Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 Courage Classic

We’re excited to let you all know that this summer we will ride more than 150 miles in the 26th Courage Classic bicycle tour benefiting Children’s Hospital Colorado. Over the next few months we will train to conquer climbs up multiple passes through our beautiful Rocky Mountains.  Powering our bikes for three days straight will challenge us, but our primary goal is to raise money for children and families who rely on Children’s Colorado. We hope to collectively raise $2.8 million for kids like Madelyn Hill.

Madelyn is a very sweet friend of ours and is almost 7 years old and two weeks after she turned one, her journey with Children’s Hospital began. At that time the physicians concluded that Madelyn had deep vein thrombosis, portal vein, causing portal vein hypertension, an enlarged spleen and esophageal varices.  Madelyn is now a life-long DHI/GI patient and will always have endoscopy procedures.

Over the last several years, I have been blessed to become one of Madelyn’s “Scope Buddy’s.”  “It truly has been such a blessing for me to be able to pray with them, build legos, watch movies or just be there to hold Miss Madelyn and her sweet family while they go through these procedures.”  It’s been an incredibly humbling experience as well, to not only witness what Madelyn and her precious family must go through, but all the brave kids and their families at Children’s Hospital Colorado!

This is a picture of Madelyn and I at Children’s after her scope last summer.  “It’s a very special memory I will always cherish.  She was so excited to show me her new bible while we waited to leave the hospital after an endoscopy.  It was a sweet reminder of God’s faithfulness through each child’s journey!”  We love this sweet girl and her family so much!

Not only will Josh and I be riding, but our 8 year old daughter, Kylee will be riding 20 miles on day two of the Courage Classic to support these kids as well.  We are honored to not only ride for Madelyn, but also for Joel Belt who is battling Pulmonary Hypertension, Cross Evans who is battling Leukemia, Kaylee Remmich who is battling Medulloblastoma and the many, many other kids and their families fighting their own battles and benefiting from the care at Children’s Hospital Colorado!  We would be honored if you would support these kids, their families and Children’s Hospital Colorado by donating to our ride!

I look forward to sharing our journey as a team with each of you!

Blessings to you and thank you for your consideration,


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Dose of Perspective

Oh my dear friends, have you ever been served a humbling piece of perspective from a five year old little boy?  God used my sweet little dude to speak volumes to me this week.  The last couple of weeks or so at work have been extremely busy and I've found myself just taking care of one emergency after another between technical issues, assisting fellow coworkers, meeting requests from the corporate office, etc. etc. etc.  But, we all have seasons like that whether it's at work, home, ministry, etc. right?  This really wasn't any different than any other busy time at work, but for some reason it was overwhelming me a bit right now.

One thing I cherish so much in our home (even though it doesn't happen all the time) is having dinner together as a family.  I love the time together, catching up with each other and just reconnecting a bit. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes there's arguing, complaining or silence.  Monday evening, the conversation went like this:

Josh - 'How was your day at work?'
Me - 'Oh, it was okay.  Just a little overwhelmed though as I just feel like I'm putting fires out and not getting much accomplished and getting behind.'
Jayce - 'Mom, why don't you just borrow my Lego Fire Truck to help you put out your fires?'
Me - 'Oh, Jayce that's so sweet of you, but they're not real fires.'
Jayce - 'Well it's not a real fire truck either'

The next morning, Jayce brought me his fire truck, so that I could take it to work for a couple days to help me with my 'fires.'  I love this little boy's sense of humor and how God used him to remind me that these little battles I've been dealing with at work and at home needed a little perspective.  They're not near as big of deal as I was feeling they were and I just needed to take a deep breath and realize these aren't real fires and God's got this!

May you also find a little perspective in the midst of your battle and find peace in God's grace!  And if means putting a toy fire truck on your desk as a visual reminder, then do that too!

As we enter a weekend, I'm going to rest on God's promise in Matthew 11:28.  'Come to me, those who are weary, and I will give you rest.' 



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas & A Season of Change

First of all we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  What an incredible blessing it is to celebrate our savior's birth!  Things have been a bit crazy for us and I just wanted to update everyone on some changes coming our way in this new 'Season of Change.'

The month of December has been full of challenges, illness, emotions and blessings!  The month began with me traveling for two consecutive weeks for work.  The meetings were great and it's always nice to reconnect to others we work with within CHS.  I was certainly ready to get home though.  Over the last six weeks our little family has also dealt with colds, the stomach bug and 3 out of 4 getting the flu.  Although this too was a bit challenging, it was a reminder of what a blessing it is for us all to love on one another.  We've also had to prepare for some very dear friends to move, which has been a lot harder than I ever imagined.  Needless to say, I've been an emotional wreck!

So this next 'Season of Change' entails us moving!  Now don't panic, we're not moving very far.  Joshua just recently accepted a Foreman position with Y-W Electric (the same company he's worked for over the last 14 years).  Although this is exciting and I'm so very proud of him, it does require us to move so that he can respond to outages in the required timeframe. We'll be moving to Otis (30 miles west of where we live now) in about a year.  This will give us time to prepare to sell our house.  This comes with a lot of details for us to figure out as well (finding a place to rent while we're in between houses, making plans to build a new house, deciding when the kids will change schools, etc.).  Otis will be a great location for us as it will be half way between my work and Joshua's but it's certainly going to be a journey for us to get there.

Those of you who have followed our many house projects can imagine the emotional struggle it is to even think about selling our house.  This is our first home, the home we brought both of our babies to, the home Joshua has put countless hours into remodeling/finishing, a place we have grown to love and have created countless memories in.  God has shown me so much throughout the last couple of weeks and reminded me that the walls of a home aren't near as precious as those we share the inside of our home with!  I pray that the next family who owns this house will cherish the memories they create within these walls!

This last month has been a bit exhausting to be completely honest, but God has been faithful through every bit of it.  We've also had to take some time to just rest, even if it meant staying home from church (which we have greatly missed).  We can't thank our dear friends and family enough for loving on us and praying for us through this season.  I've also been reminded that even though this season seems challenging, it's really not that big of deal and is a very small part of our journey here on this earth!  A dear friend shared once how if our eternal life was represented by the size of our thumb, these seasons are merely a speck on our thumb!  A perfect reminder for any of us going through a challenging season!

2015 will be a season of change but we are certain God will carry us every step of the way.  I'm praying that you will feel God's presence in whatever season you are in as well!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blacktop for Black Friday

Oh my dear friends, I have so much to catch up on in this little journey of mine.  I apologize in advance as my posts may be a bit sporadic and random for a while (that seems to be how our lives have been a bit lately too).  I've enjoyed taking a break from blogging for the last several months, but oh how I've missed sharing and connecting with you all.

We've had a lovely Thanksgiving with my in-laws in Western Kansas.  The kids absolutely love one on one time with Gramma Chelle and played games, painted, sewed (they made the bags and hats in the picture below), went to the park and played outside.  It's such a blessing to see these special relationships grow!

When we were packing and getting ready to head to Western Kansas I checked the weather to determine what clothes needed to be packed.  When I saw the weather was in the 60's and 70's, our packing requirements changed :)

Although we spent some time doing some Black Friday shopping online, we were excited to hit the 'Blacktop for Black Friday' as well!  Josh's mom and dad blessed us so much by keeping the kiddos so that we could go on a ride/date together.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous (despite a bit of wind).  We started heading south of Leoti and had set out to ride 40 miles.  It was a bit of an aggressive goal as neither of us had been on our bikes in about two months.  I've still been cross training and running, but I forget how different biking is.  We had a decent head/side wind heading south but as you can see on the map, we had about 5 miles where we headed east and oh my goodness was that fun with the wind pushing us!!!  Joshua ended up going about 35 miles an hour and I hit about 25 miles an hour during this part of the ride.   My only problem was about halfway through this fun little jaunt, I realized we were going to turn around soon and have to ride with a nasty headwind.  Yuck!

When we first started biking, we both got Garmin Edge 510's, which have a live tracking option. Josh's parents and the kids really enjoyed following us on the computer. They could see where we were on the map, how fast (or how slow) we were riding, when we stopped, etc. They're a bit expensive but definitely worth it for safety purposes, great for collecting data, and make it fun for friends and family to follow too!

We made it to our halfway point at the Kearny county line and had to stop for a few fun pictures.  A special little friend of ours was riding her bike today too (in Colorado), so we told each other we would share pictures as if we were riding together (hence the goofy pictures of Josh).  I just love how technology can bridge miles between special friends! #teamMadelyn

 I love this guy and his fun personality!  I never would have guessed 3 years ago that we would be doing things like running half marathons or biking 40 miles together.  Truly blessed!

It was a hard ride but we finished the 40 miles together!  It's pretty incredible how God created us and what our bodies are capable of accomplishing!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Slacker Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap ~ Our First Run-Cation!

There's nothing like running 13.1 miles to celebrate 13 years of being married to this incredible man God brought into my life many years ago!

Now that our kiddos have gotten a bit older, they're starting to enjoy summer trips to see Grandparents in the summer, while Mommy and Daddy enjoy some alone time.  As hard as it is to be away from them, it's always a great reminder that we are husband and wife first, and daddy and mommy second.  My mother-in-law came and picked up the kiddos on that Wednesday and then Thursday Josh and I headed to the mountains.  Last year we went to Dillon, CO to stay the night before I ran the Slacker Half Marathon and it was just beautiful, but we didn't really have the time to enjoy the area, so we were excited to have a little extra time this trip!

We took our time traveling to Dillon and once again we were just blown away by the view.  Friday morning we enjoyed not being wakened by an alarm or little people and then went for a 2 mile run just to get rid of some pre-race jitters and to adjust to the elevation (or try to anyway).  The run along the Dillon lake was absolutely gorgeous!  After we ran 2 miles we walked and chatted for 2 more miles.  I remember telling Joshua how had we not started this journey of becoming more active, we wouldn't have even taken the time to enjoy such a beautiful run/walk.

 Is this view not just breathtaking?  God is SO good!!!

This wonderful man has always supported my journey to getting healthier, 
but absolutely nothing compares to being on this journey together!

This little morning run was a perfect reminder of why I enjoy this sport so much!

Dinner at the Dam Brewery.  Oh, he always makes me laugh!

Great food, a lovely glass of wine and the best company :)

Saturday morning finally came and it was time to head to Georgetown to be bused to the Loveland Ski area.  The temperature at the starting line was about 38 degrees and I was SO cold.  I had such a hard time taking off my sweatshirt, but I knew it was going to warm up quickly and I wasn't about to make the same mistake I did last year by dressing too warm.  To be honest though, I even had tears it was so cold.  But leave it to my husband to help me relax and get excited to run!

When we said 'I do' 13 years ago, I never would have dreamed about this very moment!  This was one of the most incredible times in our marriage.  Love him so much!!!

I felt so much better about this race than I did a year ago.  It's fun when you know what to expect and know the course.  For some reason though, I REALLY struggled through miles 5-7.  I started to have stomach cramps really bad, which I'm sure was due to the elevation and not eating and drinking enough before we got started.  I really didn't want to walk or stop at ALL through the entire race, but the cramping got so bad that I had no choice but to walk for just a bit and catch my breath.  Once I did, the rest of the race was enjoyable!  I have to say that the encouragement from the other Team Beef members and runners was awesome at this race too!

This picture was around mile 10!  I can't believe I actually had a smile.

I'm so incredible proud of Joshua for completing his first half marathon race!  He wanted to finish in under two hours, but believe it or not... he finished in TWO HOURS AND ONE MINUTE!  He's still a bit bitter about the fact that the bottleneck of runners at the starting line and a potty break prevented him from meeting his goal.  I'm still so incredibly proud of him!!!

I struggled again right before the finish line, but there my hubby was to help me finish as he ran with me the last little bit (even after he had already finished his half marathon)!  I finished in 2:20 which was 7 minutes faster than what I ran it a year ago, so I was happy!  It was such an incredible reminder of this journey we're on together.

We celebrated finishing and then headed back to Dillon to relax and enjoy our last evening away.  I still struggle with getting headaches when I run 10 miles or more from getting dehydrated, so I was prepared for one to come and ready for a nap.  One of these days, I'll get it figured out :)

After a nap and dinner we went to the Dillon Ampitheatre and enjoyed some live bluegrass music, a beautiful sunset and a gorgeous view of the mountains and lake.  I've never felt so refreshed and connected to my dear husband than I did after this trip.

I hope that we can plan another Run-cation together (I would even love for this to be an annual event for us).  It was definitely one of the best trips we've had together!  Fellow married couples ~ I challenge you to think outside the box on your next getaway.  Although, we've really enjoyed other trips, planning and preparing for this one was incredibly special and certainly some memories I will cherish!  

After such a special getaway, we were certainly ready to get the kiddos home!  
We all made some pretty special memories and we're so grateful for the time our kiddos get to have with their grandparents!!!



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stitch Fix #8 Review

As I've shared before, I really enjoy Stitch Fix!  I've had several fixes over the last several months, but haven't shared about my experience in a while so I thought I would take a minute as I really enjoyed my recent fix.  I also wanted my stylist to see the clothes she picked out for me.  I hate shopping, but have enjoyed someone else overhauling my closet, because it REALLY needed it.  I love how Stitch Fix has also recently changed how you can set up your automatic 'fixes.'  I was doing it once a month, but I found that was a bit too much.  So, I've set up to get a 'fix' every other month, which has been just right to update my closet while being a bit easier on the budget.

Here's a recap of the 5 items I received this time.  I apologize, the pictures aren't great, but I greatly appreciate the effort from my husband.

1.  Fuchsia Jo Maxi Skirt - $58 ~  I have a confession to make with this one.  I've never been a huge fan of Maxi skirts.  Part of the issue is being so short, they never look quite right.  When I submitted my feedback, I shared the same thing with my Stitch Fix stylist, but told her that I would give it a try. Then after trying it on again, it was actually one of my favorites in this fix!  I love how the more my stylist gets to know me, the more she pushes me outside of my comfort zone.

2.  Light Pink Rosco Floral Print Crochet Detail Tank - $58 ~  I had pinned several crochet tops on my Pinterest board, so my stylist sent me a couple of them.  I love how you can pin items you like on Pinterest and then similar items show up in your fix.  It's almost like magic :)

3.  Ally Teardop Stone Bangle - $88 ~ Again, I had pinned several bangle bracelets that I liked on Pinterest, so Jocelyn sent me one with this fix.  I've always struggled with accessories, so it's been fun to get them in my fixes as well!

4.  Alison Sleeveless Colorblock Dress - $68 ~ I asked for something fun for Independence Day with this fix.  It's a fun dress to dress up or dress down.

5.  Dane Crochet Panel Knit Shirt - $54 ~  Sorry, the picture of this top just doesn't do it justice.  I love the crochet detail of this top and it has cute details on the back too. A fun top to wear with jeans, shorts or a skirt.

I have had the same stylist from the beginning and Jocelyn, I hope you continue to be my stylist!  I also appreciate the fact that you save 25% if you keep everything in your fix.

For my next fix, I've asked Stitch Fix to help me plan for family photos since they did such a great job last year when I asked for something in dark green or brown.  They sent me this adorable green jacket (the jeans were from Stitch Fix too).  I absolutely loved not having to stress over my outfit for family pictures.

It really is a wonderful service due to the fact that I live so far away from places to shop, I have no fashion sense, don't like to shop, but am really starting to like fun clothes for the first time in many, many years!

Thanks Stitch Fix!


The Kids' First 5K ~ Race Recap

As I've mentioned before 5k's are not my favorite race distance these days, but doing it as a family and with friends makes it my absolute favorite distance!  We debated whether or not to do a local 5k race even up to a couple days before just simply due to the fact that our schedules have been so busy lately and it was a week before our half marathon race in the mountains. Once the kids got excited about it, we knew we needed to take the morning to encourage our kids and let it be their race :).  It was also the first race for a dear friend of ours, so we were excited to run with her and her dear sister as well.  We love this local race, it's a small and friendly run.  Last year this race was our very first family run.  Thanks Lifestyle Fitness, for another wonderful race!

The kids were so cute getting ready for their race first thing in the morning.  There's something so encouraging and fun about sharing our love for running and taking care of our bodies with our kids!  God has designed our bodies to move and it's so fun to share this message as a family!  We also enjoy sharing the message that lean beef is a great source of protein for active families!!!  I apologize for the picture overload of this race... it was just such a special morning!

We were so proud of these kiddos!

Our dear friend helped design these adorable tanks.  We just love how cute they are and the message of Hebrews 12:1-2 it shares!  Rachael and Sara are such sweet sisters and so incredibly encouraging, sweet, Godly women.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for sharing this special day with us!!!

Oh, how I love this girl!  She has prayed, encouraged and reminded me of God's purpose on this journey from the very beginning!

Last year I ran with Kylee and Daddy ran with Jayce, so we decided to switch it up this year.  Two years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would see an image like this.  An incredible Daddy sharing such a special moment with his little girl!

I had no idea how much I would learn about my little dude through this race!  I have spent time working with Kylee on how to keep her pace, how to do run/walk intervals, but I hadn't worked with Jayce at all.  I was fully prepared for him to run a couple of blocks and then we would walk the remaining 5k, but oh boy did he surprise me.  This silly 5 year old took off at a sprint and ran for well over a mile without walking.  I had absolutely no idea he had it in him.  I also discovered how incredibly competitive he is.  It was a great reminder that there are other lessons to be learned running a race besides encouraging physical fitness.  I had to discuss with Jayce that the race is a great opportunity to encourage others and that it's important to finish the race!  This little guy touched my heart as anytime he passed or was passed by someone he reached out to give them a high five :)

Sweet Sara was definitely Jayce's budy!  She was so incredibly kind and gentle with him.

 When I asked Kylee what her favorite part of the race was, she didn't even hesitate to say that it was crossing the finish line with these ladies!  I don't think it matters how many races or how old you are, there's something amazing about each finish line!  

After a strong start, some tears and a piggy back ride on mommy, little dude finished strong!

This is one of my favorite pictures of the morning!  I love how Josh hurried to get to the finish line, so that he could capture these three lovely ladies coming across the finish line together.  

Kylee encouraging her little brother as he finished!

This was little dude's favorite part of the race... getting a snack when he finished!

Another one of my favorite pictures of the day.  These two ladies have such a special relationship!  And what a special way to deepen their friendship, running their first 5k together!  

Thanks Miss Rach, we love you so much!!!

Run the Race, Persevere & Focus on Christ!



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