Ten years!

We’ve been married for 10 years today.

Ten years!


We’ve had an incredibly blessed 10 years. Lots of adventures, lots of friendships, lots of love from our families. Very little hardship.

We’ve lived in campus housing that was so close to the radio station that anytime someone called our land line before 5pm, the AM radio station coming over the phone was louder than our conversation.

We’ve lived among a community tucked back in the woods where we learned to be married. And we were loved on so well there.

We’ve lived in the heart of the city and are part of a community that loves us so well. To the extent that they know just how much a gift like this speaks to our hearts.



We’ve spent time in the mountains of Colorado, walking along the cobblestone streets of Europe, experienced the joy in a Ugandan smile.

We have many adventures ahead, and though we don’t know what those might be, I am grateful for such a perfect partner to go through life with.

“In the presence of God, and before our friends and family, I thank God for you. I thank Him for entrusting you, his beautiful creation, to me as my wife/husband. I promise to be your best friend, to honor you and to respect you. I promise to help you become the person God wants you to be. I will count it joy when we experience trials, knowing that through the struggle God will draw us closer to Him and build us up. I will strive to love you as Christ does. This is my vow and promise to you that will not be broken-in good times or bad-as long as we both shall live,or our Lord should return.”

A farewell to Aspen.

We bid farewell to a very dear friend today. I bet many of you had met Aspen. (But you probably didn’t realize that’s what her name was.)

Aspen the Outback. (Because she loved our trips to the “real” woods & gravel roads of Colorado. And because we really like Aspen trees.)

But Aspen has been sick lately. She needs some major repairs. Like a clutch & a new head gasket. Not to mention her recent knack for getting run into/hit/vandalized just sitting in a parking lot. We bought her at 67,000 miles. Today she  hit 197,000 miles. That’s over 130,000 miles in 6 years.

And someone was willing to make us a deal, so we said goodbye to Aspen & have welcomed a new vehicle in her place.

Aspen was with us for many adventures & mishaps. Let’s take a look back…

July 2007 : Ben & Luke’s 4-wheeling adventure  // Leadville, CO

Christmas 2007 : Road Trip to Albuquerque


November 2009: Apartment parking lot hit & run


November 2010 : Break-In // Church parking lot

July 2011: Door Crunch // Church parking lot

May 2012 : helping jumpstart the Toyota

May 2012 : BB Gun: 1, Aspen: 0

The end of a chapter.

And here’s the new one:

A day in the life…

This week I…

…have been enjoying my new favorite coffee mug.


…went for late-night coffee with some friends


…ate a lot of breakfast for dinner


…enjoyed an evening out on the patio with some friends


…received a surprise lemon-berry slush at work


…counted money from the coffee bar donation jar


…and have been reading through the Hunger Games trilogy.



We have had the opportunity to visit a lot this past week with two of our friends from Uganda. Ronald & Abraham are here in the States for a few weeks & it has been really fun (& eye-opening) to watch them experience America for the first time.

It has been fun to have them here & be reminded of such a special place in our hearts. They are each doing some amazing work to bring communities together as they work with them to plant trees & dig water wells.

And as they are here I am reminded of a few things.

1) We are richly blessed with resources here. Things like running water, clothes dryers, electricity that doesn’t just shut off every other day, smooth roads, and a sort of ridiculous amount & variety of foods to choose from.

2) We eat a lot. And often. We are constantly laughing with these guys because we are taking them to the next meal & they say, “But we just ate a few hours ago-we are not even hungry yet!”

I am grateful that we have had this time with them & am really excited to go back to Jinja in September!

The T-shirt Blanket

So, we spent a lot of summers on staff at New Life Ranch. (Between the two of us, there were 8 summers of summer & full-time staff.) That’s one shirt for being on Summer Staff, and one shirt from the end of each summer with all the names of the staff on it. So, let’s do some math.


8 summers * 2 shirts per summer * 2 people = 32 t-shirts.


That’s a lot of shirts, folks. And I just got tired of wearing only NLR shirts all the time. Our friend Marla gave me a great idea to cut them all up & fashion a blanket out of them. So I did!


Plus a few more other “non-summer” shirts that were acquired along the way. There was one summer when I worked at NLR, but Ben went to Pennsylvania to work at a camp. It was the summer before we got married, and I wanted to be sure he remembered me & that everyone up there knew he was taken.


So I made him this:


It was fairly simple (which is good for me). I just cut out about a 1 foot square from each shirt & sewed them together. Then I found a t-shirt sheet at Target in a dark heather grey color & sewed it as the backing. No batting in the middle, no yarn ties either. (Though I considered both). I ended up sticking with SIMPLE.

And I love the way it turned out! It’s fun using it as a blanket & seeing all the shirts at once when I use it. There are SO many good memories ingrained in the fabric of these shirts. (And a lot of hard earned sweat, I might add…)

Sometimes you just have to eat all the cookie dough.

A recent conversation (over a computer) between Ben (poolhouseblue) & I:


poolhouseblue:  so, i got home and the freezer was a little bit open, something pushed the door open a bit from inside, everything seemed ok except the bit of fruit and the icecream, which was totally melted.

so i ate all the cookie dough out of it and threw the rest away
me:  lol
poolhouseblue:  that seemed to be the best solution
me:  obviously