Sunday, May 18, 2014

I Like These Things

Can you believe that this time two years ago Ryan was down 20 lbs, barely working or walking, and we didn't have any answers as to why his health continued to deteriorate?!

Sometimes it feels like yesterday and sometimes it feels like a lifetime away...

We go back to our blog's 2012 posts very often to remember and reflect and honestly just praise God for what He has done and is doing.  That's why I love blogging!

On a morning walk through the insanely gorgeous Golden

But on a happier note, here are just a few favorites this week that you might like...

This Instagram account-human are so awesome.

This summer-y, delicious recipe-vegetarian and meat lovers alike will swoon! I've already switched up and tried lots of different combos!

This guaranteed good hair day product.  I'm obsessed and one of my favorite friends from school, Nylah, is always petting my hair and asking how it got so soft.  Ha!

This verse..

I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
Ezekial 37:23

This post over at Reaching For Fringe

This inspirational video-how can one little shorty be so brave?

This devotional.  Abide.  I am getting my hands on this as soon as humanly possible (for August, Katie!)

Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Psalm 73:25

P.S.  I REALLY like this guy...

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 2014 Events

In the last two weeks Ryan has been on 14 flights, stayed in 6 hotels, and has been on the go go go.  He has been in New York, North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Haiti, and back to Colorado.

This has been a typical night for us since the beginning of May...Skype, laugh, say goodnight!

He comes home TODAY!!

It's our tradition that I make him lemon pound cake and chicken pot pie when he gets home from long trips.  And I think he especially deserves it this time!

While Ryan has been on work trips, filming his Great Comebacks story, and working his butt off in another country, Grumps and I have been keeping ourselves busy too :)

Thursday marked my final day of Med/Surg I clinical.  Dang!!  I cannot believe it's over and how much experience I gained in this rotation.  From TB shots to wound care, patient communication and injections, to G-tube care and physical was an awesomely wild ride.  

Nursing is truly such a tangible, beautiful way to extend love and service to someone else.  I actually encountered a person not too long ago that had the option of an ostomy before them but they refused for a variety of issues including embarrassment and denial.  

Oh my. 

 From that interaction I was SO assured that I want to be a WOCN and obliterate the stigmas against such an amazing, life saving, beautiful surgery.  

People need some major lovin' and hope in the dark moments of life when their body image, confidence, relationships, future and everything else seems to be on the line...whether from a disfiguring wound or the reality of an ostomy, this is SO the ministry Jesus is calling me to in the health care world.

What an honor!

On that note, Ryan and I are on absolute FIRE to get a mentoring chapter through Great Comebacks opened up in Denver before the end of 2014.   It would be a resource of support and hope to people who are facing the new world of an ostomy.  We are pumped and thankful to step deeper into this new community when God says "go".

Come July I'll start my Med/Surg II and Mental Health clinicals which should be really eye opening and even more intense.  Hoping for some IV starts!

Grumps has mostly been busy keeping up on our nightly 3.5 mile walks (have we ever mentioned we love summer?!), scaring the chickens, and eating.  He is such a dope and we love him.

Ryan asked me the other day (via e-mail of course since he was 2,412 miles away):

 What are you most excited for in the remainder of 2014?

Welll....our friend Matt and Katie's wedding, continuing on in Nursing School, our 4 year anniversary in June, our trip to Nashville for the National Great Comebacks event, Linny and Justin visiting for the 4th of July, the fall (I love me some fall!), and seeing God continue to show up in relationships and moving in extravagant ways!

While we might hate to admit that our life in going 100 mph, there isn't really a way around it. Through it, we are learning to abide, prioritize, and obey.  Thankful for the opportunities we've been given; the ministries and journeys before us are astounding and beyond our wildest dreams.

I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.  I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak...

Ezekiel 34:15-16

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our Great Comebacks Extravanganza!

Oh my word.  There are no words!

Ryan and I just experienced the most redeeming, lively, purposeful, and inspirational weekend. 

Read along here and here to catch up.

As a part of Ryan's award with Great Comebacks, the sponsoring company Convatec flew us both out to Greensboro, NC for a weekend of filming, celebrating, and sharing.

Over a two day period Ryan's story, along with 5 other regional winners, were captured by a professional film crew to document their journeys.  Each of the regional winners stories will be debuted next month at a national conference in Nashville to encourage other IBD and ostomy patients, nurses, doctors, and caregivers.  

So excited to see it!!

Monday morning, the film crew sat Ryan down and informally "interviewed" him about his journey and recovery.  Then they pulled me onto the set and I got to brag about my sweet husband, retell parts of his story, and share about how our 2012 trauma inspired me to go back to nursing school.

We'll have the short video to continue to spread and use and hopefully spread some love and education wherever we are called.

The grandness and far reaching influence that will come of this weekend, video, and award just too much to even describe!  It feels surreal sometimes.

This experience just left us in total awe of how much purpose manifests when you seek the Lord and unashamedly share your story.  That is one thing I learned during our time in North Carolina...our Crohn's story is not to keep for ourselves.

Whatever your story may be, it can be redeemed and used for God's glory. #truefactyo

It's a gift that our story was chosen. Ryan's suffering and sickness was so severe and unusual that it caught the attention of a huge company and professional film crew--enough so that they would want to capture the past hardships and current triumphs to impact others and inspire them to persevere on.

There is no one like my husband or his unique Crohn's/ostomy experience; this opportunity is one we feel undeserving of but deeply grateful for.

We will share all publications when they become available but for now here are pictures of the truly unmatchable trip...

Husband pre-dinner enjoying the 80 F weather and lush, green scenery

Hey!  We had a delicious dinner Sunday night-pecan crusted trout for me and a meaty lasagna for Ryan.  The next night we are at Luck 32, an upscale south comfort food restaurant.  I literally gained 30 lbs.

This is SUCH a fun picture to share.  I feel like it looks so 20/20 ish :)  I won't say I hate being on camera...but I also haven't seen the footage and hearing my own voice on camera is always awkward.  Anyone else?

Doing his thing.  He shared with such sincerity and transparency.  He is so great!

Slightly blurry but I had to document this breakfast to remember.  It was complimentary but was one of the best breakfasts we've ever had.  Homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, hashbrowns, bacon, eggs, fruit and more.  I want to be southern.

The O Henry Hotel was hands down one of our best hotel experiences ever.  It's comparable to The Brown Palace if you are from Colorado.  So dang classy.

All the regional winners representing!  Their stories are insane.  Some were in comas, some have two ostomies, some document nearly 30 surgeries...but they are all thriving now! From L to R:  Jearlean, Ryan, Stephanie, Rolf, and Amy

After filming at the hotel we went to the Convatec plant.  This is the sponsoring comeback behind the Great Comebacks organization as well as a ostomy and wound medical supplier.  This was their hall of ostomy equipment--the old technology was so ghetto!

More filming...

Ryan and Jearlean.  She is so warm and kind.  She models and runs a website called OstoBeauties.  So inspiring!

Ryan and I in the factory before his tour and more time on camera.

I wish my description could capture more of the moments and experience this weekend.  We were smiling ear to ear all weekend for the purpose, redemption, and unique opportunity we were in the midst of.  

From the suffering of 2012 to the jet-setting adventures of husband is overcoming and is rocking life out hard.

The Lord is overwhelmingly good.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Colossians 4:5


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