Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer 2007 Pictures

Here are some pictures from our trip. They are very out of order chronologically- sorry about that!

Our final stop was Las Vegas to visit Amy!

We stopped in Central City, NE to see my grandparents. They are 98 years old! In this picture my grandpa is in the back-my mom next to him-and my dad and I are in the front.

This is Aaron, me, and my grandma

When we left Central City we drove through a thunderstorm and saw this amazing rainbow! It was a double rainbow and stretched across the entire sky.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah
This was a great Riverwalk hike- It was 106 degrees!

Cubs/Brewers game at Wrigley- We had awesome seats right behind home plate- thanks to my wheelchair! It was so fun. The Cubs won after Soriano hit a walk-off home to bring them back to .500. It was very exciting!

Happy 4th of July!

Cyndi and John and Joshua came from Oregon to Omaha to visit while we were there. This is Joshua in his Cubs jersey!

Monkeys at the Omaha zoo!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Our Summer Travels

Hello everyone!
I wanted to give you all an update on the last couple of months of our lives. I am still amazed that so many people are checking our blog. I guess it's one of those web sites we just look at daily. I laugh at myself because I still check it almost daily-somehow thinking it's going to change by itself. But I guess I'm the one that needs to keep on top of this. So here are a few paragraphs that will make the clicking of the mouse worthwhile.

Aaron and I left for our vacation on June 21. Our first destination was Colorado. We went to a wedding in Boulder where one of Aaron's best friends from high school was married. Because it was so close to Craig hospital, we spent a day at Craig visiting old friends. It was fun to see everyone and show them how much progress I have made. But I definitely wasn't feeling too nostalgic about the hospital. Although it was good to see everyone, just being in the hospital brings back memories of a pretty dark time in our lives. I still get a weird yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. I suppose that's normal.

After we left Colorado we drove to Illinois to spend several days with Aaron's family. We had a great time while we were there. We had not been back since we lost our dear Bryan back in December. It was definitely a bittersweet feeling being there. Seeing everyone was so great, but it was very difficult not having Bryan there. It actually was more painful this time than in December.
In spite of all that, we still had fun. Rick, Desiree, Dan, and Josh were all preparing for their trip to Kenya. They left the day after we left so they were busy doing their last minute preparations.

On July 1 I had the opportunity to preach at our church in St. Charles. This was a lot of fun for me to share with some of our dearest and closest friends how God has been working through all of this. Our St. Charles Church will always be a very important part of our lives.

After spending 9 or 10 days with Aaron's family we began heading back west and stopped in Omaha for about 8 days. We had a great time in Omaha with my family. Spending time with my sister-in-law Robin, my nephew Colton and my nieces Sierra and Savannah was absolutely precious. I can't believe how quickly time goes and how fast kids grow up. We went to a couple of Colton's baseball games and also to the zoo. We had a cookout with many of our extended family members in Omaha. This was great fun as we had not seen many of these people in years and years. Cyndi and John and little Joshua, my newest nephew, flew in from Oregon so we could all be home at the same time. It was so fun to watch all the kids interact with their new cousin. Joshua is already almost 11 months old!
We also were able to reconnect with some dear friends from our church in Omaha we had not seen in several years. It's amazing how natural it feels to be with good friends even though so many years have passed.

When we left Omaha we stopped in Central City, Nebraska to see my grandparents. We had not seen them in three or four years. They are 97 and 98 years old and are now in a nursing home. It is a very nice nursing home, but I know they still long for their home that they had for so many years. I was so thankful we were able to see them.

After we left Omaha, we continued west to Utah where we spent a day at Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. The day we were at Bryce Canyon was the two-year anniversary of our car accident. It did not seem as big of a deal as it was last year. In some ways it does not seem possible that it has been two years, but in other ways it feels like it's been forever. Our car accident provides such a defining "before and after" time frame in our lives. It's difficult to describe what I mean. Some days it seems easy and so tolerable to have this lifestyle now. But there are also days when it seems unbearable. I have heard the phrase that "attitude is everything." I think there's a lot of truth in that statement. So I try to maintain a good attitude every day and be thankful for my life, for the people in my life, and most of all for God. I have absolutely no idea how anyone could possibly survive this without having God in their life.

On the last leg of our journey we stopped in Las Vegas to see Amy. Amy has been laying in her hospital bed for about 15 months. She was bright and alert while we were there, but she is still on the ventilator and still being fed through a tube in her stomach. She has not been in a wheelchair in at least a couple of months because the hospital does not have one for her. This poor woman has been through so much-way more than what I went through-and she is still smiling and hopeful to return to California so she can at least be in a hospital here. It is so incredibly frustrating to see someone like this that has slipped through the cracks of our health-care system. I never want this blog to be used as a sounding board for political opinions. But the health-care system needs a serious overhaul-there are too many people suffering because of it. Please continue to pray for Amy, look at her web site, send your e-mails. She needs a ton of support so she does not give up. She has a 10-year-old daughter in California than needs her mom desperately.

We are now back at home in Riverside. We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on July 20! I don't think we did anything but sit around the house all day. It was great!
Aaron is busily preparing for school to start in the next couple of weeks. Last year was so difficult for him that he is kind of dreading this year. Please pray for him. He needs to have a better year.

Everyone keeps asking me now that I've graduated what my plans are. My answer is "I don't know." I am still doing work at the church. I am reading a lot. And I'm trying to think of ways than I can help Aaron.

I am attaching a few pictures of our vacation in another blog. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading-feel free to leave comments so when I checked my own blog everyday there might be something for me to read. :-)

Much love to you all,