Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happiness is Friends

There isn't much we love more than having some our favorite people over and enjoying a big meal together.  Such a gift!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Corrie showed up in her new African outfit (her dad, Marc, had just been there for work).  That little bob plus the dress = heart burst

Corrie and I have started a new tradition.  Whenever we are at her house for dinner or she comes to visit, sometime after dinner she ends up crawling on to my lap so I can play with her hair.  She promptly falls asleep in about 5 minutes.  Beth, her mom, calls it watching rare art!  Ha!  

That little lady is too darn cute. 

Ryan, Matt, Matie, Beth, & Corrie.  And check out that chocolate cake we devoured in the middle of the table ;)

  Such a happy week so far!  I have birthday plans for coffee with a friend today, yoga, Ryan's taking me to lunch and we'll finish the day with my parents for a delish dinner!  Plus chocolate cupcakes from a cute little shop in Denver.  

Sounds like a perfect day to me!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Work, Doodles, Littles, & School

Ryan and Marc have been working so hard at Healing Waters the last few months.  HWI works so diligently towards a Holistic Transformation Model (HTM) and at the root of it really is water sanitation.  These two smarty pants Engineers do a great job.

What would a post be with out the doodles?  We try to get to this park or one other near our house every day to run the babies.  Grumples could chase his ball for HOURS!  Poppy could eat goose poop and wander around smelling for hours too.

The other day Poppy kept playing with something in the field.  I wasn't loving it so I went over to see what was up.  Low and behold it was a petrified, dead mouse.  A big gray one!  UGH!  As I'm thinking about what to do with it, Grumples trots over, takes one look and literally swallowed it in one gulp.

I died.

But really I did dry heave.  It was pretty gross.  He was not allowed to kiss either Ryan or I that night.  UGH!!!

The other week I paid $0.99 a gallon and though that was amazing.  This morning I filled up an empty tank for less than $12!!  I was so thrilled to see $0.79 a gallon.  Our grocery store does reward points and with gas prices already low and then using those points, I got the best deal ever!

This picture is old but as I was cleaning out my inbox today I had to publish it.  This picture pretty much makes my heart burst out of my chest into a million pieces.  Every single short person that I am crazy over is in it. We ADORE being an aunt and uncle to these sweet little ones.

These Decker/Hall babies make us swoon!

I'm off to Aurora this afternoon with some sweet friends from school.  We are running a big research project about low income children and need to gather data and meet administrators for interviews.

Let me just say that starting the research has been gloomy :(  The high school I'm focusing on has an over F in school performance and only 42% of kids graduate.  There is such a need for revival in schools and in kids-for hopeful futures and adults to invest in them.  For proper funding and supplies.  Let's just say I am blessed to have good schools around us but feel so burdened for the futures of these kiddos in what seems like another world.

We have some volunteer hours to invest for this quarter and while we do get a grade, it's still something I'm looking forward to.  I think I'll spend those hours at an elementary school in this area that we're learning about.  I feel optimistic about it!

Have a great rest of your day and week, everyone :)  So glad you took a few minutes to read here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

List of 10 This Week

10 things that are happening this week:

1. I'll be turning 26 this Thursday!

Two sweet doodles that are spoiled beyond anything reasonable

2.  Ryan getting to review and explore a new job description at Healing Waters (details later!)

3.  Good friends over to share a dinner...white bean chicken chili and sweet potato drop biscuits

4.  Ryan getting his first round of Remicade 2015.  My mom always takes him (it brings me so much joy that they do this together!) and they get Chick-Fil-A before to make it a little better :)

5.  Yoga and rock climbing and making more of an effort to make new relationship connections at our gym

6.  Clinicals at the amazing Senior Resource Center in Wheat Ridge--wise older people are full of wisdom and stories that are so rare and precious

7.  Ryan's new men's Bible study on Sunday morning before church

8.  Prayers and processing for a situation that is bewildering

9.   Rest in front a newly installed fireplace insert courtesy of my AMAZING husband!  Picture to come.

VERY dirty after a full day of installation

10.  Joy and gratitude over hundreds of gifts we don't deserve, a community of love and support, and new grace each day
Perfect doodle faces

My sweet husband is bringing my home a delicious Chipotle steak bowl so I'm out!  We hope you have a fantastic week and will check back in here later!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hello/Della Terra Get Away

Sorry to have been so MIA!  These last few weeks after Christmas have been SO good and full!  Of course no internet at our house still so blogging has been sporadic.  But now that I'm back at school I'll bring my laptop and document more of what'g going on while I'm there.

  Since I posted last, we've been climbing, yoga-ing, friending, family-ing, and generally soaking up the good stuff of life.  

We celebrated my early birthday with the Decker family last Sunday and enjoyed a delicious brunch.  Big girl niece Rilyn turned 4 yesterday so we get to party at her FROZEN PARTY this weekend :)  And I've been schooling most days of the week and getting back into the swing of studying, group projects, and clinicals.  Only 4.5 months to graduation!!

Ryan updates:  Dude has been having a heck of a time with his ostomy.  Since fall it has been acting up really.  Unbearable itchiness, appliances leaking, skin issues, allergic reactions etc.  We finally think we might have a solution and are treating a potential infection but man is an ostomy exhausting sometimes--there is just so much that people don't see that it takes to maintain and live with it!  He is so persevering.  He is also busy at work and planning a trip to Mexico soon with his CEO.  He is doing really well overall!

Doodle updates:  Spoiled.  More spoiled.  The doodles love the snow and will readily lay in it for hours outside.  We are working on their manners and not jumping but overall they bring us so much joy.

So anyway, I will be posting much more regularly in the future but I had to get my feet under me after starting up quarter 6 (almost done!!!) and just in general having new things going on around us.

One absolutely wonderful trip I have to share now though.  We packed up and took off in early January up to Estes Park.  I have been wanting to get away to this bed and breakfast, Della Terra, for years and Ryan booked it for us!!!  It's a gorgeous estate right on the mountainside with rooms that just takes you away during your stay.

We left so relaxed...mostly because of the enormous tub, private jacuzzi on the deck, slow pace, and romantic atmosphere.  It was exactly what we wanted and needed!

Our room was breathtaking!!  I could have lived there forever and never left.  It was so serene.

This tub was AMAZING!  Plus the fountain in the background?  Heaven.

This sums up the trip: we only ventured out to get dinner each night and lived in comfy clothes

By day we drank tea and played board games or booked the private theater to watch movies.  By night we ate delicious food and hung out in the jacuzzi or by our fireplace

Will be back soon with more life updates and happenings!  I'm off to study and enjoy the sun with the doodles at the park.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Reflections

Reflecting on the last year is so important and truly refreshing.  

How did we spend our time, money, resources?  What would we change?  What relationships blossomed, withered?  What were we proud of and what lessons did we learn?

Most of the wins and victories get recorded here and that's OK with me.  We process the failures and changes more privately and believe me, we dig through them!  But for now, this is what we're celebrating through 2014!

It was a year of stretching, praise, surprises, and SO many gifts.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

Ryan traveled to the Dominican Republic for work
I turned 25 and Ryan took me to a painting and wine experience to celebrate
I took on Quarter 2 of nursing school

We spent Valentine's Day at a retirement home loving on wise, incredible people!
Reading Radical by David Platt and getting shook up
Ryan and I escaped to the mountains for a husband-wife get away retreat

Ryan won the Great Comebacks West Region award!  We found great purpose from pain.
Ryan and I partnered with WeFeed, a sustainable wonderful organization
Two of our dearest friends, Matt & Katie, got engaged!

It was an honor to represent women, education, and water for HWI at the Missional Women Conference
Ryan ran his first half marathon-legit!!
The Great Comebacks organization flew Ryan and my mom, Cleo, out for his first award ceremony!
Quarter 3 of nursing school began

We flew to North Carolina for one of the highlights of our year-recording our Crohn's/Ostomy story for Great Comebacks and being SPOILED by the once in a lifetime opportunity!
I administered my first shots, injections, medications, and real nursing care in clinicals

Ryan celebrated 28 years of life with a donut pyramid
We adopted Poppy Decker and I threw a shower for Katie future Bolt!
We flew to Nashville to attend a national ceremony to honor Ryan (and others) stories of perseverance with an ostomy. Epic is not a big enough word

I started my first IV on a patient-what a rush!
We road tripped to watch and participate in the epic Bolt wedding!
We celebrated Ryan's 2nd stomaversarry with Lasik and a night out to Steuben's

Children's Hospital Colorado hired me as a Clinical Assistant.  Wow!
We became hard core rock climbing addicts :)

I finished Quarter 4 and began Quarter 5 --two of the toughest academic experiences of my life
My mom had her shoulder replaced and allowed us to help care for and pay her lots of visits
We camped with the entire Decker clan and had a blast in the mountains!

Ryan's ultimate frisbee team won their league championship!
We attended Q Commons with Ryan's work and soaked up incredible wisdom from Ann Voskamp and others
Enjoyed community with these dear friends and celebrated our favorite season (fall!!)

Got family fall photos taken!
Two of our favorites came to visit for a sleep over
We put together Operation Christmas Child boxes with my mom!
Hosted our 3rd annual Thanksgiving feast

I finished up Quarter 5-6 months to graduation!
We had a busy month of community and visits from loved ones
Ryan's Crohn's and ostomy story was featured in the ostomy magazine, The Phoenix

2014 was an INCREDIBLE year.  We praise the Lord for His good gifts, for the times we have learned and ached, and ultimately drowning us in His grace and forgiveness.

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13

Friday, January 2, 2015

Very Late Christmas Recap

Every year Ryan and I celebrate Christmas together on a special date.  Last year it was the symphony and dinner out.  This year we connected over our favorite...The Melting Pot!

We took 2.5 hours to feast on cheese fondue, salad, an amazing seafood/duck/steak main dish, and dark dulce chocolate fondue!  It was such a gift to slow down and talk, laugh, and enjoy Christmas together this way!

We had a no cell phone policy at dinner but this was the gorgeous tree outside the restaurant

These two sweet, perfect doodles also enjoyed Christmas!  They received treats and a new bed from their Grammy Nelson as well as stuffed animals to pulverize from their Grandma Decker.

After Christmas Eve and Christmas day morning with my family, we headed down to the Deckers for Christmas lunch.  We were happily surprised to see Tyler, Anna, Rilyn, Ryder, & Sawyer.  They had to return early from a Montana road trip due to weather but we weren't too sad ;)

The obligatory crazy picture.  We aren't weird.

A "normal" picture but don't let any of these weird-o's fool you!!

We had a lot to celebrate this Christmas and are grateful for the tremendous blessings that overflow our lives!   


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