Fight for It

First off, I didn’t blog about our date last week, but I really must.

Last Wednesday night, we had the BEST date night. We finally made it to Outback, with a coupon and a giftcard. We had a 3 course meal and only had to pay the tip. Thank you, family, for blessing us with date nights! Josh got steak, I got Parmesan crusted chicken, and we split it… so we got the best of both worlds. Book-ended by salads and cheesecake, and punctuated with quality conversation, we were both so encouraged and uplifted by our time out.
He even went to Old Navy with me (just to do a return… no one wants to try on clothes after eating steak, am I right?)… yeah, he’s a keeper. Sidebar, I ordered shorts from Old Navy in the boyfriend style. I thought cool, they won’t be like super tight. Instead, they were so huge they literally fell off. I don’t know what was off (new style altered the size??)… but it was bad.

My meal plan made some progress (though we’re consuming leftovers tonight). Josh had a weekend class, so we was gone until 9 on Friday, and gone from 8-5 on Saturday. Since I had no plan for Saturday, I decided that we would have a super nice meal which doubles as the “I don’t know what else to make”/we have leftover asparagus meal. I made Garlic and Herb Tilapia, rice, and asparagus, with a side of french bread. Yes, it was a hit. Don’t spread it around, but Josh told me he is starting to LIKE asparagus… sea salt, Parmesan, and repetition work miracles. Honestly, this is one of my very favorite meals. I felt like a legit cook, piecing together the different parts, making sure the flavors complimented each other, and it only took 30 minutes to throw it all together. (That’s why we have a huge bag of Tilapia fillets in the freezer.)

But, I skipped a lot of happenings. One of my favorite girls got voted off Idol…. boo.
I got up early with Josh on Saturday, and when he left for class, I caught up on shows. Around 10am, however, there was a ring of the doorbell. I looked out the window, and saw a mini van and assumed it was my only friend with a minivan (Charissa!), and happily threw the door open to see… well, not Charissa. Instead, I realized the van was full of elderly African-Americans, and two of them were on my front porch. Our front porch is TINY. And, as I discovered, it is very awkward to talk to someone through a glass door when you cannot open it, or you will open it INTO them. So, I stood awkwardly as they (Jehovah’s Witnesses) invited me to a celebration of Jesus’ death. I was so very confused. Because it was 10am, I had not finished coffee, and I was hoping that friends had stopped by, I did not even think to engage them in conversation over the fact that I celebrate Jesus’ resurrection (Easter).

When Aaron got up, we did our chores. For about 3 hours on Saturday, ALL the laundry was done, the carpets were all vacuumed, the counters were clean. I love a clean house. Then, we rewarded ourselves with Downton Day 2. We’re almost at the end of season 2… and I am so very distraught. (WILLIAM. MATTHEW.) We continued to Downton until Josh got home. 🙂  Then we had a feast, and played Kingdom Builder.

Sunday… was a rough day. I didn’t go to church, and Josh and I had a long emotional discussion after he got home. It was hard. There were lots of tears, but we needed to have it and I think we’re better because we did. We finally updated our budget for this month, and talked about how to protect time for just us. There have been-and are so many- distractions of how we can use our time. The hard thing is that the distractions aren’t bad uses of our time, but I think we have really become aware of the fact that our relationship needs time. It can’t starve through the week, and be ok on date night. It needs attention, and it needs constant care. So, we’re trying to be intentional. We’re trying to protect time together, which has really proven to be a challenge. We’re trying to have grace with ourselves, and each other, and on Sunday that meant we ordered Pizza because we spent the afternoon talking about serious stuff.

This week, things are really looking up. We are past the insanity… Josh’s weekend classes are over for the semester. The rest of his work is all online, and he has been able to alter his schedule to make more time for me, in the evenings and weekends, and Aaron on the weekdays. I’m SO thankful. Josh and I were given perspective last night doing the budget, looking at the craziness of February (a huge insurance payment, high electric bill, days lost at work due to snow, going out-of-town) and realizing all our needs, and even most of our wants, are met. We’re eating healthy food (minus pizza, ok), we’re together, and Aaron is able to live with us without us feeling strained. We are so blessed, and so quick to forget.

Are you wondering about the title? Let me explain. I feel like I have had to fight for a lot of things recently: time for myself, getting my exercise in, choosing to eat healthy, protecting time with my husband, and most of all fighting for joy. I have viewed fighting as a bad thing, but I’m not sure anymore…

 

Dear Josh,

We still have so much to learn… but I think this weekend was so valuable. I often think that our intense discussions/fights are bad because we love each other so we should get along…. and I often try to avoid them. However, I think I often miss the point because we need to fight, not for the sake of argument, but because we’re fighting for our marriage.

Thank you for listening to me, I needed to be heard. Thank you for growing with me. And, thanks for making my sandwiches every morning. You’re the best.

signature.bird

 

 

 

 

PS
This is my 100th post…. so that’s pretty cool.

 

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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