Double Date Night Week

Something that has really surprised me is how good “real food” tastes. [Maybe that sounds silly to you. But I thought it would be really hard trying to change my habits.] Yesterday, I enjoyed canned tuna with avocado, Italian seasonings, salt & pepper and a little lemon juice. Can I also point out how cheap this is? I got the tuna and avocado on sale, and I always have those seasonings around… so it cost a grand total of $1.52. Last week, I made a “salad” of black beans, tomato, avocado and a little lemon juice. SO GOOD. (The little salad, I can take credit for. The tuna meal is Pinterest.)

Wednesday night was date night… we went to Olive Garden. I have been making a habit of looking at menus online before we go out to eat, looking at the nutrition so I can plan out what I want to order ahead of time… and so that I can choose ahead of time to be healthy. It’s a lot easier going in with a plan, then trying to be healthy on the fly. So, I narrowed it down to two options: one of Garlic Rosemary Chicken (one of the light options) or Stuffed Chicken Marsala. I decided, going in, that if I got the Chicken Marsala, I could eat half of it. So, one salad, one bread-stick, and one half of my entree later, I was happy.  (I took the leftovers to work for lunch today.) Our date was not only free (thanks to gift-cards from family!), but fabulous. We mostly talked about what classes Josh was thinking of taking next semester.

After Olive Garden, we went to Walmart. No, this may not be exciting to most… but I NEVER go to the store anymore. You have no idea how much I want to do the grocery shopping. Why did we go to Walmart? To get folding chairs. Like the type you take camping… because we’re going to use them to sit on our front or back porch and read. Now I realize this may be a little redneck…. but we’re poor (not really, but all extra money goes to the loans so kinda). Anyway, we have this wonderful back porch, and plans to buy plastic chairs for it, but we wanted chairs NOW. So, we sprung for chairs that can fold up and go to the beach.

After that, we headed to Chick-fil-a for ice cream (because, date night), and took some home to Aaron. THEN WE WATCHED 24. We have one episode left in 24. Ahh. We have an understanding that after we finish 24, we’re going back to The West Wing for a bit.

The weather has been gorgeous this week. We’ve been sleeping with the windows open, and I have been reading outside during lunch. I LOVE it. However, it’s also been hard. I’ve mentioned my hyperhidrosis before, but it gets so much worse in the heat. Maybe I’ll write more on that later… but right now I am just uncomfortable in my own skin, and not saying nice things to myself about it. A few positive things I can say, are that I have found some products that have helped me cope with the obnoxious sweating, including flip flips that I’m not sliding in (revolutionary for me) and inserts for my shoes.

We are in the thick of the Disney countdown! I have been a Pinterest maniac: looking up tips, the best places to eat, what to pack… I’m so ready. This weekend, Josh and I have to do our Taxes (bleck) but we’re also going to start looking into FastPasses and such.  But first, we have a second date night this evening. It is a night of our favorites: Moe’s and the drive in movie theater. We’re seeing the new “real life version” of Cinderella, and some Disney movie about sports (obviously we’re going for Cinderella).

So, plans for the weekend include: date tonight, church meeting in the morning, taxes, fun (probably a movie, board games, and BBQ chicken sandwiches), finishing 24, church, and game night with friends!


Dear Josh,

I am so excited about our weekend, even if the Zoo plans got rained out. I’m excited because you are staying with me ALL SATURDAY LONG. Not only that, but we have TWO DATES in ONE week. I am just soaking up the love like a sponge. Thank you for working so hard to rearrange your schedule to have max time with me! Maybe we can sit out in our new chairs and read on Sunday?
Timehop tells me I was depressed this time last year. Apparently, this happened (see below) and I’m glad it did. I remember last year being so hard, and being so beat down by the crazy lady. Hopefully, as those wounds heal I can remember how awesome you were though it all… and start to focus on the positives of those early days, rather than the days of unemployment, and then emotional/verbal abuse when I was finally employed.


I love you so much.


Snow Day

It snowed ALL night Wednesday night. I woke up, very early, to 8 inches of fluffy snow. I got a text from my boss that the office was closed, and I was instantly wide awake. (WHY is it that if I don’t have to go to work, I’m wired at 6 am but if I DO have to go to work it’s like torture?) I woke Josh up… sorry, honey… and we came up with a very rough snow plan. Josh went downstairs to get some homework done, and I did very important things like surfing Pinterest, and catch up on American Idol. Around 10/10:30, we decided to go play in the snow and made Aaron come with us. (He growled at us like a bear at first, and I thought he was going to eat me… but that’s probably because we were singing “Do you wanna build a snowman?”)

We had SO much fun. We build a “snowman,” who we realized really looked like a goblin. The boys had a snow ball fight/competition, I build a snow woman, who ended up looking like a snow puppy, we went on a short walk, we shook snow off tree branches so it fell on our heads (sounds dumb but it was a ton of fun), we laughed at a couple of stupid guys trying to sled down a (non) hill in a plastic tub, and headed inside.
wpid-20150226_101411.jpg The snow goblin…


The snow puppy!
Once inside, I made pancakes, Josh made sausage, and we had a feast. The only way to respond to a feast is relaxation, so we watched a couple of episodes of 24 (by relaxation I mean sitting on the couch… watching 24 isn’t exactly “relaxing”).
The snowplow caused some heartache at my house. It took the snow from the neighborhood and plowed it right into our driveway. :/  Josh and Aaron spent at LEAST an hour outside shoveling, so we would be able to get out this morning. Well, this morning we found our driveway blocked… again. Thanks a lot, snowplow.
While the guys were shoveling, I made a batch of homemade rolls. My mom taught me, and gave me a recipe, over Thanksgiving… and yesterday was the first time I made them by myself! They turned out so perfect that I made a second batch. At one point, I was making dessert, our dinner (mac and cheese from scratch and asparagus) as well as Shepherds Pie (mashed potatoes and the meat filling). BASICALLY, I was Wonder Woman.
In just a little bit, Josh and I are hitting the road and heading for the Gilmores. I can’t wait to see our dear friends, and love on their sweet baby. Happy weekend!
Dear Josh,
I loved our snow day. I love that we made the most of it- doing things together, and that I was able to do so much cooking! Thanks for spending the day with us, being goofy with me, and for giving me freedom to enjoy the day instead of trying to get some work hours in, by checking email and such. The snow day was SO refreshing for me, even though I was absolutely exhausted by the end!
Can’t wait to see you loving on Joseph. It is always so sweet to see you with kids!
Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

Kids and Downton Abbey

This weekend was wonderful, exhausting, and different.

Friday night I was planning on babysitting, since Josh had to concentrate intently on finishing his class. So, when Charissa asked if she could plan an overnight escape surprise with Tom I was elated- both to be part of the surprise, and to have something to do. Otherwise, I would have been at home, depressed, because Josh would be home but preoccupied. FRIDAY WAS THE LONGEST DAY EVER. I was so excited that Charissa was so excited that Tom would be so excited when he found out. Yes, lots of excitement.
I raced home, packed an overnight bag and grabbed my dinner, and headed to our friends house. Charissa and I had everything so sneakily planned that Tom had not idea. (He did not believe her when she told him!) Not going to lie, I really liked being “mom” for a night. I watched American Idol for the first time because I’ve never had the time/someone to watch with/ ability… and I cut to Hollywood week because I want to see the people that are actually going to make it. I got to scoop up that sweet little girl in the morning and feed her breakfast, read books, play with blocks… oh my gosh I had so much fun. And, as spending time with Evie tends to do, it made having kids look a lot less scary. We have lots of time yet before we have our own, but it’s always good to be reminded that it’s not all scary.

When I got home, Aaron and I enjoyed a Downton Abbey marathon. And by marathon, I mean we watched Season 1 without a break. WHAT. Oh my gosh, so much fun. Aaron has seen later seasons, but not the first season… I thought I was going to have to punch him because he kept saying things like “I don’t remember seeing THIS character later…” “Oh, so that’s what the story is… the later seasons have legends of this moment.” Not cool.

We decided to do pizza for dinner… and hung out with Josh, who had finished a long, grueling day in the library cranking out a paper.

Sunday, we had nursery duty at church. We were in the baby room, and only had 2 kids… so it was a pretty sweet deal. After church, we polished off those burritos and created a chore chart. That was SO important to me, and I think it’s going to really help. Before, I felt like I was responsible for all the cleaning. That is just not realistic. I am not home long enough to do all the cleaning! So, we sat down together and made a list of daily chores, weekly chores, and chores that are done every other week/monthly. Then we broke out the highlighters and dispersed the chores, and assigned the “weekly” chores to a specific day. Then we did our chores. Hopefully this system takes some stress of me and proves to be effective. I think that knowing what our jobs are will help us hold each other accountable to accomplish the tasks.
For the rest of the day, we hung out together. Josh and I had some really good conversation, which needed to happen, and we finished off the leftovers, I made a strawberry daiquiri, we watched a couple of episodes of 24, and a West Wing because I tend to have REALLY intense dreams if I go to bed right after watching 24. 🙂

Back at work this morning and I think everyone needs to go back to bed… and I mean everyone.


Dear Josh,

This weekend was lacking in “us” time. I know you’re working to fix that, and I know it will get better since Ethics is done. I’m glad I could spend time with Evie and Aaron while you were busy, since those were things I wanted to do but didn’t want to miss out on that much time with you if you were available.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE CHORE CHART WITH ME. It is seriously such a relief to me that everyone has their jobs, and that I don’t have to worry about it.
Also, I’m excited about having kids… one day.
I can’t wait for this work day to end.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

Feel the Burn?

Oh, life. Always teaching me lessons. This weekend, life has reminded me that things take time.

Let me rewind.
Not to keep replaying the same song, but I got Mono this past Fall. Obviously it had a huge impact on our lives, including time off of work, medical bills, Josh having to pick up a ton of responsibility, and a super crappy immune system. I literally laid around… because I had no energy, and no strength. That was in October. Since October, I haven’t gotten back into an exercise routine. I have a desk job. I leave before the sun rises, and get home after it sets. I don’t work in a super fantastic area, and walking around the area is pretty much not an option. These things, combined with the cold weather, the move, and my brother in law moving in have resulted in basically no physical exercise.
Fast-forward to now.
I got a Fitbit with my Christmas money. I LOVE IT. I am so motivated to meet my goals, and this past week I hit 10,000 steps (and beyond) every single day. YAY ME! I felt so proud of myself, and I was completely stoked. Yes, my legs were a little sore, but I figured that was because I just wasn’t used to actually being off my butt.
THEN I rested on Sunday. I didn’t try to meet a step goal, I didn’t push myself.
Now my knees are burning. It hurts to walk, it hurts to stand. Like I am in so much pain, I am crying… all the time.
Life is reminding me that things take time. I have to be patient. I have to go slow. After all, I had MONO. Yes, I should be striving towards a more active lifestyle…. but it is completely unrealistic to push myself that hard. As I am following the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), and depending on my next dose of Ibuprofen, I’m reminded that things take time. Henceforth, I have given myself a pat on the back for being so motivated, and lowered my daily step goal. I’ll be slowly ramping back up, as soon as I can stand without crying.
So that was the end of my weekend. The rest of the weekend included lots of time with the guys. Josh and I had a meeting at church on Saturday morning, and then went to our favorite Mexican joint for lunch/processing the meeting. We spent the afternoon hanging out together, and ended up making frozen pizza and watching 24. I think I have the boys hooked.
Sunday, we went to church, got lunch with friends (that was an adventure… it went from Panera to Chipotle to Mediterranean in just a matter of minutes), went to Kohls (I have a giftcard but I was not really in the shopping mood), stopped by TJ Maxx, and then on to the movie theater! We love Raleighwood, which is a cinema grill. Basically a place where you can eat a meal and watch a cheap movie. So we got popcorn and saw Big Hero 6! OH MY GOSH. If I had any tears left, I would have sobbed. And I totally get Sophie’s obsession because I want Bay Max to be my robotic best friend. That is all.
That brings us to Sunday night. I had a wonderful chat with my mom, and then went to make Pancakes and that’s when I couldn’t stand because my knees hurt so bad. So Aaron and Josh set me up on the couch (they are like the best ever) and Josh made the pancakes. We had dinner together at the table (something we make a priority every evening we’re all home together), and then watched more 24. Due to my early Monday morning meetings at work, I was in bed and sleeping by 9:30.
Yes, life has been challenging lately… but it has also been so much fun. It’s nice that Josh has someone to hang out with, and I don’t have to feel guilty about saying I need time for myself. It’s fun to teach someone new, and also learn from them. It’s fun to have a whole new perspective in our conversations. So, despite the growing pains, we’re having a blast.
Dear Josh,
Thanks for balancing the weekend between time with me and time with friends/Aaron. Thanks for serving me, having fun with me, and even making pancakes for me. I’m also thankful that you tell me when you’re proud of me… especially since you have had to say “I’m proud of you, now sit down so you don’t hurt yourself.” I’ve needed to hear both things.
I love you. Can’t wait to come home.
Love, Mrs. Cornelissen