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




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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!

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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!

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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!!



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Attempt 1,899,765,222

I have been trying to post on here more times than I can count this last month. It hasn't worked. I either start and someone calls, Nora needs me, the camera with pictures is downstairs, I'm too hungry and just need food, Cale needs me, nap time ends, and there's a list of a trillion more reasons. Haha. 

Yikes. 

But here I am today. :) 

Nora is napping, Cale is at the gym, Mama is running an errand...it's just me and this computer. 


I think this is going to be another photo dump just because there are so many different ways this post could go and with the slight possibility of getting caught up, pictures always seem to do the trick! 

I'll start with the exciting event of celebrating Nora turning 2!!! I really felt like her turning two was way harder for me to process than her turning one. Was that true for you? Somehow at one, it was crazy and I couldn't believe a whole year had passed. I know that I teared up and just couldn't believe it, but she was still my baby. Yes, she was walking and eating and more playful. She still seemed more baby like to me though. 

Now, now she's two. They call her a toddler and she has her own agenda. She picks the things she likes and plays pretend with her toys. The toy cow has conversations with the toy pig. How does that happen?? 

She sings songs and gives us check ups. She dances and kisses our owies. 

She's different. She's a little girl now. 

...and I love her so much.








The next day as I vacuumed up chip pieces, cupcake crumbs, and taco fixings, I reflected on the party and pictured all the faces that joined us. I am so thankful. 

Moving has been exactly what our family needed and there is no doubt at all whether it was the best decision for Cale, but it hasn't always been the easiest for me. My heart has struggled. Not that I don't love it here-I do but I'm not always the best with change...and moving was a very big change. Especially with finding out a baby was going to join us. 

As soon as I saw that I was pregnant, I immediately felt like I wanted to move back to WA, live in the same house and have everything go back to the way it was-easier, and then I could have this baby. 

Well, God has other plans for us. And, as hard as some days are, I know they are the best plans for us.   While thinking about Nora's party, I was reminded of how the Lord cares for us. We moved to a place full of people that already loves our family, my husband, my daughter and I know they're going to love this baby growing inside me as well!

My heart is full. We're truly thankful for the friends and family we have here in this place we call home. 

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I ran my last 13.1 for awhile! I was 14 weeks pregnant and felt great! Embarrassing story to this race though...I had signed up for the Rock n' Roll half in Raleigh back in January. Actually, I purchased it on Groupon the night before my last half. I was apparently excited to race the next morning...ha! Anyways, I started training and then Mama left so almost all of my runs were on the treadmill (which I hate with a passion!) including my 10 mile long run. I also trained after I started to feel sick from the pregnancy. I felt like I really fought for all my runs and was also feeling really good about racing. Although, the week leading up to the race, I felt like my body was changing quite a bit but I knew it would be fine. 

Weeeeeeell, the night before the race, I was going through my list of everything I needed to lay out for the next morning. I was going to have to get up eaaaarly so after Nora was in bed, I would get everything set up and hopefully get to bed at a good time. I then realized, I don't have my bib! I quickly grabbed my phone and started to frantically tell Mama that I didn't have my bib and I hadn't received any emails. I knew I should at least have emails! 

Turns out, I forgot to register. I had purchased it on Groupon but with life being so crazy, I had  completely forgotten to finish the process. Unfortunately I realized this too late in the day and the expo had closed already. 

I cried. 

I know it sounds silly to cry over missing a race but I had trained even with circumstances against me. I couldn't go through all of that and not race!

Mama brought up the idea of looking for another race that would be soon. I knew it had to be soon because I didn't know how much longer I'd be able to run that far. 

We found a race for that coming following weekend, I registered and we took a little family trip for me to race. It was special to have Cale, Mama and Nora at the start and finish as well. 









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Nora had her 2 year check up. She did so good. Like, even better than I could have imagined. She kept asking the doctor, "Can you hear my heartbeat?" 

We had been having a lot more harder days with harder moments than sweet moments. I was so so so proud of her for how she did in the appointment that we went for a little date after. It was a day full of sweetness! 


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This last Saturday we walked the Walk & Roll-athon with the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina. We also had a BBQ that evening and Nora didn't get a nap all day...but we all survived! 

My time of being home alone with out distraction has come to a quick end so I'll wrap this up!