Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hello! Hello! Hello!

"I'm scared!!!"

While I was on a run a couple weeks ago, I had the book Fervent by Priscilla Shrier playing through the ear buds tucked in my ears. I love listening to audio books while I run. 

In this particular part of the book, she was sharing a story about a friend who had been wrestling around with something she was feeling led to do. After many excuses given, she finally yelled out in the back seat, "I'm scared!" 

Priscilla goes on to tell about how immediately she felt angry for her friend and responded quickly telling her that if the only reason she wasn't stepping out to do what she was being led to do was because she felt scared, than she needed to do it! 

The story was told with a much better choice of words and description than I can retell it from my memory bank, but the way it resonated with me, I can share a bit about that...

While I listened and my feet hit the pavement, I also opened my mouth and yelled out, "I'm scared! I'm scared. Lord, I'm scared." 


I'm sure that you can tell that with posting on the blog...well, it's become something that went from every day to almost never. In fact, Many days I thought that maybe I should just delete it completely. 


Because it's scary living in a fish bowl. 

I would like to say that from the moment the accident happened I chose to live openly and share our life-good and bad with everyone, but actually, it's who I am. I have always been open-sometimes a little too open about my thoughts, what I was experiencing and just life. 

When this blog started, I first didn't really know what a blog was. And at first, when everyone else had left the hospital and it was just me posting-I didn't want to. I didn't have the energy..

...until the Lord spoke. 

And quickly as I obeyed, this blog became a source to help me process. Many of you became like family walking each day with me in tears and laughter. Many of you are still such a HUGE encouragement to me and my family and it all started with you reading what I typed out on this computer. 

With the blessings of obedience and the way I've allowed you all to see my heart and the struggles and beauty of our life also came pain.

Not all of you reading agree with the way we live our life. Not all of you agree with us having Nora-I get that. I really do. I'm sure being on the outside looking in, it may be hard to understand (or impossible) how I could make the decision to have a baby when we face so many daily challenges already. It's true. We're a tad bit crazy over here. But...we're living. We're living life as best we can and enjoying it to the fullest. 

Nora is truly our greatest earthly blessing. And as amazing as all the therapy was for Cale while inpatient in different hospitals, having his little girl play with him has been the best therapy possible for him in the season he's in. We're so very thankful for her. And because I know all of you are wondering, yes. We hope to have another...and if not, we're ok with that too.

Life is busy. It is. It's complicated and full. 

Over the last almost 2 years, I've started to withdraw. I've had this desire to just disappear into our own bubble and live our life and be happy and when the hard days come not to share them because I can handle them and no one really cares and it's just easier and and and...

I have not stopped feeling the Holy Spirit nudging me to write. Not once. I've written whole blog posts while trying to fall asleep at night and then I let it stay the little comfortable space in my room. And, I've just kept pushing back. Saying no. Saying that there are enough blogs out there that have really good stuff in them. Saying that I'm not good enough or the right person for the job.

And as I ran and heard myself say, "I'm scared." I knew what I needed to do. Yes, living life in a way that allows others in is scary. Sometimes though, if we remove fear and just allow ourselves to be real and vulnerable, it's beautiful. Not because of what I can do or say but because of who He is. Not because of what I can say or do but because of the gift all of you are to me. 

So...with that, hello :) you're about to see a lot more of us again. If you're friends on Facebook with me or on Instagram, you may see less of us for a little while as we begin to use this blog! I won't be posting every day but we'll be here. I'm ready to share life with you again...even if it's just to one person on the other side of this screen reading, I'm excited. 


AND, on another note...

Happy 6 year Alive Day to my Man!!! 

I could say every year how amazed I am with where God has led us and all we've been through. I can say how thankful I am and what a blessing Cale is to us...and it would be true every year. I made a video last year and decided it would be the last one we did focusing on Cale's recovery. I ended up making it into one that told our story and kind of showed our journey in 5 minutes...wowza that was hard. Haha. 

Since I didn't post it on here last year, here it is! Enjoy! 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

For Sale.

My mind races in the same manner someone would pace around waiting for important life-changing news as I pull up this blank white screen and begin to type. 

I have been absent in my postings as you can see. There are several reasons to which I won't go into all of them at the moment, nor will I try to catch you up on all the adventures of the last 9 months. At some point that could some point. 

With Nora (who just turned 17 months) running around like a wild child, climbing everything in sight, my times to sit and post have become scarce. Today though, today I had to get on here and post about something that is taking place. A new adventure that I have such torn and mixed emotions about, but I know without a doubt that we need to do this. It needs to happen.

As of this morning about 7:45am, our home that we built and have loved, went on the market. It's for sale. Over the last few years, we have really made this house into a home-our home.

When building this home and going through the whole process, I never imagined selling it. I had many dreams and thoughts about raising our family and growing old here. I thought about Nora's years as she grew as well as the what if's of another baby in our family at any point.

My plan though was just that; my plan.

In August we took our annual trip to NC to visit family. I always make a weekend in Cary happen which is about 2 hours away from where my brother lives. This usually stretches our NC visits to about 2 weeks. Cale has come with me to Cary and he's also stayed at my brothers, just depends on the year and how he's doing. Anyways, the first morning in Cary I went to the park with Nora after visiting with a lady from WWP and as I stood looking into the water, I felt the words as strong as a voice but it came just as my thought, "Why don't we live here?"

In years past, Mama and Cale had brought the idea up but it was mostly for fun and I always quickly turned it down. Home is WA. It always will be.

When this thought came to my mind, I was surprised but let the idea of moving play in my thoughts. Could we actually do this? What am I thinking??

As the day played on, I sent Mama a text with that same question,

"Why don't we live here?"

I sent a few links to her with houses and over the next few days talked with a few different people there. I still have no idea what was going on with me? It was suddenly this blooming thought that I couldn't shake. It started to seep into my heart and it wasn't going to leave.

I at that point honestly figured that by the time we got home, the nagging idea would disappear and we would all fall right back into our normal routine.

That didn't happen.

Basically, after phone calls, different conversations and lots and lots of prayer, the quick ending to a long story is that the area in NC where we are moving has many more possibilities and resources for helping Cale to enjoy a fuller life compared to where we live now.

In the midst of the emotional battle as I tried to make the decision about whether we were going to actually move, I voiced that if there was any way to give my husband passion again and help give him more of a purpose in his life, I was going to do it. I would do everything I could to make that happen for him.

Showings have started. Life is a bit crazy.

We're sad and happy. We're nervous and excited.

We're packing boxes and moving to NC.

A new adventure.

The Lord has been leading every step of the way. It's been exciting to watch this process unfold.

Please be praying for transitions for all of us. As many of you know as you've followed this blog, change good or bad is hard for Cale. He's talked about being excited about the move and really wanting to go. He's talked about different opportunities that he has to look forward to, but like all of us, it can be emotional.

I'll try to keep updates going!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I am human.

"Loving someone is the hardest work you'll ever do."

I heard this line in a Hallmark movie I was watching with Mama and immediately it was suctioned to my thoughts. There is so much truth to that line in the love story we were watching while I was cuddled under a throw blanket curled up on the couch with my toes tucked  under my husbands leg and an empty bowl of ice cream placed on the table next to me. Simple moment with complex thoughts. 

The love we're capable of isn't perfect love. We can try and try to love someone so deeply but there is fault and failure that even without being welcomed, is reality and the very reason loving Jesus is such a gift to us. Everyone else will fail us. And we will fail everyone else. It comes. You all know what I'm talking about...parents, friends, our spouse or children. It's never a perfect love. 

I had written in December about how I was struggling and over the last two or three days, I've been feeling a tug to share more. To open my heart a little more. To show you my ugly and to show you the sweetest covering the blood of Jesus gives. 

If you don't know Him or love Him, please don't stop reading. I think anyone reading these words I'm writing can somehow relate to what my heart needs to share-

I am human.

It may come easy for you sitting on the other side of this computer screen as you click on the link to read this post, to think, "that girl is amazing", "I wouldn't be able to do what she does", "she is just so strong" or something to that effect. These are all things I've heard and been told. Can I tell you something? I'm nothing special. I'm human. I'm full of selfishness and fault. I've chosen to love Cale and fight to keep the role as his wife. I've committed to care for him well and to keep my eyes on Jesus. I've surrendered our life and our story to be used for God's glory. Which is all good. It's all worthy of a pat on the back I'm sure, but I do mess up. I do struggle and have to click the restart button more times then I can count. 

Thankfully my emotions that I experience and the inner struggles and thoughts that I have are normal. Most of the time, they're normal for any married woman-not having a thing to do with brain injury.

I want to start off with saying all of that just so you don't forget as you read that I'm like you. I'm flesh like you. This is my heart...and it's a lot like yours. 

I can't even pinpoint when the beginning of this last season of struggle began. I have questioned before in the midst of a tear fest asking if the "struggle" will ever end. I had been frustrated and felt like I was always the one struggling with life and although there were seasons of things being wonderful, the struggle would come back. Well, the answer is no. The struggles won't end until Heaven and I'm also not the only one who experiences trials in this life...even though at times it feels that way ;) 

This last season has been different. I wrestled with thoughts and emotions that are new to me. Maybe that's why it was so difficult to put words to what was wrong? I also know adding Nora to our family, is the same as adding a baby to any family, it creates a whole new family dynamic and stirs up parts of our flesh we had no clue existed. Much like starting a new exercise routine and coming to realize you have muscles you weren't aware of! 

There was a point last month that I could actually say, I didn't like my husband. I didn't really enjoy being around him. I had to think and force myself to react in a way that wasn't impatient or rude. I actually had to think before speaking. Things had been a little up and down before that and I think that led to more hurt in our relationship but even around that time, I still enjoyed him. I still desired his company. Whatever was taking root in my heart this wasn't good. It felt foreign and I felt unrecognizable. 

One night last month I sent this text to a friend, 

Also, pray for me. I'm really struggling Rae. Like, more than I ever have. I don't quite know how to explain it. I just don't even want Cale around. At all. I have to force myself to be kind towards him. It's pretty bad. Other than saying "I'm struggling" to a couple people, that's as far as I've spoken. I know the Lord will help. And I know the thoughts I'm having aren't truth. I just feel angry and on the brink of tears constantly. I tried to have time just the two of us tonight and all the frustration didn't go away and rather the very reasons I'm struggling showed up. Ugh.

I want to say something and mean it in the least...uh...harsh...rude way possible. Marriage is hard that's something we all know. And, there will be hard times. It's part of the package. Going through a period of time where I don't really like my husband is again, normal. I get that. I do.

BUT, we as a culture as a people need to put the brakes on giving into the excuse that the ugly in us is normal. Guess what? We weren't created with the ugly in us. Nope. There's nothing normal about it. That lovely black heart came when sin entered the world. Unfortunately. And, now, as we live in a fallen world and we are walking in this flesh, maybe sin and that side of us could be considered normal. I can see that...but just accepting that and not fighting for something different, it just doesn't sit right with me. I think looking at the statistics of divorce rates, we can all clearly see that just deciding our misery is normal, doesn't sit right with any of us. That's why we throw in the towel right? We decide we're unhappy. We decide there's too much junk in the trunk to get past how we feel and we know that having troubles in marriages is normal and sometimes you just have to end it-and oh by the way, that's normal. Don't fret it. 

Ok, I know I'm speaking a little um...louder and being a bit more bold then I normally am (ha. that word.) and for this I'm a teeny tiny bit sorry but not really. Mostly because I've spent the last couple weeks chewing on all of this as I've been sitting in the seat, joining the club feeling stuck in a marriage that I at times can't even understand. 

Yet, I felt the storm within. 

I felt the hunger for more within.

My heart was not where it needed to be and I knew...

I need to fight. 

I won't settle and let normal linger in this home any longer. 


this all started to take place as the new year was beginning. I began saturating myself in God's word. There is so much power in this. I can't begin to describe it. I remember when the accident happened I had already committed to a read 'your Bible' in a year program and because of that, it kept me digging into the word and allowing it to consume me daily when everything else was in question. Even though I had been in the word and even going through an amazing bible study, I needed more. 

I also began this book-

I've had it for about 2 years and had it on my nightstand for over a year. I just didn't take the time to pick it up and use it. With everything happening I decided I needed to just do it and so I started. After I read and pray through it, I journal about the day. I write about Cale's reactions and whether he had gotten angry or not and I write about my responses. As I've been working through this, I'm able to see the places that I need to work on and have been given ideas on how to challenge myself to come alongside him better. It's not a magic potion and it doesn't just fix everything. It is however a special thing to be lifting my husband up in this way so consistently again, encouraging his walk with the Lord as well as deepening mine. 

Over the last couple weeks as I've chosen to fight the attack against our marriage, I can say that maybe I've seen a change in him, but I don't think anything too obvious. No, the change I see you could probably guess, it's in me. My heart is transforming and softening like it should.  Like it needs. My eyes are focused on Jesus and my heart is flooded with thankfulness for the way that our marriage has become even more beautiful and wonderful (not perfect without failure and fault) because the root of sin in this life we live is covered with the blood of Jesus and what this means is that the normal the world sees doesn't have to be my normal. My heart is not chained to living in the thick mud of misery and strife without also experiencing freedom and joy.

It's work. 

This whole love and marriage thing-takes work.

A few other things I've been trying to do lately that I had more recently slipped on doing-

Connecting with Cale daily. I don't want to be satisfied with just going through our day with the easy conversation that doesn't take any of my focus. Even though we're together in the same house often, I don't want to miss actually connecting with him and really hearing his heart...even if thats...uh...what level he beat in candy crush. 

Dates. This goes along with connecting but I think what I mean is a more intentional time with us together involved in something together that draws us closer together. A friend reminded me that dates don't always have to be out of the house and they don't always have to be expensive. I think once I became pregnant and my energy level was drained (and still hasn't returned!) I became lazy with ideas that were fun and still something special. In the last couple weeks I've put extra effort into what this looks like...

{Sometimes it means playing Wii together while baby is in the carrier ;)}

{ Sometimes dates are going to a hockey game and getting to cheer and laugh and drink milkshakes together :)}

Giving a boost. Every day I have been taking the time to think of something specific I love about him and telling him. Not only does this give Cale a boost of encouragement, it gives me one as well. It's so good to remind ourselves why we love the person we're married to. We did decide to spend the rest of our life with this person...didn't we? 

Forgiveness. Yes, we do need to give our spouse grace and forgive them when they mess up...but what about admitting when we're in the wrong? This can be very difficult. It's hard to admit when you are the one that made the mistake. I'd like to think I typically have always done a good job with this...until I start becoming more aware of my short comings. I catch myself being short with him or less patient and again, even though we all mess up and this is going to happen because I'm not perfect, I still can admit it wasn't very nice. I can still pull him aside and let him know whatever that reaction was, it wasn't needed. He has told me that by me saying that to him, it was really good.


Oh man. I do feel like I just dumped a whole lot on this post. From one human to another, I realized I was really angry at brain injury. Not Cale who is my husband, nope. It was all because of brain injury. It took some surgery on my heart to recognize that; before it went too far and unraveled too much. 

Maybe your husband or wife has nothing close to a brain injury, although you may feel that way from time to time. ;) Maybe your husband works too much or your wife shops too much. Maybe your husband looks at pornography and maybe your wife is flirting with your guy friends. Maybe you feel like outside of your kids, you don't have anything in common with your spouse. Maybe you feel like your marriage is just too far gone to ever have back. Maybe, maybe the silence in your home kills and hurts way more than anything else you could dream up.

Whatever it is, as I go about my day and you read this, I'm praying for you.
I'm praying for your marriage.
I'm praying that you will be able to figure out what you're actually angry at, begin heart surgery and start to love the one you're married to again. 

I'm praying for the strength for you to fight the battle.

Find joy. 
Find peace.
Find the sweet love of Jesus again.

I'm praying for you.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


A few of our favorites so far for 2015

Xbox1- With help, Cale sold a couple things and earned enough $ to purchase this. 
Disc Golf- His new RS introduced him to this and he loves it!
My Girls- He said he likes to make us laugh and be happy.

Being Cale's Wifey & Nora's Mommy- Love these role's I've been given. 
Friends- I really enjoy and value whatever time I get with friends!
Coffee- I just need this. 

Snacks-She is serious about food.
Standing- All she wants to do! Stand. Stand. Stand.
Daddy's Nipple Hair- What can I say about this? It's fascinating. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

fourteen for twenty fourteen.

Hello Friends :)

I have definitely posted the least amount of times on here this last year. Let me just say that this has been cause for many different reasons and rather than wish otherwise, I'm just going to be excited for this next year and how it might look on this blog. Excitement is bubbling as I look ahead and think about our little family living life together and as always seeking to bring God glory in this Darling kind of life he's so richly blessed us with. 

Here's 14 thoughts and updates as we bring an end to this sweet year. 

1. We didn't make an appearance on here last week to say, 

Merry Christmas. 

This season of holidays has been full as is always the case, this year though, it was all experienced with a different view; through a different lens. Everything was thought through and acted upon with this sweet & sassy little lady in mind. Cale and I often had conversations about how things must seem to her and how unusual or confusing everything must seem. 

When it was time to put the tree up I couldn't wait to see her reaction. I was told that at this age she may not care too much and not to expect her to be excited. That seemed like a good bit of information to place in my memory bank and be reminded of instead of being filled with disappointment. 

Let's just say, this girl loves lights of all kinds. Loves them. 

So when the day came and lights were being wrapped around the green pine, I couldn't wait to see Nora react. I just knew she was going to love it!

...and she did. 

Before feeding her every morning I would turn the lights on filling the dark room with twinkle lights. After she was all done eating, we'd walk quietly into the living room together and her face would light up as soon as she saw the lights. Amazement. Wonder. Awe. Those are memories I soaked up with her and hope I never forget. I loved every morning; every smile!

Thank you Christmas for being so enjoyable :)

2. Cale completed his No-Shave November Challenge. 

He was not a fan. Haha. More than once he threatened to quit and be done...and then he would decide he couldn't quit and he'd keep growing. He was quite the happy camper when his beard was shaved off and had stopped itching him! He did say it was fun for only one time ;)

3. Our very loved RS let us know in September he was moving. Devastating news. Not just an RS but a friend to us. When I talked to Cale about it one morning, he had forgotten and so my saying it in the midst of conversation was a shocker to him. With wide eyed confusion he said to me, "my friend is moving?" my heart broke for him! Such a huge blessing that he was able to say that and call Skylar his friend. So sad to see him go though... We didn't lose him until the first week of December which ended up being quite a difficult day to say goodbye to him and his wife. Thankfully things had moved along quick enough that we didn't have any time without an RS which made the transition a lot less challenging for Cale. God brought Donny into our life and he seems to be exactly what Cale needs. I pray as always that the Lord would use our family and my husband to encourage and draw Donny closer to Him. So far we're really impressed with his ability to get Cale motivated and trying new things! 

They tried to start up cooking dinners once a week again...but after the second week Cale was done ;)

4. More than once I've been caught having a dance party in my home while One Direction played. Do you know that group? Yeah, I didn't really know them either. I wouldn't say I know them now but Mama's friends daughter is staying with us for a couple weeks and she's kind of a big fan of theirs and so that means...their music plays in this house and parties get started. 

5. Cale really wanted an Xbox One. I had come up with the idea that he needed to sell a few things to get money to purchase the xbox. I wasn't quite sure how he would react and to my surprise, he loved the idea and was quickly full of excitement. I've tried to help and so has Donny as far as posting them to be sold in social outlets. If any of you are in need of hockey gear or a snowboard, let us know! He still has those two things to sell. We did end up getting him the xbox for Christmas, but the gift was time. He still has to pay for it! I'm holding him to it! 

6. One of our favorite gifts from 2014 was of course our little bundle of Nora. We adore her...incase you didn't already guess that...

7. This last summer, Cale started to ask questions about him being baptized. When Cale was in 8th grade in his room, he prayed and surrendered his life to the Lord. This isn't just a pretty prayer that is spoken and suddenly everything is perfect. No, this is a prayer that is said, spoken from the heart with words uttered from the lips of a person who acknowledges that they are not enough and there is only One who is. When the person realizes that the word "sin" is not mythical or irrelevant rather the very existence in their life that separates them from freedom in Christ. Yet, Christ made a way through Himself for us to know Him. Several years after, Cale was baptized which in the Bible is an example representing when Christ was buried and then rose again on the third day. This is powerful not because you "feel" different but because you show the world the decision you've made to make much of Jesus in your life. Cale couldn't remember doing this. He couldn't remember any of it and it began to frustrate him. When he began to ask questions, I didn't want him to think he somehow lost his relationship with Jesus because he couldn't remember. This didn't seem to be the case. We met with our Pastor and talked through where Cale's heart was. 

I don't think my mind could quite grasp what was taking place right before me. After everything, after all the ups and downs, his heart was concerned about claiming and taking back his walk with the Lord by showing to himself and his church family that he still loved God even though he felt like he was different. This is beautiful friends. Beautiful.

8. This last year we've so enjoyed getting to make changes to our home and continue to make it perfect for our little family. I've been reminded more often lately on how truly blessed we are to have these walls around us. I know so many will never even fathom the idea of living in such a place. The dirt on their feet is a gift because they know they have two feet. May my heart continue to be molded to burn with passion for the people that don't live in easy comfort. I pray that I wouldn't get so comfortable that I forget about them and live life as though they don't exist. 

9. Our daughter somehow turned 8 months. How does that happen?? I have no clue how she fits the jammies that wasn't it just yesterday I said they would never fit her because they were so big? Yikes. 8 months. Really?

10. This fall I started helping to teach the 4 and 5 year olds at church. I had wanted to for a long time but I had Cale and I knew he wouldn't like me not with him. Well, he started going to the youth group  at church on Sunday mornings and because of that...quickly I found myself committing to teach. It's my favorite thing in the whole world. Well, maybe not the whooooole world but it is one of my favorite things. I love those kiddos so much. I love their hearts. 

11. How do I even start my thought process. I might have to break this one down and write more later? Not really sure. Let me begin by being completely honest. I've been struggling. I can't even quite pin down the exact way either. You know in those weird movies where there is someone locked in a little area with walls all around them and they start pounding to get out, yet, there's no way out and no one comes? Multiple times I have felt this way lately. I feel stuck. I feel so stuck that even now as I write this out and actually let my heart do the typing, I feel like I could scream. Am I miserable? No. I mean not that I think at least. I wouldn't say I'm depressed but I will say that there have been moments in the last few months where I could see myself heading that way. I have found myself searching for some way I don't even know. 

I love Cale. I love this man so much. I love the love the Lord has given us for each other. It's a solid kind of love because it's a godly kind of love. 

I also find myself missing my old Cale way more lately. I know he's the same person. Yet, he's not. I know everyone changes and I know others may deal with this in some way, but let me just say, this brain injury life is hard. It's so hard. It's painful and lonely. It's swallowing back what I remember what was and what I think should be over and over and surrendering to what is. and the what is that I live can be really ugly and unfair. 

I was just talking to my SIL when she arrived in town the other night and after her asking, "so how are things going?" I started to just talk. I started with talking about how as a family we're good and then I continued. It felt good to have her sitting in front of me and she has always been someone I easily open up to...although, take me to coffee and I'll probably open up to you too ;) but as I was talking, I could feel my heart become even more frustrated this time. Even at that moment what I was saying didn't feel like it was what I meant to say. 

And until that point the most that seems to come out is I'm struggling.

I've been sick with a nasty yucky sick-thing the last few days and two nights ago, I curled up under the covers hoping for sleep to overtake me. Cale whispered into the darkness, "I love you my girl. I love you." 

There are hard brain injury days and there are good brain injury days. I do realize that is life. Hard days and good days. I also know that my hard doesn't end. The reality of no escape from brain injury is like being in that little room with all the walls and I'm pounding and no one can take me out because there is no escape. I don't want to escape my marriage or my family, I just become overcome with this heaviness that I'm so stuck with brain injury. 

I don't remind myself enough that Cale is also living with brain injury and so so so stuck in a life that is hard and ugly. That sometimes he does things that he can't control and he actually hates it. 

I often tell Cale when he gets really upset that we're a team. We're on the same team. We can't play against each other-thats not how we win. It doesn't get us anywhere. 

These same words need to be said back to me sometimes...I need to remember that he's not the bad guy. He's the man that loves me. He prays for me. He's my team. 

Hmm...did that come out right? Not sure. I can try to explain more later. Well actually, that just helped me because at least my brain feels like it came out. ;)

12. One of my goals this next year is to be more intentional with relationships. This ability to invest in those around me became nonexistent after the accident and slowly as our life has continued and changed, I'm relearning what this looks like. It's also interesting as we now have baby Nora in the mix...keeps things entertaining! Haha. 

13. I've been really wanting a puppy lately. Please remind me I have Nora and don't need a puppy when she's 8 months. 

14. This has been a great year. It's been full of adventures...different to those in the past. These involve the number 3. Which...Cale does always say is his favorite number. :)

Happy New Year!!!!!!!
Cale, Kathleen and Nora

Saturday, November 15, 2014

this & that

We had this cute little guest room. I loved it. I loved the room and I loved when friends would come and stay in it. I had all the things from trips all over the world and well, everything just so. After many thoughts bouncing all around in my head and talking it out with Mama and Cale, we decided to take this guest room...

and turn it into...

...a play room! 

I'm so excited! The stage of life we're in, there's always littles running around and in our home there just isn't anywhere for them to go. Now we have a room where toys and games can be played! we recently had a prayer night here for a friend and it was a night I was so wishing we had the room ready. Lots of kiddos! haha.

 One of my favorite parts is in the corner, do you see that yellow mirror? Well, in the little chest next to it is the start to a collection of dress up clothes. The mirror is there for the kiddos to see themselves after dressing up! Nora crawls over to the mirror now and has a blast just looking at the baby she sees :) 

It's still a place for guest to come so don't worry if you were planning to come for a visit! We purposefully picked out a sofa bed for when we have company! 

This room warms my heart. One day when Nora is older, I'll be able to have a guest room with everything just so if that's what the need is, but for now, for this season, it just doesn't fit-and I'm totally ok with that! I'm also fully aware that it won't always look so pretty! 20 minutes ago that room was destroyed with toys all over! 

We enjoyed lunch out for Veterans Day. We always go to Applebees and Cale gets his free lunch. It's such a small thing but I think makes such a huge impact on him. The picture with Nora was a surprise to Cale. It took Mama's help and between the two of us we managed to get one! Nora was wanting to move and play-not sit and smile for mommy to take a picture! know my friend Rachel...the friend that I've grown up with, my maid of honor, the friend who visited every hospital we had to go to and the friend that watched as my daughter made her way into the world...


that friend has a baby in her belly. 

I'm bursting with joy. 

I was telling her one night as we walked together how I'm of course excited she's going to have a baby-thats obvious, but more than that, I'm so excited because I know what she's about to experience. I now know the unspeakable emotion of everything having a baby does within a person and now it's her turn. I just...whoa. I can't hardly type this without tearing up!

You're beautiful pregnant and I know you'll be a beautiful mommy. I can't wait to meet Baby E and watch as Nora and Baby E become the best of friends! 
My heart overflows with joy for you and Mike!!!

I have a few other pictures to share with you that we had done, but heres a few you can see now :) Nora was so serious the entire shoot! 

We took a trip to visit my brother. I have some great pictures to share but they're on the big camera so I'll have to load those ones later. Here's a couple quick ones!

Last little note- for those of you that continue to send us cards, we've gotten rid of our PO Box...just so you know...! ;)

That's all for now. At least for today!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A whole lotta darlingness.

It's November. 

I remember on New Years thinking about how this was the year I was going to have a baby. It all seemed unreal and unsure. 

And's November. Already.

Here's a huge long load of us over the last few months...

{the many faces of Nora.}

Nora's first time to Heppner! It included Uncle Mike & Aunt Rae, football, crazy hair and a walk. :)

We painted our cabinets in the kitchen. I've wanted to do it since we built the house and finally decided I just needed to get it done! It was waaaaaaay more work than I had expected but I'm so glad we did it! I love it!! Thankfully we have some pretty awesome friends who came to help out...

 {The before}

 {This stuff did not work in the slightest with the varnish. Let down.}

{this stuff saved us! We still had a lot of sanding to do but this still helped cut the mess big time!}

{the after! it's so much lighter and not so heavy and dark looking in our little home}

There was a special wedding that took place. Mama's best friend found another man to walk the rest of her life with her after she lost the first one.

Mike made Cale the game Cornhole. It's awesome. Cale loves it so much!

A sweet friend sent Nora some goodies all the way from Uganda!


 {another beautiful wedding!}

{oh yeah. at 5 months she started Army crawling. everywhere.}

{FaceTime with daddy!}

Nora & mommy went on a little trip. It was needed. Needed in so many ways and so so so good. Wounded Warrior Project made it possible. Rachel had a conference to go to for work in Texas and we tagged along. :) We had the weekend to all play and then she had a few days of being at the conference so little miss and myself had our own little mommy and baby adventures. I loved it! Before leaving I thought I would be bored with Rachel gone all day but with a baby...there wasn't much time to be bored! 

When we arrived back home, mommy was refreshed and ready to get back to real life and baby was happy to see daddy :)

{how in the world did 6 months happen?!?!?!}

{her FIRST dentist appointment!}

{her FIRST time eating!!}

 {look can see her little teeth!}

 {watching in amazement!}

 We spent a day with friends at Bill Berry Farm. It was fun and just so nice to be with friends. Cale used a sling shot to hit targets with apples in the hopes to win free donuts. He didn't end up hitting a target, but the sheer enjoyment of slingshotting  apples was enough! We did eat fresh yummy donuts, took pictures and made cider. Cale had fun for the most part but towards the end he was done. I was so thankful for how he was able to handle his anger. Normally he would have taken off and probably yelled a little but this time he just left the area. He found a spot away from everyone and chilled. When I went over to him, thinking he was going to try to walk home, he said he was done and needed to take a break. Guys, this is huge. We would have a whole lot less of tears and frustration in this family if he could more consistently find his limit and take the break before it becomes too much. Often I'm able to be the one to help him figure out when that point is, but I'm not always there or involved in the moment. This was cool. This was huge!

No candy for the little one this Halloween but daddy and mommy sure had some! Mama made Nora's little costume!

No shave November has begun! I'll make sure to post his picture after a month of no shaving! 

We were visiting with friends last night and at one point I grabbed one of their daughters baby dolls and showed Nora. She made some noises at it and then started growling and then...started chewing on it. That's what friends do, right?

If you are in need of a this!

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." -Helen Keller

We've had a few interesting conversations lately. If you think about it, be praying for wisdom in how to respond to some of them. Here's a few of them...

Cale is missing the Army terribly. He talks about it often and although he may not remember everything quite as it happened or in the order it happened or even the majority of what did happen, he does remember he was a soldier. He does remember he worked and deployed and loved it. He came to me a couple weeks ago with an entire plan of rejoining. He had thought about us moving and about being away from Nora. We talked for awhile about it. Honestly, I had no idea how to respond. I did ask him if he honestly thought he could rejoin and he said yes. My heart broke. He wanted it so badly. 

We've talked lately about Nora growing up and dreaming about what she's going to be like. Cale asked how he was going to teach her soccer if he can't run and play anymore. He also talked about if we have a boy, how is he going to teach him how to ice skate and play hockey. Do you notice anything about this conversation and the last? He sometimes knows his disability and sometimes doesn't get it at all. 

There was another I was going to share but can't think of it at the moment. Point is, sometimes these conversations we have can be difficult! 

A few other randoms...

This last Thursday Nora pulled herself up to standing. This has come way too soon!

Cale has started learning photography. One of our friends at church does it as a hobby and has started helping Cale to learn how to take better pictures. So far he's really enjoying it! I'll have to post some of his pictures this week!

This last week, Cale was being sneaky and took some cash I had sitting out. When I asked him about it later after I knew he had hidden it somewhere, he said, "It's in my Bible. God is watching over it." Haha. Awesome. It's totally a cool truth as well as him being hilarious. Which was exactly what he was going for ;)

Cale is always telling Nora she needs to learn English. He'll tell her words to say and they're always words like, "the" or "it" which seem really funny to be her first words. ;)

We are having so much fun with Nora now that she plays with us. She has quite the little personality coming out!

Just to perk up your ears and raise your eyebrows, we'll be posting about a new Darling Project soon! Well, as soon as I figure out the next one! It'll be soon though so start watching for it! :)

Hmm... I think that's about it! I'm sure there's a lot more stories and things to share but my brain is ready to turn off.