Wednesday, August 31, 2011

flowers...beautiful.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:26

We are miles away from the stage we were at in Cale’s recovery, I’d say even 6 months ago. So much has changed and is different. One thing that is constant is every day I love him more. How it happens? I have no idea. I’m able to look at him daily with new love, new devotion, and a new heart. The Lord is good, isn’t He?


I spent some time with a friend this afternoon that I haven’t seen in a couple years. She is a friend that I have always looked up to and respected. When I was younger, her and her two sisters were my role models; they were the vision of godly women and still are! I was able to sit and listen to her share about her and her fiancĂ©’s story. Beautiful! I loved listening and soaking up every detail. Not too long into to her sharing, a familiar feeling tugged at the corners of my heart; an unwelcomed reminder that the sweet stuff she was sharing about her fiancĂ©, I didn’t have anymore.

I know many of you reading know exactly what I’m describing. We as humans desire what we don’t have, or can’t have. A boyfriend, husband, baby, house, car, degree, money, and the list goes on.

While Cale was deployed, this same feeling would show itself every time I would see a couple holding hands and being sweet with each other-I missed Cale and wanted to be able to hold his hand. After the accident, I would experience it again-other patients were making progress and oh how I wanted it for Cale as well! Now of course like I’ve shared about my whole baby ordeal, yep, then too! While my friend shared today and told me about all the sweet little things about her adorable relationship, I was overjoyed for her and loved getting to hear it, but at the same time, I was reminded how Cale is unable to do sweet little things for me now.

He has always been really great at special surprises to make me smile. Once while we were dating he knew that red Skittles were my favorite, so out of a huge bag, he picked all the red ones out and gave me just them. One Valentine’s Day he searched and searched for a box of all dark chocolate. He would leave me notes, and sometimes just a smiley face; all of it was so perfect.

Well, anyways, I fully enjoyed my time and when I walked in the door at home, Mama quickly shouted at me to close my eyes. She had stayed with Cale while I went to coffee, so I was a little nervous of why I needed to close my eyes. Did something break? She grabbed my hand and led me to the dining room. I was then told to open my eyes. Standing there looking extremely handsome; Cale was holding flowers for me! Mama asked what he was going to tell me and the first thing he said was, “Happy Birthday!” Mama said, “No, not birthday. What were you going to tell her?” With some cueing he finally said, “Surprise! I love you!”


Ok, so, I wasn’t really sad and all bummed out after my visit. I actually really did have a great time and loved every minute! I did for a short time think about what I miss, and as always that can be hard, but those flowers…I needed them. The Lord knew. They were exactly what I needed. Mama said that they walked in the store and there were so many beautiful flowers. She asked Cale if he wanted to get me some and he of course said yes. She said he looked at all of them before choosing the ones he picked. :)

It was so sweet! I’m so blessed and so thankful for such a special gift.

My short story turned into a long one…sorry!

We’ve had a great day! Cale slept in so that gave me time to get some stuff done around the house. I’m sure I could have been more productive on the cleaning part, but I took the “less is more” seriously this morning. ;) Instead, I made some really super yummy homemade salsa! Mmm! A few more randoms, but I’d have to say the salsa that I made and was able to enjoy with lunch was the best part…other than when I walked in the room a little later and Cale was just waking up. I ended up climbing back in bed with him and cuddled for a bit. I love moments like that! We just smiled at each other and giggled at the blankets tickling our noses. Perfect.

Tonight was PT. Last night my manly husband did 25 minutes on the elliptical, which was a HUGE deal! He jumped (well carefully climbed!) back on tonight and did 30 minutes!!! He topped his best time just in one day! Oh yeah!

I’m lying here as I type feeling over the top blessed by my Savior and head over heels crazy in love with my Boy.

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” - Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hello! to the new...

After opening my eyes yesterday morning, I checked my phone to see the time and also had a text waiting for me. It was from my friend Hannah, “I’m so excited for today! I feel like healing is on the air today for Caleb and he can just breathe it in! That God will just be working on him today; all through him! Jesus already paid the price! I kept getting goose bumps as I prayed for him!” Is that not the message to wake up to or what?!

I was pumped instantly and got out of bed with a little more bounce to my step. I had some good time with the Lord and one of the verses I read was 2 Corinthians 5:17-This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! Before I read the verse, I had read out of the devotional I’m working my way through Jesus Calling. Part of it read:

Do not fear change, for I am making you a new creation, with old things passing away and new things continually on the horizon. When you cling to old ways and sameness, you resist My work within you. I want you to embrace all that I am doing in your life, finding your security in Me alone.

Let me try to describe what was happening…

It all begins with me getting super pumped from the text. I was ready to take on the day! Then, I read about not fearing change and not clinging to the “old ways and sameness” rather embrace the work that is being done right now.

I’m just about on the edge of the couch by this point. I’m already praying as I’m reading saying, “Yes! Yes Lord. I want to let go of what’s behind and with full force embrace the new!”

Then I read 2 Corinthians and have gone from the edge of the couch to standing. The picture of Cale’s old life had been left in the car and then Jesus was there walking with His arm around Cale; never leaving as Cale has battled his way through. He is a new creation. Even though this verse is talking very much about our spiritual condition, I felt a deep comfort from the words that Paul spoke, “The old life is gone; a new life has begun” Jesus is the bridge that we have to the new. Cale is able to still have life-and new life and because of what has been done, Jesus is walking with Cale along the way with the Holy Spirit!

I'm not sure that this is coming out the way that I mean for it to come out. Sorry if it doesn't quite make sense!

When I started praying, I was crying while at the same time praying with such boldness for Cale and this “new life.” I started praying for more healing and miracles and the word “today” kept coming out over and over. “Today! Today! Today!”

My prayer and worship time lingered on as I went about with sweeping and mopping. I couldn’t get today out of my mind. When I went back and read Hannah’s text, I noticed that she also had said “today” a couple times. Maybe that’s where it was coming from, I’m not sure, but I’d have to say that God did some good work in Cale yesterday! It may have not been all visible to the eye, but I’m choosing to believe it happened!

It actually was a great day too!

Right before the RS showed up, I had mentioned to him that it was almost therapy. He had been relaxing on our bed with Basil while I was looking for some paper work. His response to me was, “I’m feeling lazy.” Haha! Don’t we ALL have those days?! When Robin did get there, I reminded Cale what he wanted to tell her and he did. It ended up being perfect because he had an eye appointment at 1, so Robin wanted to make it a light session so that he wouldn’t be too worn out for vision therapy. They ended up playing Crazy 8’s the entire time! She did say that they had some good talking time. :)

For his appointment, the doctor worked on a lot more testing to see if prism is a good choice and what prescription is going to be best. It’s quite the challenge trying to get it right for him because if he’s using his right eye, they want that to continue, but to get his left eye forced to not neglect, then he ends up not using the right eye. I might have this a bit mixed up (this whole post seems to be all mixed up!), but hopefully you get the point. ;) His ophthalmologist is really amazing! We are so blessed to still have it covered for now!

This was the first part of the session when Teresa (his OT) stepped in to help. The picture was a little dark, but I thought it was such a good one!


This is with his left eye patched and forcing his right eye to work. Most times now he has both eyes opened unless he’s tired or it’s a stressful situation. Well, so far at all three appointments, he won’t keep his right eye open! She pulled out the good ol’ pirate patch.


Here’s Cale wearing some more funny glasses. I didn’t join this time, but I did get a great cheesy grin!


A few really cool things about yesterday…

1) I stopped at the store to pick up some groceries. He has gone with me the last few times and has been doing great! His tolerance is definitely built up from even just a couple weeks ago. It helps so much being able to take him along instead of find time that someone is here with him and I can go quickly. The trips are still quick, but they always have had to be when he’s along!
2) When we were at his appointment yesterday, it was the end and Cale had hit his point of no return. The doctor asked if he had any questions and rather than just say no, he said, “Yes, can I leave now?” That was such a big deal!! When she said yes he could go, he walked over to the door and left. While we finished discussing the plan, he stayed right by the door waiting. Awesome.
3) Do you remember me telling you about how I don’t realize it gets so hot in the house and Cale will usually be dripping with sweat before I think to turn the air on? Well, yesterday afternoon while he was playing cards with the RS he said, “Kathleen, I’m hot.” I turned on the air and he gave me a thumbs up! It’s a huge deal that he was able to express what he needed and remember my name all at the same time!
4) Last night after he took his nighttime meds, he said he didn’t fill good. When I asked him what was up, he said, “There are too many different things in my stomach.” Wow! He’s not normally able to describe whatever it is that is making him feel bad. He had just had two different glasses of stuff to drink, so I’m sure that was right! Again, it’s so HUGE for him to be able to express how he’s feeling or what his needs are!

Today for OT we went to the animal shelter. Cale went with his speech and OT last week, but I didn’t go with. I was set to go today though! Cale walked a lab mix puppy named Brindy. We gave him the leash and took his cane. Even with all of her pulling, he was able to (for the most part!) keep her with him AND keep his balance! Once we were home, the OT even said that he walked almost double what he was able to do the last time! After the walk, we took Brindy back inside and then walked around looking at all the other animals. Cale was tired afterwards, but he was able to keep going!


After getting home from OT Cale said almost right away that he was tired and asked where the bed was!

Tonight was PT and we weren’t quite sure what to do. I was racking my brain and Carley had also been thinking hard. It ended up being Cale who made the final decision. Cale jumped on the elliptical and I rode the bike. The goal tonight was 20 minutes which was 5 more than what he’s been able to do so far. Not only did he do 20 minutes, but he also did 5 more on top of that!! He did 25 minutes!!! Of course, because he kept going meant I had to also! Yikes!

He worked so hard! We have the bike facing the mirrors so when Cale is on it he can see how he leans to the left. I kept watching his face and could tell he was really trying his hardest. He finally stopped and said he was done.

GO CALE!!!!

I told him he set a new record and got high score. He asked what he gets for doing that! ;)

Please be praying for…

1) Cale’s appetite. Not only is it really hard to get him to eat anything healthy, he’s not eating hardly anything at all! Even junk food! Last night we had been given some good size homegrown tomatoes (Oh so good!) and tonight we had grilled tomatoes with lemon and oregano. It was super tasty! Cale had just the tomato and after that said he was full. I’m still trying to figure out what this guy will eat!! It’s so off and on and inconsistent!
2) For continued progress with the troubling cognitive stuff. It’s just tough stuff! We’ve been making some great gains…so exciting and I don’t want it to stop!
3) New pathways! We want his brain working and causing itself to find new pathways to relearn. What’s the best ways to get him to engage? What are the things that are getting his brain stimulated? What is it that gets the memory fired up?
4) His physical strength would continue! He’s so mobile and is able to do so much, but it seems he still has a lot up against him.
5) Endurance-right now everything he does still takes so much out of him. Just being around people and listening to talking wipes him out.
6) Awareness-it’s coming more and more every day! This is really good, but along with the good comes several more twist and turns in the journey…
7) Memory! Cale's brain injury affected his long term and short term. Things from the past are scattered and confusing and his ability to make new memory has been a challenge. We've seen progress in both (PRAISE GOD!) and I know we haven't seen the end of it!
8) Cale would be able to have his own relationship with the Lord and not just through me. That God would grow him, strengthen him, and raise him up to me the godly man that he was created to be.

Thank you for praying!!

Every day I learn of someone else that has a blog! I just really had no idea before this one was started what they even were!! Now I know that there are a lot of blogs out there that are probably full of a lot more exciting things then the day to day stuff of our life. Thank you so much for taking your time (and I know we’re all busy!) to read about us; to care enough to know what the details of our lives are. It’s a blessing. I don’t ever count it as a small thing when I hear that you read. It has honestly been such a vital chunk of encouragement every step through this. Thank you. Thank you so much.


Just one more cool thing to add, do you see the picture above? Cale helped me do it! Totally! In fact, he took the pictures, chose the edit colors, chose the words to say and even where to place them! He did almost the entire thing!!! That is pretty stinkin’ awesome if you ask me! Just saying…

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Family is good.

This weekend has been spent with family. Yesterday we went to Kathy’s house and had a BBQ with yummy food and then all of us went swimming. His Aunt and cousin are here visiting, and his sister and niece and nephews joined us, so it was extra special! Cale didn’t love the pool, but he was in for a short time and had a smile. We got him on the floatie where he looked quite comfy.


Today his mom, aunt, and cousin came to church with us. The rest of the afternoon Cale took a nap; we played some games, and hung out with Mama.

This evening we joined in on a prayer time for a lady at our church. She’s about to head for China on Friday along with a group she hasn’t met yet. They’re going with Show Hope the organization put together by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. You can read more by clicking here.

Now we’re in bed and ready for a new week! I’m excited for all that’s ahead! I just know more good things are coming!! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

02102010


I tried to post last night after crawling into bed, but as soon as I started typing my eyes decided to close and the power in my brain went out. I thought about continuing on anyhow, but knew that could be dangerous…so, here goes!

To start off this lovely post, I’m going to tell a rather gross story. Sorry. WARNING-skip ahead if you have a weak stomach.

Thursday night we went to bad as usual drifting off into a night filled with dreams. Around 4am, I started to hear Basil move around a lot. Our room is always scorching hot at night so I figured he was just uncomfortable from the heat. I know I was. After about 30 minutes of Basil moving around, I hear a really terrible sound. Once my brain was able to connect the dots the sound was not just terrible-but terrifying. You see, it wasn’t the sound of my sweet dog urinating(which would have been bad enough); it was out a different side.

Cale suddenly awakens from his sleep yelling, “It stinks! It stinks!”

Oh. My. Goodness.

Yes, there in the dark of the night in a desert like bedroom, my dog poops. Not just a normal poop either.

The next few minutes went something like you would see out of a sitcom. I was trying not to wake Cale up even more by turning on lights, but I had to get Basil outside and clean up the horrid pile of…uh… while my eyes and mental status didn’t seem to want to cooperate. Cale was being a huge help by letting me know every other minute that it still smelt really bad. In fact, the yelling continued as he covered his face in my pillow and his. When the mess was cleaned up and I climbed back in bed, he still had my pillow; and made it clear that he desperately needed it.

It was quite the adventure and even though I was so tired and really grossed out from the smell that had weaved itself to the heat to form a similar setting like a porta potty in the middle of summer; all I could do was laugh.

A rewind into Thursday…

Its fair week and I love (really LOVE) going on all the rides! I have been going back and forth on how to take Cale, whether I should take Cale, or if it was just a really bad idea still. After lots of thinking and back and forth on my end, Rachel suggested breaking up the days. We wanted to ride rides, but then the next day we could walk around and go to the Rodeo-perfect! So, Thursday I went with Rachel, Sarah, Joe and Beth to tackle all the excitement each ride had to offer. We had a blast, but Rachel and Sarah both had to stop early because of their stomachs. I could have kept going, but to be honest, I really needed water. My head had started to not feel great and it wasn’t like we didn’t take water breaks. We’re just getting old! Haha!

While I was at the fair screaming and laughing uncontrollably, Cale was at home working hard in PT. Mama said he did the elliptical and a whole bunch of arm/back exercises. I haven’t talked to Carley to hear all about it, but at least Mama had good news to report!

Yesterday we had such a good day together. The morning we took things slow because he didn’t have therapy until 2. I had gotten up with Basil and then while Cale was still sleeping I watched part of a movie that was so awesome. I wasn’t able to finish it yet because Cale woke up, but I’ll share more about it later. So encouraging!

Once he was up we both got ready for the day and then hung out. We worked on some word finding and opposites, but it seemed a bit challenging for him which meant it didn’t take long for him to want to be done. We took a little break playing cards and then I grabbed a book that I had been given while we were in Palo Alto and worked with him. It’s for a toddler who is just starting to talk so I wasn’t sure how he would take it now, but I asked if he would just work with me for a bit and then we could play more cards and he did it very willingly. Some words took a lot to figure out, but for the most part he went through them very quickly! The nice thing about the book is that all the words are single and spaced all over the page so it doesn’t strain his vision as much.

Like I promised, after reading we played more cards. Cale had asked what game I wanted to play (knowing that he wanted me to pick Crazy 8’s), I then suggested Go Fish and Cale said no. I said War and again he said no, but this time he added, “I’m not three years old!” We played Crazy 8’s. :)

I’m not sure if I’ve written about this lately or not, so I’m just gonna say I haven’t. Lately I see little windows of Cale being even more aware, more alert, more…um…adult? I had started seeing this when we were in NC still and he was having just little tiny windows of being more aware and awake at that time. I remember that slowly I was seeing those windows of time grow and grow and eventually in CA, those windows had become all the time. A man that I had met in CA and talked to just recently about this had also compared it to opening a curtain. It’s open a little and then will close and then open a little more until one day it’ll be open all the time. Exactly. I’ve been seeing chunks of time that Cale is more with things (still trying to figure out how to describe this to you…) and then it’ll be gone. Those times are starting to get longer and though still very short, the times that he’s really there-in the moment-showing more of “himself” have been so deep and profound. It’s AMAZING!

For therapy yesterday we went to a Neuro Resource center in Richland just to check it out and see what they had to offer. The lady was talking about all the different books and resources they had specific to TBI. Not too long went by and I could feel Cale getting upset. When I asked him if he was ok he said, “No. I want to leave.” That was a point I knew we needed to quickly excuse ourselves, so I checked out a book and video and off we went. Once we were in the car (the curtain was open) I asked Cale if he was mad. He said he wasn’t mad, he was sad. Jamie then took over the conversation trying to pull as much out of Cale in the brief moment we were going to have with his awareness there. He said that it made him sad that he was in a hospital. Jamie asked what he wanted to be able to do again and Cale’s reply brought tears to my eyes. He said, “live.”

Even as I’m typing this the tears have found their way back to my eyes.

She then talked to him about how we’re working for that. He responded in agreement that he is working so hard. The awareness he had that he was an adult that had been injured and that he was indeed working hard every day because work needed to be done was incredible.

And then the awareness faded. Those peeks into his heart and what he’s dealing with is enough to send me to a carton of ice cream, a bath of chocolate and a whole berry pie.

Even more satisfying though- I went to the throne. My heart broke for him as it has so many times and I know God hears every word I speak to him; every cry of my heart; every plea.

Right after getting back from therapy, we grabbed our sweaters (which we did NOT need) and headed to the fair! I knew there was no way that Cale was going to be able to walk around as much as we were going to be with only his cane, but he was refusing to use his wheelchair.

Solution:


Have Joe be in a wheelchair too! It worked perfectly! Even at the house when I grabbed the wheelchair, Cale was asking why and saying no, but there were absolutely no issues once there with both of them in one! Mike was the muscles for the night and did all the pushing. That was so nice with all the bumps and rocks all over!

Here’s the whole clan of us! :)


Cale loved the animals! He wanted to pet every one of them. He was also saying hello to each one and Mike said at one point a little boy told Cale that they don’t talk. I guess Cale quickly replied that he knew that! ;)


Us girls also had some fun…


After walking around for a while checking out all the animals it was time to eat. Cale at that point was done. He was hot, there was a lot of noise and it all just kind of hit him. So, he didn’t touch any of his food. Of course, when Vernon brought the elephant ear, he had to have some of that! Haha! The elephant ear brought enough change and distraction that we were able to keep him in the fun and headed to the rodeo!


The rodeo was exciting to him at first, but again so much stimulation and added was the heat…we had to leave. I was impressed with how great he did do through it all and how even when he was done, he didn’t have a break down…just called a little boy dumb-oops!

Mike and Beth walked with us to the gate and Mike had been pushing him the whole way. When we got to the gate I took over and we said good byes. There was an edge to pavement that I had to get Cale over and at first was struggling so the Police Officer asked if I needed help. I quickly (without thinking) replied, “I’m ok, I just have to use my guns…uh…um…muscles!” It might not have been such an awkward moment if I would have just left it at guns and kept walking, but as soon as I said it and realized I was saying guns to the officer, I started to try to cover it up. Oh my! I get myself in these situations way-too-often! Haha!

And, yes, I was red-beat red.

The fair was a blast, but unfortunately I still have not seen our famous visitors. Maybe I’ll just drive around like a crazy person for 24 hours…I’m pretty sure they keep information of whereabouts a secret because of people like me…guilty.

Shortly after the accident happened, I was looking at the date and knew that Cale was going to appreciate the date! 02-10-2010 He’s a number guy and things like that he always gets a kick out of! In fact, after we started dating he was fascinated by my birthday being 1/2, we started dating 5/10, and his birthday is 9/18. Not only are they all half of each other, they are all 4 months apart from each other. When we married on 3/17 he said we messed everything up. Anyways, I knew the numbers in the date of the accident would be taken as something really neat. So far, the fascination hasn’t been there like I had pictured back in ICU. Last night we were talking about the accident and Cale asked when and where. These are two questions that he asks every time the accident is brought up because he doesn’t believe that it did happen. Well, when I talk him the date, he started laughing and said, “Oh wow!” I typed it up really big so he could see all the numbers and then he started pointing to it and laughing. It was so fun and in a simple way it warmed my heart.

Now it’s time for us to get on with all the fun of today!

Wait! What kind of blog would I have if I didn't include these two rock stars?!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

showers, driving, eating, and...famous people?

Today was a step (a really close step!) to meeting one of our birthday goals! His OT is so encouraging and positive with everything that we try with him. I’m impressed with the way that she pushes him to get his brain to work. The first time she had taken him driving, she said we wanted his brain to start working, so we needed to put it in a position that it had to work. Well, weaning me out of the shower hasn’t been going so great because he does still need some help, but mostly because Cale gets scared. Well, my last conversation about the shower with her, she said try getting in with him and then right back out. Set up a reason of why I would need to leave and just see if he can do it. Even though I was a bit nervous, that’s exactly what I did this morning. I got in first and then helped him in, but then right away I said I needed to get out and just left him with direction of what he needed to do.

I kept checking just two see how it was going and from all that I could see he was doing great! He asked once or twice for help and at the end he needed help with turning the water off, but other than that…HE SHOWERED ALL BY HIMSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is HUGE!!! HUGE! It’s so exciting!! We’re still working to get him fully independent, but today was a very large step in that direction! :)

After his shower I was telling him how proud I was of him and how great he did, his reply, “I hated it. It was dumb and boring.” Haha! Oh man…

Cale has discovered the stairs in our house over the last two weeks. Unlike the shower, the stairs are not a good thing. I’ve caught him going down three times now on his own! He doesn’t understand why it’s not a great idea and sees absolutely no problem in the slightest. It’s really not safe for him to do them all by himself. I thought about putting up a baby gate, but then I fear that he would just try to climb over because he’s tall enough. I’m not sure how to solve this problem! He’s just stretching me and possibly causing gray hair to come at an early age! Yikes!

On another good note…he has been very helpful lately! He’s offered a couple times in the last few days if I needed help or he just tries to do it himself. We’ve slowly been working on him carrying a dish from each meal to the sink. This causes him to use his cane a little less and to balance more. It also helps me out! :) The other night, I had been busy in the kitchen with Mama while he was finishing up dinner. Without realizing at first, Cale had cleared all of his dishes (on his own!!) from the table! I didn’t ask or say anything about it! He also had to make several trips because he can only carry one dish at a time. Last night he took his cup into the kitchen after he was done with it. I had the dishwasher open so that I could load his cup and start it. Well, instead of just setting his cup on the counter or putting it in the sink, he tried to load it on his own! It was glass and because of balance, coordination, and how the dishes were already fitted in the dishwasher, it almost broke, but that didn’t matter. It was so awesome that he was really trying to help! Good stuff!

This afternoon was OT. We’re still working with him on driving. He has to really focus on scanning on his left side because that area seems to be what is forgotten. He’s doing amazing! Every time we go he’s getting better and better! Today the OT gave him an option after a while to keep going or be done and he chose to keep going. A little later she asked again and he said keep going. Finally on the third time after he worked so hard, he let us know he was done. That in itself is awesome because we’ve all really been trying to work with Cale to let us know he’s done or needs a break rather than having a meltdown or explosion. It’s a new thing for him to have to relearn his limits. When we turned on our road, Teresa pulled over and had Cale drive down the street and pull into the driveway! I know that felt so good for him! The smile spread across his face could have lit up NYC!


Shortly after OT it was time for PT. We had an earlier session then we usually do. We had been trying to do swimming as much as possible, but Cale quickly needed to move on from that. Carley has been trying to mix it up again, but it’s hard finding things that are working for him. I asked Cale today if he had an idea for PT and he said to go for a walk. Starbucks is close by and we’ve walked there before in therapy, so I suggested to go there again. At first he agreed, but it didn’t take too long before he decided he would rather walk to McDonalds. I was thinking the walk was going to be way too far, even though we live pretty close (terrible in every way!). His PT was up for the idea and Cale was up for the challenge so we went! He was definitely tired by the time we made it to our destination and the walk back was a struggle, but he made it!!!!! I’m so proud of him because that was so far for him!

The story of the special shoes…

As you’ve been reading, I’m back into baby craving. It’s been something so strong on my heart and I’ve spent a ton of time praying about it. Cale and I have had several conversations and well, I just want it so badly and yet at times it seems so far away. A few things have been pointed out to me while reading scripture and through the conversations with Cale at night. I know God’s timing is perfect and whether it’s waiting for another couple years or if it happens next month, it needs to be not just when I think it’s the perfect time.

So, while at McDonalds, I was talking to Carley about all of it. She encouraged me that a baby could actually be a really great thing for Cale and help him to feel that purpose again and give him something to work for. We also talked about how much more that would put on me.


After a long conversation about it, we left McDonalds and pass the parking lot on the grass area where we were crossing there was a tiny pair of pink shoes just sitting there! I of course immediately was questioning the Lord…! Cale stopped and was poking them with his cane. I was trying to figure out what he was doing but then he hooked the shoe with his cane and lifted it up, stuck it in his pocket and said, “I’m keeping it.” He then went to pick up the second one. Carley asked if it was for his baby someday and he said, “Yep. For our baby someday.” This moment brought tears to my eyes! I think if I wouldn’t have been so confused at first by what he was doing, I might have completely lost it right there in the parking lot. It was such a sweet thing for him to do.

We gave Basil a much needed bath tonight. I’ve been talking about doing it for weeks and still haven’t taken the time to actually do it. Cale and I went outside to sit for a bit and decided it was a good time. I had Cale help hold the leash and then the hose. We got a little wet, but for the most part I think it was a success!




Side notes…

I am not a fan of the air conditioner. Sometimes it gets so hot that for a period of time it is needed, but for the most part I don’t love it. One of the bummers about summer is that every building you go into has the temperature cold enough for penguins to survive. I have sweaters with me in restaurants or I freeze! At home Mama always says that I’m making her melt because I just don’t realize that it’s hot. Today Cale was sitting at the table and when I walked over to him, he had sweat dripping down his forehead! I took that as the clue to turn the air on! The sad part is that it’s not the first time that I’ve made my pour husband sweat before noticing it was hot in the house! Uh…Oops!

Cale’s PT heard on the radio that Adam Sandler and Owen Wilson are here in town filming a movie!!! Here of all places…crazy. They were at the fair today, but I couldn’t get over there with Cale. I’m going to be on the hunt and if I just so happen to see them…there will be pictures! I repeat-there will be pictures!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Confession of a crazy blonde girl...


(pictures done by Mr. Darling :))

“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” -Psalm 116:1-2

All of the goals that we’ve made and all the things we’re focusing on like: showering, home alone, walking without cane, driving…ya know, all the independent stuff-it freaks me out! I know that it is all so good and a huge BLESSING since this is all stuff he was never supposed to be able to do, BUT it’s SCARY!

We attempted half of a shower yesterday where I had stepped out and let him finish up. I kept peeking in to make sure he was ok and my ears were perked up waiting to hear him slip so that I could somehow manage to slide in and save his fall. It’s so hard not to worry about him falling!

When I think about him being in the house by himself, I think about all the many things that could happen and all the “what if’s?” My brain picks scenarios out constantly and I can’t help but think that maybe it’s just fine that he always has someone with him!

He’s doing really well with trying to walk without his cane; in fact, I’m quite impressed with how hard he’s working at it. He still loses his balance and needs help sometimes, but he’s really trying. He also gets tired even quicker than when he’s using it, but his endurance is still building even with the cane. It was so easy to push him while confined in hospital walls, because IF something happened, help was always right there. My nerves are rattled whenever he’s walking on his own; the fear of a fall is so very close.

It’s no surprise that him being behind the driver’s seat is a bit…um…crazy! I still can’t believe he’s driving! He skipped the step of a driving simulator and got right behind the wheel. My heart races and we’re only in the parking lot! I’m not sure that he’ll ever be able to drive on the actual road (although I’m not holding back from believing it could happen!!), BUT once again, the thought brings me to a moment of an anxiety attack. Yikes…yep, my stomach just did a flop.

These are all-ALL massive blessings that I can’t even begin to fully grasp and understand the true miracle that all of it is. At the same time, these blessings and miracles are the same things that I’m running to the Lord, dropping to my knees, and praying for peace and protection about.

I don’t mean to sound like a worry wart, an over-protective wife, or an unthankful daughter of Christ…I am just being reminded that whether I'm there or not-God is. I'm having to surrender my fears, which all boil to the road aleady traveled with almost losing Cale, and knowing that it's not me in control of every situation-it's the Lord.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?! I know I’m not the only one out there! Haha!

Tonight I’m praising God for the mighty work that he is doing in Cale. It’s nerve-racking, but oh so exciting!!!!!!!!! I'm going to continue to push him while my knees continue to have marks from the floor. :)

Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5

Monday, August 22, 2011

sharing my heart.

I had met a woman while in Palo Alto whose daughter had TBI. It wasn’t as severe as Cale’s brain injury and the daughter was much younger which helped as far as healing. She had to go through the hospital and relearning everything just as my husband has. Last winter, the woman had talked with me about how it’s easy to love them (our brain injured family member) when they love us back and when their attitudes are easy to deal with. It’s when they get angry and they fight us that the real challenge begins. She then proceeded to encourage me for when that time came. At that point, I can honestly say that where Cale was at and how joyful he constantly was, that I didn’t think I would have to deal with any of that. It was just hard to imagine.

As all of you have read, I’ve had to deal with it. I’ve had to listen to him tell me that I’m mean and he doesn’t love me. I’ve had to hear him tell me he doesn’t want to be married to me anymore.

I’ve had to step up and be the “bad guy” in many different forms when all along I just wished that someone else could take that job. Even to this moment, that still happens to be one of my many job titles.

For no word from God will ever fail. –Luke 1:37

Friends, I need you to know something. Not once has it been in my own ability that I’m able to speak back to this man who is supposed to be my husband, yet resembles so little of him and speak to him; replying to anger, frustration, hurt, pain, confusion, fatigue, and terrible attitudes in a loving patient voice-and really feel it.

There are more times than I can count on my fingers that I have wanted to respond right back in defense of all that we have been through, of how I’ve stayed by his side, of how I have cried gallons of tears by his bedside praying and pleading that he would make it through this. I so often just want to scream reason at him about how his reaction of anger to such simple situations is uncalled for or ridiculous.

Where does that get me with him? Where does that set up my heart? Where does that calm the intensity of his uncontrollable emotions?

No where.

It is priority, crucial, desperately important that I don’t take one day; one step, even one breath without being so very in tune with the Holy Spirit. The words that want to escape like the running of the bulls in Italy are not loving, kind, gentle, encouraging words.

Because I have chosen to let God’s gift rule my tongue, I’m able to still love this man; my husband, my love, like I never would be able to on my own.

It’s by His grace; His loving embrace that causes me to react differently than my flesh desires.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21

Yes, it has been one of those days. Not all of it, but there have been times today that I can 100% know without a single doubt that it was because of Jesus that I handled a conversation with Cale like I did. There’s just no other explanation that fits-at all.

I’ve also had some thinking time today and couldn’t help but think about the accident and (once again) how everything was so quickly changed. What is it that I truly miss? What is it that causes my heart to weep even when there are no tears that ride the trail down my cheeks? What do I miss that I can’t have anymore? What’s so different?

Want to know what I came up with?

A list that has to do with what I don’t have anymore. It was a list of things that I miss because it’s what I received from our marriage; from life. Cale can’t help me physically like he used to. He can’t love me intimately like he once was able. He can’t be solid for my emotions like he has always been. He can’t provide for me the way I counted on. He can’t ease the mental stress of important decisions or financial choices like I counted on him for. He can’t lead me spiritually like I had felt so blessed to have before.

What if I took Cale and all that he was before out of the equation and filled in with God?

He’s enough right? Isn’t that what I daily tell myself? That HE is sufficient for ALL of my needs?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9

Suddenly when I look at the way things are now and the life I have now…well, it seems a lot easier to let myself get lost in the miracles that God is constantly working and all the blessings that He’s continually pouring out on us…

…and just be ever so thankful.

I’m spending tonight with my husband in a new kind of way. I’m sure I will have to be reminded of all of this within a few short weeks when the battles come full blast threatening to knock down the door to my oh so annoying emotions, but for tonight; tonight I was with my man.

On to our day…

Cale was trialed at home for 30 minutes by himself! The UPS guy came and delivered a package and Cale didn’t open the door!! When I asked him about his time at home alone he said, “It was boring. I needed you.”

Today was a step in a good direction. We’ve made a list of things for him NOT to do while I’m gone and today was so far so good!

Before the accident we loved watching Family Feud together. In the beginning of the show, we would both find something to slap (not each other!) and try to be the first to call out an answer to whatever the question was and then we’d play along to the show, both trying to guess top answers. We never had cable while married, so this fun usually happened if we were visiting someone that had cable, on a trip and staying in a hotel, or right before the accident while staying at our friend’s house. In Palo Alto we played it a few times in group therapy and also had fun with it. Tonight we laid in bed and watched two (what is it called? Shows?) shows of it. Cale came up with some pretty funny answers. One of the questions was, “What do angry women throw at their husbands?” Cale’s two guesses were, “gloves” and “balloons” apparently he envisioned me throwing soft stuff! :)

We started watching Jurassic Park after that, but the TV we had already watched was already on the too much side for Cale! I would have kept watching it while he fell asleep, but that is one of the movies that scare me. I just can't watch it by myself!

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you tonight. I needed it.


I love him. I love him in an unexplainable kind of way.












Sunday, August 21, 2011

20 randoms…

1) I love my husband. More and more every day I’m learning of how God loves Cale way more than I could ever love him; more than I can fathom. To know that there is a love like that for my husband brings comfort on so many levels.

2) Cale and I went to a beautiful wedding on Saturday. At one point I looked at Cale and said, “This is the same church that we were married in.” Cale said, “Really?” I replied to this…”yep! Twice!” I suggested we do it again since we like weddings so much. ;) Just kidding!

3) Last night we laid on our bed cuddling and had a good time talking. Cale isn’t so great with conversations, but last night I would say we really had a good one! I’m starting to see this more and more…bits by bits.

4) I’ve been really excited to wake up (well, not the waking up part) every morning lately waiting to see what new things Cale is going to do. God has been answering a lot of prayers and really blessing us with great healing!

5) I miss the hospital. Is that totally weird? I miss the simpleness of it. Yes, it was a hard time in our life and had moments of loneliness, but it was simple. I was with Cale and that was life. Every day was so focused on his progress. I love being home (don’t get me wrong!) but, with home comes taking care of the house, business of life, bills, back to real life responsibility that wasn’t there during the hospital. Again, (just in case you think I need to be admitted to a crazy house) I DO LOVE BEING HOME!

6) Everywhere in my house that is too high to reach-never gets dusted.

7) I don’t like driving. I never have, Cale has always been the one to drive me places. I look forward to the day that he gets to drive outside of the parking lot...or do I? Not totally sure yet.

8) Scary movies scare me. I hate them and never watch them.

9) I really REALLY love food. It just makes me so happy!

10) I adore my babies that I’m going to have one day. I haven’t met them yet, I have no idea when I will, but I’m already crazy about them! Lately I can’t stop thinking about my tummy growing…one day!

11) We were sitting in church today and we had just started to dig into scripture. For the first time, Cale grabbed a Bible from the pew and opened it; searching for the correct page. He ended up finding the right area and then his mom helped him find the right verses. Too many letters and words though, so he put it away. It was incredible to watch him though! Praise God!


12) I never want to get to a point in my life where suddenly I can’t be me and I pretend to be someone else; someone that people would rather I be. I wouldn’t last…the real me comes out all too quickly. That’s the way it should be! The real me!

13) When we’ve been going to Cale’s doctor’s appointments lately we start out with each of us reading a magazine. Cale flips through and looks at all the pictures and when he’s done, we play cards. Whenever he sees a woman with a low cut shirt or a swim suit on, he covers his eyes and flips the page. :)

14) I constantly have to remind myself that this life is not about me. It’s not about my feelings, my wants, my desires, and my needs. What is so fascinating to me is that even though that’s not what it’s about, God cares. I really believe he does.

15) Basil makes me smile a lot…and laugh. Cale has been saying, “Basil is a good dog.” I agree!

16) I want a pot belly pig and have for years and years.

17) I have always wanted to learn to sew, but NEVER take the time to learn…I’d rather be eating.

18) I really enjoy meeting people. Cale doesn’t love it as much. I'd say he might love it more now than before!

19) Cale likes his fingers popped and I like my toes popped. We often will do each other’s…I know you were dying to know that! ;)

20) I. love. Chocolate.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Praises!

More driving today!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeeeeehaw!!!


Cale did awesome. This time Teresa brought along cones and had Cale weave around them. She first put them pretty close together and made it tight, but Cale still did super great! The whole time he’s driving he keeps a big smile!

Our friend Zita came to watch which made it extra fun to share the moment with her. She pulled her white van over and was able to get a front seat view to a miracle in motion.









Later this afternoon Cale had another vision appointment. The doctor today looked at the health of Cale’s eyes and whether prescription was going to help at all. It was another successful appointment!

I received a text today from Nikki my sister-in-law that said while she had been reading her Bible this morning; she felt the Lord had laid a verse on her heart for Cale. I wanted to share because I think it’s so good!

But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. –Malachi 4:2

Thank you for reading...praying...encouraging!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

We got this…oh yeah!

It was an awesome day. Cale had an ophthalmology appointment and he did great! He worked so hard to do everything the doctor asked, tolerated conversation being spoken about him, and kept a really good attitude the entire time.

It was unbelievable.

Everything she usually would have done today would have been in one session, but for Cale we’re breaking it up into 3. She did several tests and asked a ton of questions. Hopefully this is going to help a ton with Cale’s gait when he walks, his confidence, concentration, and so much more. His vision effects so much that I wouldn’t just automatically think of.

I’ve been told more than once that there’s not much more that can be done to help his vision. This of course was after being told he wouldn’t be able to see out of his left eye, and then his right eye…but today offered hope for more!

Praise God!

The doctor is amazing. I was over the top impressed with how well she worked with Cale and all of her knowledge dealing with TBI.

Crazy excited about this!

While we were sitting in the office waiting for the doctor, Cale was starting to get bored. He pulled the face thing over and started playing with it! I had to snap a quick picture before letting him know I didn’t think playing with such an expensive piece of equipment was a very good idea!


He had to wear funny glasses for all the testing. I was jealous of all the fun, so I joined in! ;)


It was a super encouraging day. Those…those kind of days are always so welcomed!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On the go!

We have been on the go! I think I'm really feeling it because of today, and at this moment I can hardly remember yesterday! Haha...oh dear sleep is calling my name!

Let me think...

Oh yes! Yesterday I had a couple phone appointments. One of them was a conference call with all of his therapists. It's so different from the days where I dreaded and was always nervous about these meetings. Now, they're all full of excitement! Some really good news that I received was that we were accepted to continue this program until November 11! This is HUGE!!!! His therapy program was supposed to end on the 24th this next week, but now we'll have it for a few more months. Yay! I'm super excited, but I can't say Cale feels the same way. ;)

The other phone appointment was Cale's doc. We had been discussing the possibility of weaning Cale off the seizure meds, but after consulting with the neurologist, it looks like we're going to have to wait for about a 1.5 years. I did request to have his med option looked at. Right now he's on two different seizure meds and takes 5 very large pills twice a day and 3 of those pills in the afternoon as well. That's not including his anti-depressant. Within the next couple months we'll be heading back to Seattle to meet with the neurologist and get everything figured out!

I was also VERY spoiled with a pedicure yesterday. September invited me to join her and treated me to what I have to say was the best pedicure I've ever had!! It included some really good massage, hot stones, mud mask, and then the normal stuff on top. It was so nice and great to get some girly time in too! :)

The day was finished with PT. We have been wanting to try mini golf with Cale all summer and it just hasn't happened. We finally gave it a shot and it started out good, but didn't take long to go downhill. Cale needs success and trying to mini golf didn't offer that so easily. Although, to brag a little, he actually made a hole in one on the last hole we played!! It was so cool! Then, the last hole (19th) they have it set up that if you make a hole in one then you get a free game...and he did! I think we had made it to the 7th hole before he was done and wanted to leave, so we just skipped ahead to the end. I'm glad we gave it a try and hopefully next time will be better!




Today started out really relaxing. Basil woke me up at 6am and then I started the day with house stuff and watering the flowers (I love all my flowers!) outside. After waking myself up with the "chores" I spent some time with the Lord. This morning I listened to a sermon that was done last year at our church in NY. I was so encouraged and challenged by the end of it. God's word is so powerful and when you put a group of people together that are living it...whoa. It's so awesome to see what's being done through an extremeley amazing body of believers there. I can't wait until Cale and I can get back to visit! I was planning on soon, but after looking at tickets, well, ouch! We'll get it figured out and back there soon (hopefully!).

Around 9:30am, I crawled back into bed with my sleepy husband. I had heard him up a little before that, but when I walked in the room, he was out! I love getting to cuddle and hold each other, so I let myself take extra time this morning. Everything felt handled for the rest of the house and the only therapy was this evening. I ended up falling back asleep until 11am!!!! Cale was still snoozing right along with me! I couldn't believe it. The ONLY reason I even woke up was from a phone call. Around 8:30 I had called the doctor and left a message about needing to bring Cale in. Well, the nurse called back and when I explained the situation, she said, "can you be here in 15 minutes?" Uh...Oh my! The two of us had bed head and stinky breath, but I quickly jumped out of bed and told Cale we had to go! We brushed teeth and smoothed hair and out we went.

That was the start to a day of on the go!

The rest of the day I was in and out of the house so much. Most times I was out longer than in. It wasn't a bad day, just draining.

One of the errands was a trip to the grocery store. It was completely different today than it has ever been. A couple times I had to step back and process how great Cale was doing! It started with him being very willing to go with me. That was already a surprise and I knew that he must not remember what he was getting himself into. Next was him being excited to push the cart...interesting. THEN, he proceeded to pick things out that he wanted (all junk), try to name some fruit (wasn't able to get any right, but he tried!), keep a good attitude and didn't once complain of being tired or bored. At the point that we were heading to check out, I was thinking about how I couldn't believe what a good trip it was, but then, but then it happened-after that long trip around the store, Cale took control. See, I'm a recipe junkie. I don't ever get to make all the recipes I want to because Cale won't eat them and sometimes to a point making two meals all the time is a waste. I can't help myself when I'm in the checkout line and there are all of these magazines that are packed full of really super yummy recipes that are waiting for me to make and eat. So, we get up there and my first reaction is to start looking through one.


As soon as the lady in front of us moved up, Cale moved from around the front of the cart to the side where I was standing and asked me to move! He then grabbed one thing after the other and placed it on the belt to be sent to the cashier. Incredible! I thought someone was going to have to shovel up my jaw that was stuck to the floor at that point.

He also has an infected ingrown toe nail that will have to be taken care of-poor guy! We've been watching his toe not sure of what it was, but it has just gotten worse. Even though he hates going to the doctor, I knew I needed to. It ended up eating away half our day, but it was so worth going. Now we can get him healed up!

He had PT again tonight, but this time we stayed inside and worked on the elliptical, bike, and some stretch bands. I thought because of the long day and how he was acting that it was going to be a really light session and short, but he ended up working SO hard! He impressed me by far!

Now he's next to me sleeping :)

He said to me earlier today that he was crazy in love with me...don't women just need to hear that from their husbands? I know I needed it today! He couldn't remember my name just a short time before that, but none of that matters and goes out the window when he follows it with statements like that!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friend Fun!

Busy day!

And soooooo good! :)

Mike and Rachel were in town and I ended up getting to spend quite a bit of time with them…totally love it! We had a really good time together and of course went…


Go Karting! We had a blast!!

This evening I went to a women’s ministry meeting and Cale went to our neighbor’s house. Right after the meeting, I checked my phone and had two pictures with writing that I have to share…

First-


Two boys are reading the same book, wearing the same colored shirt, on the same couch. The difference between them…

Second-


Cale is still wearing pants.

Oh man! This cracked me up!

Here are a few funny, touching, great conversations with Cale...

Yesterday Cale was at the table eating breakfast and I was in the other room. He called for me and when I came to the table he said, “I choked.” I responded with a stream of questions, “are you ok?” “You’re choking?” “Can you breathe?” To which he responded, “Choked. That’s in the past.”

Saturday night we were lying in bed and heard sirens. As we always try to do, we prayed for everyone involved. It was quiet for a minute or two and then Cale broke the silence with, “I’m sad.” When I asked why he was sad, he said, “Someone’s hurt.”

Last night as we were getting settled for bed, once again the discussion of having a baby came up. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation played out, but at one point Cale said that he knew why we couldn’t have one right now. I asked what he meant and he said because he couldn’t take care of a baby. At that point I turned and faced and asked again what he way saying. This simple conversation became a big moment when Cale replied, “I’m hurt.” My heart broke and was overjoyed at the same time. He said he was hurt! This is the first time that he has on his own recognized that he is hurt! I responded to him by saying, “I think even though you’re hurt that you’re going to make a really great daddy (whenever it's time).” He of course agreed!

With this being a hot topic in the Darling home, you’re probably going to be reading lots of baby conversations… :)

I love getting to be home and so close to my sweet friend Rachel. I just really think it's great getting to see her so often! :)



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beautiful Things

Cale came back about 11:15 last night with a huge smile spread across his face. He had a blast at the races! Before he left, I had told him that I was going to expect a really big fat kiss when he came home. He immediately replied, “Like this?” and then proceeded to give me a very big sweet kiss. I told him that’s exactly what I was wanting. Well, after he was home and inside, I motioned for him to come to me and with a grin he said, “Oh yeah! I like this!” and then came to me giving me my big fat kiss! He remembered!!!! It was so exciting because I hadn’t said anything more about it! Not to mention I enjoyed it! ;)

He was also very wound up until about 12:30am! We were saying Happy Sunday while falling asleep :)

I liked him being wound up because we were able to have some awesome discussions. I really can’t describe all the changes that have been taking place other than its incredible. It’s amazing; simply amazing. He’s been talking and putting his thoughts into words so much the last week. It blesses my heart listening to him and being able to talk with him.

Last night was, I would say the closest to feeling like pre-accident that we’ve had yet. We were yet again talking about having a baby and what that would look like. I talked with him about how I might get really sick at first and then he’d have to take care of me if I was throwing up. He said, “I’m not sure I’m ready to do that. I’m not ready to have you throw up on me.” Haha! I did say that I would try my hardest not to throw up on him…:)We also laughed and he asked questions. It felt so good!

Man. It’s just so crazy. I wish I could somehow capture all these moments on video so that you could see and be a part of it. I guess that just means ya’ll are going to have to come hang out with us!

After church today, we had lunch with Theresa are old AW2 and her boyfriend. They’re heading to England soon, so this was goodbye. I honestly had to hold back tears! I have grown to love and really respect her. It’s going to be sad when we have to make our trips to Seattle and won’t be able to call and meet up with her for lunch or just coffee. I’m really excited for her though and I know she has a super great opportunity ahead.


Not too long after that, we went to Cale’s moms house and had Mike and Rachel over to swim! They came to town for the weekend and even though this morning started out cold, it ended up being perfect for swimming! We also met up with Joe and Beth after and had some evening fun with all of us. It was so great to spend time with all of them! With summer so busy, we haven’t gotten to see much of their faces…had so much fun!

Cale and Rachel having a noodle war!



He held this baby bird for a really long time. He was pooped on twice, but didn't seem to mind!


Mike and Cale were having fun with spoons...


Joe&Beth :)


All of us!


Now we’re tired.

You’ve all read how I love how God has taken something (the accident) so ugly and sad, and turned it into something so beautiful. This thought constantly makes me smile and blows my socks off. Today a song was shared with me that was exactly about that very thing…awesome. I totally love it!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

weekend happenings...

Yesterday-

I had a glorious time of worship while doing my devotions. After I wrapped it up and started cleaning up stuff, I kept the music going on my ipod. For some reason it was just extra powerful! I didn’t even want to wake Cale up because that meant I’d have to take the headphones off.

The morning had gone so wonderful and I knew waking him up was going to be a little tough. We had swim again which meant that I was going to have a grumpy Boy.

It’s so hard not to get frustrated with him and react in an annoyed manner when we have the very same struggles/conversations over and over. Of course, for him it’s the first time…I really have to catch myself and work on my attitude in these situations. I know that I can’t be perfect all the time, but it’s not about me being able to hold everything together; it’s about loving Cale and putting myself in a place that I can look at him and love him through God’s eyes; the way that God loves him.

It’s hard for me to understand and put myself in his shoes because I remember a conversation from an hour ago. I remember that we have things on the schedule (I sometimes mess the times up…). I remember if I had eaten that day or if I had talked to someone. He forgets it all.

Before I started down the hall I prayed that God would help me. I prayed that the attitude I would have; the words I would say, and the way I would react would reflect Him and that I would love Cale and see Him as Christ does.

When I did wake him up, his first words were, “the day is ruined.” Haha! I prayed with him and even though he wasn’t super excited, we managed to get him ready for the day. He was suddenly very unimpressed about going to swim class. He said it was dumb and he didn’t know those people. While there, I thought we were going to have a couple explosions, but he made it through the whole class. I’m not sure what Monday we’ll bring…!

After class, the rest of the day was much smoother. We actually had a great day together. He had a speech session that I sat in on. Here is some of what he worked on…

The speech therapist asked him to name some things-

3 holidays:
1)Christmas
2)Thanksgiving
3)Easter

Name 4 presidents:
1)Bill Clinton
2)George Bush
3)(with cue) George Washington
4)(with cue) Abraham Lincoln

A country in Europe:
Asia

3 rides at an amusement park:
1)Merry Go Round
2)Wheel of Fortune
3)Gave motions for roller coaster and Doreen guessed it

3 fruits:
1)Bananas
2)cherries
3)Popcorn (When Doreen asked him if popcorn was a fruit he said, “In some places” :))

4 pieces of furniture:
1)Chairs
2)desk
3)table
4)bed

4 boys names:
1)Caleb
2)Michael
3)Pat
4)George

3 occupations:
1)Tester (he said people test things)
2)User (he said he’s a user…uh?Haha!)
3)Winner (he said it’s a good job to have!)

4 drinks:
1)Mt. Dew
2)Dr. Pepper
3)Milk
4)water

He did so good being able to name things! There were some that I didn't write down that he wasn't able to get. Most of them he at least gave some kind of guess!

Right after speech, Cale was super tired. He went to the room to take a nap and a special visitor stopped by. She’s one of my friends from all the way back in 5th grade and she now has 2 sweet kiddos. The youngest is 5 months. She didn’t want to be out of her Mama’s arms, but she did let me feed her…and I loved it. Major. It felt so right, so natural, so woooonderful!


Last night I went to the women’s craft night that a bunch of ladies at church put on. I had a project that I don’t have much time for and enjoyed so much getting to hang out with all of them! It was full of heart sharing, laughter, and crafts! :) I ended up staying way longer than I had planned and only left when I did because I had received a text at 11:30 from Emily that Cale was still awake because he was waiting for me to get home! By the time I did get home, the light was on and he had fallen asleep fully dressed and in a very weird position. I will never get tired of crawling in bed next to him and cuddling up to drift away to dreams. It’s a true treasure that I get to do that with him for the rest of our lives. I love him so much.

Today he had psych and we went to the Humane Society. We’ve wanted to go and see about volunteer information. After today I think we’ll just have to go a lot and build his tolerance and endurance. We left because he was tired and shortly after we were home, he said, “bed.” I decided since we didn’t have anything else on the agenda to cuddle up next to him, and of course Basil had to join us! I found myself at 3pm today next to my sleeping Boy and Basil. :) It was so sweet and one of those picture perfect moments.

This evening Cale left to have guy time and went to watch some car races. He was really excited when he woke up and I told him where he was going and with who. He even asked if his hair looked ok! I gave him the camera to take lots of pictures. I said, “You can’t lose it ok?” and his reply was, “I try really hard not to.” Awww! Haha! I just love him and love that he’s talking so much more!

Mama and I had some girl time…uh…grocery shopping! We also had a movie to watch, but when we put it in, it was in German!

So…that was a no go.

I’ve been working on details for Cale’s birthday party coming up. I’ve been sharing things with him even though I know he doesn’t care what bowls I use or what the spoons look like, but I love so much getting to share it all with him. He’s being really sweet about it too. I’m excited!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

a therapeutic non therapy day

This morning Basil woke me up at 5:15am to go outside. Cale had no therapy today, so I had already told him I was going to let him sleep in. Well, after letting Basil outside, I decided to head back to bed myself! I ended up sleeping until about 8 and Cale stayed in bed for another hour after that. It was so nice to take the day slow.

After we were up and going we took a trip to Aqua Tropics; a pet store close by. I used to go there when I was a little girl with my dad and while Cale and I were dating we would go in and just walk around. I haven’t been in in several years and while out driving yesterday I saw the sign and thought Cale would probably love going! Emily has been staying with us and decided to come along. We saw all kind of animals/creatures and had a blast!

It was quite the work out for Cale because he had to squat down quite a bit to see everything. At one point we tipped over and he ended up spread on the floor, but we recovered and all was well!

These Guinea Pigs were so cute!


This little guy posed for us :)


Uh…this was us looking at all the snakes. You can tell what we each thought about it…


Cale was showing the turtle that he was bigger than it!


We were checking out some really neat frogs!


When we finished up, Cale was tired! It took a lot out of him, but he tolerated everything and enjoyed it! I thought he was going to want to rest once home, but instead I cooked him up some lunch. Then again thinking he would want to lie down, but he still said he didn’t need to.

So, we went to the church and he did his drum lesson with Sonny. Usually I would drop him off and then he’d walk back with Sonny, but today I wanted to see how he did. The sessions right now are 15-20 minutes so it’s not much time away anyways. I loved getting to watch Cale drum! When we’re practicing at home, it’s so different than seeing him try so hard with Sonny sitting there. I was really impressed!
Here are a couple videos of part of the session…





After getting back home, I was sure he was ready to take a nap, but again he said no! I had him make the choice of elliptical or the bike and then I took the other. This system seems to be working good to get him more motivated. He just needs someone else working out with him-and that’s what I need too!

He was sweating and done after 7 minutes so we sat outside on the shade to cool off. It was nice sitting next to him and relaxing. We talked about what we had done so far for the day and then what our plans for the rest of the night were going to be.

I love our deck and all the flowers. Each hospital we were at had an area outside with places to sit and always had lots of flowers. I remember sitting in the garden at Palo Alto thinking about how amazing it would be if I could take that area home with me. Well, I wasn’t able to do that, BUT I’ve tried to recreate a similar place that’s outside where I can get fresh air and rest.

I’m not sure if you remember, but last year around this time, we came up with birthday goals for Cale. Here were our two goals last year…


This year the 3 goals to meet before his birthday are:

Take a shower all by himself
Walk without his cane for a full day
Be able to stay at home alone for an hour

All three are things we’ve been working on, and even though it might be a stretch, I think he can do it! We’ll be setting up the board tomorrow!

Please continue to be praying for Cale’s memory. Things get pretty interesting around here because things happen that he doesn’t remember and then he thinks I’m lying! For instance, a couple that we know spoiled him the other night and dropped off some Mt. Dew. Now, pretty much I don’t keep it in the house-at all. Since it was a gift I’ve been letting him drink some here and there. Today with his lunch he drank a whole can, but about an hour later he wanted Mt. Dew. When I told him he had already had some, he didn’t believe me! He honestly thought I was lying to him. This happens over so many things! I end up looking like a liar quite often and this makes him upset at me.

I can’t imagine how he feels with me saying something did happen and he has no memory of it at all! It’s just one of those things we’re learning to work through.

Tonight we played a new game that is tough, but is so good for him. He has to work with colors and pattern. We ended up having to cheat a little, but that was ok! :)

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~MM