Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thirty.

Thirty things Cale...

1. He's so so so funny & LOVES making others laugh.
2. He loves deeply.
3. He HATES being bored.
4. He loves the Detroit Red Wings.
5. He now also loves the Carolina Hurricanes.
6. He could eat out every meal and be perfectly happy.
7. He's SO excited about having a boy join our family.
8. He enjoys playing board games.
9. He tells his wife multiple times a day that she's beautiful. He never misses a day.
10. Candy, it's a food group.
11. He's the most honest person you'll ever meet.
12. He works hard when he has set his mind to something.
13. He's always willing to try the adventures his wife comes up with.
14. He's stubborn.
15. He makes the perfect horse for his sweet Nora to ride. 
16. He loves vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce.
17. He talks with random people in the check-out lane.
18. He loves puzzles (and puzzle games)...and he's pretty good at them.
19. He loved feeling Nora move while she was in my belly and he loves feeling Easton move.
20. He loves home.
21. He loves random funny shirts.
22. He loves sneaking up on people.
23. He loves playing sled hockey.
24. Friendship is important to him
25. He loves cereal or oatmeal for breakfast (or donuts of course!!)
26. He's good at making messes.
27. He says sleep is boring and a waste of time.
28. He's such a sweet daddy. He tries his hardest to figure out what that role looks like. 
29. He loves music.
30. He misses the Army.

Today Cale turned 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yikes.
Leading up to his birthday he was having a real hard time with this one. For him, he feels 16 still and sometimes he struggles with how he's old enough to be married and have a family...30 seems so much older than he thinks he is.  

I wanted it to be a super special birthday so we started 30 days ago giving him one gift a day and then he opened his final "big" gift today. He has really looked forward to this! I also planned a birthday weekend for him so he would have multiple days of fun. :)










It was complete with dinner out and a guys night of bowling. 
A trip to my brothers to celebrate lots of September birthdays!
A special birthday lunch...
...and a whole afternoon of fun driving golf carts and playing laser tag! 

Happy Birthday my handsome man. I love you to the moon and back! 30 can be your best year yet! Woot Woot! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bullet Points

My goal this week was to cross off everything on my to do list. 

That darn to do list.

I have many lists, but this list is on my phone and full of things that I actually really need to get done. So, I've been checking things off and hoping to have it complete by tomorrow! This week has gone nothing like I thought it would and the time that I had planned to use to get things done was spent with unexpected other things...you know, it's life. Ha. 


To post an update is on the list and the quickest way to get some updates on here is using the handy dandy bullet point method for each of us! 

Cale-

He is STILL drinking water. Yes. Yes. Yes. Typically it's about a half gallon a day...some days less but it's still happening and for this I am SO thankful!!!! 

I think at this point the gym issue has been worked out- THANK YOU LORD!!! One of you have filled in the gap when we didn't know how it was going to happen. I can not express enough of how thankful we are. What a witness as well as we've been able to share the story. SO cool. 

Cale is sooooooooo excited we're having a BOY and randomly through the night his hands will find my belly and he'll wake me up to ask if Easton is ok or just see if he can feel him. It's beautiful. Really. Some nights when he wakes me I want to hit him with my pillow but more times than not I just smile. He already cares so much. 

One night a friend was dropping me off. We had gone to see an outdoor movie. She pulled in the drive-way and we were talking. Cale had called and I let him know I was home. It was getting late but Mama hadn't sent a text saying anything was wrong so I was enjoying a visit. While we talked, Cale had sent a text to Temarie telling her that she needed to leave because Easton needed to be taken care of. He thought that if I was tired it couldn't be good for his son. 

We're still praying for friendship for Cale. This is something constantly on his mind and has been such a struggle the last few years.

This coming Sunday, Cale starts his first practice of Sled Hockey!!!!!!!!!!


This was one of the reasons we moved across the country-for this. For Cale to be able to play hockey again. He is SO excited!!! And during the trial of it, he did great! I wasn't sure knowing that a few years ago he needed someone to push him around on the ice while he sat in the sled. This time it was all him!! I was so proud and excited and overjoyed and well...every happy emotion! :)

Cale and I do this bit where we pretend we're 100 years old and he's so tall he can't bend to kiss me and I'm too short and can't stretch to kiss him. We talk in our shaky voices and laugh and laugh. Cale is hilarious. Way too hilarious. 

Mama-

This woman. I was thinking the other day about how we have Nora and now Easton on the way...I'm not sure it could have all happened without her. 

She has started selling all the fun goodies she makes. This has been a dream and it's so fun to see it all happen. I love getting to support her and encourage her to pursue this adventure!

She has also taken a position at the church. I have to say, if it were me and I had just moved across the country and joined a church where I didn't know hardly anyone, I would NOT have taken this position. She felt God leading her and she said yes...and I think she's brave. Haha. 

Nora-

She felt Easton kick! The moment wasn't anything like the sweet moment I had in my head. Ha! For awhile we tried getting her to try but she'd put her hand on my belly and immediately take it off and yell out, "I did it!" and then run off. Well, when she finally did actually feel him, she said he tickled her and then ran off. No big surprise face or anything to make the moment a big deal. She does already sing to my belly and give it kisses. She often talks to Easton or about him. The other day I ate a bite of her pasta. She asked where it went and I opened my mouth and asked her where she thought it went. She replied, "In your belly and Easton ate it!" 

She has started preschool!!!!!!! She goes just two days a week for 3 hours. She loves it! I knew she would but it's extra fun to see just how much she loves it!





My sweet Little Lady loves dinosaurs. She sleeps with her hard plastic ones every night. And anything dino makes her smile so big right now. I'm thankful I can't just go buy her a pet dinosaur because sometimes I think I would if I could. 

She also loves trains and trucks...and pretty pink sparkly shoes and dresses :)

Easton-

He's growing and healthy! 

He's already SO loved by this family.

He's due to come the end of October...I bought a little pumpkin hat yesterday which was my way of stating he'll be here before Halloween, but I'm not sure he's gotten the memo! ;)

Me-

I'm feeling great! Really. Somedays I'm a little more tired...or maybe a lot more tired but overall I've had a really good pregnancy. 

We've been really starting to talk about how another baby is actually going to be coming soon. It's hard to fully grasp. 

Cale and I talked last night about how we can't quite understand how we've gotten to this point. How have we gone through so so so much and we still get to have these two babies to raise?! We just can't believe it. Life is no where near perfect or how we imagined it to be but with this little guy on the way, it causes us to pause more often and be so thankful that not only do we have one beautiful sweet girl, we're going to have a little boy as well. Wow. 

Nora woke from her nap and we need to get to a tea party so I'm going to wrap this up but before I go, I wanted to respond in this post to a comment that was left. 

I feel as there is no way in the world that I can express and describe the full picture of our life. I could more easily sit with a cup of coffee and you and answer any question you have as I'm always an open book-sometimes I've been known to be too open ;) but to write out from post to post about how things are going and where we're at and how I feel and the emotions we go through and the ups and the downs and all the adventures...there's just no way to make it clear on here. I try when I write to first pray that the Holy Spirit would lead in whatever it is that I need to post. Sometimes I get on to post something specific and it ends up going a totally different way than I had expected. sometimes it's quick posts that maybe don't say too much and sometimes I don't go into all the details of a situation because I'm protecting my husband. 

All that to say, the comment mentioned how it seems I resent Cale or that I see him as a stranger compared to how he was before. 

My response, is first, I hope that through some of my vulnerability and the painful truth of what we live you know that I love my man. I love him intensely. It looks very different now than even 3 years ago. We've walked out some rocky challenging paths. I've been in tears and at a loss more days than I would like to say and because of the way brain injury is so much a part of our life, we can have some frustrating and difficult days but I don't resent him

I'm constantly trying to find ways to be intentional in our marriage and giving him more time and encouraging him more and being the wife he needs. This can be exhausting. Hard. And often, I mess up. I do. Or I make it to where I'm trying so hard and investing so much that when something comes up that shouldn't be, I let my emotions win. 

I also will say that yes. As much as I love Cale now and as much as I see him as my husband as he is now, he is very very different from when I married him. And although change is normal in two people, especially two people that married at 18, this kind of change is a little more dramatic. I do talk to Cale about this. I try my hardest not to hold who he was before up in front of him as though he's missing the mark. We've had to really grow and learn each other as his memory of me is not reliable for him. Things he thinks I love are somehow in his head from knowing someone else loves them...but he tries his hardest as well. 

Brain injury is just...well, weird. 

It can make for some amazing moments and in the same day some really low moments but we keep chugging a long trying to figure it all out! 

Does that all make sense?

I'm so thankful for each of you that are still on this journey with us and please let me know whether in the comments or through the email whatever questions you have or if there's something that I do a terrible job of making clear that you just don't understand. 


We're off but hopefully soon I can get a moment and post about a few other fun things that have happened recently! 





Wednesday, August 10, 2016

a bunch of this and that...

There is silence at the moment. 

I'm also awake enough that a nap won't be needed today...although I could definitely take one if I curled up on my comfy bed. I'll try to stick with updating this blog though :) 

I received an email recently and thought rather than responding to only that email, I would just respond on here only because the questions asked I know are shared by many of you and I'm due for another post!

I really had every intention in keeping this thing going this year-but summer has been summer and I've so loved spending our days out and about as well as swimming in the pool and soaking up the sun. 

We've taken a few trips which have all been great and eventful. One was to Disney World. 

I know.

I know exactly what you're thinking. 

Did you seriously take Cale and Nora to Disney World in the heat of summer...with all those people?!

Yes. 

Yes I did.

Crazy?

Oh yes.

We had some friends coming into town for a visit and they wanted to go. When Mama first brought it up, I said they could all go but we weren't going to. Well...we ended up going. 

It was hot. 

There were a ton of people. 

It was a haaaaaaard week.

We all survived and there were some good moments. Nora doesn't really know to many of the characters but the ones she did know she loved getting to hug. Minnie Mouse was one of them. She was beside herself when she saw her. 

Cale's quote that week was "This is NOT the happiest place on earth." and I agreed with him. It really isn't. Ha! 

I wish I could say that I had mastered how to perfectly handle the challenges that came and controlled my emotions the entire time but with being pregnant and human, it just wasn't so. Our friends did their own thing for the week as two high school girls and a two year old are kind of a difficult match to enjoy all the festivities of the Magical Kingdom together. Mama was mostly with us and she was a rock that week. 


I snapped this picture towards the end of the trip to capture so many of the moments we had. Cale was upset and Mama was so graciously trying to talk him down for the 100th time that week. I later found out that he was talking about getting into that police car. Those hard moments would pass and would be followed by a really great time for all of us. There are pictures and pictures of us smiling and I can honestly say, they weren't forced. When we were having fun, we were actually having a lot of fun. It just wasn't the perfect picture the whole time...and I know it's not for most families that go!

There was one evening on our way back to the park that as I sat there tears strolling down my face, I was thinking how when we were first married and would talk about all the trips we'd one day take with our kids, this isn't what I pictured. This isn't how it was supposed to be. I felt robbed and angry. 

"God, I'm so mad at him. I didn't sign up for this. I don't want to keep loving him sometimes. This isn't how our life was supposed to go." 

My flesh was crying out in a furry. 

This moment on the shuttle was a normal evening for everyone else with all excitement of what was going to take place at the overcrowded park but for me, I quickly felt a spiritual battle happening as if I could see it all in a clear picture right in front of me. My flesh was allowing the enemy to have control but the Holy Spirit was fighting for me. Fighting for me to keep my eyes on Jesus.

As I was saying "I didn't sign up for this." I was hearing, "You did. You did sign up for this." as I was saying "I don't want to keep loving him." I would even louder hear, "I've called you to love him. Not just when it's easy, but when it's difficult." 

Truth began to take over-

I've equipped you for this.
I've flooded you with grace for this.
I've softened your heart for this.
I've strengthened you for this.
I've carried you and will continue to carry you-for this.

It took me a little while to move on. But I held on to the tangible way I saw war for my thoughts; for my heart. Thankfully we arrived and enjoyed the rest of the night. Nora was as happy as could be unaware of anyone else feeling any different. She has a way of cheering her daddy up and helping him move out of a funk as well as her mommy. :)

I share this with you to show you that even after 6.5 years, we are still in battle and navigating this life with brain injury. It's hard. 

We're not alone though. As we continue to figure out day to day what in the world we're doing, we seek Jesus and know He's there. Always always there. 


She ran SO fast to get to Minnie! 










"I'm like an elephant!" -Nora




-------

We also spent a week at a BEAUTIFUL lake house. There is a couple at church that allowed us to go and stay with some other friends of ours. This was such a GIFT. For the most part, the week was smooth and relaxing-ish. I'm not sure how relaxing life actually gets when a toddler is involved ;)






A little bit more of summer life...


Nora was in the parade for the fourth! She loved getting to decorate the wagon and go for a ride!




She's been doing a summer ballet class and LOVES it! We just signed her up to keep going for the year...yikes!! 


I love this picture. Well, both of them but this top one, she was laughing so hard and I'm not sure how the picture was in focus at all because I was laughing so hard!






She looses helping daddy play his iPad ;) 

Nation Ice Cream Day means you get your very own ice cream cone with pink ice cream and sprinkles!!! SO exciting!! 


We went to the beach with my brother and his family...we tried for a perfect family photo... 



Blueberry picking! We kept saying we needed to go and then finally did the very last day possible. There wasn't much left on the bushes but we did get a small amount!



Nora loves dinosaures. Well, these days we'll find these friendly fellows hanging out anywhere! 


Shopping with Susie Bear makes everything better! :)





I absolutely LOVE this picture of Mama's hand with Nora's. It's the sweetest. They made pancakes together Saturday morning and we ate them up! 


Silly faces!

--------

A  little about Cale...

He's doing SO good. SO SO SO good. I wish there was a way to respond to the question, "What is Cale like now?'

BUT, I'm just not sure I can. 

We have times when I've asked him to grab something for me after not seeing him, I find him with a basket he's emptied and he has no memory of what he's been looking for. Or we have times when he asks the same question 500,000 times in one day and never remembers he's already asked-and I already answered. We also have times when he is meaning to ask where the cereal is but all he can get out is "where is my finger?" 

We also recently watched a miracle happen-NO JOKE.

You know Cale.

Well, even if you've NEVER met him, maybe you've read on here how he hates water and only wants to drink soda. This has been a battle for...well, as long as I've known him! It got worse after his injury-but wasn't a new battle. 

Many different people have tried many different ways to get Cale to drink water. Nope. He's a stubborn man. 

Last week one of his trainers somehow convinced Cale to be drinking water. Reese gave him this idea to get a water just and write lines on it with times and drink through the day.

Ok, yes, great idea. For Cale? No way.

Except, YES way!!!!


 He hasn't finished a whole gallon yet BUT he has been drinking out of his jug every single day. 

What?!

Thank you JESUS!

He really respects Reese and thinks of him as a friend but still. This is God. It has to be!

Which...

Speaking of the gym. 

We have been so very thankful for Wounded Warrior Project providing a gym membership AND a trainer at the gym for Cale for over a year. I can't even remember when it started. This has been HUGE for Cale and just since we've been in NC, we've seen improvement by leaps and bounds with Cale. I think part of it has to do with the trainers...and I'm not sure what else is so different. It's just been such a blessing.

I received a call that WWP is making cuts and will no longer be able to provide this for him. My first reaction is to be discouraged. Cale won't just go to the gym and really he can't and with his disability, he needs to have someone helping him who knows what they're doing. Not to mention, his two trainers, he really does consider them friends and friends for Cale has been a giant struggle for him. So they're a gift. 

I was telling a friend about it yesterday, processing with her. She reminded me that God is bigger than this...and we know that. There have been other times that it felt like things were going downhill and God would show us over and over that He knew what He was doing. Something better was in store. 

I need to trust Him and I know that. I do. 

I don't know what this change is going to look like for Cale but would you be praying with us about it? Wisdom to know what direction we need to go in? I want to trust and not fear!

He has a couple months left before his sessions and membership runs out. Thankfully!

--------

I have more I could keep writing about all the things happening in our life but Nora woke up early and Cale is home. 

He brought me home chocolate. 

That's my man!


Hopefully I'll get on here and update some more before I'm a couple months behind again! 

Yikes!!