Thursday, January 31, 2013

When Not Buying Seems Impossible

[More of the Stoma & Ostomy Series was published yesterday! Part 7: Complications You Might Face and What To Do.  Check it!]

It's so funny to share with people that I'm not buying new clothes this year.  One of my absolute favorite women and friends of all time exclaimed "Oh I could NEVER do that!!" and I just laughed!

Truly this is not an unobtainable or super noble goal.  It's not impossible, it is a challenge, but we have so much abundance that the truth is you may not even notice you're not buying.

My boycott of new clothes is leading me to a deeper understanding of WHO makes the clothes stuffing my closet and at what expense?  It is also leading me to ask WHY am I filling my closet and perhaps avoiding filling my heart with something more worthwhile? 

When Not Buying Seems Impossible, here's how it's still going down:

1.  Avoiding stores where I would be tempted to buy: Gap Outlet is my weakness, man!
2.  Pinning outfit ideas on Pinterest so I can rework my wardrobe
3.  Subscribing to this website to gain a heart for justice and a slave-free world!
4.  Praying about it big time and always asking the Lord for purpose in the tension I feel or what He might be trying to teach me through the obstacles that come up.

It's simple. Give it a go.  Or at least consider trying it out-that won't hurt you too much ;)

Ryder has nothing to do with this post-but he still looks scrumptiously cute nonetheless!

My Journey to 2000 Gifts
1086.  Friends to walk alongside in this year long challenge
1087.  Birthday generosity and feeling so loved
1088.  Getting school work done early
1089.  Repentance
1090.  Knowing and doing the will of God
1091.  Africa possibilities
1092.  Nursing school to look forward to 
1093.  Big dreams of being overseas one day
1094.  Friends who share that dream!
1095.  Early labor for Ali-come on Baby C!
1096.  Hot showers and quiet times when it's snowy-wind outside

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waffle Bar Birthday

Yesterday was my official 24th Birthday

We invited some dear friends over for a Waffle Bar complete with every topping you can imagine:  chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries powdered sugar, peanut butter, syrup, caramel, and marshmallows.  It was more like dessert but delicious all the same!

Huge stack of waffles waiting for takers

Angi, me, and Jessica

Hannah, me, Rachelle, and Angi

THIS is what the typical waffle creation looked like-strawberries and drizzled with chocolate sauce.  So amazing.

Some of the guys-Marc, Matt, and Daniel

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stoma & Ostomy Series Continues

The Stoma & Ostomy series we're hosting over at Reaching For Fringe is still going strong!

It's a little out of order as we publish it mostly because timing can be difficult.  We couldn't put up the Part 2 Putting On An Ilesotomy Appliance until Ryan needed to change his, ya know?  So anyway, it's a bit random but we're still hopeful people are enjoying it.

Part 5 just went up this week talking about Body Image with an Ostomy.  Ryan and I both share our hearts and thoughts on the subject and I think it will be helpful for you to read.  If you ever know someone who gets a body altering, life altering surgery even a tiny glimpse into someone's real life perspective might allow you to offer them empathy and compassion.

Check it out and leave some thoughts when you stop by!

Part 6:  Day to Day Life as an Ostomate

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Birthday Happenings!

My husband is the most romantic man you will ever meet!  My 24th birthday is on the horizon and he planned a celebration weekend that rocked my world and woo'ed my heart!

Saturday we checked into the Curtis Hotel-- a fun, unique hotel filled with cartoons and whimsical retro decorations.  They greeted us with warm cookies, a birthday package in the room and made the stay so sweet.  It was a perfect weekend filled with surprises and thoughtfulness that blessed me and made my birthday so memorable!

The front desk decorated with flowers, hoola-hoops and robots! 

They lobby was filled with vintage candy and  they even sent up a generous birthday present topped with a bouquet with balloons!

My sweet birthday treat from the hotel-lots of candy, a card, and a few other treats

A great start already to our weekend together!

Then my stud of a husband pulled out this jewelry box!

Inside was a beautiful David Yurman ring that matches my wedding ring.  It's a classic, roped band that will be perfect for nursing.  I LOVE it!

A close up.  It's so unique and gorgeous

Every floor at the Curtis has a theme.  One is the "dance floor" another is the "chick flick floor".  We were on the "dun-dun-dun" floor which is the horror movie floor.  Scary!  Here is Ryan impersonating that freaky dude from The Shining

Later that evening we feasted at the Cheesecake Factory!

Then we walked down to the Tattered Cover Bookstore (my favorite) to browse and relax for a bit.

It was the most special weekend.  Ryan really thought about what would bless me and went to every effort and beyond to make it special.  I am a blessed 24 year old and especially grateful for my husband's love and sweet heart!  Birthdays rock!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Healthy Baked Oatmeal

Breakfast is a big deal around our house.  We don't skip it and we don't skimp on it.

It's usually eggs and vegetarian "sausage" patties with a fruit/greens smoothie .  But lately I have been making Baked Oatmeal.  It takes like 4.37743 minutes to assemble and then just pop it in the oven while you get ready.

Here is my favorite version adapted from this recipe:

Healthy Baked Oatmeal


Ingredients:
1.5 cups oats
1/2 cup of chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)
1ish cups boiling water
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup raisins
1 heaping tbsp cinnamon
1 cup berries (can use frozen) and/or sliced banana

Directions:
Place oats and nuts in an oven safe dish, I used a glass pie pan.  Top with the boiling water and allow to sit while you assemble other ingredients.
Stir in alomd milk, raisins, and cinnamon.  Top with berries and/or sliced banana.

Bake at 375 for 25 mins or until slightly browned on top.

Top with honey and more cinnamon.  Enjoy!

P.S.  I bet you could do all kind of crazy things to this oatmeal.  Add apples and cinnamon, stir in cocoa and peanut butter, mix in a little pureed pumpkin and nutmeg...whatever makes your skirt fly up.

Let me know how it goes if you try it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lindsay & Justin Wedding Pictures!

My sister got married last month to the most swell fellow we know, and the wedding was gorgeous!  Like straight out of a magazine.  Most importantly the bride was stunning, the day went smoothly, and the two newlyweds, Lindsay and Justin, will have a beautiful marriage.

The photos came in today, thank goodness because I was peeing my pants waiting to see it captured.  All pictures are credited to Stephanie Ferris of Ferris Wheel Photography.

Enjoy these few peeks into the special day.

Lindsay and myself.  The colors were cream, gold, and navy blue with a snowy December day to make it perfectly gorgeous.

Both of their families around the happy couple!

 See those rings in the bouquet?

 The wedding party all together.  Look at those gorgeous banners and paper decorations.  They went above and beyond in planning this day

 Simple cake topped with owls from Esty on top of an antique buffet.  Stunning.

Um excuse me...but there was a HOT CHOCOLATE bar!  She also planned vintage bottled sodas, old fashioned sucker favors, and antique doors and ladders placed around the venue.  Gorgeous.

The groom carrying out the bride!  So romantic.

Happy Friday and weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Decker Update

We Deckers have been living life the last few days!  Well, at least it feels like it after such a SLOW and horrible season.  

Ryan is literally working MORE than full timeHealing Waters has so much for him to do; trainings to lead, manuals to write, demos to instruct, systems to construct, and other Tech Team oddities.  I am just so incredibly proud of him.  He is really rocking it out with JOY and loving that he is off the couch.  He is made to be a Water Engineer and it's a complete gift to see him living it out.

That's Ryan second in from the left.  Swoon.

 The book Ryan's work is reading together for their weekly devotional time together.  He has been working so hard to write the study guide for this week's "Digging Deeper".  He is awesome!

Have we ever suggested for anyone who can, to get off the couch?  Oh yeah, only ALL the time!!  If you are healthy get your bum off the couch!  Go enjoy the world, adventure, be outside, be with people.  Anywhere but besides in front of the TV wasting away your life!  After having no other option and Ryan's health snatched from under us, never again will we take for granted the ability to life life fully and abundantly.  

Alright, I'm done.

We did in fact join a bowling league.  Those vintage bags hold are my parent's old balls (does that phrase disturb you?  it does me.) and they graciously let us borrow their retro gear.  The competition is pretty much nonexistent but we get good time with people and also get to violently hurl a ball down a slick alleyway.  Not bad.


Harpo is doing fine, Mom.  (I'm pretty sure no one else really cares about him).  Your precious little grand-dog is slimming down, barking at everyone, and shedding his blonde hair everywhere.


That would be my Anatomy & Physiology textbook.  Classes restarted this week and I am especially enjoying this course!  By God's grace the information is soaking into my brain and it's all so fascinating and relevant.  Additionally, I started a new position as a CNA (Certified Nurse Aide).  It's a fantastic job that gives me exceptional medical practice and is close to home.  I'm grateful.

Awkward blog confession:  In my possession are currently a fetal pig, sheep brain, cow eye, sheep heart, and a few chicken wings (uncooked).  All are vacuum sealed and doused in formaldehyde awaiting dissection for my Anatomy class.  It's gory over at the Decker casa...


What would a Decker post be without food?  Those are pre-baked sweet potato fries.  A current staple in our household.  However I slightly burned this batch which was a very sad day for all involved.  However, don't be like me and make a batch unburned!  Peel a sweet potato or two, cut into fry like shapes, toss with a little olive oil and salt, and bake at 400 for 10 mins on one side, flip and repeat.  Or until crispy.

 Husband working on some house project

Ok that should do it.  Peace homies.  I am making Chicken Parmesan for dinner and it's not going to slice, breadcrumb coat, cover in cheese, and bake itself!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fashion at Missional Women

"How neat is God to wire our brains and eyes to enjoy beauty?  I adore a cute outfit, a bit of makeup and the femininity of fashion.  Anyone else?  Even this area of our lives can glorify God!"
 
Join me over at Missional Women today where I'm talking about using fashion for God's glory!
 
 
  Ryder won't be in the fashion post but he does look scrumptious in this picture!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Birthday Wishes For A Little Lady


Stoma Guide Preoccupation

Whew, it's been awhile!  Hope you all had a great weekend and your Monday is going fantastically.

I've been preoccupied with the Stoma and Ostomy Series over at Reaching For Fringe and my favorite post is up today!  Part 2 of the series Putting On An Ileostomy Appliance is up!  

I am so jazzed about this.  When Ryan first got his ostomy it was terribly difficult to find any resource that wasn't overly simplistic or some model with a fake stoma were being paid to pose in.  We wanted a real life person showing us how they do it day to day.  So that is the resource we created and we just pray it gives someone even a tiny glimmer of hope or help.


If you don't like guts or scars or anything medical then don't go over there.  Oh and then stop being a mamsy pamsy.  It is a luxury to be grossed out by ileostomies when you yourself don't have to face that reality everyday.

*Stepping down from soapbox...*

Anywho it's been fun to see Reaching For Fringe explode with new readers as we've hosted this series.  There are never any comments (which is the fun part of blogging) but seeing nearly 300 people a day Google "ileostomy" and find the site is marvelous!  Plus it is very satisfying and fun to be a part of someone's journey in this crazy ostomy world.

Head on over and check it out!  Besides that maybe you need a mini Decker update:  I start school up again tomorrow, Ryan is at work full time, and we joined our church's bowling league so that is every Monday!  Party on!  How about you?  Anything new?


Look at my man!  Rocking his ostomy, so brave, so healthy.  Praise Jesus!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Personal Inconvenience = Abolished Slavery

I am looking for a new habit.  Not a year of commendable, blog-worthy babbling.

What's the point of a goal, if it does not turn into a habit?   

Example: why would someone even bother making a resolution to lose weight if they don't make it an everyday lifestyle to eat healthfully and get active?  Something needs to click in their "everyday thinking" mentality.

Why would I forfeit the purchasing of new clothes if there isn't a habit to develop?  I'm seeking a radical way to think and fresh approach to this area of life.

  via

I'm a little muddled trying to determine my "habit" from 2013's goal it but I think it narrows down to these 3 things:

1.  Freedom from materialism will instill a stronger desire for God
2.  Buy once, buy well
3.  Support justice with every dollar that we spend

Those are habits I want ingrained in my life and my rhythms of spending and shopping.  When I go to buy a new blouse I don't just pick it out because it's cute

 No, instead I figure out what's the heart motive of this purchase-what am I trying to fill?  Is it an item that will last for several years coming from a company who values what's just and fair And does this purchase come at the expense of another human?

I have a long way to go.  But I know the minor nuisance it will be to Google search my way through businesses, source my purchases, and take a moment to pause in the store aisle will matter to the Pakistani kid longing for his 16 hour shift to end.   It will matter to the miner who desires a breath of fresh air to replace the suffocation of mining dust.

Personal inconvenience may just be the way to abolish modern day slavery.

 Hand-knit slippers from our dear friend, Katie.  Sustainable and she values justice :)

My Journey to 2000 Gifts
1063.  An old couple rolling down their window at a stoplight to admire and smile at Harpo's head out the window
1064.  Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
1065.  Extra $15
1066.  Chiropractors who help my body
1067.  Long, sunny walks with Harpo
1068.  Silence after a long day
1069.  Gratefulness for health
1070.  Awe of the world through healthy eyes
1071.  Sweet texts from husband
1072.  Celebrations to come
1073.  New jobs
1074.  Peace
1075.  Job 1:21-22
1076.  1 Peter 5:8  The TRUTH about who the enemy is
1077.  The goodness of who God is
1078.  Memory verse week 3
1079.  Platelet transfusion for mom to get healthy for surgery
1080.  Big mason jars of water
1081. Homemade bread made into toast for an early breakfast
1082.  Slow, wonderful days
1083.  Mild seasons overflowing with praise
1084.   Finding old pictures of Ryan and hanging them on the fridge
1085.  Getting creative with meal planning to avoid the grocery store

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wonder Through Healthy Eyes

My husband has been doing something lately that I love, and I think he is unaware of it.

His health is renewing, his strength is returning, and his personality is slowly blossoming back.  

While all this happens, sweet Ryan Decker is in awe of the world.  Did you even know that husband?

He constantly exclaims gratefulness, excitement, or sheer joy at the simplest of things happening to him.  It is so beautiful and always gives me a good laugh.

"This chicken soup is AMAZING!  It tastes so fantastic."
(it was from a can)

"Wow these gloves are keeping my fingers so warm! I can't believe how comfy my hands are."

"I don't know what it is but this Chicken Parmesan is hitting the spot!  YUM!"

"I just love being home.  Isn't out house the best place??"

"This truck drives so well.  It's just a smooth ride!"

"I blasted worship music this morning while I got ready.  I just did air guitar in the living room!"

Don't you love that??  I am learning so much from my husband right now.  How he sees his world with grateful perspective.  Especially given his last 10 months and the hell he's been through, I love his untarnished view and lack of cynicism.

   The way he gives thanks for the tiniest of details and most insignificant of blessings.  He has PRAISED God for seasoning on chicken, the beat of music blaring, for comfort of warm gloves.

I want a faith like Ryan's.  A heart of praise like his.  Because he praises God in the hard AND the good.  He recognizes His God when he's suffering and when he's thriving.  It's like his eyes have been open to a whole new world, after so many months of being blind and feeling forgotten.

How are you praising this week?  Are you seeing the world and your life through eyes of unrelenting praise?  Ones of utter gratefulness?  Where nothing seems to fit better than to shout THANK YOU!

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Luke 18:17 

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Forgot To Not Buy.

I forgot I wasn't buying anything new on Friday.

 We went to REI after a doctor's appointment and they had insane-o good clearances on winter hats and ear warmers.  I perused like I was the Queen of England picking out my crown before I remembered what I had declared for 2013.  I had gleefully tried on 8 hats and picked out matching gloves...for shame!

Don't worry I snapped back to reality before I did anything crazy!

To be honest it was slightly disappointing to not get what I want.  I'm used to it I guess.   The situation was especially unhappy because I was staring at products made my socially just and fair companies.  Companies that provide a minimum or living wage, decent working conditions, and give their employees a right to join a union.  Swoon!  

 But it was a good lesson in "sacrifice"  (Lord help me that I think I know the meaning of that word...I don't.) and in delaying what I want when I want it.


By the way, if you buy something new this year...no judgement ok?  I am passionate about this issue but wouldn't it all kind of cancel out if I was self-righteous and judgey about it?  Duh.  Just needed to share that.

The only think I ask is that you at least consider what I talk about here-social justice, excess, releasing our hold on material items, and even what God says about each. 

 It won't hurt to ask, will it?  

My Journey to 2000 Gifts
1041.  Breakfast potatoes
1042.  Long talks during mountain drives
1043.  A husband who seeks God's will
1044.  Facebook feed = customized prayer list
1045.  Aching toes meaning circulation is returning
1046.  Warm house to come home to
1047.  Sleeping in
1048.  Greeting Team at Red Rocks
1049.  Week 3 of memorizing scripture with 2 legit ladies
1050.  Book series that is so encouraging and confirming
1051.  Goal to not go to the grocery store the rest of the month-eeek!
1052.  Sacrifice to buy books and school supplies
1053.  A husband who spurs on my dreams
1054.  Remicade next week
1055.  Beep of an oven ready to bake 
1056.  Coffee dates while it blizzards outside
1057.  Adventures
1058.  Ryan exclaiming "I love my ileostomy!"
1059.  The freedom his ileostomy has given our life
1060.  $2.50 refunds
1061. Editing pictures
1062.  Challenging words in 1 Kings

Sunday, January 13, 2013

RFF Ostomy Series!

Over at Reaching For Fringe we're hosting an 8 part stoma/ostomy series and the first post is up today!

The top key word searches that bring people to this blog and RFF is almost always ileostomy related.  I secretly love that and am more than happy to answer what the reader wants.

Back in July 2012 when we were in the place of looking for information and someone more seasoned in this journey, I wish we would have had a resource like this.  I wish someone would have shared EVERY single thing they knew.  So we are doing our best and hope it blesses someone.

Here is the schedule so you know what to expect:

Part 6:  Day to Day Life as an Ostomate

Even if you don't have an ostomy, reading about our journey and day to day life might give you a glimpse into Ryan's reality and our wins and struggles.

Enjoy and please share feedback!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dog Sled Adventures

My in-laws bought us a super unique and fun Groupon for Christmas-a dog sled ride!  It was 9 degrees out (brrrr!!), we fell in love with huskies, and had a wonderful Saturday in the mountains.

This is Jimmy Hendricks.  He was a 110 lbs and looked like a wolf.  But was as sweet as a puppy.

These huskies are insanely strong and lean!!  They get SO excited to run and will log 20 miles a day on a "slow" day.  The dogs are the most obedient, sweetest animals.  Ryan and I had a great view bundled up on the sled and got a gorgeous tour through the wooded area of Winter Park.

There we are!  So cold but so very comfortable.

The team led by Bo & Emma.  Seriously these dogs just LOVE to run.  They all howled, stamped their feet and whined before until we would take off again.


Our favorite dog on our team-he bit tree limbs as he ran and liked to roll in the snow ha!

Our drive home-beautifully foggy and snowy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Scavenger

Read about my 2013 goal here.

So far so good with the resolution; not buying new clothes, reusing and reappreciating what's already in my overstuffed wardrobe.  A big ole whoop-dee-do for me.

Yes, it's only been 10 days so we'll have to see where I am in 100 days.  I think part of a positive report on this goal is because I'm barely toe deep in it.  Perhaps when the seasons are changing and new trends are arising you will see me squirm. 

But I feel uncomfortable even admitting that.  That my contentedness for now is applaudable, but I can anticipate in advance that it will soon go unquenched.

No I am not in want and yes I have excess.  But what if I didn't?  What if I wasn't in a place where I could even draw up a 2013 goal of more appreciation for my material blessings and obvious abundance?

This moment, captured on a filthy dump, tugs at my soul and tears and my conscience.

via

It is a 2012 National Geographic photo contest winner. 

These women are only allowed at the dump to scavenge for food or clothing or household items, once the establishment has closed for the day.  Some live in the dump.  Unbelievable, yes?

Imagine a life like that.  One where dinner awaited you in rotting heaps and "shopping" meant rummaging through piles of trash?  The humiliation and despair is staggering.

It's gut wrenching and painful to look at this photo.  It makes each clothing item in my closet a sort of betrayal to the justice I know in my heart.  Each shirt, each belt, each silly scarf seems like a mark against my humanitarian cause and pleas here on this blog for us to open our eyes to injustice.
 
 Open your eyes, God says to me.  Not just to what I've given you but to what pollutes your faith.  Your love of excess and ability to stifle My Voice.  Open your eyes to injustice, to suffering, to indignity and your fellow human.  Because I came that you each might have life, and have it abundant.

These words are balm and a clear point to wisdom:

If people can’t see what God is doing,
    they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
    they are most blessed.

Proverbs 29:18
 
When the new Spring 2013 trends arrive, these women will be squatting over the waste that's come to sustain their lives.   All I will be left with my own garbage dump; a polluted heart and bulging lifestyle that threatens to consume my heart and ravenously stain my faith.

What Can You Do?

Give generously of your resources to those laboring to serve the poor and least of these
Healing Waters International, Compassion International, International Justice Mission

Get educated.
Read a legitimate paper source, put in your path articles and organization of justice, and find out your personal role by going to slaveryfootprint.org

Bend Your Knee.
Pray without ceasing... 1 Thessalonians 5:17

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?


Micah 6:8

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Journeying To More Gifts

Not much today, just a post of gifts and pictures.

My Journey to 2000 Gifts

1012.  Banana bread

1013.  A rejuvenating snack-almonds, clementine, carrots and homemade hummus (not pictured)!

1014.  Hot cups of tea

1015.  The Mark of the Lion Trilogy

1016.  The outdoors and fresh air

1017.  This little lady helping cook in the kitchen

  1018.  This handsome stud of a man
1019.  Friends over for whit bean chicken chili and coconut macaroons
1020.  Blogging while Ryan watches Fringe
1021.  Brunch with mom
1022.  Pictures from Linny of their new apartment and life as married couple!
1023.  Anticipating new articles at Missional Women soon
1024.  Church
1025.  Doctors and medical care
1026.  Belated Christmas packages form friends across the country
1027.  Hand knit slippers to keep our toes warm
1028.  Living Beyond Yourself
1029.  Quiet time and needing a daily rhythm back  
1030.  Processing everything under the sun with a dear friend
1031.  Laughing with my husband
1032.  Sizzle and scent of onions in olive oil
1033.  Shoulder ache after a chiropractic appointment-points to positive movement!
1034.  Brightest sunlight through out living room
1035.  Bowling league on Mondays
1036.  Reading articles of wisdom from ladies older and more seasoned
1037.  A weekend of fun and activity before us         
1038.  Learning about justice
1039.  Sharing about justice
1040.  Casting vision for a world free of slavery

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