’t forget to say happy anniversary”… I meant at least DO SOMETHING to acknowledge it. Yeah. We’ve both learned something- communicating exactly what I want, and learning to at least give a card or flowers… not just say “happy anniversary.” BUT-sign of growth- I was able to articulate my hurt without being hurtful, and Josh was not defensive. This is actually huge, and something we’ve been working on for a while. Next weekend we’re going to be super sappy and reminisce on the last year… but this past weekend we did a lot of unpacking.

After church on Sunday we went shopping for some house things, and had soup and grilled cheese for lunch. We enjoyed more of The West Wing, baked a cake, and tried to make some more progress on the kitchen. At the store, I bought a night guard… it just had to happen. Apparently I grind my teeth hard core, and man I’ve been feeling it in my jaw… so on our anniversary I bought a night guard. Haha we sure know how to celebrate.

We enjoyed an evening at home of one of our pastors with the other growth group leaders/ assistant growth group leaders he’s over. It was such a good time of fellowship, encouragement, and reflection on the past year. They knew it was our one year anniversary, and asked us to describe the past year of marriage in one word each. Josh said “busy” and I said “rewarding.” I think they’re both true. This year has been insanely busy, and rewarding in what it’s taught us.

This week, I am working for 13 hrs. Then it’s all about Christmas and our anniversary. Virginia Beach on Tuesday/Wednesday, Hertford on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, and the Outer Banks on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. The library at SEBTS is closed this week, so Josh is working on unpacking at home, and is blessing me by doing the laundry.

 4

Dear Josh,
HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Despite the struggles and challenges we’ve faced, this year has been FUN. I love how completely ridiculous we are. I love laughing until we feel like we’re going to die, and I love the jokes that only we get. You’re my best friend, and I am so blessed to be your wife. Thank you for serving me, putting me first, and never leaving me. Hopefully this year we won’t face unemployment, destructive deer, mono, or taking two ancient languages at the same time (seriously what were we thinking?!)… but if we do, we know we can handle it together.

I’m so excited to celebrate Christmas with your family, and then our anniversary at the beach.
Also, I can’t wait to come home to you tonight. Thanks for all you’re doing at home today!!

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

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