Monday, September 18, 2017

31 Reasons Why...

Today is my man's 31st birthday.

In the past on his birthday, I've done fun things about him but this time, I'm going to post why I love him...not all the reasons why just 31 one of them :)


1. He loves deeply. He always has.
2. He's hilarious. He makes me laugh so hard I almost wet myself-often. 
3. He admits when he doesn't know something.
4. He's willing to adventure with me even if he'd rather be doing something else.
5. His daily goal is to make other people laugh and it makes him so happy when he does.
6. He's real. He's not fake with anyone.
7. He always makes sure to let me know I'm beautiful. 
8. He loves helping me. Even when he doesn't want to, he does...usually ;)
9. He loves to cuddle.
10. He pops my toes and rubs my feet.
11. He's honest. He won't lie to you. 
12. He always reaches to hold my hand. 
13. His voice gets just a little deeper when he's talking to certain people. 
14. He turns off all the lights. Always. He says he's saving money.
15. When we go to a restaurant or we're just out somewhere, he'll hold the door for people...like, lots of people. He just stands there holding the door. 
16. He will always share his sweets with me.
17. He attempts to make the bed for me because he knows I like it made- he doesn't care at all if it's made but he does it for me.
18. When my head hurts or my stomach doesn't feel good or something is going on with one of the kids, if I ask him to pray, he prays right away and sometimes he prays without me asking.
19. He loves being around people. Its hard for him now but when it's for a short time, he loves it.
20. He likes to know about people. He likes to know things they like and don't like and he actually cares. 
21. He dances with me. It's usually in our kitchen but it's always so special.
22. He cares about Mama. He worries about her and it stresses him out when she looks like she's hurting.
23. He plays with Nora and doesn't care if he looks ridiculous.
24. He hates trying new food but recently he's been trying at least one bite to be a good example for Nora. He even finished something we were having for dinner even though he was gagging. He wanted her to see him finish it. 
25. One of his trainers he had last year said that when he would ask Cale to do something, like 20 pushups, Cale would do 30.
26. When he messes up, he's truly repentant. 
27. When he laughs really hard, he makes a silly noise that always makes me laugh harder. 
28. He makes friends wherever he goes. He'll show pictures from his phone to strangers because thats his way to communicate. 
29. He'll wake me up in the middle of the night just to tell me he loves me so much. This sometimes makes me want to scream since I have a baby boy who hates sleep and keeps me awake BUT deep down, I love it. 
30. He'll watch chick flicks with me.
31. He loves Jesus. And it's not a fake or made up love. He really loves him and it's very real. 

I'm so thankful for this sweet man I get to love and be married to. 

Happy Birthday Boy, I love you so.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Will Not Disappoint

I'm just going to start out saying that I am probably just as exhausted today as I was writing my last post but choosing to write in the morning compared to almost bedtime makes a huge difference! My brain can function a little easier with sunshine and coffee :)

Nora is at preschool. Oh how I love preschool. Not just for me to have 3 hours to get a few things done but I love it for her as well. She thrives when she's getting to be around friends and have her dose of people time...sounds a little like her mommy ;)

Easton is napping. This morning nap doesn't always last as long as I want it to so I'm going to dive right in because this whole day is going to be on the GO.



Nora was saying "I'm going to run speedy fast!"



For those of you that know us or have read this blog for awhile, you know we are a hockey family and we love the Red Wings. Well, now that the Carolina Hurricanes play about 20ish minutes from where we live, we decided we're going to embrace them. If they play the Wings, like they did in March-we're all about the Red Wings. 

Part of this was my encouragement to Cale even though I know as a sports lover, you just love your team and support them no matter where you live BUT I knew there would come opportunity for Cale to engage with the Hurricanes...especially since he plays sled hockey here. In my womanly mind it seemed to make sense, and I think its been spot on! 

Sunday morning there was a 5k for the Hurricanes so I signed me up to run it and I signed Nora up for the 100yd dash. I ran with the double stroller and yikes. Racing with a stroller-no bueno. I made it though and it was fun :) Nora enjoyed getting to be a part of it and see what is actually happening when Mommy is in a race. 

After I ran, it was her turn. I definitely should have signed her up for the 200yd dash. After she finished hers, she wanted to keep running! Please note her shoes...apparently kids have feet that grow and I should have checked to see if her sneakers fit before it was time to leave the house...

After all the running and eating were finished, we spent time playing in the bounce houses. At one point Cale was down a little from us shooting pucks in one of the blow up things, Nora was inside the bounce house and I was standing right outside holding E. They had already called out all of the winners and because I had the double stroller I knew I wasn't on that list-Ha!

I had kind of checked out from listening to the guy on stage until I heard, "Kathleen Darling! Is Kathleen Darling still here? Kathleen Darling?" 

Uh...

That's ME!!! 

I took off running towards the stage with Easton in my arms, waving to let them know I was there. Now for whatever reason, I started thinking, Did I really run that fast with a stroller?  I mean, was there special times for the beasty moms and dads pushing their kiddos and I was that fast??? 

I ran up the stairs very perky and proud of myself to find out that no, I didn't run super fast-but I did win a raffle. 

Which...I'm usually not the one winning a raffle so that was fun.

It was for two free tickets-which was even better!

but for those few seconds of thinking I won so fast...yeah, I was cool in my head.




Right after leaving all of the fun at the 5k, we went straight over to the ice rink so Cale could get on the ice! Sled hockey season has officially started! We are so excited! 

It's going to take a little time to get back in our rhythm but we're ready.

Cale did say it was hard at first but during the scrimmage he ended up making a goal. yahoo! 


Our friend September from WA came to visit in April and bought Nora this turtle. Well, he's definitely a tough cookie and with some bandaids, he's able to just keep swimming-


Randomly we'll hear the piano and will find Easton playing away. It is so sweet! 

------

The quiet moments while I typed the earlier section have ended and mass chaos has broken out in my home. Haha. I'm going to wrap this up and finish with this...

While growing up, I've often read Romans 5. Last week on Labor Day I read it in a few different versions which I always enjoy. The focus has always been on verse 3 & 4. 

And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 

I've memorized these verses. I've probably blogged at some point about these verses. These verses are the stand out ones but the next verse is what stuck out to me this time:

This hope will not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I know I've read this hundreds of times but reading the words this time registered differently. 

We are told to rejoice in our afflictions (or sufferings depending on translation)
because apparently these afflictions create in us endurance (or perseverance) and with that, our character. When you get to the end it says it then produces hope. 

When I read that on a good day, yes and amen. I completely agree.

At the end of a day when my head hits the pillow and I feel like I am waist or shoulder deep in the trenches, well, sometimes I'm not so quick to raise my hand high and say "yes! amen!" so enthusiastically. Rather, I'm letting the questions run through my mind, 

What does that mean right now? What does that look like where I'm at? 

The very next words though say, 

This hope will not disappoint us

and why will it not?

because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

If you've chosen Jesus, you've been given the Holy Spirit and with the Holy Spirit we're able to experience God's love in a real and personal way. He says, this hope that is being built in us will not disappoint. 

I love that. 

When the pain feels pointless, we just need to be reminded that we're being molded to be more and more like Christ- and again I do know that. 

When I read it last Monday, I felt like God knew I needed to keep reading. My human brain can't even grasp what is fully taking place. 

This good work He's doing in us when we choose Him-
we will not be disappointed with the outcome. 

I love serving a God that is continually refining me. Shaving away what needs to be gone.

Shortly after sitting with my Bible and letting everything play through my mind and heart, I got on fb and while scrolling through, a guy from church had posted this same verse.

I also love that. It felt like a little extra hug. 

I didn't do a ton of research on these verses or study the full context (which at some point I know I will!), I just let a few words soak in and bloom.







Saturday, September 9, 2017

Playing, Praying & Not Pretending Peppy.

Hey friends,

I'm worn out. 
I'm not even going to try to pretend to be peppy. 
Ha.

If you were sitting in my living room chatting with me right now, I'd probably stack up a couple pillows on my couch, grab a quilt from the chair next to the fireplace and lay down while we chatted. Hopefully, you would be fine with me getting cozy!

I have something on my heart to share but I just don't have the energy to type it out and gather my thoughts tonight so...next week I'll share with you. I think that will actually be great for me to chew on the verses a little more.

For now, I'll quickly share through pictures this last week :)





I think he wondering why sissy is in the swing and not him...



She could be in this swing for hours and hours and giggle as enthusastically the entire time! 



He's a cute little running partner!



Bubba, Auntie and Cici (My brother, his wife and my niece) came to visit and both of my kiddos loooooove it. 


This is the only picture I snapped on Labor Day. We had some friends over and after all the playing, I found Nora snoozing in the playroom. She played so hard she crashed. Friends are such a gift.





I went to the park with these two the other day and we all had so much fun. I love how everything is so new and exciting. Nora loves bugs. Have I told you that yet? She always finds them and wants them to be her friends. She found two caterpillars this time and begged me to take them home with us. I told her we couldn't and they needed to stay at the park. I realized later that she could have just taken them but because she was throwing a huge fit and I had already said no, it wasn't going to happen. Once she was all buckled in her carseat, through tears she asked, "Mommy, can I just go give him one more hug?" 




Mommy & Daddy went on a date to CFA with gift cards that we had won on another one of our dates. Made it extra fun!

Easton loves food. Nora loved food at this age too and then decided to hate it all one day...so I'm praying this little guy just keeps lovin' him some food. 

Nora started soccer this am! She LOVED it! I wasn't quite sure how she was going to do but I really do think she has more skill at it than her mommy! When we were walking to the car she said she didn't want to go home she wanted to keep playing soccer. And then later this evening I asked if she wanted to go to The Hill (our church has a Saturday night service) and she said, "No thanks. I just want to play soccer."

I'm excited. It was fun to watch her at her dance recital, but I knew she didn't love it. Watching her be so happy and actually wanting to play this morning made such a difference! Her daddy was pretty proud of her too! 

-------

One last thing,

we are praying for everyone involved in Harvey and Irma...and the other two coming! As I've read and watched updates, my heart is so heavy for everyone involved. It's so interesting how once you have a baby, your perspective on everything changes. I was talking to my SIL when they came last week about who when you think of all the details about how damaging Harvey was, its heartbreaking! The homes that people go back to...the lives lost. The tangible things in life that are part of their everyday life-gone. 

And then Irma swoops in to steal the show. 

We have been watching her path. At one point it seemed like she was going to introduce herself to us in a very up close and personal way but at this point, she seems to have changed her mind. Such a woman.

But I'm thankful. 

As I've been thanking God for her path changing, I'm also praying for the path that she is on...for every single person affected. 

There's also a lot of fires back in WA/OR and I've looked at pictures of the beauty that home is, in flames. 


Heavy hearts. Heavy conversations. Heavy prayers. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

What is our busy?

Last Friday Easton and I sat in a plane and flew to NYC. Our church here has partnered with a church plant in Brooklyn. Eight of us went up to help them with a block party. My favorite thing was constantly being reminded of the way kids have zero filter and aren't afraid to cross cultural boundaries. I love meeting and talking with people...as you may have guessed ;) and with several bus and subway rides, that was easy to do! 

Easton was in the carrier unfortunately most of the weekend (poor guy!) and just about every ride, he found a friend. I definitely helped encourage the conversation and doors were always opened. I was able to share why we were there and even invite a couple ladies to the block party but my focus was just getting to love on whoever we were around. Isn't that always the goal? Sometimes people just want to be heard. They want to speak to someone who is giving them their full attention rather than half listening. And maybe not everyone, but I would say most people love when a sweet baby flashes his cheesy little dimple smile at them. 





When baby boy falls asleep and the moment comes with you holding a magazine and you actually get to read it...thank you flight time. 








(just missing Mr. Frank!) 


We flew up Friday and back home on Sunday. Friday we had some time to walk around the city. We enjoyed dessert from Carlo's bakery. Yum. Also, the other two couples bought more than one dessert and then shared what they chose. I couldn't really share with Easton...and only trying one sounded like an awful plan. Don't you worry, I ordered myself two different desserts to try and I enjoyed both of them. Ha. 

On Saturday I was mainly at the kids activities area. There was one little girl that I found myself trying to connect with. Her and her brother actually. They were so sweet and their mom had left so they were just hanging out around the table I was at waiting for her to get back. I pulled out the chalk and asked if she wanted to color with me. We started drawing and ended up making this huge picture together. I was kind of just doing whatever she was telling me to. She had this vision and went for it. We colored for a long time and every now and then, she'd look up at me and smile and then started coloring again. I don't know, it wasn't something huge or amazing but I loved it. I loved watching her. 


My most favorite moment of the whole weekend was on Sunday. We went to church and there was a need for nursery workers so they asked if I would serve in the babies class. After the service was over, most everyone stayed and just kept worshipping. I went in and sat there soaking it up. It was beautiful. The service started at 11 and after 1 is when people were finishing up and leaving. Can I just be bold enough to say that most of the time churches are filled with people unwilling to keep worshipping and just ready to leave and get lunch? 

I loved loved loved watching this group of people who were willing to set their grumbling bellies aside, throw up their arms and worship. 

During this time, I noticed the pastor's 14 year old son walk up to his mom, lean into her and talk. The music was still pretty loud for the small space we were in so she leaned pretty close to listen and respond. I couldn't hear them but I watched as he all of a sudden wrapped his arms around his mom and clung to her and she wrapped her arms around him and she began to pray. His back was to me but I could see her face. I could tell she was praying with passion. Tears started streaming down her face and as I sat there watching this precious moment, I began to pray telling God that I want to be that mom. As my two littles grow, I want them to know that they can come to me and I will battle in prayer for them. I want to be the wife, the mother, the sister, the aunt, the cousin and the friend who will weep and pray for the people in my life. It was powerful and a moment that I will never forget. 

----

Speaking of prayer...

This week has been difficult for Cale and I. There has been something that has come with Cale's brain injury that our family has battled with for 3 years now. There was a point on Monday that I was so frustrated. I was angry. I got on the treadmill and ran a very fast 3 miles as I cried and cried and cried. 

I'm going to be honest here, this is one of the reasons I don't want to post on here. Obviously everyone's life isn't perfect. I know that. but this area in our lives that seems to never go away is hard and ugly and in the midst of anger, I yelled out to Mama, "I feel like a fake! I feel like this is all a joke." Now, I don't really feel that way. I just also know that I can't just openly share everything and I don't want to post as if everything is perfect when it's not. Also, I never post with the intention of everything looking perfect...but again, I was angry and hurting. 

Anyways...thankfully there are beautiful wonderful people in my life to speak truth into my life and who are willing to take time to think through some of the hard stuff with. I spent time with a friend Tuesday morning and then met with another couple right after and by the end of the the day I felt completely different. 

First, I had to take time Monday before meeting with anyone to get on my knees and pray over my life. My marriage. My family. 

Prayer is no small thing. 

It's been encouraging this week to see light. To see that no, maybe everything isn't solved and maybe it never will be, but God is faithful. His promises are true and I can claim them-rest in them. 

Wednesday morning at breakfast, Nora asked if she could take a picture of Mommy and Daddy kissing. 


The picture is mostly of the table and maybe not the best but I love it. I love the sweetness that I know that moment was. The giggles that took place. The conversation between the three of us before the picture happened. I love that even though there are some really hard hard things we as humans walk through, God is rich with mercy and grace. 

He is enough.

His healing-
is enough.

His joy-
is enough.

His peace-
is enough.

His presence-
is enough.

His forgiveness-
is enough.

There is nothing, nothing that can compare and I am so very thankful for that. 


----

Busy.

"I'm so busy." 

"Today has been so busy."

"We're always so busy."

"This week has been so busy."

It's everywhere. I hear it all the time and I know I even say it.

As a mommy, I think sometimes there's this idea that life needs to be busy or that we have do be doing all of the things all of the time. 

In this season of life, my "busy" is playing with the kiddos. Days and weeks are full and although we are involved in several things, it's ok to just play. It's ok to jump into the world of little ones and let that be something that fills part of your day.

It's ok during the quiet afternoon time when baby is napping and the other is resting, to read a book. 

That hasn't actually happened yet but I'm trying to work hard on what our "busy" looks like. I have never been good at this and I am one who will go from visiting with one person to the next and from one activity to the next. Mama likes to point out that I need to be around people and she doesn't as much. It's true. I also want to be really great at being around my people and that being ok. 

Does this make sense? Do any of you ever have these thoughts? I don't even know if I'm getting it out clear. I just know that my days lately feel so busy and when I look back at the day, it was busy with playing with Easton & Nora and I love it. I love getting to play with them...and I know a lot of you may need to be reminded to pause and play too...


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

15 randoms.

I have just a few random thoughts for you...and a few pictures (as always!) to share...

1. To start it off because it happened this morning, Nora started preschool. I feel like we were just celebrating her last day of her 2's class in May. Yikes. Time. Time. Time. It passes by way too quickly. Excited for her and this new year! E and I met Mimi at the coffee shop for a date while we waited to pick up sissy!








2. Ok, I know it's not wise to get a puppy when you have a baby-especially a baby who thinks sleeping at night is a joke but I'm in a war every day because I feel like the time I spend wiping down Nora and Easton, the table, the chairs and the floor-yikes. Having a dog would give me the gift of time. Right?! 

3. You know the stories on Instagram and Facebook? Yeah, I don't get them. I don't get the point. Some of them are just pictures. So why not just post a picture? And then the videos...why not post a video? I just don't get it. Cale agrees. We've had deep and lengthy conversations about how we aren't cool enough to understand them. 

4. I love going on walks with this guy and our kiddos. 


5. Mama is home! We picked her up from the airport late this afternoon. We are thankful, oh so very thankful to have her hooooome! 

6. June 3rd I was running in a half marathon and fell. I was running down a rocky hill and my foot hit a rock in just the right way. My knee popped and down I went. It was awful. My knee swelled up quickly and although I kept trying to start running again, I couldn't. I was about 5.5 miles in and at that point it had been going so well. I was on track to PR which wasn't even planned. Anyways, I realize it's just a race and there are a lot of other things in the world that matter a whole lot more but I felt defeated. I had trained and trained and it was gone. Well, after a summer break and some healing, I've registered for another half in November! 

7. I also don't understand math. I just don't. 

8. These snuggles with this boy. I don't ever ever want them to stop. He gives the best snuggles.

9. I don't get our culture right now. I could go on and on but I won't.

10. We also were slightly confused with the eclipse. I honestly didn't know that much about what was going on. I mean, I did and didn't. The kids were napping so Cale and I had our weekly date to watch it. I brought out a picnic blanket and a  nice plate of food. We put on our cool glasses and watched. I think we both kind of expected something dramatic. I know some of you witnessed a really amazing thing happen-and it was pretty cool. But I am so thankful no one was filming us while we were trying to figure out if we had seen all that was to be seen or not. Ha. 


11. I am all for eating healthy but I'm just not sure we can be friends if you will only eat healthy and never ever have a treat with me. 

12. Nora starts soccer soon. She did dance last year and well, I definitely think mommy loved it more than Nora loved it. We may try again later but we're giving soccer a try. She is SO excited about it! We'll see how it actually goes when it starts but watching these guys play soccer last night, was so fascinating to her. 


13. Four. Four is good. And sweet. And exhausting. And wonderful. 
Four has grown me and strengthened me. Four has rounded my edges. Four has pointed me to Jesus. I love our little family of four. 


14. What is up with turning 30 and waking up with different pains and sore places? Could just be having second baby? Who knows. Either way, I feel my body getting older. Just a tiny bit...haha. 

15. Did you know some people do not believe in using soap? I heard a guy in an interview last week talking about how he never-NEVER uses soap. Not in the shower. Not after using the bathroom. Not on his dishes. Never. My brain can't get over this. 

What do you think? 
Do you like math?
Do you use soap?!?!?!