mountains (and other unseen things).

A common question we’ve been asked recently: 
“Soooo, what AWESOME things have you done in Colorado so far?”

“Uhh. Read our textbooks and gone to class. Want to hear about the AWESOME things we’ve learned about Paul’s illocutionary effect in the book of Philippians?!”

Then the poor midwesterner dies a little inside from disappointment (and the good Christians feel a little guilty for not really wanting to know what that means…). But we’re in Colorado! Doesn’t that automatically mean our lives have suddenly become paparazzi-worthy?! We can see mountains from our apartment! Correction: we can see foothills. Yes, to the midwest eye these are mountains. They’re freakin’ Everest. To the Colorado mountain man, they are mere ant hills to be crushed under the mighty foot of adventure. “Foothills as mountains…HA!” he scoffs. To which I want to reply, “Look. When you spent the past 7 years looking down a street so flat you can see to the local Walmart 15 miles away, foothills are mountains.”


Unfortunately, mountains are among the cool things about residing in Colorado that we have yet to experience. Of course, we want to see them! We have to do something to prove ourselves in this active culture full of young, attractive people who run 9 miles a day and make their own oat bars from homegrown fruit and barley in their backyard. Or, we at least need to let on that perception. Now, if only I knew how to not kill plants…

Señor and I are not complete bums, but sometimes we just don’t know where to begin out here. There are 14-ers (14 THOUSAND FOOT MOUNTAINS, PEOPLE) to climb, parks to explore, foodie restaurants to divulge in, and an array of coffee shops to satisfy our caffeine addiction for dayzz. But sometimes, we just want to crash on our couch, watch American Ninja Warrior (seriously, these people are beasts), and call it a day after hours of class. Baby steps. Starting with the ability to walk from our apartment to the mailbox without feeling like we we’ve just been stricken with emphysema. 5,280 ft does a number on our poor little lungs.

So, we give ourselves grace and time to get acclimated to this city. It is an awesome place to live, and we discover new treasures weekly. But for now, you’ll catch us doing super midwest things…

ImageLike, scarfing down a pizza on a bench along a running path. Maybe next time we’ll actually take a walk after our carby-carb dinner.

Baby steps.



shady’s back.

It’s been approximately 2 years and 10 days since I posted on this blog. Really, not that much has changed since. Just a few minor details. Like…

We moved to Colorado.
NBD. Just picked up and moved like it was no thang. But it was a thing. A huge thing. Like, a bigger thing than “Oops! All Berries.” We left our home in Indiana to start school at Denver Seminary. It was a bold move that required a lot of prayer, persistence, trust, and risk. We had finally made post-grad friends. And not just yeah-we-should-totally-hang-out-but-probably-never-will friends. We made refrigerator friends–the kind of friends who will walk into your apartment, grab something from your fridge, and then greet you in the living room where you’re probably sitting unbathed in your sweats. The best kind of friends who will watch the Bachelorette with you and not judge if you get emotionally involved. And not only that, but we lived close to our college friends. Our closest friends were within a short drive.

And now, we start over. Making friends has been beautiful, and we’ve reconnected with old friends with whom my heart finds incredible peace and rest. They know my story. They know my awkwardness. They know what makes me tick. But we’re making new friends. Sweet, genuine, loving, hilarious, wonderful new friends. I can’t wait to have memories with them.


We celebrated 2 wedding anniversaries.
Yes, it’s beautiful. It’s incredible to know we’ve survived all this time together and remain best friends. We fight; we love; we fight with love. I adore my señor, and I’m proud to be his wife. We’ve learned what it means to make changes together–both personally and as a couple. Everyday, I’m grateful for his graciousness with me. I can go all crazy-girl on him, and he still wants to kiss me every morning. I say, well done!


The people of Ethiopia captured my heart.
In 2008, señor participated in a trip to Ethiopia through Taylor University–our alma mater, our first full-time employer, and our first home together. 5 years later, I walked upon the same ground. With 14 college students and 1 fearless co-leader, I ventured to the countryside of Yetebon, Ethiopia to minister to the children and volunteers of Project Mercy. Oh, how they continue to grip my heart 9 months later. Our team failed to do it all right, but they did so with grace and patience. I’m still so proud of them. We tried to make sense of what we saw and what we were doing. We were loved on, cared for, humbled, and taught incredible truths about God’s presence in all cultures. I long to return someday. And I’m grateful to have had such an incredible experience with the support of señor and the knowledge that he, too, had been impacted by such a powerful place.


Señor got his first Master’s degree.
Note I said first. Not his only. His first. I always knew he was a brainiac, but I mean, seriously. Who LOVES school more than my hubs? I dare you to find another person. I’m so proud of him. He worked full time and went to school full time. And now, he can officially put “Grant Armstrong, MBA” on his email signature. Being the humble man he is, he rarely makes it known. But do me a favor and embarrass him a little next time you see him by referring to him as The Master of All Things Business Administration. Or, just The Master of BA.

DSC_1970Grant Armstrong, MBA. Hire me.

We started grad school. Together.
We’re no strangers to being in class together. The only difference is that we thought it was cute to ditch class and get Starbucks together in our undergrad. Now, it’s entirely irresponsible, and we feel guilty like we should have felt 4 years ago. But we were young and in love. All is fair in love and war. <— (I love using nonsensical idioms)

In our undergrad...hello, small children.Our first month of dating in college. We were babies. And where did señor’s hairy face go?

We had a baby.
Just kidding. But I probably gave a few people heart attacks . And that makes it worth it.

BabyMorphAccording to, this is our future child. Thanks for confirming my fears that our child will be hideous, MorphThing.

I stopped blogging because I got “too busy.”
Gawbage. I stopped blogging because I was afraid of the blogging world. I don’t craft. I don’t do giveaways. I didn’t know what #ootd was until last month. OUTFIT OF THE DAY. Let me tell you my outfit of most days–Jeans, shirt, scarf (if it’s under 75 degrees…I like me the scarves). Basically, I thought blogging was for fashionable young women who live in awesome cities, make their own mason jars out of glass they recycled, are perfectly eco-friendly, make all their meals from a co-op, and are basically real-life Barbies. I’m over here like, “I’m so proud of myself for not eating McDonald’s for 3 days.”

But, the reality is that I love to tell stories, make witty commentaries about life, and see God’s hand in it all. I don’t want or need 100 followers. Heck, I just want my amazing friends and family to read it, smile a little, and forget about it if they want.


So, here it goes. Shady’s back. Tell a friend.