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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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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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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Labor Day Weekend 2015 (and other happenings)

Last week, Josh and I had planned was to celebrate his birthday on date night. I felt terrible because I really didn’t do anything for his birthday this year. So… the plan was try a new-to-us Mediterranean restaurant (highly recommended by our friends), Aladdin’s, and get Sweet Frog frozen yogurt for dessert. The reality was that I wasn’t feeling well (no, I am not pregnant… let’s get that out of the way); I was feeling extremely nauseous and I had a horrible headache so we opted for an evening in. We got CFA for dinner and spent the evening watching Once Upon a Time. We had decided to do Aladdin’s and Sweet Frog this week instead, but low and behold I’m like super sick… so that didn’t happen. Instead, we opted for another night in with Moe’s and Once Upon a Time. Then we ended up reading and falling asleep like old people.

MAJOR victory the last two weeks, I organized my closet. Granted, Josh has been pushed way over in the closet (he volunteered!)… but I have all seasons of clothes unpacked, and ready to transition. My sweaters are on a SHELF instead of in a plastic tub in the bottom of my closet (first time for everything), my boots are under the edge of the bed, and my scarves are begging the weather to cool off so they can be used. Suddenly… all my outfits seem like they would be better with a scarf.

I’m trying to decide if I want to sign up for this year’s craft and bake sale at the seminary. If you remember, last year I signed up and was diagnosed with Mono in the midst of prepping/right around the actual sale. I felt like CRAP the actual day of the sale, didn’t sell all my stuff, and came out just breaking even. I have a bit of stuff left over, so anything I sell would be a profit… but my confidence has been a little shot. I thought about trying to get into the baking part of the sale this year and making samples of cheesecake or pumpkin bread, and taking orders… but I’m afraid of getting overwhelmed filling the orders, especially since November/December is usually so busy for us.

Labor Day weekend was full of celebrating Josh’s birthday in Columbia with my family! It was a pretty monumental weekend for my family… they upgraded to smart phones, and they have texting for the first time ever. While they were getting phones, I went shopping! I finally found a pencil skirt and pair of jeans- and they were on SUPER sale. YAY! On Monday, I went shopping again and scored a bunch of fabric on mega sale. If I hadn’t hit sales, it would have cost me almost $65… I think I spent around $25. Other highlights of the weekend: I got to see my BFF and her new house and I got to spend time with my mom.

The weekend was wonderful, but I came home exhausted and have been really sick this week. Hopefully a quiet movie night and a good night of sleep will make me feel better. My goals for the weekend are very few: wash new fabric, start a blanket, watch at least one movie, make enchiladas, eat enchiladas. Oh, and read. I am still in the Hunger Games series, and still loving it!

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The only other thing worth noting is that I decided to decorate for Fall. So, here’s our new mantle (and boxes that need to be unpacked). Our living room has super high ceilings, but such a cozy feel. Y’all, I seriously love how our house is coming together. It’s far from finished, but I am loving it. ESPECIALLY my kitchen… it’s so big that we can all visit while I’m making food. I have so enjoyed cooking for friends, and having many game nights around our table.  (Plus let’s give three cheers for an awesome landlord and the absence of neighbors!)

Dear Josh,
I am really looking forward to our movie night tonight! Leftover pasta and a night on the couch never sounded so nice. I’m excited to be home and do home things this weekend. I’m excited about the sewing projects I get to start, and I’m excited you’re excited about them too.
See you soon!
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Back To School

We wrapped last week up, as you may remember, with a monumental loan payment. Ironically, we celebrated by spending more money. Haha. I bought a dress I’ve been watching for a while, waiting for it to go on clearance, and we bought curtains. Curtains? This is a big deal, people. Maybe you don’t know this, but I loooove floral prints. However, the wonderful man I am blessed to be married to and get to spend the rest of my life with doesn’t appreciate them quite as much as I do. He’s fine if I wear them, or have my own things in floral print, but he really doesn’t like to decorate with floral prints. Those floral lampshades in our bedroom? That was a win for Deborah, and part of Josh’s soul dying. (Over-dramatic for comedic effect.) Back to curtains….
So, our new house has a study! Josh and I both have desks in there, our bookshelves, I have plenty of craft storage, and we both have our own little corners to decorate. But… I felt I needed to involve him in the curtain decision since it is both of our spaces. You can see the curtains of compromise (as well as the dress I am anxiously tracking) below!

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Dress- Curtains of Compromise- Lilly Planner!

Last week, I tried a new recipe: mango salsa! It was my first attempt, sparked by Josh seeing mango and jalapeno salsa at Moe’s and made a comment that it sounded interesting, but can’t handle the “Hot” level salsa. How did it turn out? Honestly, I wasn’t as excited about it as I hoped it would be. Maybe I need to try it today, since the flavors have had a chance to blend… but if you are interested in trying it here’s the link. Even though it wasn’t an instant favorite, it was fun to try a new recipe, especially after the month of take out!

Josh is starting classes TOMORROW. Ahh. Yesterday, we sat down and planned out a new schedule, at least as well as we can. Weekends are filling up, homework time is being scheduled, and I’m trying to get back in the mindset that Josh isn’t as flexible as he has been all summer. He has due dates, more meetings, and our nights of Netflix will have to be spread out a little more.
Along these lines, I have ordered a planner. You may remember me mentioning my Lilly Pulitzer preoccupation. Well, I have stepped into the world of Lilly today! I ordered my first Lilly planner (see above picture) after reading raving reviews, and thinking about how nice it would be to have a physical planner I can write in again. I am such a list-maker, I think it would be good for me to have a central planning center again.

Real-talk, I have had really high expectations for myself recently, and have pretty consistently disappointed myself. So, instead of setting lofty goals and trying to accomplish everything by myself, I’m trying to ask for more help, and to set realistic goals. So, here are a few things I want to do/accomplish this week:
-Bake something.
-Have someone over for dinner.
-Unpack a few boxes.
-Hang some pictures/brainstorm where pictures will go.
-Read for fun. I checked out the second Hunger Games book!
-Family time, maybe a movie night?

 

Dear Josh,

We’ve made it! YOUR LAST YEAR OF SEMINARY HAS BEGUN. It is always a stressful transition for us at the beginning of a semester, but I feel like we have learned so much doing this together. I pray that despite the stress, deadlines, un-met expectations, late nights, and blocked-off weekends, you enjoy it. I pray that you soak up all you can, filling your toolbox with things you can use in the future. I pray that we’re able to learn and grow together, and that the Lord uses our investment in each other and in seminary to glorify Him.
Meanwhile, be patient with me… I struggle with these transitions. Communicate what you need, and communicate your expectations. Most importantly, take your studies seriously. I’m not working full time for you to goof off. 😉
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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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Closed Doors

Unfortunately, the place we applied to last week fell through. In one sense, I am relieved because the kitchen was tiny, filthy, and like my worst culinary nightmare. We have called a ton of places, which my wonderful husband has taken point on, and we’re making some progress. Meanwhile, I’m trying to limit the number of searches I do per day. It is SO easy to become obsessive and hysterical because we’re not finding a place as quickly as we want. Our moving date has probably been pushed back, which means we may have to face the chaos of moving while Josh is in school… again.

This weekend, I went through a ton of our stuff and purged things we don’t need. Of course… I was picturing us living in the apartment that had almost NO closet space, so that was a great motivation. Nevertheless, I am not sorry I purged. I am not sorry I spent a day scanning college notes so that I could throw out the heavy binders. I am not sorry that Aaron and I watched Downton Abbey all day. It was a good weekend, I kept busy, but it was also a hard weekend. I missed Josh. I needed him here, and I needed to process all the thoughts/emotions/struggles, but he couldn’t be here.

There are things to be thankful for. I am getting a huge bonus from work, which will definitely cover our moving costs, the loan payment we wanted to make, and any application fees. I got rid of a ton of stuff that we didn’t need and now we don’t have to carry it! We are going to the beach next weekend. There will be a break, and there will be rest. The raises I have gotten since Aaron moved in mean that we can afford to pay a higher rent. We are in a better financial position now than December.

I am seriously so thankful for my job. My boss has been so understanding and so compassionate about our housing crisis, and I’ve been able to leave work early to look at places. Yesterday we knocked out a lot of options, and also found one that we really like… we’re going to view it tomorrow. It’s a little further out than we wanted, but it seems like a really really good situation.

 

Dear Josh,

This process has been such a challenge. This YEAR has been such a challenge. As you know, I’ve been struggling to see the positives, and the ways God has provided. It has been so easy to focus on the challenges of the past few months (years). Thank you for listening to all my processing, for holding me in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, and for taking point on contacting people about rentals. I love you, and I don’t understand why we have to move, but I’m trying to view it as an opportunity to trust God together, and learn to follow where He leads. Forgive me, and lovingly correct me, when I lose perspective.

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