Monday, September 8, 2014

Annual Fall Excitement!

The annual autumn decoration house post!  My mom says I decorate for fall the way most people decorate for Christmas :)  

VERY true!

Here are links to posts past:
2010 We were traveling to China from our home in Saudi Arabia; God surprised us with a little Autumn foliage in Guilin, China.  So random and perfect!
2011 There were no fall house pictures because we were still renovating but a pumpkin patch was a pretty festive outing
  2012 Ryan was still recovering post-surgery and our house was a much needed retreat after all those weeks in the hospital
 2013 Last year I had fun doing a free house makeover with things already around!

This year I went with orange as the theme.  It's spunky, cozy, and the prefect amount of color.  Not a dollar spent again, but still so much fun to deep clean and turn our house into a warm little haven.

These are Japanese Lanterns from my aunt's garden  My absolute favorite fall decoration in history!

Our fall mantel made up of lanterns, a homemade book wreath, white porcelain, wheat, and the Japanese lanterns

The rest of the house had little pops of orange , pumpkins, chalkboard, or branches

The dining room just got a table cloth, a simple table settings, and a vase mixed with wheat and the lanterns

The orange all started with this soft little throw from my stocking last year--thanks mom!  The kitchen curtains got makeover and...duh...there's sweet cinnamon pumpkin soap at our kitchen sink

My mom and I have an annual tradition of going in September to get all thing fall from Yankee Candle and Bath & Body Works.  It's our favorite mother-daughter fall date!

We get a pumpkin spice latte and then pick our our favorite scented soaps and candles.  We have the best time!  The only thing missing was my sister who lives out of state...but don't worry Linny, we bought you lots of treats too :)

Happy Fall!

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding

Daniel 2:21

Friday, September 5, 2014

Texas Adventures

Over Labor Day we were in the wonderful land of Texas helping Matt and Katie ring in their second wedding ceremony!  It was SO fun to be included and get to celebrate (aka vacation) with them and the Bolt family.

The stunning sunset view from the lake house

We all flew out Thursday evening after I finished two big tests earlier that day.  We picked up the rental car, grabbed naughty delicious fried chicken at a fast food place, and drove two hours to Lufkin where Matt's parents live.

The Bolts are some of the most generous, hilarious, and welcoming people we have ever known!  We stayed at their gorgeous home and so enjoyed our time with them.  

Friday and Saturday we helped set up for the reception.  It was hosted in a barn on their property so while Ryan and Matt hung lights and lanterns, Katie and I helped Mama Bolt unpack groceries, clean, and make things look good.

Unfortunately I was sick (and still am) alllll weekend.  Ryan brought home a little cold that lasted less than 3 days for him, but I caught it and I'm going nearly a week strong with this bad boy.  I felt pretty terrible most of our vacation but thankfully could sleep and relax a lot.  

Which also explains why I have zero pictures of the weekend...ugh!

Sunday morning we packed up and headed to the lake house 45 minutes away.  Ryan calls it our dream house because it was decorated beautifully and backed up right to the water!!  

Ryan would jet ski and tube for hours, run in and eat fajitas, go back out...repeat.  Ha!  

Our only goal that weekend was to eat, sleep, play on jet skis.  I slept literally all weekend to ward off my cold and missed out on most of the water fun, but my husband had the time of his life!!

A day shot of the lake view and Ryan refueling on wedding cake.  I laughed out loud when I took this picture because he was OF COURSE still wearing his life jacket

And just for fun here is a little video of Grumps and Poppy.  They have been going into work with Ryan.  I stopped by this afternoon to say hi :)


We've got a weekend of rock climbing, working on the rental, fall-preparation, and church ahead of us.  Pictures to come of our autumn-decorated house and other random updates.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you

James 1:5

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pre Gaming for Fall Everything!

It is no secret that fall is my all time favorite season!!!  I wish it were fall all year round--heaven!!

It's too early to decorate but after this weekend it will officially be September and then I'm pulling out my cozy blankets, fall kitchen curtains, getting yummy smelling candles with my mom, and putting away all things summer.  

No shame.

I have been cooking and baking a bit like it's fall (cooler temps this week were appreciated). Katie and I made chocolate chip zucchini bread the other night and we were also gifted home grown apples so applesauce was the obvious choice.  

For the applesauce I diced into large pieces, left peels on, steamed for 5 minutes and then pureed in my food processor.  No extra anything-just straight up delicious apples.  Gorgeous pink applesauce for snack!

Here is more of the harvest we are enjoying lately, either from our own backyard or gifted to us.  Nothing like fresh produce and eggs! 

Apples, eggs, zucchini, basil, and not pictured but heirloom and roma tomatoes!

Are you ready for one last yummy fall-ish recipe?  It's how coffee is being made every morning around here:

After your coffee is down brewing stir in a tsp or so of coconut oil until melted.  Then add almond milk and cinnamon creamer to taste.  Your taste buds will thank us both!  I like this creamer brand (below) because the ingredients are cream, milk, sugar, and flavoring.  

Can't get much simpler plus it's such a treat in the morning during quiet times or riding the light rail to Denver.

Ok here are a few other non-autumn desiring updates that are still good:

We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Hacienda (Ryan's favorite Mexican spot) and stuffed ourselves on chimichangas, fish tacos, and sopapillas.  My Grandma is moving to Arizona so we and my parents all had dinner with her before she moved.

Ran shoving his nose into the tortilla warmer.  They have the greatest homemade tortillas!!

While school is crazy, I really appreciate a close knit community there.  A few of us walked over to a sketchy little diner that's hidden away and paid $3.50 for bacon, eggs, and a pancake.  Good company and artery-clogging yummy food.

Ashley, Mark, Nate, me, and Nylah

I'm sure you're wondering where those sweet little goldendoodles are!  I would never forget them.  

We try to take them to several parks around our house at least 5 days a week and these are pics from our adventures last weekend.  We have learned first hand tired puppies are well behaved puppies.  And having a 10 month old and 4 month old means A LOT of exercise around our house.

Grumples chases his tennis ball and Poppy chases him.  Great team work.

Grumps being very obedient before his ball is thrown!

I feel like I need a bullet point ending of these posts to not forget things!

-We closed on our rental yesterday afternoon-woop!
-I start my first day at Children's September 9th.  SOO excited about that!!
-School ends September 19th which absolutely cannot come soon enough
-We have a very fun weekend ahead that we will share about more next week
-Oh and Ry has a little head cold so prayers for a quick recovery are appreciated.  His immune system is constantly suppressed from the medicine he takes to manage Crohn's so we always like to see him recover quickly and prevent further issues

Have a spectacular weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mid-August Randamosity

#1 Hold on to your hearts people because these two angelic little faces are about to steal them away forever!!!

These are my sweet babies, can you tell who is who?

Miss Poppy is on the left (picture taken today) and Mr. Grumples is on the right, picture taken when he was approximately 14 weeks or so.  ADORABLE.

Ugh I cannot love my two fur babies anymore than I already do.

#2.  Quick Chickpea and Kale stew was for dinner tonight and it was delish!  We poured it over a a quinoa, amaranth and millet blend from Costco which was super yummy and healthy.  I highly recommend this recipe for a very filling, wholesome, FAST weeknight dinner (you guys will especially love it, Beth!)

#3  The sunset yesterday was out of this world stunning.  These was an enormous hazy cloud looming over the foothills we are backed up to that captured all the light and it all showed up purple/blue/yellow for awhile and then the evening faded into orange.  

Once it was dark we sat on our back porch while a storm raged overhead complete with thunder and lightning.

Our favorite!

#4  Please read this daily devotional from John Piper's Solid Joys.  I cannot express to you how deeply this is ministering to us on many, many levels.

There is only one basic reason why we disobey the commands of Jesus: it’s because we don’t have confidence that obeying will bring more blessing than disobeying.
-John Piper

We have been deeply challenged in the recent weeks to let go of many of our own expectations or comforts; the image that keeps coming to our mind is that of a tightly clenched fist and God is slowly unworking each finger, gently inviting us to be more obediently free.  What joy!

  All I really know is that if it weren't for my gracious God and incredible leader of a husband, I would so often miss the growth and purpose right in front of me!

I am so confident that this devotional has some level of fresh truth to speak to anyone who will read it.  Have at it!

#5 That's about it for us here at the Decker house.  Ryan is off playing in his new fall season of ultimate frisbee while I ice my knee and study.  Blah.  I had MRI's done yesterday but I won't know the results until this coming week. Updates to come!

Finally, am I the only one mentally preparing for everything pumpkin starting next month?

I thought not.

Happy almost Friday!

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peace, Peace

You will keep in perfect peace

    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.

Isaiah 26:3

My sweet husband sent me this verse in an early morning text message to be filled up on throughout a busy day.

The Hebrew text actually reads like this,
"Thou establishest a purpose firm; 
peace, peace, 
for in Thee is his trust"

I think that is just gorgeously written! Do you love how peace is written twice?  
Absolute. Perfection.

  I love this verse because, as a commentary pointed out to me, the word perfect is used in opposition to a false or imaginary peace (how often do we cling to those things in life??).  And ultimately a perfect peace from God is holistic and all encompassing; peace with God and people, peace inward and outward, peace here and in the future and most importantly peace to come in heaven.

It's honestly been some time since the Word has jumped out at me like this, and the result is thankfulness!

Now prepare yourself for a black goldendoodle picture overload!  This is more for my mom than anyone to get her grand-dog fix :)

We LOVE these sweet fur babies.  They teach us so much about patience, curiosity, and enjoying life.  I never really cared for dogs before we got our own and now they are my fur children with their own little personalities and quirks.  

Grumps is our adventurous, rough and tumble protector.  Poppy is our snuggly, loving, little comforter.

Doodles for President!

Sitting very obediently for a treat--the size difference is SO cute.  And here is Grumps looking the happiest and most gleeful he ever has!

We have couches with slip covers so when I take them off to wash, the babies think they found a new throne to watch over their household on

Are these not the sweetest, yummiest, most innocent faces you've ever seen?!?

Baby girl Poppy with Ryan.  She has gotten so big these last 2 months.  Alas, you cannot even see her eyes because black dogs photograph terribly

And here is our lovely garden.  There is so much yummy produce sprouting up even though I was a lazy gardener this year.  Rosemary, basil, pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins, and tomatoes slowly but surely.

We have berry bushes but being a fairly new gardener I didn't know how to care for them properly.  A 70-something-year-old friend just advised me to chop the berry bushes late in the fall, when the branches are "woody" to about 6 inches tall!!  


It feels so weird to just hack down a plant that's nearly 5 feet to just a few inches.  But he said that if you don't get rid of the old, those branches takes all the energy and nutrients, prohibiting any new or healthy growth.  If I want fruit, I have to chop off the old stuff, even if I don't see the benefit until a few months later.

#spiritualrevelationsfromgardening #oldgardenersarewise

This picture is actually a week old and this pumpkin and the two little ones to the right are even bigger!  Pumpkin patch at our house in October-nearly 2 dozen to go around.

It's so fun to see the big orange flowers open up in the morning and evening, plus the vines wind around with their curls and leaves: raw beauty

I start my mental health clinical rotation on Monday.  To be honest, psych nursing is not my favorite.  Mental illness is something I'm working to understand more so I am asking the Lord for strength to love well and a soft spirit to be stretched in what my patient's suffer even though I don't understand it yet.

Ryan is busy with work, finishing up our camper, and taking care of his little family.  He feeds me well through the week making meals, cleaning up when I get home late, and bringing peace to our busy schedule.

What a stud muffin.

Our hearts are full today.  Happy Sunday!

Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal

Isaiah: 26:4

Saturday, August 16, 2014

2, Nephews, and More

We spent the afternoon celebrating a big 2 year old boy today!  Ryder turned 2 years old last week and today he had a very fun train birthday party with lots of family and some of his own cute little friends too.

Smiley boy!  And deciding how to blow out the candles on his marshmallow filled cupcake

Ryan and his dad, George.  Two goofballs

Two other sweet baby nephews!  Sawyer on the left and Xander on the right

And THIS little muffin is sweet baby Henry who is just 6 weeks old!  This picture isn't from the party today but I couldn't brag on all our other nephews without getting him some love on here.  When the Deckers get together it is a crazy baby party.  All of Ryan's siblings have 1-3 kiddos each and we ADORE being aunt and uncle to them all.  

(Rilyn was running around at the party but was too busy for a picture which is so sad because I french braided her hair and it looked totally adorable!)

Henrrrrrryyyy!!!  You look so serious here, dude

Pre-party we of course (what else?!) went climbing with Matt and Katie at 9:00 am this morning.  We saw the Bolts four times this week--luckily we all get along :) My husband lead-climbed several new routes and I was so proud of his bravery and skill.

It's so rewarding to see strength developing in our climbing skills all while getting great time outdoors and with people.  Absolutely in love with rock climbing.

Ryan's new gear he bought with birthday money, he takes very good care of it :)

Besides today, this week had a wonderful gift in store for us!  My clinical schedule was switched around at the last minute so Monday and Tuesday were wide open and free this week.  Score.

I was running VERY low on energy in all ways and just needed 48 hours to re-set.

Ryan was home feeling sick Monday with dehydration and electrolyte issues from a busy day before, so he took a sick day.  We watched movies while I did laundry, drank coffee and organized in between.  Pretty perfect day together even though he was running low :(

During my time off we also spent some time rock climbing with Matt and Katie, Chris and Tamara, and Ashely and Shane (these two moved to Sweden several years ago and are back visiting!).  It was a really special evening outside with some of our favorite people, enjoying good fellowship and stunning creation.

The gorgeous river and mountains right off our routes.  The sound of the river is so relaxing, plus throw in fresh air and exercise and we are ready for a good night's sleep afterwards

Thursday I got my knees checked out by an orthopedic surgeon and while Dr. Vidal was GREAT, the x-ray and exams were inconclusive.  Ugh.

He said my x-rays were clean, showing healthy 25 year-old joints so it was weird that I was reporting such pain and discomfort.  I have MRI's ordered for next Wednesday and then we'll reevaluate.  I'm still pretty confident there is a meniscus injury on the left but we will have to wait and see post-MRI.  It's very, very frustrating to want to be active and have so many limits from my own joints.

It will be a glorious day when I can hike and climb and bike and WALK without pain.

We will update more later on about life updates, gardens, puppies, and other random stuff.  Hope you have a relaxing, restful Sunday and a really sweet week!

Friday, August 8, 2014

2nd Stomaversarry

We cannot believe Ryan's 2nd Stomaversarry rolled around on July 30th!!!  WOW. Celebrations were a week late but it was still a big important event around the Decker casa.

Read here to catch up on a stomaversarry

It is very, very important to us that we mark and celebrate the surgery that not only saved Ryan's life from a violent case of Crohn's but gave him back his life to the point of thriving.  We are so grateful for the Lord's creativity to let someone invent this surgery and for making our surgeon's mind and hands capable to perform the procedure on Ryan.

Last year we went to Cirque du Soleil which was such a memorable event.  This year we went to Steuben's (hippest restaurant of life) for dinner and then Ryan got to buy some climbing gear at his favorite outdoor store.  

Steuben's is a favorite of ours and we FEASTED on crispy Brussels sprouts (best thing on the menu, no joke), deviled eggs, and shortie beers to start.  Then we had bacon wrapped meatloaf, homemade biscuits, fish and chips and coleslaw.  Followed by truckstop chocolate cake and fried apple pie.

Then we went home and had a heart attack.

The end.

I asked Ryan if he ever thought that this time 2 year ago he would be CELEBRATING this life changing surgery.  He said no; when an ostomy was first brought up it was scary and we thought our life was ending in a lot of ways.  

What a shock to find out he still climbs, bikes, works, runs, travels, and more with his ostomy.  While we didn't know we had anything to celebrate July 30, 2014 we rejoice over this good gift.

It's so fun to look forward to a new event to mark and remember his stomaversarry each year.  But it doesn't matter how we celebrate, but that we do and that we do it with overflowing, thankful hearts for Ryan's life and health!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above...

James 1:17


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