Sunday, June 26, 2016

Camping Trip & Other Randomosity

Like my last post mentioned, our camping trip last week was a total disaster!  Poor Gideon was ended up getting sick and looking back I totally understand why he was so fussy and clingy.  Maybe we will try again this summer for another trip.  When we are all healthy!

Between Friday night and Saturday afternoon we did get to eat delicious chili, s'mores, enjoyed the campfire and fresh air and lots of nice family time!

Ryan and George, his dad, putting up our tent.  Gideon had a death stare on his beloved apple

The Go Pod is a great camping friendly "bouncer" for kiddos who aren't walking but want to part of the social scene camping

Sweet Giddy Lou

Family shot

Ylo with some over her many grandkids. This is in the pop up camper that Ryan renovated a few years ago.  He put in hardwood floors, painted it, and really spruced it up.

Henry liked the dirt!!  Every child on this trip was a different shade of dirty.  They were filthy and hilarious.

These are just a few pics of life lately.  I've said not about 500 times that Gideon was sick--but with what?  Turns out he had double pink eye and double ear infection.  Top that off with a non-stop runny nose and a cough that made him lose his "voice".  So now he just cries a husky little whisper cry :(  His voice is coming back but it was PITIFUL.

But since he's been feeling better the last few days we have been trying to see more family, mainly Grandmas who were needing a Gid-fix.

Ylo found us this AMAZING brand new hiking backpack at a garage sale.  Gideon thinks he is hot stuff in it and we even used it last night on our daily after dinner walk

Grandma and Gideon talking about something important

Grammy and Gideon doing more talking.  This child has his Grandmas wrapped his little finger :)

Daddy and Gideon!  Look at that wild red hair.  It's got curl now so it sticks up in all directions post nap

We hope you have a fun summer-y week--can't believe it's the last week of June already! 

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:17

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ryan's 1st Father's Day

We suck at camping.  


The last THREE trips have been disasters.  Two years ago in the the fall I had the worst, worst migraine of life so Ryan packed us up at 5:00 am and I barfed the whole way home.  Lat summer we went with the whole Decker family and it rained the. whole. time.  

So it was cold and wet and no fire :(

Then this last weekend we got up to the spot with Ry's family, were enjoying the trip and then unbeknownst to us, Gid started getting mega sick.  We thought he was just not adjusting well but after a horrible night's sleep and barely a nap, he ran hot all morning and was so unhappy and fussy.  My mama instincts were BLARING so we packed up in the afternoon and got home just in time.

Just in time for his temp to spike to 103 and for him to barf all evening.  Then he woke up with pink eye.

This relates to Father's Day, bare with me.

We had planned for Ryan to get to celebrate his first Father's Day up in the mountains (his favorite) with some of his favorite people (his family) eating delicious camping food.

Instead we were home with a poor sick little one.

So we spent Father's Day helping Gid get better but we did try to rejuvenate the day with a fancy dinner.

We grilled NY strip, shrimp, garlic bread, and had a big colorful salad.  I served it with our favorite red wine and we had these vintage-y ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  We ate on the back porch while music played and we enjoyed the heat, the family time, and the simple celebration of the most amazing man.

This whole disaster pretty much exemplifies why Ryan is the best daddy.  In the midst of a weekend that should have been about him, he was instead serving and loving his family.  

Packing up and leaving a trip early because it's better for his son.

Leading his family to get home to safety because he is a wise, strong leader.

Being gentle and kind to his sick son and exhausted wife.

Ryan is so wonderful because when he could have been disappointed and sulky, instead he was soaking up the gifts that Jesus has put in his life and absolutely overflowing with thankfulness! He told me as we ate dinner that there is nowhere else in the world that he would rather be than here with his family. 


I am so inspired by Ryan's parenting skills and especially how he thrives at being a father.  He is so open, honest, loyal, caring, encouraging, humble, Jesus-seeking, and kind.  He wouldn't say he's a perfect dad but I would say he's as close as it gets.

Happy Father's Day to the most wonderful dad to Gideon who loves his family entirely and binds us together with leadership and love.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 
Deuteronomy 6:6-8

Monday, June 20, 2016

Healthy No Bake Granola Bars

It has been YEARS since I posted a recipe on the blog!  I have actually posted this recipe before but this time it's vegan (if you sub honey with more sugar), no bake, and much faster.  Some modifications were needed now that Gideon is in the picture because this mama does not have time to pre-heat ovens and cut out wax paper.

So here is the simplest, tastiest granola bar recipe you'll ever meet!  And super fast too-about 15 minutes total for everything.

Healthy No Bake Granola Bars

2 c oats
1/4 c flax seed
3/4 c seed of choice (pumpkin, sunflower)
3/4 nut of choice (we prefer walnuts)
3 T coconut oil
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c honey
2 t almond or vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
1/2 c dried fruit (cranberries for us!)
1/2 c shredded coconut

Prepare an 11 X 13 inch glass pan, greasing with coconut oil.  Set aside.

Combine oats, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, and nuts into a large pan.  Toast all ingredients on high heat, stirring frequently--once things start toasting it happens quickly and you don't want it burned.

Once golden brown remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl.

Combine all wet ingredients plus salt into a small pot and bring to a simmer.  Stir well combining and to prevent burning.  Once simmering, remove from heat and pour over the oat mixture in your mixing bowl.  Mix wet and dry ingredients together well adding in the dried fruit and coconut.

Once combined, pour the mixture into the prepared glass pan, spreading and pressing everything down evenly.  Allow to cool and cover with saran wrap.  Once cooled you can slice into bars.

We serve ours with plain yogurt on top or crumble a bar and pour coconut/almond milk over in a bowl.  I like this recipe because can load them up as much as you like with different ingredients and vary it to what's in your pantry or to your taste preferences!

I've made these bars twice in the last week and know this recipe is here to stay for the summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Gideon 10 Month Update

Age: 10 months old!

This is absolutely the month where we have had the best front row seats to seeing this child discover the world around him and figure out what a big kid he is.  Now that is officially crawling and puling up to stand he thinks he is some hot stuff!

We are seeing more of Gideon's personality tendencies, preferences, likes, dislikes, and more of his uniqueness.  He is the absolute best and no doubt about it, the last 4 weeks have been the most fun, fast-paced, on-the-go that we have had so far with our peanut.

Weight: 21 lbs  He has plateaued the last few months but he's still on his own growth curve so his pediatrician is happy

Length: 28.5 inches

Sizes (diapers, onesies):  Size 4 diapers, 12-18 month everything else

Eyes:  Blue and I think this is their permanent color.  More people comment on his eyes (the only rival is his hair) and always schwoon over those big dreamy eyes

Hair: He has so much red hair!  It's getting curly in the back which is beyond adorable.  It's getting long over his ears but it curly-q's out which is absolutely precious  Once it gets too long I will snip it a little so he doesn't look scraggaly.

Sleeping:  I am SO proud of my little love in this department.  He is a champion sleeper.  I could set a watch to his sleep schedule he's so darn predicable.  He is asleep by about 7:15 pm and then I dream feed him at 10:00 pm.  He will sleep solidly until 5:00 am and I nurse him at that time.  He's back to bed until 6:30 or 7:00 am

His naps are the greatest gift to my sanity and energy levels.  His naps are from 9:00-10:30 am and then again from 1:30-3:00 pm  I PRAISE JESUS FOR NAPS!!

Eating: While this little one tries an abudance of new foods and is exposed to healthy wholesome food at every single meal and snack...he still prefers nursing.  He will eat a bite or two the last few weeks but his main nutrition is breastmilk. He drinks water from a sippy cup and likes when we feed him purees or if he's in the mood will feed himself  bite or two.  He's realized we are more efficient at feeding him so really likes if we do it for him.

He nurses about 5-7 times per day and has solids in between at usual meal times.  This month he had tried many new foods: peanut butter, almond butter (eats this by the spoonful), prunes, pork chop, cottage cheese, pancake, tofu, ground beef, toast, strawberry, puffed rice bar, celery stick, coconut milk.  I have found that dairy gives him bad diaper rash so we are sticking to coconut products for now.

Aaaaaand the naughty foods that he adores: french fries, donut, and whipped cream.  We are winning at parenting.

Milestones:  He is crawling!  And he is so proud of himself.  He loves to have a toy to pursue, thinks it's hilarious to chase balloons, and crawls everywhere. He mimics so much whether sounds like clicking your tongue or saying "ma-ma".  He is also pulling up to stand, goes from crawling to sitting to crawling again.  He has his two top teeth for a total of 4 teeth.

He is battling his first bought of pink eye this week and is being so brave.  He is also responding positively to the "discipline" we are implementing (usually in relation to biting or crawling toward an electric outlet) and it's astounding to watch him because he does understand.  He usually gets a stern "no" and we explain to him why he can't do what he's doing and what we want different.  I know some people think that's silly since he's so young but we have a well behaved and responsive little one who is smarter than we can even imagine!!

Memorable outings:  Camping was memorable in that it was really not that fun ha!  He was getting sick on our camp trip which we didn't know about until he was kind of going down hill so he slept terribly, was fussy and clingy and generally unhappy while we were in the mountains.  I think if it weren't for coming down with pink eye and a cold that he would have had a blast!

Favorite toys/activities:  Gideon loves the library toys and the train table with magnetic trains.  He loves trucks, magnetic boards, clapping two toys together, his musical instruments, books (oh how he loves his books!) and his stuffed dog we named, Blue.  He loves anything that opens or closes and anything shiny.  We can build block towers and big legos for an hour and wooden puzzles with handles are also a favorite.

He adores getting out to the library to play with friends, anytime he gets with cousins, bath time with dad, and when someone comes to get him from his naps.  He smiles like he hasn't seen us in weeks ha! Lately when he nurses he has been hooking his little chunky leg into the crook of my arm.  He is so comfy like that!

Words/sounds:  No words but lots of babbling, singing to himself, and sounding out different letters that he hears us saying

Nicknames:   His newest one this month is Lou Lee.  
Lou, Little Love, Giddy Con Queso (from daddy), Giddy Lou Who (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Puff (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Face (from Maggie), Giddy Pantz (from Maggie)
The usuals...Giddy Bear, Giddy Up, Gid, Giddy, Itty Giddy Titty Monster with the tiny hiney, G (from Uncle Clint), Mister, Man Cub

Funny moments: Hmmm I was not good this month at writing down something as it made us laugh but we absolutely laugh at this child ALL THE TIME!  He loves to make us laugh whether with shaking his head or making silly noises.  There has been more laughter in our home the last few weeks than ever before thanks to Gideon Decker.

Looking forward to:  We go on our first big family vacation this week to the beach and a lake in Texas.  I'm looking forward to the time away and for Gid to feel the sand between his chubby yummy toes.  Please pray for our plane ride! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gratitude In Summer

Summer!  This season is such a sweet spot.  Here are a few things that fill me with gratitude about this season...

long days
evenings that hold onto the daylight for as long as possible
the most comforting sound of a fan whirling at night
warm evening walks
the earthy taste of hose water
the smell of sprinklers
a lawn mower firing up
neighbors out
vacation planning
packing a cooler for a camp trip
flames jumping in the firepit at night
glasses of wine on the backporch
string lights lit up at night
baby shorts and muscle shirts
doodles wrestling in freshly cut grass
the smell of veggies and meat roasting on a grill
fresh vegetables off the vine
cloth diapers drying in the hot sun
colorful fruit salads
the quaintness of a farmer's market
weekend hikes
staying up late
movies in the park
walks to the donut shop
playdates with auntie and cousin
the relief of walking into a cold house
icy mason jars of water
music playing
summer reading at the library
applying sunscreen
piles of books waiting to be read
fresh pots of coffee in the cool early mornings
adventures around town
Gideon peacefully napping in his dark nursery in only a diaper
slicing into a juicy watermelon
re-wearing the same shorts to avoid laundry
quilts shady patches of grass to relax on

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Coloassian 4:2

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ryan's 30th Birthday Party

These are the only pictures captured of Ryan's party last Saturday!  On the one hand I like hosting events where I'm not missing the people and celebration because I'm attempting to capture it all on my phone.  But on the other hand I'm sad when I didn't get more pictures of it all.

What the pictures don't show is about 50 people showing up to SHOWER Ryan Decker with love and birthday joy.  He is so well loved and I was tremendously thankful for everyone who set aside a busy summer Saturday to come over and be with us.

Ryan is 30!!!!!

This had to be a big party to celebrate big.  It was originally intended to be a surprise party but Ryan accidentally found out about it and it worked out for the best anyway.

We had a huge taco/nacho bar that was easy and delicious.  The most labor intensive was grilling up 20 lbs of chicken but from start to finish enough food for 50 people was prepared in 2 hours.  Not bad!  My mom and sister put in SO much effort to also make the party possible. It would not have happened without their generosity.

We had music blasting, cold drinks, a yummy spread of food, and many of our favorite people in one spot.  Such a gift!

We put up our outdoor curtains on the back patio again this year.  I LOVE them and it makes that area so much cooler and enjoyable in the hot afternoons

Everyone singing Happy Birthday to Ryan.  He requested apple pies and ice cream.  Also, he looks like a politician on the right haha

Our little family.  Ryan tells me every day how much he loves his redheads HA! Gideon is so dang cute.

On Ryan's actual birthday I had him open up a 20+ page book I put together.  People from all pockets of his life wrote memories, strengths, things they appreciate about him, and more.  I compiled it all and gave it to him his birthday morning.

The most frequent themes that people wrote about were that "he was one of their favorite people", he is a great encourager, his faith in trials has inspired them, and how funny he is.  I absolutely second all those attributes!

I'm so thankful for this man and what an incredible husband and father he is.  It's obvious how well he lives his life when dozens and dozens of people show up to celebrate him and can fill page after page of kind things to say about him.

Happy 30th my love!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy 6 Year Annivesrary to Us!

Wow today we celebrate 6 years being married!!  My gratitude to Jesus for bringing Ryan and I together is truly indescribable.

Ryan and I first met at a root beer kegger in the fall of 2008; little did I know the adventures and amazing life that awaited us!! 

We have experienced the most intense joys and adventures and also some of the lowest of lows together.  I praise the Lord for both equally because each has molded, matured, and grown us in important ways.

When I was reflecting on the lsat 6 years there were so many memories flooding back and I was astounded to really record what we have accomplished alongside each other and truly because of God's grace in our lives.  Over the past years we have experienced...

Traveling to 11 countries together
1 international move to the Middle East
Earned 3 degrees while married (4 total between us)
Bought 2 homes
Adopted 2 silly goldendoodles
Endured 10 surgeries and countless doctor's appointments and hospitlaizations
Best of all...created 1 miraulous, perfect, hilarious, adventerous little human--GIDEON!

I hope our next 6 years are even more full and life-giving, that we trust the Lord with more, we see greater growth in our ambitions and family, and reflect back with the increased gratitude and praise.

The song we danced to at our wedding back in 2010 on that rainy June day was "Better Together" by Jack Johnson.  We are truly better together than apart.  And we are praising Jesus for that!

Happy 6 Year Anniversary to my favorite husband, Ryan John Decker

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Mark 10:6-9


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