Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Card 2015!!

Here is our Christmas Card for 2015! Merry Christmas!



Here is a behind the scene photo of the shoot.



Friday, December 4, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!! Year in Review

Once again it is time to do the year end wrap up. We left out pictures of Erik recovering from his rotator cuff repair in April. He is doing well and continues to work at achieving his full range of motion. He continues to do business photography and video.

I have fully recovered from last year's surgeries and am doing well. I still enjoy putting people to sleep and especially waking them up again as an anesthesiologist in Northern Colorado. After many fails, I think I have perfected the technique of making homemade fudge.

Aubrey and Finn are getting bigger and doing well in school. Aubrey enjoys playing the piano and has done some accompaniment for church and school. Finn is also always energetic and enjoys working on Legos.

We wish you all -- peace and joy this Christmas season and in the year to come. Thankful that a Savior has come and that He has prepared a place for us. May we all see each other again someday at that great reunion.   Gelerie

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Erik's annual essay: 2015.

I won't even begin to explain or rationalize this year's Christmas photo. That picture is probably worth 2000 words.

Wow. Cancer and multiple surgeries for Gelerie last year, major shoulder surgery and year long (plus?) recovery for me this year. Here's to hoping next year will be quieter in that regard. Still, we have so much for which to be thankful. And we are. But with headlines such as they are: disaster, pain, suffering and tragedy (and the millions of quiet sorrows that never make headlines) one may wonder -- where is hope? For me, it's in Jesus. The Bible Jesus. The one who got involved in people's lives for the purpose of making them better. The one who is active in MY life. He's real, and He can be experienced. If you're curious, I highly recommend three books: The gospel of John in the Bible; Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge; or The Desire of Ages by Ellen G White (which can be found free online or very inexpensively). You can contact me through www.stenbakken.com if you'd like.

Maybe next year I'll get that video done about the time I accidentally left $100,000.00 on the beach. Till then, here's our year in review…

Please click on the photos to enlarge.

Finn is 6 Years Old and in First Grade

Aubrey is 12 and in Seventh Grade

We had a great time at church Winter Retreat over President's Day weekend. Plenty of snow and also caught up with friends from Union College that we had not seen in years. Highly recommend! We plan to be back next February.
Snow Cave built at Wyoming Winter Retreat
Sanibel Island, Florida in March over Spring Break. Perfect weather. Lots of beautiful shells.





Met grandparents and Rikki's (Erik's sister) Family in Naples before we headed home
Finn Graduated from Kindergarten


Finn learned to boogie board



Maui Ocean Center



Snorkeling with Turtles



Aubrey posing with an ad for Greeley featuring her hands and model train at Denver International Airport.
Erik's companies did the media for the Greeley Unexpected advertising campaign.

We also did quite a bit of camping with the Pathfinders our church scouting group. We also went on a caving trip in the White River National Forest. We spent about 10 hours underground.










Saturday, December 6, 2014

2014 Christmas Card!! And a Year of Blessings

It's that time again to share our traditional Christmas Card. 



In many ways, this illustrates our year. The kids… will be kids. They had a pretty good year. But breast cancer crashed in right around Valentines Day and changed most of the rest of the year. A double mastectomy, a follow up surgery later, and they say the prognosis is excellent. Here's Gelerie's take:

At 43, my 3rd yearly mammogram was far from routine and required further testing. The biopsy result was early breast cancer, Stage 0. Because it was too large, I had to have a mastectomy and since I am a worrier I decided it would be better to remove both. Thankfully, I was not required to have chemotherapy or radiation therapy and surgeries went well.

Here I am, in preop just about to change into my gown in April. Erik dared me to wear the outfit from last year's Christmas card and he had to pay me $100 buckaroos.


There is no video this year, but if you missed last year's video that goes with this outfit, here is the link that takes you to our famous music video.
Double Mastectomy in April      Reconstruction in October
Shout out and props to my work families at Poudre Valley Hospital and Harmony Surgery Center in Fort Collins. I had peace in my heart going into the operating rooms. You are the best.

I've missed a lot of work this year, but I haven't missed the joy and blessings of family and friends. Thank you to all who have kept me and my family in your prayers and thoughts. There is power in prayer! The cards, treats, meals, hugs and support have all been much appreciated and not forgotten. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

This reminds me that this place is not our home and I look forward to the day He returns and makes this world new and perfect again. No more sorrows, pain or injustice. 

Wishing you all a Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

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The list of all of God's blessings to us this year would be too long and so here are the highlights....

Click on any photo to make it bigger. 

January Birthday Boy!!


Aubrey-Daddy Date with Photobomber in February

In March, we were in Maui and spent time with Gelerie's brother Francis. The following photos were taken at Maui Ocean Center.


Ran into friends in Maui

Erik and Francis rented some KLR motorcycles and spent two days trying to cover every inch of road we could all over (and all around) the island. It was probably the most fun I've had in Maui. If you're a rider, I highly recommend it! Word to the wise: it DOES get cold at 10,000 feet elevation even in Hawaii (Haleakala volcano road). 



D'Oh!

Offshore at Kamaole Beach 
Iao Valley State Park
Near Nakalele Blowhole and Finn is upset that he can't stand close to the edge


Erik with friends on the way to the summit of Mount Evans (Elevation 14,265 ft).
On the west ridge, had a windchill of 9F -- in mid June!
Aubrey at Glacier View Ranch Summer Camp in June
Erik with friend Scott Indermaur at the beach in RI.
Erik was on the East Coast for a series of assignments at summer camps. 
Erik hanging with the models at Chestnut Lake Camp. 
Aubrey's 11th Birthday in August (Gelerie forgot the other 1)
Hanging out with cousins Elise and Elliot
In August, Aubrey participated in International Pathfinder Camporee at Oshkosh, WI with 45,000 kids and adults. We saw many friends and family there. It was awesome to reconnect and meet so many people from around the world. 

(some of) Gelerie's side of the family from California




Our Pathfinder Group

In September, Gelerie climbed and summited her first 14er, Mount Bierstadt (elevation 14,065 ft)
She continues to sew and craft and update her blog.


Gelerie here. I wasn't sure where to place this next bit, just because it's been an ongoing experience throughout this year for me. But if I was to capture it with one illustration this would pretty much cover it.