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,


Jean said...

Hi Kari!

I'm sorry I missed your visit and sermon. Your words always touch my heart.

I'm glad God is still strengthening you as needed. I know God is using you, but it can't be easy to be the clay on the wheel.

Jean Goesle
St Charles Free Methodist Church

Judy said...

Hi Kari and Aaron,
I also read the blog almost daily. I really enjoy reading it. I'm glad to hear you had a great vacation. I'm sorry I missed hearing you preach in St. Charles, but we were on the houseboat in Ar. Congratulations on your new degree! It must be a good feeling knowing you are finally done. Now just wait on the Lord to let you know what he has in his plans for you. Take care, Judy

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Kari & Aaron--Thanks for the update! So glad you had a nice trip and got to see Amy. I write to her every few days and hope to meet her soon when she gets back home. You're a great encouragement to her, and will probably never know how many other lives you have touched. Thank you for allowing the Lord to minister through you--may He continue to bless you the way you are blessing others.
Hope to meet you some day--maybe we'll run into each other visiting Amy sometime. God bless both of you as Aaron prepares to start another school year. Love, Diane Brodeen

Kathy Timmers said...

Hi Kari and Aaron,
What a treat to find another posting! I, too, check constantly, hoping to find something new. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and it's great to be able to read about what's going on in your lives.

I'm glad you were able to see so many of your family and friends on your trip. We sure loved having you at SCFMC and hearing you preach, Kari, it was a blessing to us all. Thank you for sharing your message about joy and speaking straight to our hearts from the depths of yours.

We're starting to make our plans to go to Womens Retreat at Sky Lodge and that always brings you to mind, dear Kari. So much so that I dreamt you were there the other night. I treasure the times we spent up there together...

Much love and prayer is with you two as the new school year begins and the next season in your lives together unfolds. May God continue to hold you closely,

nadyneken said...






Anonymous said...

Aw, such a nice blog! I enjoyed hearing about all your travels. And I am praying for Amy; it is truly heartbreaking to know how much she has been through.
But where are the pics???
I need to call you (or you can call me!)
love you bunches and please say hi to Aaron for me!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari and Aaron,
It was so good to see you both when you visited, but I know it was a hard trip too without Brian being there with you. Your sermon was so amazing and just spending time talking a little was good, too. We have not had an internet account for months, but are finally back on line, so I can check in a little more often. My love to both of you. Vicki Ainsworth

Wendy said...

Your 'sneak peak' for your new website looks great- lot's of blessings for getting it up and ready soon! Thank you for posting those fantastic pics! It would be wonderful if you would post when you will be preaching again at your church in Riverside. I know that many of us local CA folks would love to come and hear you. Thank you for the continued blessing of sharing your ongoing testimony! Blessings to you and yours- Wendy:)