Welcome to Real Life

Just in case you thought I had it all together, there were 5 days in a row I was supposed to make soup… and put it off until the next day.
Those breakfasts I made ahead of time and froze? I have forgotten to defrost them. I have overslept. And I have skipped them.
I had a friend over on Monday, and we literally ate leftovers. Welcome to real life.
I keep saying “at least I still have clean underwear.”

This weekend was really fun with our little sisters. We were able to spend a ton of quality time with them playing games, taking them trunk or treating at a church, and trick or treating around the neighborhood. It was so fun to experience those things with them, and to celebrate Grace’s birthday too!

This weekend was a big milestone for Aaron. First, HE GOT A JOB! Second, he drove from Wake Forest to Virginia Beach! It was his first extended trip driving, and despite the construction and darkness, I think he did a good job. It was definitely good practice!!

The last few days have thrown us for a loop. Things haven’t made much sense, and we have received a lot of conflicting messages. Josh and I have steeped ourselves in the Psalms, which our church is going through right now. We have been so encouraged by listening to the sermons online, and meeting with our growth group. I am so thankful for that precious group of people that have surrounded us in our pain this year, lifted us up in prayer, and spoken truth to us.
Hurting people hurt people… that has been so apparent this week. But the Lord restores. I have seen Him work miraculously in my heart and my marriage this Summer. I know that He works all things together for our good, and His glory. I pray His opinion and His favor always matter more to us than what a human thinks, says, and does in their hurt and anger.

Wednesday night we enjoyed an amazing dinner at Olive Garden! Josh got unlimited pasta, and I got stuffed chicken marsala. Oh my word it was amazing. Our growth group has been so encouraging and supportive this year… and dinner last night was actually on them. They blessed our socks off with a giftcard a few weeks ago. We are so thankful for the community God has given us. We love you guys!
After dinner, I worked on some finishing craft sale touches (button holes on the aprons) and we watched a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory. We’re a few seasons behind, so we’re tying to catch up. It was a wonderful, relaxing evening together in the midst of a crazy week. I’m so glad we protect time together.

Also, I just have to mention this. I chopped veggies in my food processor for the first time. I know. Kinda late to that party. I’ve used it for salsa, smoothies, and more… but I finally approached that huge scary blade and it “chopped” my food prep in half. Hehe.

Last night I met a friend for Mexican food after work. It was so fun, and so delicious! The rest of the evening was spent… freaking out. I priced my items, tried to design what my table layout will be at the sale, and finally finished all the button holes on the aprons.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the craft and bake sale! All my projects are done, and I’m setting my table up tonight after work. I have had so much fun preparing for this. Stretching myself to make new things (kid-size ties and hair bows), mass-producing previous successful projects (toddler-size aprons), and setting out to sell leftovers from last year’s sale. One of the rules for the craft sale is “No Comparing.” I’m struggling with that one… but I’m thankful for the projects I was able to spend time on and hopeful I will make some money from them.

Sunday is the baby shower I’m throwing for one of the girls in our growth group! So… after the craft sale tomorrow it will be cupcake decorating/streamer hanging time for me. 🙂

And, finally, the best meme I have ever seen.

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Dear Josh,

I’m glad you’re going to be at the craft sale with me. I am excited but also pretty nervous about it… at least we will have chili and bread waiting for us when we get home! I’m glad we’ll be together all day. It might be a long day, hopefully not full of “I could make this” comments from customers, but I know that you believe in me, and are so excited about selling my crafts. Maybe in December we can have a lazy Saturday again?

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Here Comes the Sun

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Date Night. Bread Ventures. Sewing Project.

The past two weeks have been super rainy, which I love, but we totally reached the cabin fever stage. I’ve been struggling to sleep at night, and I KNEW it was because I needed to get outside and walk. Conveniently, last Wednesday was date night AND the sun was shining. Josh and I decided to take full advantage of the clear skies, and walked to downtown Wake Forest (it’s about a mile one-way) to try a new burger shop last Wednesday for date night. It’s been a while since we tried new restaurants… so trying two new places, two weeks in a row has been a blast! Our review is that the Burger Shop is not Five Guys…. but we like it.  The closest Five Guys is about 25 or 30 minutes away! So, considering that… it was REALLY good. 🙂  It won’t be a really be an option in Winter, as there are only about 10 seats inside, but it was perfect last night, sitting outside.

We took our time enjoying dinner, sitting downtown, and catching up on each other’s days. After our burgers had a chance to settle, we walked down to my favorite local ice cream place, Lumpy’s. Josh got Honey ice cream (so good) and I got chocolate with salted caramel (which was mind-blowingly amazing). I can’t even express how much fun it was to be walking with my sweetheart, ice cream cones in hand, laughing and talking and just enjoying each other’s company. It was the best.

This past weekend was a quiet, but busy one. I am almost done with a baby blanket, and I’ve been working on things for the craft sale. I also used my bread machine for the first time and made Italian Herb french bread. The bread machine has a delay start programming function, which I feel like I am going to really enjoy this winter, coupled with the use of my crock pot timer for soup! My homemade laundry detergent is the bomb… so I’m pretty stoked about that too!
On Saturday, I made Pumpkin Cheesecake for girls night… both the cheesecake and girls night were successes… we made pizza, did some painting, lots of talking, and enjoyed cheesecake. I’ve been so blessed by these girls… some I have know for over a year, and some I have known for just a few weeks.

Josh and I are getting a lot of questions along the lines of “what’s next?” since he is graduating in May. I feel like I’ve always had an idea of what is next… and right now we don’t. What is “next” is just paying off student loans, helping Aaron meet his goals and get independent, and praying about the next step. We came to seminary for Josh to get an education, and we have learned a TON together in the last (almost) 2 years. I see our hearts growing for the church, I see our natural giftings being developed, I see us being challenged and stretched. I see so many good things… but we don’t have a clear direction of “what” or “where” is next. I’m really trying to be ok with this. It feels like I’m disappointing people saying that we don’t have a next step. It feels like we should know. So, I’m trying to learn to take these thoughts captive and not dwell on impressing others or gaining their approval, but pleasing the Lord-and I firmly believe that we are honoring Him by seeking him and trusting that He will guide us.

Meanwhile, my home-town (Columbia) has been submersed by the flood. My favorite park, Riverfront, has been more of a river. I’m very thankful that my family was not caught in the flood, and that they/the house are ok. However, seeing all the damage to my hometown, hearing about the orphans/widows, etc at church on Sunday, and hearing needs of my family/friends has left me feeling very overwhelmed. I’m left feeling that the things I’m doing aren’t enough… yet, I don’t know how I could possibly do more in this season. I reached out to my friends yesterday and expressed this, and they absolutely overwhelmed me with encouragement. Not only that I am using my time/resources well, but that if I look around at all the chaos, I will feel chaotic: I need to fix my eyes on the Lord.

Now, I’m praying that my brother is going to be able to make it out of Columbia on Friday to spend the weekend for us. I’m trying to kick things into gear for the craft sale, and I’m trying to figure out how I am going to survive November, being gone/busy every single weekend– I get so much done on Saturdays, I don’t know what I am going to do without five of them!

 

Dear Josh,

I am very very very happy that the sun is coming out, and that we can go on more walks! I’m looking forward to the days of homemade soup and grilled cheese, and spending time with so many friends/family in November (even if I am a little overwhelmed thinking about it). So this weekend I will have to exercise my creativity coming up with a meal plan for the next few weeks, and maybe making some meals ahead of time. Excited to brainstorm together, and figure out how to make all these crazy plans work. 😀

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Seasons Change

This has been a crazy season for the Cornelissens. It feels like we keep getting put in impossible situations. It seems impossible to us, because it is… it is impossible without turning to God. I’m learning to recognize my sin in the ways I react to certain things, and I’m learning to turn to Him. The responsibilities that have been placed on me are tiring. I have spent countless nights crying because I am tired of the burdens… but I’m starting to see what God is doing, what He is teaching me, and how He is being glorified.

The past few days, we have been enjoying these sour cream enchiladas. LEGIT. Seriously, add a side of rice, corn, chips and salsa… it felt like we were eating out, but we had that meal at home, for a lot less money. 🙂 I highly recommend this recipe!

Saturday morning, Josh and I had a great morning date. We went to a yard sale at the seminary (I found an awesome lamp and a bread maker), got free donuts from Krispy Kreme (pirate day!), and hit Walmart for some crafting supplies. Other than our morning date, making enchiladas and stuffing our faces, we spent a good amount of time cleaning. I finally finished decorating the kitchen and living room, which means our room is still the only room that needs some serious help. A large part of the afternoon was spent sewing while Josh did some homework. We rounded off the evening spending time all together with the legendary enchiladas and watching The West Wing.

Tonight is FINALLY the Aladdins (and maybe Sweet Frog) date. I’m so excited! We’ll probably go home and watch Once Upon a Time afterwords.

This weekend, Josh has a conference on campus… and I have my normal cleaning and laundry chores, plus my sewing projects. I also need to try out some breakfast recipes… I am REALLY bad at eating breakfast in the morning, so I’m going to try making some breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and breakfast burritos to freeze and warm up in the mornings. Unfortunately I have a feeling I have more goals than I can possibly accomplish this weekend… but I’m going to give it my best shot!

Since it’s starting to feel like Fall, I think my friends and I are going to arrange a Fall crafting evening…. and my Pumpkin Cheesecake has been requested. Seriously who am I to refuse that request?!

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Dear Josh,

I love you so much. I am thankful for the ways we have been encouraged by our church family this week, and thankful for the community we have invested in. I’m thankful for the home we’ve made, the meals we make, and the intentional time together we’re learning to create and protect. I am SUPER stoked about our date tonight… especially since the next few days are going to be so busy and you’re going to be gone.

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A Time to Rest

On Friday, I went home early. I got home, got into comfy clothes, and got into bed. I pretty much stayed in bed until Tuesday morning when I forced myself to go back to work (and then left early, went home and got back in bed). It has been a long week. A week full of bed-rest, chicken noodle soup, The Property Brothers, movies that have been in my queue for over a year, LOTS of water, and LOTS of cough drops. It’s really hard for me to rest like that and not feel guilty.

Most likely, I’ve been fighting off bronchitis. Today is the first day that I thought “wow, I might be getting better. Hey, breathing isn’t so hard!” … I also sounded like Marcel the Shell this morning… and now my voice is cracking like a teenage boy.

Between Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning, IT BECAME FALL. I missed it. (But, welcome Fall. I’m sure it was my decorations that prompted your arrival.) Ok it feels like Fall in the morning… by afternoon it feels like summer again. If someone can tell me how to dress for Fall and Summer at the same time, I’m all ears. The morning is too cold for skirts, and the afternoon is too hot for pants. GAH.

I think I did some Target shopping from my bed… so I’m excited to see what arrives at my door in the next few days. Ha!

As far as movies go, I watched The Age of Adaline with the boys. We actually all 3 loved it… and highly recommend it. We were totally sucked into the story and it was so well done. I watched Aloha… and well I don’t recommend anyone to see it. It was disjointed, boring, and the only thing I can say is at least the marriage was respected because I was worried about the love triangle. If I hadn’t been sick, I probably wouldn’t have finished it… but I was very much so, so I did. The third movie I watched was The Nanny Diaries, which was funnier than I thought it would be, and I liked the ending.

catchingfireI also finished reading the second Hunger Games book (Catching Fire) so I watched the movie. The movies are good… and I think part of that is because the author also worked on the screen plays. However, the books give you such a different experience. So much of the story is told from what is going on inside Katniss… what she’s thinking, feeling, and her memories that really round out the story. Especially her relationship with Peeta… it’s pretty confusing in the movies because you don’t know all the conflict going on in her head. Obviously that’s lost in film. I love the books… and I think the movies are fun because you get to SEE what you’ve imagined while reading it, but it’s just different. Different, but I’m able to appreciate both forms of the story for what they are… and that doesn’t always happen when books I like are turned into movies.

Even though it has been a rough couple of days, I am extremely thankful for my husband and my job… two things I am not always as thankful for as I should be. My sweet husband has refilled my water bottle, run to the store, slept on the couch, sat and watched movies/tv shows with me, and been so loving no matter how grumpy and snippy I’ve been. My job has been flexible, my bosses and coworkers understanding and helpful, and I have been able to ease back into work. I don’t feel obligated to stay if I am miserable, and I feel very fortunate to have a job where I am valued and play an important role, but I matter more as a person than I do a person here to accomplish a list of tasks.

I didn’t make enchiladas this past weekend and I actually had a cancel a lot of plans this weekend… which was a bummer. So we’re moving enchiladas to this weekend, and hopefully I’ll be feeling even better so we can do something fun. 🙂 Also, hoping I get to spend some quality time with my sewing machine!

 

 
Dear Josh,
Thanks for taking care of me, always, but especially this past week. I haven’t been this sick since Mono, and I have appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I am really looking forward to feeling better and getting out of the house again! Like date night tomorrow!!! Seriously though I’m looking forward to feeling better so we can take walks and enjoy our favorite season. But… I guess the road to recovery is paved with Mucinex and nasal spray… bleck.
I miss you. Let’s go home and watch Once Upon a Time.

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Ever-growing To-Do Lists

I took an unintentional blogging break… I guess partially because life is super busy and partially because I don’t have a super strong desire to blog.
This semester, Josh is taking a Biblical Counseling class and I am going to try to read the material so we can talk about it. I have my Bachelors in Psychology, and I believe in a balanced, holistic, integrated approach. I think there are good, beneficial Biblical Counselors, but I don’t believe the Bible-only approach is the most effective. I am super interested to see where Josh’s professor comes down on the scale, and to be able to discuss the course with him.

So… it’s been two weeks. How did my to-do list work out?

-Bake something.
I wanted to make Carrot Cake Cheesecake, but I need to buy some cake pans and I already used up the “Household” budget this month with curtains and such. So instead I made Monster Cookies! Obviously there were no complaints in the house… and I made extra to take to our friend’s “welcome back” party since he was unexpectedly gone for like the entire summer. I also made rolls! I’m not sure what happened, but I had to add a TON of flour. I was so sure they were going to be a flop…. but they were delicious. I also made an Apple Cake this weekend.

-Have someone over for dinner.
In the past two weeks, we have had a lot of people over! We had Joe Tom over one night, and my long-lost Capernwray friend Derek over the next. It was so fun catching up with both of them, and so nice for Josh to finally meet Derek. This past week, we did breakfast for dinner with other friends. THAT WAS SO FUN. We don’t usually have people over for breakfast food… but it was awesome- and a combined effort! We made pancakes and had strawberries and our friends brought sausage and orange juice.

-Unpack a few boxes.
I still have more to do, but I made a ton of progress! The kitchen stuff is unpacked, the pictures are getting hung up, things are finding homes.

-Hang some pictures/brainstorm where pictures will go.
On Monday night, Josh and I decorated the study! I have been telling Josh that “when he has an office” he could hang up the stuff he has from his trips, and his Redskins pictures. So, true to my promise, I helped him hang up stuff from his trips and created the study he’s been wanting. I have my desk in the room as well, so I have my own wall! It’s fun to have our own spaces in the same room… they are so distinct and unique.

-Read for fun.
I have been reading the second Hunger Games book! I am reading a few “serious” books, so it’s nice to have one that I am able to use as an escape and just enjoy.

-Family time, maybe a movie night?
Both weekends since I last blogged we have watched The West Wing and The Office together. Ahh what good shows. 🙂

Update on my purchases, I got my dress and it’s perfect! I feel like it’s a great dress to transition through seasons… it’s classic by itself but will also look so cute with boots, a cardigan and tights moving into Fall. I say, $14 well spent.
The curtains arrived, and finished off our office space! Here’s some pictures of our almost-finished office space below… we’re so excited about it.
I also got my Lilly Pulitzer planner. I’ve already filled it with our life happenings… it is so fun to write things down. I have sticky notes of to-do lists, and all my thoughts go in one place. Plus it’s beautiful. 🙂

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Welcome to the study! This is Josh’s desk…
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This is my desk and craft corner…
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The reading chair (her name is Badonk-adonk Belinda because she is serious HUGE.)

Two Wednesdays ago, Josh and I went to Chipotle for date night and he went to the fabric store with me after. Our friends in growth group are having a baby, so naturally I went to JoAnn fabric. 🙂  I am SO excited about this project. It feels really good to have another project… and I love making baby things. I feel like I get to be part of the joy and excitement, and it’s a way for me to take my thoughts off myself. As I pick out fabric, sew the pieces together, and admire the finished product, I’m praying for my friends as they are entrusted with this precious soul. I’m praying for the baby, that they will grow up to honor and love Jesus with their whole heart. I pray for people to encourage my friends in each season of parenting. I love doing this way more than picking out the fabric (though I picked this fabric out because I feel it has real meaning)… for me it’s a way to love and serve. And, like each child, every blanket I make is unique.

Life is full. I feel like there isn’t enough time to rest, get all the chores done, make all the meals, and be a good friend. I feel like no matter what I do, something is going to suffer. This week, it’s the chores… but they needed to be ignored. I need to make sure I’m making time to do things that will refresh me (like baking a cake or buying fabric or making this place a home and spending time with the Lord), or it won’t matter how much time I’m spending with others… I won’t have anything to give.

This week’s date night is going to be a Josh’s birthday celebration! 🙂 His birthday is actually Friday, and we’re going to celebrate with my family this weekend. Gosh, have I mentioned how happy it makes me that my family LOVES Josh? It’s seriously the best. It makes me so happy to see the people I love loving the person I love most.

Dear Josh,
I am excited our house is starting to come together… I love our study! I’m so excited you finally have your space to do homework. Thanks for all you’ve done to pick up my slack the last few weeks. I’ve been thrown for such a loop and I’m so thankful for you starting crock pot meals, going on walks with me, and doing laundry.
I’m looking forward to celebrating your birthday tomorrow and this weekend!

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Settling Back In

Time to blow some dust off this little space. Life has been insane. We found a house, Josh and I had a weekend away, we moved into the new house (over the course of several weeks), and we left the keys on the counter of the old place. I have been a roller-coaster of emotions. We have had a steady diet of takeout and fast food. I have started to unpack, I’ve hung a few pictures, and cried a few tears of exhaustion. I’ve gotten bruises from running into walls and furniture because I’m so tired. I’ve caught a cold. I read The Hunger Games (finally).

Honestly, I felt I’ve had nothing to blog about… even in the midst of such insanity.  The truth is, I didn’t want to blog about what has been going on. The past few weeks have been so very difficult. I have struggled with real sorrow and real anger. I’ve had to humble myself and ask for help. I’ve experienced true joy and people going out of their way to help me. All in all, I am so grateful for our new home. I am so grateful that we have been an encouragement to family and friends, through the crappiest summer. God is faithful… and we are so weak, and so desperately need Him.

So what else have we been up to?
-We made dinner for growth group this past week. Stir fry and honey garlic chicken recipe here. The chicken was amazing. The marinade gets thick and wonderful when you fry it in the pan… oh yeah. I didn’t go to Growth Group, because I was sick, but Josh said it was delicious and everyone loved it!
-Putting lots of holes in the walls, hanging things up and making it look like home.
-Preparing for Josh to start classes on Tuesday (WHAT?!?!?!!), and we’re trying to have patience with ourselves (and each other) as we adjust to our new home.
-We paid off the last student loan that is accruing interest while Josh is in school. We have a ways to go… but we have done major damage since we got married. 🙂
-I took my first sick day since I had Mono last year.
-Internet obsessions (as of late):
.LILLY PULITZER. I want it all. What? I can dream.
.Sam and Nia’s Youtube Channel. Last week they posted a video of the husband surprising his wife with a positive pregnancy test he did, and it was sooo sweet. A few days later, they posted that they had a miscarriage. It was heart breaking, but they are also Christians and it has been so cool seeing their video go viral, and them glorifying God in the midst of their sorrow.

I am really struggling with the constant changes in schedule. Our summer was insane, and now Josh’s schedule is changing again with school. I keep telling myself that Jesus is constant, and He does not change… but my emotions are having a hard time.
Obviously, I’ve been a little down but there are some exciting things to note. First of all, our house is perfect. I am so thankful that Josh and I have our own bathroom, everyone has their own space, and I’m loving the huge kitchen. I’m looking forward to getting back into cooking our meals. I wasn’t kidding… we have eaten out SO much this month… and I’m pretty much over it. It may be easier to pick something up, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel. We’re going out of town this weekend, so I don’t get to spend as much time cooking as I wanted… but next week I’m going to be spending some time in the kitchen! Our house is functional. Honestly, it was functional as soon as we moved in because we had done so much work ahead of time… I’m very thankful for that.

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I glossed over this, but Josh and I spent the weekend before the move at the beach! Chris and Katie (Josh’s Uncle and Aunt) graciously let us have a weekend at the Eastern Shore in Virginia. We soaked up the sun, silence, and sleep. It was refreshing and so nice for us to spend uninterrupted time together. For those that don’t know, Josh and I make it a priority to go away (just the two of us) 2 weekends a year. We think it’s really important to spend quality time together, and also FUN time together! I’m already looking forward to our next trip.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that my family came and helped us knock out the final part of the move and cleaning the old place. They were such a blessing, and it was done in less than 5 hours! THANK YOU GUYS!!!!

Dear Josh,

You have done so much these past few weeks that has gone without thanks. So, thank you. Thank you for moving so much stuff, thank you for putting furniture together, thanks for picking up food, thanks for cleaning, and thanks for being here. I have been a mess, and you have shown so much grace. Thank you for encouraging me to get back to writing, even though I have tried (many many times) and all I have are unfinished drafts to show for it.
I love you. I’m so excited about our progress on your loans, so excited about our new home, and can’t stinking wait to cook again.
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Coming Down

We had date night on Wednesday! We ended up getting Panera (hello, drive through) and coming home to our comfy couch. It feels like it has been forever since we just relaxed on our couch together.

This week has continued to be insane at work. Lots of changes, but good changes. I’ve been overwhelmed this week by my long list of responsibilities at work. I am exhausted. My time sheet reflects 43 hours, and oh I am feeling every minute of that.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling very yucky. Turns out I’m definitely fighting a cold. I am achy all over, my throat is scratchy, and I’m sneezing my head off. I think my body has finally been worn down by the stress and sleep deprivation and called it quits. As a result, I stayed home last night while Josh went to the members meeting at church… and dropped Aaron off at the bookstore while he was at the meeting. I had a gloriously quiet house. I relaxed, I baked a loaf of banana bread, I ate chicken tacos, and it was such a blessing to have some time alone.

This weekend’s plans are pretty much up in the air. I need to make another banana bread, to use my bananas and will probably freeze it. We have a few chores to do, we discussed the possibility of doing the drive in movie (which doesn’t START until 9pm so we’re not so sure…), and lots of chicken tacos to eat.

Here are the recipes I’ve been using, and I highly recommend all three (pictures do not belong to me, the credit goes to the individual blogs)! Links are under the pictures.

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Banana BreadChicken Ranch TacosOne Hour Bread

Dear Josh,

I am thankful for so much this week, but especially all the cleaning you did while I was at work yesterday. It was so nice to come home after a long day to a clean kitchen, and clean clothes. A clean kitchen just makes me SO HAPPY. (Especially since it invited me to bake.) Thanks for always being open to me trying new recipes. It’s fun to share them with you, especially since you’re excited to try them.
I am looking forward to a semi-normal weekend with you and I am SO READY TO BE HOME!!!
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‘Til I Return

This week has continued to crawl by. Work is fairly slow, and the minutes seem to pass even more slowly. I fully admit to googling pictures of Disney World and imagine I’m on a bus to the Magic Kingdom instead of sitting at my desk answering the phone.

I was worried we wouldn’t have enough food for dinners this week… but we had a lot of leftovers from Growth Group. NOW I’m wondering how we’re going to eat it all… but I live with two guys so I’m sure it will happen. Honestly, I have been worried about a lot of things this week that I just didn’t need to worry about.

Josh and I had planned to do date night tonight (Thurs), but some plans got cancelled and we were able to do it last night instead, which was SO refreshing. We went out to Chickfila, and sat IN the restaurant. I don’t remember the last time we did that, just the two of us at CFA. I wanted fries, but ordered a salad… and stole two fries from Josh. After dinner, we stopped Target to grab last-minute things for the trip, and my gracious husband let me explore the clearance racks. I found some ok things but nothing that I had to have, which is basically a new standard.

We got home in time to tune into American Idol. The top 4 performed, and I am just so torn. They are all so good… and I would like them all to win. Let’s go back to how amazing my husband is. Target Clearance and American Idol? I’m so thankful for him and the fact that he is content to snuggle up and watch my show with me. 🙂

Tonight I’m getting some things done for the trip- updating my playlists and doing laundry. Maybe I’ll do some thrifting on the way home from work! I finally earmarked some of my budget this month to do some thrifting. Honestly, it is so much easier to shop online since I’m working full-time, but I love thrifting… and if I don’t plan it, it won’t happen! I am HOPING to score some summer tops, a pencil skirt, and a cute dress, but I’m still reverting back to the standard above. If I don’t love it, if it doesn’t “do” anything for me, it’s not worth buying because I just won’t wear it. I feel like it took me way too long to learn this.

I’m trying to enjoy the calm before the storm- enjoying a calmer work week, a chance to thrift, paint my nails, and drink a margarita. I am so thankful for a week-long escape. It has been a long, challenging semester, and we’re tired. Walking 10 miles a day in the Florida sun may not sound “restful” but I really believe it will be refreshing. As soon as I get back, I have meetings to attend, bills to pay, billing documents to prepare… but for the next week, I’ll be at the happiest place on earth.

‘Til I return.

 

Dear Josh,

Thank you for shifting around your plans so we could do date night last night. I so needed that time with you, and I’m thankful that you heard me and met that need. What do you say we pack up the car and head to Florida first thing Saturday? I think we need some fun in the sun, what do ya say? Yes, glad we’re on the same page.
I hope you and Aaron enjoy your nerd night! I’ll be upstairs doing introvert things like laundry and watching The Mindy Project by myself. 🙂

See you tonight!

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Feeling Free

This weekend was quite liberating.

Friday I worked through lunch, so come 4 pm I was done with all my work and got to leave early. Remember my spring decorating fever? I worked on that. I got some candlesticks from Dollar Tree, and decided I wanted a wreath. Not only did I plan out my spring mantle, I went shopping. Y’all. I don’t go shopping anymore. I don’t have the time, energy (mental or physical), and I usually don’t have the money. This time, I had the money… and the time… and the energy.

I hit Old Navy, and was reminded that their dresses in-store really don’t work for my body. The petite sizes online are great! I found a few options, but nothing that made me go “Wow.” I decided, early on in my hunt, that I wanted a wow dress. I don’t have a one-stop dress that I can put on without a tank top or a sweater… and I don’t have a dress that makes me feel like a hundred bucks. I had already looked at Target’s selection last week, and was not impressed. I remembered I had a Kohls gift-card, so I decided to stop there on the way home. I took 5 dresses into the fitting room, and the first one was ok, but not awesome so I continued and the next three dresses were nos. The last one I tried on… was perfect. I can go without a sweater, I can go without a tank top for modesty, it is flattering, it’s happy, the blues make my eyes stand out, and it is unlike any other dress I have. I looked in the mirror, frankly stunned, and I knew I had to get it.

Thank goodness for that gift-card. I got this dress of dreams for $15…. and it wasn’t a “just to use up this gift-card” purchase. It was a dress I COULD NOT pass up. (If you were wondering, Josh loves it… and I am wearing it on Easter, so pictures will come next week.)

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I just have to decide which shoes to wear…

 

When I got home, we had homemade Chinese food. Sweet & Sour Chicken, thank you Josh and trusty crock-pot, and stir fry. It was a pretty quiet Friday night, but that’s how we like them. Saturday, we slept in. Until 7:30, but that’s sleeping in for us. We got ready for the day and hit a yard sale. It wasn’t any yard sale, it was put on by a family from our church that is moving overseas… and, hence, selling all their stuff. We got a game, a necklace, a couple of books, and a couple of picture frames. Then, since it was right next door to our friends, we popped in on the Sylvias. Friends, thank you for inviting us in though you were in the midst of cleaning. We so enjoyed spending time with you and your little girl– being with you always brings us such joy.

We had planned to do breakfast at Chick-fil-a, but it was 10:35… which meant breakfast was over. Instead, we decided to do Tropical Smoothie which is a bit of a trek, but I’ve been wanting to go so bad. I got Josh hooked. We split a breakfast burrito and got our own smoothies.

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Next, it was Trader Joes for us. I have been wanting to try their hummus, guacamole, and the tea tree shampoo, and I now declare them all wonderful. But ESPECIALLY THE GUACAMOLE. I’m a little bit addicted. I got a bouquet of fresh flowers, which have brought so much happiness to our dining table. Since we have the Growth Group meal and Aaron’s birthday this week, we did our grocery shopping together (which never happens anymore). We spent the evening enjoying blueberry pancakes, basketball, and The West Wing. Our Sunday was also low-key… more basketball (I got 3/4 final four teams right!), leftovers, and West Wing.

This week is really packed, and I am super stressed. I feel like I can’t make enough food… I’m constantly cooking. We have growth group meal this week, I committed to taking a dessert to Easter, it’s Aaron’s birthday and his requests are not easy to execute (especially after a long week of work)… and I feel like I’m never home. Also, in the one time slot I had to prepare said Easter dessert, I realized my recipe was not sufficient and made the worst cake ever. Needless to say, I’m not feeling the best today.

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A terrible picture of our mantle. Also, that empty frame? I have simply not printed a drawing of a bunny. That’s the Easter decoration touch.

Dear Josh,

I feel like life has been so busy, and it shows no sign of slowing down. So, thank you for carving out time for me and protecting it. I am beyond excited that you can no longer live in ignorance of Tropical Smoothie’s awesomeness… and I’m excited about more dates there.
First, though, we have to survive this week… and frazzled doesn’t even begin to cover how I’m feeling.

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