Saturday, August 12, 2017

I Will Yet Praise You


I'm not going to lie. I'm sitting here getting ready to write and there's an inner battle inside about whether or not I should skip posting and take a nap while both kids are down...

I've decided to post :)

This last week has flown by. Mama is back in Washington for a couple weeks so it's just us here. Last time she went, we had just moved here and I remember being so nervous. Cale's schedule was changing pretty drastically as well...which added to the mess of emotions. This time I feel a lot more confident. This is home and I know my people and their needs. I know our normal routine and goodness I know I can pray all day and night. ;) 

(it's funny how blogging with out emojis just doesn't feel as fun as it could be. haha.)

 My SIL and niece came Wednesday evening and then left yesterday, which was fun and a good distraction. Nora loves her Grammy and said last night that she doesn't like even a little bit that Grammy is not here. I absolutely love the bond those two have. 

I have to share this picture-last week when I was trying to get the blog post finished, I stuck E in the bath to play...without water. It worked! He loved it! 

He also has decided he enjoys riding in the cart his own way-

It literally took him 20 seconds while I was turned around looking at something. The next time we went to the store, he of course knew exactly what to do. We spent the entire trip having mommy turn him around the right way and he would whip right back around. He also attempted to master climbing all the way out that trip. Yikes! 

(I need the emojis! Seriously!)

Cale and I started back in February making it priority to have a date once a week. It doesn't matter if it's during the day or at night. It doesn't matter if we go out or stay in. It's just us, my focus on him where we can connect and enjoy each other. This has been sooooooo good for us. After Nora was born, we went through some adjustments that I didn't expect at all. I felt blindsided. I didn't see some of what we went through coming and it was hard. 

When I was pregnant with Easton, I was very intentional about putting things in place and really trying to set our life up to help combat some of the challenge of adjusting. Weeeeeell, E decided not to sleep at night and make mommy lose her mind. 

By February I was really struggling. Like, a lot. 

One of the ways was for the first time since the accident, I was really starting to feel like Cale was just there for me to take care of. He felt like extra work. I know that probably sounds harsh and maybe doesn't translate from my brain to your eyes well, but it's the best way I can put it. It was such a difficult time for me. And because of his brain injury, he didn't get it. 

That's when we made the commitment to do these dates every week. There have been days that I didn't want to go. Whether we had an awful brain injury moment in our home or I was just simply exhausted, this time with him allowed for me to step out of my flesh and love my husband as I'm called to. It truly has been a gift-for both of us. 

Easton wearing his shirt from Uncle Mike & Aunt Rae! :)

I've been able to go kayaking with Nora several times this summer. It's been so fun! She loves it. Her first time going all she wanted to do was reach out and touch the buoys. She said they were so cute and friendly. Ha! Since that time, she really enjoys the whole experience and looking for the birds and whatever else we can find. This last week when we went, I finally let her have her very own paddle. I never let her before because I knew it would just end up overboard but she has wanted to help paddle so badly, so I just went for it. 

Multiple times she would say, "Mommy, thank you for letting me have a paddle!" 

Nora give me a good smile. 

"I am. See!"

oh man.

We went to a place nearby that had a lot of different animals. Ciera was so excited to get close and also a little nervous. I was going to snap a picture of her getting really close to it when Nora comes storming in with no worry in the world. She just wanted to feed the pretty bird. Haha! 

Easton was very confused why the giraffe was eating the carrot. He wanted it! 

We build a lot of forts around here. They're so much fun. Well, of course while Nora had someone here to give her all of the attention imaginable, she had a fort built. 

This picture cracks me up. We were getting ready to pose for one but hadn't quite gotten ourselves together yet. My SIL snapped this one and it's definitely our favorite!


I just wanted to say that with me posting again, it doesn't mean that life is going amazingly well and I've got everything figured out or that it's all a big mess and I'm falling a part. 

A few days ago one of my friends asked me something about how to get to the beginning of the blog. A friend of hers is going through something difficult and she wanted to share my blog with her. I actually wasn't quite sure so I got on and found my way to the beginning. I didn't spend much time reading but I did skim a few posts and started to think about those early days in the ICU. 

The first few years after the accident everything was so sweet. Cale was continually changing. There were lots of really difficult times as well, but at the time, I didn't realize that after almost eight years of life with a brain injury things were going to be a completely different kind of challenge for us. It's not that it's end of the world terrible. It's just not what I imagined in the slightest-in many ways, and that's ok.

Not to mention we added a couple kiddos 
...and moved across the country!

I can share more later- I know that I will but for now, to give you a clearer picture of where I'm at as I write to you I wanted to share a song I heard three weeks ago. 

My friend Jenny in NY wrote it and it's incredible. INCREDIBLE. She was doing a concert and it was on Facebook. As I listened to the words, I was giving Nora and Easton a bath and I felt the words heavy. They were exactly what my heart had been praying.

I sent Jenny a text and asked for the lyrics and later asked if she had recorded it yet. She did send my the lyrics and I've read and then reread them. She also sent me a rough practice of her singing and I've played that over and over. As soon as I have some kind of something with her singing that I can post, I'll post it for you but for now, here are the lyrics...

I Will Yet Praise You
(words and music by Jennifer Hopper)

Forgive me for my fears and doubts
Surround them with your love
For years and years they've brought me down
I know I just need to trust, your love
I know I need to trust, your love

In the valley on the mountaintop my praise will be the same
'Cause I trust you I believe in your love and the power of your name

I will yet praise you no matter what may come
I will yet praise you when all is said when all is done
I lift my hands, raise my voice its you I adore
I will yet praise Lord

Forevermore, I'll worship and adore
Forevermore I'll praise you Lord

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Coffee with Kathleen

I'm sitting here with this blank screen watching a blinking line waiting for me to start typing...I don't quite know where to start again. 

I have written over a thousand blog posts in my mind during the middle of the night hours but they never make it on here. They never make it anywhere.

I've prayed and prayed and prayed about this blog. 

Many days I had plans to take it down. Or simply just be done with it and let the hours of thoughts sit online and not worry about it again. 

Those two plans have been back and forth in my heart but all the while as I would pray, I consistently felt the tugging to keep writing. Keep sharing our story. Keep going. 

Can I just say, writing our life and being vulnerable, it's not easy. I do it. I'm always an open book and if you ask, I won't shy away from sharing with you. If I'm struggling, I'm not going to pretend I'm just fine-that's not me. 


writing on here where anyone can see and have their own opinions about our life and even take my words the wrong way, that is hard. 

I also have thoughts rise up about how self involved the idea of having a blog all about us is. Yet, whatever excuse I come up with the tugging is always there. 

And every single time I actually think "I'm just going to be done" I get an email from one of you. 
Every single time.
And it's been like that for years now! 
You encourage me.
You challenge me.
You bless my socks off.
You remind me that while this is about my family on the surface, it really is all about Jesus. 

So friends, once a week I'll be posting here...I may not have anything big to share but as always, it'll be real and raw and us.

If you want, you can grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes with me as you read whatever is pressing on my heart.

A quick update about us for now-

Grammy- Is doing well here. I love that so many of you ask about her and how she has transitioned here. She is getting ready to travel for a couple weeks so we'll miss her-especially Nora. Those two have the sweetest bond. 
She is still sewing and making things for her business. I'll have to post her shop on here. Or have I done that? Not sure but I can repost if not. :) She is also working at our church. I would never take the position she did-organizing nursery stuff...yikes. Especially at a new church (she took it last summer) and not knowing many people. It's totally her though. She does it and does it well. 
She also adores my kiddos and loves being Grammy...which we love! 

Nora- oh Nora. This girl. I love her so. She is nothing how I pictured her being at this age. She is wonderful though. She is spunky and wild and free. She's hilarious and smart. She's sweet and has a huge heart. She is her. Ha. She still loves dinosaurs. We thought it would be a passing interest but it has been over a year and she still looooooves them. She also loves pretty things. She finished her first year of preschool in May and in just a few weeks she'll be starting again. I remember as it was approaching time for summer to come and school to end, I was thinking, what are we going to do all day?! Well, we've actually really really loved summer. We always do. With having Easton now, I was a little more nervous but it has gone so quickly I'm not quite ready to give up our play all day-summer life. Although...I'm ready for routine again. I think our family thrives on having a routine and preschool during these little years helps with that. :)

(Her first time meeting E!) 

Easton- He is the sweetest. His smile is a heart melter for sure. He's crawling everywhere and climbing on everything. He walks around when he's able to push something or hold onto something. He so badly wants to play with sissy all of the time...and she's not so into that. He recently endured chicken pox. It was AWFUL. I know it used to be the norm for everyone to get it but yikes. That was NO BUENO. He's 9 months and ready to go! 

Cale- He's doing GREAT! We went back to Washington for a visit in June. It was so fun listening to everyone tell me how good he was doing and how much better he looked. Sled hockey ended in March but is about to pick up again in September. He loves getting to play and has missed it during this break. Theres a guy from our church who hangs out with Cale about once a week and a couple other guys from our Bible Fellowship Group who have taken him out. This is a HUGE blessing!!! A lot of you have prayed with me asking for men to come into his life and invest in him. His life is confusing and hard for him to navigate. He needs men to come alongside him who aren't forced but will truly enjoy him and pour into him. He loves being daddy. I have some very sweet stories to share for another's hard but he's amazing. He also just started with a trainer at the gym. his first day was yesterday and so far he enjoyed going. His trainer was also in the military which is always a bonus! Thank you to Semper Fi Fund for providing this!!!! 

Kathleen- I love being mommy of two. It has been exhausting but so so so wonderful. It's nothing like what I pictured. Easton is a terrible sleeper. This is one thing I didn't expect. With Nora, I was able to help get her on a good schedule and all though we had difficult nights, those were normal and expected. Before having Easton, I was actually very confident with the sleep part. I knew what to do. Well...he changed everything and month after month passed by while I still waited for him to become a better sleeper. Many many nights he's up for hours during the night...which means I'm up as well. It has been hard. Hard. Thankfully these two kiddos are cute. Ha! 
God is all about building character. 

Friends, I'm excited to start writing again. I'm excited to share with you the things that God has been growing my heart and stretching my way of thinking. 

I'm excited to have you come along with us as we continue on our journey. 

I'm sleep-deprived excited. 


I'll see you next week! 

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