A Big Summer For the Cornelissens

Friends, the last few months have been packed full of crazy changes. I have been meaning to sit down and get back into blogging, but stuff just kept happening! So here’s a whirl-wind update on our summer. 🙂

May was a BIG month.
My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and went to Ireland for a few weeks, so we visited my brother Andrew in Columbia and celebrated his 18th birthday at Carowinds. What a blast! A week later, Josh graduated with his M-Div from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and started a full-time job at CarMax! He is working as a sales consultant, and frankly crushing it.
Aaron moved out! He is adulting like a boss, working 2-3 jobs, paying his bills, making meals, and we are so excited with him and proud of him.
We bought a car for Josh, because Aaron is using the Explorer. 🙂 We got a Nissan Versa from a motivated seller on Craig’s List, in our price range, and with crazy low miles.
I researched and prayed and decided to sign up with LuLaRoe. At the time, I thought it would be good to have something to keep me busy in the evenings and the weekends, because Josh’s work schedule requires a lot of evening and weekend hours at work. I was working full-time in May, but Josh knew I couldn’t shake the idea of starting my own LuLaRoe business. So the day he graduated, I submitted my on boarding paperwork.
ALSO in May we bought our first brand-spanking-new major appliance, a dryer. This may not sound exciting, but I could not have been MORE excited. Long story short, we have paid ridiculous power bills this year because a bird made a nest in our exterior dryer vent, and our dryer was running for hours without drying the clothes. Once we fixed the bird issue, we realized the dryer was just dead and we could keep paying ridiculous bills or bite the bullet and buy a new dryer. Obviously we bought a new one, and we haven’t doubted the decision once! (Also our power bill is HUNDREDS of dollars lower each month. Isn’t that insane?!)
I think was in June… but it might have been May… we took a short trip to Charlotte and hit Ikea for some LuLaRoe supplies and ended up meeting my parents for dinner! It was a great time away, even though it was short.

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June was frankly a month of struggle. Josh and I were both working full-time, and I cried a lot. Our schedules completely collided and my love cup was completely dry. I was gone from 7-5:30 everyday, and Josh was working mostly from 12-9 every night. By the time he got home it was 9:30 or 10, and I had fallen asleep because I had to get up early the next day for work. We agonized over what to do, and finally decided that the best decision was for me to quit my full-time job.
Growing up, my mom would always ask “What’s the goal?” Josh and I had a lot of conversations, serious conversations, over g-chat while we were both at work, because there wasn’t time to actually sit down and have a conversation. I felt so strongly that the goal of this season- just being married without anyone living in our house and before we have kids- is to focus on our marriage and make sure we are the strongest we can be. Secondary goals are to pay off Josh’s student loans and to gain direction for future ministry… but if our marriage isn’t strong, we won’t be able to accomplish much. Ultimately, we decided that both of us working full time may accomplish paying off the loans at a faster rate, but we might accomplish it at the cost of quality time and the ability to strengthen our marriage.20160725_085847

July was a month of endings and beginnings. Josh finished training at CarMax, I concluded my employment at my office job, and I got the call from LuLaRoe to order my initial inventory! We got to spend a long weekend with the Gilmores, and the dream of me spending more time at home because a reality. august

August was a month of excitement. The first week I was home, not working full-time anymore, Andrew came to spend the week with us. We did a lot of fun stuff, but we spent the most time playing Pokemon Go. 🙂 In the middle of his visit, my initial inventory arrived! At the very end of his visit, he bought his first car. Josh was able to find the perfect vehicle, in Andrew’s budget. Isn’t that insane? When did he get old enough to buy a car?!?!?!
A week and a half later, I had my official business launch. It was what I hoped! I had several friends come to my in-home launch and fall in love with the clothes the same way I did. It was such a joy to see the giant smiles on their faces, and you could tell how amazing they felt about themselves.

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Right now, I am loving the flexibility of my schedule. I’m establishing new routines and habits to take better care of myself and our home and enjoying the experience of owning my own business. Most of all, I’m thankful for Josh! He has been so supportive of my desire to spend more time at home, to pursue the dream of owning this business, and encouraged me to push outside of my comfort zone. I’m not sure what the next few months hold, but I am sure that we made a great decision putting our marriage first.

I have weekly LuLaRoe sales in my Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/lularoedeborahc) and THIS weekend I have an exciting multi-consultant sale! I’d love to see you there. It’s a great opportunity to try all the clothes on and get your sizes, as well as to see other styles I don’t carry yet. 🙂 Here are the details!
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Managing Expectations

Last night I looked down at the beverage I was holding and just kind of chuckled. Seminary life is a strange, strange time… full of things I never expected and the gender stereotypes have been reversed. For instance, I’m the one that comes home from a long day and wants a beer. I have rarely do dishes, grocery shopping, or clean the bathroom. In fact Josh does a lot of chores for me while I’m at work so that when we’re both home we can spend time together.

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It all feels backwards and it’s been hard for me to let go of all the things I’m supposed to do. I used to think that when I got married maybe I’d have a part time job, but that my main job would be taking care of our house… the floors would never be in dire need of mopping, the dust would not be out of control, the sink would be perpetually emptied of dirty dishes, and the counters ever clean and wiped down. Isn’t that a nice dream?
The reality is that I rise before the sun and I spend 10 1/2 hours out of the house each day… and in that time, there are other humans, with other standards of cleanliness, in my house. Yet, I still inwardly hold myself to that standard of cleanliness and when it’s not met, I feel like I’m not doing enough. WHY IS THAT? Am I comparing myself to other wives I know? Is it a fair comparison? (The answer is no, because it’s not fair to compare.)

I spoke some truth to a friend yesterday, and the truth is that I desperately needed to hear it for myself. The person you’re comparing yourself to isn’t perfect. In fact, they have sins that Jesus needed to die for… just like me.
Ironically, I’m finally learning to recognize the lists I make of things I should be doing just as we’re about to make more transitions out of seminary life, and into both of us working full time. I’m sure the amount of grace we’re giving each other will only need to be increased as Josh won’t have free days to get chores done. Just as I’m becoming aware of the unrealistic lists I’m making for myself, I need to be mindful of the list of “shoulds” I’m making for my husband. I can either be thankful for the things he is able to accomplish, or resent him for the things he can’t. I think the right choice is obvious, but often difficult to make. I pray I’m actively aware of this, and avoid hurting the one I love.

Last night, after a long day of work, a long walk by myself, and time spent in serving others, I didn’t list the things “I should be doing”… I rested and enjoyed that beer (and Grey’s Anatomy). Maybe the counters needed to be wiped, maybe I should have vacuumed our room- instead, I was grateful for the life we have, a husband that serves, and the freedom to say “this is all I can do today.”

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Yet I Will Praise You

I didn’t even realize I was depressed. I was feeling hopeless, I felt worthless, and I couldn’t sleep.
It’s because I’m too stressed. I need to be a better Christian. I need to find hope in Christ… whatever that means.
I sobbed, wailed, wept, because my body felt numb. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t feel anything but pain. My husband held me, as I screamed and let out the pain that I felt so deep inside me. He gave me tissues, he stroked my hair, he said I love you.
I struggled to believe him. Look at me, I am the definition of unlovable.
He wouldn’t let go. He wouldn’t stop telling me that he loved me.

This summer has been full of the most real, intense pain I have ever experienced. I have been lost in darkness. I have prayed for a desire for the light. Maybe you’ve felt this. Maybe you have experienced the power of words… for they hold tremendous power. Words can heal, they can encourage, they can isolate, and they can destroy. I have felt destroyed by words this summer.
Words that were spoken out of another’s pain. Words that, I hope, they wished they could take back. Words that have rung in my ears since the moment they were spoken. Words that have created doubt in my mind.

This summer, I have been reminded of the power of words. Not only hurtful words, but words that can heal.

So many times I have pleaded with God to speak audibly. To say the things to me, that he says in scripture. You know what? We can speak them to each other.
This summer, I experienced healing as the words of God were spoken over me. Blameless. Beloved.

This summer, someone got in the trenches with me. So, I pray that this is what sticks with me… not the words said from hurt and anger, but the words spoken to me in my despair. I pray that I learn how to come alongside those who are hurting. I hope that I have learned something about healing. I hope that I have learned something about humbling myself to ask for help in healing.
My heart hurts. I have burst blood vessels in my eyes from crying. I have had many sleepless nights, awake for hours consumed with anxiety, anguish, and fear. I have been afraid of sleeping because of the dark dreams that awake.

Bear one another’s burdens.
Weep with those who weep.

 

I thought that having a reason for feeling the way I felt would make it easier…. it hasn’t. Instead, I dare to say things have gotten worse since I admitted I’ve been depressed. The difference is I’m not walking by myself anymore. I am recognizing wounds, and I am labeling things for what they are. It hurts. It’s hard to say “these people say they love me, but have hurt me by doing X-Y-Z.”
So, maybe it’s worse… but I also feel like I’m in a better place now, because I’m not alone. I’m in a better place, because I’m being honest. I’m in a better place because I’m not holding everything inside.

For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness, in health.

Most of all, I have been shown such love by my husband. My joy in the midst of sorrow. Thanks for being my sunshine. For making me happy when my skies are perpetually grey.

 

Maybe you’re wondering why I’ve decided to post this. First, this has been my struggle this year and a lot of people have no clue. Second, a lot of people DO know that this has been my struggle, but I have had a hard time expressing it. I feel like this puts my feelings into words. I feel like I finally explained exactly what I wanted to, and my words don’t fall short. Finally, I feel like it could help someone. When you’re in pain, you want to isolate yourself… DON’T. Find people you can trust, that will speak truth into your life. Find someone who will ask the tough questions and challenge you with the truths of scripture. And, most importantly, cultivate friendships with deep roots that won’t be easily swayed when hardship hits.

In every sorrow, Jesus is better.

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One Step at a Time

Too many nights this week I laid awake… in pain. Last week Josh and I went on two very long walks. I enjoyed being outside, exercising, and not being drenched in sweat. This is my absolute favorite time of year. A few days later, my feet hurt so bad I could barely walk. Each step felt like someone was stabbing me in the foot. After spending WAY too much time on the internet, and scaring myself to death, I realized that there was a glaring obvious reason my feet are in pain: bunions.

I eventually realized that my feet have always had issues, and pretty much always been shaped in a bunion-eque way. On top of that, it is hereditary. Unfortunately my shoes have done me no favors, especially considering I have been wearing one pair of shoes to work every day. Wow. You’d think I would have realized that wasn’t good before I was in crippling pain, but nope. That is how the hunt for comfortable shoes began.

Y’all. It doesn’t make any sense. Shopping is fun until you HAVE to find something very specific. This week has been a pain in the… well, foot. The good news is now I have some shoes with arch support, cushion, and room for my toesies. The other good news is that we had extra money this month, which came exactly when we needed it.

That has been the biggest thing happening in my life this week. It may sound trite or trivial, but it has been a huge deal. I have been in intense pain, frustration, and felt like a money pit. Not saying great things to myself, obviously…

I felt like Superwoman on Saturday, you guys. I did the laundry, made two casseroles for the growth group meal, breakfasts for November, two loaves of bread (Oatmeal), finished a blanket, watched Star Wars episode 2, caught up on my tv shows, vacuumed, fixed a pair of boots, did a lot of shoe shopping, made Josh’s favorite soup, and cleaned our room.

I don’t feel ready for the craft sale at ALL. I know I am a lot more prepared than I feel, but I feel about two months behind. 🙂 This week is quite packed! I have some baking to do tonight, some shower planning, some sewing, and a few short hours. Please pray that I don’t burn out this month, but that I am given the strength, rest, and ability to do everything I need to. And… pray for my self-esteem issues. Being a vendor in a craft sale is SO scary, and I have really struggled with my feet issues and what that means for being able to exercise.

 

Dear Josh,

I am so thankful for the way you meet my needs. Thank you for doing some laundry for me on Friday, to save me some work. Thanks for going shoe shopping with me, because I didn’t want to do it alone. Thanks for giving me some space on Saturday so I could knock out so much of my to-do list! I am so thankful for you, and the ways you take care of me. I love you.

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Bear With Me.

I started my blog a little over a year ago, and I was so proud of it. I have been so proud of it. When I started, I felt I had something to share. I felt I had things to give.

When I started this blog, I felt like I was allowed to be vulnerable. I felt like I was learning so much, and I was enjoying the early days of marriage so much. It was hard, but I was learning.

The past few months, I have felt drained. I have felt stifled. I have felt deep sorrow. I simply don’t feel like I have as much to say anymore.

This blog has strayed from my original intent for many reasons, and many painful things have happened this year. Because I feel like I can’t write about the things that have happened (and what is truly going on with me), every post feels trivial. I don’t want this to be a food blog… that’s not why people used to read. I don’t want this to be a complaining session… that’s not why people used to read. I’m no longer writing from my heart, because my heart is covered in bruises. I’m no longer writing with hope, I’m trying to get through each day. I’m struggling. If I was only struggling with depression, I would write about it. But I’m not just struggling with depression… I’m struggling with so much more.

I have been so grieved in relationships, distant friendships, our housing situation, strain on my marriage, and I don’t know if I can/how to write about it.

Maybe one day I will find my voice again…. but right now I am spending so much time listening to the Lord. I am listening to people trying to build me up and encourage me in scripture. I am trying to find that joy.
I have considered (and am still considering) taking a break from blogging. I desperately want to share what we have been going through, but I am still trying to figure out what that looks like.

Bear with me.

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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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Conferences and Quality Time

Remember how we were FINALLY going to do our Aladdin’s date? Well… we tried…. we really did. But we got there, and found out that location had closed, and moved about 20 minutes away. Bummer? It would have been, if we hadn’t found a new favorite restaurant! On the other side of the shopping center, we found a Mediterranean restaurant of our dreams. We chowed down on Gyros, hummus, and pitta, and enjoyed the atmosphere. It was so fun trying a new place together, and seeing how much my husband enjoyed it. He spent a semester in Israel, and said the restaurant felt so authentic, and the food was amazing. Obviously, we are going to have to go back. 🙂
Afterwords, we hit up Chick-fil-a for some ice cream, and went home to watch our show, Once Upon a Time. It was just such a great evening with my best friend. We’re trying to be vigilant in guarding date night…. not just protecting the time on the calendar, but in making it quality time together. We have gotten into the pattern of making date night a time to conveniently get stuff done while spending time together… and I think it has detracted from the quality time spent together. It was great to have an evening of adventure, quality time, and fun.

I HAVE to mention that Aaron got his drivers license this week! He ran his first solo errand on Sunday… saving my muffins by going to the store and getting milk. YAY AARON!

Thursday night I unfortunately somehow injured my finger with my sewing machine… so… that will teach me to take my foot off the pedal and be more careful. 😦 I’m fairly certain that I pounded it a few times with the needle… so… that wasn’t awesome. I iced it, and it felt better by Saturday.

Josh had a conference on campus this weekend, so I made a long list of things I wanted to get done.
-I finally cleaned and decorated our room. When I want to spend time by myself, I usually go into our room. I have a comfy chair by the window, and love to curl up there. Even though it’s been my get-away space, it has gotten messy… and remained un-decorated. Took care of that this weekend!

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-I made breakfasts ahead of time. I have such a bad habit of skipping breakfast… and then I’m so crabby and mentally dull by mid-morning. I spent some time making breakfast burritos and baked oatmeal muffins. So far, it has been a success… since I ate a REAL breakfast this morning. Yay!

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-Had a friend over for tea (for her) and coffee (for me). It was such an encouraging time, and I am so thankful for her!

-DID SO MUCH LAUNDRY. I love doing laundry, truthfully. It was nice to fold it and put it away since everything was already organized in our room. 🙂

-Finished my chicken pattern child-size aprons for the craft sale (ok they’re not totally done… I need to do the whole button/button hole thing).

-Finally started the baby blanket for my friends! It has taken me a while to start because I psych myself out when I’m making something for someone else. If it’s for me, it doesn’t have to be perfect… but I really struggle when I’m making something for someone else. So far, it looks pretty perfect so I’m happy!

-Make my own laundry detergent… haven’t used it yet, but I am really excited about it!

-Made a new burlap wreath for the front door!

-Caught up on new episodes of my shows that aired this week! I love when I can do something fun (like watching shows) and productive (cleaning/laundry) at the same time.

-Found my bread machine manual online and planned the meals out so we can test out the bread machine next weekend!

It was a challenging weekend, because Josh was gone Thursday and Friday evenings, and most of the day Saturday. If I hadn’t made a list of things I wanted to do, I would have been so sad and bored… I’m so thankful for all the projects and ideas that came to mind! I think it made my weekend easier having things to accomplish, and it made Josh’s conference more beneficial because he didn’t feel guilty about being gone. I love spending days like Saturday. I love taking the time to make healthy food for me, and my family, I love taking care of our house and making it clean, and I love spending time sewing. To make it even more perfect, it was a rainy weekend- which made me feel less guilty about being inside all weekend! Josh and I did get to spend some quality time together on Sunday, which I’m very thankful for. We’re learning a lot about marriage- having to work around our busy schedule, life with Aaron, chores, and other people we need to spend time with. Tonight is family Chick-fil-a night, when we use our calendar cards! It’s a big week of exams and assignments for Josh, and then things will calm down again for a while.

 

Dear Josh,

I am so glad you enjoyed your conference this weekend and that I was able to use my time productively. I’m looking forward to getting past these crazy couple of days and back into a rhythm where we can spend some more time together.
I’m so thankful for your patient dedication in teaching Aaron to drive, for you giving your Sunday afternoon to spend time with me, and for being willing to go to Walmart with me to get supplies for laundry detergent. Life is so much sweeter with you.

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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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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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