The Problem of Reading

I have a problem. In fact, my husband and I BOTH have a problem. 

The problem is this: our reading lists have grown so long that I don’t know if we will ever catch up. I have, in fact, proposed early retirement in order to devote more intentional time to reading- since there is no end to our list. The annoying thing about reading is that there’s always a new book, and there’s always a new author, so our lists are constantly growing. [When we got married, my husband actually was actually giddy when he learned about a Crutchfield Family Christmas tradition: books on Christmas Eve. The origin story of that tradition will have to be for another time!] My sweet husband has reminded me that if I wished to retire and devote my days to reading, I should have married someone in the medical, law, or financial vocations. But that’s not what I did. I married a man pursing God’s calling on his life (a 2nd masters and the mission field) and 30k deep in debt. [To be clear– I made the right choice.]

Since it seems to be me vs. the hourglass, I am a chronic over-estimator of how fast I will read. I have an annoying habit of checking out multiple Kindle books from my local library, and then I am forced to keep my Kidle on airplane mode for months as I fail to even begin a new book, because I am crippled by the fear that it won’t be as enjoyable as the last book I read. You don’t have to tell how ridiculous that is, believe me, I know. 

My mother is a oxymoron to me; I am truly befuddled by a simple fact of her personality. She is both a do-er (I don’t know if she has ever sat through a movie without multitasking and working on a project), and reads more books than anyone else I know. I consider myself a do-er… but as soon as I sit down with a book, I am shocked and awed by how filthy my house is. How can I possibly engage in a relaxing activity, such as reading, when there is a tissue on the floor RIGHT NEXT TO THE GARBAGE CAN, but not actually IN the garbage can, because my husband and I have a perpetual game of basketball going on in our living room, but we are both miserable players when said “ball” is actually a loosely crumpled tissue?!?!?!

The thing is this: I have convinced myself that reading is being lazy. (Please, dad, don’t disown me.) I have allowed myself to choose less stimulating entertainment (lookin’ at you, Netflix) and convinced myself that reading can be “too much work” or isn’t “time effecient” because I can’t read AND do something else. I’ve relied on Podcasts and Netflix for too long! [I picture this to be a inspiring speech, but since it’s just all 5′ 1 3/5″ (ever bit counts) of me standing up from my desk in our study….it’s… just… not.] 

In all seriousness, I decided I had a problem with reading when I realized that my habit of not reading was impacting my spiritual life. Here’s an obvious thing: God did not make a podcast. He did not make an original Hulu series (though if you’re looking for one, The Mindy Project is my choice). He gave us His Word, comprised of 66 books. Since I’m pointing out the obvious, I shall continue by saying BEING IN GOD’S WORD REQUIRES READING. As I pondered this (truth ad conviction) and the strong shift in my entertainment, I decided that I needed to make some radical shifts. I think most cleanses are utter poppycock (guys isn’t that what our kidneys and liver are for?), but I do think “boot camps” can be helpful. Thus, my Bible Bootcamp was born. My mission (sorry, Josh finally got me to watch Star Trek and now Jean-Luc Picard narrates my life): to read through the entire Bible in 6-8 weeks. Why 6-8 weeks? Because that’s how long of a break I have from work. I now have the BEST job in the world, and I am a nanny! I watch 2 boys (5 and 2 years old), and a sweet little girl is about to join the family! So while momma is on maternity leave, I some free time- and I want to be intentional with it. 

I’m not following a reading plan, I am making it up as I go along. As I write this, I haven’t actually told anyone about this plan, because I’m afraid I’ll fail. I’ve been spending a lot of time considering what failure would mean in this scenario, and I don’t think failing to finish the reading by the time I go back to work would be “failure.” While I was in college, we had a frequent guest speaker, and every time he spoke, he said “We don’t read the Bible to finish, we read the Bible to change.”

My mom always asks “What’s the goal?” So here it is: the goal is to put myself through a Bible Bootcamp for the purpose of change. I want to change my mentality not only about reading, but about reading God’s Word. I want to be marked as a woman that treasures God’s Word, and frankly my life is not reflecting that I AM that woman right now.

Hopefully I’ll have a follow up post with details about how it went, and ways I’ve changed… even if I don’t “finish.”

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Five Faves- September 2016

I tend to like things in spurts. A while back I became obsessed with Mumford and Sons… their songs are sadly no longer enjoyable because I played them into the ground. I went through a hat phase and was rarely seen without one… now I feel much like Kathleen Kelly, most hats are a mistake. The point is that at any given time, there are some things I am really into and are current favorites. I thought it would be fun to list 5 of my current favorites!¬†Hopefully I don’t wear any of these things out!

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  1. Thieves essential oil. I have dipped my toe into the sea of essential oils this summer, and I am glad I did. I ordered a starter kit from Young Living, and have used my oils for cleaning, fighting off colds, healing burns and rashes, and battling anxiety. My current favorite oil is Thieves, because I don’t go a day without using it. I keep getting a sore throat, and after using my Thieves roller, it goes away every time. PLUS it smells super good. ūüôā
  2. Brie cheese… best if paired with Salami and Red Grapes. Seriously, this is a delicious combination. My love for Brie cheese began in France, so obviously it makes me feel very cultured, but it also brings back such happy memories. (Please note this hilarious and hidden joke referring to cheese cultures. Thank you.)
  3. LuLaRoe Carly dresses. Yes, I sell them- but I don’t love them because I sell them,¬†I sell them because I love them. ūüôā This dress is seriously so comfortable that I wear it on days I’m not “doing” anything. I have NEVER been one to wear a dress just because… but the Carly is the exception. (If you want to shop, I have a weekly Popup on Thursdays in my Facebook group!) I cannot wait to layer these dresses with leggings, boots, and long cardigans!!!!
  4. Pumpkin French Toast Bake. I made this last weekend for our growth group retreat, and I am a fan. I am someone who struggles to make breakfast happen every morning, so I love making casseroles like this that I can just warm up. Minimal effort, people.
  5. Cam’s album Untamed. This ALMOST turned into a Mumford & Sons situation… but I quickly realized my trajectory (and remembered the graveyard of albums I used to love)… and took a break. So, now I’m back to loving the album. Even if you don’t like country, just listen to Burning House… and if you don’t cry, I’m not sure you’re human.

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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā 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. ūüôā 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. ūüôā 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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Wants vs. Needs

Before January, I’m not sure I could have pinpointed anything specific that¬†I need to recharge. I knew that big groups of people suck the energy out of me. I knew that I liked doing creative things- painting, crafting. I knew that I enjoyed baking and cooking. I knew that I was naturally more of an introvert than an extrovert, so I needed time apart to re-charge.

What I didn’t realize, is that all my activities had a common denominator: silence.

Before January, I didn’t realize that silence is restorative to me. I need time to be in peace, to process my thoughts, to recharge after being drained by the endless words of others. I didn’t realize how much I value, crave, and need silence… until there was none.

In January, the dynamics of our house drastically changed, and there is a constant presence of noise. I knew there would be an adjustment period, and I told myself it would be ok… I’d get through it. Some days have been better than others. However since our recent move we are now all on the same level… and I’ve been struggling more than before.

I like my job, but if I’m honest, it exhausts me… and not just because it’s work. It exhausts me because I am the face, and voice, of the company all day. I don’t have my own space at work… my desk is right inside the front door, next to a wall of windows that lead into the lobby. I don’t have a door to close when I feel overwhelmed by the amount of words or noise in the main space. The main space is my space. My space is the main space. The hardest part is that my home has felt the same way. The only space that I feel truly alone is the bathroom… and that is just not a great space to do my crafting, my baking, etc. ūüėČ

I have been struggling with this thought since January: how much of my house is supposed to be my house? How much can I ask of the other members of the house? Is it possible for me to re-charge without silence?

To answer that last question, NO. It got to a point where I dreaded going home every night, and desperately looked forward to Monday mornings when I got to go back to work… where there was noise, but not CONSTANT noise.

This may sound trivial. It may sound ridiculous. But it felt like my emotional breath was being sucked out of me. I want my home to be a haven, for my family and for my friends, but it turned into my personal prison.

Since January, I have learned that there are wants, and there are needs for emotional health. I¬†want¬†every dish washed right after it is used. I¬†want¬†all the carpets to be vacuumed, I¬†want all the floors swept,¬†I¬†want people to take their recycling out like they are supposed to. Some of these expectations are reasonable, but they are¬†wants.¬†These things are not fundamental to my survival, health, or well-being. I can ask the members of my house to help me with these things, and I think it is reasonable to ask for assistance with chores… but I have to chose not to be upset if these things are left un-done.

It has taken me since January to distinguish that silence is a¬†need.¬†Some things are considered¬†basic needs… food, water, sleep. It seemed silly to me to include silence on that list… but after ten months, I consider it a need. We have instituted a “quiet hour” in our home from 5:30-6:30 after I get home… and I pray this hour of silence every day meets the emotional need I have. I pray that it increases the quality of life in my house. I pray that it is respected.

What I know for sure is that I didn’t act hastily.¬†It took me ten months to come to this conclusion, and we came to¬†a compromise¬†as a family… because we try to meet each other’s needs. And though it has been hard, and even painful at times, I think it has been beneficial to learn the difference between¬†wants and¬†needs.

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A Time to Rest

On Friday, I went home early. I got home, got into comfy clothes, and got into bed. I pretty much stayed in bed until Tuesday morning when I forced myself to go back to work (and then left early, went home and got back in bed). It has been a long week. A week full of bed-rest, chicken noodle soup, The Property Brothers, movies that have been in my queue¬†for over a year, LOTS of water, and LOTS of cough drops. It’s really hard for me to rest like that and not feel guilty.

Most likely, I’ve been fighting off bronchitis. Today is the first day that I thought “wow, I might be getting better. Hey, breathing isn’t so hard!” … I also sounded like Marcel the Shell this morning… and now my voice is cracking like a teenage boy.

Between Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning, IT BECAME FALL. I missed it. (But, welcome Fall. I’m sure it was my decorations that prompted your arrival.) Ok it feels like Fall in the morning… by afternoon it feels like summer again. If someone can tell me how to dress for Fall and Summer at the same time, I’m all ears. The morning is too cold for skirts, and the afternoon is too hot for pants. GAH.

I think I did some Target shopping from my bed… so I’m excited to see what arrives at my door in the next few days. Ha!

As far as movies go, I watched The Age of Adaline with the boys. We actually all 3 loved it… and highly recommend it. We were totally sucked into the story and it was so well done. I watched Aloha… and well I don’t recommend anyone to see it. It was disjointed, boring, and the only thing I can say is at least the marriage was respected because I was worried about the love triangle. If I hadn’t been sick, I probably wouldn’t have finished it… but I was very much so, so I did. The third movie I watched was The Nanny Diaries, which was funnier than I thought it would be, and I liked the ending.

catchingfireI also finished reading the second Hunger Games book (Catching Fire) so I watched the movie. The movies are good… and I think part of that is because the author also worked on the screen plays. However, the books give you such a different experience. So much of the story is told from what is going on inside¬†Katniss… what she’s thinking, feeling, and her memories that really round out the story. Especially her relationship with Peeta… it’s pretty confusing in the movies because you don’t know all the conflict going on in her head. Obviously that’s lost in film. I love the books… and I think the movies are fun because you get to SEE what you’ve imagined while reading it, but it’s just different. Different, but I’m able to appreciate both forms of the story for what they are… and that doesn’t always happen when books I like are turned into movies.

Even though it has been a rough couple of days, I am extremely thankful for my husband and my job… two things I am not always as thankful for as I should be. My sweet husband has refilled my water bottle, run to the store, slept on the couch, sat and watched movies/tv shows with me, and been so loving no matter how grumpy and snippy I’ve been. My job has been flexible, my bosses and coworkers understanding and helpful, and I have been able to ease back into work. I don’t feel obligated to stay if I am miserable, and I feel very fortunate to have a job where I am valued and play an important role, but I matter more as a person than I do¬†a person here to accomplish a list of tasks.

I didn’t make enchiladas this past weekend and I actually had a cancel a lot of plans this weekend… which was a bummer. So we’re moving enchiladas to this weekend, and hopefully I’ll be feeling even better so we can do something fun. ūüôā Also, hoping I get to spend some quality time with my sewing machine!

 

 
Dear Josh,
Thanks for taking care of me, always, but especially this past week. I haven’t been this sick since Mono, and I have appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I am really looking forward to feeling better and getting out of the house again! Like date night tomorrow!!! Seriously though I’m looking forward to feeling better so we can take walks and enjoy our favorite season. But… I guess the road to recovery is paved with Mucinex and nasal spray… bleck.
I miss you. Let’s go home and watch Once Upon a Time.

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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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Coming Down

We had date night on Wednesday! We ended up getting Panera (hello, drive through) and coming home to our comfy couch. It feels like it has been forever since we just relaxed on our couch together.

This week has continued to be insane at work. Lots of changes, but good changes. I’ve been overwhelmed this week by my long list of responsibilities at work.¬†I am exhausted. My time sheet reflects 43 hours, and oh I am feeling every minute of that.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling very yucky. Turns out I’m definitely fighting a cold. I am achy all over, my throat is scratchy, and I’m sneezing my head off. I think my body has finally been worn down by the stress and sleep deprivation and called it quits. As a result, I stayed home last night while Josh went to the members meeting at church… and dropped Aaron off at the bookstore while he was at the meeting. I had a gloriously quiet house. I relaxed, I baked a loaf of banana bread, I ate chicken tacos, and it¬†was¬†such a blessing to have some time alone.

This weekend’s plans are pretty much up in the air. I need to make another banana bread, to use my bananas and will probably freeze it. We have a few chores to do, we discussed the possibility of doing the drive in movie (which doesn’t START until 9pm so we’re not so sure…), and lots of chicken tacos to eat.

Here are the recipes I’ve been using, and I highly recommend all three (pictures do not belong to me, the credit goes to the individual blogs)! Links are under the pictures.

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Banana Bread . Chicken Ranch Tacos . One Hour Bread

Dear Josh,

I am thankful for so much this week, but especially all the cleaning you did while I was at work yesterday. It was so nice to come home after a long day to a clean kitchen, and clean clothes. A clean kitchen just makes me SO HAPPY. (Especially since it invited me to bake.) Thanks for always being open to me trying new recipes. It’s fun to share them with you, especially since you’re excited to try them.
I am looking forward to a semi-normal weekend with you and I am SO READY TO BE HOME!!!
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While Josh Was Away

While Josh was away, we watched a lot of Downton Abbey, I watched a lot of Nashville, I baked French bread for the first time, I baked a blueberry cake, I did laundry, and I purged my closet.¬†While Josh was away, I stayed up unusually late so I was so tired I would fall asleep. I have such a hard time falling asleep when he’s not in the house. While Josh was away, I was thankful for all he does at home… as I made my own lunches and did the dishes; two important tasks he usually does for me.

While Josh was away, we had amazing thunder storms. I found myself so satisfied¬†with my time spent baking, the uninterrupted introvert time by myself, and I even enjoyed missing him. [Wait… WHAT?] No, missing him is not¬†fun, but I’m so glad I do miss him. I’m so glad we have responsibilities and that we feel the weight when one of us isn’t able to carry theirs. I liked the feeling that I¬†can do these things by myself, I¬†can be independent, but I don’t have to be. I get to share these mundane responsibilities and moments with my best friend.

Josh has been avoiding desserts for the month of June. Out of respect for his resolution, I have not baked any sweets… but this weekend I had a reason: family cookout. Oh, how I love to bake. I love the challenge, the precise measurements, the smells, the satisfaction of a cake well iced. And, I will admit, I love sharing what I’ve made with others. I also made the must unbelievably easy and delicious french bread… I’ll have to share that recipe.

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I dropped Josh off at the airport on Thursday morning. It was a LONG day. I woke up at 2am, left the house at 5am, and was at work before 6am. Thankfully, my bosses let me come in early, work all my hours, and go home. Oh, I enjoyed those hours at home… it’s not every afternoon I get to lay in bed and watch Netflix! ūüôā ¬†After a few day of the aforementioned baking, TV shows, and introvert time,¬†I picked Josh¬†up from the airport on Saturday evening, and we had a feast of chicken burritos. I tried a new recipe (chicken broth, ranch seasoning and taco seasoning in the crock pot), and naturally it was delicious.
On Sunday, we went up to Richmond for a family cookout! Despite the best burger I have ever had in my life, we enjoyed spending time with family. I’m thankful our family lives so close that we’re able to visit for a day (in this case), or a weekend (in most cases).

The past few days have been… long and difficult. Work has been rather insane, processing billings, cleaning up the books… it’s one of those weeks where every time you cross something off the list, about¬†5 things get added. BUT there are so many things to be thankful for, despite the crap of recent days, weeks, and months. For instance: I have freshly baked bread and cake at home. I have a job… not just any job, but a job where I am vital and valued. Because of my perfectly timed raise, we were able to purchase a plane ticket for Josh to go to Wisconsin. I am gaining valuable accounting skills at work. I finally found the perfect black maxi skirt, and I BOUGHT it. It is¬†so so so¬†easy to focus on the pain, the struggles, and the un-fairness… isn’t it? I accept the challenge of positive thinking, and counting my blessings.

Last night we had a cook out with several growth groups from our church. I was, honestly, not looking forward to it. I’m not good at small talk, and I have been wiped out from the last couple of days. Thankfully, I was surprised by how much fun I had. We played¬†bocce ball, had burgers, and met a lot of people.

Tonight is date night. Honestly, we don’t have a plan yet, but I know that we’ll be together! We typically go out for date night, since Aaron is always home.¬†Tonight we’re thinking Panera! (And I am hoping for some One Upon a Time and snuggling!)

 

Dear Josh,
I am so thankful for the timing of my raise. I’m thankful that we were able to afford this trip, and that you were able to support and encourage your family while you were there. Next month we’ll destroy the loans… this month was about investing in family.
Mostly, I’m glad you’re home and I can’t wait to spend time with you tonight, and to spend time with you this weekend!
signature.bird