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Friday, January 1, 2016

Sunny skies, snowy slopes

We've been in Denver now for 8 weeks, which means this contract is about 2/3 of the way done. Yikes! The good news is that the second half of any assignment I've been at seems to go by slower. I think in general, we are settled-in more, not as focused on the job aspect of it (for both of us), and are more focused on exploring and making the most of our remaining time. We've already been up to the mountains 12 times and plan on doubling that before we leave. Those are some lofty goals and sore legs! We're super thankful to be able to live here and experience Colorado in so many ways. I know that Will especially is loving this assignment. Me? I definitely love living in Denver and getting to improve on my snowboarding skills! Don't get me wrong. But my job has been a bit challenging at times. It's funny, because a lot of people ask what our favorite assignment/location has been so far. And I'd say location: San Diego. Hospital: Seattle. I just had it so good there! It's interesting working at so many different hospitals because I get to see and compare different policies and ways of doing things. Truth be told? It makes me miss my Helen DeVos team even more. Which is pretty convenient since I'd love to go back there full-time in the future.  We'll see.
Speaking of the future, Will and I have some pretty amazing goals planned out for the year 2016 (oh, Happy New Year by the way!). We'd LOVE to do one more assignment after Denver. Somewhere warm, sunny, tropical, yukulele-ish... don't worry, I'll keep ya posted. ;) We will likely go home to Michigan after that assignment and do the whole "settle down" thing. Which honestly sounds pretty good... it's funny how glamorous or cool this whole travel nursing thing sounds. Which it definitely is! But you find yourself missing little things, like familiarity, community, family, a church you can be regularly involved in. Our best friends are having a baby ANY DAY NOW and it's thrilling! I'd love to actually own a couch and be able to have a  home and decorate. You know, all those domestic, boring-sounding adult things. But truly, it sound like music to our souls. And of course it doesn't mean our traveling days are over! There's a big world out there... and we still have lots to see. 

Since arriving in Denver, this is a small collection of what we've been up to:

Obviously, we've been up in the mountains a bit. And it's been incredible! I've gotten so much more comfortable snowboarding and have even made it through a few black diamonds. It's just such a  beautiful place...

My parents visited us between Christmas and New Years and we had a blast! It was fun hanging out with them and showing them around our new home.
See? Told ya we had fun.
We've loved living near our friends Justin & Jessika. Even though they're crazy ;) Ha! Oh, and our cool bro Kevin visited us, too! We heart visitors. 
Fun with Patsy! Such a fun gal pal. And a bad-A snowboarder. #goals
We spent Will's birthday weekend up in the mountains at Breckenridge with these goofs. It was pretty cool, I guess.
I definitely must say that my most favorite mountain-riding days are when it's just me and this man. He is truly amazing. He's so patient with me and shows me so much grace, even when I get really frustrated at times. He's just phenomenal. He balances me out and puts me in my place when I need it. Thank the Lord. For so many reasons.
Ahh, the mountains...  
Seven Falls 
Seven Falls
Seven Falls
Pike's Peak in all it's beautiful glory.

Denver skyline at night.
Denver sunset. Oh, hey mountains! I see you...
Flatirons in Boulder with my parents.

Denver Zoo Lights with my sweet Mama.
Snap! My Dad and Will were taking photos together all week and it was so fun
to watch them share their love of photography together.
We brought in the new Year with our awesome pals Ben and Taylor.
It's so wonderful having friends all over the country!
Ben and Taylor getting kissy-kissy, practicing for their first kiss as husband and wife, I'm sure.
Ending any year with this man makes me the luckiest girl in the world. Let's start and
end many, many more together. 
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Sunday, November 1, 2015

O Canada!

When you live in Southern California, you drive to Mexico for margaritas.
When you live in Washington, you take the train to Canada for maple syrup. 
It's just what you have to do :)

We have LOVED taking advantage of our closeness to other countries in our travels so far! There's something so magical about leaving the country and exploring a different one (even one as similar and close as Canada). 
Last weekend we spent a quick 2 days in Vancouver, British Columbia and had such an amazing time! The city quickly stole our hearts. Everyone was friendly, we were surrounded by water and mountains (best combo ever), and the architecture was truly stunning. This contract in Seattle has been insanely busy for us, between flying home for weddings and events and our conflicting work schedules. So we were incredibly thankful to be able to steal away for this trip. We decided to take the train and we were so glad we did! It was easy, comfortable, convenient, and we had some beautiful views along the way. We honestly didn't miss having a car one bit. We got a lot of walking in and Vancouver's public transportation is wonderful! This was a bit of a mystery trip for Will since I did all the planning, but it makes it fun that way. He planned all of our trip to San Fransisco and it was so exciting for me not knowing anything about our itinerary! Man, marriage rocks...

Art installment outside the train station. 
Stanley Park: 1,001 acres of beauty.
Walking along the Sea Wall at Stanley Park.
More fun art!
We could walk around Vancouver admiring the architecture for days...

The Olympic Cauldron.
Canada Place.
The Steam Clock in Gastown, which is powered by a steam engine.  Only a few in the world!
Water Street in Gastown, one of our favorite areas of the city.

At the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The whole park was amazing!
We had so much fun! Felt like little kids running around exploring the treetops.

Vancouver from a distance.
Our last stop was Grouse Mountain, one of the highest spots in the Vancouver area.
Riding up the chair lift with my love.
They had 2 cute black bears in a fenced area at the top of the mountain. They were so fun to watch! They stay in this little cabin up there in the winter, too. This big guy was enjoying his salmon lunch. Yum...
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Friday, October 30, 2015

Keep Portland weird

A few weeks ago, Will and I ran away to Portland for a quick weekend. I've been there a couple times before, but Will had never been so we knew we had to take advantage of the proximity. Also, my childhood best friend Kearsten and her husband, Justin, had just moved to Portland. How cool!? It was wonderful spending time with a dear friend. 
Familiar faces are a rarity in my line of work (haha, line of work... I just had to say that). Being a travel nurse isn't always easy, especially socially. Don't get me wrong, I'm SO grateful for my husband/best friend/partner! I couldn't do this without him... but still, the lack of community can be challenging at times. I've never been so thankful for warm, inviting, familiar faces. So here's to fun places, familiar faces, and making new friends along the way!
Multnomah Falls

Naturally we had to pay a visit to Voo Doo Donuts.

Downtown Portland by view of Pittock Mansion.
We drove to the coast to explore Cape Kiwanda... and have LOTS of good conversations, of course.

Praise the Lord for this woman... 

This. Guy. 
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