Friday, August 30, 2013

What's Going On?

Man I just cannot get back into the blogging mode!  I have lots of thoughts about so many things but can't seem to get the motivation or whatever to write it all down.  

Hmmm...writer's block?  Sort of.

Anyway, it's fun just to record little updates every now and then.  One of my favorite parts about keeping a blog has been just simply clicking back through the archives to remember what our life looked like at various times and through different experiences

So a more dry season of blogging can just act as a remembrance of this season we're in now.

For now I'll just share with you a few pictures of the paver patio Ryan has been working on.  It was HOURS of work and I can't even describe how much muscle and sweat went into this.  Ryan moved an estimated 4 TONS of dirt, laid a super heavy base layer, tamped it by hand, laid 4 inches of sand, graded it all step by step, leveled it and then individually laid something like 78 15-lb pavers by hand.


Excuse the "after" picture because the patio still has tons of sand on it from filling in the gaps between pavers.  Just imagine it all with a painted deck in the background, white rocking chairs, and a glowing fire ;)

Before.  So much dirt to move and grade at a 2% slope.  My Engineering husband is so exact! 

Working hard!  This was the leveling step.  So tedious but important for an even area and correct grading for drainage 

Final product!  The sand is there to fill in the gaps between pavers.  Once it's swept off I'll get another prettier picture up.  This little living space is so perfect for late night fires and cool fall nights.  Can't wait to host here!

Oh and also here are the fabulous outdoor curtains my husband should put up for me!  How is he so legit?  Our lower patio gets full sun from about 4:00 pm to sunset and it's just too bright/hot to enjoy it out there.  So problem solved now.  I think the space looks larger and more inviting with them.

The curtains are just simple paint drop cloths from Home Depot hung from target curtain clips.  And that would be electric conduit for the "rods".  Check out this tutorial for how he did it.

Any fun plans for you over the Labor Day weekend?  We have camping and mountain biking in our future.  So excited!  There may also be bacon and the makings of smores in our pantry waiting to tag along for the adventure.  No shame!!

Enjoy your long weekend everyone!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Autumn 2013 Decorations

Have I ever mentioned that I love fall?  I adore it!  Pine for it!  Obsessed with it!

Ryan would attest that's not an understatement.  For far too long I've been stalking Yankee Candles fall scents, pinning pumpkin recipes, and anxiously waiting to pull out my fall decor.  I may or may not have Googled "when does starbucks' pumpkin spice latte come out?"

(September 3.  You're welcome)

But the time came!  Yes good people, I may be a week or two early but I can't help myself.  Autumn runs in my blood and I can't stay away a moment longer!

Like I said yesterday, I didn't spend even one dollar on decorations.  Everything pictured are items I've had from years previous or just thought it had a fall-ish style. 

I even used edibles from the kitchen like wild rice and uppopped corn.   On that note, check out your pantry!  I think it would be fun to somehow display onions or apples on a tiered cake stand.  Or surround a yummy fall candle in a vase with lentils.  Lots of possibilities.

I also layered plates and mugs, utilized pitchers and vases, and piled thick quilts in big woven baskets.  Simple but a definite change!

 It's so fun to usher in this cooler season with a cozy home.  

The only thing missing is a pumpkin baking extravaganza!  Any takers?

Utilizing the good ole chalkboard fridge for some seasonal flare 

The dining room buffet got a gold, orange, and rustic brown makeover.  I'm not entirely happy with this look but I'll keep working on it until I find a better arrangement 

Our open kitchen cabinets needed some love.  I just layered plates, a silver pitcher, and accented it with wheat and wild rice. 

An up close shot.  I found so many edible autumn styles in the kitchen!  It was so fun to sort through my pantry for a free, seasonal addition

A vase of wheat with an anchor of that uppopped corn is such a fun little whimsical flare.  I love the unexpected pop! 

Nothing much chanced with the mantel besides adding a mercury pumkin on the left that was gifted to me last year.  The book wreath and vases filled with rocks are pretty rustic and appropriate 

Lord have mercy!  This is such a beautiful scent.  My mom bought me "Cozy Sweater" (the epitome of being snuggled up in a soft wrap while drinking tea) and "Autumn Apple" (basically smells like the experience of eating apple pie in a pile of crispy leaves.)  Glory.

Happy Early Fall!

Check out our Autum 2012 house decorations here

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August Way of Life

Life is in full swing at the Deckers.  And life is so dang good!

For starters, nearly 2 weeks in we are about 75% done with the new paver patio Ryan is installing.  It looks so beautiful and has transformed a once dumpy space into a vibrant living area!   

Let me just say that Ryan calculated that this patio would have cost us upwards of $6,000 if we bought all materials new and hired out the work.  My husband Craigs-listed his life away and slaved through the manual labor to do it for just 6% of that cost.  Legit money manager!

The before picture-after soon to come!  I cannot put into words how much work this was.  Have mercy!

I have big plans to put in a cozy firepit, rocking chairs, and thick quilts to enjoy cool fall nights out there.  Add hot apple cider and smores roasting...I think we have heaven on earth.

Our weeks have been filled to the brim with work, biking, going to every kind of doctor imaginable (dermatology, dentist X2, Remicade, regular Doctor's, TB tests for school, etc), hitting up movie nights in the park, and daily shennigans.

Cupcake mouthed husband at Golden's movie in the park.  We LOVE this event!

Ok this is another fun thing... 

Ryan Decker is playing Ultimate Frisbee again in a league is LOVES it.  He played all through college and was captain of his team.  Truly this man can throw and run like you wouldn't believe!

 He was a little nervous to start the league (so cute) but played incredibly strong!  The team he joined has been together for awhile, but Ryan's 2nd game with them they won--and they never win ha ha  After his games he was just on fire for life and so encouraged that his ostomy isn't holding him back.  P.S.  They seriously run like 8-10 miles in one game.  Dang!

A view from a recent bike ride

Let's see as for me, I am literally counting down the days to Nursing School.  38 days to the first day and 28 days to orientation!  My motivation is so high and I'm anxious and thrilled to just start learning.  But I have to be careful not to waste this very precious season I'm in now. 

I have all these weeks stretched ahead of me to just be "kind to myself" as I keep saying and be filled up before the madness hits.  And more importantly, to pour out and make sure I'm stewarding this time well.  One year ago I could never have imagined I would be starting Nursing School so soon but this is perfectly timed and sanctioned.

We're on the move an we love it all.  The gift of being active is such a sweet one to us.  Biking, frisbee league, fall community groups, newly starting Bible studies, and doing life is all we could dream about in 2012.  

Now it's a reality.

The Lord is so overwhelmingly good to us.

P.S.  Here is a sneak peek of our newly decorated house for fall.  Yes, I am such a creeper for this season but it's my favorite!  I didn't spend a penny, instead just using autumn-ish items we had around the house.  More to come tomorrow!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

1st Birthday Party Love

Ryder!  He is just the most scrumptious little man to ever turn 1.  Initially we had planned on being at a family reunion on Saturday but plans changed and we were able to make it to his first ever birthday party of life.  Sweet!

And I am SUPER glad we were there.  Anna and Tyler threw a totally cute party for him.  The food was delicious, the decorations were adorable, and Ryder had a great time.

Birthday boy and myself with the cute sign Anna made.  So crafty right?

Husband and Ryder.  I told Ryan I LOOOOVE it when he holds babies but it makes my ovaries scream for a baby...however we can't have that.  So take this away from me!

Yum-birthday boy digging into his homemade cupcakes

What would a post be without this little lady?  She is seriously 2.5 going on 12.  My heart bursts with love for her.

Happy end of your weekend all!  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Random Goodies Update

This overcast rainy weather was MADE for me!  I sometimes think I could live in London or Seattle.  But then I remember how sweet Colorado is, and I probably won't be doing that anytime soon.  

And I remember how our moms would hunt us down if we moved so far away...

Dreary weather teaches us a few things:  #1  It makes my Autumn Pinterest board explode!  #2  It makes me very wifely and I cook/bake a TON.  Obscene amounts of zucchini bread grace our freezer  #3  It increases my reading and coffee drinking habits exponentially

 I CANNOT wait for fall, people!  I love all things pumpkin, cozy, jackets, crisp weather, and autumn.  The debut of the annual pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks is close to Christmas in my excitement levels.  Not kidding.

Lord have mercy and let my husband acquire a taste for pumpkin treats ASAP.  Amen.

Also, what is this I early leaf changer!?!?!  Be still my heart.

On other less important topics than the coming of fall...what else have we been up to?

Ryan has been rocking at work like it's his job.  Probably because it is his job.  I am so proud of him taking on his new Director position and just doing so well.  He is SO gifted with people and really makes an impact for HWI in this role.  

We are also in major budget mode saving for Nursing School so he has biked like 9/10 of the last work days.  Wahoo!

I feel so hipster when we bike to coffee shops and work.

I have been working as much as possible too, again, to help pay for school.  It is a gift to say we both really and authentically enjoy our jobs.  I hope that is always true.

These crazy beautiful flowers are from some walks we have taken lately when the weather isn't raining and foggy in the evenings.  Walks together after dinner = intentional, free time together. Speaking of which, something that we have not been so good at in the past, but are slowly getting better at is Date Night.  It is the best night of the week!

We've been hitting up free movie in the parks, going to coffee shops so Ryan can teach me chess, having chill nights on the back porch, or going to dinner together.  It's fun to get creative and we highly recommend them to our married peeps!

Ok is there anything else exciting I can share?  We are pretty boring.  We'll do a list...

*52 days until Nursing School!
*Ryan is playing in a fall Ultimate Frisbee League (want to join him?)
*Our church is starting Life Groups next month which gets me SUPER pumped!
*Harpo is still an anti-social doofus but we love him
*There may or may not be a new addition to our the form of a Corgi puppy.  Updates to come on that as Ryan's hearts softens :)
*3 of 5 chickens are laying little brown eggs!

That is probably all that is worth sharing for now.  Life is full

Happy Thursday to all!

For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.

Isaiah 33:22

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Ryder!

Today is a certain 1.5 foot tall, chubby bellied, sweet cheeked, hunk of love's birthday!  That would be Ryder Decker the cutest nephew that I have ever had!

Happy 1st Birthday Ryder!  We love you sweet little man.

Our favorite things about Ryder include:

his easy-going personality
his HUGE, toothy grin that bursts our hearts
how he learns (aka gets bossed) from his big sister
he is all boy!  loves the dirt, likes to eat rocks, and rumble and tumble with Rilyn
how observant he is
his sensitive little heart

There are a million more things we adore about this sweet boy.  We are just blessed to call him nephew and have one whole year of life to celebrate!

Look at tiny little butt crack sticking out.  Oh how we love him!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Full and Life Giving

Dang we have had such an excellent weekend so far!

Friday night we went to Golden's free movie in the park and it was such a life giver for us!  We brought blankets, chairs, dinner, and just relaxed in the amazing weather.  There was a concert beforehand and then Madagascar 3 played at dusk.

Our good friends Hannah and Daniel joined us and we just loved the heck out of that!!  Daniel and Ryan played frisbee while Hannah and I girl talked and spied on cute babies.  There are lots of cutie kids for movie in the park ha!  Creepers!

 A concert is made with a picnic and beers!

 The big screen--seriously this is such a fun event.  It's every Friday in August.  Come with us!

 The weather was so nice :)

 The park filled up big time for the movie!

 Hannah and myself, unplanned shirt twins

Hi husband!

Then this morning Ryan's cousin, Zeph, his wife Bitsy and their 2 month old son Finn came for a breakfast visit.  Ryan made us all french toast, eggs, bacon, and coffee.  Seriously he is the breakfast king!

Our time with them was so encouraging and refreshing.  We love those two and wouldn't be sad if they moved to Colorado permanently!

These two LOVE each other.  They laugh so much and also encourage each other like you wouldn't believe.  I love hearing stories about their crazy 13 and 15 year old selves. 

SWOON!!!  I love it when my man holds babies.  Ack, take it away my ovaries can sense the paternal cuteness in this picture.   

This is the face of exhaustion and contentment 

We told them like 20 times, but Zeph and Bitsy are seriously the MOST amazing parents.  They encourage each other, are so chill, and love the heck out of their sweet baby

We are so blessed by time with some of our favorite people so far and a weekend of really fun events.  Last night as we sat at the movie Ryan said, "This is what we dreamed about being able to do last year. Just chilling and watching a movie in the park."

Amen, husband!  We are grateful for this season as we continue to learn together and really appreciate our daily gifts.

Enjoy your rainy Saturday night :)

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

Friday, August 2, 2013

Encouragement for Marriage

If there was ever a 70 year old couple I was obsessed with, THIS is them.  They are the most amazing!

This beautiful story made me just cry.  Gladys has Alzheimer's.  William cares for her.  He loves her deeply and profoundly; it's just contagious!  You just watch the video and see how it will all be almost too much for your heart!

I just had to share this inspiration to live out a marriage that reflects Jesus' unending, sacrificial love, especially in chronic illness. But this kind of love isn't limited to hardship.

My take home from watching:  Don't give up hope but press into God's ability to love each other forever.

William shows how caring and loving in extreme chronic illness is possible (and joyful) with the help of God.  And you will just light up when you watch their example.

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013


For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20


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