February 5, 2016

Upheaval

Honestly, I thought my next post would be about how grad school is going or how the move out of our house went. I never imagined that I would be writing about what it's like to operate in crisis mode 24/7 or what it's like to watch your husband not be able to breath or how many times I prayed that God would spare David's life.

Believe me, I wish I was being dramatic. We have had a scary ride these last 10 days or so. Probably the scariest in my life. I haven't really even begun to process what has transpired. Too much has happened. Too many tears. Too many nights without sleep. Too much disruption.

It has been a total upheaval.

Writing is usually my first step to processing something the Lord is doing in my life and so this blog post is more for my own heart to begin to make sense of things than for your reading enjoyment. No offense ;) The days have blurred together and I know that if I don't get something down, it will be harder and harder for me to remember or be able to piece together.

I mentioned in my last post that the buyers of our home had moved up our closing date to February 1st. It was a tight timeline but we knew we could get our house fully packed and moved by then. I had rented a POD to store our furniture and we were steadily chipping away and packing boxes. I left David in charge of the heavy stuff so he spent last Saturday lifting and carrying heavy boxes. Towards the end of the day he mentioned that the side of his ribcage was hurting. We chalked it up to a pulled muscle and continued with our progress.

On Sunday the pain was making him wince every now and then. When he stood up or sat down, he'd close his eyes and say "man! this really hurts." Again, we chalked it up to a pulled muscle. A few times he was doubled over in pain and I suggested going to an UrgentCare. "They're just going to give me some Advil and tell me to take it easy" David said. Monday was no better, though he did finally see an in-house doctor at his work who confirmed that it was likely a pulled muscle. She literally gave him Advil and told him to just take it easy.

Tuesday I woke up to David struggling to breathe. He couldn't talk or move. His eyes were shut tight and he had tears running down his cheeks. I did my best to put some clothes on him and rushed him to the ER which we thankfully lived 3 minutes away from.

At first, the ER doctors thought it was some minor complication from a cold he had the week before. They seemed genuinely unconcerned. They ordered an EKG and a chest x-ray which came back clear. But when a triple dose of Morphine didn't take away David's pain, I saw a change in the ER physician's demeanor. He looked at the lab results and noticed a test for blood coagulation came back abnormal. He ordered a CT scan and they immediately took David out of the room.

When the doctor came back, it looked like he wanted to cry and apologize at the same time for not taking us seriously from the start. "You guys, I am so glad that you came in. David has two large blood clots in an artery of each of his lungs. If you had waited to come in, or tried to push through the pain any longer..... this would have ended very..... very badly." In 25% of people who have pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lung), sudden death is the very first symptom. Ultimately, it kills 1 out of every 3 patients who have it.

He was immediately admitted to the cardiac unit and given all sorts of shots and pills and drips of IV medicine. The first 2 days were pretty bad. His pain was out of control and he really struggled to breathe if he moved even the slightest bit. Morphine + hydrocodone truly did nothing for his pain. It was so hard watching him be in such sustained pain. David is a tough guy, he's had all sorts of broken bones and injuries- in 13 years, I have never seen him in such physical distress.

We had some really beautiful sunsets out David's windows. Every night was a treat to watch.

It was only once they introduced a very strong anti-inflamitory pain medication called Toredal that things started to finally turn around. His chest pain lessened, his breathing was easier and his spirits lifted. Praise God!

Interestingly though, after he started this medication, he mentioned having a touch of a headache (Note to Self: if you're ever on opoid prescription pain killers and still have a touch of a headache, it's likely more than just a headache). That was just before he threw up. Even more interesting, the doctors and nurses didn't find any of this the least bit troubling and decided to discharge him after a 3 day stay.

He came back to his parent's house after being discharged. Within hours, the pain in his head grew worse.

What happened after that was a blur of 2 ER visits, stabbing pain, worried doctors, relentless nausea and vomiting, MRIs, blood tests and CT scans. There were talks of bleeding in his brain due to blood thinners, talks of severe reactions to the blood thinners, talks of spinal taps and of stroke risk. For a while they thought perhaps the clots in his lungs had traveled to his brain. There were lots of tears, prayers, Morphine, Dilaudid and Zofran. And then a readmittance into the hospital for a 2nd time.

I didn't sleep for a span of 48 hours. I couldn't take my eyes off of David, watching each breath he breathed and thanking God for allowing him to be alive.

He was admitted to the neurology floor where neurologists worked to figure out what in the heck was going on. While they tested out theories and prescribed various treatments over the next 2 days, David was in a state of utter torture. His pain was what the hospital staff referred to as "unmanageable" meaning, no medications helped. Even the strongest of the strong, Dilaudid (about 3x stronger than Morphine) would only touch his pain for a brief moment. His nausea was also unmanageable and the only way David got any relief was literally by being unconscious. One particular drug called Phenergan was very helpful for just knocking him out and giving him a little reprieve from the agony.

During these days, I got a strong sense that this thing was bigger than ourselves or the doctors' abilities to help. I stopped being able to pray intelligible prayers and simply began begging the Spirit to intercede on our behalf. I called upon the name of Jesus more times than I can count. We had a revolving door of support come through. David needed complete darkness and silence, so much of the intercessory prayer happened outside of his room but that didn't make it any less powerful! I've only had a few times in my life where I could literally feel myself being carried by the prayers of others, this was one of those times.

After 2 and a half very long days, eventually the neurologists gave us explanation for what David was experiencing. He had a condition called status migrainosus which is characterized by 72+ hours of relentless and unmanageable pain, vomiting and nausea. They confirmed he had no blood clots in his brain and no bleeding in his brain. This condition put him at a heightened risk for stroke and began evaluating him several times each day for stroke signs. But ultimately, they believed there were no abnormalities in his brain and that he would be ok.  I truly believe God spared him from a multitude of worse-case scenarios.

They finally put him on a steroid protocol with a mix of IV medications which aimed at breaking his pain. After about 14 hours, he slowly moved into a more coherent state of mind as the pain began to dissipate. The next morning, he ate a few bites of food. He smiled. He kept his eyes open. He spoke in full sentences. He began to slowly turn the corner. The steroids helped him so much and really brought him back to reality again...a reality with much less pain, confusion and torment.

Terrified to be discharged prematurely again, David and I decided it would be best for him to see how he did without any pain or nausea meds in his system before we agreed to be discharged. We stayed long past when we needed to, just to make sure. He had so many ups and downs over the week, we didn't want to go home only to have him relapse yet again. But after 12 hours of reduced pain and no nausea, he seemed to still be doing well so we cautiously went home.

He has since been on the mend and recovering well. The blood clots are still there. They will probably stay in his lungs for the next few months, but the doctors feel confident that they will not get bigger and they should dissipate with time while he is on blood thinners. We still have some testing to do in the months to come to see if the blood clots are due to a coagulation disorder.

He seems to have recovered fully from the pain and nausea, which is a big blessing. His body is handling the blood thinners well and aside from not being able to mountain bike, shave with a razor or really do anything that could cause bleeding, the blood thinners don't seem to be too much of a problem.

Somewhere in all of this, we moved out of our house and into my in-law's home. We sold our home. And I started grad school. But those are different posts for a different day.

For now, I will simply thank God for His favor and protection over my sweet husband. And I will continue to smile and stare at him as I watch him breathe :)

January 24, 2016

This Time Around

I was packing boxes this week to get ready for our move in just 5 short days (did I mention that our buyers moved up our closing date? So now we are moving on Friday, which is 2 days after I begin grad school. Yeah...that's not stressful at all!). I came across the journal I wrote in from 2007-2009 while I was getting my degree in counseling at Denver Seminary. Goodness. During my very first semester when I was only 6 weeks into my program I wrote, "I don't think this is for me...." And it just got worse from there.

I have such a different mindset this time around.

I had orientation on Friday and there was nothing but joy and anticipation in my heart. No doubt or fear, no questioning or uncertainty and no temptation to run out the door (haha)! The entire 7 hour orientation was like a balm to my soul. I soaked in every message, every piece of advice given to us by the various professors, deans, students and faculty. I had the privilege of eating lunch with two professors in my program and they were so kind and encouraging. The entire day solidified my belief that things will be very different this time.

With such a strong desire to make my grad school experience rich and redeeming, there is certainly self-imposed pressure to do all the things I didn't do back in 2007-2009. Read all the pages in all the books. Pour my heart into researching papers. Attend every single class. Stay on top of every assignment. Prepare. Enjoy. Study. Soak it all in. Thrive.

Truly I hope that I do all those things. But I think a little grace will go a long way too. It's tempting to strive-strive-strive-achieve-achieve-achieve. But throwing myself into perfectionism and legalism isn't going to accomplish anything. I have to keep in mind that I am still recovering from brain surgery. And we're moving and house hunting. And I'm still running a business. And I'm still a wife. This education experience is sure to be rigorous and challenging, but it's ok to rest, breathe and enjoy the ride as well.

After registering for classes, I had a peek at my course assignments and I am equally excited and overwhelmed at what is ahead of me. I have 3,126 pages to read, 10 papers to write, midterms, group projects, retreats and finals in the next 5 months. So yeah.... grace :)
Ahhhh just look at these beautiful books! I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to each one. They don't feel like arduous text books to me. They feel like pages of wisdom, challenge and nourishment for my heart that I can't wait to read. Let the journey begin...


January 10, 2016

This & That

I have like 4 posts sitting in my drafts because I'm too distracted and overwhelmed to finish them haha! So a This & That will have to do for now! :)

  • Big news first! I got into grad school! Honestly, I am humbled that they want me back. Part of me truly felt like they might say "maybe just stick with your photography career, kthxbai!" But instead, they welcomed me back with gracious and open arms. I am so ridiculously excited. Far more excited than I ever was when I was accepted for the Counseling program. I'm excited to finally pursue something that I feel God calling me to.  
  • I have already registered for classes too! I managed to get 2 classes on the same day. Wednesday from 8-11am and 5-7pm with a nice 6 hour block in between to get work done in the library, which is a good thing because after looking through the syllabi, I already feel behind! But one awesome thing? I just looked at the syllabus for my Dynamics of the Spiritual Journey class and one of the requirements was to write a 10-page paper integrating personal suffering with a book titled, "A Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth."  I love that God is weaving my personal experiences with my academic endeavors. Amazingly redemptive!
  • House selling is going well. We had our inspection and appraisal last week. The inspection objections were so random! They wanted us to remove a bird's nest, a nail in our front porch they didn't like and they thought our dishwasher latch felt a little too loose. So random. We are so thankful that nothing major (like a furnace) needs fixing or replacement.
  • House buying is going...slowly. There's not much on the market and what is on the market is stuff we are not crazy about. One house that did catch our eye is a precious little mountain home which is still within City limits. It's perched up on a hill and has a wrap-around porch (swoon!) with french doors that open from the Master bedroom to the porch. Could you image the peaceful Saturday mornings we could have? Just wake up and walk onto your porch with a cup of coffee in hand. We sort of love the idea. But there are drawbacks for sure....like treacherous commutes in the snow or dark, crazy mountain-man-survivalist-hermits for neighbors, septic systems, well water and spotty cell service. Still pondering this one...

















  • David fractured his foot in three places while skiing a few weeks ago. This air cast has been like the 3rd member of our marriage. It goes everywhere with us. It limits what we can do. It makes peaceful walks in the snow impossible. It makes me have to do all the heavy lifting with our moving process which I shouldn't really even be doing. I'm not a fan and David is really not a fan! Hoping to get it off soon...


  • One of my favorite Christmas gifts was my S'well Bottle! Have you heard of S'well? Their bottles are amazing! They're stainless steel and keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. Amazing! If you're in need of a good water bottle, definitely check it out, they have the coolest colors and designs too! And the large one? It holds an entire bottle of wine...you're welcome :)

December 31, 2015

2015: Looking Back

I've come to learn that while many people's life come with standard ups and downs, our years carry a theme of despairing depths and highest highs. Our sweet times are so so so sweet. Our bitter times are painfully bitter. It's pretty rare for us to have an "average" year. We're either on Cloud 9 in the Cayman Islands or I'm having brain surgery. Not a lot of middle ground for us. And that's ok, we're getting the hang of the extremes!

2015 will probably not go down in the books as my favorite year. Ha! On the whole, it's been a hard year. One of the hardest, actually. But there's been tons of really good stuff mixed in with the really bad.

The biggest event of 2015 was brain surgery. It's no surprise that going through SCDS, surgery and recovery from a craniotomy has been consuming my life this year. But it's kind of a part of my life now whether I like it or not. But surgery fixed the broken bone and I feel so much better now than I did before surgery. Miraculous, beautiful healing that I am so grateful for! I still don't feel "normal" so on the whole, I'm worse off than I was before this whole mess started in 2014. But I'm much better than I was at the height of my symptoms from SCDS. I am so so so grateful to be feeling better! And I got to spend a whole month in Cali with David, his family and my sister and I have genuinely wonderful memories from our time together. See? Good mixed with bad.
Yikes! Terrible picture, but a great reminder of how far I've come!

It really really really sucked to have three spinal taps this year. The pain from those things will be seared into my brain forever. I still have residual nerve pain in my back from them if I move in certain ways. They represent my darkest days this year. But ultimately the results from them were positive and meant I didn't need to have any more surgery moving forward (yay!). And I think they helped spur me on to apply to grad school (still waiting to hear if I got in, by the way!).

Maintaining a business this year felt impossible at times. I turned away a dozen weddings, I paid other photographers to shoot things for me because I couldn't. I lost 60% of my income this year. I stressed that my entire business might collapse inwards on itself. So I pushed myself to work beyond what I should have. The stress of trying to recover from surgery and maintain the appearance that my company was running on all cylinders was exhausting. I had setbacks in my healing because I was trying to work when I shouldn't have been. But, God sustained me and by His grace and has faithfully provided for us. And when I was feeling well, I had the opportunity to photograph at some killer locations! Some of my favorite images ever were taken this year and I felt like I took a big step forward in my creativity.  2016 is shaping up to be really good too! Yay!

We brought my sweet puppy-niece into our family this year! Lulu always makes everything better!  She has been a bright spot for many people in my family this year. No matter how many hard things are going on, spending 5 minutes with Lu is sure to make everything better!

I got to travel and do a little road trip. Granted, it was my grandmother's funeral that prompted the trip in the first place, but it was a wonderful experience with David as we explored part of Kentucky together. We had the chance to see new places and experience the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Ultimately, it was a bit more than I could handle and it set me back a bit in my healing journey, but it was a really fun time that we both enjoyed. I'm so glad David was able to not work for a few days so we could just enjoy our time together.
Utah was without a doubt the highlight of our year. A whole trip with nothing bad! I physically felt good the whole time and we got to see a lot of new places. It was definitely the best part of 2015!


One of our biggest changes this year was our decision to sell our house! We found out a few days ago that our house is officially under contract (we close 2/15/16). Very bittersweet for sure. We are so encouraged to have sold our house to the very first people who looked at it. They gave us a great offer and we're super hopeful that we will be able to keep the process moving forward smoothly! We're pretty sad to be leaving, but we know it's for the best and we're trusting God to bring us to the place where we're meant to be!

All in all, I'm more than happy to say goodbye to 2015. Don't let the door hit you on the way out! ;)

December 13, 2015

Change of Scene

In other news regarding major life deicsions, we are listing our sweet house on the market tomorrow. *sniff*sniff* 

This has been a long time coming, but we finally felt God's prompting to pull the trigger on this. We first started talking about it last September when we came back from the Cayman Islands. It was like in the span on 2 weeks while we were gone, our area grew by 50,000 people and all of the sudden David's commute to work was a stressful, accident-riddled mess. It was taking him upwards of an hour to drive 20 miles home from work on any given day. Add snow into the mix and his drive home was even longer. 

Fast forward 18 months and the situation has just gotten worse. In the span of one year, they have built or are currently building within 1/2 mile of our house:
  • 500 apartment units 
  • 300 new homes 
  • shooting range 
  • mental health facility
  • church
  • Marriott
  • Comfort Inn with a "mini water park" 
  • 500,000 square foot Scheel's, complete with shooting range, 65 foot ferris wheel and an "indoor mountain" where you can test products. 
  • 4 million square feet of spaced zoned for future commercial retail
  • serious talks about the expansion of the Interstate which is right next to us
We knew when we bought and built our house that there was a ton of open land around us which would likely become developed. We also knew that we live in a very desirable area and that there would likely be people who move here. I guess we just didn't expect everything to happen all at once! Consequently, the roads by our house are always closed for construction, David's commute is awful and I personally am feeling a little suffocated by all the development and change.

We were planning on selling our house last year at this time, but when I suddenly began having health problems and the prospect of brain surgery was on the table, we decided to wait. It was a wise decision for many reasons, one of which being our neighborhood appreciated by 19% in one year. Dang!

We met with our realtor this week and in the span on 6 days, we got our house ready to sell! Our area has been selling like hotcakes with most houses going under contract within a week with multiple offers above asking price. The Colorado real estate market is absolutely nuts right now, so we're going to hopefully take advantage of that!


The next logical question is...where are we going to move to? The short answer is...we don't know. Somewhere in the town where David works so that he can get closer to his job. It would be great if he could ride his bike to work or at least be within a 10 minute drive. That's a pretty big radius with a lot of options in terms of neighborhoods and areas to look at. The plan is to move in with his parents after we sell our house and then take our time looking for our next house.

We decided to do a "private listing" first, where our home doesn't actually go on the public MLS. Since Christmas is less than 2 weeks away, there is a chance that no one is actually looking for a house right now. We don't want to just sit on the market and risk people thinking "what's wrong with that house? Why hasn't it sold in such a hot market?" So we'll list privately first and if we don't get any bites, we'll list publicly in January. Private listings basically just means that your house is for sale, but it's not going to show up in the MLS database. So our realtor can market to other agents and put the word out, it just won't show up on-line yet.

Truth be told, I'm kind of sad about this. We love this house so much, I can't imagine ever living in a home I love as much as this one. We spent so many years saving for this house. We spent so many hours helping design it and watching it be built. It's going to be hard to walk away.

At the same time, I'm also looking forward to it. This house has often felt like more of a recovery ward than anything else. I've had 3 major surgeries while living here and I feel like all I've done in the last 4 years is attempt to heal and get back to normal. Honestly, some of our worst years have been spent in this house.

So I'm excited about a change. A fresh start. A new town. A change of scene. My hope is that wherever we wind up, we will be walking solidly in God's will and that His hand will have favor on our next steps and decisions in the weeks and months ahead. We're trusting Him to help us sell this house and bring us to a home that is exactly what we need. I'll definitely be updating on the house hunting process!



December 10, 2015

Of All Things

I've always felt the call to help others. Back in 2007, in my 24 years of wisdom, I thought that naturally meant counseling so I pursued that degree. While I certainly don't think my counseling degree was a waste, I do know that I missed the mark in that pursuit. And that's ok. Because that experience was a significant stone in my path through life. It lead me on a 5 year journey that I have affectionally called my Wild Goose Chase. A chase of discovering God's call on my life. It has been a journey of discovering my abilities + giftings and how they match up with needs of the world (and church) + God's leading.

I have been auditing classes for about 2 years now at Denver Seminary in an attempt to "finish my unfinished business" and redeem part of my experience there from my counseling days. This fall I began auditing a class called "Scripture, Formation and Soul Care." It's been a wonderfully restorative class for me personally (especially considering the year I've had). Going into the class, I had no idea what to expect. I've been really surprised at how impactful it has been.  It's reshaped how I view suffering, God's love, how I approach reading the Bible and it has mended a few bruised areas in my heart.

Not only has this class ministered to my heart, but God has also used it to reveal another beautiful stepping stone in my path ahead. If you flip over this most recently discovered stone you'd find "Grad School: for real this time" written on the underside of it. Yep. I have officially applied to grad school...again! Maybe the second time is a charm ;)

I have prayed and prayed and prayed. I've sought godly advice, poured through God's Word, talked with students at Denver Seminary, read books and prayed some more. I think I can say with relative confidence that God is drawing me back to pursue a formal education again. And this time, I think I'm hitting closer to the mark of what God is truly calling me to.

The program is called Christian Formation & Soul Care. The further I explored my class this semester and the more I looked into the program, the more I realized that this was it.

Can I just say that I think it's pretty remarkable that God used brain surgery and spinal taps (of all things!) to help point me in the direction of my calling? If I hadn't been so utterly broken spiritually this summer, I doubt I would have ever signed up to audit this class. I just think that is pretty awesome that those botched spinal taps actually had a purpose. I shouldn't really be that surprised, but I am.

So what exactly is Christian Formation & Soul Care? Christian Formation is essentially our spiritual walk with God. It's our process of maturity and development as we seek loving intimacy with Christ. The journey has many ups and downs, twists and turns, valleys and mountains. And it's in this journey that we occasionally need a little Soul Care (also referred to as Spiritual Direction). The guidance of another...a fellow sojourner...a spiritual friend to encourage us and help point us back in the right direction (Christ) so we can get back on our way.

This is what I've felt God lovingly draw me into over the past several months.

The opportunities that this degree can lead to are pretty diverse...everything from leading retreats to becoming a spiritual director. You can get a job working at a church in pastoral care, discipleship or chaplaincy. You can also use it in a teaching context or some other type of full-time ministry. Or maybe God will lead me into something I haven't even thought of yet! Two of my spiritual role models just retired from being full-time soul care missionaries. They traveled all over the world caring for other full-time missionaries who were away from home and in need of some spiritual encouragement and refreshment. They'd visit a missionary in India for a week and then head to China to encourage a group there. See? There are endless directions this path could go!

I love that this process involves helping others, but in a non-clinical or therapeutic context. I get excited at the idea of being able to help and encourage fellow believers on their spiritual journeys without needing to "fix" them in a traditional counseling setting. I feel a lot of peace and reassurance about that.

I am still in the very beginning stages of learning and understanding the world of Soul Care and Christian Formation. At this point, I have more questions than answers and I haven't even been accepted formally into the program yet, so I'm practicing the art of not getting ahead of myself. I'm trying to pace myself here, taking one little step at a time as I hear His voice calling me forward. So for now, my application is officially submitted and I'll wait patiently to hear the final word on if they'll have me back for a second go-round. Fingers crossed! :)




November 13, 2015

Utah

Mmmmmm I love the desert. I don't know what it is about this place, but I'm officially obsessed. Moab is a 6 hour drive from our front doorstep (uh, when you're not driving in a blizzard, which we were, so it was technically a 9 hour trip for us. Boo.) and it's kind of just become a little tradition over the years for us to getaway in the fall (and sometimes the spring too!) to this beautiful area. This is probably the 5th or 6th time I've been to Moab and it just seems to get better each time! Before you know it, we'll probably just move there. I kid, I kid. Kinda.

We stayed at a place called The Red Cliffs Lodge, which has become "our" place over the years. It's absolutely awesome. It's beautiful. It's affordable. It sits right on the river and in the heart of some of the best places to explore. They have a killer on-site restaurant and a to-die-for Sunday brunch. They even have their own vineyards and winery too! Mmmm wine....


 It's tempting to stick with tried and true hikes and adventures in this area. There's 2 National Parks right here and an abundance of awesome trails that we've done before. But we decided this time we should try new stuff.

Our first day was a hike through Negro Bill's Canyon to Morning Glory Arch. I've driven by the trailhead 40 times over the years but have never stopped to hike it. What a fun hike! There was very little elevation gain except for the very end. About 5 miles roundtrip and at the end is a beautiful arch called Morning Glory arch. We got to see a few people repelling down it, pretty cool!
It may be winter in Colorado now, but fall was in full force out in Utah. The trees were beautiful! Here's a photo of Morning Glory arch above the yellow foliage. Beautiful!

After our hike, we drove around Castle Valley and Fisher Towers. These two areas are super popular for commercials and movies. There are dozens and dozens of movies that have been filmed in this area. Mission Impossible, Thelma & Louise, and pretty much every John Wayne movie ever.


On our second day, we headed over to Dead Horse State Park, which sits right next to Canyonlands. You get all the beautiful views of Canyonlands without all the motorhomes and RVs clogging the roads. David did a 14 mile mountain bike ride and I did a 5 mile hike along the eat rim. I picked a less populated trail in the hopes of finding a little solitude. My reward at the end was astounding. I sat on the edge of a cliff (couldn't have done that 9 months ago with my vertigo!) and listened to the wind blow through the canyons below. It was pure silence and pure perfection. See the edge of the cliff in the photo below? That's where I sat. Pretty cool!
 I snapped a few long exposures on the ledge
Our third day was probably my favorite of all. We hiked to Bowtie and Corona arch. They're not in a park of any sort, just a standard trailhead and a 3 mile hike to see them. Wowza! What an incredible spot! I was also pretty jazzed because this made for my 3rd day of hiking in a row...a true sign that I getting back to normal after surgery! I'm not 100% yet and this trip gently reminded me of that. David caught the picture below where I was attempting to look up at the arch. I was soooo off balance, I had to keep my arms out and my feet super wide in order to not fall over. Haha! Nothing to worry about, but looking straight up like this isn't a regular part of my vestibular therapy. I suppose it should be if I want to ever look up at arches again without falling over. :)

 Can you spot David?

Here you can see both Bowtie arch (left) and Carona arch (right)

After our hike out to Corona arch, we headed back to CO. Thankfully our drive home was less eventful with no blizzards to speak of. Our long weekend to Utah was one of the best trips we've had in a while. I'm so lucky God gave me such an awesome travel partner, hiking buddy and best friend like David. We have so much fun on trips like this, I'm just the luckiest girl to have him!

November 5, 2015

This & That

  • This is a tough one.. David and I have felt God leading us away from our church of 9 years. I tried to fight it for a while as we talked about exploring other churches in our area. But as we have prayed over the past year (yes, it's been on our hearts that long, we just haven't felt convicted to move into action until now), it has become clear to us that God is indeed moving us in a different direction. Our prayer right now is just that God would guide us to wherever He wants us to be...even if that is right back at our current church at the end of our exploring. We're trusting Him to navigate us through this process. I'm sad, nervous, excited, hopeful and overwhelmed all at the same time (typical). Searching for a solid, Biblical church is exhausting. Gone are the days of just being able to go into a church and trust that it's a place full of people seeking Truth. Case in point, there's a new church being built in our neighborhood right now. It's a super cute building, it's going to have a day care center, book store and a coffee shop inside. I looked at their website only to find out they are a part of one of the largest Christian cults in America. Lots of wolves in sheep's clothing out there. But, hopefully at the end of our search, God will have lead us to a place that feels like home. Let the searching begin!

  • In September I had the opportunity to spend a week in Aspen with my mom and sister (and Lulu of course!!!) and I'm just now getting around to looking through photos of our trip. I had 3 elopements in the area so we decided it would be fun to just rent a house and hang for the week. We hiked, took scenic drives, ate a lot of pizza, relaxed on the patio, played with Lu and just had a wonderful time connecting and enjoying the beauty around us.




  • A few weekends ago, we were invited to stay at a beautiful lodge in the Snowy Mountains in Wyoming with some dear friends of ours. Each year we do a photoshoot swap for each other so that we have some updated pictures. In years past, we've gone to some beautiful locations, but this one was one of my favorites. The lodge rents out rustic cabins which we got to stay in. We fished, took photos, shared meals, played poker, hiked and just had a wonderfully relaxing weekend away.



 I swear this wild man of mine is never happier than when he has a fishing pole in his hands. He caught 5 fish in less than an hour!
  • David and I have both been dyyyyying to go to the desert lately. It's been a year since we were last there and we're kind of crawling out of our skin to get back. There's just something about the desert...it's healing, inspiring, peaceful, vibrant and just a heck of a lot of fun! So to the desert we go. We're taking a long weekend away. Still not sure where we're going yet...maybe Moab or maybe not. Maybe Capitol Reef or maybe not. We'll just let the Spirit move on this trip :)

  • Something has to happen soon with my hair. The area which was shaved for surgery is starting to grow in really well. It's about 4 inches long now and it's getting out of control. In another month or two, it's going to be really obvious that a big chunk of my hair doesn't look right. Up until now I've been able to hide it all really well. Most people can't tell I'm missing any hair at all (pro tip: if you have brain surgery, make sure your brain surgeon is based in L.A. and has bought into the SoCal lifestyle that places a high value on looking good. He'll minimize the hair you lose and the size of your scar. *wink*wink*) but in a few months, I think a big change will be coming so that all my hair can be the same length again. Long bob perhaps?

  • It's my off-season now and things have slowed down enough to finally start reading for pleasure again. David and I both want to be more intentional with our down-time and not get too sucked into TV, movies or Pinterest (me, not him ha!). I'm keeping a running list of books I want to read but I'd love to add a few new ones to the list. Have you read anything good lately? Please share!
  • David and I signed up for Apple Music a few months ago and I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. Recently I've discovered a TON of Christian artists that I never knew existed. Apparently there is a whole genre of Christian folk music that I never knew about. I love listening to Christian music, but sometimes listing to straight worship music all day while I work is a bit much. So I've been really enjoying this new niche of music. It's a very chill, folky, acoustic, coffee-house style. Some bands and lyrics and aren't overtly spiritual, some are. I personally think there's still a lot of power in believers of God creating and making music that is inspired by God even if every lyric isn't explicitly about God. Here's a few of the artists I've discovered if you're looking to add to your Christian music collection: Loud Harp, Strahan, Kye Kye, Hunter G K Thompson, A Boy and His Kite, John Mark McMillan, Lovelite, All The Bright Lights, Andrew Ehrenzeller and Harvest. My favorite so far is Strahan. Good grief, he is good.

About Me

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Hi friends, my name is Becky. I am a follower of Christ, wife, sister and friend. I own a photography business based in beautiful Colorado. I am an adventurer at heart and an explorer of God's creation. I'm obsessed with beauty products, simple living, traveling, hiking, camping and all things outdoors. I am learning more about myself, God, healing and my faith as I navigate the aftermath of 5+ years of infertility. I'm glad you're here, I'd love to connect with you! :)

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