Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Break to Redstone

If all the people of the universe don't yet believe that my husband is the deal-finder of the world...well then you don't know very much!

He scored us a sweet Groupon deal for three nights at a historic mountain inn.  This sweet little place was in Redstone which is right outside of Glenwood Springs so just a 3 hour drive from home.  It was gorgeous, out in the boonies with no cell service, and entirely charming.

Ryan is good at what he does!  So grateful for a husband that saves us money and still spoils me rotten.

We soaked in the egg-smelling hot springs, read books, played board games, ate in bed while we watched movies, and just enjoyed quality time with each other.  Much to our utter shock (and cheapness) the admission to the Glenwood hot springs was $18.75 O.M.G.  Anyone????  

So the next day we found a sketchy free hot springs right off the highway that was hilariously awesome and way more authentic.  We felt like hippies soaking in those ones!

It was a restful, lovely week that I am so grateful we could take.  Here are the pictures!

Oh hey husband!  This was his self proclaimed "sexy pose". Sketch. 

 A little peek into our hotel room and the antique boot shining chair in the hallway

 Loved this old staircase. And this is the only picture I got of the two of us...selfie style

Does it not look like a German chalet in the European mountains??   

The scenery was too gorgeous.  And the weather matched it-perfection! 

And baby Grumps had a fun week!  He stayed with our friends who have two other dogs.  They sent us a few pictures of Grumples and Austin chasing each other all over the yard so he obviously didn't miss us too much :)

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:40

Monday, March 24, 2014

On To Quarter 3...

I'm going to be a 3rd quarter nursing student!  Only 5 more quarters to go until graduation in June 2015.  Boom!

These first few months of school have literally flown by me.  I've learned SO much about so many things and am amazed daily at the new skills I get to be equipped with.  I know about 0.0004847% of all nursing knowledge so I'm a a pretty huge newb but hey, I can give you an intramuscular injection and not too many people can do that ;)

Quarter 2 finished Friday morning after my final check off that was over medications and injections.  Phew!  It feels so great to be done.  This program is hard work, balance, and some major dedication.  I absolutely love it.  Not one complaint.

Sweet friends!  Nate, myself, Ashey (aka Smash), and Laurel

Wednesday after most of our written finals and big tests, our cohort went out for drinks at the Viewhouse.  It was a gorgeous afternoon for being with friends on a Denver rooftop celebrating.  

I don't think it's super common that other cohorts at school get along like all of us do.  There is such little drama and we all enjoy each other so much.  It's such a gift!  The Lord placed some amazing people in this group at DSN.

Quarter 3 also brings some new adventures!  I start clinicals at a long term care facility in early April.  This is a chance to practice all the skills I've been learning in the past 6 months of lab like assessment, medication administration, injections, catheters, etc. 

It will be deeply challenging to work with real patients and heartbreaking at times.  I anticipate it to be rewarding to help aid people in gaining back their health and very tiring.  On top of school and studying I spend over 24 hours in clincals each week.  Dang!!

So that is what's up with school!!  My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity, the relationships, the education, and the opportunities before me.

Updates to come as the adventure unfolds...

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

Jeremiah 10:23

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Birthday Celebrations!

Today was my mom's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most amazing mom that ever was!

My sister flew into town (wahoooo!!!) and we all had such a fun day together.  We started the morning at Canvas and Cocktails painting and sipping mimosas.  The class was on a pink flower but since none of us use pink in our houses, we got creative and mixed up the paint colors!

This was my second time at a class like this and it is really such a blast!  There is music, drinks, creativity, and unique time with your favorite people.  I recommend it big time!

I used grey, greens, and turquoise.  I loved how it turned out!

All of us with our paintings.  You can see the original on the wall behind us so ours ended up different but so beautiful!

Then we went to dinner at Ted's Montana Grill.  For evidence, see the picture below that my sister is straight up cray and hilarious!!!  She brings out the wild in me and we always laugh non-stop together.

I fear for my safety with this wild redhead at my side!!

Dessert was amazing birthday cake from a bakery called Das Meyer in Arvada.  They did my sister's wedding cake and it is the most magical, heavenly, perfect cake in the whole world.  We ordered a gorgeous triple white cake for my mom's cake and it was decorated with hand done sugar spring flowers. 

Buy a cake from them and change your life!!

 Deliciousness...Exhibit A.  And sweet mama enjoying her birthday serenade

Happy Birthday, Mom!  We hope it was a special day of love and surprises.  You deserve to be celebrated on your special day and every day of the year for being such a thoughtful, generous Mom.  We love you!

I give thanks to my God always for you

1 Corinthians 1:4

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Events Extravaganza

We've had fun things on our plates the last few weeks!  Last Thursday we volunteered at an event called WeFeed that is so dang legit.  

This organization exists to implement sustainable, holistic projects around the world that solve a variety of issues communities face.  Medical, water, food, business, etc.  

Healing Waters, the company Ryan works for, is WeFeed's clean water solution so that is how we got hooked up with them!

My favorite part of WeFeed is that they desire to address and extinguish toxic philanthropy; an unfortunate phenomena that turns international communities into unintentional, dependent beggars from the band-aid fixes that American charities often implement.  Yikes.  It's complex but there is a way to go about addressing issues of poverty in a healthy, healing way!

Anyway, we had so much fun explaining the HWI model, answering questions, and getting spoiled at this beautiful event.

Our table and us at the event.  Ryan answered so many questions and is literally so smart.  People get so excited about clean water and it's thrilling to show them how it's done in field!

In other news, this little hooligan got a much needed haircut.  I probably cut 3 inches of hair off of him and he looks so darn cute now.

Dude looks like he exploded

So cute in fact that he thinks he is such hot stuff and can get on the couch and into the front seat...both things he is NOT allowed to do!  ;)

Am I obsessed with this my black fur baby?  Most likely.

As a part of Global Health Perspectives, an organization at school I am involved with, we have to volunteer 6 hours at two different locations.  I chose HWI and Bonfils Blood Center.  Giving blood is so fast and truly changes lives!  Plus you get free cookies and juice.

I found out I'm a rare donor because of these random antibodies I have so I better keep on giving they tell me!  Done!

Festive green band for St. Patty's Day

Last fun news.  These two are finally engaged!!!  Praise Jesus!

Ryan and I have secretly been wanting them to get married since 2010 and here it is 2014 and it's happening!  Wahoo!  Katie and Matt are two of our absolute favorite friends. Their relationship is so based on Jesus and it is so fun to see their story continue to unfold.

Matt actually flew to Jordan (where Katie is currently working) to propse and I just about peed my pants when we facetimed to chat about it!  WAHOOO!!!! 

Future Bolts!!!

Ryan and I were just talking today about what a whirlwind April and May will be for us.  I start a new school schedule and clinicals and Ryan Decker has 5 trips planned in 3 months time!

Utah, North Carolina, Haiti, New York, and Tennessee.  All but Haiti is for the Great Comebacks award/events and Haiti is for HWI purposes.  Whew!  Busy dude.

Prayers for a peaceful approach for the next two months without stress or being overwhelmed would be such a gift. For now, this quarter is getting finished out strong and then we're off for a vacation in the mountains.  

Yes please!

...loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice, and holding fast to him, for he is your life
Deuteronomy  30:20

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Primary Need Is WATER

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy this cheery video about the lasting impact clean water has on lives around the world. 

 Ryan works for such a legit company and we are so honored to brag about Healing Waters every chance we get!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pain to Purpose

We have been shocked at the fast and beautifully unexpected journey we've had into the community of the Great Comebacks.

If you haven't heard, Ryan won the Great Comebacks Award for the west region!

The Deckers boys taking full advantage of life and the snow

The sponsor company of Great Comebacks is Convatec.  They manufacture all types of medical equipment and really value knowing and sharing the stories of the people their products serve. They fund and encourage this program-we are so grateful for the investment.

The entire process has become an even bigger deal that we realized!  Ryan flies to Salt Lake in April for recognition and to receive his regional award.  Then later in April we fly to North Carolina for a video to be made about his Crohn's and ostomy story! 

For the video shoot they are renting out space at a vineyard or resort and flying us along with the other 5 regional winners out for the weekend.  Everything is covered from food to flights to the stylists and makeup teams waiting for us.  My mind is blown.

He can bench press puppies with his ostomy

Then we spend our two days on the ground sharing Ryan's story with the videography team and the significant pieces that brought us to recovery and a place of thriving.  It will be an emotional weekend and such a gift to extend this story out.

The purpose of the video is to show it at the national conference in Nashville (we're also being flown out to that!) where one of the five  regional winners will be picked as a national Great Comebacks recipient.  Ryan's story and video gets shared there and on the company website to encourage others.


Ryan tells me again and again that this award brings more purpose to the horrible season of suffering he faced.  If we're honest, we don't always see meaning behind his sickness and some of the everyday struggles of being an ostomate.  

However God is faithfully unfolding this journey more and widening our eyes to see beyond what our finite brains can understand.

This video and award opportunity will give Ryan a large national platform to influence, impact, mentor, and give hope to other Crohn's sufferers and ostomates.

Our minds are blown and our hearts are full.  This is such an exciting season for both of us, but especially for Ryan who deserves to be recognized and honored for the unbelievable comeback he has made.

My man is so ripped!

He is our praise.
Deuteronomy 10:21

Friday, March 14, 2014

Oh, Hello March!

I can't believe it's almost been 3 weeks since I last blogged!  Oops.  Life got a hold of us and we've been going 100 mph ever since.

We've been up to A LOT!  Specifically school, work, community, marriage, and being outside in the beautiful March weather.

I really like posting lots of pictures because it reminds us of where we have been and it's so much more fun to couple that with words.  This is just a snippet into our weekly rhythms and what we're learning.

 One of my biggest time consumers has been school. Pictured left, was my study material this week (yikes!) and this is myself and a favorite new friend, Nylah from school.  The end of the quarter kicks in and EVERYTHING is due.  I try to stay on top of due dates as much as possible but there are some things you just can't get all done.  In one week I had 2 quizzes, 3 tests, a 20 page research project due, 16 hours of lab, and a presentation.  

I literally loved it all!!  Low energy days are far and few between when I'm doing what I love so much.  One thing I am really proud of is that I have learned to give any type of injection which I'll start in just a few weeks at clinicals.  Is that nuts or what??

We like to eat.  Healthy and make it filling please!  Last Sunday Ryan and I made almost 50 breakfast burritos.  We filled them with sauteed peppers/onions, homemade hashbrowns, a little sage sausage, eggs, cheese, and then freeze them for early morning fast breakfasts.  Genius!  

Not to mention 2 hours in the kitchen always sparks so much fun and conversation for us.  We're not big TV goers anyway, but making sure it's off and we have space and time to connect with each other has been a real strength for us the last few months.

So this is fun!  I took Monday nights off my work schedule for a variety of reasons and it quickly became our weekly date night.  We've roadtripped up a local mountain and watched the sunset, had a Starbucks date, and this week we went to the Apex Rec Center.  We worked out for 40 mins and then we played in the indoor swim park.  Literally the funnest thing we've done in awhile!

As I look back on this post in a few months or at the end of the year in reflection, I want to remember that we're also in a season of learning and growing as leaders.  In school, work, and church.  

It's deeply humbling and sometimes painful but we want to stay open to what God has for us.  We are never past growing and seeing Jesus mold us!  We're rooting ourselves in this verse every single day...

...Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Philippians 3:12

Let's see what else!  Grumples weighs 50 lbs and has pink eye, poor baby.  We walk 1.5 miles almost every day and go to the dog park as much as possible.  He lights up our life and makes us more patient people (even though we're not very good at that)

I am anticipating a much needed spring break starting next Friday and we have some VERY exciting plans ahead of us.  There is also insanely awesome new things developing with the Great Comebacks award but that's another post for this weekend.

Peace out homies, and thank for reading about our lives!


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