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:

January
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


February
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


March
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!


April
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


May
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



June
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


July
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


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


September
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!


October
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!!)


November
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


December
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!   

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas Eve & Day!


Merry Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from this handsome doodle to you!  

May you have a meaningful, beautiful celebration of Jesus and enjoy all the gifts this season brings.  Have a merry day!

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."  "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"  The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:30-35

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Eve Eve!

It's a Christmas miracle--a day off!

I'm so grateful today for a chance to rest and relax with no work or homework.  The only thing on the agenda is yoga, baking pies, resting, and a Christmas date with my man tonight.

Every Christmas we do a special date and this year it's to the Melting Pot--one of our favorites!  We love the cheese the most :)

Ryan is persevering today through a very bad cold so prayers for his speedy recovery would be great.  He's go the runny nose, exhaustion, etc.  Poor guy :(
We are excited for the next few days full of family and celebrating Christmas!  On Christmas Eve we will be with my family to have a big annual appetizer dinner, go see lights, and watch a Christmas movie.  We love it!

We will spend Christmas Day with Ry's family to indulge in flank steak and shrimp, relax, and enjoy his parents.  We are looking forward to it all.

Here are just a few pictures from the last few days...

The girls on the Decker side of the family exchange stockings between us.  We each do one and draw names.  This is what went into mine to give away!

A little belated but this is our Christmas mantel this year

And our tree.  Bonus:  our dogs are old enough to not pee on it 3,000 times like last year!

We saw Grinch: The Musical with my family on Saturday night and first drove by the City County Building to see the lights  Gorgeous!

 

 Sunday we took Linny and Justin rock climbing.  They loved it and were so good at it!

And if this doesn't say Merry Christmas, I don't know what does!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cute Paper & Unique Toppers

Merry Christmas!! 

How has your December been?  It's been a busy one for us but today was a FABULOUS Christmas-y day.  It started out with baking treats, a parade down the main street of Golden, and then wrapping creativity.  

Perfection!
 

I recently used personalized wrapping paper from Tiny Prints (gorgeous, yes???).  All I had to do was design with our favorite photos and hit checkout.  We just had fall family photos taken so I had lots of pictures and I couldn't wait to use them.

 Once it arrived, I could not wait to get started!  More than anything, as I was getting gifts all wrapped up, I wanted to avoid the cliche bow.  

It is so easy to make a gift pop with a more creative topper and honestly, for almost free!

Just a quick sweep through my house left me with a lot of choices and I am swooning over the final product...



First up, cinnamon sticks!  I wrapped up three cinnamon sticks from the grocery store with a small piece of ribbon.  Use that same colored ribbon to wrap around the box.  I love how festive this feels.


What to do with extra ornaments?  Present toppers!  

Our tree is tall and skinny and couldn't hold all of the ornaments so instead I threaded some ribbon through two.  Just attach with a small piece of tape or tie the ornament's ribbon to the ribbon on the package.




Do you have any people in your life that love natural gifts?  Top your present with an organic or natural chapstick (like Burt's Bees, my favorite!) and some greenery.



Two things everyone is likely to have in their house: Scrabble letters and candy canes!

Just spell out a seasonal word and lay over a piece of scotch tape to keep in alignment.  Attach to the gift with more tape to and add some accents like a candy cane or more greenery even!


Do you have bay leaves in your kitchen's spice cabinet?  

This idea is just bay leaves and a little paper flower with the Scrabble letters.  I LOVE how this one turned out, mostly because of that happy green pop.



For this one, I went back to the ornament idea.  Crate & Barrel had a great $2 ornament sale so attaching such a gorgeous addition was beyond simple.  Plus the gift receiver can add this extra goodie to their tree after they open it.



I mixed all of these ideas on a pile of gifts and really like how it all turned out. There are so many combinations and I cannot tell you how much fun this was!

 

What other ideas can you top your gifts with besides the usual bow?  Share in the comments, I would LOVE to hear!

 There are endless ideas out there for present toppers.  I can't wait to see those we love open up these presents and enjoy the little extra touch of creativity.

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