Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Colorado Residents

Well it's been 6 months almost exactly since we pulled into the Mission Hills Condominium in Fort Collins Colorado with our big over-sized Penske truck and our two tired boys.
I can't believe it!

-We no longer "just moved into the area"
-I know where most everything is and definitely know our way around the city!
-we've tried tons of the local restaurants
-Richard has a great job (although still as inconsistent as his old job as far as work or time frame goes) but it's a job that provides none the less
-Richard is thriving at his job and doing a great job helping the owner grow the new company.
-We have met several new families that are newer to the area than us
-We have Colorado licence, and licence plates
-we have many friends that we are growing closer to each week
-We have a bed that is off the ground (instead of on the floor due to bed bugs in our last apartment that forced us to get rid of our beautiful sleigh bed)
-I got rid of the treadmill in our doorway so now we can walk in super easy! That was a glorious day!
-Richard is leading a small group "Life Group" at our church
-I'm in charge of the Children's ministry at our church. (although I would venture to say I'm very inadequate and would take any advice or help available. Feel way out of my league!)
-Our boys don't really remember living anywhere else. That makes me sad and I'm constantly trying to remind them of the family and friends we have in PA
-I cannot express enough how happy we are to be living in Colorado again. The first 3 months we said it almost every day, the last 3 months at least once a week! (although we enjoyed thoroughly our time in Pa, you can't take the Colorado of a Colorado man!)

God has blessed us beyond measure! We are so thankful that He led us here to Fort Collins. And we are so amazed by His grace that He pours out on our family day to day as we have "adjusted" to this new area and new church, and as our boys transitioned. The trainsition has gone as smoothly as i could have hoped for. Although there were hard times of loneliness or sadness, overall We have been so blessed by our move here. We've seen God provide for us. We've been challenged in our daily walk with God. We've been challenged to reach out to the community around us more than ever and we've seen friendships spur from that. We've grown in the area of being a Community in the church that loves each other and in turn reaches out to the unsaved and loves them with Christ's love.

I am just amazed over and over at God's guiding and provision in our lives! And I hope our story gives you guys hope and faith in God for your future as well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's been a while

 Wow - have I fallen off the wagon of not blogging or really doing anything that requires a lot of typing. And the reason for that is two-fold. 1. I have been away from my home and not at my own computer. 2. I got a new fancy phone so it's really easy for me to check things fast or read things, but then to type out longer things like an email to my mom or a blog post,  I actually need to turn my computer on. ha. So I've gotten a little lazy in this area. But I'm back at home and itching to write on my blog again.

Let's start by how Beautiful it truly is to live in Colorado. The next two pics are from my trip back home over the mountains. I just spent about 5 days at Richard's parents house in Grand Junction with Carson and Landon. We had great family time and really enjoyed ourselves and got spoiled with very little cooking and cleaning and lots of Reeses peanut butter cereal and chocolate milk. :) The BOYS were in HEAVEN!
 This is the "bookcliff's" they call them right outside of Grand Junction! Absolutely beautiful Glorified Sand Dunes. They might be boring to some, but I always think it looks so amazing!

While at The Gardners I missed Richard. But getting to sleep with this little boy made up for it a little bit! He was so cuddly and I cherished those precious nights that we slept together.! he is not a "mover or kicker" so sleeping with him was so enjoyable.
the boys spent a lot of time "getting piano lessions" with Aunt Nikki. (she lives in HI with her 4 kids, but was fortunate to take a trip out here with her two youngest kids) and boy did those cousins have fun together. she was so patient with these kiddos on the piano. :)

 We were also spoiled in getting to do a Ferris wheel in a mall b/c Grandma and Grandpa wanted them to get to ride it. Look at how happy they were to ride it!
 4 (one of them not pictured) out of the 6 sisters were together. WE all got to meet "baby Ty" (front and center) for the first time. He is so cute! beautiful long dark eyelashes and so much fun to have a baby around again.  (he is the youngest of 14 grandkids, and one of 12 boys :) )

We got home Saturday afternoon. We were so happy to be home with Daddy again. he had the house all cleaned up for us. Below is a picture of the boys walking through Old town Fort Collins where we went for Supper Saturday night when I got home. what special moments when Carson took Landon's hand to walk him through the parking lot! Precious Moments that are fleeting by!

Here's to another week of "normalcy" in our house and maybe some more blogging. FYI - I have kept up with reading all my favorite blogs b/c of my handy dandy google reader app, so i haven't missed a beat of your lives, not here is a quick update of mine. :)
Can't wait to restart the blogging train!!!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Me and You

Saturday night before Valentine's Day we were invited to a church banquet. Another church in the area was holding it and invited a few other churches. There was 6 couples from our church who went including ourselves. The food was very surprisingly delicious! and Richard and I had a great great time hanging out with new friends in a different setting than just church. As you can see (I hope anyways) by the pictures below that we really were having a great time. 
They had a professional photographer there taking pictures for anyone for FREE and then emailing them. How kind and thoughtful b/c Now Richard and I have very good quality pictures of the two of us. :) Thanks!!!!! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simple Valentine's Day

I titled this with fear that it will be overlooked 
because of the unoriginality of this post! 
But hey - 
let's all follow the crowd and find a new creative way to write about our valentines. :)
These pictures are from our Very First Date! I had sort of forgotten about this whole date until Richard brought it up reminiscing with me last night. (I love to Reminisce! It's something us Spences {my mom's side of the family} do really well)
You see, I "liked" Richard for a while before he decided I was his "catch". We were great friends and had a great circle of friends that we always hung around with our Junior and Senior year of college. It was the day of this Valentine's day banquet and Richard in his "play-it-cool-don't-want-to-fall-into-the-normal-dating-scene" randomly just asked if I had a date and b/c I didn't said something ridiculous like - "why don't we go together then."
Of course my heart melted. . . Could this guy really have asked me to go with him? Was it true? Did he like me? 
I knew in my head that he only asked as a "friend" and because our whole group of friends would sit together. But some little glimmer of hope inside my heart hoped it would be more. (obviously there was more, I just had to be patient and let him figure it out on his own). :) 
 I worked hard at convincing all my friends and myself that he still only viewed me as his "friend" which actually was true. What a "jerk" you might think. . .
But I had fallen for him - and I knew we were perfect for each other so I was willing to put up with his "antics" and wait for him to figure it out. :) And Boy am I ever glad I did wait! because my what a catch he is! He did figure it out and once he did - he has been ALL IN 100% in love with me and treats me like a Queen! and loves me more forgivingly and unconditionally than I could have ever imagined!

I asked him last night why he even asked me on that banquet date in the first place - his answer - "Because I was one of the coolest people he had ever met". That might not make many of your hearts flutter if you were told that, but that was just the thing that I wanted/needed to hear!

This year we decided to stay in. I don't think we have EVER done that before. We put the boys to bed right at 7pm and luckily they stayed in bed and slept happily all night. Then we made the most amazing dinner ever and ate it by the fire on our living room floor. We chatted all evening and relaxed. I said, "Why haven't we done this before?" the food was so good and it was so relaxing to just stay inside!
I made a pesto, chicken, artichoke, roasted red pepper pasta dish that was to die for! Better than any restaurant dish we could've ordered, with a spinach, mandarin, craisin salad with Raspberry Hazlenut Vinaigrette and garlic bread! AMAZING!!!!

This was a picture we took just before we had a Valentine's date on Saturday night to a banquet with some couples from our church!  My how we've aged. :) But I'm happier than ever with the love of my life. He loves me despite all my qorks and he gives of himself more than I ever imagined to me and our family!

p.s. for those of you Fellow Northlanders - yes, that is sparkling cider in the dining hall, and yes we got in trouble for it! hahahahaha, ahhhh the memories!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

He's Back where He Belongs

Richard is a native to Colorado and grew up skiing BIG mountains his whole life, and he loved it! He also mountain biked and hiked and rock climbed.

Then life happened - We moved to Northeastern PA, and although they have the Pocono Mountains, they really are nothing compared to the Rockies. He was going to Seminary and paying for it out of pocket without taking loans, and we had 2 kids. The opportunities and abilities to do those "hobbies" he once enjoyed thoroughly were not as accessible or feasible. He has spent 5 years NOT doing those things that he loves.

As his wife, who loves him very much obviously, I was always sad for him and felt bad for him b/c I knew he missed it. He hardly ever complained about it, and he had such a good attitude recognizing it was the "stage of life" we were in, and not the best thing for him right now, and really just not feasible.

Then we moved back to Colorado. He had worked a lot this week, so his boss gave him Friday off. At first we were both excited to spend the day together as a family in Denver with other family. Then he got an invitation to go skiing. I'm not gonna lie - I was a little sad  to not be able to have that day with him - but only shortly b/c to see the excitement and almost "life" come back in his eyes just made my heart so happy. It's weird but I almost teared up for joy. I was so so happy that he was able to enjoy Vail Mountain again. He went with a great new friend, they had awesome snow and great runs, and it was just a great day overall. He truly is a Coloradoan at heart and nothing can take the love for nature, mountains, snow, skiing out of him!

There's something so special seeing your spouse enjoy an activity so much and see that "excitement" in his eyes over it. How can you be sad the plans were changed when you see how much he enjoyed it!

He is BACK HOME folks!
and that makes me so happy!

no, this is not him, but he probably looked like that :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

17 Months

Today Landon is 17 Months. This may not seem like a big milestone to talk about to some - but I realized that Landon is now the age that Carson was when Landon was born! CRAZY!!!!  Somehow Carson seemed so much older than Landon does now.

 Isn't that funny how with your first child you can't wait until the move onto the new stage and they seem so old and cute and big. Then you have you're second son (and I'm sure it gets worse with each child) and they forever seem babyish, no matter what they do, or you're not so speedy on introducing the next big thing for them to do.

carson had such a babyface!

hahaha - Landon looks so funny!

I still think Carson looks older here than Landon does now!

To think that we were at this place 17 months ago. My water broke 6 weeks early! I had nothing ready for our baby! I was an emotional wreck not knowing what the future would hold. Then waited in the hospital for a few days waiting for labor to start not know if baby inside me was ok or what would happen next! Finally with Landon being born and then going straight to the NICU and the emotions, and tiredness and uncertainty about EVERYTHING that we had. And now, living in CO, with 2 healthy thriving boys that Love playing with each other. All I can say is I am blessed(!!!!!)beyond words right now. It's so cool to look back and reflect on God's sovereignty and plan on our lives! His hand of mercy and love!

Not being able to hold my baby! So hard!

The day we got to take him home from hospital

And this is Landon now! WOW! (please imagine a clean nose :) )

Both boys now! growing and healthy! and Loving life, despite what this picture makes it
seem like

This is Carson today! My how much he's grown.
I'm always amazed how much you
don't notice they are growing
until you go back and look at pictures!

This is Landon close to today.
I would take a pictures of him today, but his nose looks terrible
b/c the scab is coming off, and his nose is running
and he has chapped skin. ha
Every mother says this, but I just cannot imagine my life without these two boys! They are such a joy. I think you can say that although I have fears and uncertainties I'm officially "ready" to have another child. But I'm trusting in God's timing and trying to be wise in our decisions etc. But I don't have babies anymore. They are so grown up!

And i just have to add one more picture. B/c as I'm writing this post - this is what is happening on the floor beside me. can you say tired???!!!?? (please also note the button popped open. ) he is in rough shape today!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Free day at the Zoo in February

When my neighbor called and told me that the Denver Zoo was offering a free day on Feb 6th and offered to drive my boys and I down along with her and her daughter - I jumped at the opportunity. I didn't really consider the fact that it was in the middle of winter and just snowed 20 inches in Denver 3 days before. :) 

It was a little chilly but we got to go inside a lot and see the animals in their little "houses". and The boys, mainly Carson, despite any of the pictures really did enjoy it. and remembered to tell Daddy all about it when he got home from work. 
Giraffe's are so big

Awe struck by the huge-ness of the Giraffe

Camels looked cool in the winter with all their fur on

Once again - they really were enjoying themselves
just enamored with all the animals they got to see.
(or making sure those noisy geese weren't going to eat them)

Behind them you can barely pick out a Comodo Dragon!

A cool Orangutan with her baby

I promise - they did smile sometimes and enjoyed themselves :)

Looking at the cute penguins

Not only does one of my son's have a big scrape on his nose that is very obvious - Now my other son has a black eye! :( YIKES! He ran straight into a table while he was chasing a ball that rolled underneath it. :(
We look a little beat up around here, but we are having fun this winter.
How often do we get the opportunity to go to the zoo for free in the winter??? It was worth it! I was surprised at how many animals were outside still. And also very thankful for the many indoor opportunities.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Some Saturdays are just better than others. After having beautiful warm weather for winter - we had a decent snow fall! It was just as beautiful here in CO. 
And of course Daddy was home to help us enjoy all the fresh snow! What a joy to be a family and enjoy each other's company. We had such a great weekend of visiting with friends both Saturday and Sunday night - and plenty of down time/family time. 
Not all weekends are this pleasant! So we will revel and ENJOY them when we get them!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Embrace The Camera

Today I'm embracing the Camera. And mostly just because I happen to have a little bit of time and I happened to randomly have both these pictures taken of me with my second son this week! He is a cutie and some days I just want to eat him up!!!!
Wearing his Ecuador jersey proud
for Grandma and Grandpa

After a very unfortunate day at a lake here in Beautiful CO
He fell and scraped his nose badly
then fell into icy water
(don't worry it wasn't deep!)
And he had to go pantless b/c they were soaking wet
He was such a trooper!

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