Monday, June 30, 2014

Paying Attention

First things first, we need your help.  We have connected with two new friends, Kenny and Sarah, via Colorado Ostomy (previously, Reaching For Fringe) and they are in desperate need.

Kenny is battling currently undiagnosed GI issues, but signs certainly point towards a violent autoimmune problem.  Kenny is scheduled for more surgeries in the coming weeks, including the placement of an colostomy YESTERDAY!

They have both been forced to stop working as Kenny receives 24/7 hospitalized care and he requires the full support from Sarah, his sweet wife, as he is so desperately ill. Not only that, but they are hours and miles from their home and community.

As neither Kenny or Sarah can work as they are so far from home a Give Forward account has been set up to assist in this time of crisis.  Would you consider reading about their journey here and supporting this amazing couple as you see fit?  We have grown to know these two over the last month and hope you will help lift them up as we remember the nearly identical situation Ryan and I faced ourselves just 2 years ago.


Sarah and I have been in conversation the last few weeks about all that has happened to them.  In an e-mail this morning I shared with her this verse that was brought to my attention in my morning quiet time...

The Lord opened her heart to pay attention...
Acts 16:14

This little blurb of scripture caused me to think about how I want to be leaning into difficult situations.  The obedience and relationship between Lydia (the woman being described in Acts 16) and her God is so intimate.  

She was available to the heart opening and it took unhindered faith to pay attention to what God was showing her and what she was to learn.

Active faith and the allowance of a God-movement in her midst, like Lydia, is what encourages me this morning...

Neat!

In other news my man went rock climbing on Saturday for Matt's bachelor party.  Ryan made a big group of guys delicious, filling breakfast and they all ventured off into the mountains of Golden to rock climb.  They had a blast!

Ryan getting his climb on!  How legit does he look up there??

A good group of men!

And yesterday we were happily surprised by one short little blonde vegetarian making her way up to see us.  The one and only, Rilyn Grace!

Ryan's parents were coming up anyway for a visit so this little niece came too.  Ryan and his dad are flipping an old 1973 apache camper.  It's dirty, hard work but dang these two are smart and figured out gear boxes, lift systems and more.  I've just been assigned to very "hard work" of making it look pretty inside.

Done!  And I like this as inspiration...


While the boys worked on the camper, Rilyn stayed cool in the sprinklers, playing in Grumples' and Poppy's pool, and chomping on blueberries.  I put her in my swim shirt and she played happily for hours.

I was laughing at how Rilyn and Grumples would argue over toys and then make up and chase each other and then start at it again.  It was seriously the funniest-I felt like I had two siblings on my hands!

Here is the BEST quote of the night...

"Poppy is a knucklehead.  Her sure am!"
-Rilyn

Ha!!


Here is Rilyn staying cool and getting soaked...

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Happy last day of June 2014, people!  We hope your week is full of attention to God's voice and the undeniable movements of his Spirit.

Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
    and the ears of those who hear will give attention.

Isaiah 32:3

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In Between

In between travels, work, school, and raising new puppies we've been up to a lot of fun things somewhere in the middle!

Ryan has been playing in his ultimate frisbee league every Tuesday night and just LOVES it!  He says it is one of his favorite sports activities (probably 2nd to mountain biking).  The dude runs like 8 miles a game just back and forth up and down the field.

I love this sport because it's no contact but it requires a lot of running, timing, skilled throwing, and team work.  My wife nervousness would sneak up a bit about his exposed stoma if someone was tackling him every 5 minutes.


Grumps and Poppy and I pack dinner, chairs, tennis balls and lots of water to keep hydrated.  My mom met us at the fields last night and we all enjoyed watching Ry play.

I am SO proud of the way Ryan stays active and healthy.  It's so fulfilling and encouraging to see his ostomy not holding him back, but only enhancing his life.  We love to encourage all the people we meet and talk to through the ostomy/Crohn's world that you CAN still live an active life post-surgery.

I know I've said this before, but it will never grow old for us: take advantage of your health, people!  We have more energy and are more active now than I think we ever have been in our lives.

The blessing of health, activity, pouring out into ministries, people, and work is the light of our life.  We pray that if you are healthy you take full opportunity to avoid the couch and TV like the plague.  If you are not well in this season, (as many of our readers are not) we will be praying continued restoration and recovery.  

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body

    and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:7-8
Ryan is the one throwing the frisbee right there in the center

How gorgeous were these clouds??

 
My babies!  Grumps ever photogenic and sweet baby Poppy napping.  She got her 10 week shots yesterday and was a little wiped out last night.

A few weeks ago I hosted a lingerie party for my sweet friend Katie.  Ryan is bachelor partying it up with Matt, her fiance, this weekend!  We love the future Bolts!

It is SO much fun to host different events to celebrate life's big events and I loved the way this one turned out...

 
We had lemon bars, caramel turtle cookies, fresh fruit and sparkling clementine floats-yum!  In the water server I put fresh organic mint from our garden, sliced cucumbers and lemon with ice.  Fancy and easy!

I've seen the underwear garland on Pinterest before and really like how cute it looked.  That was such a simple decoration.  Guests filled out date ideas for the couple and self addressed envelopes for thank you's.  I forgot to take a picture but on the chalkboard fridge I had a "How Well Do you Know the Bride" game where we guessed answers to questions about Katie

The bride-to-be! 

I am off school until the second week of July which feels SO restful and nice.  This morning I woke up and hopped on my bike for a 4 mile ride.  Love having time for that!

It's so refreshing to garden, bike, do yoga, meet up for coffee dates, read, and rest after such a full quarter.  It ended very, very well but man do I appreciate a break.  My 4th quarter starts up soon where I'll be in Mental Health and Med/Surg II plus clinicals.  Both intense classes that I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might...

Ecclesiastes 9:10

We have some small projects here and there that we'll be finishing this week like landscaping final touches, painting the deck, painting our front/back doors and some purging to clear any clutter.

Summer is here and we are loving every second of it!

The view we enjoy on runs and walks each night.  Gorgeous!

For nothing will be impossible with God.

Luke 1:37

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ryan Decker's Great Comebacks Video

Here it is!  A wonderful compilation of Ryan's story, beautifully put together and a clear representation of his journey.

We can't cry without watching it.  It is an absolute honor to have this video now to share our story.

Enjoy!

video

Also, here is the video compiling all of the regional winners stories.  Such strength and resilience in these amazing people we have grown to know and love.

video

Great Comebacks 2014-Nashville

We just returned from the ultimate weekend getaway!  A trip honoring the recovery Ryan made from the nightmare that was 2012.  His healthy, thriving, and holistic comeback into life with an ostomy and Crohn's diagnosis was recognized and awarded by the international organization, Great Comebacks.

As we went to bed last night in our own home, we prayed and thanked the Lord for the healing this program has brought us, the connections, the relationships, the purpose, and the blessing.

From Salt Lake City, UT to Greensboro, NC and now to Nashville, TN we have been SPOILED!

They put us up in the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville which pretty much rocked our socks off.  We ate phenomenal food, enjoyed the music and loud nightlife of downtown and enjoyed the weekend's agenda.


Of course, here is a shirtless picture of my hunky husband about to enjoy his room service :)


This dude LOVES surprsies and he got a gift basket delivered to his room with southern candies and treats.  He pretty much lived in this bathrobe.


Can you read the screen in the picture below?  This is a shot of our TV when we checked into our room-a personal greeting for Ryan.


Friday night we came together as a group, Rolf (the founder), Walt (last year's National winner) and his wife, the trip organizers, all the regional winners, and our families/guests.  We were stuffed at Bob's Chophouse with delicious food and a wonderful night of sharing stories and catching up.

Saturday afternoon we did some filming for an video that will be used for Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse encouragement and patient support.  They asked us about our story, Ryan's ostomy experience, marriage and more.  

Really fun!  It's esepcially a gift to encourage young men and women that they CAN date, be married, enjoy intimacy, etc with an ostomy.  We probably overshared...meh!  Then Ryan did a dress reherasal for the evening's events while I recharged in the hotel room.



Saturday night was the BIG event hosted at the famous Wild Horse Saloon.  Over 580 nurses showed up for the Great Comebacks dinner (our event is hosted in conjunction with a WOCN national conference).  We mingled with nurses to say thank you, they awarded nursing accomplishments and then the main event...

The videos recorded in North Carolina were shown one by one.  It was so moving and very emotional!  They turned out SO well!  I will post that ASAP as it is a large file and takes forever to upload.

Each Regional winner was honored and celebrated, just as they should be for all they have endured to survive and now LIVE.  Here are a few pictures from the night:

The stage was beautifully set

From L to R: Walt (last year's National Winner), Amy, Joe, Jearlean, Stephanie, Ryan, and Rolf (the founder)

 
We SO enjoyed the evening-delicious food, incredible company, and a very humbling and honoring night for Ryan's journey

The saloon was enormous and filled from top to bottom with nurses, ostomates, and a desire to celebrate the comebacks these individuals have made.

Our dear and beautiful friend, Jearlean Taylor was awarded the National Great Comebacks Award.  We are SO proud of her!  She is a model, CEO of the modeling agency she founded, author, and inspiration to us.  We could not have been happier for her!



I cannot put into words how beautiful our Great Comebacks experience has been.  The heart behind Convatec and Great Comebacks to invest into ostomates is so sincerely moving.  What global, billion dollar company cares about the lives and stories of the people who use their products??

Having a chronic illness and ostomy is such a big deal.  To live fully and without fear and obstacle is certainly something to celebrate; we are grateful for a company and program that sees to it nothing in life is impossible.

We are so expectant of how God will use this new chapter and award to expand his Kingdom.  It's a platform of responsibility we will take on gladly and with a deep desire to share the gospel where it might not have been taken before.  Our ultimate life comes from Jesus, and that hope combined with the hope Great Comebacks highlights is a powerhouse for life change!

Friday, June 13, 2014

4 Year Anniversary

Happy 4 Year Anniversary to my favorite husband!

June 13 2010 was actually very rainy.  But everyone told us this was good luck :)

We had an outdoor wedding planned but it was super simple to move everything inside and we had a gorgeous indoor ceremony instead with big windows, rain hitting the roof, and all 275 of our favorite people gathered together.

It was the most perfect day.


It did stop raining for about 30 minutes so we could get some good pictures!  Thank you Jesus!  We danced, kissed, posed, and had a blast.

I am SO blessed to look back at these photos every year and just rejoice over the good gift God gave me in Ryan John Decker.  Our wedding day was the absolutely the most joyful day of my life.


Four years has taught us about commitment, humility, desperate need for Jesus, selfishness, sin, gratitude, love, fun, and absolute lifelong friendship.

Marriage is a wild, wild ride and I am so grateful to walk through life with this studly man of God.  Here's to 44 more, my love!

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness kiss each other.

Psalm 85:10

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Donut Pyramid

To finish out Ryan's birthday week we spent a wonderful evening with my parents.  We ate at Ryan's favorite, Hacienda, and feasted on fresh salsa, fish tacos and chicken chimichangas.

Then he opened presents and got wide-eyed over his birthday donut cake.

That's what he asked for!! Not birthday cake, not ice cream cake, not pie...a donut cake.  He's wild for donuts.

 


Below are my raspberry bushes!

It's such a fun thing to walk out to the garden every morning and see what happened overnight. 

 There are always taller plants, bigger leaves, or new buds.  Right now I have raspberries sprouting, a lone roma tomato ripening, and pumpkin leaves spreading.


And some [seeds] fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear."...Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Luke 8:8 & 11

Every time I'm out weeding or picking something from the garden I think of these two verses.  Whatever I plant in the soil out back WILL grow.  I choose what to put there, how much water to give it, how much time to spend on it, and how I will care for it.

Our hearts are such an amazing parallel to this.  I choose what is seeded in my heart.  If I plant the truth of the Word of God it will flourish...but so easily too could bitterness, lies, or something ugly take root and grow.

Man, oh man, do I want a heart that is fertile ground for what Jesus teaches and to diligently prune out the fruit of my flesh.  I want to see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control growing instead.

So anyway, gardens for President!

Also, here are some pictures of my black fur babies. Swoon!


And here is my mom with her new baby granddog giving her all the snuggles she can handle!  My mom is SOOOO sweet to our pups-she already bought them chew toys, treats, and a little dog collar tag.

They have hard lives.


Have a great weekend and thanks for reading here!

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery

Galatains 5:1

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life in June

First of all...(long post alert!)

Yesterday was Ryan Decker's 28th birthday!!  We celebrated with his favorites: the new X men movie, popcorn + reese's pieces, and Chipotle.  Not to mention he woke up to Chick Fil A and his work bought him an ice cream cake.  Spoiled!

It is so fun to celebrate Ryan strong and healthy and we have dubbed his 28th year, "the year of strength"...

The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. 

Habakkuk 3:19

 So anyway, since my last post was a month ago it's pretty obvious blogging is not a top priority these days.  But I'd love to give a little update so here is what's up with us in June...

To start, we adopted a sweet baby girl goldendoodle last week!  Her name is Poppy and she is a rolly polly sweet ball of black fuzz.  She is super mellow beyond all belief but LOVES to egg on her brother when they wrestle and then come crying to Ryan or I to "rescue her".  

She is from Grumples exact same parents so they are truly siblings.  We just her love to pieces and she has added such a fun new dynamic to our home.  And can we just vote that 2 dogs are easier than 1!!  They entertain each other and are such fun.

Although having a 9 month old and a 7 week old is an insanely wild ride!

The only sad part about solid black dogs is how badly they photograph!

Ryan with the fur babies and myself with baby girl.  She is so yummy I could just eat her up!

Also we (along with the help of Matt and Katie of course) put in sod last week to FINALLY finish our backyard.  

If you remember, our backyard was so terrible when we moved in 2.5 years ago.  It was weeds, dirt, a 40 foot long shed, and just trash everywhere.

BEFORE:


That awful shed getting moved out of our yard-how sketch does this look??

And now here is the yard today!  Green, friendly, cute little chicken coop and a flourishing garden.  Yes!  We hosted a birthday party for Ryan Saturday night and were so blessed to have a yard for all of our friend's kids, and the pups to run around on.

AFTER:


We're gardening which I just did not think I would have the time for this summer.  But I did and I am so glad I went ahead and planted.  

We've got 9 (yes, nine) pumpkin plants, sweet potatoes, tomato, onion, blackberry, raspberry, lettuce, cilantro, rosemary, and mint.  

I forgot to do basil this year which really makes me sad because we eat homemade pesto in the summer like it's going out of style.  We froze pesto for the winter and that was a sheer stroke of genius!



School for me is wrapping up really nicely.  I was told over and over again that nursing school is the hardest thing I would ever do...and I just have to disagree a bit.

While it's a balancing act and the material is so deeply complex, I think it's manageable with the right priorities and goals.  It's important to me that I do well, but it's more important that Ryan sees me close up the textbooks when he walks in the door or leave weekends study free if possible.

Anyway, while my brain has stuffed in more information than I could ever imagine this quarter about cancer and cardiac and GI issues and patient care and medicines and IV's...it's such a content feeling of "this is difficult but doable".

I just love it!!!  Obviously :) 

 I also am leaving my home healthcare position as a CNA this week to pursue hospital jobs.  It's bittersweet because I've been there for 1.5 years but it's time to grow. I've interviewed at both Children's Hospital for the Med/Surg floor and Exempla for the ICU.  Both would be fantastic opportunities and stepping stones into future nursing jobs.  

Pray!

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps

Provers 16:9

Finally here are some pictures of two of my favorite men...they have been really wooing me lately...

Baby nephew Sawyer and baby nephew Xander.  I can't even talk about their cuteness.

Our coming week includes lots of meetings and work for Ryan as well as starting his summer ultimate frisbee league.  He LOVES it and stays in great shape playing.  Plus the dogs and I love to pack a blanket and watch him dominate.

For me there is finals the next two weeks and a lingerie shower I get to host!  

We have a delicious Father's Day brunch this weekend (think overnight blueberry cream cheese french toast) and probably a lot of time at the park and walking the pooches.

We've been walking in such gratitude and health the last few weeks (minus Ryan's random Haitian parasite) and for that we are overwhelmingly grateful.  

Summer life 2014 is good!

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1

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