Archive | September, 2008

Weekend recap

29 Sep

It was a lot of fun having my parents out here. Friday night, we gave them “the tour” of our new house–which takes about a grand total of 2 minutes. Then we made dinner (penne with tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots; salad; and garlic bread) and went to see Burn After Reading (which is a horribly depressing, disturbing movie full of nothing but adultery and cursing…I don’t recommend seeing it). Then we ate some ice cream and watched House, at which point everyone except Travis fell asleep (my parents are the king and queen of falling asleep on the couch).

Saturday morning, I got up at 7:30 and made banana bread (my first time ever). After eating breakfast, we drove up to Fort Collins and then west on Highway 14 through the mountains to Steamboat Springs. It was a LONG drive (we covered over 300 miles that day) but it was SO beautiful–the fall colors were at or near their peak. The aspens have such a vibrant yellow and when they are next to the dark green of the evergreens, they stand out so much that it looks like they’re on fire. I took a lot of pictures–but my camera isn’t the greatest so it definitely does not do the beauty of the trees justice.

me and Trav

me and Trav

My cute parents

My cute parents

The Poudre River

The Poudre River

Sun reflecting off the water

Sun reflecting off the water

Sleeping Elephant Mountain

Sleeping Elephant Mountain

The contrast between the green and the yellow

The contrast between the green and the yellow

So picturesque, it doesn't seem real

So picturesque, it doesn't seem real

These trees were especially vibrant

These trees were especially vibrant

Looking out over North Park

Looking out over North Park

A Mountain Road lined with trees

A Mountain Road lined with trees

We ate lunch at the Moose Creek Cafe in Walden–a cute little mountain town.  Then, after bumming around Steamboat looking in all the overpriced shops for about an hour, we got back in the car and drove down past Vail, to Idaho Springs. We ate a late dinner (9 PM!) at Beau Jo’s–a GREAT pizza place. They have mountain pies, which are deep dish pizzas, and you have about 5 different sauces to choose from, 15 different meats, and about 20 different toppings. SO delicious. They’re “Colorado-Style Pizzas” so whenever someone comes out to visit, Travis and I take them there. Idaho Springs is the original Beau Jo’s so it’s huge and it has a lot of character.

Sunday, we went to church at Northern Hills Christian Church, which is about 25 minutes from our house. Greg Stier, the president of the ministry I work for, was preaching there and my parents (my mom especially) wanted to hear him preach and meet him. I prepped them before the service–Greg is a very enthusiastic, ADD speaker who talks really fast and is always walking around. They were really impressed with him though–he is a dynamic, captivating speaker. They also got to meet my boss (who is leaving our ministry after Oct 10th–sad day) and some of the other people I work with.

After church, we ate lunch at our house and then went shopping for patio furniture (what Travis and I decided we wanted as our housewarming present from them). After many unsuccesful attempts (we were about a month too late for patio furniture), we found some great stuff at American Furniture Warehouse, which we bought later that night and then picked up tonight. I’ll post pictures but I have to wait until it’s light outside and we have it all set up.

We also went to Sears Grand and I bought 4 new articles of clothing for $40. I got a REALLY cute skirt for $4! Travis was very gracious because he let me buy the clothes, even though I didn’t have any blow money left (that’s how we keep track of our spending–we each get $100 a month to spend on whatever we want. I have a bad habit of blowing mine in the first few days…whoops.)

Sunday night was the GOSPEL Journey Maui sneak peek at Northern Hills. We had a good turnout and it was really cool to see some of the episodes of this ginormous project we’ve been working on intensely for the past 3-4 months. My parents thought it was really interesting too and they enjoyed seeing more of what I’m involved with at work. Best part about that: the presentation that I created worked!!! (Long story…)

When we got back from the Sneak Peek and from buying our patio furniture, we watched another episode of House (everyone fell asleep even faster during this one) and went to bed. The weekend went so FAST!!

This morning, we saw my parents off. It felt like they had just gotten here. They left at 8:00 this morning and they are probably just getting home right now (it’s a 13 hour drive). I really appreciate their love and willingness to drive so far to see us for just a weekend. My parents are absolutely wonderful people and I feel so blessed by them.

My parents are coming!

26 Sep

This weekend, my parents are going to be out here to visit me and Travis–for the first time at our new house! I am sooooo excited to see them. I’m not sure yet what we’re going to do but it doesn’t really matter–I know we’ll have fun regardless.

A few ideas I have though are:

1. Make dinner at our house tonight

2. Watch Season 1, Disc 4 of House

3. Go shopping for patio furniture (my parents want to buy us a housewarming present)

4. Take a drive into the mountains tomorrow to see the fall colors

5. Eat at Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs

6. See Greg Stier preach at Northern Hills Christian Church

7. Go to the GOSPEL Journey Maui Sneak Peek at NHCC on Sunday at 6 PM

That’s all I have for right now cuz they’re finally here!!

I rule.

21 Sep

All of my recent posts have been self-loathing and bemoaning my laziness. But this one will champion my productivity and ambition! A good change of pace if you ask me…

What did I do today exactly? you may be asking. Well, let me tell you.

1. Read my Bible and Day 31 of The Purpose-Driven Life

2. Went to church

3. Went to Walmart and bought toiletries, a plant, a pot, and some soil

4. Went back to church for a children’s ministry meeting

5. Potted new plant and repotted old plant

6. Emailed 3 of my old friends to see what they’re up to

7. Went shopping for hiking pants and scored a $9 North Face t-shirt as well as awesome-fitting ski pants AND hiking pants (I have such a hard time finding pants that fit, that whenever I do find pants that fit, I pretty much buy them regardless of cost. The hiking pants are The North Face and were $50. The ski pants are Columbia and were $65 on sale. Was it my shopping day or what? See pics of my finds below).

8. Called 3 girls from care group to catch up

9. Made 3 cards–a baby shower one, a sympathy one, and a so-sad-you’re-leaving one

10. Went to Home Depot to buy Travis a part he needed for his DIY plumbing job (more about that below)

11. Did laundry

12. Cooked dinner and did the dishes

13. Researched identity theft and submitting a fraud report to the Social Security office (one John Glenn has his name under my SSN! He hasn’t yet spent the millions of dollars I don’t have but I don’t want some guy’s name under my SSN!!)

14. And now I’m blogging!!

It has been a very productive day, I must say. And I love this feeling!! I don’t think I’m quite out of my funk (especially the eating junk food and exercising part) but at least I wasn’t a bum today!

So here are the pics of my way-awesome purchases today:

My sweet-o snow pants and new t-shirt

My sweet-o snow pants and new t-shirt

My ski pants from the front

My ski pants from the front

Close-up of my $9 t-shirt score--LOVE IT!

Close-up of my $9 t-shirt score--LOVE IT!

My hiking pants from the front

My hiking pants from the front

From the back

From the back

My butt--to show how good they fit!

My butt--to show how good they fit!

They're amazing!!

They're amazing!!

Travis was very productive today too, except he has only been working on one stinkin’ project since we got home from that church meeting–installing a pressure-reducing valve on our main water line. The water pressure in our house is something like 130 psi–twice what it’s supposed to be!! So in consideration of our pipes and water fixtures, we’re putting a valve on the water line to reduce the pressure. He’s also putting a water shut-off valve in our coat closet so that we don’t have to go all the way into the crawl space to shut the water off in an emergency. Travis had some defeats at first with the soldering but he’s gotten a long way–as I type, the water is shut off so that he can connect the PRV with the main water line. My fingers are crossed for him!

Our coat closet currently

Our coat closet currently

Travis is down there!

Travis is down there in the crawl space!

I suck.

19 Sep

This is my 101st post! But that isn’t why I suck.

I suck because I made it one day (and that by cheating) without sweets. But it’s only partly my fault. You see, the day after my last post (where I had “committed” to not eating sweets until at least the end of Sept, with the exception of Sundays) I decided to bake peanut butter cookies for Travis and the guys in his Bible study. And my Bible study was the next night at our house so I figured I’d have treats for the ladies too.

I did really good while baking them–I didn’t eat any of the dough, even when it was sticking to my fingers from making the little balls. Instead of licking it off my fingers, I just washed it off, down the drain. Good, delicious dough, wasted. But I had made a commitment.

Then Travis came home and ate one of the cookies. After his first bite, he said, “Mmmmm…” which made me curious if they were good. So I asked for a small bite. He gave it to me, to my surprise (I was expecting him to say “But Bub, you weren’t having sweets until Sunday, remember?”) I felt a little cheater-ish but I didn’t have a whole cookie!

But then the next day at work, one of my co-workers had baked bars to thank me and Travis for helping them move some donated office furniture. I put them in my locker immediately with the plan of bringing them straight home for Trav. After lunch, though, I heard one of my co-workers, Mandy, say that she wanted something sweet to eat so I offered her one of the bars. (At least I can share my sweets, even if I can’t stop eating them!) I gave one to Carol Ann and Jen too and then…I ate one myself.

And I ate another one for lunch today.

And I had a cookie last night at our women’s group.

And like 4 slices of tomato basil bread from Panera today.

Whoops.

I suck.

Add to that, when I got home after work today, I read Newsweek for a while and then took a nap. I just did not have energy or motivation to do anything else. Yesterday, though, I did go grocery shopping after work and then on a run before making dinner. So I’m not a complete bum. Just a little one.

I hope that this funk I’m in ends soon. Or else I’ll run out of excuses.

In a funk

16 Sep

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been in a funk. I just feel icky–not like I’m getting sick but I am just exhausted and lethargic a lot. When we first moved into our house, I feel like I didn’t take any rest–I was just go, go, go because there were so many things I wanted/had to do. But now, man, I get home, lie down on the couch, and I’m out.

Like Sunday, after church we helped some friends move some paving stones to their house. When we got home, I ate some cheesy bread and then proceeded to take a 2-hour nap. It was one of those naps when you wake up from time to time, half of your brain telling you to get off the couch and do something productive, while the other half of your brain is dead to the world. The feeling of your body being one with the couch, like you couldn’t even move off the couch if you wanted to. That’s how the nap felt. Then, when you do get up an absurd number of hours later, you feel groggy and lazy for the rest of the day.

Today, I left work a little early because I’ve been working some overtime out of necessity (things are C-R-A-Z-Y at work right now) and trying to make it up, since I don’t get paid for it (oh, the luxuries of working for a non-profit). I came home and read the new Newsweek for about half an hour, at which point I started to nod off. I had been planning on reading a little and then going on a run before Travis got home. But obviously, my love for naps defeated my current apathy of running. I slept for a good hour and a half. While I absolutely love the feeling of a nap, I hate the ensuing feeling of being a bum and having nothing productive to show for a good chunk of my day.

That is one of many reasons why I feel like I’ve been in a funk. I know that I’m not getting enough sleep at night. I should really be in bed by 8:30, falling asleep at 9:00, so that I can wake up at 5:30 with a good 8.5 hours of sleep (the amount I really need). But I find myself getting in bed around 10:00, 10:30. Way too late!

Another reason is that I’ve been watching House like it’s my job. It was the season premiere tonight. I thought it would be on at 6:00 here because it was 8/7c. But I guess not…because it came on at 7:00 here too. Travis made a good point about 7:00 being prime time. We also have Season 1 Disc 3 right now…only 13 more to go until we’re all caught up!

Yet another reason is that I haven’t wanted to run lately. It has felt like pulling teeth. I feel like I should still want to run, like not running would be wrong. But I don’t entertain the thought of running in the morning at all and I have a hard time motivating myself to run after work. I have found, though, that the prospect of going to the gym and doing the elliptical or aerobics classes is appealing. So I am going to join the Wheat Ridge Rec Center. It’s cheaper than the Y and a decent gym. The Y is nicer but it is $24 more a month. Bush League!

So needless to say, my exercise schedule hasn’t been followed to a tee. I have been doing Pilates/Yoga about 3 times a week so I’m not a complete bum, but the cardio has definitely been lacking. After such long, stressful days at work, I’d rather curl up with a bowl of ice cream and watch some TV, rather than go pound the pavement–which is, needless to say, what I have been doing.

Which leads to yet another reason why I’m in a funk–my eating habits since we’ve moved to our new house have been horrible. I was doing really well for a while but I tend to get pretty lax when I feel good–it’s counter-intuitive I know but somehow when I feel good because I’ve been exercising and eating right, I then feel like I can eat 4 slices of pizza and a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough and skip that day (or 3) of running and not gain weight–like I’m immune to the calories now or something. But the worst part about is that once I start eating poorly, it’s so hard to get back to eating right–so as you can guess, I haven’t. I haven’t gained much weight (maybe 1 or 2 pounds but I prefer to think that the scale is just wrong every morning for weeks in a row), which is a good thing. I just feel like a fat blob.

And the hardest part about it is that I know what makes me feel that way–eating ice cream everyday on top of little candy bars at work and light frapps from Starbucks. I have tried numerous times over the past several months to stop eating so many sweets. Most of the time, I don’t even make it a day before caving.

This is what I wrote about me and sweets a few months ago:

“There’s only so long that you can sit in front of chocolate, hearing it call your name and resist. Willpower has a time limit. I’m a ticking timebomb in front of sweets. As soon as the timer gets to zero (willpower), I explode and devour everything in sight.”

But tonight at the gym, I decided that I’m sick of feeling gross and flubbery. I am going to cut out sweets–except for Sundays. (I may be ambitious but I am still realistic!) No chocolate (ouch), no candy (oooo), no ice cream (uuuuhhhh). It’s gonna hurt but it will be worth it!!

So here’s to no sweets. I did it for Lent; I can do it again. And I am going to do this until at least Sept 30th–21 days from now because that is how long experts say it takes to form a habit. Hopefully I can kick my chocolate-tootsie roll-ice cream-gooey goodness addiction for at least that long. Wish me luck!

Not just wishful thinking

14 Sep

For the past 5 or 6 months, I’ve been going through this period of questioning. Not questioning that God exists or that the Gospel is true. I still believe that He does and that it is. My questions have been more about how the truth of the Gospel affects me in my everyday life. This post in March and  this one in June explains some of what I’ve been struggling through, specifically what I wrote in my March post:

“Why does it matter that God cares for me? That I’m released from the bondage of sin? If I’m having a hard day at work and pray to God for strength, how does my prayer really matter? How does it change my circumstances? If I say that I’m relying on God and drawing down strength from Him, does He really do anything for me? Or are those words just a human attempt to make life a little easier, to make hard times a little better, to deceive ourselves that ‘everything is going to work out for our good’ when the dice could really fall either way?”

In my other posts, I came up with 2 reasons (out of many, I’m sure) why the Christian life does work and why it does make sense in some weird doesn’t-make-sense kind of way. One was that after we are reborn as children of God, we have the Holy Spirit inside us, who gives us the ability to do, believe, and say things we wouldn’t have done on our own. The other was that it isn’t about me getting random strength from God to go through tough circumstances, as if just the existence of God is enough to alleviate anxiety. Rather, my confidence and trust in God is based on real circumstances and real promises.

I was praying about this the other day, still struggling through it. Because even though I get these flashes of understanding, they go away after a while and I’m left still wondering how the Christian life works. For some reason, I can’t get past the question of why it all matters. “Jesus died for me and I’m going to heaven; what difference does that make right now?”

It’s funny how I know the answer to that question. I can read about it because it’s all over the New Testament. But my heart says “So what? Why does that really matter for this moment?” As in, why should knowing that God loves me make me feel better? He’s up in heaven and He’s the God of the universe. How sure am I that He really cares about every detail of my life? If everyone on earth hated me, why would it make me feel better that God loves me?

Again, the answer is obvious but my heart-response is missing. I don’t believe questioning is a bad thing and I don’t believe that my salvation is in any way jeopardized by these thoughts–after all, I do still believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. But it’s a weird thing to be unsure about things you took completely for granted before.

Anyway, the real reason why I am blogging about this (again!) is that the other day, I read this in The Purpose-Driven Life: “Our hope in difficult times is not based on positive thinking, wishful thinking, or natural optimism. It is a certainty based on the truths that God is in complete control of our universe and that he loves us.”

That really spoke to me because it is what I have been leaning toward these many months but not been quite able to believe. When you think about it, if the Bible is true, then it is indisputable that God is in control of everything and that He loves us–enough that His own Son would not only die for us, but absorb the complete wrath for our sins as well. It’s an amazing thought. Another amazing thing is that the God of the universe communicates with us. He wants to have a relationship with us. He is present in our world, in ways that we are so ignorant of.

While writing this, I kept thinking of Hebrews 11:6–“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Faith involves 2 things: 1) believing that God exists and 2) that He rewards those who seek Him. God is perfect and holy so if He wants us to believe that He rewards those who seek Him, it must be true.

And the best part about that verse–we can draw near to God.

According to this verse, God draws near to us too: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8a)

This is another verse that I love:

Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
(Psalm 65:4)

It continues to astound me that God chose me to know Him, to receive joy in this life and eternal salvation in the next. Our God is an awesome God.

A morning thought

12 Sep

I was thinking this morning about my friend Charlotte. She’s going through a stage of life right now where there are a lot of unknowns and what she had been expecting to happen in her life isn’t happening (she was going to go abroad but then got married!)

It reminds me of a time in my life when things were very up in the air. And I absolutely hated it. I bucked against almost the entire time I was going through that stage–which just happened to be about two years. It was when I was dating Travis. I knew 4 months into our relationship that I wanted to marry him. I had never been more head-over-heels, butterflies-in-my-stomach in love with someone. He was everything I had ever wanted in a man–and there were even things about him that pleasantly surprised me. I remember thinking on more than one occasion that I didn’t know someone could be so wonderful and amazing.

But he was a little more conservative and cautious in his emotions. Looking back, I know it was very good for our relationship because he was very level-headed and has a strong character–he doesn’t get swayed by emotions or abandon his convictions because of a certain set of circumstances. So even when I pressured him numerous times to say that he wanted to marry me, he wouldn’t–because he wasn’t ready.

The reason why I had such a hard time with waiting and not knowing was: 1) unbelief in the goodness of God and 2) I had been hurt a lot in high school. I didn’t trust Travis. I had never dated a guy (including the boy I dated in highschool who I thought I wanted to marry) who made decisions while thinking about how they would affect me. All the boys I had dated were selfish and immature and would act impulsively at the drop of a hat, scarring my heart in the process.

So those 2 years of waiting in suspense, of not knowing whether Travis loved me enough to marry me or not, of wanting so desperately to be married, were honestly the hardest years of my life. Travis and I are very different people, who both came into our relationship with a lot of baggage from past relationships and hurts. We remarked numerous times during our dating relationship that if we didn’t believe in the sovereignty of God, if we didn’t believe that we were together for a reason and that our relationship was bigger than just the 2 of us, we would not have stayed together. But we clung to God and the hope of His plan for our lives–we went forward in faith, waiting. I did a LOT of waiting on God during that time. I cried out to Him daily, sometimes hourly, about my fear and my heart.

There was a quote that I repeated to myself over and over again during that time. It was written by Elisabeth Elliot as part of a bigger poem but the part that really resonated with me was “And so, not even for a light to show the step ahead, but for Thee, dear Lord, I wait.” Faith is walking forward in the darkness and trusting when nothing is certain or makes sense.

Here is the whole poem (this is what I emailed to Charlotte this morning):

I wait
Dear Lord, Thy ways
Are past finding out,
Thy love too high.
O hold me still
Beneath thy shadow.
It is enough that Thou
Lift up the light
Of Thy countenance.
I wait–
Because I am commanded
So to do. My mind
Is filled with wonderings.
My soul asks “Why?”
But then the quiet word,
“Wait thou only
Upon God.”
And so, not even for the light
To show a step ahead,
But for Thee, dear Lord,
I wait.

I love House

11 Sep

No, I’m not trying to impersonate Steve Carrell in Anchorman–I’m talking about the show House. It is by far my favorite TV show of all time, hands down. I don’t know why I like it so much but I do. I just love it–the intrigue, the wit, the mystery, the bluntness.

And just my luck, I discovered the other day while updating our Netflix queue that we can get all 4 seasons of House on DVD. I am beyond excited. But only 4 episodes come on each disc so each season is 4 whole discs. We only get one DVD at a time and watch about one DVD per week on average–so that is 16 weeks of House. Travis thinks that I’m going to get sick of it, but we’re 2 DVDs in and I can’t wait to get the next.

Season 5 starts this coming Tuesday at 6 PM Mountain Time and I am SO there…because at our house, we finally get a few good channels with the bunny ears! Like FOX, abc, and NBC. Woohoo!! As much as I am anti-TV (I think that it makes you waste a lot of time), this is one show that I can justify watching. House, here I come. 

Tuesdays are my new favorite days. 🙂

First party at our new house!

7 Sep

Yesterday Travis and I had our housewarming party. It was a lot of fun. I had been kind of worried about it because it really is the first party I’ve ever thrown by myself. I have always either had my  mom helping me or other friends. But this one was just me (and Trav–but he didn’t help that much with the food…more on that in a little bit).

We were expecting about 30 people to show (a lot of our friends from church and my work couldn’t make it so it was a smaller crowd than we would’ve liked but it was still fun!. I was terrified of running out of food so of course I made too much. I was planning on getting up early so I could have my morning coffee, read the Bible, maybe have time to go on a run. But I got up at 9:30 instead so I booked it to the grocery store and started making the food by 11:00 (luckily I had cleaned the night before and the party didn’t start until 4:00).

I roped Travis into helping because I was feeling the time crunch (once again, unnecessarily anxious). He started working on the mini-cheesecakes while I started working on the veggie pizza. I put the crescent rolls into the oven and went to get the cream cheese out of the fridge so I could start on the dip for the pizza. There was no cream cheese in the fridge. “You used all of the cream cheese?” I accused Travis. “Wasn’t I supposed to?” Travis asked. “I said to only use 5. You used 7.” “You didn’t say that.” “Yes, I did. You just weren’t listening.” “Well, that may be true but I was trying to follow the recipe. I just got in a groove and dumped them all in there.”

Yes, all those things were said. No, they were not said in that way. We really yelled at each other and I threatened to disappear for the whole day and not only not make any food for the party, I wouldn’t even show up. “Your personality won’t let you do that,” Travis said. That pissed me off even more. I wish I could say that I reacted in a very loving, Christ-like manner but I didn’t. I just yelled at Travis to go to Target and buy me more cream cheese.

Since I had bought 7 tubs of cream cheese, Travis got the last 2 they had–we cleaned them out of the generic light cream cheese. But luckily, the mini-cheesecakes and the veggie pizza both turned out and the food was a hit.

The spread

The spread

The fruit

The fruit

The hors d'ouevres

The hors d'ouevres

Close-up of the mini cheesecakes

Close-up of the mini cheesecakes

The veggie pizza

The veggie pizza

The mexican dip, served with tortilla chips

The mexican dip, served with tortilla chips

Lil' Smokies

Lil Smokies

Our new little plant

Our new little plant

The napkins--so fitting huh!

The napkins--so fitting huh!

The outdoor seating

The outdoor seating

Me and Trav before the party

Me and Trav before the party

Another pic of me and Trav

Another pic of me and Trav

Trav and our camping buddies (his work friends)

Trav and our camping buddies (his work friends)

The surreality of my life

4 Sep

As I was driving home tonight from my women’s group (with some friends from church), I was thinking about the fact that Travis and I have now lived in Colorado for a whole year. One year. It’s almost unbelievable. It’s kind of like being married for a year and a half–I can remember all the different events and days that comprised that year and a half but it still doesn’t seem possible that it has actually been a year and a half.

But alas, it has. In a way, I feel proud that we’ve made it through a year of being in Colorado. There are still times that I miss Minnesota, miss being in my home state. There’s something about growing up in a place that makes it just feel good. When we go back for vacations, weddings, and funerals, it just feels to be there, in Minnesota–even when the temperature is sometimes in the single digits. I miss Minnesota summers. The crickets, the warm nights, the lakes, the beaches. The Rocky Mountains are great (and we have definitely enjoyed them!) but Travis and I are both lake-lovers.

The Minnesota season I miss the most, though, is fall. Fall is my favorite season and I think maybe only the east coast has better fall colors than Minnesota. The North Shore–man, it’s gorgeous in the fall. I love those days that are crisp–not Colorado crisp, as in 75, but Minnesota crisp, as in 55–cold enough to wear a wool sweater without being hot but warm enough to not need a jacket. Those are the perfect days to go to a pumpkin farm or apple orchard. Ahhhh…Minnesota.

But Colorado is a great state as well. It has the perfect climate to be outdoors all year round–which is definitely more than I can say for Minnesota!! But the most amazing thing about living out here is that we actually are living out here. It seems surreal to me, really. For a person who has moved around their whole lives, living in a new place with new people is probably just routine. But I lived my entire life, minus one year that I was in New York, in Minnesota and to be in a different place, with different people, and 1,000 miles away from all of my family, seems surreal. And what seems even more surreal is that it has been a whole year that we’ve lived out here. Man, times flies.

I was also pondering tonight in the car how blessed Travis and I are. We don’t deserve all this and yet we pretty much have the life of our dreams–all because of our heavenly Father who loves to give His children gifts. I know not every Christian feels like they have their dream life and I know that I won’t always feel this way–over time, things change, bad things happen, life happens. But right now, I am very grateful to God that Travis and I both have very good jobs (actual careers!! something I was scared I would never have), we have our own house, two cars, healthy food on the table, caring friends, a great church, wonderful families, and time to do things that we really enjoy. I just turned 25 and Travis is still 23. It is surreal that we are where we are in our lives right now.

And I know that God has us here for a purpose, that none of this would have been possible without His providence and grace to us. We both found our current jobs within weeks of moving out here. I actually started my job 3 days after we moved. We found our current church 3 months before we moved, when we came out to Colorado to look for apartments. We have met many great friends through church and work. And we have a wonderful marriage–that alone is a supernatural gift from God.

I pray that I would be like Job–that if everything was taken away tomorrow, I would still praise God. “The LORD has given and the LORD has taken away.” But either way, I will praise Him.

Here are some pictures to commemorate our good times in Colorado:

Travis and me on our first trip to Colorado to find an apartment

Travis and I playing Scrabble--which we did almost everyday when we first moved to Colorado

Travis and I playing Scrabble--which we did almost everyday when we first moved to Colorado

Our first backpacking trip

Our first backpacking trip

Climbing Bear Peak near Boulder--it was so steep!

Climbing Bear Peak near Boulder--it was so steep!

Driving on Trail Ridge Road in RMNP

Driving on Trail Ridge Road in RMNP

Travis sitting on top of Bear Peak--we could see for miles.

Travis sitting on top of Bear Peak--we could see for miles.

A Colorado sunset

A Colorado sunset