Friday, January 27, 2012

awesome! awesome! awesome! awesome! oh my goodness AWESOME night!

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. –Joseph Campbell

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Tonight was awesome! I haven’t been able to get rid of this cheesy grin for the last couple of hours! Oh my goodness!

For several months (I think since September!) we’ve been trying to get an appointment with a Psychologist in our area. It’s been tricky because well, there’s not much available in our area and what is here we’ve heard not so great things about. The other part was to find one that understood TBI. Difficult…especially when only ONE in our area accepts our insurance. After tons of back and forth and correcting the doctor’s orders, we finally were able to get an appointment tonight because of a cancellation.

I was really nervous about the appointment! First, Cale doesn’t do well with a lot of talking, he doesn’t understand and recognize that anything is needed (most of the time), and any time anything with brain injury and the challenges Cale has is discussed, he gets really upset. I knew all of this was going to be present in our appointment. Hmm…

I’m not sure I can even fully explain how absolutely amazing the whole appointment turned out to be! Dr. L is genuine and I can tell he honestly cares. He’s very knowledgeable about the brain and all of its workings. He was able to break information about Cale’s injury down in ways that hasn’t been done before. He did wonderful with Cale and was able to keep him engaged the entire time (1.5 hours!!!!) and to top it all off…he loves the Lord! He even prayed with us before we left!

Ahhh!!!!!! As soon as I closed the door to the car, I let out a big squeal and literally for the next five minutes repeated, “Oh my goodness!” Cale was in total agreement and told the guy he liked him and would come back…uh. I’m not sure that has ever happened to anyone with any kind of medical field that has worked with him! Tonight was the first initial appointment and then we’ll start a couples counseling. On the way home Cale and I held hands and began to praise God for another way that He has provided in a way that is on such a higher level than we could have even thought of. We ended our prayer time with singing Amazing Grace at the top of our lungs.

This is the beginning to a wonderful new step in our journey; I can already feel it.

It’s been a week since I’ve posted. I’m not even sure how far back my memory can go. Cale kept doing/saying things that made us laugh and every time I would tell myself I needed to write it down, but would never actually do it! Shame on me!

After snow last week, this week has been sunshine and green grass. The snow is almost completely gone around here and the sun has been beautiful! I hear we’re supposed to be getting hit again soon. I know different parts of the country have been hit a bit harder than we did here (which is the norm) so we’re pretty blessed with getting to have a little bit of the fluffy white stuff, but not have to have too many losses because of it.

Conversation with Cale yesterday…

C: Are we related?
K: We're husband and wife
C: Oh really? Only that?
K: uh?

I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want to be related any other way! ;) He’s so adorable when he thinks of these things. In the big picture, obviously it wouldn’t be a good thing, but in his mind it’s like extra points if we would have been! Haha!

I know there are many more things to write, but at this moment all the thoughts are in one giant pile kind of all tangled up. I’ll try to sort through and remind myself of the last week and let you more later…

Oh! One last thing…

Update on the Darling Project!

One of the ideas that will be happening in our area in April is a 5k run to raise funds! There are a few really great women that are the brains of the operation and we’ll be getting more details out to you later.

If you’ve got ideas to share, thoughts, or questions, feel free to share on the Facebook page!

Friday, January 20, 2012


The snow is beautiful! While shoveling the snow Wednesday morning, it brought back a kind of comfort of what was home for so long. We’ve been blessed with being able to stay warm in a home with heat, cuddled up, and playing lots of games!

There has been cocoa and Cribbage with Cale! We've played about 6 games of it in the last 3 days and I've only won one! He does need help, but what stands out more is how much each game takes out of him. There's a lot of adding involved and that causes his brain to have to work so hard. Good stuff! :o)

Some of our games have been so close! My points would get me to the last place before finish and then when Cale counted his points, he would win! Stinker!

Yesterday Mama and Cale played Kinect! We have tried this so many times with Cale, but because it’s so difficult to move around for him and he doesn’t understand why, it becomes a frustrating mess. I decided to get Mama involved so that I could help Cale with balance. Right as the game was starting, I received an important phone call and had to leave the room...while on the phone I kept walking back in the living room to watch and Cale was doing it without help! He wasn’t getting a great score, but at least he was trying and on his own! Towards the end, I think the last game he realized he had lost so then he kept saying it was a dumb game, BUT he did have fun before that! Mama was a great sport to do it with him!

We had two full days of being inside cuddled up, drinking cocoa, and playing games, but today we had to venture out! It was all by choice. I think we all needed it! We just went to the grocery store and picked up a few things. I hear the next couple days are supposed to warm up a little. Winter here is nothing like what we had in NY-that’s for sure! :o)

Tonight we watched the movie Courageous. Awesome movie! I love the idea of men making such a powerful commitment to the Lord. Very cool. As Mama and I watched the movie, Cale was kind of all over the place. He helped feed the animals and played with Basil. He was in the room for a little bit and played with my phone. The whole time I was wishing that he was at a place that he could watch and understand the concept of the movie and how great it was. I hope that one day he’ll get it; he’ll be able to grasp such amazing spiritual truths-I believe for it!

For now, I will continue to speak those truths into his life and pray over him to be the godly man, husband, and Father I know the Lord desires of him…same goes for me…the female version of that of course! ;o)

I'm pretty blessed to be married to the most Courageous man I know!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Memory & Memories...


Good day?

I hope!

Since Monday is still fresh on the brain, I’m gonna start there…

It was a good day. Lots of good things and it all started with a good morning!

When I went to bed Sunday night, I had every intention of getting up early so I could head to the gym. Our elliptical is down and we have a big trip coming up in a couple weeks…and I’ve been eating A LOT. Gold’s Gym blessed both of us with FREE membership, but I never go! Cale hasn’t either. It’s hard for me to get up and get going to go workout. Eh.

That explains why I turned off my alarm and reset for a later time, instead of jumping out of bed. I tend to roll out most days. Cale isn’t a fan of the mornings that my alarm keeps going off…I should work on that.

By the time I finally got myself going, and did my quiet time, it was too late to get to the gym. BUT, I did have a really good quiet time! It was one of those times that afterwards I was excited…just being reminded that the Lord is consistent, constant, and never changes.

When I picked up my devotional the first line said something about being in a place in my life that I need to let go of something. Gulp. As I kept reading, it’s not like anything was coming to mind. Later it talked about what we really find our security in. Our pastor has been speaking a lot about these two things lately, but still nothing was pressing on me. After reading my Bible, I started writing out my prayer and as I was writing that I wondered what I needed to let go of, the Army took over all thoughts.

We’re about to have another huge change in our life. It’s a place that unfortunately we’ve already walked through and experienced right before the accident. The Army has been our “security” since right after we got married. Cale had left for Basic 1 month after and during that month; our lives were filled with the preparation of him leaving. It’s all we’ve known as a couple. Over the last 2 years, the Army has looked a bit different, as I’ve been the one stepping to the plate of a soldier (I’m not so good at it…), but all along, it has been the security blanket for finances, therapy, traveling, insurance, and guidance.

I’ve been dreading Cale’s ETS date because that means taking away everything we’ve known so far in our little comfort bubble. It’s a scary thing to have everything change in the midst of an already unsettling time in our life. Oerfect time for the specific reminder about knowing that even though everything around us constantly changes, God doesn’t. His love for us never changes.

Every word was exactly what I had needed to read…it was just…really good.

The day unfolded with many moments of little things that built up to be a pretty incredible day with all that Cale was doing.

I’m not sure if I’ve written before, but cribbage used to be a game that Cale and I would play for hours together…no joke. We would have so much fun and it wasn’t even because I would win all the time. He usually took the trophy, but somehow we would laugh and laugh and challenge each other and turn the game into one of the most fun things we would do together. Every now and then I think about all of those times and the memories wrapped up into such a simple game and my heart aches for the way I miss it…and long for those kind of moments again.

We had tried to play while we were In Palo Alto, but the game was just way too much for Cale and left me with an even deeper longing. A few weeks ago Cale’s speech therapist started playing with him and has told me that things seemed to be really coming back to him. She did say that he still needed help, but was doing well with it. I haven’t quite been able to get the guts to try to play with him again. I think it’s one of those things that I know has changed and knowing that is hard, but actually having to see it and experience the difference makes it all harder. That has been the hurtle for many areas of our life…the actual experience being so different never seems to get easier.

I finally did decide to just try playing with him after watching him and his therapist play on Monday. He certainly has gotten much better than when they first started. I loved it! Really! It was great getting to play with him again! It didn’t last long because my first hand ended up being really good and I was the dealer so the crib was mine, this made him upset, so we took a break. We picked it back up this afternoon though!

He also has been able to carry (CARRY!) one of our chairs instead of dragging it for the last couple days. Normally it’s a short distance, but on Monday he carried it from the table, around the couch, and into the kitchen! This is HUGE! I was trying to stay calm and not freak him out in front of our small group, but I totally was going crazy inside! I was nervous and watched him as he went, but let him do it all by himself! Crazy!

I found this picture from after one of our cribbage games a couple years ago. I had won (which hardly ever happened!) and teased Cale. He tackeled and we laughed! :)

After everyone had left, I usually have a bunch to clean up before I get to bed. Cale normally goes to the bedroom to brush his teeth and by the end of the night he’s so tired he’ll get in bed while I clean up. Rather than go off to get ready for bed, he helped me clean up! It was so sweet! Maybe for other people this is a big deal just because their husband never helps out, but my husband normally can’t help out…but he did! He did a lot too! He helped bring in the rest of the dishes off the table, threw the garbage away for me, and helped with the animals. This blessed me so much! Things like that are so small, but at the same time show how amazing his healing is! I didn’t ask, I didn’t have to guide each step; he just helped and actually wanted to.

Backing up a little…

Saturday we chilled. It started with me going to Zumba at the gym. Like I had said earlier, Gold’s Gym had given us free membership, but up until the elliptical going down, I haven’t wanted to take the time to go. I went last Wednesday with a couple ladies from church and enjoyed laughing a lot, but also getting a good work out. Saturday I decided to brave going by myself and oh boy. I thought for some reason they would have the same songs and I would be a lot better, but they were different! When I got home I described myself to Mama and Cale as a flailing sea creature out of water. Fun. Haha! The rest of the day we chilled around the house and played games.

I forgot to tell you the story of the breaking point that showed all of us how Cale wasn’t ready for work quite yet. His therapist was with him at church and I guess he had said he didn’t want to work anymore. He’s been putting up a fight because he kept saying that he does dumb stuff there. Well, he was in the little office where he helps stuff the bulletins and ended up slamming the door several times and locking himself inside. Our Pastor tried to enter after hearing all the slamming, but Cale wouldn’t let him in. Finally he let him and they talked. He was really upset with his therapist though and wouldn’t get in her car with her. The picture of it all happening made me laugh and that night when I tried to talk to Cale about it, he couldn’t remember. I told him a short version of what happened and then had to add, “As awesomely funny as that was, it’s not ok to do it!” Oh man. The life of the Darling’s…

Another big thing that happened Monday while we were getting ready, made me leap for joy again! After breakfast I asked Cale to brush his teeth and fix his hair. This is a daily occurrence but everyday Cale goes to brush his teeth and can’t remember there was anything else. I had been in the other bathroom blow drying my hair and Cale came in and asked where to find his comb! We never use a comb, usually just wet it a little to help with the bed head, but he had remembered his hair needed to be done!!!! I was so excited! Yesterday it was back to just his teeth, but my goodness, the fact that he can even just go brush his teeth is so HUGE! It wasn’t too long ago that I had to help him with every step of it!

There are still days that things become a bit hazy for him and he forgets what to even do with the tooth brush or tooth paste. It doesn’t happen as often as it was and I can see us getting through that stage. I’ve been watching him closer lately and really paying attention to how hard he works for each thing he does. It’s so easy for me to go through my day and do so many things without having to put any thought into it, but for him, each and every step of an activity takes so much thought. Just to get dressed, he looks at each thing and thinks about where it goes and how he puts it on. He gets mixed up often and needs guidance, but he tries every day.

Memory is such a challenge in several areas of our life. We’ve been home for a while trying to live life with joyful hearts like we would have before the car accident. We see the challenges in things we do throughout the day, if I’ve told or asked Cale to do something or if we have a conversation that’s brought up later. It shows up with taking his meds or him not remembering that he has already done something. It shows up with him forgetting even sweet and intimate moments. Those are some immediate things, but then sometimes his memory still gets mixed up on who I am and that we’re married. Just the other day he thought I was his cousin. We had this big discussion on how I’m his wife, Mrs. Darling and how we’re married and live in the same house. Maybe some of the hardest times is the collection of memories of our life together that on some days seemed to have been wiped out and lost somewhere in space. Where do those memories go? Some things I so desperately want him to remember to share in the moment with me, but it’s just not there. It could be something that happened years ago or just the other day. So many special moments…

I worked at a nursing home while Cale was deployed one year. I didn’t have to work that year, but I didn’t want to just sit around and wait for the year to end and him to come home. I had taken a CNA class even though anything medical had never been anything I felt attracted to. I ended up loving the residents the Lord had given to me. In fact when I had to quit so that I could go back to NY when Cale was getting ready to come home, I cried! I had built such deep relationships with people that hardly knew who I was the next day when I came in for work. One specific couple I had talked with Cale time after time about their story and how they had made such an impact on my life. I still look at my picture with them every now and then. The wife had Alzheimer’s and the husband came to visit her every day. She didn’t remember him most days and often thought he was her dad. She had forgotten or mixed up all of the memories that they had built up over 50 years of being married. The picture of them as newlyweds hung in her room and more than once she had no idea it was them. It never made a dent in the way he looked at her with so much love. I told Cale on more than one phone call how I wanted to be like that for him. I wanted to grow old with him and love him more and more with each passing year and it wouldn’t matter what our future held because we would always be so in love.

I meant every word then and I still do, but as I type them now, I can feel the weight of already being the one to carry all of our memories as husband and wife. During moments of something happening and being reminded of something we had shared, there’s no common smile that we share as we both remember. There’s no inside jokes, or long shared conversation while with friends of what was.

We live in the now. The moment that is unfolding before us and we experience whatever emotion has taken hold of us and then as that moment passes, we’re into the next. My heart soaks it all up and places them ever so gently in a treasure box, knowing that not even a picture will be able to capture what has just taken place.

I do still try to take as many pictures as I can (as you know!) and try to capture the happenings of our life so that on later days, I can retell our collection of stories. We have good times with that…and so far Cale loves getting to look at all the pictures!

On another note, the snow has come! It’s VERY white outside. It is still nothing compared to the snow we would get on Fort Drum, but for here in this little corner of Washington, it’s a lot!

We haven’t gotten out of our pj’s yet, but Cale did have OT. His therapist drove all the way from Spokane with these terrible roads! Yuck! They had a great session and let me join in on the fun for a few minutes. I think his PT tonight is not going to happen, but I think he’s not too upset about it! ;)

Well, I think that’s about all the “dumping” I’m doing for today! Thank you for reading!

sidenote...this blog post has taken me the longest to post...EVER! Can you say distracted?!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just a few things…

Mama is a ROCKstar. No joke. She has helped me organize like you’d never believe! I feel so much more relaxed without stacks of paper looming over my days. Also, there’s a closet downstairs that when we moved in was full of stuff; tools, paint, and I don’t even know what else. Every time we would look at it or talk about doing something about it, the project seemed too intimidating to do much more than just think about. Finally we went through everything and our downstairs is even organized! Mama did most of it on her own because I had so many other things going on this week. This is just a fraction of how much help she’s been lately.

Mama, thank you. For reals.

Do you remember me sharing about how we started “work” for Cale at our church with the attempt to help him feel more independent? Well, it has pretty much been decided that we’re going to put that on hold. The idea of him having a job and working is of course wonderful because it means progress, but setting up a fake job just doesn’t cut it. He’s unable to tolerate the demands of a real job even one that can be simplified, BUT he’s not dumb and was very easily able to catch on that it wasn’t real work. He was in the Army-a soldier! He understands work. So…there’s another way we can take the program that we’re going to try and see how it goes. I’ll update more about that when we know more!

I had put it out there for all of you to “like” the Facebook page for The Darling Project, but I think I may have done something wrong when I created the page? No idea. So…if you click HERE it will direct you to the site and then you can sign in and like it! There’s not much to update on there as of now because we’re at the very beginning, but the prayer is that eventually there will be lots happening and lots to update! :o)

Teresa said OT was great on Wednesday! She said his fine motor coordination and speed with his right hand is still improving but still significantly slower than his left. We’re not sure if he hasn’t been feeling good lately or if something is going on that we can’t figure out, but he’s had some sinus issues and his left eye is closing a lot more. He already has a hard time with his right eye staying open so with both closed…therapy is more difficult.

On Wednesday night he had PT. He’s only been getting it once a week for a while now because of his toleration level. His mom had come over to visit a little before and all of us were talking until I brought up that Carly was coming soon, but we still had time for a game. Cale asked me who Carly was and I told him she was his PT. He then said, “My babysitter?” His answer surprised me and I reassured him she wasn’t his babysitter, but then he quickly added, “Adult-sitter.” One thing that I’ve tried to be very guarded and protected about has been keeping from Cale his need to always have someone with him. He already thinks of himself so much as a little boy, I don’t want to add to that or bring him down! This distracted me and made my mind race, but quickly had to pull together so we could start our Skip-Bo game. This was a good thing to hear him point out on his own because it shows even more awareness but also so hard and sad to hear. His awareness is still in and out so much it’s hard to know in each minute where he’s at, but every glance into him becoming more aware is such a good sign!

He ended up having a fairly good session with Carly. I think he’s only doing about an hour at this point before he’s on overload, but hopefully we can get that boosted a little. Just about everything he does right now ends up being therapeutic in some form…even video games!

I wanted to also point out all the changes and “stuff” on the right side of the blog…

1) The button on the top right you can click if you want to join The Darling Project. It’s just full of information as far as who to contact. It also has the link for Facebook.

2) Then I have the button that you can click on to read the post that TJ did right after our accident explaining what happened. It also has some random info on us and a little note to all of you. :o)

3) Next is our contact info. I love, love, LOVE getting all of the emails and cards you send. I can’t always reply, but please know I read EVERY one and they make me smile!

4) Next is our button. If you have a blog and would like to share our blog on yours, this is a great way to do it! I actually have no idea how they work…but, I at least feel smarter with it ready to share with you! Haha!

5) The email was started for the prayer chain we had made to go around his room at the hospital. The idea was that when he started becoming more aware, he would have a visual of all the people praying for him. I have to tell you, I have continued to receive emails of people praying from all over and every time I check it out, I’m humbled in a way that I never understood before. There are literally people ALL over the world praying for us. This amazes me. Blows my mind. Thank you Jesus.

6) This is a button that you can click that has videos from throughout our journey. I love looking back and watching these from time to time. The healing and progress that has happened day by day in my husband is indescribable. God has richly blessed us!

7) There are two ways that you can follow us! This next button is through your Google account.

8) The second way is through your email. Just type in your email and click submit.

I know you probably already know about all the goodies on the side, but in case you never messed with any of it or didn’t notice the few changes, now you’ll know! :o)

Cale is in speech therapy right now. They’re at the table and I’m all cozy here on the couch getting to listen to them, but also have my legs kicked up on the couch tucked under a warm quilt.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

updates AND BIG news!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m not quite sure how it happens, but every day speeds through and all of a sudden it’s been almost a week since I’ve posted anything! Yikes!

Let’s see, since I’ve last posted…

I had my dentist appointment. At Cale’s appointment Dr. L kept encouraging him to breathe through his nose. As I sat back in the chair I repeated to myself the very same words. My question is can any of you tell when you’re breathing through your nose?! With my mouth wide open and all these gadgets going in, I’m not sure when I’m breathing let alone if it’s coming through my nose. I was stumped the entire appointment. Not sure why this is the first time I’ve been so bothered with this ordeal before. Ha!

I had another phone call about all the transition “stuff” I feel even better after it! It’s all going to be a big change, but I know we’ll be provided for!

I found a really great tea shop (well, a friend had told me about it!) here in Kennewick. The lady that greeted me very sweetly also spent a good amount of time helping me choose several delicious flavors of tea. If you have time and love tea or know of someone who would enjoy some tea leaves…I think you should stop by the Badger Canyon Herb Company on Edison. Super tasty!

Not that I’m advertising for companies or anything, but I just thought maybe I’d share a couple of my favorites. So, the second place that I LOVE to go to is the Kennewick Coffee Co. in downtown Kennewick. I have actually been a little anti coffee lately. I’m not sure what made the switch; I think I just realized I only like it if it’s extremely sweet. And, I absolutely love Hazelnut creamer…guilty. Anyways, I’ve just been getting a steamer when I go to this adorable little shop and YUM! My two favorites are Bees Knees and Big Fat Cat. The young couple that own the shop also paint and have their art set up all over. Oh goodness. The place just makes me super happy! I look forward to the next tasty drink right after I finish one! You should try it next time your downtown on Kennewick Ave…or maybe find a reason to be down that way! ;o)

Moving on…

On Thursday while I was gung ho on the elliptical, it started to make a really loud noise and then got really bumpy and then the arm thing came off. Dangerous. I stopped and called the place that had delivered it. They showed up Friday morning to check it out and said that it looks to be a defective piece. Thankfully I found out today that it’s still under warranty so we don’t have to pay. The bad news is that it’s out until end of next week because they had to order a new piece. For some reason the workout equipment being down has meant the snack basket is available? Not sure. I’ve kind of attacked it the last few days…I’m pretty sure Cale won’t miss all the candy bars he’s had hidden in there! He’s pretty happy he doesn’t have to do it for a while!

In OT Cale has been working on his fine motor skills. It’s amazing to see how far he’s come, but I know still so frustrating when he can’t get his hands to work the way he’s trying to make them work. Teresa does an awesome job of adding in fun and creative ways to keep him interested and engaged.

Friday night my sister took me to Famous Dave’s for my birthday. My nephew works there and after the ice cream was brought out, a pink pig followed! I didn’t know at first that it was Mark so when I saw the pig coming my way I wanted to bolt. He behaved himself and didn’t embarrass me too much! If you notice my face is red in the picture! :o)

Saturday night we went to dinner with friends to celebrate mine and Joe’s birthday. It was fun and special. Do you remember all the posts and pictures of Joe and Beth? Well, they just recently became engaged. I cried…more than once. Oh. Dear. What can I say? I’m just a sap, but I’m pretty sure you already knew that about me. They asked Cale and I at dinner to be in their wedding, which is so sweet and again, so special! I’m super excited for them and we love them so much!

Last year shortly after coming home, we had gotten the news that we were going to have to be leaving again to Seattle. Many of you may remember how the news crushed me. I was so super bummed. All I wanted was to be home-NOT back in a hospital or having to do appointments every day. I struggled and vented and then finally decided I was going to have to make the best of it. Cale and I actually ended up having a great time and were able to do a lot. While we were back in Seattle, our church family was here at home doing life together groups. Every January and June anyone who wants to sign up will get put with a group and during the month they’ll meet together once a week. I remember it was one of the things that made me so upset to leave home again. We were going to miss out on the groups. Well, it’s January and guess what we’re getting to do? Yep! We started our first life together group on Sunday night. It really put in perspective for me the big picture and how at the time it was such a huge deal to miss them, BUT was it really a big deal? Here we are getting to be a part of them! Ours has already been a blast…part of the entertainment was Cale arm wrestling our Pastor! :o)

Facebook has the new page that is set up as a timeline. At first I thought it was dumb, but then after thinking about it, I tried it out to see if it would be easy to go back to before the accident. It totally is! This opened up a whole new world for my heart to enter in. It’s always bittersweet going back into a memory of a different life. I have to say it was almost cozy this time which may be a funny word, but I was able to look back to some of the things Cale had put on my page. One comment I found, I knew I needed to share…

“You are a buttface. But a cute buttface, and in spite of your buttface-ness, I love you.” –Cale

I don’t remember the story that went with this comment, but I know it was me being playful with my husband and him playing right back. Sweet memories!

We were out and about this evening taking food to a family in our church and when we returned this was sitting waiting for Cale…

He’s a happy man. Thank you whoever left this sweet (crazy!) gift for him! :o)

KEEP READING FOR BIG NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everything I’ve written so far tonight has been easy peasy, but what I’m about to write, I need you to know ahead of time that this is me stepping out in a way similar to Peter stepping out on the water. My heart has just started pounding and I’m seriously considering to just stop…

But, I’m just gonna press on and ask that you hang on with me and let me spill it all out. Here I go.

For those of you that don’t know, the house that we’re in right now belongs to our church and is only a temporary home. We knew this coming back to Kennewick, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve tried to let that little detail slip. There is a man in our church who is a Veteran and who also has a really big heart. He has decided that he wants to bless us by getting a mortgage-free home for us. We at this point have no idea what this is going to look like, whether it’s a foreclosure that gets fixed up, a building company, or building from ground up.

As you know, this is NOT a small project and honestly, Frank has been asking for months for me to put something on the blog about it. Some of you have maybe even talked with me about it and I’m sure when we had spoken, I didn’t have the best attitude about it. It’s been one of those things that I have literally cried over with Mama telling her that I don’t want to have to ask people to help us. I know so many people have already invested so much into our lives that getting a house is way too much. It’s definitely been a journey just in this idea…

After several weeks of praying specifically about this and after some very detailed and intense prayer times, I know that my biggest hold up of not wanting to start this project and put anything out there is because I have a fear of no response. I know that all of you have your own financial struggles-that’s reality. I also know that we are just people. There’s nothing we’ve done to deserve such a gift. I also know that even though I’ve seen the Lord work miracle after miracle in our lives and in others’ I’ve also been in the back of my mind thinking about how this project is too big for anyone to do, this thought was followed with “even for God” as hard as that is to admit.

Obviously I do know that NOTHING is too big for God. Not Cale’s brain injury, living a life of joy in the midst of a trial, OR getting us a home.

I had decided a few weeks ago that I was finally going to post. I still have been nervous and been asked a few people to be praying…silly huh?

I want you to know that in NO way by me putting all of this out there and telling you about the project that I expect you to all get involved. I’m letting you know this big deal of thing in our life and if you want to pray about how you can join, that would be awesome. With not knowing what God is going to turn this into, it’s hard to know what the need is. Frank has said that the first step is getting funding.

Do you know a creative way that you can be a part of this?
Is there a fundraiser or another way your church or a group you’re a part of can be involved?

The next part if it becomes a building or remodeling type of project is helpers.

Are you handy with tools?
Is there a team in your church or your family and friends that would love to serve in this way?

The big time need is prayer-always.

Is this something you would be willing to commit to pray for?
Would your church be willing to host a prayer night for this project? Friends? Family?

The contact person for The Darling Project is September Theriault. She was the amazingness behind getting this home ready for us and is ready to take on this next project! For anything she can’t answer, she will direct questions to Frank.

If you look on the right side of the blog, there’s a button to click to join The Darling Project with ALL the info! We also have a Facebook page that we would love to have you “like” and be able to stay updated and have a place to share your thoughts and ideas!

The last two days while doing my quiet time, it was about trust. Yesterday morning I read in my devotional, “Instead of trying to fight your fears, concentrate on trusting me (Jesus).” And then today one line was, “Rather than planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking me continually.” The Lord continues to amaze me in how He knows exactly what we need to hear and what each of our struggles are.

I’m stepping out on the water and choosing to trust.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Some of our days...

This picture just makes me happy! :)

On Tuesday Cale helped his therapist to set up a weight bench that had been given to us. It was delivered in a big intimidating box, so I haven't worked up the guts to try myself. It took them less than 15 minutes! He used some weights and as you can see...we happen to love the Wing's!

I've been working on some crafty things again. I had to replace the Christmas stuff that was outside! Soon I'll have my spring flowers back out front! :) For now, it's a wee bit wintery. Of course, the weather here has felt like spring on a few days!

These things in my head seemed like they were going to be easy.

That was in my head! Haha! I had gotten my idea from this picture on Pinterest...

I didn't want to use Christmas trees, but wanted something to last until Spring. I still love the idea in the picture, so maybe next year. Anyways, it all started with Kathy and I looking for sticks in a big pile behind her house. Many of them had thorns and we were poked! Then came the actual sorting and painting...more pokes and laughs with Mama this time. I think I like how it turned out and the excitement and thrilling experience that came with it makes it even better! :)

Cale went to the Dentist on Wednesday. He proclaimed many times during his appointment that he hates the dentist! Dr. L gave him a break for a couple minutes and then we got him finished up! My appointment is tomorrow...yuck.

Over the last couple days I have been feeling overwhelmed with all that needs to be done and the transition between active duty and VA. There are so many documents...calls...questions. It seems like there are so many things left that are still up in the air and the time is closing in on us. I was on the phone this morning for 2.5 hours trying to get some of it worked out. Whew. Mama also helped me finish up organizing my stacks of paper today which helped ease my frazzled mind. Nice.

It was an emotional day at points, but how can you not smile when it ends like this...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Birthday Gift...the best.

This morning when my alarm went off, I was squeezed between Basil and Cale. I shifted and moved trying to wiggle my way out without waking the sleeping man, but right as my feet were hitting the floor, Cale grabbed my arm and said in his sleepy voice, “what day is it?” k: “I don’t know. What day is it? C: “I don’t know. New Years?” k: “Well, what day was it yesterday? C: “New Year’s Eve? K: “Yesterday was New Year’s Day.” Cale answered back quickly, “Then today is your birthday. Happy Birthday!”

He had been mixed up on what day, but he knew it was a special day! He said Happy Birthday before me telling him! Even on Christmas or any other holiday since the accident I’ve had to tell him what day it was…this was so exciting and the perfect birthday gift! It totally made my day.

The rest of the day was all normal stuff. I did get to go to coffee with Sage a friend that I haven’t talked with in way too long. It was a sweet time and brought back more good memories! My husband telling me happy birthday on his own…that was amazing and I’m not sure much more could have topped that!

25 Things Kathleen

1) I love the Lord.
2) I don’t really have favorites. I change my mind constantly on things I like. I have things that I really like, but have me choose a favorite…impossible!
3) I absolutely love music.
4) I want to become a better hostess. I always think of things I should have done once our company leaves…
5) If you didn’t already know, I am madly in love with my husband and always will be-always!
6) I want a baby.
7) Chocolate is super yummy.
8) I’m an open book. Spend just a little time with me and you’ll most likely get more info then you wanted. ;o)
9) I enjoy eating.
10) I’m fascinated with sunsets.
11) I love traveling, but I also love coming home just as much.
12) I burp.
13) I like to pretend I’m on TV while I cook.
14) Pretty things make me happy.
15) Getting mail (not bills!) makes me smile.
16) I love summer more than winter, but I like winters clothes more.
17) Laughing with my husband is one of the best things in the world.
18) I can’t really sing on tune or great at all, but I love singing!
19) I love things homemade.
20) Simple things are some of the most treasured.
21) I could eat a slice of pie every day.
22) I was born in Washington.
23) I’ve learned that some friends are just surface friends…the keepers are the ones that are willing to go deep and stay.
24) I was crazy and married when I was 18 and haven’t regretted it for a second.
25) I am SO blessed and am so thankful for ALL of you!

(I was going to do this on Cale’s birthday but being in San Diego and the crazy day it was, I didn’t get the chance!)

Cale played Monopoly in therapy today. His therapist said he needed help, but he was the banker! He was able to play for 90 minutes before shutting down! That’s another huge step! We used to have a running Monopoly game going through the weekends at Drum…good memories and I believe another running game will be happening soon!

Thank you for all of the calls, emails, texts, Facebook comments and cards! You all made my day special!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy 2012! The last few days I’ve had an extra excitement for this year to come. I just know it’s going to be great! I think part of it may be that I’m coming at it from a different angle…my focus isn’t just on Cale’s healing and progress. I’m definitely not putting that on the back burner by any means and I for sure look forward to all that’s to come, but…it’s not my focus anymore.

The Holy Spirit started working on my heart today from the moment I opened my eyes. I didn’t crawl into bed until 12:30 and then it always takes me a bit to fall asleep. I know many of you were still out and about at that time, but normally I’m already cuddled up to my man by that time. When my alarm went off I dreaded the idea of getting out of bed and having to get dressed and ready for church. The thought of sleeping in danced in my mind. When I tried to wake Cale, he gave me the same kind of response that was just a thought for me. He did NOT want to get up. He had gone to bed about 9pm, but didn’t sleep well at all. That of course meant that I didn’t sleep, so with all of this in my thoughts I began to justify skipping church. All the while another thought kept popping up…it’s the first day of 2012, do I really want to start it by sleeping in or by worshipping the Lord?

I finally told Cale that I would get up and get showered and then come back to wake him. He wasn’t exactly happy with the idea, but he agreed. While we were in a rush to get ready since we had already set the alarm as late as possible, Cale yelled for me to come quickly. He had an accident and not once while I cleaned pee off my bathroom floor did I have any kind of frustration, anger, bitterness, or sadness. Rather, I felt joy for being able to care for my husband. Now, I can’t always say that feeling “joy” in a moment like that has been my experience, but I know that I love this man so much that I’m willing to do whatever is needed and always have been.

When we arrived at church, again I felt so full…full of…I don’t even know! Within minutes I was already so grateful that we had decided to be there. Cale was tired, but I knew he was glad too. Worship started and I immediately knew service was going to be good. I don’t want to get stuck using churchy words, but the only way I can think to describe what was taking place was the Holy Spirit prompting me. I felt His presence so personally.

One of the songs that came on was Lead Me to the Cross. This one never fails to bring me to a place of wanting to just hand the Lord everything. Especially when I hear my husband belting all the words! Oh man.

As I sang, Everything I once held dear I count it all as lost… a list of so many things that I held so dear to me, that seemed so important, I honestly do count as lost. There are hard days and always will be, but more and more I think my perspective is becoming more about the Kingdom and how things here are so fleeting. Dustin our Pastor was talking this morning on how we focus so much on safety and security and how many people have said that the safest place to be is in the will of God. He pointed out that all throughout scripture we see that His will isn’t “safe.” It’s the best place to be, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be comfortable.

The New Year is a time when a lot of people make resolutions and goals for what they want for the next year. I certainly have many hopes and dreams that I hope come with this year, but one thing I want is to be brought to my knees daily; brought to the cross. After writing that in my notes during the sermon, my very next thought was that it’s not realistic to expect a powerful mountain moving time with the Lord every day and then I stopped myself-why not?! Why can’t we have that? He desires that for us! He longs for it! The creator of the universe WANTS to have over the top amazing DAILY moments with YOU!

Gets me all excited even as I type.

Our Pastor talked about Genesis 12:1-3 and Leave, Go, and Bless. He challenged us and I want to also challenge you: to start this new year what is God asking you to LEAVE behind so that you can GO in the direction He has for you so that you can BLESS others?

These words as he spoke and thought about what we needed to leave behind and what was holding us back from all that God wanted to do through us hit me. I knew exactly what it was and I didn’t want to give it up. I found my way to the alter and surrendered. Through tears and brokenness, I handed over the one thing I’ve been holding onto so tightly, but knowing all along that I can’t move forward if I don’t cut the ties.

When I found my way back, I had no idea what condition my mascara was in, but I did know that as I stood next to the man next to me, my heart swelled with the fullness of love I have for him. God is so good.

After church we took down all of our Christmas decorations and then later ate a super tasty meal! We had Janis and the girls over so after are bellies were stuffed to the max, I busted out the finger nail polish and we painted our finger nails! :o) Cale sat that activity out! Haha! He actually was given a couple different video games for Christmas by family and played away!

This evening has been perfect with Cale. At one point I just held him in a really long hug. We were having so much fun and laughing together in such a special way…I’m so blessed!

Backing up…

Friday morning I had been on the elliptical while Cale was still sleeping. When I finished, I grabbed my water bottle and walked out of the workout room and out of the corner of my eye I saw a body. My water bottle went flying and I hit the ground! Cale was standing there and I’m thankful it was him because if it happened to be a bad guy…well, falling over wouldn’t have done me much good! Cale laughed so hard!

After getting up and both of us laughing hysterically, I told him that once I finished stretching we would need to get showered. Cale quickly said he couldn't shower. When I asked why he said, “I’m sick” and started making vomit noises! He was faking it and again we laughed so hard!

I’ve been working on a few more projects since all the Christmas decorations were going to be coming down. It feels good to be excited about making things and decorating again. I used to make a bunch of crafty things and make pretty desserts but since the accident, well, I just haven’t thought too much or really wanted to. I think doing the baby shower and the bridal shower got me all excited again!

Friday night I made Carrot Orange Ginger Soup. Mama had made it a couple months ago and I loved it! I’ve been thinking about it ever since and finally decided it needed to be made again. So…ginger is strong. I added too much ginger-TOO MUCH! Have you ever tasted ginger so strong that it made your nose run? Ahhh! Toooooo MUCH! We’ll be trying that one again soon.

We ran a couple errands yesterday and decided to stop for a couple pictures. It was so sunny and beautiful outside and the last day of 2011. Totally perfect for pictures…right?!

Last night we went to some friends’ house for food and games. I questioned how well Cale would do, but I thought it would be fun even for a short time. It didn’t take long before I started seeing signs and then about 2 hours later he was done. Mama and I laughed as we drove away because it was only 8:30 and we were already on our way home! Big partiers we are! ;o)

As we were repacking the Christmas stuff today, Mama found some wrapping paper I made years ago…I’ll have to think about doing that again! :o)

I’ve been mega impressed with Cale’s memory lately. It’s not consistent, but a huge improvement! He has been surprising me all over the place. Love it…love him!

We're thankful for a cozy bed that we get to both sleep in tonight...right next to each other! SO much better than a hospital!