Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Man Works!

In case you didn't realize yet, it seems Ryan is making up for lost time!

In just a few months time after his SEVENTH surgery he has accomplished...

1) landscaping almost 50% of our property!
2) successfully had a shed craned out of our yard (which involved soooo much work for Ryan than the pictures let on ie: tearing down a fence to make room for the crane, replacing an entire fence, trimming a 40 foot tree etc...)
3) received a promotion at work
4)  preparing for work related international travels
5) being a stud

...and the list could seriously go on and on and on!

One of the projects for landscaping includes dealing with the waste land that we call a backyard.  It is filled with trash, buried cement blocks, all the rocks of the universe, and uneven craziness.  Basically it's not easy to work with.  

But so far we've put in a chicken coop, a section of grass, three garden beds, and have more plans for grass, trees, and shrubs.  As well as a paver patio with fire pit and potential volleyball net :)

It's our desire that our home would be a place people are blessed; for hosting, opening our home to those new in the country, inviting family into, and loving neighbors.  Making our backyard a refuge is so much fun and we hope blesses the socks off of others in some small way.  

Plus who doesn't like a dang cool backyard??  We hope our future Decker kids will want to hang out there all the time too.  (Sorry mom, no, we're not pregnant.)

Anway, here is the before, during and after of our latest project around the coop and garden beds as we dive head first into making our house a restful sanctuary...

Before:
Lots of weeds, the cursed shed, and basic ugliness all around

During:
We had to install a metal divider in the ground which you can't see (hard work!), tilled the entire area to even it all out, and then laid weed barrier everywhere.  On the left side of the barrier will be more grass one day.

After: 
Finished!  Now we have a beautiful red mulch area to compliment the chicken coop and brighten up our space.  P.S.  Aren't you loving that classy green fence around our gardens?  We have to keep those chickens out until I figure out a classier solution...

Hi!  Just a quick shot of the hard working husband and less hardworking wife who cheers from the sidelines during breaks

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday everyone.  We think you're cool for reading this blog and caring about silly things like our landscaping :)

I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things

Isaiah 45:7

Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Little Basketball Star

This awesome video was in our inbox this morning.  How can one tiny little person be SOO cute??

I love how she says thank you.  "Tay tay!  Tay tay!"  UGH she is killing my heart with her adorableness.  We love our niece and nephew to pieces, people!  


In other news, Ryan is looking forward to an adventurous project for work soon which we'll share about when we can.  He is so cool!  

I have refried brains at the moment after a 3.5 hours entrance exam on Wednesday and 2 hour test yesterday on the respiratory/immune/lymph systems.  Thank you Jesus for a working brain and lots of coffee that morning!

Have the greatest weekend everyone! What are you all up to?  We have landscaping (the never-ending story of our life) in our future, an extra shift of work for me, and a friend's birthday party.  Relaxing and full; the way a weekend should be.

 I'm sure I'll be back with more thoughts tomorrow... 

 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 

2 Corinthians 9:8

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Passed and Officially Accepted!

THANK YOU so much for praying everyone!  I was officially accepted to Nursing School after passing my entrance exam today!


I cannot even begin to tell you how much I was helped by them and felt every single prayer.  

I needed those prayers.  Seriously, Ryan can attest.  A terrible habit of mine is stressing out the night before anything important. It's so pointless but I always get riled up.  UGH.  It takes me forever to fall asleep, I dream about the upcoming event all night and wake up no fewer than 35 times.  I'm a hot mess!  

However once I got to campus this morning I was calm, collected, and feeling ready.  Like Philippians 4:7 says, I truly had a peace that surpassed all understanding!  Amen because I was a hot mess on my own.

On another note if this was my Academy Awards acceptance speech I would give a shout out to Ryan Decker.  My sweet, dedicated, and supportive husband helped me study until 10:00 pm last night (and the weeks before) and rooted me on all morning!  Thanks Love. 

How did I snag this ridiculously legit man?  The Lord, that's how.

So the test took about 3.5 hours, covering everything from basic math to more complex problems and even reading comprehension and grammar.  What the heck is a predicate adjective and participle anyway?

  The test is a good way for the school to determine that we aren't dummies and have the very basics covered.  This test coupled with all all the science pre-reqs, 10 panel drug screen, immunizations, a physical, and promise to pay then LOTS of money over the next 2 years = ACCEPTANCE!

Post-test I signed my Admissions agreement, got fitted for my Scrubs, and had my picture taken for my school I.D.  I felt the commitment ramping and I really likey.

In just 96 days I'm officially start Nursing School.  It's been so fun to initially share this dream as it was just blossoming, all the steps along the way, and now getting to see it come to fruition.

The Lord is so beyond good to put this calling in our lives and entrust us to carry it out to completion.  Feeling very blessed and thankful...and truly undeserving today.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Prayers for Nursing School Exam?

Hi!

You guys there are crazy good things brewing tomorrow!  My Nursing School entrance exam!!  The scary-ish part of sharing that I'm taking a determinative, important exam is if I (*cough*) fail...

NOOOOO!!

This test does afterall determine whether or not I get into the school.  So the stakes are a bit high.  Well technically, I suppose the Lord determines whether or not I get into school since He's sovereign and all but that is another post for another time...

Anyway, at this point I feel excited and fairly prepared.   I am trusting the Lord with all my heart and not leaning on my understanding or ability because I'm not able.  I'm just not.  God alone will make my brain capable, focused, and clear for this test.

I am blogging about it so you can pray if you would for calm, confidence, and a working mind to comprehend all that is given to me on that test!

Whether I'm a nurse or not, my goal in life is to love the heck out of Jesus.  But I would be super jazzed to do that as an RN so I'm hopeful and expectant :)

Updates to come!

In all your ways acknowledge him,
 and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes...

Proverbs 3:6-7


Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Beauty of Unscheduled

Sometimes you just need a down weekend without lots of scheduled plans.

Some of the prettiest wildflowers on our walk.  That lavender is so vibrant!  Who knew that color could be so bright?

Like Friday night we had an unscheduled fight!  Party!

Ahem.

Harpo loving his hairy, spoiled life

Other than that we enjoyed unscheduled sleeping in, yoga (just me on that one), a lunch date with my mom, walks, working in the yard, gardening, a trip to the movies with Matt to see World War Z (you should see it!), studying, and late nights of doing nothing.  

And then today we are celebrating George for a belated Father's Day with the Decker tribe!  We're going on a picnic in Sedalia with lots of food, outdoor games, and looking forward to time with everyone.

10/10 score for this weekend.  Good work everyone.

The chickens are free ranging.  They do really well out of their coop and LOVE burrowing in the garden

Look baby raspberries!  How much cuter do you get?

Before picture of zucchini...

After picture of zucchini!  It took exactly 27 days to get this big.  No veggies yet, but hopefully soon.  Oh and no chicken eggs either but we are thinking by the end of this week-weeehoooo!

Oh look, here I am studying on a Saturday night while Ryan landscapes.  Good thing I love this stuff or I would feel like such a dork for spending my weekend night figuring out the immune system

Hope you have stupendous week!

...know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you...

1 Chronicles 28:9

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Refuge


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High  will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A 40 foot Shed Flew Over Our House

This one time we bought a house that needed a complete makeover in every. single. way.

We've remodeled the kitchen, tore down a main wall in the living room, put in new floors house-wide, replaced all the light fixtures, painted every square inch, ripped out a weird hot tub room, patched a huge awkward door in the back of our bedroom, painted the outside, and begun landscaping the weed pit we call a backyard.

The biggest project thus far has to be removing flying a 40 FOOT SHED over our house!  This enormous thing has lived in our backyard taking up our entire property and was unfortunately here when we moved in. 

It is bulky, heavy and stupid.

I'm not bitter.

Anyway we wanted this thing out so we could have a backyard for future Decker babies (I'm not pregnant) and to host fun events!  

So someone bought this huge shed from us off Craigslist (holla!) and this week a crane, a semi-truck, and a bunch of mover guys rocked this thing out of our backyard.

We have space to frollick and live now!  Underneath that shed was a surprisingly big yard that is yearning for some green grass, apple trees, and maybe even a volleyball net.  Who knows!  The backyard is our oyster.

Check out these pictures of the whole enchilada...

First they hookd up some straps under the shed.  Is it just me or do two straps seem HIGHLY under-strapped?!?!  I would hook like 153 straps to that thing

AHHH!!!  Isn't that crazy??  This picture psyches my mind.

Oh perfect.  A 40 foot shed is hanging over our house.  What could go wrong?

Then they loaded it on a big semi and drove away.

The end.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Healing

Just a "praise Jesus my husband' isn't in a Crohn's flare anymore" type of post!   Every single time we enjoy any activity we always say "Remember how you couldn't have ever done this last year?"

We have landscaped, painted, ATV'd, hiked, been to weddings, Ryan has gone to bachelor parties, we walk, attend family gatherings, Ryan travels, bikes, works full time, we move 120 15-lb pavers in an afternoon, we go on dates, host friends, help others with house projects, garden, get chickens, and we live life dang it!

This is such a sweet season and we can't easily forget where we've come from.  Ryan's poor body was atrophied, weak, failing, and barely hanging on this exact time last year.  Now he is muscular, vibrant, feeling good, and has endurance.  

So much has changed and we are grateful.

And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

Acts 3:16

Before he was couch bound and honestly looked pretty rough:

Now he can sit up (ha! a major step) and do some living!

Before he was skin and bones and the skinniest he'd ever been at 144 lbs:

Now he is 185 lbs of muscle and can do fun things like rent a huge ATV:

Before every bone in his body showed and he couldn't sit for longer than about 20 minutes:

Now he goes to restaurants and gets spoiled on his birthday and LIVES:

Before his eyes were tired and defeated, each day a struggle:

Now he looks GOOD and has a restored faith and body:


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!!  

We spent this morning with my parents at the Denver Zoo and out to lunch at Chili's.  It was such a fun morning seeing all the animals, getting our exercise in, and enjoying time together. 

Next Sunday we have plans with the Decker family to celebrate George and are looking forward to that!!

Hope you have all had a great day celebrating the dads in your life!

Ryan and myself.  This time last year we had to skip all Father's Day celebrations from his surgeries

Of course there were gorgeous flowers everywhere

Ryan pretending to be a gorilla

Some hog things that looked pretty nice.  My favorite animal was the baby orangutan but couldn't get a good picture of her.  She was hilarious and so curious

Playing some African drums!

There was an exhibit where you could go into a big area with the parrots.  They were gorgeous and so chirpy

Hi parents!

Friday, June 14, 2013

June Updates

Some life updates to share...

I am obsessed with this article:  Did your spouse marry the "wrong person"?  Better find out by reading this.

The snowball bush out front.  So attractive and fluffy!

Also, I just found this amazing store from another blog I love and have to share.  This is where all my Christmas presents are being bought this year!  Such an amazing ministry, story, and motivation from this company

I scheduled my Nursing School entrance exam!  It's Wednesday June 26th at 8:45.  It should take about 3 hours and passing this test determines whether I attend Denver School of Nursing.  Feeling hopeful, expectant, and unprepared at the moment :)  But that last one can be changed!

I'm feeling a little ansty about the test but have heard enough to think that studying and adequate preparation should make it manageable.  I don't when I'll know if I passed but I'll share as soon as I have news.  Hopefully they won't leave me waiting too long.

Huevos!  She is such a silly little chicken.  They aren't laying yet but should be in about 3 weeks

We "suffered" the 99 degree heat earlier this week with no swamp cooler running.  Ack!  But Ryan got it up and running and now we are basking in cool glory.  #firstworldproblems   Maybe this is so werid but I'll still share... The swamp cooler in our house really reminds me of Ryan's surgeries.  

Weird, no?  

The smell, the sound, everything.  It's like mild PTSD when that thing comes on.  It triggers all my memories of recovery and hard nights and the crisis of last year.

Do you have anything irrational that triggers hard/weird/uncomfortable memories for you?  I think I just remember him being being asleep or recovering post-op so much and it was mid-summer so we had the swamp cooler on all the tme.  

Anywho...I appreciate the swamp cooler but it still weirds me out a little when it comes on.

This guy is a machine!  He landscapes, bikes to work, gets our swamp cooler running, helps other people on their houses, does yardwork, and so much more.  What a stud!

Ryan has been rocking out his new position as Director of Partnerships at Healing Waters.  He recently was promoted to that position and still maintains about half his time working on the Engineering team.  He really has dove in headfirst to DOP without a ton of training and continues to excel and bless the company. 

 Isn't he the best at everything?!

Outside of studying and working we're loving our nights together on the back porch, getting together with friends, and learning more about marriage and doing life as a 3 year married couple.  

What a gift and challenge 1,095+ days of marriage has been!  Our latest season has been full of lessons,  stretching, and learning about each other.  We have so many areas to grow and change but I'm glad to love and do life with my man.

Rachelle and I getting in some quality girl time.  Important!

Last mention of Ryan's birthday.  He got some SWEET presents including a camp stove.  And my gift was seeing how different last year was from this year.  Just look--doesn't he look healthier and better in 2013?

Sick husband on the left last year, though in good spirits.  Healthy husband on the right this year! 

Ok that should cover it all.  Carly Decker out.  Share what you've been up to because we love ya, man!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

3 Years Down, Forever to Go!

I just had the most amazing time looking through our wedding photos for this post.  The venue was perfect, weather overcast, and every plan went off without a single problem.  It was without a doubt one of the best days of our lives.

It was this picture that stood out to me when I was looking through them today...


It seems prolific.  A prediction and very literal forecast of our marriage in just a few years to come.

It stormed on our wedding.  Rain and thunder clouds, lightning and dark skies.  It was gorgeous but surprising in mid-June.

It stopped raining just long enough to capture a few shots of the enrapturing sky and looming storm clouds.

There we are walking hand in hand down the road.  Right into the storm.

This picture has always been such a beautiful reminder to me of what we vowed to on June 13, 2010.  The skies may get dark, and we will weather (and have) some very rocky storms, but Jesus' call on our lives and union is to remain hand in hand, side by side, and keep walking down the road he has laid before us.

Trust Him.  Trust each other.  Follow Him unceasingly.

Happy Anniversary to the most incredible husband.  There is no one else I would rather enjoy life, battle the storms, soak up adventures, or walk alongside.

I love you Ryan John Decker!  Happy 3 years of marriage.  Now we just have forever to go :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Lesson on Gratitude

After Ryan's weekend birthday extravaganza here is a little landscaping news flash for you!

Check out these before and afters:
Before it was dirt, weeds, uneven, and bare.  Now it's lush, soft, and vibrant!  This area is right off our patio and is so nice to be around when we eat dinner and host guests

Dang!  Doesn't that look so good?  The previous owners of our home really didn't do a very good job of keeping up with many aspects of the house or landscaping.  And anything that was installed, was a poorly done job :(  We've spent SO many hours just un-doing what they did.

But thanks to my husband, Matt, Elliot, Katie, and my Mom we have a spectacular chunk of grass in our yard to enjoy!  It adds such a new, refreshing atmosphere to our backyard.

We still have red mulch to add around the garden beds, a 40 foot shed to have removed, a paver patio to put in, more grass in other areas, and probably a million other projects I'm not thinking of.  GAH!  But we're learning patience and are just grateful to be able to work.

The bottom line though:  THANK GOODNESS my husband is healthy enough for this kind of work.  

O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh restore me to health and make me live!

Isaiah 36:18

I you ever get tired of hearing my shock at his recovered health and reflecting on where Ryan was in 2012...well, too bad for you!  It never ceases to amaze me and I'll most likely never stop talking about it! 

I am endlessly grateful for his strength and recovery.  The remission of his Crohn's.  His ostomy.  A great medical team.  Remicade.  Help of family and friends.  HEALTH!

We've seen God's face with Job's eyes and we are no longer naive (if we ever were) to think Christianity = ease.  Real Christ following = struggle, sacrifice, rawness, radical faith  

Our faith is stronger is 2013.  The pictures and stories of our life in this slower season are all just reflections of God's mercy.  Our current realities are the result of an intensive refinement process--one that made God truly relevant to us and our faith even deeper.

We are grateful.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

3 John 1:2

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ryan's Birthday Party

Like I said before, this guy is loved and spoiled!

On Saturday night we hosted a birthday BBQ for our friends and it turned out AWESOME!  If you know my husband you KNOW he loves people and quality time is one of his love languages.  

It blessed my soul to see him surrounded by his favorite people, in amazing health, and living life.

Thank you to Casey, Connie, Peyton, Katie, Ross, Rachelle, Matt, Hannah, Daniel, Marc, Beth, Corrie, Chris, Hava, Drew Ashleigh, Elliot, Natalie, and Mercedes for celebrating with us!

There were burgers, homemade apple pies, a pinata, lawn games, and a late night on the back porch.  All the makings of a great birthday celebration.

You are loved Ryan Decker!

 The drink bar--highly Pinterest inspired.  I love how it turned out.  And Katie made two homemade apple pies.  We ate all of them

Birthday boy with his birthday chalkboard and the food spread: burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, salad, and kettle chips. 

Opening up a present Hannah and Daniel brought him!

 The Clarks!  These three are the most legit and make us laugh all the dang time.  And Rachelle (right) trying to break the pinata.

These two bless the heck out of our lives.  Matt landscapes with Ryan like an unstoppable beast and Katie not only makes pies, cakes, and lasagna but always is doing hard labor with us somewhere on the house.  You two are the greatest!

Marc spinning Ryan before he swings at the toucan 

Hi husband!   

Everyone outside playing several different games we had set up

A wildly successful night that I hope blessed our guests but I know for sure brought so much joy to my husband.

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