Good bye… For now…

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This is my final post at cortneyinchrist.wordpress.com.

However, it’s not “good-bye,” it’s simply “see ya lata.”

No, really… All you have to do is close your eyes and wish that you could read my blog on a different domain and it would be prettier, funnier, and downright, well more awesomer (yes, I know that’s not a real word).

Oh, but don’t forget to follow the link… that might make the wishin’ a bit more successful.

www.greaterplan.blogspot.com

Love you all. See you there!

🙂

Cortney

The Big Leagues…

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Tomorrow is the BIG day!!!
Thomas starts as the pastor of a wonderful little congregation near Fayette! He’s nervous but I can tell he’s more excited than anything. And I’m like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus… I can’t wait to see my handsome hubby behind the pulpit at his own church!
Now, he still has a long way to go… he needs to finish his undergrad in Religion, head to seminary to obtain a Master’s in Divinity, and then be ordained before he can be a Senior Pastor in the United Methodist Church but God is opening doors for him all over the place and it’s so fun to watch!!
It blows my mind how far God has taken us in the last year. I’ve had this blog for about a year (although I haven’t made nearly enough posts to show for it) and I seriously can’t believe how much our lives have changed. One year ago today, we were living in a family member’s basement, working at Ruby Tuesday as servers and at a church as the worship leaders, and had no real plan for where we wanted our lives to go.
I remember kneeling at the side of the bed one night when Thomas was in the shower and BEGGING for God to show us direction.
We (kinda) knew what we wanted to be “when we grew up” but had no real idea on how to get there and we were lost in other ways too. Our marriage, while very new and pretty on the outside, was also very weak. We were both lonely and needing more but we were too busy trying to figure it out on our own to just shut up and listen to God!

I don’t know exactly the point in which God just put up a big brick, cement, and unmanageable wall and said, “Enough is enough!! Go THIS way!!” but I can look back now and see all the little walls he put up that we kept trying to knock down.

We couldn’t afford the house we were living in so we moved into a family member’s basement. Meanwhile, God was really putting on my heart that I needed to go back to CMU.

A new pastor began at the church we were leading worship for and we didn’t exactly see eye to eye on the changes he was wanting to make. Meanwhile, God was tugging on Thomas’ heart to pursue a career in pastoral ministry.

I could go on and on and on about the walls and the different windows we tried to fit through but that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that, although, being college students again has made finances interesting and we aren’t quite where we want to be, God is providing for us in abundance I can’t even describe and we’re happy, really happy.
I will always be working to become a better wife, pray for my husband in the ways he needs, and providing him with the love and respect he deserves but God has done so much for my heart as Thomas’ wife. I was so scared to be a pastor’s wife. To be quite honest, I’m still scared. But I find the more I pray, the more He revels himself to me. Thomas has learned to listen, really listen to what I say (most of the time. lol) and I know how much he loves me because he tells me all the time! It’s marvelous! I sit down with our checkbook and budget every month and never see how we’re going to make it work but God does. He provides me with an extra day at work or Thomas gets a call that someone needs help around their house, and what they will be paying is exactly how much we need to cover a certain expense. We’ve had to learn to be creative and I don’t remember my last pedicure but God provides us our “4 walls” and we couldn’t/shouldn’t ever ask for more than that.
Maybe it’s true what they say… maybe, if we’re faithful in every aspect of our lives, God will be too. I sure it’s not a maybe!

 

How has He shown Himself to you today? This week? This year?
But more importantly…
How will you remain faithful tomorrow? Next month? In 5 years?

All Glory and Honor to Him.
~Cortney

On our honeymoon… almost 2 years ago!

Going, Going, Gone.

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Thrift Stores!!! I love ’em… I have found so many incredible deals and have saved so much money by shopping around and not ever paying full price for things. In fact, I went to The Attic, our thrift store in Fayette yesterday and hit the jackpot!

I bought a vacuum for $4 that will at least last until we can afford a nicer one, a set of hot curlers for $5 (practically brand new!), a winter vest for Thomas for $0.25, and an adorable Banana Republic dress for $5!! Finding such amazing deals inspired me to share some of my secrets. I’ve adapted some of this from my mother-in-law who is a true thrift store pro… I’m just in the minor leagues.
Here are a few tips:
•    If you have something particular you are looking for (ex. a sewing machine), ask a store associate. The thrift store in our town will put your name on a list and give you a call when that item comes into the store. Also, it may just not be on the sales floor yet and you’ll never know unless you ask! Also, if the thrift store in further away than you would like to drive, give them a call, they can normally tell you right away if they have that item in their store.
•    If you live in a bigger town with many thrift stores, ask when they mark items down and when they stock their shelves. You can catch the best items at the best prices that way.
•    Donate!!! What goes around comes around. We have donated so much to the thrift store in town, they know us by name and know that we like to re-purpose items so they’ll call us if something neat comes in and typically give us great prices! It’s nice to live in a small town for reasons like that and it’s never a bad thing to be on a first name basis with the person who prices items.
•    Keep an open mind. If you see a gross old cabinet with no glass in the doors, think about what you could do to change the item and make it what you need to be. It may take a little work but will be a fraction of the cost.

We’re in Kansas City for the day so I think we’ll be hitting up the thrift stores here. Big cities are great for bargain shopping!

Proverbs 31:16  A good woman knows how to buy land and how to plant a vineyard…

Happy Saturday all!

Cort

Our view on the way to KC! Thanks God!

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…

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Okay, it’s been WAY too long since I posted. I do have some really good excuses though! Ready or not, here they come…

Excuse #1:

We performed in an opera, Iolanthe, last weekend. Thomas played a peer (British opera) and I was a fairy (from Anderson’s library). We had so much fun!! It’s always so gratifying to perform something you’ve worked so hard on… especially when you get wings and a wand. 🙂

Aren’t we lovely?

Excuse #2:

It’s hot… everywhere… It’s hot outside (duh), it’s hot in the car when you get in it (I told you these were excuses, I didn’t say they were good ones) and our house is hot, especially the kitchen (which sucks because you know how much I love to cook and bake).

Speaking of cooking, I did bare the heat and make a delicious, romantic dinner on Tuesday night.

We had Pesto Stuffed Shells…

Smashed (not mashed) Parmesan Red Potatoes…

Delicious Recipes Coming Soon!

Fried Strawberries in our fondue pot…

Perfect for a romantic evening!

And a delicious concord wine from one of our favorite local wineries.

I know, I know…  not super healthy… but it was all very, very delicious and Thomas was a happy man!

Excuse #3:

We are moving into the second apartment in our 2-story house! We’ll have so much more room and can get rid of our stupid storage unit! Moving is never fun, not even when you’re just rearranging and moving some things downstairs, but we’re so excited!

I have a huge kitchen with an awesome work triangle!! YAY!! And, we’ll have an office!! WAHOO!! We’re sharing, for now, but we’ll each have our own desks and I get a craft area! It’ll be so much easier to concentrate on school work (and sermon writing) when we have a separate area for everything.

Since we’ll have an office to decorate, I’ve been on a desperate search for a new paint color/colors, possibly a theme, and the best way to manage clutter. Pineterest has been a huge help and it’s given me an excuse to be on Target.com a lot! We already have desks so I doubt I can manage to find an excuse for new ones but shelving is always helpful and Thomas doesn’t ever argue with tidy! 🙂

I love this idea!! The white is so clean and the organization is both practical and stylish. Note to self: Built-in seating= awesome!

I also have another bathroom to decorate! I had so much fun with the last bathroom make-over so I’m elated to have to do another. I’m thinking antique French, shabby-chic, kinda thing…. still formulating.

LOVE this cabinet… must have! And a basket like that would be really cute for holding clean towels.

I would love to frame some scripture about being clean and refreshed. Like this one: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -2 Corinthians 5:17

Or this one: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9

Oooohhh… the wheels are a’turnin’!!

As soon as we get settled, I’ll post lots of pictures! Of course, it may take awhile being that decorating seems to take a lot of money and we really don’t have much of that. Speaking of which, stay tuned for some of my thrift store hints and easy, pocket-friendly recipes.

Love,

Cortney

 

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

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…Only everything.

I was just reminiscing at pictures from our wedding and honeymoon and that led me to looking back over the past few years and how much our lives have changed.

Thomas is the best husband and more than I could have ever hoped for. He is my rock and the only thing I could never do without. He’s the spiritual leader of our home and always has the most common sense out of the two of us. When I get a “crazy idea” he always has an unbiased opinion and is either able to bring me back down to earth (“Let’s move to NYC at the end of the year!”) or helps me execute the idea and make it work (like this blog for instance). He’s more than my husband… he’s my partner, best friend, and love of my life. Thomas really did save me. Ugh, I know… how cliche of me… but I’m serious… my life was going nowhere fast and it seemed that as soon as I met Thomas, it started to turn around.

By no means have our lives together been easy. We have made some decisions together that were simply not good, we’ve never made enough money, and we argue often. But I would not change a thing. It’s made us who we are as individuals and as a couple.

Speaking of amazing couples… my grandparents were married 62 years before my grandpa went to heaven, Thomas’s grandparents have been married 52 years, and his parents have been married 25 years! I’m so glad we have such wonderful role models for marriage.

So, here’s to my hubby!… I love you, Thomas! Thanks for being you and for being mine. 😉

I don’t know how Pandora does it and it freaks me out a bit but the entire time I have been writing this post, every song has been about love…

Just a little bit of living to do

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It’s time to share more decorating pictures! Yay! I hope you’re enjoying this as much as I am.

We will be taking over both floors of the building in the next couple of weeks so it will be fun to see how we transform our spaces… should be interesting. We’ll be bringing EVERYTHING to our apartment and finally getting rid of our stupid storage unit! I’m so excited to actually get to use the things that have been in storage for so long. Our current bedroom will become our office and our bedroom will now be on the lower level. I get to have a craft and office area of my own again! So, I’ll finally be able to finish some projects I’ve had to put aside. Thomas is VERY EXCITED! lol

Now, on to the fun stuff… Our living room!

I love our bookshelves! Here is where Thomas being slightly OCD comes in handy. Our books are alphabetized by title and categorized by subject. Sounds crazy bu it does make it easier to find books. Thomas hates that I have all those nick-knacks in front of the books but where else am I supposed to put our unity candle?! 😉

Notice the cello in the living room… we really need that extra space downstairs!

I also love all our unique artwork! Thomas’ grandpa is a professional photographer so we have a lot of his work up. Thomas is also extremely talented in many ways so I like to feature his work as well. I really feel like it adds a lot of personality! It’s also fun knowing that no one else has the artwork we do. I can’t wait until our kids are old enough to bring artwork home from school so I can paste it all over all walls!

This is the same wall as in the above picture. It’s amazing what a little paint can do for a room!

 

Speaking of paint… The best suggestion I can make if you are unhappy with a room in your home is to grab a gallon of paint!! Seriously, it can completely change the mood and overall atmosphere of the room. Our living room is the perfect example…

After paint…
(Seriously, 100% better!)

Yay for paint!

And about our ongoing storage problem… SHELVES are our best friends!

We found these beauties at Lowe’s. They come in many colors and lengths and you can choose the brackets to match your decor.

We have them everywhere!… Our kitchen… bathroom… living room…

 

 

 

 

 

Just for fun… Remember our beautiful bathroom from my previous post?? This is what it looked like before our remodel…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yikes!

I have found that since blogging, I take a ton more pictures! It’s great for the scrapbooks but a little rough on my printer. 😉

Happy Re-Decorating!

Cortney