christmas letter 2022

Happy holidays, family and friends!

We hope this letter greets you with joy and warm wishes. Reflecting on each year has been a great way to look back and remember all the change, progress, and movement that has occurred in our lives, as well as what has remained consistent and steady. So much to be thankful for, and we are glad to be able to share it all with you.

It has now been a full year of living in our KC home, and as it usually goes, that feels both quick and like a lifetime. We’ve learned lots about living in an old house, and Ryan has more gray hairs in his beard because of it! But our home truly feels like home, and we’ve had the joy and pleasure of hosting a bunch throughout the year, which has been our main goal in choosing a house from the beginning. From casual gatherings, to out of state visitors, to hosting a Stranger Things Halloween party, our home has served as the best landing space and place of rest for us and for our friends.

We’ve fully embraced living in Kansas City, and have found so much celebration of the amazing cultures packed into this midwest city. KC supports small businesses better than most any other city I’ve seen! We’ve attended so many festivals, small business pop ups, grand openings and business anniversaries, and events that celebrate inclusivity and have helped us learn about our own and other heritages and cultures around us. I love how KC lifts each other up and supports its own! While there is of course still so much division, the efforts I’m seeing for diversity and inclusivity have been such a gift.

In July, Ryan changed companies back from Compassion International to Living Water International! He’s working again with his old colleagues, and some new ones, and is able to work from home. This has been such a wonderful switch, and a great challenge for him, as he is now the Manager of IT Support at LWI. He had kept in contact with his old work mates, so they were able to pick right back up. He’s implementing some changes to processes and hoping to help improve systems for IT and LWI as a whole, and of course, enjoying the time he gets to spend with his team. He’s visited Houston a few times since the transition; once for onboarding, then again a few weeks later, and then for a staff building retreat he was able to attend with everyone. It’s a plus that when he visits, he also gets to spend some time with his family, who are all in Houston.

I’m still teaching group exercise classes at Woodside, and have been keeping busy! I teach several times a week, and sub for others when I am able. This has been a wonderful company to work for, and my boss is so great about recognizing his team’s efforts and making sure we feel appreciated. We’re in the middle of a huge renovation that is supposed to be completed in the new year. I cannot WAIT to explore all the new toys and spaces we will have, and be able to bring more of that fun to my classes.
In August, I attended Les Mills LIVE for the first time in NOLA with my friend, Maria. It was an amazing time working out with thousands of others (600+ in a room), all with the same passion and high energy. We worked out way too much in a 24 hour time period, but had the time of our lives, and even got to explore New Orleans a bit afterward!

Jude will be 7 in January, and is in the first grade. He told me at the end of Kindergarten that he’s pretty sure he’s learned everything he needs, and is done with school. If the kid only knew he’s at the very beginning of his learning journey! Overall, he’s enjoying school, and especially looks forward to drawing Pokemon characters with a friend seated in his desk group. He seems to have a knack for math, and his teacher is helping to give him more math challenges along the way. He also loves drawing, playing board and video games, and has developed a recent interest in collecting Pokemon cards. Jude is a super sweet kid, and loves playing with his brother and his cousins!

Photos by Angelique Humcke

Jake turned 4 in September, and continues to be our firecracker. He is the best helper, and volunteers to assist in all the chores. He loves working with his hands: cleaning, cooking, taking out the trash, he’s your guy. He looks up to Jude, and finds interest in all the things Jude is into, so Pokemon is a big thing in our house right now. Unlike his brother, he loves to snuggle, and always wants to be close to Ryan and me. Jake never stops moving, even when he sleeps, and loves being out and about, no matter what we’re doing! He enjoys working through “school” which includes lots of tracing and practicing lines and shapes. He also enjoys drawing, and the two boys together come up with lots of hilarious creations. He’s fiery and affectionate, and loves an adventure.

One of the joys from this year is that my younger brother moved back to KC from Florida! We have loved having him close. Christian and Ryan have bonded this year especially over their love for comics. They started dabbling with just collecting in early spring, and a few months later managed to start their own company, buying and selling comics! You can check them out at You can also follow them on Instagram @beskarbooks and Facebook at /beskarbooks. They have an Etsy store, and they’ve also been setting up booths at local comic cons. My other brother, Jonathan, and sister-in-law, Christina just created a new logo and entire marketing brand for them, too. If anyone needs some visual art work done, they are fantastic and insanely creative and talented.

Although we haven’t been able to travel as much this year, we did a bit in the summer. After I went to NOLA, I met Ryan and the boys back in Houston, and we got to spend some time there for my birthday. The trip, though, wasn’t supposed to last quite as long. A dear friend and mentor of mine from my time in Houston passed away over the summer, and the memorial service ended up being later that week. So, we decided to extend our trip so that I could attend. This passing was such a hard mix of emotions for many of us, as Donna was what most would call the face of health and fitness. She believed the best in everyone, and was the one to push me toward furthering my career in the fitness industry, helped me calm my doubts, and believe that I could help people and make a difference in their lives. She was so full of joy every day, and we honor her life by remembering who she was, and that she lived so fully while she was here, not wasting a moment. May we do the same.

One thing I’ve learned this year is that life contains both joy and sorrow, sometimes in the same day, and living well is learning how to exist with them both. Sometimes we feel like only one can be welcome at a time, but truly living means feeling it all, and letting it all have its space. It’s ok to both laugh and cry in the same space, to be angry, confused, and hopeful, to reserve space for all of it. This year has contained a lot of that, and I’m learning what it looks like to allow myself to just be in those moments. There’s a lot more to that, but I think I’ll leave it there for now. :)

My hope and prayer for you this year is that you feel free and welcome where you are to acknowledge and feel what needs to be given space to exist. I hope that you have freedom to laugh hard and cry deeply, and that you feel safe in those places. My wish is that we learn how to give ourselves and each other what we need to embrace everything life brings.

This season, as a Christian, I celebrate Immanuel, which means God with us. This is a profound idea because before Jesus, God was not accessible to humans, and only certain people following certain protocols could be with him. Jesus being Immanuel means that a once distant God can now be closer than a friend. This year, I’ve had a lot of highs and lows working through my own faith and simply being ok in spaces that have caused a lot of long-term damage to me personally. So if you’re not in a space where the idea of Immanuel brings you comfort or peace, I get it, and that’s ok. My hope is that wherever you find yourself this season, you can find peace, comfort, belonging, and safety there. I hope that you can be fully who you are, and fully feel all the complexities of things life brings to you. You are here, and that is enough. I’m so glad that I get to know you and share life with you.

Merriest wishes to you and yours!
The Butterfrases

Photo by Angelique Humcke
(Thank you, Angelique. These are my favorite photos to date!)

christmas letter 2021

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you!

As I walked through our 2021 memories and collected photos to add to this letter, I am filled with thankfulness for God’s goodness and kindness to our family. As you may know, we moved to Kansas City, MO over the summer, and found a home this fall. This year has been nothing short of a whirlwind, packed full of changes, and often stress, but walking away from this year and into this next, I’m left with only gratitude.

The year started out for our family like many of us: recovering from 2020, and hoping for a taste of normality. You may remember that we started a podcast last year. We intended to take a break and start up season two in the spring, but at that time the opportunity to move entered, and our lives became absorbed with getting our house ready to sell, and moving! During this time, we’ve continued to have some great conversations, and hope to bring the podcast back with season 2 once we’re settled into our house. (Side note: if anyone needs a great realtor in either Colorado Springs or Kansas City, we definitely hit the jackpot in both! Hit me up; we’d be thrilled to connect you.)

Since we knew early spring that it would be our last few months in Colorado, we soaked up as much as we could and enjoyed having both friends and family visit (have we mentioned we love hosting guests?). While we were showing our house, our realtors recommended we get away for the weekend, since the market was nuts and we only needed to show our house for 3 days. That way, we didn’t have to keep cleaning around ourselves, and constantly be ready to leave every hour or so. We decided to enjoy the mountains one last time, and did a weekend getaway in Breckenridge! My parents also flew up to join us, as it happened to fall on my dad’s 60th birthday. It was the best time, and one we all continue to recall fondly. Ryan, my dad, and I went white water rafting while my mom took the boys gold mining. We had leisurely walks through the adorable town, ate ice cream in 40 degree weather, and enjoyed what is possibly the best meal of our lives. It was the perfect way to wrap up our time in Colorado.

When we moved to Kansas City, we didn’t have a house, as we wanted to wait until we closed on our Colorado house and didn’t feel comfortable buying a house we’ve never seen in person. KC has some amazing character, and some gorgeous homes, but many of them are very old, and come with very old house problems. Foundation issues, mold, really rough plaster cracking, 100 year old plumbing… the list goes on. Because of this, we looked at countless houses that looked like a dream on paper, but inside were heartbreaking. So glad we decided to wait until we were here, because there’s no way we could’ve known these things from listing photos. It took us 4 months to find our house, and along the way we were under contract on two other houses that fell through. It was definitely exhausting to say the least. In the meantime, we were staying at my brother and sister-in-law’s house, and are eternally thankful for their generosity and hospitality. One benefit of living together for 4 months was the cousin time our kids were able to enjoy. We moved to KC to be closer to family. My brother’s family, of course, but it also brought us closer to everyone else as well. We’ve been able to have weekend visits with my sister’s family, and soon my younger brother will be joining us in KC! We also drove to Houston for Thanksgiving, and although we’ve done the trek from CO, KC is just so much closer, haha.

Ryan still works for Compassion International, but is now remote. In 2020, Compassion decided as most companies did to move to remote work. Once the opportunity to open the building back up arose, they offered an exclusively remote option to anyone whose position was able to be done outside the building. It has been such a gift to have Ryan home, as it has cut out commute time, allowed flexibility where needed, and even gave us the ability to become a one car family. Ryan has a pretty sweet office in our new house, and I can’t wait til we get it all set up and running for him. When I look back I remember how crazy the work-from-home transition felt at first, and now feels so normal. Just another reminder of how much we all adapted and flexed to the best of our ability to make 2020 work. Now, I can’t imagine it differently!

Jude turned 5 last January (he’ll be 6 soon???), and started Kindergarten in August. He goes back and forth between absolutely loving his school days, and wishing he could just stay home and play (don’t we all?). I’m amazed at how much a 5 year old can absorb and learn in such a short time, and even more amazed at the gift of school teachers who take on the incredible challenge of not only managing the chaos of 15+ kids in a room together, but somehow coordinating it into something productive and beautiful, and even pouring encouragement into each kid along the way (thank you, teachers). Jude has many interests, including dinosaurs, Godzilla, and the newest addition, Mario. He is very musical, and is constantly singing whether he realizes it or not. He’s sensitive and caring, and also a little wild. We love watching his curiosity about the world, and feel thankful that we get to walk alongside him in his discoveries and journeys.

Jake turned 3 in September, and is a 3 year old in every way you can imagine. He cannot be left alone, as he likes to fidget with things, and it often leads to disaster or danger (help). He keeps us on our toes for sure. He is extremely snuggly and affectionate, and it has been the cutest thing to watch him with his new baby cousin. He loves any kind of physical activity, and has quite a throw. He loves to be involved and help with whatever you may be doing, whether it’s cooking, cleaning, hauling, or building. We were too late to get him into a part-time preschool this year, but hoping we can enroll him next fall, as we know he’d really love it (he loves having somewhere to go).

After we moved to Kansas City, I decided I was going to take a break from teaching and just focus on adjusting to a new city and taking a brain break. Turns out, I cannot stay away from group fitness! 2 weeks into working out alone, I felt like a huge part of myself was being neglected, so I decided to look up some fitness clubs. I found Woodside, and found my new fitness home! It’s been really fun jumping back into more freestyle teaching, as I had been teaching mainly Les Mills programs in CO. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in love with LM and am teaching a few of their programs, too. But having the mix has been a blast.

In November, we finally were able to have our long awaited vacation to Disney World and Universal Florida! We originally planned to go last year, but with the pandemic and so much being shut down for so long, we decided to postpone our trip, and I’m so glad we did. The boys were a year older and so much more invested in everything. They understood better what we were doing, and seeing Disney through a child’s eyes is pure magic. We did a ridiculous amount of research, watched countless YouTube videos, and meticulously planned each day. If you need some tips, I probably have them… feel free to reach out, haha. I’m so excited that we actually got to do every single thing we hoped for, and we had the best time ever! My parents live in Orlando, so we were able to stay with them, and they were able to join us for the two Disney days! Christian, my younger brother, also drove up from Miami and experienced his first taste of Disney, too! We spent an entire day in Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s Star Wars land, and another day covering the rest of Hollywood Studios and park hopping to Animal Kingdom. 100% nerded out, and brought an extra suitcase home (no, I’m not kidding). We also did one day in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, mostly to see Jurassic Park and lean into the boys’ dinosaur obsession. The trip fell on our 10 year anniversary (what?!), and my parents kept the boys one night so Ryan and I could spend a day getting massages, eating a quiet, uninterrupted meal, and sleeping in. It was an amazing and much needed time away from our daily routine, and when we came back, we closed on our house the following day!

We didn’t move into our house right away, as we wanted to get some work done while the house was empty. We got to visit Houston for the first time in almost 2 years over Thanksgiving break, and catch up with some good friends, and spend time with family. Although we were only there for 5 days, we squeezed in several hang outs, and I even taught a pop up class at my old stomping grounds! It’s so good to be with your people; we left physically wiped, but full in reconnections and friendship.

2021 threw lots of things we were not expecting at us; some invited and welcome, and others painful and disheartening. As with all hardship and joy, we have learned some things that seem to be the theme of our experiences: 1. God is consistent and trustworthy. In a life that is constantly changing, often raising suspicion, and extremely uncertain, He never waivers in His goodness, and it’s ok to be unsure. 2. Having people in your life that you know love you for who you are enables you to live in freedom and without fear. The past couple of years have had a lot of us questioning a lot of things in our lives, and having a safe space to do that is a gift. My prayer is that I can also be that kind of safety for the people around me, and practice the beauty of listening without worrying or causing insecurity. What a beautiful dream to be and be in that kind of community.

As we look forward to the new year, I am challenged to walk forward with intention. To be more intentional in every aspect of my life: spiritually, physically, in healing, in growing, in relationships. 2021 was a year of big changes, of questions, and in many ways, survival. May 2022 bring newness, wholeness, and health in all forms.

My prayer for you is that Christ meets you where you are. As we celebrate His birth this Christmas, we celebrate a very specific name: Immanuel, which means God with us. My prayer is that you see God in all of the big and small things in life. That when you see Him, you are met with peace, and that His presence provides healing and growth.

I’m thankful for you, and thankful we get to share this life together. May you have a wonderful holiday spent with people you love.

The Butterfrases

Photo by Angelique Humcke

here we go again!

The Butterfrases have a special announcement: we’re moving to Kansas City! And we’re moving in about a month!

We’ve had this move in mind for some time now, but were originally thinking next summer. Through the pandemic, Ryan’s job has gone remote indefinitely, which allowed us to really start thinking in this direction. With Jude starting Kindergarten this fall, we felt moving this summer instead of next would be the best decision for our family. This is definitely more accelerated than we anticipated, but things are really happening now, and as we check things off our to-do list we get more and more excited.

Why Kansas City? This move brings us closer to all of our family, but especially Tiffany’s brother and sister-in-law. The idea of our kids getting to live close to their cousins is something we’ve always dreamed of, and although it’s not ALL their cousins, we’ll take what we can get. ;)

This is absolutely a bittersweet move. Ryan has built some of the best friendships at Compassion, and I (Tiffany) have worked at a club that feels more like family than a gym. We have all grown so much during our time in Colorado. When we moved here, Jude was 15 months old and started walking the day we got here! Two years later, Jake was born, and we brought him home to the house we realize is the only home either of our kids know/remember. Four years doesn’t seem like a lot until we think about all the life lived. We’ve gained some of the richest friendships, and we’ve both grown and advanced in our careers more than we could’ve imagined. We have learned, healed, walked through hard and sometimes scary times with friends, been poured into when we felt hopeless, laughed, cried, been challenged, welcomed life and mourned death, and have had some pretty amazing hikes in these four years.

To our Colorado friends: thank you so much for embracing us and inviting us into your lives. Your friendships have been sweet and a balm to our souls. You have helped us heal in ways we didn’t know we needed, and have shown us community and belonging.
To my Villa family: thank you for being the best part of my day, every day I got to spend with you. You have made me a better instructor, and have encouraged me to bring the best parts of myself to everything I do. You have helped grow my idea of health and fitness, and your energy and readiness to work hard (even in masks) made me excited for every single class I got to spend with you.
To our Compassion Family: you brought us to Colorado, and you opened so many doors for our family. Thank you for not only caring for Ryan, but truly caring for our entire family. You are a gift, and we are so thankful we get to stay with you and have the best of both worlds by being with you, and being near our family as well.

Here we come, KC. We aren’t sure what all is waiting for us, but we know it includes great BBQ and lots of red and gold!

Photo by Angelique Humcke

christmas letter 2020

Twenty-twenty, am I right? Phew, what a year for us all. We have experienced loss, grief, smiles and laughter, a whole bunch of video calls and meetings, and by the grace of God, deep joy. We pray that you and your loved ones are healthy and whole, and that you are able to find contentment and thankfulness wherever you find yourself this holiday season. Here’s a little glimpse into what has gone down in the Butterfras household over the last year.

This year started out as any other. We had big dreams and plans for travel, and surprisingly, a small part of that came to life. In February, I (Tiffany) had the incredible opportunity to travel with my boss and a group of teammates to Houston (hey!) for a weekend training in Les Mills The TRIP. This is a cycling class experience that knocked my socks off. Definitely the most fun I’ve EVER had exercising, and an incredible weekend training with some of the best teammates a girl could ask for. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the construction of our The TRIP studio has been put on hold, but I’m still reeling from this program and can’t wait for it to come to our club.

I still work at VillaSport, although we all did take a break there for a few months between March-July. During that time, I launched a Facebook LIVE online workout group, and recruited both old and new colleagues to offer free workouts every single day during lockdown. It was a really sweet community, and we came together in ways we could and lifted each other up via video stream. It was super fun, but I am REALLY glad to be back to in-person classes, even if we do have to wear a mask while exercising. ;)

Ryan is now working from home for Compassion International; a mandate that started because of COVID-19 and was offered as an option to continue once businesses started opening back up. We’re really thankful to have him home, as the boys love wrestling and working out with dad during his lunch breaks. Working from home presented its challenges for sure, but I think we’re finally getting into the swing of this new routine, and enjoying the time together.

Jude will be 5 in January, and is the extrovert of our family. His preschool shut down in March, and we decided to not re-enroll him in the fall. He’s definitely missing his friends and the interaction he’s used to. We’ve taken up doing more walks in the neighborhood and playing outside every chance we get. Thankfully, we’ve seen family even more this year than in years past, which is something he looks forward to, and counts down the days for our next visitors. He’s very much obsessed with dinosaurs and knows a ridiculous amount of information on the topic. He loves reading books and learning as much as he can about prehistoric creatures.

Jake turned 2 in September, and he’s our spitfire child. He’s always on the move; like, literally moving even when he sleeps. He knows what he wants and sets his mind to it. He has the cutest giggle, loves to wrestle and dance, and his favorite is playing in the car with Jude. He is tiny but strong. We’re so thankful for both our boys and have loved watching their relationship grow this year.

We were still able to vacation with Ryan’s side of the family in July in Destin, FL, although our plans to extend the trip and go to Disney World had to be cancelled (something Jude is not letting us forget, and is determined to do as soon as it’s safe again). We loved getting to see family and spend some time on the beach playing volleyball, kayaking, and riding waves. It was Jake’s first time to be in sand, which he was not a fan of at first, but both the boys ended up having a blast once they got used to it (much different terrain than they’re used to up here in the mountains).

At the end of July, two of my nieces, along with my parents, came to visit as a celebration trip, as Bekah graduated high school and Bethany turned 13. We had an amazing time hiking in the Rockies, visiting Boulder, staying in Denver, and playing lots of Catan. We’re very excited to be visiting my side of the family for Christmas (after self quarantining as much as possible, of course).

We had several other friends and family come visit us this year for just a weekend or several weeks! We always love when we can host friends and show off this beautiful state. Come visit us soon! Our door is open as soon as it’s safe to hang out in groups again.

2020 has rocked our worlds in more ways than one. COVID-19 definitely shook the way we live and interact with each other. It also slowed us down enough to pay attention to the injustices happening around us. Around the end of March, Ryan and I decided to start a podcast where we would host guests to tell their story, and stand in the space and margins that our society has built, and listen. We just finished season 1, which focused on racial matters. We interviewed 25 incredible people, and are completely honored that we were able to learn from them and share their stories. If you’d like to take a listen, you can find us at

While quarantining restricted us in many ways, it also taught us many things. How to love our neighbors and care for them better. How to esteem others higher than ourselves. How to work together and sacrifice our preferences for the good of our community. How to take our time with our families instead of always rushing around to the next thing. How to live together and how to be patient. How to be creative with staying in touch and care for each other from a distance. How to cherish the time we do get to spend together.

As this year comes to a close, it’s ok to feel a sense of relief to watch it go. Let’s give ourselves some grace, and remember that we made it through, and sometimes, that is enough. As we walk forward, let’s stop to remember for a moment the good that was experienced this year, even if it’s small or hard to find. The gift of life is one that I’ve been reminded to treasure in some heartbreaking ways, but a gift I hope we don’t neglect to give thanks for each day. There truly is good in each day, and joy to be shared with everyone we get to encounter, whether it be in person, through a mask, or through a screen.

We are so thankful for each one of you, and as we reflect, we pray that you find the love and peace of Christ everywhere you look. We pray that you are met with joy when you wake in the morning, and that this coming year brings many opportunities to behold the goodness of God and his beauty in our world.

Much love to you,
The Butterfras Family

christmas letter 2019


Oh, hey there! Yea, it’s been a while. #momlife.

Anyhow….. Merry Christmas! I love this time of the year because it allows us to reflect on all that has transpired during the course of just 365 days. The great and the terrible. The super fun and the…. “Oh please, I really don’t want anyone to be sick anymore, please God.” It also is a time of year that I think about YOU. So much time passes before our eyes and as busy as the holiday season can be, it is a time where I actually pause to remember. I take a deep breath, an even greater exhale, and thank God for your life. You are the good stuff, my friend. And I’m so glad we get to be a part, whether big or small, of sharing this life with you.

A lot has happened in the lives of the Butterfri in 2019. If you’d like to catch up with us, we’d love to share a bit of it with you!

Since I didn’t even bother to write a 2018 letter (because we had a newborn and were not sleeping, and were focusing on keeping our kids and ourselves afloat), guess what? We had a baby! Yea, September of last year. Which means this past September we celebrated Jake’s first birthday, which seems a little like a cruel time joke, but mostly delightful. This little guy of ours has had an eventful life, and he is a trooper through and through. He’s got a pretty mean poker face. If you get a smile out of him you’re basically the most hilarious person in the world; congratulations. We hit the ground running with him. Jude was sick majority of last winter, and when he wasn’t, Jake was. We fought ear infections, sleepless nights (how come the second child never sleeps, huh?), and viruses nearly every other week. In February, we were supposed to visit Houston, but the day before we should have flown out, I slipped on our stairs while holding Jake and we ended up in the ER that entire night. He fractured his femur from his knee absorbing the impact and it ricocheting through his leg (thankfully my reflexes kicked in a little and I shifted enough to protect his head). I was fine… physically. Had a huge bruise on my elbow but didn’t even feel it til the adrenaline slowed the next day. It was kind of terrible. Fought some major mom guilt, but God is good. We had friends texting and Marco Poloing me reminders of God’s goodness and protection. Reminding me that I’m a good mom and my kids are safe with me (when you’re interviewed by a psychiatrist and police officer at 2a in the ER you start to wonder if you are a completely terrible person; if you’re fit for raising kids). God used these people in my life to keep me from falling into deep shame. Jake had to wear a brace for about 3 weeks. God’s grace is that the fracture occurred right above the growth plate, so it healed incredibly fast, like nothing had even happened. The days following that event we all came down with bronchitis, including Jake, and we were basically begging God to make it all stop. It sucked, but we got to witness incredible generosity with Ryan’s coworkers immediately organizing a meal train to help us out while we were pathetically surviving. Sweet souls. In March, Jake had to have surgery for a preexisting complication. The surgery was minor and we were home by noon, but the idea of your 6 month old being under anesthesia is not my favorite life experience. It gave me a big heart for the mamas who have lived through many surgeries of their littles, and I often pray for them now. Such strong parents; such strong babes. Since then, Jake has not let us down with more excitement. We’ve had some eating issues, and texture is a really big hurdle for us. We went to a food therapist, and we’re working through touching foods without being totally repulsed, tasting foods, and even swallowing without gagging. I never would have thought this would be a struggle (didn’t even know food therapy existed until now), but we are making progress, and Jake is staying healthy as we navigate through it all.

I share these things to proclaim the incredible grace that God bestows on us to sustain us. There have been moments of this year that I have complained to God, “Why can’t SOMETHING be easy with this kid? Why is everything a fight?” He softly reminds me that 1) I’m being a tad dramatic, and 2) it’s a good and beautiful thing to need Him, and to need the people around us. There is no way we could have pulled through this year without the support of our families and friends. I say this a lot, but if you don’t have community around you, build it. Life is really hard. If it’s not for you, it will be at some point. It’s gonna happen. Don’t wait til it happens to find your people. If you don’t know where to find people, join a church (even if you aren’t a Christian). Find a church that invites you into their lives (if they don’t, I’m sorry…. find another one. Christians can be bad at this, too). It also kept me desperate enough to be constantly aware of my need for God’s grace. I have zero control over Jake’s (or anyone’s) life. I’ve never been more aware of that than in the moments when I was being interviewed for the doctors and officer to agree whether I was a safe place for my child, or when my baby was under anesthesia and I had to wait in a room on the other side of the ward. Realizing that my children’s lives are in the hands of their creator on a real life level has changed the way I pray for them, think about them, and treat them. They belong to him. And what a gift it is that I am entrusted with caring for their souls. If you’re in a scary place, throw your worries on the one who made life out of dust. He can handle it.


Ok, out of the sad/scary/sobering stuff. We really did have a lot of fun this year, too.

We had so many friends and family visit us in Colorado in 2019! During this time, I climbed the Incline for the first time, and have now scaled it 4 times (I’m one ahead of Ryan, nbd). We have loved getting to host friends and family, show them around our beautiful city, and maybe torture them a little with physical challenges (how can you visit CO and not see some gorgeous sites, though?). Hey, if you want to visit, just let us know. We’re all about it.


We also were able to visit some friends and family in Houston, my family in AR, and Jake and I took our first duo trip to Chicago in May. We met up with a few family members for my older brother’s diaconate ordination into the Eastern Orthodox church. It was such a rich couple of days celebrating with him and reconnecting with my family. We also celebrated my second oldest niece’s 13th birthday the same weekend, which was super fun!


I turned 30 in August, which is awesome because now real grown ups finally take me seriously (I know, I look 12, I get it). For my birthday, my dad came up to watch the boys, and Ryan and I did a 4 day road trip around our gorgeous state. One thing about having small children is that you can only drive so far before your kids melt down, so this was an amazing gift away. We hiked in Rocky Mtn National Park and in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, camped in the freezing cold in Estes Park and Grand Lake, visited some amazing spots in Boulder, stopped in the adorable town of Ouray to check out the hot springs (and a hot springs cave), went white water rafting for the first time, and topped it off with glamping. Guys, glamping lives up to the hype and is super worth it. Just do it; you won’t have any regrets. We made a big circle around Colorado and made the most of every single day. It is definitely one of the best vacations I’ve ever experienced.


sky pond – rocky mtn national park


black canyon of the gunnison

Jude started preschool in September. He came home the first day and spelled his name for me, which I hadn’t even thought to try with him, so it was pretty evident from the beginning that we made the right move. The kid thrives on structure, loves music, and most of all, PEOPLE. We call him a walking soundtrack because he makes noise from the moment he wakes til the moment he falls asleep, which you can imagine is real special for his introverted mother and father. His teacher is very musical and makes up songs for everything. He’s learning at an unbelievable speed, and navigating how to interact with other kids his age. The social and emotional skills we’re trying to teach at home are being reinforced at school (by someone who isn’t his mom and dad), so that’s incredible, too. We’ve been so happy with his school and it’s all pretty adorable (he has a Christmas production next week which may put me over the edge, y’all). Jude is all about dinosaurs and we both have more knowledge about dinosaurs than I ever cared to know. He is pretty obsessed with Frozen and tells me I look so beautiful like Elsa anytime I braid my hair. He’s the perfect combination of silly and sweet; we love watching him grow.


Ryan is still at Compassion International. His work has had some changes this year, but he’s still loving it. Mostly the people he works with. He’s made some of the best of friends in his workplace, which is a huge gift. We are very aware that is not the case for a lot of people, and we’re thankful for amazing work friends. Ryan turned 35 in September, and my younger brother flew in to surprise him. I also planned a surprise Hot Ones birthday party, which was a blast. I watched Ryan eat stupidly hot wings and try to answer questions about himself. It was fantastic. We really lived up our birthdays this year.


I’m still teaching fitness classes at VillaSport, and couldn’t have asked for a better place to teach. This year I’ve worked through three new certifications, and two CECs (re-upping existing certs). It’s been so busy and I may be a little bit out of my mind, but I just love it so much, I can’t stop myself. #someonehelp. #actuallydont. Shout out to Ryan who cheers me on and takes on extra load on the weekends I’m in training and the hours spent studying this year!

Wanna see me do 100 burpees? Watch below.

Oh, almost forgot about our house. Since our life is totally boring and we have nothing to do, we have continued to renovate our home. To our utter delight (sarcasm) our downstairs bathroom flooded with gray water over the summer. We had to move out because we just couldn’t handle the smell. We stayed at a generous friend’s house for 2 weeks, and then a hotel for another week while our bathroom was demoed and the gray water was neutralized. At least we got a remodel out of it? I got to design the bathroom from scratch, and it’s weirdly now my favorite space in the house aesthetically.

I think that’s enough excitement for one year. We’re already looking forward to 2020 with open eyes (pun) and arms, just hoping it holds a few less surprises for our family. But, like I said at the top, everything this year, the good and the bad, has kept us at the feet of our God. So, I would call that a successful year. ;)

As you walk, sprint, or stumble into 2020, shall we all take a moment to stop and savor His goodness? Pause, take in a big, refreshing breath, an even more healing exhale, and whisper a word of thanks; an acknowledgement of the power and peace that holds you so delicately whole. You are such a gift to our family. For many of you, we wish we were closer. For many, we wish we had more minutes in the day to spend with you. For all, we cherish the gift of your life and friendship, and we wish you the very best as you look expectantly forward to the new year. May you be blessed with keen awareness of God’s presence in your life and be filled with overflowing joy.

Much love to you and yours,
The Butterfrases
(Ryan, Tiffany, Jude, Jake)



christmas letter 2017


Dear family and friends,

Merry Christmas!

Quite some time has passed since we’ve had the joy of connecting with so many of you, and even more time has passed since I blogged regularly. *face palm* I’d love to pretend like I’m on top of things and promise that I’ll be more consistent, but the reality is that I have trouble being consistent with anything that isn’t life-pressing, so I apologize. I will say that since we bought a house, we’ve been taking lots of progress photos, so maybe some of the DIY action will make it up here over time.

We’ve had lots of changes and growth in 2017, and we’d love to share these joys with you as we reflect on this year!

Last January we celebrated #judebug’s first birthday! It’s funny how time works when you look back and feel like something was ages ago, and at the same time, just last week. I am so glad I did document Jude’s first year month by month, because it feels so hard to remember the in-the-moment details now. His second year of life has been so much fun and filled with so many milestones. He’s such a joy and hilarious (and sometimes a little stinker) and we are so blessed to be his parents! The day we moved to Colorado Jude decided he was finally ready to walk. What can we say, he has a pretty laid back personality and isn’t very internally motivated, haha. It was a sweet moment though, as we were starting a brand new season for our family, that Jude would take his first steps on his own in our new rent house. Since then we’ve watched him grow in every aspect, and his preferences and personality develop. He is SO very much into monster trucks, and could play with them, read books, and watch videos on trucks all day long. Which is mostly what our days consist of. We try to do lots of things throughout the day, like toddler time at our local library where we sing songs and read books, BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) which has an incredible children’s program and is where Jude officially stopped crying when I dropped him off anywhere, and our amazing gym where I teach classes, and also happens to have fantastic child care. Of course, we also make sure to squeeze in trips to our favorite store, Target, and look at all the new trucks they have.

DSC_0996Jude’s First Birthday

At the time of Jude’s birthday we knew Colorado was a possibility, but hadn’t made a concrete decision yet.  You may have read our letter about our move back in April. God made it evidently clear to us at that time, and so many times since then that this is where He wants us to be.
Ryan is working IT with Compassion International, and though challenging at times, has been one of the best work environments we’ve ever experienced. Everything is done excellently, and Ryan loves his boss and coworkers. It’s a gift to work in a place where you respect your people and they respect you, and that is exactly what CI is like.
Ryan has been completely immersed in house work since we bought our first home in October(!), and I feel kind of bad that all of our hobbies have gone out the window. But it’s a season, right? He’s done a stellar job researching and taking on majority of our home renovations himself. He single handedly removed a wall, ripped up all of the flooring in our house, and is now laying our new flooring room by room. We were sleeping in our living room for the first month of living here (hahahaaaa), but are now officially in our bedroom and no longer living out of a suitcase. Hallelujah!


I’ve been the primary painter of the house, and am pretty over it. I could win the slowest painter in the world award due to my perfectionism, but I just keep telling myself it will be over one day. Right?

In July I applied and auditioned for a Group Exercise Instructor position at an amazing gym here in the Springs. I’m now teaching primarily cycling classes with a little yoga and Athletic Conditioning (bootcamp/agility style) sprinkled in there. Just a few weekends ago I participated in my first LesMills training for a new program they’re launching in January. I’m super pumped to keep expanding my fitness knowledge and abilities while still maintaining a fantastic very-part-time-mostly-stay-at-home-mom schedule. This has been my favorite season of life maybe ever, and I am so thankful for God’s grace and gifts in our lives.

I didn’t officially start teaching until September, because Jude and I spent the entire month of August in Houston! Our best friends had a baby in July, and Ryan’s sister gave birth to hers in August… on my birthday! That’s two nieces now that have been born on my birthday. Shout out to the sisters. Thanks, y’all.
We had such an amazing time getting to know these new cutie faces and spending time with all our Houston friends. We unfortunately were there when Harvey hit (thankfully Ryan flew in a day before and was with us), and got stranded for a bit as our flight back was delayed a few times. However, we had the opportunity to volunteer and help the city we love so much. It’s such a sad thing to see the destruction and morn with those who lost so much of what they had. But it is also a joy to watch people come together and serve each other. Most families impacted are still trying to piece their lives back together. If you have a desire to give, I encourage you to reach out to a local organization and do so. I’ve even seen families “adopt” other families impacted by Harvey for Christmas. Let me know if you need any help with finding out what you can do, and I’d love to get you connected.

This summer was full of traveling for the bug and me. Before we went to Houston, we had the opportunity to go to AR in June and stay with my sister’s four youngest kids while she, our brother-in-law, and their oldest daughter went to Haiti with their church. They had an amazing, life-changing time, and I had a blast with the kids. We called it Camp Tia, and made the most of every single day. Laser tag, ropes course, water balloon fights, library events, trampoline park, roller skating, ice cream and more. A BLAST. My younger brother was able to join us for a few days too, which was even more fun!


This fall we had some visitors! Ryan’s parents flew in for a long weekend and treated us to a ride on the cog-rail up Pike’s Peak. It was freezing cold, but such a cool experience. (Yes, we did get the donuts.) Such a fun time having them in!


Seeing how this year was one for traveling, we road-tripped over Thanksgiving back to AR and enjoyed the holiday with the whole family together. This only happens once a year now, so we truly cherish these times when we all get to be there. My older brother and sister-in-law had their baby in April of this year, which made this trip especially sweet. The amount of joy when the cousins are all together and playing is almost more than I can handle. So sweet and so much fun!

Version 2

The day of and day after we rolled back into Colorado Springs, we moved into our new house. Yes, insane. We couldn’t have done it without our new friends who helped us move, and friends who watched Jude so many times so we could get things done. Community is such a gift. We found a church we can call home and dig roots into, and being here even in this at times overwhelming season just reminds us of God’s faithfulness to us, and His grace in providing rest in the midst of it all.

So, as we walk (read: sprint) toward Christmas, we pray that over you, our loved ones. That you would find rest in Christ regardless of what may surround you currently, and that peace would fill your hearts. That you would be flooded with memories of God’s goodness to you in 2017, and that you might be a reflection of that source of goodness to your immediate circle today and this coming year. And that you would reflect on the gift that is Christ, God with us, Immanuel. May the anticipation of this day make your heart burst with the anticipation of our King and Savior. He is good!

With love always,
The Butterfrases


making friends in our own image

During this process of trying to buy a house (by the way, we’re trying to buy a house) in this insane, super demanding market, I’ve been faced with and enlightened to a whole new sense of racism and socioeconomic biases.

Since before we moved to Colorado Springs, we had been warned of certain areas to stay away from, and ideal areas to live. Which kind of made me laugh because, 1) we’re from H-town, y’all, and 2) we’ve lived in our share of not so nice places both individually and together over the course of our lives. Now that we’re working toward a place to call long-term home, I’ve felt this strong internal pressure to buy the right house in the right neighborhood. Let me be clear, no one has explicitly judged us or anyone else… most of this has been a hard truth I’ve been dealing with inside of me. A “keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome we pretend is not there because we’re embarrassed by it, but also care a whole lot about whether our friends will want to visit us if we live in a neighborhood they don’t rank among top tier.

The reality is this: we live in fear of a lot of things, and we let that fear make way too many life-altering decisions. Surely, it is not a bad thing to desire to protect your family or put your kids in the best schools in town. It’s not a bad thing to not want to live in a home that has a 99% chance of being broken into within a week of living there. But I think we are hiding behind those worries and good, acceptable reasons to avoid the more difficult realities of our own prejudices. Because more than protecting our safety, it’s a protection of this sense of normalcy we’ve created for ourselves. More than a fear of harm, it’s a fear of losing our comfortable, predictable routines and being interrupted by someone else’s inconvenient needs, preferences, culture, way of living, and beliefs. More than giving our kids a decent education, it’s shielding them from other social statuses and potential friends that just don’t fit neatly into the circle we’re wanting to claim as our own. Furthermore, being safe in itself is not bad, but making decisions based solely on keeping ourselves safe is not Christianity. Jesus willingly placed himself in a position that made him extremely vulnerable, ultimately ended in his death, and even put his loved ones at risk of the same.

For about 2 years now God has been digging so much of my own prejudices out and showing them to me. It enrages me to witness Christians getting more upset about our national anthem than the injustice they’re kneeling for, yet I’m not enraged by my own conscious choice to look away while walking by a homeless person instead of making eye contact and engaging. In this house-buying process, I’ve been convicted and called out to surrender my living preferences and have been asking God to put us in a home that would better reflect his kingdom than Whole Foods. I want Jude to grow up around people who maybe look and speak and live differently than him, and grow up loving those things about them. I want to be excited about potentially having neighbors that aren’t just like me and maybe take effort on my part to get to know (I am naturally really bad at initiating friendship). I want our home to be a place people find rest and comfort and feel like it’s their home too.

Two weeks ago I changed my prayer from, “Prepare our future neighbors and give us a home that you know is best for us” to, “Put us in a home that would reflect your kingdom best, and give us open hearts to love the people we live next to. Give us hospitality, and transform our lives to value your people over our preferences. Give us strength to work hard at friendships when it’s not easy or convenient, and is taxing.” God may very well end up placing us in a neighborhood filled with people that are just like us and we click with, but I had to lay down that expectation and filter I was using to locate a house I thought we should have.

Where in your life do you have hidden prejudices that you disguise as good causes? I challenge you to dig into that and don’t simply write it off as reasonable. We all migrate toward what is most like us, cuz we all like ourselves the best. Let’s admit that and surrender it, and move toward something better and more beautiful.

take me to the mountains


Dear family and friends,

We have some exciting and really big news: we’re moving to Colorado! We are still processing everything and working through all the emotions of being completely ecstatic to live in such a beautiful place, while definitely tasting the bittersweet feelings of saying goodbye to our home in Houston and everyone we have had the gift of walking through life with thus far.

Here’s a little background of how everything unfolded:

Last November, Ryan decided to put some feelers out and apply to some positions at organizations we could stand behind and would be honored to work for. It’s always been a strong desire to work for companies we really believe in. He decided to send an application to Compassion International ( in Colorado Springs, because why not? We didn’t put much thought into it, and a few weeks went by over the Thanksgiving holiday. Mid-December, Ryan received a call from the HR department at CI, and he was pleasantly surprised at how well the conversation went! He felt like they really hit it off, and little did he know at the time this would be the first of many interviews.

Ryan walked through the interviews with Compassion International, including an in-person interview day where they flew him out so he could meet the team that he would potentially be working with. Overall it was an amazing experience and he really felt like he connected with everyone. At that time (beginning of January) Ryan could definitely see himself being a part of their IT team. They flew him back home and we had the week to process. We didn’t hear anything more for a couple of weeks until Ryan received a call from the HR rep that they wanted to send him an offer letter for the job!

Extreme excitement, as well as fear came over us. If Ryan accepted this position it would mean BIG changes for our family, but if he didn’t accept would we be missing out on a new adventure God has prepared for us? Much prayer went into the decision making, asking for clear vision from God. We believe that through His Word, Spirit, and circumstances he has spoken clearly to us and has told us to GO!

Ryan has officially accepted a Senior Level IT position at Compassion International. His start date is March 13th and he will be able to work from Houston until we move to Colorado Springs at the end of March.

Although we are so sad to leave our loved ones, we are confident that the Lord has paved the way for us in this opportunity, and are thrilled about that. Please join us in prayer as we enter this new adventure! We love and cherish each of you and are so thankful for the relationships we have built over time.

We plan to have a casual gathering to say, “see ya later!” before we leave. Stay on the lookout for a Facebook event; we’d love to see you!

Here’s to great adventures and new beginnings!

The Butterfrases


jude | month 9, 10, 11

It would be an understatement to say that I fell behind in Jude’s monthly posts. A bit reflective of what happened toward the end of my pregnancy posts… I’m seeing a trend. Around month 9 of pretty much anything I start to trail. Which is actually quite unfortunate because I feel like so much has happened over the past few months! I did manage to take photos and measurements from each month, so at least I didn’t drop the ball entirely. There is some hope for me.

Quick recap below:




The last 3 months have been so much fun and so busy! The holidays are no joke. I’m going to have to start prepping in August from here on out. Props to those of you with lots of kiddos.
Jude has been a blast, and it is so much fun to be his parents! He’s a definite mama’s boy, and has been extra clingy to me lately. I think most of it is teething because he has super fussy spouts, but I’m loving it nonetheless. He is moving constantly and always getting into everything. He’s also super independent (no idea where he gets that from) and wants to “walk” everywhere, holding onto our fingers or furniture or whatever else is around. He’ll also stand for a second on his own, until he realizes that he’s not holding onto anything and has a mini freak out for a split second and promptly sits down. His favorite snack is turkey and cheese, and peanut butter. The kid eats so much, and will literally keep eating until you stop handing him food. The other day he ate an entire grilled nuggets kids meal from Chick-Fil-A with an apple sauce pouch. Four nuggets and apple sauce, y’all. How?

Jude now also gives kisses by request, and they are super slobbery. It’s so adorable that I don’t even care.

And guys. Jude said his first word(s). And it’s not mama or dada. Nope, it’s the thing he loves maybe even more than us: night-night. Guess we could have seen that coming, haha. Now when we put him to bed and tell him goodnight, he says it back! Emphasis on the T.

We’re so looking forward to this Christmas… Jude’s first! We will be traveling to see my family and I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone.

Next up: ONE YEAR. I might cry a little. I want to freeze time, but I am also enjoying every second of this season. That’s why they call it bittersweet, I suppose.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope you are able to enjoy some quality time with the people you love.

jude | 8 months


Well, I’m only 2 weeks behind, but here it is! We’re all in at 8 months old, and life seems to be moving faster every day!

Because we don’t have enough crazy in our lives, we decided to take a last minute road trip to Missouri over Labor Day weekend to see some family, and Jude got to meet his Uncle Gary and cousins for the first time! My sister and family were planning to come to Houston, but they are in the middle of moving, so plans got changed. We didn’t tell the kids we were coming, which was such a fun surprise! They were doing a yard sale the morning we arrived, and thought they had really early customers when we drove up. My 2 brothers and sister-in-law also drove from Kansas City, and surprised the kids about 10 mins before we got there. So much fun. The kids LOVE Jude, and I was pretty impressed the whole time with how helpful and attentive they were with him. I assumed they would be really interested for a few minutes and then go play, but they all (especially Belle) wanted to be right next to Jude at all times, playing, feeding, and helping change diapers. Pretty cute.




Though it was a short visit, we are glad we were able to make the trip. It will likely be the last time we’ll visit that house! It was also likely the last time we’ll get to eat ice cream from Spring Dipper, which is an ice cream shop a couple miles from their house. So, of course we had to go…. twice. Jude got a taste too, thanks to Uncle Gary.




Jude is still refusing to crawl, and we’re speculating that it comes with his laid back personality. He still sleeps like a champ with 3 naps a day and 11 hrs at night, and all my momma friends remind me of how lucky I am for that! I’m anticipating some lessons on laziness in the future, between his love for sleeping and how unmotivated he is to crawl to a toy out of reach. He will literally look at a toy, reach for it, think about it, and then turn to something closer so he doesn’t have to move. *oh boy* Nevertheless, I’m savoring these last few moments where he isn’t following me around everywhere and getting into everything.

Our bug has an ear for music, and is beginning to tap or kick to the beat. He also “sings” which is super cute because when he hears music he’ll make drawn out sounds in a high pitched voice. He’s also really into books, and has his favorites. Turning pages are of course, his fav. Oh, and he also catches and throws better than I do most days.

We are SO ready for the fall weather. It’s by far my favorite season, and I get so excited with the anticipation of all the holidays coming up. Bring on all things pumpkin and stroller jogs!