July 30, 2008

I enjoy my drive home from work.  Not at all because I am anxious to be finished related to some type of dissatisfaction with my job.  Quite the opposite.

We live at the edge of the Rocky Mountains and I drive east, into the sunrise on my way to work and west, into the mountains on my drive home.

I learned many things this summer during our nomadic national and international travels.  Many of which, I trust, are yet to be uncovered.  But it is obvious to me that I learned the ability to adapt through our coming and going.

Arriving and departing.

Settling and moving on.

Once more.

I am more aware now of my ability to live virtually anywhere and find contentment.  A home is a home is a home with a small handfull of essential components.  Many of which cannot be pack into a suitcase (neatly).  I spent the summer letting go of the rest.  The things and feelings and comforts I believed to be important.  And proved not.

It has taken me a few weeks to settle here (although I know for sure that I will always combat that deep-seated, small-voiced need to go and see and move on) but, with my small list of learned-necessities, I’m beginning to enjoy and uncover the even smaller things that are making Colorado mine.  Ours. Home.

Like my drive home from work after a day full of nursing women through the birth of their babies.  I’ve found such comfort and relaxation by taking joy in the every-day-again amazing scene of the mountains.  It is difficult not to smile.  I dare you to come and try.

Josh had the opportunity to hike three different 14,000ft mountains this weekend with our friends Jeremy and Joanna.  (I worked, assured there would be more mountains to climb.)

Don’t be fooled by the long-sleeves and snow-capped mountains.  It is the altitude.  Back in Denver/Boulder, we’re experiencing a record-setting heat wave.  I was told that today marked a record 18 days stretch of 90 degree and above days.

Beyond the heat, we are enjoying the remaining weeks of summer.

We hosted our first house guests this week.  Our friend, Rich, and his dog, Lucy, occupied our extra bedroom during a stop in Colorado.  Next to Subarus, ski racks and overpriced property, dogs are a Colorado must-have.  We’ll remain out-of-staters on the first three but hope to expand our small family to include a dog.  Soon.

One final note.  My niece, Selah (who turned three this summer), phoned us with an important announcement.  She confided in us that she is going to be a big sister.

And that she intended to “nurse” the baby.  She has an exciting year ahead.  And we’re thrilled to become an aunt and uncle again.

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July 24, 2008

I just need to take a moment and post this picture that brings a smile to my face:

So much so that I overcame that tackiness of it all and I have it displayed in our kitchen.

We’re living a slow and gentle life. Leaving the windows open, going on walks and listening to our favorite music. We’re bringing our books out of boxes slowly and with their familiar covers and worn pages comes the comfort of home.

Saying short prayers and enjoying the quiet.

I started work on the OB unit this week. Monday I walked off the floor absolutely exhausted, wearing blue scrubs splattered with blood and a smile that I couldn’t suppress. My orientation nurse and I coached two moms and delivered two babies and I’m enjoying it more than even I had expected.

Such small graces from a good God who gives perfect gifts.

We’re slowly catching up with friends that we miss immensely. Listening to their stories and longing to see their sweet faces.

July 18, 2008

What I call job security:

The almost baby boom

July 17, 2008

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.–AE

July 15, 2008

We’re still here. In Colorado.

I’ll try to give a recap of the moving-in, readjusting process but, honestly, I’m tired of recaps. Recaps are so last month. Hopefully this will be the last. But I’m obliging this last time because I know that at least my family (which includes Amanda and Sandi) is anxious to hear and see the details of “their new Colorado vacation home”.

So…

Last Wednesday we flew from Costa Rica to Miami and on to Colorado. It was such a strange feeling arriving to the Denver airport and having it be our final destination. We’ve only been through this airport a few times and this was the first it was home.

Jeremy and Joanna graciously retrieved us from the airport late Wednesday night. The greeted us with a name sign because they know it warms my heart. Both being greeted by familiar faces and feeling important enough to warrant a cardboard sign with “Johnson” written on it.

We arrived to Denver wearing the only clean clothes in our possession and carrying bags full of clothing so dirty, sweaty and smelly that I guarantee security did not search our bags in the airport. We easily could have transported the monkey I nearly stole from the beach in Costa Rica in those bags unquestioned. Had we plugged his tiny little monkey nose.

So Wednesday night we were reintroduced to American life. I was so happy to drink water directly from the faucet that I had to resist the urge to fill up all of our water bottles and hoard them in my purse. The ridiculous amount of time I spent in the (warm!) shower is a whole separate matter.

For Josh it was the cereal and cold milk. Bowls and bowls of it. At midnight.

So Thursday we signed the lease to our new apartment and began to move in. Not usually an excited grocery-shopper, I was thrilled to push a cart down every single aisle marveling at all of the familiar and safe foods to choose from. It was such a fun experience to stock my COMPLETELY EMPTY refrigerator and kitchen. No longer do I have to look at the ground beef in the freezer left by my best friend who lived with us last summer or the fat free ice cream that seemed like a good idea at the time. Among other random condiments that never get eaten. And I got to push a shopping cart! A shiny! New! Cart! It was glorious.

And Josh rewarded me by making homemade sushi!

And then we slept on our sleeping mats in the bedroom floor.

Friday the movers brought all of our posessions from the storage unit and I sat in the floor, paralyzed in a fit of anxiety amidst cardboard and rubbermade boxes. But I had three days to get it all together before I began my new job so Friday we worked incredibly hard and non-stop until we had ourselves 90% moved-in! Did I mention that the past few days the temperature has been in the upper 90’s? And that we haven’t had income for the past 3 months and, therefore, air conditioning is a luxury that zero income does not afford?

After hours and hours of work, our mental conditions began to deteriorate. Taking into account our exhaustion, the excessive temperature and Josh’s beard length (which has everything to do with one’s mental/psychological state), this is pretty much how the situation broke down…

And then we slept in our own bed for the first time in 2 1/2 months.

Saturday we continued to empty boxes, arrange furniture and run errands. And, after 11 weeks, finally, finally, finally, Josh trimmed THE BEARD. And the people rejoiced.

Sunday we visited Jeremy and Joanna’s church service and spent the afternoon hiking in the mountains. God and mountains. Blue sky and friends.

Monday I started orientation. And so normal life resumes. Only this time as a labor and delivery nurse.

Josh also will be starting his work as a research assistant at the University by next week.

We’re looking forward to catching up with you all. And we almost have the guest room ready for your visit. Book your flights.