Keepin’ it Real

Date night was fantastic. We went out for some deep dish pizza, saw our friend Emily, and I don’t know if I stopped talking during the whole meal. I processed my raise/talk with my boss, the agony of the book club decision, all things Aaron, and trying to schedule visits with people we love (Joseph-yes, and Phil and Elise 😉 – I’m talking about you). I had a TON of words.

I decided to drop the book club. I committed to it thinking it was meeting close-by, and it wasn’t a huge inconvenience to my schedule. Being 5 minutes from work, but over 20 from my house, and starting an hour and half after I leave work made it ridiculous. I thought about going to the first meeting, and then deciding… but I know my personality. It would be even more difficult for me to drop out of I started.  I am still planning on reading the book, but I can’t do the meetings. Instead, I do have an evening of time for me, and I will be protecting it.

After pizza… and free dough bites… and also french fries (sounds like date night is not so good for the healthy food choices), we went home and watched The West Wing (the episode was about PTSD and it was SO SO good) and an episode of Parks and Rec. I am so thankful for the way Josh has guarded date night, and it was so nice to have his undivided attention at dinner (since it was just us).

Last night, since I don’t have book club, I enjoyed a quiet evening… home, worked on a wall collage, caught up on a show, worked toward my step goal. We enjoyed Cincinnati Chili that my mom put in the freezer, and I thanked God for guys that are happy eating leftovers all week. It’s not that I don’t want to make dinner every night, it’s that I just don’t have the emotional and physical energy to.

Since I’m on a streak of intense honesty, I must tell you that one of the things I’m trying to learn is what it means to love someone when you’re absolutely crushed by someone. What does it look love to someone when they have hurt you deeply? (No, I am not just talking about what it means to love my husband when I am mad at him, but loving people-so it could be anyone- in the midst of conflict.)
My parents have not modeled this, but other have: disagreement means dissociation. No, life is not like a movie. You don’t leave when you’re angry, then come back and everything is fine. Life is full of conflict… so how do we deal with it, not only in a healthy manner, but in a Godly manner?
I don’t have answers yet… but I hope to learn.

This weekend holds some cleaning, as always, but not as intense as last weekend. It also holds making shepherds pie, ahead of time, for next week. [and I have lots of sewing time planned.] It includes solitary time, time as a family, and a game night with dear friends. I love the weekends. I don’t live for them, but I love them. Meanwhile, I have bills to pay, packages to process, a deposit to make, and customers to serve. I am very glad it’s Friday.


Dear Josh,
I  want to learn to love you better in the midst of anger, conflict, hurt, and miscommunication. I want to be able to love others, even when I’m disappointed in them, when they’ve hurt me, or when I don’t agree with them. You are so good at reminding me that we’re a team when I’m hurt and feel like you’re the enemy. You’re NOT the enemy. Love doesn’t stop when arguments are taking place, which you are so good at saying. I guess nights like last night remind us we aren’t perfect and we still have a lot of room to grow together.
Right now, I’m struggling with the fact that I have to share you. I am sick of sharing you with school, and I’m sick of sharing you with Aaron. So, I request a brief budget date tonight. Just you, me, and that lovely budget of ours.
I love you… even when things are hard, and I don’t feel like loving you… I love you.
Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

Fall-ing Behind

Monday night I got pretty overwhelmed with all that has to be done by Christmas. Traveling, packing, moving, finishing gifts for people, dinners to be made, shopping to be done….
So I packed 2 boxes. I decided that if I pack at least a box a day for a while, that will make me feel like I’m making progress, plus when we get our keys in a few weeks (as early as 2 weeks from now!), I will have some boxes ready to start taking over. Today I filled out my Christmas vacation request, and was almost shocked that a month from now we’ll be moving, and at Christmas we’ll be leaving from our new home.
This semester has been HARD. I’m having a hard time enjoying my favorite season, Fall, and the impending holidays, with the tunnel vision I’ve had. Just get to December. I don’t want to just “get through” life, which is one of the reasons I started blogging, and trying to name things I’m thankful for.

Tuesday was a much better day at work, though equally busy. (Also my voice is now all over our company’s voice mail messages as I had to redo them, and recorded each one about 3 times because I kept messing up.)

Most days it’s dark by the time I get home… this was too beautiful not to capture.

I sat and stared at the tree across the parking lot from my desk… I just sat and stared at it… the sun illuminating the variety of colors, the greens, golds, and reds… the thinning out branches swaying in the wind. Yes, this is a busy time… but we as people weren’t created just to check things off an impressive to-do list, go home, lay on the couch in exhaustion, and go to be early. I believe we should use our time wisely, but we are also created with the purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. My takeaway: I need to look at more trees and watch more sunsets. I need to enjoy God and His creation.

I took boxes home from work, didn’t pack any, and instead worried about the budget. Went to Growth Group, came home, collapsed on my bed, and wished I could stay up all night to enjoy just being home.

Today, I’m feeling so many things. I did SO much work the last 2 days, picking up slack, and as Josh says, doing in 2.5 days what most people take 2 weeks to do. I’m feeling stretched to the max. There are so many things fighting for my attention; work, packing, projects I need to finish, time with my husband, time with my friends, staying in touch with family… I don’t feel like I’m doing anything well. How can I enjoy God today? I’m not sure, but I just started crying at my desk. I know He has everything under control, but I wish He would share the game plan. From where I’m sitting, everything takes money and time that I don’t seem to have… and I don’t see a finish line.

The bright spot of my work day

5 things I’m thankful for:

1) Free moving boxes
2) Yellow Daisies
3) Date nights
4) My haircut
5) Spoons (Mom, I hope that made you laugh)


I do not post this looking for pity, but because it gives you understanding in how to pray for us. Keep praying for us; for peace, and for God to provide the things we need for our new house. 


Dear Josh,

Thank you for getting me happy flowers, and making me breakfast. It means so much to me that you’re doing special things to show me that I’m important, and worth time in your crazy day. I’m so very thankful we have a date night- lasanga, coming up with a game plan, and packing our 1-2 boxes together. 🙂 Only 6 hours until I’ll be home! Until then I will be listening to happy music, trying not to cry, and praying you have a super productive day.
Starbucks has 2 for 1 holidays drinks right now… want to get one and walk by the river? Hehe just kidding. I know you hate coffee. I got to tell someone at work about our first date (3 years ago on the 19th).
I love you. Please teleport here and have lunch with me.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

Budgets, Burlap, and Bookin’ it to Columbia

Some people dread doing their monthly budgets… I do not. In fact, I enjoy it. I do not usually feel constricted, rather, knowing the exact parameters for my spending is a breath of fresh air for me. A new budget says “here are the new boundaries, now enjoy yourself within them!”


Josh and I are working to save for the move and things for the new apartment (washer/dryer, dining table)… putting money back in savings from buying the car… and chipping away on Josh’s student loans. A lot going on. Basically, a lot of reasons to feel like we can never do anything fun or spend anything on ourselves. Thankfully we balance each other out. (And use Groupon like crazy. This month we have 2 movie dates, a pub date, a free pizza, and a meal at Olive Garden that have already been paid for.)


This month, a portion of our monthly budget was allocated toward supplies for the upcoming craft sale! I have changed my mind several times, but now that I’ve submitted my application there’s no going back. I’ve already bought the majority of my materials and spent half the amount I thought it was going to cost. Yesterday I bought $50 worth of canvases for $20. BOOM. (Thank you Michael’s coupons and sales!) I just need a couple of evenings at home! I’m pretty insecure that people won’t want to buy the things I’m making (earring holders, coasters, paintings, Christmas snow globes), but all my profit is going towards those loans! Wednesday night (date night) we made October’s budget, and went shopping for craft supplies… and got ice cream.


Yesterday (Thursday) and today the office has been a-buzz with work. My favorite days are ones where I have envelopes to stuff and checks to cut. I love paying bills at work. (I know that’s so weird. It’s a good thing I have the job I have. I’m one in a million.)


Today Josh is meeting me after work and we’re headed to Columbia! I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE MY FAMILY!!!!! My parents have become friends, and my siblings less annoying (just kidding, we’re just more tolerant now). I just miss my family so much when I’m not with them. I’m excited to be in my old home, to wake up and have coffee with my mom, to stay up too late laughing hysterically, and snuggle with this one….

ZOEY! Picture taken by my talented sister, Amy. Shamelessly stolen from Facebook.
Picture taken by my talented sister, Amy.
Shamelessly stolen from Facebook.


But most importantly it means a road trip with my very favorite man. We are going to get Chick-fil-a for dinner and listen to more WOW! hits, and probably give in to the power of the Frosty Waffle Cone (let’s be honest).


We don’t know what the weekend holds, but we know it’s going to fun… and we’re going to be exhausted on Monday. Watch out family, we’re coming for you!


Dear Josh,

I think one of the greatest ways we’ve grown over the last nine months is in creating our monthly budget. We’ve learned by trial and error. Thank you for working hard to communicate the numbers clearly to me, and being patient when I get frustrated with myself. You always say I’m your priority, and I appreciate you showing me that with the way you’ve been “all in” with the craft sale. I’m so thankful I have a husband who thinks I’m creative and not only appreciates it, but goes to Walmart to compare bumpers, cork circles and felt feet for coasters! I’m so glad you are going to sit next to me during the whole craft show, our road trips, and life.

Work is seriously dragging today. Come get me soon.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

Piccata, Ricotta, Frittata*

Happy Friday! I am looking forward to a weekend… it has been a long and lonely week.

Wednesday night was a homework night for Josh. I binge-watched Netflix and worked on a project.

Thursday at work, I started the day with nothing to do. Got a nasty call from some lady that was behind one of our guys GOING THE SPEED LIMIT and started yelling at me about how unsafe he was… going 2 miles an hour. I transferred her to our operations manager who stifled hysterical laughter. Basically, lady had road rage, was late for something and decided to blame OUR guy… whatever.
After lunch on Thursday, I was swamped. Suddenly everyone had something for me to do. 2-5 was a blur of insanity… processing invoices, scheduling inspections, answering emails, making phone calls to potential customers…

I was so happy to get home. Date night was finally here! Josh and I went to La Foresta, a local Italian Restaurant in Downtown Wake Forest. Basically, it’s a much more expensive date than our norm, but Josh wanted to take me on a special date. (And we had $10 off- thanks to!) He got spinach ravioli in a glorious alfredo sauce (kinda wish I had gotten it too), and I got chicken piccata… a dream.

I am not going to lie…. I fought Josh on going out to have a nice dinner. I have been hyper budget conscious, almost to a fault, sometimes. I really am thankful that we work as a team to keep a tight budget, and that Josh also brings balance and makes it a priority to give me a break and demonstrate his love for me by taking me out for the occasional extra-nice dinner (or running shoes so we can exercise together).

We walked out of La Foresta and I suggested going to Dairy Queen for the buy one get one free blizzard Josh got for his birthday. The look he gave me was a combination of “Oh my gosh are you serious?!”, “that is BRILLIANT”, and “I KNEW I was supposed to marry you.”

Well… turns out that expired. So we went home and ate the ice cream that we already had, which is fine because it’s acceptable to snuggle on our couch. I don’t think they would appreciate us snuggling in Dairy Queen.

This Friday is pretty quiet so far. The most obnoxious thing is a gnat that keeps landing on my face and I am swatting around like an idiot trying to kill it.

It’s mid-September so we’re entering serious future home-hunting season. I am constantly looking on CraigsList for new postings… and so far I have one I reaaaally like… but we’ll see. We emailed a couple of people today, and are also filling out an apartment application this weekend. And, in classic team Cornfield** fashion, we have a savings plan so we can pay the deposit, for a moving truck, and for things like a washer/dryer, table and chairs (oh glorious thought!), etc. We don’t fool around.

Besides filling out a riveting apartment application, we have plans to go to the yard sale that SEBTS hosts, to do some shoe shopping (UGH but my at least my blister is gone), to make some lazy lasagna (me), and some relaxing (and maybe I’ll put away that laundry basket of clothes I keep digging through).


As for the random (this needs to be a permanent section because not everything fits into these pretty little boxes):

  • I bought 2 pairs of American Eagle Jeans… for about $20 each. (That is half price, people). So far (judging on all 4 hours I have worn them) I LOVE THEM. Money well spent and money well saved, Deborah. And American Eagle, thanks for paying attention to the short people. Your “short” size is just perfect.
  • The weirdest dream I had this week was about a house. It was the PERFECT house. (light and airy kitchen, hardwood floors through most of the house, 2 bathrooms one downstairs and one downstairs, a living room and bedroom downstairs along with the dining room and kitchen… a big beautiful wooden staircase upstairs, leading only to the master bedroom, with big beautiful windows and a master bathroom. Le sigh. I have a great imagination.) But… some rooms had carpet. And as I was saying “Josh, I want to live here!” the owners family arrived, with all their dogs. And then I cried because I knew we couldn’t move into the house, because if I did my dad wouldn’t be able to visit me. (My dad is pretty much deathly allergic to dogs.)
  • How hard is it REALLY to make a headboard?
  • Why do I think a headboard is so essential?
  • How early is too early to switch to flannel sheets?
  • How can I clean out my freezer so I have enough room for freezer meals? Vicious cycle.



I am so excited that we have “officially” started the new home search. I am also particularly thankful for the way you balance me out. I tend to go a little crazy with things, and you try to be the voice of reason and sanity. (I’m sorry for the times when I overreact because I think you’re a dream crusher.)

Thanks for taking me out to a fancy dinner last night and making me order what I really wanted…. and then snuggling and watching Alias like I wanted.

I am SO glad the weekend is almost here. I can’t wait for all the snuggling and the adventures- this weekend and beyond. You’re my favorite. Thanks for making a priority with your time, and with the money you make by helping our neighbor. Sometimes I feel like a spoiled brat when you spend money on me, but I should be feeling like a cherished wife. Thank you for cherishing me.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen



*The only thing I hate about having a blog is coming up with blog titles. Hence, the senseless rhyming. You will notice Piccata is the only thing actually mentioned in this post.

**Cornfield is a term we coined during our engagement. Corn- from Cornelissen, and field- from my maiden name, Crutchfield.

Where’s the beef?

I’ve been cooking for our little family for a little over 8 months. Quickly, I realized Josh is a delightful person to cook for. He never complains (even if there is a long list of foods he does not prefer), he doesn’t get sick of eating leftovers, he doesn’t compare my cooking to anyone else’s… and he brags to other people about what I make. (Not going to lie, it’s nice to be bragged about.)

I’ve also learned a lot about myself. I get bored. I like to make new things. I am frustrated that I only know how to make things with chicken, ground beef, tilapia and sausage… that’s it. I need a challenge in my life!

Here’s the thing. I’m afraid of meat.

1) What if I under cook it and give us food poisoning and then we will never be able to eat it again in our lives? That would really stink.

2) What if it’s completely disgusting and we have to throw it away and go to Wendy’s? (This is our disaster plan. It has been implemented on one occasion: Brie Soup. Aka weird colored water with spices and blobs of un-melted cheese bobbing like apples. Even THAT Josh tried to eat without complaining. I spit it out.)

3) What if I waste our money? (I cook on a really tight budget. I’m afraid of it getting blown up by one bad meal that was supposed to last for a couple of days.)

In a moment of confidence reading the Aldi ad, I decided to buy a pot roast kit. I’ve never made it before, so I thought what the heck. It comes in a kit, it’s on sale, the least I can do is try, right? So today I’m venturing out to purchase it. Not a big deal to all of you, maybe, but to me it’s huge. (This could be an $8 mistake, or a $8 meal of sweet victory. Time will tell.)


On another note, tonight is date night. We’re having a friend over tomorrow night so I’m doing some meal prep- we’ve having spaghetti so it’s nothing crazy, but I’m making peanut butter cheesecake bars, and I’ve never done that… need to whip those up tonight. (Josh makes the crust and I make the filling- we’re a great cheesecake making team!) Also we decided to make pancakes for dinner. We’ve learned how to be more of a team, cooking together. It’s pretty fun.

Also on a super random note, a goose just did a crash landing right outside of my window, had one foot tucked up by his body, hopped 3 times on one foot before doing a weird-looking face plant into the concrete. He sat there for a couple of minutes, doing a weird flap with his wings, stood on the one leg and did the most awkward take off ever. That goose just made me feel extremely graceful.


When I told you I wanted to go to Aldi on Wednesday to get the pot roast, you said “I feel like we’ve hit a milestone! Planning to go to the store on a specific day for a specific thing! WOW!”
I’m glad you let me try new things, and that you don’t get upset when they’re not as awesome as I hoped (cough BRIE SOUP cough). The way you talk about my cooking makes me so happy, and I’m so glad I have successfully kept you well fed on such a small budget.
If this meal is a total bust, tell me not to worry about it.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen