Monday, July 7, 2014

Back to School Quarter 4

First of all here are some shots of Rilyn from our visit a week ago.  We collected and washed eggs which was very fun.  She ended up doing all my dishes too because this girl LOVES to clean!

It was serious business, people.

And wouldn't you officially starts back up Wednesday!

My first day of quarter 4 starts with what's called a "SIMS Lab" where we basically practice on a half a million dollar human looking robot that talks, cries, sweats, labors, etc.  We're given a medical scenarios and tasks (start an IV or cath, give meds etc) and it's actually pretty life like.  
Our instructor talks through a microphone behind one way glass and is the voice to our patient while also manipulating the computer that runs the robot to change vitals, respond to meds and more.  It's insane what technology is available!

The rest of the group observes on a TV screen in another room.  Eeek!

I've enjoyed SIMS in past quarters and think it's good practice for pressure filled moments of decision making (aka when our robot patient cores and we have to give it CPR!) and having eyes on you.

It it so crazy to think graduation is less than 1 year away.  Wow the time is just flying and I just anticipate the next 11 months to be growing, challenging, and so very shaping.

This particular quarter will be particularly busy, contrary to my initial beliefs.  Two classes and two clinicals a week actually adds up to more than expected.  Calculate commuting and studying in addition to clinicals, labs, and classtime and I'm looking at 60+ hour weeks


To prepare for the very busy next 12 weeks "food prep hour" has been recently inaugurated into our home.

The fruits of our labor for a delish lunch!  Red lentil dahl, salad, pita bread, and loaded fruit smoothie

 Basically once a week I slice and dice up fresh fruit and vegetables, saute up meat, and cook a big batch of grains (rice or lentils usually) and it can't take me more than 60 minutes.  Then refrigerate all the goodies and we have ready basic, prepped additions for stir fries, casseroles, crock pot meals and more.

I did it today for the week and it only actually took me 20 minutes to prep enough produce, meat, and brown rice for 3 full meals + leftovers.  

Huge stress reducer!!

I'll update on if this is a sustainable option once school revs up :)

AHHH!!  Little Rilyn who looks 17 in this picture, how I love you!! #matchingbuns

That's it for us!  We are rock climbing this evening so I'll tune back in with pictures from that.  Hope you have the greatest, most joyful week!

Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

Psalm 116:2

Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th of July 2014

Happy Belated 4th of July!

We had SUCH a fun Friday, off from school and work and celebrating with family.  

Linny (my sister) and Ryan started the day off with a 5 mile run.  They are loco but so dang healthy!  Justin (my brother in law) and I went and ate vegan muffins and pork burritos instead at the Windy Saddle.  

Great combo, right?

We like food!

Later that day we all met up at my parent's house for the greatest 4th of July feast there has ever been!  My parents fixed every delicious summer-y dish known to mankind.

Ribs, burgers, Italian sausage, potato salad, festive fruit salad, chips and salsa, baked beans, and more.  Then we somehow made room for cheesecake, homemade vanilla ice cream, and coffee.

So ridiculously delicious! 

The cute festive place settings and the patriotic red, white, and blue fruit salad 

Linny's favorite hashtag #redhairdontcare  

Ryan brings out the crazy in us!  He is a wild man. 

A little more normal and presentable

All of us ended up back at our house so we could light off fireworks before the big, professional show later that night!

Ryan and Justin has so much fun coordinating the fireworks, lighting them and then running, and keeping all of us ooh-ing and ahh-ing.  Quote of the night from my husband:

"Let's schedule a finale!"

Hahaha he really gets into it!

As a sidenote: my man LOVES fireworks.  Buy him that someday and you will be his favorite person for life.

The boys obviously very proud and one pretty firework that was a shower of lights 

I even was super brave a held a few bottle rockets!

We went to the fireworks show in downtown Golden that night which was really fun--the crowds, the excitement, and beautiful show made the perfect end to the day.  

And what would any post be without Grumps and Poppy?

Handsome face and the LONGEST tongue in history

Puppy butt!!  I LOVE when her legs are sticking straight out behind her.  So cute.

In him [Jesus] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Ephesians 3:12

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How to...Talk?

Bad (or unthoughtful) conversation is an instant relationship drainer.

It's hard work and a requires a certain level of selflessness to be an excellent conversationalist.

I've often wondered if people are unaware that they do this or, sadly, are just completely lack the skills due to self-infatuation.

Apparently I'm not the only one that's noticed the downward trends of good conversation in today's society... 

 Dr. Groothius is a wise professor at Denver Seminary and world renowned author.  He was also involved with the campus ministry at my university.  His recent status update on Facebook was such a pearl of wisdom and hopefully a "light bulb moment" for many of us.

I had to share his thoughts to spread the simplistic wisdom and wonderful foundation for future good conversations...

I'm not claiming to be a good conversationalist all the time, but it's something we do care and think about.  I'm hopeful this issue will improve, especially among the Gen Y's, as time progresses and we all grow hungrier for authentic, meaningful relationships.

What's your best tip to good conversation?  If you're honest, how do you do in engaging others in good conversation?

Happy conversing!

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

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...


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!"


Here is Rilyn staying cool and getting soaked...


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.



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.


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!


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