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30 December, 2009

2009: Our Year in Review

Here is most of my letter to best-nun-friend, Erin! Sorry I didn't include all the pictures :)

Anyway, this year has been incredible. God has truly, truly blessed us. What started out as a hectic year with both my Dad’s parents passing away, it finished with blessings. Connor turned one. Deirdre and Alex’s relationship continues to strengthen, though they still need lots of prayers. David and Paige continue to rescue puppies and kitties until they’re ready for a family (which I hope is soon!!!). Eric’s sister, Leeann married the love of her life, Dan and they continue to live in Boston (hoping for a trip there this summer). And last but not least, Eric and I tied the knot!

The wedding was so beautiful - things that dreams are made of, although it went by so quickly. Everyone warned me that this would be the case, so I remembered to periodically breathe and take in the moment - now my memories are like 10 seconds of highlight-real style flashbacks. Thank goodness for photographers, right? Oh, and my aunt surprised us by giving us not only all the videos she took during the wedding, but the video camera! (So naturally I’ve been documenting newlywed life. We’re pretty hysterical (or insane, I’m not sure)).

What else have we been up to? Two weeks after the wedding I did back to back Confirmation retreats of 90 kids each, whew! Ran a 5k on Thanksgiving with Eric and some friends. Went to Highlands for family time. Been setting up the apartment (only to pack it up this week since we’re moving to a 2 bed/2bad on Jan 3). Going to Notre Dame game watches and doing Dayton Alumni service projects. Somewhere in the last 8 months we went to/were in seven weddings, not counting our own Did I mention that Eric went to Japan for 10 days? How cool is that? And that I went to Belle Glade, Florida on a mission trip?

Married life is awesome (as are all the benefits!!!). We’ve been settling in to the routine of two independent personalities trying to live life with a constant buddy. Certainly a cause for growth. Eric’s been awesome at keeping up with the laundry and I usually keep up with the kitchen chores. Everything else we do in small doses (the place is only 750 square feet) and typically do them together (for now...haha!)

Everyone on the Corsetti side came home for Christmas. It was fun to reinstate our little kid traditions even though we’re in our twenties and are now married (with kids!). I know my parents relish in our togetherness, so it was hard to establish new boundaries, routines and traditions. A few tears were had this year as we all experienced the growing pains of our changing family, but in the end we laughed and simply remembered the real meaning of Christmas and the Feast of the Holy Family. PS: Aren’t the snowman cookies adorable?

What are we looking forward to in 2010? I will begin my third semester of graduate school, of which I am in no rush to complete. I will be taking two graduate level Education classes and I’m a bit nervous, but such is the start of every semester for me!!! Eric and I have a few races on the books including a sprint distance triathlon (500m swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run), a 10k run, and a half marathon run. Eric is going the distance and attempting a full marathon. Did I tell you he did a Half Ironman this year? (I may have married a psycho) After race season I think we’re going to try to start a family, though we’ll see what God’s plans are. I’m excited and can’t wait, but I also want to finish the semester of school and a few races (selfish me, I know). We’re also both hoping to make it to Nicaragua for a mission trip this year - we’ll see what God has in store for us!

23 December, 2009

Snowmen Cookies

My friend Natalie has an awesome blog where she catalogs cool household ideas - things like fun recipes, cute ways to decorate, or a new craft project - her own or found on the internet.  A few weeks ago I saw these snowmen cookies on her blog with a link to the original owners cookie design website, complete with step by step instructions (yes, 4 pages of them!). 

Katie and I needed some creative down time so we decided tackle the fondant and homemade frosting and give them a try!  Good thing I read the directions a week early because this recipe called for very specific ingredients, chill times, baking get the idea.  What I thought would be an hour of fun turned into 1.5 days of prep work and about 5 hours of well orchestrated decorating time.

Regardless of the chaos to get these babies started, we had so much fun decorating them and giving them personalities.  Be sure to check out the photos of them below and the link to Natalie’s blog where she featured our success!  I’ve also included a link to the original website (if you decide to make them, be sure to click the links on all the ingredients - also we used Wilton products because we don’t have access to Americolor - enjoy!)

17 December, 2009

St. Practice Day - December

There is an Irish bar near my parents house called, Olde Blind Dog.  Every 17th of the month they celebrate what they call, “Saint Practice Day” - a day to get ready for St. Patrick’s Day.  Genius!

Of course, with it being walking distance from my parents, we have to go every 17th.  We also have St. Practice Day shirts which double as our coupon for the night.  Every month there is a different giveaway or discount depending on what’s listed on the tshirt.  So in October they gave away an Olde Blind Dog hat for anyone who came wearing their Practice Day shirt.  Last night we got $10 gift cards!!!

On top of us each getting a $10 gift card, Katie won the half-hourly door prize of $15 gift card.  Since she doesn’t have any OBD paraphernalia she bought her self a red shirt!

We’re sad Alex & Dee couldn’t make it last night - but we went pretty late and Connor was in bed.


15 December, 2009

A Year Ago Today: Reflection on our Engagement Story

I hadn't even remember until I woke up to an email from my inlaws congratulating us on our "one year anniversary of being engaged".  Cute, huh?

Without repeating everything, you can find the story here. What's not included in the story are all the little ways God was working in our hearts the few weeks before the actual engagement.

Back in October of 2008, I had been having some serious doubts of marrying Eric. I had asked for friends to pray for us.  Eric and I had decided to give our relationship a few more months before we pulled the plug.  During that time of Oct - Dec, God worked in incredible ways.

Part of my heart was questioning my vocation.  I had done a lot of discernment in college but at put it on the back burner because God was either telling me "it's not for you" or "not right now".  And during the Fall of '08 we had some Sisters visiting at Saint Brigid.  My heart panicked.  Perhaps this is why I was questioning if Eric and I should be married.  And that very week I prayed and prayed and prayed.   On the very night Eric bought my engagement ring (I didn't even know he was ring shopping) I sat before the Blessed Sacrament and listened to the Sisters talk about the beauty of the vocation of marriage.  I totally surrendered my heart to God and said, "Lord, thy will be done".   I continued to wrestle with the two vocations.  One exact week from that night, I was on my way from the gym to work and said, "okay God, I get it.  I'm supposed to marry Eric" and that afternoon, as I was sitting in my Holy Hour, Eric surprised me and proposed!!!!!

The cool tie in, is that Eric had been having his doubts too, but prayed & prayed while we were in Adoration on a Confirmation retreat.  It was then that he realized I was "the one" and that he should propose to me during Adoration.

God is good!

12 December, 2009

Christmas Off Campus

One on the neat things about going to the University of Dayton is that every year on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (our schools patroness), campus would be closed for class but one of the greatest celebrations of the year took place:  Christmas on Campus.

Christmas On Campus consisted of hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights all over campus, ice sculptures, rappelling santa, game booths put on by all the clubs, hot chocolate, and everyone’s favorite, “adopt a kid”.  Kids from poor neighborhoods would be bussed in and students could “adopt” them for the night.  The students would take their kid around campus to play games, see the lights, get their picture with Santa, and drink hot chocolate.  The night would end with just the students celebrating Immaculate Conception Mass together, our last big event together before exams and Christmas break.

This event has put our campus on the map, and students from all over attend UD just because of Christmas on Campus.  Due to its popularity, alumni have decided to take this event to their home cities and thus Christmas Off Campus was born.

Every year on the Saturday after Immaculate Conception, alumni gather in their city for a kid oriented service project and a Mass celebration.

My grandfather, also and alum, and I have been serving together in this capacity since before I even graduated from UD.  It’s become our special tradition each year! 

This was our first year celebrating Mass with our Chapter, so of course I was happy to volunteer to plan it.  We’re also incredibly blessed that on Director of Vocations of the diocese is an alum as well, so he celebrated the Mass for us!  Fr. Luke was able to connect summers spend on the roof of “the castle” at UD to the joyful spirit of Advent in his homily.  A few of the alum sing & play instruments so they started a little ensemble that played during Mass as well.  A true UD liturgy!

We finished the night with a potluck at an alum’s house near by, where the drinking and eating true UD fashion!

Merry Christmas Off Campus!