Holiday Recap

December feels like a distant dream. We had my company Christmas party (yay for free margaritas and steak), and the next day Josh and I headed to Myrtle Beach for our annual anniversary trip. We scored a super sweet ocean-front hotel Groupon that meant we could afford to stay there for 4 nights! Unfortunately, we quickly discovered why the hotel was so cheap… and had to change rooms because I found long, black hairs everywhere. In the shower, all over the bathroom, in the bed, on the pillows… it was like no one cleaned the room, and I got grossed out. We switched rooms, ended up with a better layout and a better room, and we were happier. ūüôā The first night, we decided to run to Publix to get some groceries… and a fun anniversary treat. We got our wedding cake from Publix (highly recommend), a grocery store we don’t have in NC (at least anywhere close to us), so we got a little cake for our anniversary treat. It’s been a few weeks, so honestly the trip is a blur of eating out, and enjoying the hotel’s cable (HGTV)!!! We had all sorts of food- wings, breakfast, Mexican, pizza… watched two movies- Hunger Games (SO GOOD) and Ricki and the Flash, played board games, went to the aquarium, walked on the beach, read, and slept in. It was so refreshing to have a break from cooking, cleaning, working, commuting… and so nice to be on a vacation alone.

Next, we headed to Columbia for Christmas! It was hot and muggy our entire stay in South Carolina. “Welcome Home,” right? My mom blew us away with her cooking, and Josh got to experience all our “weird” traditions including glow sticks and books on Christmas Eve. We decorated gingerbread cookies, exchanged presents, ate a ton, and watched the¬†neighbors’ house burn. In the middle of Christmas dinner, fire trucks rolled down the street and stormed the house two doors down. It was incredibly sobering, and I gained renewed respect for fire-fighters. The owners of the house were out of town, and the fire was started by a heat lamp for one of the reptiles. The owners are avid animal lovers, and we saw two dogs and a cat be carried out of the house, then watched the workers attempt to revive them… and cover them with a white sheet. It was so hard to walk back inside, knowing this family’s Christmas was ruined and forever marked as a sad occasion.
In contrast, our Christmas was a joyous occasion. We went on tons of walks, ate tons of food, laughed until we hurt, and I am so thankful my entire family was able to be together. Every time we’re with¬†with my parents, I am so encouraged by the ways they invest in and love people. I’m so thankful for the hours they spent with us talking, processing, and advising. The most hilarious moment was when Josh opened a pair of shoes… and we realized that instead of putting an adult-size 12 on his list, he put a child-size 12. ūüėÄ Since Josh is a detail-guy, my mom figured he had the right link on his wish-list and didn’t even double check what she was ordering… we all laughed until we cried!

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New Years was spent with our BFFS the Gilmores. We celebrated Joseph’s birthday with an amazing meal at Outback, introduced him to fire works (his birthday is New Years Eve!), turned his high chair (and his body) blue with acrylic paint- he really liked painting- just not the aftermath (also now mommy and Aunt Deborah know that acrylic paint stains BADLY), decorated for and had a Winter Onederland (get it?) birthday party,¬†stayed up late playing board games and laughing hysterically, doing ridiculous things to get a laugh out of Joseph, and wishing we could stay longer.

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My birthday was simple: we got Taza Grill and Cheesecake for date night, then on my actual birthday we made cheese fondue (wasn’t awesome) and Josh surprised me with a beautiful book of letters from my friends and family. I cried and cried and it was basically the best birthday gift ever. YAY for 25 years! The guys decorated our house to replicate an episode of The Office where Dwight decorates with balloons and streamers that match The Office. Spoiler: it looks like crap. I walked into the house after a long day to the hilarious decorations and it made my day!

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We’re on week 3 of my goals, and I have to say I am getting pretty consistent. The best thing I did was download a checklist app… I kept forgetting (thanks, 6:15 am) if I had taken my vitamin, and always felt like I was forgetting something. If you’re a list maker like me, and trying to form a habit… get a checklist app. It is a game-changer.

One of my goals for this year is to add recipes to my arsenal. I tried my hand at pot roast, without a kit, and it was AMAZING. Huge huge hit with the boys. I threw a bunch of potatoes and carrots in the bottom of the crock pot with some water, with the roast, packs of brown gravy, Italian Dressing Mix and Ranch Mix on top and let it cook for hours. I made a delish ravioli dish, and made the easiest, most addictive ham and cheese sliders of my life. This weekend I am going to try a baked potato soup, since it is supposed to be insanely cold and they are calling for snow. When it snows, I need soup. It just makes sense.

Dear Josh,

I am so thankful for all the happy memories we made over the holiday weeks,¬†but I am also thankful we are able to enjoy some time at home now. Thanks for always being enthusiastic about new meals, getting up early so I can do my quiet time, and bringing me coffee while I do my devotions. You’re the best.

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Labor Day Weekend 2015 (and other happenings)

Last week,¬†Josh and I had planned¬†was to celebrate his birthday on date night. I felt terrible because I really didn’t do anything for his birthday this year. So… the plan was try a new-to-us Mediterranean restaurant (highly recommended by our friends), Aladdin’s, and get Sweet Frog frozen yogurt for dessert. The reality was that I wasn’t feeling well (no, I am not pregnant… let’s get that out of the way); I was feeling extremely nauseous and I had a horrible headache so we opted for an evening in. We got CFA for dinner and spent the evening watching Once Upon a Time. We had decided to do Aladdin’s and Sweet Frog this week instead, but low and behold I’m like super sick… so that didn’t happen. Instead, we opted for another night in with Moe’s and Once Upon a Time. Then we ended up reading and falling asleep like old people.

MAJOR victory the last two weeks, I organized my closet.¬†Granted, Josh has been pushed way over in the closet (he volunteered!)… but I have all seasons of clothes unpacked, and ready to transition. My sweaters are on a SHELF instead of in a plastic tub in the bottom of my closet (first time for everything), my boots are under the edge of the bed, and my scarves are begging the weather to cool off so they can be used. Suddenly… all my outfits seem like they would be better with a scarf.

I’m trying to decide if I want to sign up for this year’s craft and bake sale at the seminary. If you remember, last year I signed up and was diagnosed with Mono in the midst of prepping/right around the actual sale. I felt like CRAP the actual day of the sale, didn’t sell all my stuff, and came out just breaking even. I have a bit of stuff left over, so anything I sell would be a profit… but my confidence has been a little shot. I thought about trying to get into the baking part of the sale this year and making samples of cheesecake or pumpkin bread, and taking orders… but I’m afraid of getting overwhelmed filling the orders, especially since November/December is usually so busy for us.

Labor Day weekend was full of celebrating Josh’s birthday in Columbia with my family! It was a pretty monumental weekend for my family… they upgraded to smart phones, and they have texting for the first time ever. While they were getting phones, I went shopping! I finally found a pencil skirt and pair of jeans- and they were on SUPER sale. YAY! On Monday, I went shopping again and scored a bunch of fabric on mega sale. If I hadn’t hit sales, it would have cost me almost $65… I think I spent around $25. Other highlights of the weekend: I got to see my BFF and her new house and I got to spend time with my mom.

The weekend was wonderful, but I came home exhausted and have been really sick this week. Hopefully a quiet movie night and a good night of sleep will make me feel better. My goals for the weekend are very few: wash new fabric, start a blanket, watch at least one movie, make enchiladas, eat enchiladas. Oh, and read. I am still in the Hunger Games series, and still loving it!

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The only other thing worth noting is that I decided to decorate for Fall. So, here’s our new mantle (and boxes that need to be unpacked). Our living room has super high ceilings, but such a cozy feel. Y’all, I seriously love how our house is coming together. It’s far from finished, but I am loving it. ESPECIALLY my kitchen… it’s so big¬†that we can all visit while I’m making food.¬†I have so enjoyed cooking for friends, and having many game nights around our table. ¬†(Plus let’s give three cheers for an awesome landlord and the absence of neighbors!)

Dear Josh,
I am really looking forward to our movie night tonight! Leftover pasta and a night on the couch never sounded so nice. I’m excited to be home and do home things this weekend. I’m excited about the sewing projects I get to start, and I’m excited you’re excited about them too.
See you soon!
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This was my first “grown up” birthday.
Married, working full time, with a commute to and from work.

It was, in one word, anticlimactic.

The day started with the realization that I did not remember to reset my alarm…. so I was awoken before 6:30, and saw a text from my boss saying not to come in until 10 because of ice on the roads. So I pressed snooze,¬†I’m pretty sure for the first time in my life, and went back to sleep. (Until 7.)

I did some laundry.
Josh made me cheesy eggs with spinach (the best), and warmed up come cinnamon rolls. I stuck a candle in my cinnamon roll and sang myself happy birthday. We cuddled on the couch and watched Parks and Rec.
I moved the laundry into the dryer.
Josh packed my lunch, I took a shower.
I went into work. I worked like crazy, ate lunch at my desk, and left at 4:30 because “goshdarnit it’s my birthday.”¬†(My boss laughed at me. Also– all my co-workers are men. The running joke is that I’m so young I’m practically in middle school and they love to play the “have you heard of this tv show/song/movie/person?”… so they all asked me if I was finally in my 20’s.)

I came home to an empty, quiet house. So naturally, I watched one of my tv shows and folded laundry.
And promptly started another load.
Because that’s what every girl wants for her birthday… clean¬†laundry. Really, it was the best gift I could give myself, since my dresser is now filled with my favorite sweaters and jeans- but now they’re clean.

Yes, I am aware that my birthday was incredibly mundane. It was not exciting. And honestly yesterday evening I cried because I felt so boring and I was disappointed at my lack of creativity for my own birthday.

My perspective was WAY off. I got to spend my birthday doing a job that I (usually) like. I like the guys I work with. I got to wake up slowly with the man I love and I get to be married to. I’m thankful for a washer and dryer, and I don’t have to use quarters to operate them. I have all the clothes that I need, and even ones I don’t “need” but get to enjoy.
I had a rotten attitude, and was blind to the multiple blessings of yesterday. So today, I will recount them and be thankful for them.

I’m thankful for my husband:¬†that man who sits on the floor and holds me when I sit on the floor crying because I’m overwhelmed by the changes in our life. The man who made my birthday dinner for me when I didn’t want to make it myself. The man who watches HGTV shows with me on Netflix because I love them, and he loves me. The man who brought home a card and purple daisies because it was my birthday. The man who makes my lunches so I can sleep a few extra minutes.

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This hero scraped the frozen tundra off my car so I could go to work!

 

Last night after the meltdown, my husband made my ravioli pasta, salad and¬†garlic bread (and Merlot for me) and we watched an episode of The West Wing (joyfully interrupted by two phone calls, from my Grammy and my mom). We had popcorn, we had ice cream cake, I had sparkling wine, and we watched the Property Brothers. It was not a super exciting day, but it didn’t need to be.
Birthdays used to be a super big deal. Maybe they’re not anymore, and that’s ok… because my entire life is good. It is full of blessings, and those should be celebrated every day; not just the one day a year when you get¬†a cake with numbers on it.
Lest you think I am full of wisdom, please remember that yesterday I had a horrible attitude, and hind-sight is 20-20.

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Dear Josh,
Thank you for all the things you did for me yesterday. I had the wrong perspective, and expected a big deal… I was wrong. Thank you for cleaning off my car, packing my lunch, making me dinner, buying me flowers and telling me all the reasons you love me, holding me when I was crying, buying me ice cream cake, watching my show with me, and going to sleep by my side. Today, with better perspective, I can see that I really had a wonderful birthday.
I love you, and I’m sorry that I have communicated the opposite through the way I have spoken to you and treated you.
I’m looking forward to date night tonight.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

PS. Also… this should be the year we watch one of my favorite shows, 24. I think the reason is obvious.

 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

Ch-ch-changes

This weekend was a mixed bag of emotions. It was a weekend fun, challenges, laughter, hurt, tears, and joy. A lot is changing in our house, and with change come a lot of emotions.
This coming Saturday my brother-in-law is moving in with us. I’m excited… I’m scared… I’m sad… and I’m ready; all at once. It is something that Josh and I feel God has called us to do, so I have peace and I’m ready. It is a sacrifice, so I am scared and sad. Aaron is moving in for a purpose, and that is to accomplish some goals and work towards independence. I am so proud of him, and so humbled that we get to help him accomplish these goals. Please¬†pray for us. Pray that Josh and I learn how to make our marriage a priority with another person sharing our house. Pray that Josh and I are full of patience, that we have grace¬†to serve selflessly, and that we are able to communicate well.

Part of this weekend was spent together, in realization that soon we will not have this house to ourselves. We will have to share all the space. Part of it was preparing Aaron’s room, and preparing ourselves for his arrival. The other part of this weekend was the last of our Christmas celebration.

“Josh’s day,” the date day I planned for Josh as part of his Christmas present, happened on Saturday. It was a “choose your own adventure”- like the books Josh enjoyed from his childhood. I found a website that let me write a story and Josh could choose the next part as we went along. Naturally, he did not have total control as I was the writer and forced him to a few places. Josh’s adventure day included breakfast at home (cinnamon rolls and egg burritos), a trip to the used bookstore where he got to pick out some books, and then we went to Duke University! Duke was a good idea; the campus is gorgeous (see some pictures below), but the weather was SO cold. We looked like penguins! After we shuffled around, we headed to lunch in Wake Forest. The original plan was to get Mediterranean food, but he had done that the day before… so we went to Five Guys instead. After that, he had two choices: Home or Surprise. Unsurprisingly, he picked Surprise, and we went to see The Hobbit. Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Hobbit trilogy and I’m a huge Lord of the Rings¬†movie fan… but I was¬†pleasantly surprised by the last movie.

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In recent life: I’ve been insanely motivated by the¬†Fitbit to walk. I walk in place over my lunch break now, and have started walking at home in the evenings if we watch a tv show. I’ve been drinking more water, I added some exercises into my morning routine, and I’m more conscious about what I’m eating. Those may be small changes, but they’re huge changes for me.

Tonight we’re helping our friends load up their life in Wake Forest and move to Texas. We’re so sad to see them go, but we’re thankful for the blessing they’ve been to us and the way they welcomed us into the group. Love you, Longos!

Tomorrow is my birthday! I’m making pasta, Josh let me get an ice cream cake (that gem of a man drove to like 5 stores until I found the kind I wanted), and I’m looking forward to a quiet evening with a nice dinner, a glass of wine, a movie, and my best friend.

 

Dear Josh,
Life is about to change, and I’m glad you’ll be here through it all. I’m so thankful that we’ve listened to the Lord and responded to him- together. Please forgive me when I’m nasty… when I need alone time I haven’t taken, when I feel like my “rights” are violated, and when I don’t even have a reason.
I’m looking forward to celebrating another year of life– and I am very excited about my ice cream cake. Thanks for getting into the search with me, and setting me free to get one.
I love you. And I am pretty excited that I might have a delayed start at work tomorrow so I get to spend more time with you!
Love, Mrs. Cornelissen