Friday, December 27, 2013

Sparse Christmas Capturings

The lens on my camera is tragically jammed so I have zero of my own photos from Christmas :(   But my sister's handy iphone captured some moments for us!

Grumples in his little Christmas hat

Our 2013 Christmas was really wonderful.  I love how this season made us dig deeper into reflection and celebration.

 Christmas eve (my favorite!!) was spent with my family and we chowed down on delicious cheese fondue and appetizers followed by hot chocolate and driving to see Christmas lights!  It was such a relaxed evening and such quality time.

The fondue dippers-veggies, tart apples, carrots, bread plus there were tamales, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, and more!

My mom is the literally the stocking-extraordinaire and WOW-ed us with her stuffing skills and generosity.  Our stockings are seriously the best part of Christmas morning!  Presents and breakfast with my family and then a hour drive down to see Ryan's family for the afternoon on Christmas Day.

We saw had a yummy meal and opened more thoughtful, generous presents with everyone.  My absolute favorite part of the day was when our almost 3 year old niece asked to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus.  How sweet!!!!  

So we did and her pure love of baby Jesus was the most beautiful part of the day.

Does anyone else besides me and my mom tear down your Christmas decor like less than 24 hours after the big day?  By 1:00 pm on December 26th my house was clean from top to bottom and not a single piece of Christmas decoration was left.  Ahhh, it felt so refreshing to have a clean house newly organized.

Linny and I Christmas morning.  I felt like such a hipster in this selfie moment.

This week with Ryan off from work and me on break from school we have some snow tubing, time outside, house projects, dates, friend time, and relaxation in order.  Looking forward to it and welcoming in 2014!

Grumples helped clean up.  By standing on the dishwasher and licking each plate clean.  Gross!

Monday, December 23, 2013

An Approach to Christmas

Our approach to this season has been intentional and relaxed.  A peaceful Christmas is what we're hopeful for.  And honestly such a slow pace, has been so special.

Hot chocolate and double gloves were on the check off list with my mom and Grumps for a 2 degree Denver Parade of Lights a few weeks ago.  
For Life Group we hosted the simplest White Elephant/Ugly Christmas party ever (I didn't even clean the floors and everyone brought an appetizer to share).  
All Christmas gifts were ordered online in September-for serious...
Our nights are filled with friends over for dinner, weekends with family, or slow nights with the fireplace roaring and a Christmas movie playing.

We even took an entire evening (and got Grumps a babysitter) to go on our annual Christmas Date.  

We ventured to the Colorado Christmas Symphony on Saturday and it was magical.  My favorite restaurant of all time, Beatrice & Woodsley, was our dinner spot and we didn't even order until 9:15 pm!  Our conversation wove through dreaming about 2014, reflecting on 2013, and digging into each other's hearts.  I love the my thoughtful, romantic husband!  

Inside the restaurant-could it be more romantic?via

Yesterday our hearts was so so full to attend Christmas church with some of our coolest siblings (they are all cool honestly) and my mom.  I just nodded through the whole sermon--"He came because of our mess.  The reason we have Christmas is because we are messy."  

Hallelujah, amen.

Jesus wasn't born in a perfect nativity scene.  He was born in a dung crusted barn to two teenagers that were at the middle of a religious scandal (the whole "God got me pregnant line" wasn't cutting it 2000 years ago).  Jesus' birth scene wasn't wrinkle-free and perfect.  

It was messy and real, and scandalous and humble.

 We just felt so refreshed after church being reminded that if we were perfect God wouldn't have put on flesh.  There would be no Christmas.  He came for the sick, not the healthy.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Corinthians 12:9

That's how we are attempting to approach Christmas this year.  Remembering that it's JESUS' birthday-not ours.  We celebrate him best when we love on people, spend quality time with Him, and live His gospel of peace.  

Man, Jesus is just everything we will ever want or need and I am so grateful.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful CounselorMighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

So Merry Christmas, to you.  If you aren't perfect, join the club. We could be the presidents of that club!  Jesus came for the sick and the messy and died on a cross in your place for every time you were/are a mess.  For us, that's all the time.  Jesus' greatest desire is relationship with you and he's so radically willing!  Submitting your heart and life is the most peaceful, joyous decision you will ever make.  Because you aren't healthy and can't do it on your own.  That's a fact because we have tried.  It won't hurt to ask, try this...

We are hopeful that you let God enter into your mess.  Nothing would bless him more on HIS birthday.

Merry Christmas from the Deckers

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Whereabouts and Such

A few items bullet style!

#1  My brave and persevering husband is one of three finalists for the Great Comebacks Award!  We are quite giddy about this and feeling very honored to be considered.  

In a very tin nutshell that won't do the organization justice, Great Comebacks... raises awareness about IBD's and ostomies as well as encourages and empowers the community by lighting up the success stories of those thriving after an ostomy surgery.  Phew!  How cool?  

He was nominated from an essay I submitted about his tough journey last year and his story unfolding today.  Be sure to check out the website and marvel at how cool people with ostomies are.  Updates to come...

Um, yes.  He IS the coolest man ever.

#2.  Our little baby Grumples (Grumps, Grump-a-doodle-doo, Grumpster, G-Money, etc) is such a sweet little man.  We adore this furball.  He has hit a really strong stride in obeying and not pooing in the house.  Win!  

This is excellent training for kids in about 6 years.  

Sorry mom.

#3. Rest is about the most beautiful thing in the world right now.  I am so grateful for these days off from class to read Christmas books, cook (chili for us tonight), clean, have long quiet times with the Lord, walk Grumps, and nap.  AHHHH!  Slash I also get to have breakfast mornings with my mom, enjoy coffee dates with sweet friends, and have niece/nephew sleepovers.

#4.  This article.  So many thoughts and very enlightening.  Toss your judgements now, people.  This is Why Poor People's Decisions Make Perfect Sense

#5.  Our hearts are always growing for adoption and this video (who we found out features a friend's sister!) just about did us in.  We wept.

#6.  I'm thinking about doing a free bathroom makeover on my break.  To do or not to do...I think do!  Pictures to come! It will literally be like a 24 hour thing I'll do one Tuesday when I'm feeling particularly motivated.  

Our guest bathroom is offensive in it's ugliness.

#7.  Anything Christmas-y on your lists this week?  We have a very special, secret Christmas date this weekend which I am just about peeing my pants over.  Not kidding!  

#8.  And this.  Beautiful, no?

#9. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

1 Down!

My first quarter of Nursing School is of the past!  Wow that is a mind boggling, beautiful, praise-worthy reality.  

Breakfast fuel for a busy day: oatmeal, apples, pumpkin seeds, and almond butter. 

I finished my last final this morning after a 72 hour tornado of papers, quizzes, tests, and last minute homework turn-ins.  I actually grumbled the whole way home because for a brief moment in time it was thought that one of my grades drooped a bit but I was wrong!!  

Was there ever a happier moment than to realize that? Attitude check much?  Thank you, Lord :)

This last season has been so full of God-ordained new friendships, learning far more than I ever believed could be fit into my brain, and stretching in new ways.  The Lord is such a good gift giver and Nursing School is among the greatest gifts.  There is nothing else I would rather be doing.

This tiny man doesn't really help me study but he gives me motivation for breaks!

P.S.  This might be TMI but every month we praise the Lord that I am not pregnant...can you imagine pregnancy in a program this intense??  It shant even be thought of.

Can I just share something here?  Let's all just take a minute to stand gape-mouthed in wonder at my husband's support, the Lord's strength, my mom cleaning my house, and one fabulous study group...each propelling me to finish the quarter with a 4.0 GPA. Say wha???

I'm so proud of that but not in a gloating an overflowing heart way that it was not a work accomplished on my own.  Dang, the blessings are just drowning me.

Hey studly husband who is the greatest supported and encourager of all time!

I did work my butt off to make the most of our resources and time but sweet Moses I would have starved to death if my husband wouldn't have cooked for me and failed my classes if he wouldn't have quizzed me each week.

Christmas in the kitchen-makes me want to bake and watch Elf again...and again...

Phew!  So the rest of the month is hopefully one of rest, community, activities in the mountains, and a finally truly clean house.  Amen???  Gosh I can't wait to just soak up the Christmas season and be filled.

Now a nap is required.  For the realz.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Post of Good Cheer

Well it turns out getting a puppy and then having our state hit temperatures colder than the North Pole = we freeze our butts off potty training!

Grumps actually head butted his way back into the house the other day because it was so cold and promptly took a huge diarrhea dump in the warmth of our house.  Not kidding.

We do love him... :)

Our week has been full with Christmasy events, small group, finishing my first quarter soon, work, and staying warm.  How about you?  Stay warm!

I am a prisoner of hope...
Zechariah 9:12

Pot pie made with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  Nothing more delicious in the universe. 

The Lion King moment 

How my husband makes me breakfast! 

Jengle bells, you are so swoony 

Ah the calm before the storm.  Grumples likes to wake up like a tornado and chews up my tree skirt but not before peeing on it twice.  Puppy chaos is our life.


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