Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Since I'm still catching up on blogs from the entire winter, I thought I should share what we have been dealing with here - ACTUAL WINTER WEATHER! I must say, the snow has been a challenge to get used to, but it's really growing on me. Denver snow is perfect becomes it comes so frequently, but goes away just as fast.

The upside to snow? There's a whole new world of activities to do! Of course skiing....which we frequent often....

But there's also all sorts of other winter sports I never really thought about. Like cross country skiing, which we took my fam to do when they came to town....Meme particularly enjoyed that I think. :)

And our favorite snow sport. Snow shoeing! It's basically hiking in snow. But the scenery is always beautiful, anyone can do it, and my favorite...you aren't freezing because you are getting a workout! We have gone many times since moving here to many different places and taken others as well! I think it's our favorite winter pastime!

In Vail with the Martins

In Estes Park with the hubby

Echo Lake with the Usrys

Echo Lake

And then of course, every day events are always more fun in snow as well. Like taking Sager to the park...

Or going on a walk....

Unfortunately, not all things are fun when it comes to snow. It is in fact, COLD when it snows! I'm getting used to that, but I am not getting used to the 5 million layers of clothes I'm required to put on just to go to the car, or to get the mail, or to walk to work. It feels pretty funny to wear scrubs with huge waterproof boots and my ski coat every day.

The other thing I'm not fond of...shoveling snow. It's a law in Denver to shovel your sidewalks. You have 24 hours to clear them after snow falls or a 85 dollar ticket is coming your way. I must admit, I usually leave this task to Grant, so I probably have no room to complain...but it's a pain. Nevertheless, even that we are becoming pros at. Grant has it down to an art. He can usually shovel our sidewalks and our elderly neighbor's house in about 20 minutes flat!

The other thing I'm not fond of...driving in snow. Not driving actually. It's more commonly a parking issue for me. We have spent many a time since winter came scraping, shoveling, pushing, reversing, rev'ing, and begging my car to move as it has gotten stubbornly stuck in a pile of snow. I have gotten stuck in front of our house, behind our house, in our alleyway, and at restaurants in the few winter months we have experienced here. My CX7 just can't handle the snow. Lesson to be learned? If you move to Colorado, make sure you have snow tires and four wheel drive - neither of which I have.

So snow is an experience. And it can be a pain. But the truth is? Snow is beautiful. And every time we get it, we really are walking in a winter wonderland!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One Year in Denver

I have really been slacking on blogging lately. Not for lack of things to say, but for lack of time and effort to say them! I've even had family and friends ask me where the blog has been and encourage me to keep writing. And still, I haven't been able to keep it up well since all the craziness of school in the fall. But today marks the one year anniversary of Grant and my move to Denver. So I am going to attempt to revive the blogging in honor of that!

This time last year, we were driving the huge Penske full of everything we owned up the 750 mile trek to Colorado to start a new adventure together. Let me tell you, I had a lot of hopes and visions for what this move would be like, for what Colorado would be like, and for what our lives would be here. But looking back over the last 12 months, I couldn't have known all that this year would hold. Good and bad. It has stretched me out of my comfort zone in every way and been a constant state of change. If you know me well, you know I'm not good with change. I'm one of those very disciplined, very structured, must be on top of things and feel in control at all times personalities. Type A throughout. So change? Not usually something I enjoy being in my vocabulary. And in the last 12 months, I have changed locations, changed climates, changed cultures, changed church communities twice, changed careers, changed, changed, changed. Everything that we thought this would be has proved to be something else and everything that would lead me to feel out of control, God has placed in our lives. 

For example:
Our plan: Our primary focus for moving to Denver was to be of help and support to Watermark Denver in any way we could. 

God's plan: Watermark Denver unexpectedly and very suddenly closed its doors in June, forcing us to start all over and find a new church community that we eventually found in Park Church.

Our plan: Grant and I moved here with the intention that he would work as a local sales rep for the Denver area, selling office supplies and furniture to local businesses.

God's plan: In August, Grant was asked to take a different position within his company, in which he had to travel 5 days a week to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 3 months straight (which he did from September until December) and he continues to travel outside the state about twice monthly now.  

Our plan: Grant and I moved here with the intention that I would work as an RN in the GI department at Children's Hospital Colorado. 

God's plan: I quickly realized that wasn't for me, applied and was accepted into a WOCN program, completed 12 hours towards a masters degree and 150 clinical hours, took my board exams and accepted a position in September as the Certified Wound, Ostomy, Continence nurse (CWOCN) for the inpatient units at Children's. 

Our plan: When G and I moved, we immediately felt a love and connection to our neighborhood, becoming great friends with our neighbors and feeling like the Lord placed them in our lives to grow and develop as our closest friends here.  

God's plan: Our neighbors recently accepted a job in Washington D.C. and are moving there in a few weeks. 

Moral of the story? Don't have plans! Or at least have the understanding that they may not go as planned! Things are not what we thought they would be. But the funny thing is, we still LOVE being here and KNOW it's where we are supposed to be. There has been a lot of change. WAY more change than I ever thought I could handle and guess what? I am still alive! 

What have I learned from all this? Perhaps God's purpose in bringing us here was not just so we could be a light in a less churched culture, not just so we could have new adventures in the great outdoors, but maybe, just maybe, it was so we could work on us. In this one year, I have grown more and learned more about myself than I have in a long time. I have affirmed what I believe and who I believe in and proven to myself I can do things (through Christ) that I didn't think I could. So...although I still don't love change, I know that being here is right. And I feel an inherent peace within me that I never felt in Dallas. So...maybe change is good. Even when it doesn't seem to be. Maybe God's plan is better than mine! And maybe Colorado is meant to be. Even if it's not what we thought it would be.

One year ago....

One week ago....

 Here's to year number two!