Jungle Jam and Friends

This weekend was such a breath of fresh air. Friday was a frustrating and stressful day at work, and I came home to a frustrated and stressed husband. I spent my day running around, paying bills, listening to all my frustrated co-workers, and creating billing documentation. My husband spent the majority of his afternoon on the phone with various customer service departments. Needless to say, when we finally met up we were both frustrated to the max and verbally erupted in frustration. Obviously apologies were made, and we had to remind ourselves that we were on the same team.

We were waiting to hear when Luke was going to arrive, so we had March Madness on and updated our budget. Our tax return is finally on the way, and I am just itching to throw some money at those loans.

Shortly after Luke arrived we enjoyed a meal of Chicken Alfredo. We still have leftovers for a third meal tonight! It may not be the most healthy meal, but it is DELICIOUS and the leftovers are fantastic. The recipe is here. We spent the evening watching basketball, catching up with Luke, and I made this “frozen” (it’s really refrigerated) peanut butter pie. GUYS. This pie is like the perfect marriage of cheesecake and a peanut butter creme pie. I made my own cool whip (super easy- all you need is a chilled mixing bowl, heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla), and threw it together in a store-bought crust. It was put together in less than 5 minutes, including the cool-whip making! Honestly, it’s dangerous. Something that good should not be SO EASY TO MAKE. We stayed up waaaaay too late watching basketball, which made Saturday morning seem way too early.

Obviously we threw the healthy eating to the wind a little bit. We’ve been really good about limiting desserts, so we splurged on behalf of our guest. Saturday morning, Josh got some of our favorite Wake Forest donuts. Oh, buttermilk and blueberry! He also made us all eggs! Luke and I enjoyed mugs of my special Mahogany blend Caribou coffee (I don’t buy it all the time, but it is my favorite) with our breakfast, and he was highly impressed. After the breakfast feast, we packed sandwiches and hit the road. A little less than two hours later, we arrived at the North Carolina Zoo and had lunch in the parking lot. It was the perfect weather to explore the zoo. Sunny, with a cool breeze. The animals weren’t super active, and unfortunately the zoo closed earlier than we thought. Regardless, we all had a ton of fun and got a ton of exercise. We returned home, exhausted, dehydrated, and hungry. The evening was filled with Madness (naturally) and leftover alfredo.

Sunday morning, we went to church. We’re going through Acts, and Tony preached on the Stoning of Stephen. It always makes me cry. I am so struck with Stephen’s love for the people who are showing him such hatred… the most convicting thing that Tony said was basically if you are holding a grudge, you are not living the Gospel. How true. Tony’s sermon was on Stephen’s example of what it looks like to look like Jesus… and challenged us how we’re looking like Jesus. It is IMPOSSIBLE to do it without spending time with him. I’ve been very open about how hard it has been incorporating exercise into my lifestyle, but I have also struggled with finding time to spend reading the Bible. So, I’m starting small instead of not doing it at all. I have several blogs I read at work every day, so what is a daily reading? My mom sent me this website for daily Bible readings. I am making it a habit to go to this site everyday and do my reading, and especially when I find myself frustrated with my co-workers. And, as a famous author used to say at chapel, “Don’t read the Bible to finish, read the Bible to change.”

Sunday afternoon, we hit the grocery store on the way home, and had BTLs for lunch (after bickering because someone was hungry. If you were wondering, that someone is always me!). The afternoon held board games, food prep, basketball, and we enjoyed our new porch furniture! Josh grilled hamburgers, and I made homemade fries, recipe here, along with cantaloupe and baked beans. We sat out on the porch eating, talking, and laughing. Friends like Luke are so rare, and so precious. We haven’t seen him since the wedding (technically our honeymoon, since we saw him in Charleston), but we picked up right where we left off. Having Luke visit was SO FUN and we were so encouraged by him. Plus, I found out that we both listened to Jungle Jam and Friends when we were little so I gave him a bunch of episodes.
March Madness update: I am doing pretty well. We’re down to the sweet 16, and of the 8 games I correctly picked 5.

This morning, I had my lunch all packed except for opening the can of tuna, which proved to be both noisy and impossible. I had to leave super early, due to our weekly meeting, so I left a house of sleeping men. Luke is leaving sometime this morning. This week is relatively calm, and I’m thankful. We just have the normal stuff going on introvert night for me/nerd night for the guys (tonight), Growth Group, Date Night, and then basketball. Tonight I am going to catch up on Idol, maybe do a Target return (I ordered two sizes in the same skirt), and clean our room– there’s a lot of laundry piled up!

 

Dear Josh,

I am SO thankful for weekends we get to spend with friends, especially when we’re hosting them. I loved the team effort meals, I loved the adventure of going to the zoo, I loved making new recipes, and I loved watching your bracket get busted. Seriously, though… I’m thankful that Luke’s visit happened when it did– I think we needed the encouragement. Plus, it’s always good to help out a homeless, jobless man. 😉

Can’t wait to see you tonight!

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Feel the Burn?

Oh, life. Always teaching me lessons. This weekend, life has reminded me that things take time.

Let me rewind.
Not to keep replaying the same song, but I got Mono this past Fall. Obviously it had a huge impact on our lives, including time off of work, medical bills, Josh having to pick up a ton of responsibility, and a super crappy immune system. I literally laid around… because I had no energy, and no strength. That was in October. Since October, I haven’t gotten back into an exercise routine. I have a desk job. I leave before the sun rises, and get home after it sets. I don’t work in a super fantastic area, and walking around the area is pretty much not an option. These things, combined with the cold weather, the move, and my brother in law moving in have resulted in basically no physical exercise.
Fast-forward to now.
I got a Fitbit with my Christmas money. I LOVE IT. I am so motivated to meet my goals, and this past week I hit 10,000 steps (and beyond) every single day. YAY ME! I felt so proud of myself, and I was completely stoked. Yes, my legs were a little sore, but I figured that was because I just wasn’t used to actually being off my butt.
THEN I rested on Sunday. I didn’t try to meet a step goal, I didn’t push myself.
Now my knees are burning. It hurts to walk, it hurts to stand. Like I am in so much pain, I am crying… all the time.
Life is reminding me that things take time. I have to be patient. I have to go slow. After all, I had MONO. Yes, I should be striving towards a more active lifestyle…. but it is completely unrealistic to push myself that hard. As I am following the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), and depending on my next dose of Ibuprofen, I’m reminded that things take time. Henceforth, I have given myself a pat on the back for being so motivated, and lowered my daily step goal. I’ll be slowly ramping back up, as soon as I can stand without crying.
So that was the end of my weekend. The rest of the weekend included lots of time with the guys. Josh and I had a meeting at church on Saturday morning, and then went to our favorite Mexican joint for lunch/processing the meeting. We spent the afternoon hanging out together, and ended up making frozen pizza and watching 24. I think I have the boys hooked.
Sunday, we went to church, got lunch with friends (that was an adventure… it went from Panera to Chipotle to Mediterranean in just a matter of minutes), went to Kohls (I have a giftcard but I was not really in the shopping mood), stopped by TJ Maxx, and then on to the movie theater! We love Raleighwood, which is a cinema grill. Basically a place where you can eat a meal and watch a cheap movie. So we got popcorn and saw Big Hero 6! OH MY GOSH. If I had any tears left, I would have sobbed. And I totally get Sophie’s obsession because I want Bay Max to be my robotic best friend. That is all.
That brings us to Sunday night. I had a wonderful chat with my mom, and then went to make Pancakes and that’s when I couldn’t stand because my knees hurt so bad. So Aaron and Josh set me up on the couch (they are like the best ever) and Josh made the pancakes. We had dinner together at the table (something we make a priority every evening we’re all home together), and then watched more 24. Due to my early Monday morning meetings at work, I was in bed and sleeping by 9:30.
Yes, life has been challenging lately… but it has also been so much fun. It’s nice that Josh has someone to hang out with, and I don’t have to feel guilty about saying I need time for myself. It’s fun to teach someone new, and also learn from them. It’s fun to have a whole new perspective in our conversations. So, despite the growing pains, we’re having a blast.
Dear Josh,
Thanks for balancing the weekend between time with me and time with friends/Aaron. Thanks for serving me, having fun with me, and even making pancakes for me. I’m also thankful that you tell me when you’re proud of me… especially since you have had to say “I’m proud of you, now sit down so you don’t hurt yourself.” I’ve needed to hear both things.
I love you. Can’t wait to come home.
Love, Mrs. Cornelissen