Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Rilyn Grace had a busy year of being 2 and now she is our big girl 3 year old niece!  Her ADORABLE party was Saturday morning.  Pajamas and Pancakes.  How do you get swoonier?

There was a pancake bar, pajamas, chocolate milk in real milk bottles, and of course lots of presents for Ms. Rilyn.  We got her girly chapstick, pink headbands and toothpaste.  

The toothpaste was just Kids Tom's and was so random and last minute.  But alas, she loved the toothpaste the most.


Stole this one from your blog, Anna!  Rilyn and the pancake bar.  Every topping imagineable, people! 

The great honor helping the birthday girl get her sprinkle-whipped cream-syrup topped pancake 

This situation.  Too much.  Take it away!!  Love these boys.

LOOK AT THESE CUPCAKES!!!  So cute.  Mini eggs and bacon :) 

 Our favorite short people.  Ryder, Xander, and Rilyn

She had so much fun opening gifts!  And she was so polite and thankful for each one.

Our future someday, husband!  Watch out.  It's just not right if I don't have a baby in my arms.

Later that night we had my "friend birthday party".  There were so many sweet, loved friends there which made me feel so blessed.   We plowed our way through 4 huge Costco pizzas, two salads, and almost an entire 4 layer chocolate cake.  It was SO good!  The rest of the night was laughing, games, and enjoying each other.  

Thank you for coming Casey, Connie, Peyton, Marc, Beth, Corrie, Eleanor, Matt, Maggie, Fried, Nathan, Kinsey, Ashley, Matt, Rachelle, Ross, Hannah, Daniel, and husband!

Here is the one and only picture I got from the night  Lame sauce.  The boys and their beloved Crokinole (think mini shuffle board but classier).

It's a proven fact: all guys love this game and are good instantly good at it

So tomorrow is my actual birthday.  Woot!  The big 25 as my mom calls it :)  Ryan gives me such a hard time because I can never remember how old either one of us are.  I literally thought I was turning 23 a few months ago, ha ha!!  I'm not even in denial about getting older so not sure why my brain farts out on ages.

My mom is bringing me coffee and presents tomorrow morning (she is the greatest) and then for my actual birthday event Ryan is taking my to Canvas & Cocktails in the evening!  You know where they teach you to paint and you drink wine??  I cannot wait to go with Ryan!  Phew, and then finally I have birthday lunch this weekend with Mom and a Decker bday celebration in February to wrap it up.

SO grateful!  I am unreasonably, incomprehensibly beyond blessed!

Have a fantastic second half of your week all!

Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Romans 3:24

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Hello

Happy Friday!

We've got a big weekend of birthdays, parties, church, and relaxing around here.  Tonight we are attending a benefit dinner for New Horizons, an anti-trafficking and recovery organization for young girls rescued from the horrifying life of forced prostitution.  Ryan's old boss founded the organization and we are so thrilled to participate in such a neat cause and learn more.

Rilyn, our sweet niece, turned 3 this week!!!  She is such a gift to celebrate so we are going to her pajama party Saturday morning.  Cute!

  And birthday plans for me are in the works for Saturday night and I am excited to post pictures next week (real birthday is the 29th).  

I realized recently that we take birthdays seriously around here!  We really make a big deal out of the other person and generally we experience 3+ birthday parties!!  Ha!  A friends party and one with each side of our families.  Plus a birthday event with just the two of us.  We dig that each other was born I guess :)  Plus it's fun to feel special on your birthday.

Besides the festivities, I'm sure I will have studying to do and we will try to relax also.  Sunday is our day to take it slow, experience Sabbath, and recharge for the week.

 What's on your agenda?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ryan's Dominican Trip

While he was in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic last week, Ryan was a busy guy!

Like I said yesterday, the purpose of the trip was two write a manual for the Reverse Osmosis equipment that Healing Waters installs.  

He works long hours and spends a lot of time writing, covering every tiny detail, and laboring to make the manual clear.   He also went to another equipment site to sample water but the main goal was the writing.  

For anyone who doesn't know, Healing Waters is a non-profit organization that works to serve the poor globally with water projects that are all about long-term community development.  We are so honored to be a part of the organization and blessed beyond measure that Ryan is in his dream job.

So pictures!

Here he is with the equipment probably doing some smarty-pants engineer thing I don't understand 

The reverse osmosis equipment that serve clean water to about 3,000 people.   So cool!

The gorgeous scenery is another perk to work trips 

I told him how jealous I am that he has ben out of the country twice in two months 

Ryan's host and co-worker, Alex.  He loves Chili's the restaurant and dried apple chips, ha!  This guy is super important to the work for Healing Waters in Dominican and as everyone says, he has a heart of gold 

Ryan and his ostomy.  I love these shots because it reminds us of how far he has come and how nothing is holding him back 

 On break after a long day of work

And he did a little driving apparently too!

‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me

Matthew 25:40

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dominican, Chickens, Walks

So Ryan Decker was in Dominican Republic this week working.  Gosh, he was just in Haiti two months ago!  

He had such an adventure and really blessed HWI with his efforts and smartness.  He went to write a manual for the Reverse Osmosis equipment which is a TON of work.  He also went to another equipment site to sample water but the main goal was the writing.   I'll post more pictures and details tomorrow.

At the ocean with his ostomy!  Go husband!

Side note:  the dude's ostomy bag was a beast this trip!  It literally fell off twice.  The bag connects to a face place that is stuck to Ryan's skin.  The actual bag that collects waste just hauled off and fell to the ground once on the plane and once in his hotel.  UGH!!  The life of an ostomate.  Plus the airport security never knows what it is and always swab it to make sure it's not a bomb.  Geeze!

So while he was away I just chugged away with school and work but not a whole lot else.  He left me Monday morning at 5:30 am and got back Friday at 4:00.  I barely had time to miss him!

Here are a ton of pictures/updates from our week.  I finished my second week of my second quarter of nursing school.  I learned sterile gloving and will start wound care next week in addition to working on an 11 week research project, doing calculation lab, pharmacology lecture, and foundations class.  I love it all!!

He looks ready to attack! 

 Oh no, I guess he'll just sit and eat mealworms with the ladies

This morning Grumps met the chickens for the first time.  They really liked him and he desperately wanted to chase them.  But alas, he was not allowed.  Instead he ate their poop.  Cringe.   The chickens are still producing about 16 eggs a week or so which is high for the winter.  We are grateful!

Our whole Saturday was so chill and it was such a gift.  Ryan went to bed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and woke up at 7:30 a.m.  He needed sleep after 3 flights and 13+ hours of travel on Friday!   

Then we promptly took a 3 hour nap Saturday afternoon.  Oh yes we did!

My boys 

Post-nap we walked about a mile or so at a local trail.  Grumps even got stopped by two ladies biking so they could admire his cuteness.  He woos the ladies.  Post-walk I headed to Starbucks to study and Ryan and Grumps went to hang with Matt.  Watching the Butler over leftovers was our night in after all that.  

If you have never see that movie, watch it!  Man was it good!  Anything unjust strikes a chord in me and I cried over the scene with the black teens sitting in at the white section of the restaurant counter.  The abuse was so intense and I just cried over the unfairness of injustice and racism.  We recommend that movie big time!

I love these two with all my might! 

Oh Grumples you are so handsome 

Bare trees in January 


And finally a shot from our life group minus Ryan and about 6 other usual peeps.  We had congratulatory cake for a couple that just got married and then processed about Mark 1:17 and fishing for men.  Always good stuff with that group!

Tomorrow it's church and the Broncos game for us! We are not huge football watchers but when it gets this exciting we have to hope on board the football train!  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philemon 1:15

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Ryan was downloading some music onto his iPad this weekend and ran across this gem on our external storage!

This is us in August of 2009 celebrating a friend's wedding (It was you, Clarks!).  Ryan was leaving for Saudi Arabia in roughly a week if I remember correctly and we had only been dating about 6 months.  Our season of dating was SO much fun and this time was such a sweet memory.

Grateful for trips down memory lane today :)

Doesn't Ryan look like so young here??  Probably me too, but I really notice it on that handsome face

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

Psalm 86:12

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What's Happening, January??

School restarted for me on Tuesday and seriously not one single second of life was wasted last week!  

My head was spinning by Friday as I re-worked into a very early morning routine and  remembered how to read hundreds of pages a week and have a million things to balance over just an 11 week span.  Papers, classes, tests, quizzes, presentations, check-offs, lab, essays, and more...

Three of my four school mornings I am up at 5 a.m. to fit in time with the Lord, get ready, commute and show up on time.  One thing that has stood out this week is that if I value it, I'll make time for it.  I have witnessed incredible examples of strong godly women who are busy as all else and don't let their time in the Word suffer.  Inspiring!

A typical morning-coffee, journal, and coffee.  Katie, I miss you--this is YOUR usual mug!

I'm not always perfect at it but time with Jesus, time with Ryan, healthy eating, and being active top the list and then the rest of the "have-to's" just squeeze in somewhere else.

I get to learn some insanely cool things in the coming weeks at school: injections, how to insert an NG tube (up a patient's nose and into their belly), ostomy care (should get an A+ in that!), wound care, and tracheostomy care. Weeeooooo!! 

Our friend Lauren took this adorable picture of Grumps when he went in for a day at work

Besides school, our life group restarted and we love leading that time!  Intentional time with other believers to do life and be held accountable in our walks is a gift.  And it seems that from our goals as a group, we will be much more outward this semester. 

 This verse and this verse don't leave much room for choosing another route.

 One particular event Ryan and I can't wait to be a part of is volunteering as a group with The Global Down Syndrome Foundation.  Our church partners strongly with them and Ryan and I have had a seed planted in us that's blossoming with love for children with DS for awhile now.  Adoption in the future, most likely?

In April we get to spend time at the "I Love You" dance with young adults who have Down Syndrome dancing, checking coats, serving drinks, and helping the night function.  SOOOO excited to step into this community and extend Jesus out.

Sorry about the bluriness, but the mantel did get a post-Christmas makeover!

As for Ryan John, he loves staying healthy so he joined a winter ultimate frisbee league!  He played four games last week with his last one not even starting until 10:30 p.m. !!!!  We are such old farts, that is like 3:00 a.m. to us.  He loves the running and workout and loving on all the people on his team.

Ryan being the breakfast guy.  He literally said the other day that he hopes our future kids think I don't even know how to make breakfast because he'll make it so often.  Ha!

I love to post pictures of what he makes me because he always makes it pretty and healthy!  Go husband!  Clementines, mango, pistachios, and eggs for breakfast Sunday morning.  Yum.

He also has a very exciting week of work ahead of him that we'll share about later!  Dude, is busy and thriving at Healing Waters.  And he made my transition to school so dang easy.  Cooking, cleaning, leading our LG, and being a stud.

Hmmm....that's probably all we have to share for now.  We'll check back in later!

Oh, just my sweet puppy turning into a T-rex and biting my face mid-picture...

Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Hosea 6:3

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Creativity, Snow, & Current Reads

Ceramic mug craft night!  Last night I had a ladies night (wine, dessert, creativity) and Ryan went over to a friend's for man time (tacos, games, ridiculousness).

A new read I'm digging into (see below) said this about creativity:
"There's no such thing as creative people and non-creative people.  There are only people who use their creativity and people who don't"

I love that!  And it's so true.  Some of the girls claimed they weren't artistic but their creations were really intricate and it was fun to just design and get inspired together.

Sometimes, everyone just needs a little craft night.

 My mugs.  Anthropology inspired and a gold deer!  The other side says "Good morning dear"

Lemon bars, apple-cranberry tart, and red wine...the makings of excellent lady time

It snowed this morning!  Which makes for a truly gorgeous scene to wake up to and a wonderland of play for Grumples.  The dude loves the snow.  He turns into a wild beast after he's been frolicking about and has to come in.  Geeze!

Before school restarts I'm attempting to dive into several good books.  Once school re-starts (on Tuesday) and I'm reading 1500 page textbooks on pharmacology and nursing research, my personal reading suffers a bit.  Ah, well.  But for now these are the current reads...

Top to bottom:
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
Praying God's Word by Beth Moore
Alive & Kicking by Rolf Benirschke (the man in charge of Great Comebacks where Ryan is currently a finalist for the award)
The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown*

*This one is an interesting read for sure.  Sometimes I think the thoughts are a little flaky and new-agey but overall I like the idea of embracing that we are imperfect and therefore extending compassion to ourselves and others.  Some good chunks of wisdom and thought (like in the beginning of this post) that just get us thinking in a new way.

We are off to a wedding this evening (a snowy one!) and can't wait to share pictures.  It will be beautiful.  Happy snowy day!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Forward in 2014

Yesterday was surprisingly sweet and reflective to recall what 2013 brought us!  I forget how much can be accomplished in just 12 months.  It's so important to remember the wins and what was special, because sometimes for us it's easiest to recall the hardship.

We don't set 2014 resolutions or goals.  I really like to approach a new year with a word and a few verses that are the overall theme I want to be true of the next 365 days.

The word that kept coming to my brain for 2014 was:  FORWARD

I love these verses about forward movement:

So then dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be spotless, blameless and at peace with Him 
2 Peter 3:14

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you
Proverbs 4:25

For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God
Hebrews 11:10

...one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus
Philippians 3:13-14

These verses are so inspirational because of the action-oriented, hopeful movements forward. I picture it like these baby steps that end up eventually equating to huge, powerful decisions and  realities.

We want to more forward into opportunities, joy, community, healing, new life, growth, being refined, eternal goals, relationships, and seeking more of God's face.

So that's the word for this year: forward.  

Celebrating a new year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Recap of 2013

I haven't ever recapped our year before on the blog but thought it would be meaningful and reflective to record a snippet into our last year.   Of course this isn't everything by even a long shot, but it's a few highlights :)  

Warning:  This doesn't include much  in the way of the struggles and ugly we faced.  There were personal challenges and suffering in other areas that just weren't broadcasted here and kept private.  No one's life is perfect and all highlights.  Amen?

 As we were processing some of the themes of our 2013 included:  

uncomfortable, pressing on, thrive, hopeful, refine, new, and grow

This year hasn't always been easy but it has revealed deeply to us more of ourselves and the Lord's provision and steadfastness.

Joined a bowling league
Niece Rilyn turned into a big 2 year old girl!
Launched our popular Ostomy Series over at Reaching for Fringe
I turned 24 and celebrated with a Waffle Bar Party!

Pressed on in my nursing school prerequisites
Cooked more vegetarian meals and loved it!
Ditched 40 Bags in 40 days for lent

Wrote monthly for Missional Women
Ryan and his best friends hosted a "Soiree" for all their wives.  Swoon.
Experienced a new Easter rhythm: hosting a Seder dinner.  Cannot wait for this year!

A slow month...just did life
Started a new church, Red Rocks Church
My younger sister graduated from college!

Passed finals and filled out nursing school application
Ryan got promoted at work to Director of Partnerships-wow!
Hung out with our cool families

Celebrated 3 years of marriage!
Husband turned 27
I was accepted to Nursing School
Ryan landscaped our yard and got my garden beds up and running
Ryan traveled to Dominican Republic for work

Celebrated Ryan's 1 year stomaversarry

Nephew Ryder turned 1!
Ryan put in a paver patio with fireplace
We biked all over Golden and watched movies in the park

Went camping
Co-hosted a vintage airplane baby shower for SIL, Megan

Launched our first ever Life Group through church
Traveled to Utah for sister Linny's birthday
Hiked in Evergreen and walked Race for the Cure

Ryan went to Haiti for work
Newphew Xander was born
Assembled Operation Christmas Child boxes-so sweet!
Brought home baby Grumples, our new goldendoodle puppy
Hosted our 3rd annual Thanksgiving dinner

Finished my first quarter of nursing school
Ryan got nominated for the Great Comebacks Award
Renewed communication standards for our marriage
Went snow tubing for New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year!  May 2014 bring you closer to God and make you more aware of the blessed gift this life truly is!


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