Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're Expecting!!

For those of you who may not already know, Brett and I are excited to announce that we are expecting our first baby!! Our due date is January 10th, 2011, which right now seems like absolutely forever away! We got our first positive pregnancy test on May 2nd and have been overjoyed ever since :) We just went to the doctor's office this morning for our 12 week appointment and she says everything looks good! Praise God!

I have attached a couple pictures and don't worry, there will be LOTS more to come :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Yes, you heard correctly. Brett and I are moving...again. We have been given (literally given to us by our amazing Heavenly Father) the opportunity to move into a 5 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 2,200 sq. ft. house for a little bit more $$ per month than we're paying now for rent at our apartment. We will be renting it for a year and have the option to buy it at the end of that year. It's such a blessing and all glory goes to God for coordinating all the details of this move. We are excited to start painting and renovating the place to make it our own, but more than anything we are excited to see how God chooses to use this home to expand His kingdom and bring people closer to Him! If you think about it, pray for me and Brett as we begin this journey and continue to follow what He has planned for our lives. We would really appreciate it!

Oh, and don't worry, pictures will be coming along very soon! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Baaaack!

So, here I am again - back in blogger world! If you didn't notice (which I'm sure most, if not all of you did, right?) my 1 month "fast" from all things social networking turned into 2, and if I'm going to be perfectly honest, it was tough. I will admit that I did log on and check up on people/statuses/situations from time to time and did watch a few TV shows/movies. Despite that, I believe that through these 2 months my goal and purpose of doing this "fast" was accomplished. I have found myself spending less time on the computer and in front of the TV and more time being quiet and still before God. More than anything, I got into a routine where my priorities are more in line with what I believe God wants from me. This is going to be a continuous journey where I have to remind myself of where I should be spending my time and energy, but spending these 2 months completely away was a good start.

With all that said, here are a couple pictures from my time away.

1. I finally got curtains put up in the dining room! It's amazing how something so simple and easy makes such a difference.

2. The flowers on the table above (& the closer shot below) are from Brett's mom Linnea as a birthday/Easter gift. I turned 23 on March 18th and one of my favorite gift was these flowers! Pretty, huh?

3. Happy (belated) Easter! This is me and my handsome husband on Easter morning. We had a wonderful morning of worship with our church family and then got to spend some great time with my family in the afternoon. What's better is that reason that we got to celebrate - because Jesus Christ is risen!

4. Brett and I attending our very last Nebraska Christian College Spring Formal. Brett is graduating May 8th and it's crazy to think that our college days (collectively) are very close to being over. I posted 2 pictures from that night - the first is (obviously) of me and Brett and the second is of us with some of our best friends - (from left to right) Anna and Jared, us, Michael and Leah. Love them!

That's all for now :) But no worries, I'll be back soon! We've got some exciting events happening in the near future, so I'll have plenty of things to blog about and share :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I didn't really realize that it has been a full week since my last post, and unfortunately (or fortunately - depending on your point of view) I won't be making anymore posts for at least 30 days. We had a wonderfully refreshing evening at our weekly prayer service at church and God really convicted my heart and lead me to decide that I needed to make a few changes in my life for a while. Sooooo, to make a very long story short, I will not be on here, Facebook or any other time-consuming internet location nor will I be watching TV for the next 30 days. You could call it a fast if you want - although I will be checking my email, but other than that, I'm done for at least a month. I need to be spending that valuable time on things more important and precious to me, and that is first and foremost my relationship with Christ. So friends, adios! for now. I'll definitely let you know how this whole fasting experience ends up, but in the meantime say a prayer for me if you think about it. Pray that God would do some transformation in my heart as I try to give up some of the distractions that have kept me from pursuing Him with more abandon and more passion. Thanks :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Sorry about bombarding you with the whole 2-blogs-in-one-day thing, but I just had to share this moment before its imprint left my heart.

Tonight after our mid-week prayer service was over and most people had left, I walked back into the sanctuary to find my husband and tell him I was heading home. I found him talking to an 8 year old girl from our children's ministry & her mom in the front pew. As I got closer and sat down 2 rows behind them (trying not to make too much noise as to disturb them), I heard them discussing this little girls desire to be baptized.

First of all, that right there brings joy to my heart because this little girl was making the biggest, most important decision she will EVER make in her entire life. I'm getting a little teary-eyed even now, just like I do whenever I witness someone actually getting baptized, because I know the blessing it is to follow Christ and serve Him with your life. I pray that this little girl, although she thinks she understands and probably does understand (at least to the best of her ability right now) what it will mean to follow Christ, will come to know this overwhelming joy more fully as she grows up.

This moment blessed me in a second way because she asked Brett to be the one to baptize her. What an honor! As many of you know, Brett was the full-time children's minister at the church for a year and half in addition to being an intern and working with the young kids before that. When moments like this happen, it seems to validate all the things that he has been helping teach them and it shows that he is producing fruit in his ministry. I am so honored, as I know Brett is, that this little girl (along with 3 or 4 other kids before her) asked him to be the one to participate in this important day!

Finally, just to hear the way Brett spoke to her made me smile. His voice was so gentle and loving. His words expressed how proud he was of her for making such and important decision. He told her the truth, ever so tenderly, about how this was going to change her life forever.

I just had to share how blessed I was to witness this conversation and how proud I am of my husband for making such an impact on these little lives. It makes me excited for the future and our hopes of raising children to love Christ and follow Him with everything they have!

Virtual Tour

I mentioned in an earlier post that Brett and I, along with our good friend Michael recently moved out of our on-campus, married student housing apartment, to a more centrally located apartment complex in Omaha. I am grateful that we made this decision and I have enjoyed it immensely. Not only have I enjoyed meeting our neighbors, but I have enjoyed decorating our new space! Our old apartment was great, don't get me wrong, but there is something about this one that just feels more like home. So, about a month ago I hardcore cleaned this place and took all these pictures to show the world (with the exception of two photos I took this morning).
Only now am I actually posting them :)

As you look through these pictures, you will note a couple of things:
1. The Christmas decorations are up. Like I said, I took these at the beginning on January, but have since taken them down. It does make the pictures more festive though, huh?
2. If you have been to our place recently, you know that our living room has been rearranged. I don't have pictures up of the new arrangement because that would require some picking up and I don't want to do that. HA! So, that just means if you want to see it, you'll have to come visit!
3. There are no window treatments anywhere. I have had intentions of getting curtains for some of the rooms since, oh, November. You'll just have to use your imagination for now :)

Entry (Kitchen on the left)

(directly on right as you walk in the front door - across from kitchen)

Kitchen - View 1

Kitchen - View 2
*NOTE* Several people who have come over have asked me about the pictures in the frame below - They are close up, detailed photos of some spices from my spice rack, printed off & put in a fun frame. Boom. Instant art.

View of Kitchen from Dining Room

Dining Room

Living Room - View 1 (from dining room)


Living Room - View 2/Dining Room

My Favorite Wall (with a few empty frames & a few pictures MIA)
Living room to the left & bathroom directly to the right of this picture

Bathroom - View 1 (Also, taken this morning)
*Paintings inspired by a Wal-mart set ($90) ...painted by yours truly ($20)

Bathroom - View 2

Hallway (picture taken from bathroom door)
Our bedroom door is on the left - Michael's room (which leads into Office/Den/Bonus Room) in middle - Smallest linen closet
EVER on far right

Our Bedroom - View 1 (Taken this morning)
*Calla Lilly Photos above bed = recent addition (Thanks Wal-mart!)

Bedroom - View 2

Michael's Room - Leading into Office/Den/Bonus Room

Office/Den/Bonus Room - View 1

Office/Den/Bonus Room - View 2


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New job, new outlook ...oh, and a new mail organizing system

New Job - Yesterday I started a new position at the Open Door Mission as Administrative Support Staff at our Timberlake Outreach Center. Sounds impressive? Good..but fancy titles like that will fool ya :) It's exciting because I am being challenged to step up and take on more leadership responsibility and once again, step out of my comfort zone. Since I got hired in July, I have been working in the volunteer department, helping facilitate and direct all the volunteers that come through the Mission. Now, while still working with volunteers, I get to work with a group of workers from a program called Employment First, get trained to do some community case management, and possibly teach some bible & life skill classes. All in all, it's an exciting opportunity that God plopped directly in my lap and I'm sure there will be many lessons learned through this new job. I'll keep ya posted...

New Outlook- Since, oh probably mid-January or so, I have made a commitment to being healthier. Call it a New Year's resolution if you like, but more than anything I just want to get back to a point where I'm exercising on a regular basis, making smart food choices and just feeling good about myself. So, my friend Corine and I signed up to do a bootcamp 2 days a week at the YMCA and I have been trying (<--Key word right there) to stick to a 1,300-1,400 calorie daily food regimen. First of all, bootcamp kicks my butt. One, because it's at 5:30 in the morning. Two, because it's just plain hard. And besides the motivation to just live healthier, I'm in FOUR weddings this summer and want to feel good wearing all those dresses! Down 8 lbs. so far, and looking for more!

New mail organizing system - I picked up some old records at work the other day thinking that it could be a cute way to decorate in our music room/office. I went online hoping to find some inspiration, and voila!, I found this really cute idea for organizing mail, bills, papers etc., so unfortunately I can't take credit for it, but I hope it will help me stay sane amongst all the papers!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's that time again...

I hate grocery shopping. Absolutely hate it.

It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't care about prices, but I simply can't NOT compare prices and clip coupons to keep more money in my pocket. It just takes forever for me to sit down and plan meals along with the whole price matching/coupon cutting, and then on top of that go out to actually get what we need. I would much rather spend all that time scrapbooking.

So basically what I'm saying is that if anyone would like to volunteer to come and do all of that for me, that would be great. Thanks. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Past Year and a Half...

Here it is, as promised...a quick update covering the major events of the past year and half of our lives as husband and wife. There's a lot to take in and sometimes it's difficult for me to even comprehend all that we've done and all we've been through, but it's definitely been exciting and we're looking forward with anticipation to what's coming next.

1. Marriage

June 7th, 2008 was the day our two separate lives officially joined into one. Little did we know then how much joy we would experience being able to spend each day with our best friend! We knew even less about how difficult it would be to start living with another person who is totally and completely different than you (in a good way of course). But, after being great friends for a year and a half, dating for about 9 months and being engaged for another 8 months, we were more than ready to be together for the rest of our lives, and so far so good :)

2. Ministry

After returning from our honeymoon in Tennessee, we immediately jumped into full-time ministry! Brett was hired as the full-time children's minister at Kingsway Christian Church here in Omaha, and I was blessed to be able to join the ministry team as an intern. We also both went back to school at Nebraska Christian College that fall, me full-time and Brett part-time.

3. Trip to Salt Lake City, Utah

As a student at NCC, we are required to take a week off classes every spring and focus on ministry somewhere outside our classroom walls. In 2009, Brett and I signed up for the trip to Salt Lake City and came back changed. We went expecting to spend time with good friends, enjoy fellowship and perform a couple service projects, but in a nutshell, the trip was a shifting point for us in how we lived and carried out our professed faith in Christ. From where we stand now, we look back and credit this trip as being the event that changed the course of our spiritual lives.

4. Graduating!

On May 9, 2009, after 4 years of hard work, I (Nicole) could finally call myself a college graduate! I received a Bachelor's degree in Family Life Ministry and Counseling, and while the moment of knowing my college years had come to an end was bittersweet, I was reassured in knowing that the adventure God had laid out from that point forward was going to be incredibly exciting.

5. New Job

On July 7th, 2009 I started my new full-time job at Open Door Mission. I was hired as a Volunteer Associate, mainly to help coordinate and facilitate the work our volunteers do for/with us. With the hope of moving into a case-management position in the near future, I began working at one of the biggest homeless shelters in the Midwest. Let me tell you, the minute I began working at ODM, God began stretching me out of my comfort zone and challenging me to address so many heart issues I had tried to ignore. Words cannot describe how much of a blessing this job, this ministry, has been.

6. Anniversary Trip

In order to celebrate our first year of marriage and spend time away with each other before the new (and LAST) school year started for Brett, we booked a week long trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico. We definitely enjoyed the rest and relaxation and having no schedule whatsoever!

7. Transition, transition, transition...

Since Labor Day weekend 2009, this has been the theme of our lives. We first found ourselves transitioning through a difficult season in the life of our church family at Kingsway. Our lead pastor resigned and the circumstances were not very pleasant. While we knew (and still know for that matter) that God was completely in control and worthy of trusting, our hearts were broken and the loss was great.

After about a month and a half after that whole process began, we found ourselves facing a new transition as a couple, this time with our physical living location. We had felt unrest for quite some time about how isolated and comfortable we were and decided it was time for us to move. We had been living on our college campus in the married student housing units for over a year and felt it was time to get out into the "real" world and be the light and salt we had learned about in our classes. So, at the end of October, with a new roommate Michael in tow, we moved to a new apartment complex in Omaha and have already seen God work through us to make connections with our neighbors.

Our most recent transition has been in regards to Brett's job at the church. Ever since returning from our Salt Lake City trip last May, there was a desire in Brett to do something other than children's ministry. He didn't know what and he didn't know why, but God had begun to mold and shape his heart on that trip to reach out to a different group of people, particularly the poor, homeless and marginalized. Through many tough conversations and serious prayer filled months, Brett was offered to fill the position of Worship/Outreach Ministry at Kingsway.

Well, that pretty much covers it. While highly condensed and abbreviated, this list contains the major things that have made this past year and a half so great, so challenging, so rewarding and so incredibly unbelievable.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Get Ready

After taking some time to sit and be quiet, I (Nicole) have come to realize that the past year and half has been the most challenging, exciting, difficult, blessed, unbelievable, God-ordained time I've ever experienced. In fact, you could probably insert any number of descriptive words into that list, and we would be able to find some instance or situation we have encountered that fits perfectly. I don't have the time right now to write about all those events that have made up our last year and half of life, but more details will be coming in the near future, I promise (perhaps even this evening if you're lucky). So, with that introduction, I give you the Ricley blog. And if there is one thing I can tell you, just get ready. God has done and is doing so many amazing things in our life and we can't wait to share them with you.