Wednesday, September 7, 2011

tender mercies

yesterday, i found out that someone i love very much has stage three ovarian cancer. the shock that i felt was tremendous. as she told me it literally felt like someone was sucking the air out of my body. i felt so incredibly helpless as to what to say to try and console her. what does one say to make cancer better??

i consider myself to be a pretty spiritual person who believes that everything happens for a reason. but sometimes that reason is so hard to understand. and i found myself questioning the fairness of this diagnosis. why her?? why?? hasn't she gone through enough already in this life? she has seen more heartache and had more physical challenges in her less than 40 years than most people see in a lifetime. and if recovery is not part of her "plan" how are her two little girls supposed to go on without her??? these are the things that i pondered all afternoon.

later, on my way to work this little voice inside my head said to me "you need to stop and get some candy". there is a little candy store inside the mall that i pass on my way to work and i have been known to stop in occasionally. but yesterday i didn't really feel like candy. so i told the little voice no. then as i was walking in it spoke to me again so i decided to just go ahead and get some because otherwise i would be thinking about it all night.

there was only one lady working and i was the only customer. she asked me how my day was and instantly the voice said "tell her".

"no way" i told the voice. "i am not telling some strange lady my story". i should probably state that i am not crazy. i promise. i do not usually argue with myself or have voices that speak to me on a regular basis. promptly after telling the voice no it spoke even louder "tell her". so i did. i told her how heartbroken i was because of the diagnosis someone close to me had received. she looked at me and said " you go home and tell her that you spoke to someone tonight that had stage 4 ovarian cancer. had surgery, a complete hysterectomy and chemotherapy. twenty nine years later i am cancer free". she then went on to tell me some different herbal teas to recommend that helped her combat the side effects of chemo. i simply looked at her with tears streaming down my face. i was so overwhelmed. seeing the emotion she said simply "he sent you to me today. because you needed to hear my story".

yes!! yes!! i did need to hear her story. i needed the affirmation that my prayers were being heard. i needed to know that my heavenly father is mind full of me and my loved ones. that he knows what we are going through. just when you think that he doesn't hear you he is right there! he reached out to me and i almost missed it. i almost missed it because i tried to ignore, tried to fight the promptings of the still small voice. and i would have never heard the message he was trying to send me. "be still and know that i am god."

i know that this is a very personal story and some of you might be wondering why i would share it in such a public format. the answer is this; we are so quick to share stories of what goes wrong in our lives, the silly things that happen. the things that really won't make a difference in a month or two. why then should we keep the moments that really speak to us private. my hope is that someone else will find some inspiration from this story. maybe they feel that the phone lines have been cutt and that no one is on the other end. but i can promise you, the lines are not down. he is there and he is listening and he knows you. he knows the concerns of your heart. we just have to be willing to hear.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I Wish I Was Better At Photo Journalism

Last weekend, we went skiing/snowboarding together as a family for the first time.
In fact the only person in our family that has ever skied before is Larry.
Somehow, we left with no pictures at all of anyone on a ski or snowboard.
Why you might ask??
Because I am terrible at capturing the moment with a camera.
I take pictures before, but then think that preceding pictures will magically take themselves.
So while there are no pictures at all to prove it, we did in fact ski and snowboard.
We had a great time.
Larry loved getting back on the slopes.
I discovered that snowboarding is not for me. And will be eternally grateful to our friends for letting me borrowing their butt pads. It made my repeated falls bearable.
Brendan insisted on snowboarding rather than skiing. He loved it and wants to try again
Bella is a natural with skies attached to her feet. Her first run down the slope she didn't even wait for our friend that was helping her to get her snowboard clipped.
Brooke liked it as long as she didn't fall without her gloves on. And when she did, well let's just say I'm surprised she didn't cause an avalanche.
Lily really liked it but was not pleased that she couldn't just hop on a lift and go down the big hill.
With that said - enjoy the few pictures that we did manage to take

The kids outside the condo before we started the adventure
Brooke tubing

Lil's was meant to ride in a tube flying down the mountain
Brooke taking a spill but amazingly no tears accompanied it
Bell's spinning down the hill.
And no, there are not any pictures of Brendan tubing due to the level of soreness from his die hard snowboarding attempts the day before.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When You Are Frozen In Your House This Is The Soup You Want!!

Creamy Chicken And Wild Rice Soup

chicken breasts 2-3
7 c water
1 1/3 cup uncooked wild rice
1 c chopped celery
1 c chopped onion
2 Tbs vegetable oil\or evoo
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
2 Tbs chicken bouillon granules
3\4 t pepper (white pepper if you have it)
1\2 t salt
1\2 c margarine
3\4 c flour
4 c milk
3\4 c cooking white wine

cook rice according to package directions. place chicken in water and bring to a boil. simmer until chicken is no longer pink. meanwhile in a large pot cook celery, onion and mushrooms until tender. add rice, broth from chicken, bouillon, pepper and salt. simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. melt margarine in medium saucepan. stir in the flour until smooth. whisk in milk and cook till bubbly and thick. add some broth mixture to the milk mixture and continue to whisk. then add all the milk mixture to the broth mixture. add the chicken and white wine. cook for 15 mins.

Heaven in a bowl I promise :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crested Butte

Our friends the Fox's come to Co frequently to vacation in Crested Butte
Usually we manage to squeeze in a dinner or a couple of days hanging out at our place.
This year we were able to go up to C.B. with them.
Knowing that it was going to be a super fast trip we debated about whether or not it was worth going.
It the end we decided that a little time with them was better than none and we packed everyone up and headed out.
And we were SO glad that we did!
We had such a fantastic time.
It was great to hang out with them and catch up.
We have been friends since before there were any little Hahl's and little Fox's running around.
It only takes a few minutes together to remember how much we love being with them.
They are such great people.
I feel honored to be able to call them my friends :)
(Emma and I at the start of the trip)
The main event was a fourwheeling trip up to Tin Cup.
Riding Tin Cup was on Larry's bucket list so he was really excited to be able to check it off.
Personally I had no idea what I was getting into.

( Everyone pretending to be blown off the top. See the elevation sign - I have never ridden to that elevation before)

Usually when we ride we do short little trails and as a family we can't go out all at the same time.
I was expecting a similar ride this time.
I was completely wrong.

(Some random dog decided to pose with us)
Everyone loaded up, I rode with Lily and since Larry's atv is larger and he has mad skills he rode with Bella and Brooke.
And Brendan headed out on the little atv.
We rode, and we rode and we rode some more.
By the time we were done we rode around 32 miles.

(our F.B.F.F.'s Hunter, Emma, Matt and Caleb)
Part of it was on an actual dirt road and the rest was up rocky switchbacks.
And on some of the switchbacks the shoulder was very narrow.
It was a little bit scary.

(one of the mountain top views)
After we reached the top of the mountain we continued on another couple of miles to some property Matt's brother owns.
The trail to it was terrifying.
I was pretty certain I was going to roll the atv and die.
Larry kept telling me that I was going to be fine.
It looked worse than it was yadda yadda yadda.

(the other side of the mountain)
And while it was scary, and I DID almost run off the trail, in the end I made it!
When we got to to the property it was so windy.
Larry actually leaned into the wind trying to fall forward and the wind held him up.
It was crazy!
(The town church in Tin Cup. So quaint)
What a great ride!
The memories the kids are going to have from that trip!

So thanks Fox's for letting us hang.
We are looking forward to next year's vacation with ya all!

Monday, June 14, 2010

my alarm clock is possessed!!

i am not even kidding.
i think it needs an exorcist.
do they have exorcist's for inanimate objects??
here is what is going on.
yesterday morning, the alarm went off and i started getting ready for church.
after being up for an HOUR, i went downstairs and discovered that it was a hour earlier than what the alarm said.
i figured that lily had somehow messed with it and changed the time.
last night, we went to bed.
larry asked me if i changed the time back, which i did.
it went off this morning.
i got ready, came downstairs only to find that once again
what the heck is going on??
why.... why.....why does it keep changing itself!!
so much for the ultra cool alarm clock that larry was so excited to give me.
i don't care if it tells me what the temperature is outside.
and talks to me in this really cool voice.
it's dead to me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

LOST - the final installment

The show that has captivated us for the last 6 years has come to an end.
But how do you celebrate the ending of something that you have invested so much time into??
Why throw a little party that's how!
Die Hard LOST fans only!
Once you pass through the hatch the fun begins!

The infamous smoke monster paid us a visit.
I was worried that he didn't get his invitation.

Charlie's last message.
Oh the tears I shed when that message was delivered!

Our Dharma issued beverages

Lots of tropical food!
(some of the food items are missing)

The LOST cake
Beach, Crashed Airplane, Jungle and Temple
It even had a golden center to represent the "light" of the island
You can't have a party without guests.
And I just have to say that we have the best friends ever!
All our favorite LOST characters attended!
Crazy Rousseau
Kate frantically punching in the magic numbers.
Keeping everything in balance

(kendria insisted on being sawyer! i didn't make her!)

I don't think we really settled on an identity

(I really, really wanted to draw on Jack's tattoos but didn't have time)
Shannon and Jacob
(I think Drew intended to be someone else, but he looks just like Jacob)
Sun was in attendance as well but missed her photo opp.
Thanks so much guys for celebrating the end with us!
And for going along with our crazy themed party.
As for the finale.
I don't think I can even begin to sum up my feelings.
For me, it was extremely emotional.
So much so that days later when I would think of it I would get a little teary.
I didn't love the way it ended.
In fact, at first I was really mad; and sad.
But what I did love about it was that in the end they were all together.
They were all happy.
And the finale reminded me how much I had grown to love all the characters.
If I had to sum it all up I would say that it was about finding yourself, redemption and faith.
I have a lot more to say about the show and my philosophy but let's be honest;
Who is really going to read all that??
So I will sign off with a thanks.
Thanks for 6 years of gripping, soul searching tv.
I shed some serious tears throughout this series.
And I loved every single minute of it!
Except for killing Jin and Sun
That was a sucker punch

Friday, May 21, 2010

lil's new do

WELL~ Isn't that special!
wonder how long that's going to take to grow