Fourth of July 2015

I am so happy to report I am feeling better! Now, don’t get me wrong- I’m still exhausted. Life has been full, we have been busy, and that is good… but I’m tired. Our 4th of July was not full of fireworks… but we did have burgers three days in a row. I don’t know if that is something to brag about, but it was good. How did you spend your 4th?

Friday, we went to Ikea. We had good conversation on the way, which I feel like we’ve been missing a little bit lately. Between being sick and being insanely busy, we have just been making life happen. Sometimes it is a challenge to slow down and make sure we’re connecting in meaningful conversation. It’s also difficult to have meaningful conversation when you feel like crap… so I am not pointing fingers, I’m just stating facts. Anyway, we had fun walking around Ikea. Last time we went, we were on a mission to obtain furniture for the new place… this time was a little more relaxed approach. We compared our styles, decorated fictional homes, and made lots of “that would be so nice to have, but we don’t need it so we’re not going to get it” decisions. One thing we DID get was a french press! I figured a cheap one would work for my cold brew? We’ll see.

After Ikea, we headed to the Gilmore’s house. We seriously had such a great weekend with our friends. Driving away, we commented how blessed and encouraged we have always been observing their marriage, and now there’s an added blessing of seeing them as parents. Obviously our weekends look a little different since they’re parents… playing board games isn’t as easy with a 6 month old. 🙂 BUT it’s so GOOD. Friends, thanks for letting us love on your son. I’m glad I taught him how to smack his lips like a fish because it is literally the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Thanks for showing us that parenthood is hard, but also a joy. Thanks for being a physical picture of how Christ delights in His children… as you delight in yours. Anyway, that’s the important stuff from the visit! I’m so thankful for these pause and play friends.

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Last minute, we arranged for my youngest brother to come stay with us for the week! He just got his first job (WOOT WOOT), so that means he won’t be free to take a week later in the summer. We ended up going through Columbia on the way home to get Andrew, and we have basically had non-stop fun ever since. Obviously, I am still working every day… but going home is so much fun. We’ve been going on walks, playing games, and obviously eating. My mom will be coming up this weekend, and Andrew will go back with her then. It has been so so fun to see my brothers (Andrew and Aaron) and my husband enjoying time together. Naturally, I’m jealous that Josh’s schedule is more flexible and he gets to spend more time with Andrew. However, I’m thankful that Andrew wants to- and gets to- spend so much time with Josh. Today they’re at the Zoo, but tonight we’re spending time together. (I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to call in sick today.)

Like I said, life has been busy… but there are so so many things to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for friends that we’re so close to, we call them family…
I’m thankful for friends that show me how much JOY motherhood holds…
I’m thankful for positive family relationship we get to foster this week…
I’m thankful that we have the resources and space to open up our home….
I’m thankful for a job where I get to learn, grow, make mistakes, and ask questions…
The list goes on. What’s on your list today?

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Dear Josh,

This week has been so fully of blessings. Quality time and encouragement with friends, so much fun with family, and deep conversation together. I’m so thankful that you’re my partner in life. I love that I can share everything with you- the joys like giggling with our godson, the sorrows- as I process losses, the uncertainty- as we look at the future, and our faith- as we challenge each other and work through things. Today, I hope you guys are having SO much fun at the zoo. You three share such a love for God’s creation, and it’s cool to watch you guys enjoy it.
See you for date night! Meanwhile, I’m missing you (and thinking about the 401-K plan we need to sign up for… we’re old!).

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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.
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wpid-20150226_101411.jpg The snow goblin…

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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”).
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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!
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I LOVE SNOW.
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

Greenville (Easley)

My heart is just bursting with joy. Why? Because little people bring me joy, and I spent the weekend thinking about and celebrating a little person who happens to be my godson. Joseph Clayton, your mommy and daddy are two of my favorite people. They are SO excited to hold you, take care of you, and teach you about Jesus. I can’t wait to meet you either… you are already so loved… but especially by your fairy godmother. (Your daddy might tell you I’m a turkey… I’m NOT. I’m your fairy godmother.)

Yes, Friday was a long day and I spent most of it with no actual work to do… so I read more about Disney World. My husband picked me up from work, and we headed to Easley to see Elise. Of course on the way there we ate sandwiches, to save time and money. (Thanks for making them, Josh!) Traveling is exhausting, no doubt…. but he is my favorite person. The best thing about road trips is being next to each other for hours on end. We ran into tons of traffic (thank you, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Charlotte), got to the Gilmores late and stayed up even later.

Saturday, we started working on the nursery- spray painted a shelf, we went through gifts from showers, washed hung and folded Joseph’s clothes, organized things in piles, and framed art. After a busy morning, we had Chick-fil-a for lunch, and went to Elise’s shower! It was so fun… and not just because I won the game, which was guessing the names of nursery rhymes, and not just because there were amazing cupcakes… it was so fun to get to know some of Elise’s family, and some of Philip’s family, and to see all these people who love and are anticipating Joseph. The evening after the shower held more gift-sorting, more baby laundry, shopping (Hobby Lobby!), and grilled cheese.

Sunday, I made everyone keep working on the nursery. Not going to lie, I was pretty bossy, and felt a little bad about it (and then I reminded myself how much my friends have going on in their lives, and I wanted to do everything I could to help). After a weekend of teamwork, there is a place for the crib, the clothes are put away, everything is painted, the returns are ready to go, and things are ready to go up on the wall. Elise, I’m really not sorry for bossing you, your mom, your sister, and Josh around…. I hope it was a blessing and a relief that we were there to do the mundane tasks and that you are able to enjoy putting the finishing touches on the room.
Josh and I left around 2:30, and of course I cried all the way to Charlotte. Leaving people I love is SO hard, especially when all I want to do is help. Gilmores, whenever you need me I’ll be there (well, in about 5 hours).
I stopped crying in Charlotte because we got to IKEA! Josh had never been, and I had only been to the ones in Salzburg and Minneapolis. We had a few things on our hit list (such as spice racks and a dresser), and found more things (like the most beautiful Queen bed frame). It was super fun walking around together, although I was over-stimulated and at one point just wanted to like run out of the store because there are so many things to look at. When we got to the ware house, we had to determine what we could get based on the size of the packaging… since my Hyundai Elantra is not the largest. It was decided that we had to wait on the bookshelf and bed frame. We saw people destroying boxes and shoving pieces of furniture into tiny cars because I guess they just had to have it?… not us. We’ll be back, Ikea… with a bigger trunk.
We got home around 10, and I crashed for about 4 hours. Unfortunately, I was up most of the night and today I feel like I am getting sick. Bright spot: I brought soup for lunch. (That’s because we’re out of bread, but shhh.)

 

Dear Josh,
I’m glad we finally planned out the next month, but it is still insane. I know we’re both overwhelmed and dragging… but we’re going to take care of each other. Tonight I’m making baked oatmeal, we’ll pack our box, and you have time to get homework done.
Thanks for helping our friends this weekend- running out to get things, for doing all the laundry, and for doing all the driving… and Ikea was so much fun! I’m glad we stopped.
Love, Mrs. Cornelissen