Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One step at a time...

If you could enter my mind right now, you would want to run away as fast as you can...it's quite the jumbled mess. I imagine something similar to the images you've all been watching play over and over on the news. Like that, but less wet.
Between the hospital and the Fisher House, I walk these steps every morning and evening. Sometimes if I happen to leave for something during the day, I walk them again. There's a lot more to walk then what you see in the picture by the way! Last week following a difficult time with Cale, I was walking back to the Fisher House and although I may have looked perfectly fine on the outside, maybe a little odd because I tend to use facial expressions with whatever my thoughts are...and to some it's very random and doesn't fit the moment in the slightest. Anywho...I was pouting big time. I'm totally not against having a bad day or being ok with experiencing emotions like sadness and anger over things that happen in our life and I know I'm not perfect, so please don't think I'm saying anything like that, but I do believe there is a difference between throwing a big fat pity party and sulking in misery while whining to the world, verses experiencing an emotion that God has created you to feel. On my walk...unfortunately in my mind it was the first. Totally.
It only took seconds to snap me right out of what was forming into a funk like no other because as I was letting the brain injury, missing home, wanting a baby, and feeling left out of life simmer in my little mind, my eyes settled on an image that may never be forgotten. Those same steps that I have already walked up and down over a dozen times was  now being walked up by a man that had lost both arms and legs while deployed. His therapist was behind him helping him up each step as he adjusted to using his new prosthetic legs. Every step took such focus and determination, much like what I have watched repeatedly from my own husband.
What do I have to whine about?
Some days I just get in these moods more than others. I'm not going to lie; lately it feels as though once again every single woman that I know is pregnant or just had a baby...well, maybe not every single one, but we're talking about my little brain remember?
And as happy as I am for every single one of them, I can't help but ache a little more each time. I would be lying if I said I was just happy and full of joy all the time for all my beautiful friends and family that have these little bundles of sweetness and not feel the pinch of pain.
I wish I could say I was stronger than that.
I wish that it didn't bother me to be away from home and that I was just completely loving the fact that my husband is in this amazing program.
I wish that I could say that when I see all the big great things friends are doing and the lives that I see others living...well, I wish I could say that I never long and lust after it.
But...I do.
And then I listen on the news about how there are homes and lives completely destroyed from one storm that many in the same country feel no effects from. Even though we felt a lot of rain and wind here, we continued on with life. About an hour ago they said there had already been 30 deaths and more to come.
I'm once again quickly snapped out of what could turn into a sad night because I'm safe and cozy. I spent the day at the hospital with my husband playing games and being silly...
I have very much been reminded that we take one step at a time and whether we have lost our arms and legs or our hearts are just feeling extra heavy; when we go to the feet of Jesus, He provides the perfect amount of strength and courage to keep going.
And He loves us in our weakness...
I'm so thankful I've never once had to be perfection; I've just had to be me-
...and He loves me so. 
AND...I sometimes just need a slap on the head to get over myself. Just saying.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy.

We are all ready to go for the storm coming in. Apparently around 6pm it's supposed to hit really hard. So far just a lot of wind and rain. Local stores are sold out of bottled water, can goods, and pantry items. Thankfully, I'm hanging out in the hospital with Cale...the safest place I could be!
I've got my sweats on and I had brought along my rain boots-so I feel pretty confident I can handle this hurricane! Haha! Essentials are covered! ;o)
I started a list of funny stories that were happening since we left for NY. Although I have forgotten several and will think of them randomly, I have a few to share and thought today would be perfect!
* As you know, we had a crazy trip schedule again. I'm not sure why that always seems to happen...haha! We flew back from San Diego and after being home for just a few days we were off again! After boarding our second flight to NY, Cale looked at me and said, "I quit flying." I told him I didn't think he should quit because we still had lots of trips to take in our life. He quickly replied, "Fine, I'm taking a sabbatical." I started laughing so hard! What?! Haha! Right after he said he didn't know what a sabbatical was. So I explained and we agreed that he deserves one!
* While we were staying with our friends Tony and Hannah in NY, we were able to split up, Tony and Cale had a few hours to hang and that gave me time with Hannah. When Hannah and I got back to the house, I sat on Cale's lap and told him we had gone on a shopping spree. He immediately asked how much we spent. I told him at the first store I spent $468 but reassured him we had a good time. He put his hand on his head in disbelief that his wife spent that much but it wasn't too bad. Then I continued with telling him we also went to another store. Again he asked how much but this time a little less patient with me. I told him we only spent $298. Within seconds he pushed me off his lap onto the floor! I was totally joking and had only purchased a couple small thank you gifts, but it took a minute for him to believe I was only kidding and let me back up!
* Our last night in NY we stayed with another couple that we love so much. They set up their futon for us to sleep on and made everything nice and cozy for us. Some time in the middle of the night I felt Cale wiggling a lot. With my eyes heavy and my voice cracking, "What are you doing?" All Cale said was that he was hot. I rolled over and managed to pry an eye open and all I see is Cale's legs straight up in the air and his jeans pushed to his knees! I hadn't even realized he was sleeping in his jeans! After a few minutes he was ready to go!
* It must have been about an hour later maybe more, we were fast asleep on the same futon and both woke up from a very loud noise. At that point I didn't know what happened and my main concern was keeping Cale calm. We both managed to get back to sleep and just a little while later woke back up this time falling to the floor. We broke the futon! The arm of it had come apart from the rest of the piece so we went down. I felt terrible. They did tell us it wasn't our fault and not to worry...but still! I guessed that it said something about how much I had eaten that last week!
* From their home we flew down to NC and stayed with another couple that again we love so much. Our first morning with them, the toilet would not flush upstairs. Cale told me to take off the top piece and fix it. Well, I'm the opposite of a handy man but I figured a toilet couldn't be too hard. I took the piece of and there was no water. I was clueless and had to let them know we broke the toilet! At this point I was wondering what was wrong with us! Haha! Once again, we were told it wasn't our fault and not to worry. Simple fix with something they already had an issue with. Whew!
* I knew that we were most likely going to be in DC through winter so I made sure to pack clothes for cold weather but after getting to NC, it was HOT! I had gotten dressed and helped Cale get dressed, but we were both sweating and waaaaay too hot! I quickly pulled out a change of clothes that would help us both be more comfortable. It was hot outside but the home was really hot as well. I was trying to think of a nice way to let them know we were really warm and thankfully the couple is very sweet and I knew it wouldn't be a problem. Gordon was coming home around lunch for something else with the house and to fix the toilet. I didn't have to worry about a kind way to bring up how warm we were because as soon as Gordon walked in the house, Cale was sitting in the chair shirtless and as soon as Gordon said hello, Cale said, "So hot!" Haha! That took care of that!
* Last night I was cuddled up with Cale and the conversation led to me pouring my heart out to him about how much I love him and all that we've been through including the moments of watching him leave in the Taxi when he left for Basic, saying good bye for each deployment, seeing him in the ICU, and of course how it all continues. I was teary eyed and I expressed how amazing it is that I get to be his wife and after I was finished, Cale says, "Wait. Not to change the subject, but why am I here?" Hahaha! I was definitely crying at that point from laughter! The sad part is that he isn't able to comprehend why he's here and no matter how many times we go over it, it doesn't help. It was still really funny that after everything I said that's what he replied with!
Like I said, there are a ton more stories, but I had forgotten to jot them down. Hopefully you got a laugh out of one of those though! :o)
On Saturday they had a Harvest Festival run here on base. I went with a friend and her husband. They walked together and at first I thought I would either walk with them or do a light run, but I ended up getting in the moment and ran hard! It was a blast! I'm so thankful the Lord provided such a sweet friend once again at the perfect time! Love her!
One of my friends back home that I treasure was in touch with her cousin that lives in this area and had her drop off some yummy treats to cheer me up! It was so sweeeeet and thoughtful! Thank you Sharon for your thoughtfulness and friendship!
I was asked on Friday to step away this next week (M-F) and only come to see Cale at dinner time. I'm guessing you can imagine me sitting in the chair as I'm being told to step away. Now, I totally understand the taking care of the caregiver and getting breaks BUT this was really hard to hear because it's not home! I knew it was going to be extremely hard for Cale. And although it was hard to hear and the tears did come because I'm a big ol' baby, I am totally willing! I want to do whatever they think is best for Cale and we're here. I'm committed. If this is what needs to happen, I'll do it! I started to wonder what I was going to do though! I don't have a car at this point and I'm terrified to use the metro being as how I get lost on the bus system in the Tri-Cities...pathetic. So...what will I do?! As I thought more and more I realized that since the accident, there hasn't been a day that I had nothing to do. Even when I take a trip; a break of sorts, the agenda is always busy and not so restful.
Not once have I not had to wake up for something or end up with a busy day and a list to accomplish.
I guess maybe for parents this is normal, but I'm not a parent yet! I figured for the first day I would not set my alarm and just sleep in and be warm in bed while the beginning of the storm happened outside. Cale called at 6am wondering where I was...and then 7:15 and then 8:45. Several texts happened in between as well! One of his docs called around 9 and said that because of the storm there weren't going to be a lot of activities happening if I wanted to come hang out with him and then after the massive part of the storm they would continue with the plan. So...here I sit! :o) Cale was pretty happy about it! Me too! I'll try to post when that time does come because we'll need prayers! '
I think we're all going to watch a movie and play some games. I feel like it's also a eat soup kind of day! For those of you about to be hit with this storm and not so lucky to be in a hospital, stay safe!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Flying By!

Sorry for the lack of updates! I feel like I just posted about how the days here seem to drag on...but...all of a sudden tomorrow is Friday again! This week flew! Well, I can say it flew for me, but Cale would disagree!
Hmm...backing up to Sunday...it's been a wild ride this week for sure!
Here we go!
Sunday was hard. Saturday and Sunday there is nothing happening around the unit, so we go from game to game trying to keep Cale entertained. The problem comes when we run out of options. Each activity we do with him, he can only do it for so long. This is very normal at home as well. When you're stuck in a rather small area...the options become even more limited.
At one point Cale reached his max and exploded. This time it was really bad. We were finally able to get him to calm down and talked through it, but that was after removing objects out of his way.
Monday he finally showered! It had been since Tuesday...so one was needed! I guess I should be thankful he's not dripping with sweat every day or we'd need some serious body spray! Well, either that or clothespins! 
The moment that he was about to explode with anger, there was a knock on the door. Saved by the EEG! The nurse, Mama, and I were all nervous because in that moment he was not happy and with the EEG he had to stay really still and quiet. Our minds filled with all the different scenarios that could take place, but he actually did perfect! In fact, when it was all over, he was his silly self! :o)
The goop all over his head is the whole reason he showered! We decided we may need to do that every morning!
That night Cale said bye to Mama, and her and I had a date to the Cheesecake Factory! I ate every single bite. Did you know they serve enough for a family of four...and I took care of the entire dish of pasta?! Wowza! Cale said, "Oh. So, you're fat." Yeah...don't worry. He said it to me yesterday again after finding out I ate two caramel pumpkins. Haha!
She is an amazing blessing. I'm so thankful I get to call her Mama...
...and that she'll still play Gold Fish with me after all these years.
I have to be honest...I totally cried when I had to hug her good bye. I went back to the room to get ready and get to the hospital and the room suddenly felt really empty. I love having her company. She seems to always keep me laughing! And with her gone...any of you want to come visit?! (wink wink)
Tuesday was up and down several different times! There were two explosions. He did great with therapy and even worked on carving pumpkins outside in a closed patio. It was still at the hospital and still a locked area, but it was outside. Fresh air was awesome for him!
Because of his explosions and the extent of them, the doctor ordered not only for someone to have him in their line of vision at all times, but for that night they had to be with him in the room. I had left a little earlier to get some laundry done and received a call (or two or three) from a very upset husband. He did not like one bit that someone was in the room with him. I called and talked with the nurse to get the whole picture and then called him back to explain. He's not able to comprehend what is taking place and I know it's incredibly frustrating for him. I was going back and forth not knowing what to do. Go back to hospital? Stay and get rest?
I know rest is crucial to be able to take care of him the way that is needed, but knowing he was so upset of course made me feel unsettled. I can't fall asleep like that!
I finally decided to stay because of a conversation I had with his doc earlier that day. I was told (in a very gentle way) that I needed to "start lengthening the period of time I'm away from the ward." He then talked about how I already know Cale but they really need to get to know him. I totally understand and I know it's not a bad thing...and I know it'll be good for me to have this break...but...it's not easy! I hate watching Cale be so sad and miserable and not be able to do anything about it. That is honestly the worst part about all of this.
Wednesday was another hard day. I told Mama before she left, I feel like for so long now, I'm always walking on egg shells. I'm sure some of you understand and are in similar situations. I never know what he's going to get upset about and I try so hard to continually make him happy.
He had another explosion and once again the doors happened to be open and he marched right off. Plenty of staff was right there so he didn't get too far. It took a while to get him to calm down and meds were given to help. By the time he came back to the room he was still upset but had seemed to be in a different state. We ended up having a great rest of the day together! I bought a large container of legos for us to play with. He isn't able to put together the lego packs that are something specific to build but I think he'll be able to enjoy just building something of his own!
Today was just a challenging day. He got upset a few times that were more intense but no explosions! He kind of stayed mad at me most of the day. Told me to go and not to come back...but forgot about an hour later because he started to ask where I was and when I was coming back. :o)
Like I said, seeing him struggle so much just hurts. I hate it.
I know eventually we're going to get to the other side of the bridge though! I'm hopeful and catch myself day dreaming about getting to go home and keep living our life as husband and wife.
Along with all the anger and sad stuff, it's not all bad here. Thinking about all that I just typed I probably made it sound that way, but I don't mean to. We've been getting to be together and Cale is mischievous and hilarious often. I love the little moments I get with him and know that when I look into his eyes it's a very sweet thing that we share.
Please continue to pray for his heart to be softened, wisdom for the docs, for us to be used for Christ's glory, and for me to love him the way he needs; the way I was created to love...
I have some more on my heart and will post again maybe tomorrow?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Living each day...

{Cale in high school}
Some days I miss him so much that I forget that no matter how hard I close my eyes...when I open them, he's still not back.
Some days I look at Cale now and fill so full of love for him, I can't imagine him being any other way.
Some days I need a little extra chocolate.
Some days I wonder what I would be like with a brain injury. Would I have been willing to work so hard for so long with out understanding? Or would I have given up?
Some days I feel so encouraged and ready to share with the world the way Christ has given us joy in the midst of sorrow, peace in the midst of chaos, and confidence in Him in the midst of confusion.
Some days I want to sit in a room and hide from it all.
Some days I want to scream.
Some days I want to dance.
Last night while reading Jesus Calling for Kids I was reminded to see each day as an adventure planned out by God. Each day is a precious gift to us and we're not to take the easy way out or just want to get through the day...we're supposed to live each day and follow our Shepherd wherever He leads...even when it's scary.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
-Psalm 118:24

Friday, October 19, 2012

Only because of HIS divine power...

Days are extra-long here. I don’t necessarily want to pray for our time here to go quickly or the days to pass by because I hate wishing for time to fly…doesn’t it already do that enough?!  
But…it does seem as though time drags on here. My walks to the hospital are filled with a dark sky hardly any movement around and when I leave at night it’s once again dark and quiet. I am getting out of the room some but at this point it’s still important for me to be around as much as possible.
I decided to make posting again today a priority because I need to open up a little more about our struggles and where we’re at. I’m not going to go into details with some of it because I need to protect Cale and myself…but I do need want to share some so you might know more specifically how to pray for us and share more about why we’re inpatient in this program.
Yesterday when I posted I kept it light because I wanted to focus on being so thankful for your prayers and how awesome it was that we were each gifted something special. There weren’t any explosions yesterday but Cale still has a lot of anger and gets upset often. At least every 20 minutes, normally even more often, he’ll ask why we’re here. He just isn’t able to remember why we’re here or to grasp and understand. Every time he asks, it’s followed by him becoming really angry. Sometimes, he just yells and hits the bed or himself. Recently (within the last couple months) he’s been threatening to hurt himself (with words)  when his anger rises. I’ve written before about his anger maturing. Yesterday every time he would become angry, we were able to keep it somewhat controlled and redirect him.
Sometimes, we’re not so fortunate and his anger escalates until he’s uncontrollable. Along with him threatening to hurt himself, he has reached a point that he has tried acting on it. As well as hurting himself, he’s begun hurting me. Up until San Diego, it wasn’t to a point that I felt like he would actually hurt me. Over the last month it’s progressed to a point that I no longer have a choice. I’m not safe and neither is he. I need help.
After returning from Ecuador I was told of this program that helps with medication management. We had already started the process of weaning him off of one med curious if that was contributing to his mood swings. We weren’t really sure where to go and because his neurologist is in Seattle it was left to me to weed through the changes on the med switches and figuring out what was going to be the best next step. Cale was in a coma and unresponsive when he was put on his meds so we have no idea how the side effects affect him. His mood swings could be from medication, brain injury, or a level in his body off. Possibly from something else or all of the above!
At this point because both of our lives have been at risk, even if we weren’t in this program, I wouldn’t be able to have him home. I hate that we’re here in this stage and I hate that he’s having to go through this and I really hate that I have to watch him be so miserable, but I rest in being confident in the knowledge that we are not alone and that the Lord has already qualified me for this moment in our marriage to love Cale the best that I can even if that means watching him hurt.
  I also once again can declare how amazing it is to see God’s hand through each step we have to take. Cale’s anger has been progressing since winter of 2010, but at this point right now, I had no idea it was going to get so intense, but of course God did! Over a year ago He brought a super wonderful awesome woman into my life that has helped multiple times since and then again this last August was able to recommend the idea and possibility of Cale going inpatient again to figure out his meds and to see if we can get him leveled. I was very unsure about him going inpatient again and I knew he was not going to like it one bit. I knew it was going to be hard but I knew it was a direction we needed to go. Now, I’m even more thankful knowing that he’s in this incredible (no other word describes it well enough!) program for his meds rather than us being at home with no hands on support!
I’ve been thinking the last few days about how I walked with Christ and sought Him before ever dating a guy. I prayed for my future husband consistently since I was 13 and chose a man who I knew loved the Lord. I could never have imagined or even thought about how one day a time would come that I would fear him and be hurt emotionally and physically by him. Even as I type this and as I’ve talked with Mama, I can’t even fully understand.
I know that he loves and adores me and aside from his explosions he is the sweetest husband to me.  
We ask that you pray specifically for-
* Wisdom for the doctors and staff here as they learn him and begin to come up with a care plan. I have been told that we could be here a long while…
* Peace, joy and comfort that only God can provide to pour over him.
* That Cale’s heart would be open to this program and that he would gain understanding. Also that he would be willing and open for treatment.
* I’m also praying that everyone we come into contact with here, we would be a blessing to and that we would let Jesus fill and overflow so that they will see Him in us and that all glory would go to Him.
* Patience for staff, myself, and Cale. For Cale’s safety he has been assigned someone to be with him at all times. Even if I’m around, a staff has Cale in their line of vision. He’s also being observed as they watch how he reacts to different things, what triggers cause him to be angry, and why he does some of the things he does. It’s a long slow process and just takes time.
* We would be able to leave knowing which med if any Cale needs to be on and that we'd have tools to further his recovery and provide a better life for him.
* Weekends are quiet and very laid back here. There's no schedule and lots of down time. As I've already said, the down time is when Cale struggles the most. Oh goody...!
This afternoon Cale had another explosion. It was his second for the day. This time he was hanging out by the double doors yelling that he wanted to go home. It’s a locked unit so he can’t just walk off. I was trying to redirect and calm him down but a couple cleaning ladies put the code in to come through the doors. As soon as they opened, Cale bolted. I stayed behind and let a couple of the strong Navy guys follow. He ended up locking himself in a room down the hall and wouldn’t let anyone in or come out. He kept asking for me so one of the guys came and led me to my man behind the door. He did let me in and so it wouldn’t just be the two of us, one of the doctors slipped his foot so he couldn’t close it. We were finally able to get him out of the room only by talking about his brother Ty and how he should call him. Once out of the room he would only stand in the hall but we couldn’t get him to budge and head back to the unit. Finally I was able to get a smile and talked him into going back to his room but he would only with one condition…he wanted me to prance down the hall. So pranced I did! Yep, I sure did. Right in front of the two doctors and the navy guys.
While he’s here they are giving him therapy. It’s a couple days out of the week and helps break up the days. Right now he’s locked on the unit and we’re switching from card game to card game along with the iPad games and Xbox to keep him entertained. One of the goals Cale has for PT is to pick up and carry our (someday) baby by himself safely. So, the PT went on a thinking hunt and today she brought in an 8 pound ball weight for him to work with.
Here’s are little family! Isn’t our baby so sweet?! Cale said it’s a girl because it has purple…
Again I want to thank you for all your prayers. I have been loaded with such sweet and encouraging words from so many of you. I can’t imagine walking this journey and not having all of you apart of our lives!
If you want to send an encouraging card to Cale send to:
Caleb Darling
8901 Wisconsin Ave
TBI-7East Bldg 10, 7th floor
Bethesda, MD 20889
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. -2 Peter 1:3

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank You!!!

Thank you for ALL the prayers!!
Today has been so much better! Still rough BUT no explosions! The staff were in and out of the room and he was willing to do what was asked. He wasn't afraid to tell them he thought this place was dumb and he didn't want to be here...but that's pretty normal! ;o)
Cale has a new friend! One of the other patients has a service dog and she lets Cale hang out with him often! This brought smiles all through out the day! It also made me even more excited about us getting a service dog! There is such a difference...we've already talked about Basil with everyone though! Cale keeps talking about him and then we have to say we don't have him anymore. I always try to follow up with how we're getting another dog! And we both agree it'll be good!
I also found a running partner! I haven't been able to run since Sunday when I went with my brother and with the schedule here being so busy I didn't want to get out of the habit and not be able to! Lately I've needed to run. It's been my little time to get out frustration and clear my head. Well, about 5 minutes after meeting one of the other wives, I asked if she was a runner. It was maybe a random weird question to ask so quickly but I'm desperate! Haha! Turns out she is! She has run several marathons but hasn't trained in a few years. She's happy to get back to it and so am I!
So thankful for our extra blessings today!
Again, thank you for the prayers!
I asked Cale if he has anything to add, he says, "Eh."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

getting settled.

I'm once again at a loss of where to start this post. I feel like I'm constantly telling you that I have a ton to update on and then never get to it...
At this moment I feel completely drained. Not so much physically although I do feel that as well, but mostly my emotions are spent. I wrote a few weeks ago about our acceptance into an inpatient program for Cale at Walter Reed. We basically know that it's an amazing program and it's for brain injury...we have no idea how long we'll be here or what the days will look like.
I honestly feel like this is a door God opened with out me even looking. A huge blessing!
that doesn't mean it's easy and smooth sailing. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
I've tried not to even bring it up or have it mentioned since Cale started to get upset about it. Yesterday morning right after I got out of the shower, Cale had me cornered in the bathroom asking if we were going home. I decided it was time to just let him know.
I have no idea if it was the right time or not but I think no time would have been "great."
He was mad.
Really mad.
His explosions now consists of yelling, slamming doors, bolting, and then more physical. It's not pleasant for anyone around but thankfully my brother was there and was able to help out. By the time we left for the airport, Cale wasn't happy about going but he had calmed down. I was so nervous for the flight, wondering how it was going to be if he had an explosion in the airport or on the plane. Mama had flown to my brothers the week before we went to his house and flew here with us. She'll be here for a few days helping to get us settled before going back to WA to finish getting our new house ready. I'm so thankful she came because the flights ended up being fine and for most of the day Cale was calm and just let us know every couple minutes that he wanted to be home.
Last night while we were doing devotions together we read:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56:3-4
I started to talk about being here and his "appointment" as we started to refer to the program, but Cale didn't want to hear anything about how we need to trust God. He said he didn't want to and he was just mad. Within moments he was steaming mad and another explosion had begun. There is no way I would have been able to control him by myself. I have no idea what would have happened if Mama wouldn't have been there to help. It was one of the most intense explosions.
In those moments, nothing that is said or done matters. He's just flat out angry.
The only way I can think to describe it is that for the majority of the time, Cale is this amazing, loving, wonderful, sweet, strong, and funny man but then a switch happens and I call it brain injury taking over. It's all out the window. Everything. He hates me and anyone else around. 
I'm praying that while we're here we'll be able to find some tools and possibly ways to help  through these moments!
Busy days ahead and I'm excited to see what comes out of them!
We finished our time in NC with our Cary friends! It was such a great time and every person we were able to visit with was so special!
We were able to see Cale's doc from while he was inpatient in Cary!
We had lunch with some of our very sweet prayer warriors!
Cale rode in a super cool car! Don't worry...he wasn't the driver! ;o) He did wish it though!
We love our adopted family in NC!
Do you remember me posting in 2010 about Adam and Amy?! We had met them while at Wake Med. Adam came to the unit a couple months after Cale and instantly Amy and I shared a deep intimate bond. We understood each other without a word being spoken. We're both not so great about keeping in touch as often as we would like, but getting to spend a day with them was so wonderful. Adam is doing amazing...incredibly awesome to see his healing and progress and well, Amy is just a jewel. She really is. Her heart is for her man. They are true gifts!
We saw and spent time with our friend Shawna! The time wasn't nearly as long as I had wanted BUT it was still so good to see her in person and laugh together again!
We also were able to have dinner with his therapists he had while at Wake Med. His PT wasn't able to make it this time and she was missed! It was so great to have time to chat with them and see their faces! They became so very dear to my heart those months while Cale was inpatient there. We had been gone all day with a friend so by dinner time I was feeling and looking pretty yucky. Before seeing them I was thinking about how I wished that I would have had a chance to freshen up and at least make myself smell better if nothing else, but once I had my first hug, the thought was gone! They made us feel so loved and comfortable. So thankful for them!
We journeyed to another part of NC to spend a week with my brother! Mama had flown in a week before us so she was there as well. We were quite the crazy bunch...let me just tell ya!
the girls had fun hanging out and getting our ears pierced! Caitlin was brave with me and we pierced our upper ear together. I had mine done when I was 17? but it only lasted a couple years. Here's for another go! My sweet little niece Cierra was brave with the big girls and got her ears pierced too! Her first time and she was so scared! In that last picture you can see her goofy cheer squad! We kept a smile on her face right up until they punched the holes and then the tears came! She was so brave and loves her new pretty earrings!
The guys played mini golf and did other...guy stuff.


We love our family and very much dislike they're so far away! The kids are growing up waaaaaay too fast! My brother is so good with Cale and gets Cale laughing so hard I think he stops breathing. My SIL is so funny and we laugh so much together. Sigh. I just love them.

I know there are a bazillion stories to tell and I have some written down to make sure I post but it'll have to wait for another day.

During this time I've been typing, Cale has had another explosion. Ugh. The staff are trying to learn him but at shift change it all starts again. The doc was able to get Cale into his office and then afterwards called me in to chat while Mama stayed in the room with Cale. Friends, please be praying. This program is incredible. Incredible! Just in the short time I just met with the doc already again I'm so excited. But, we need Cale on board. There's no reason to be here if he refuses everything and won't commit. Will you join me in lifting him up before the throne? Maybe while you're at it, lift me up too! :o) Honestly, we need are prayer warriors on board! This is a battle we're only going to conquer with the Lord!

It's hard to be in the position just wanting the best possible life for Cale and him not understanding in the slightest. He says I'm mean, he hates me, and he's going to divorce me. He also yelled that he doesn't want a baby with "that" when Mama was trying to explain how this program can be a help for us to have a baby.  I see him so miserable and it breaks my heart in so many pieces...pieces that I don't know if I can ever find again. I feel has horrible as he says I am. I feel guilty and terrible. This is just one of those times that I have to be the ugly horrid person because I love him so much. So much that it literally hurts...and there are so many tears.

Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for being a part of our lives and allowing me to come to you with my heart. As open and raw as it may be. I'm not great at keeping in touch and answering calls and emails...but I am so blessed by all of you!

The first few days at a new facility are always the hardest but I know we'll slowly get settled in.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A quickie!

I have a TON to update!
We just finished up a week at my brothers and other than my phone we didn't have internet...so no updates. My goal is to get a big ol' monster one up tomorrow evening! We're alive and currently in Maryland at Walter Reed where Cale will officially be back to inpatient tomorrow. YIKES. Uh...oh wow...yikes. Let's just say that by 9am this morning I was ready to crawl back to bed.
We're here though.
in ONE piece.
All three of us...the Mama, the Boy, and the Girl.
All here.
Lots more words and pictures to come!
p.s. THANK YOU for everyone that was praying for us today! I quickly posted on fb right after a little episode this morning and several of you commented that you were praying and I've also received messages, emails, and texts! Thank you SO much!
And...that's a thank you to ALL of you that pray for us! We feel them, need them, and are so very thankful for each one!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

On to the next part of our trip!

Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!
First, I have to start off with letting you know how blessed we are with each of you in our life! From the beginning of this trip up until this moment I have this constant thankfulness. Isn't it crazy to think about how all of your family and friends (and people you may not even think of) are not an accident or randomness! Crazy! The Lord knew that we were going to walk this path and experience the twist and turns that we do and He specifically placed you amazing blessings in our life!
Gosh, I just love each of you and am so very thankful. Yes, even you who I've never actually met...I'm so thankful for you too! :o)
We loved our time in NY! There were lots of folks we just didn't have time to see and many that we wished we had more time with...but still completely loved it!
Sunday we went to our church in NY and worshipped with them. Sunday morning was a not so good start for Cale but by the time we were at church all was good and we were ready to worship!
And..some pretty cool things happened on Sunday which makes it a totally awesome day.
Starting with...
We had just walked in and found a seat towards the back. We normally like to sit closer to the front, but it was packed! And we walked in late so I didn't want to disturb everyone. When we settled and started singing, I pointed out to Cale that the three guys in front of us were from Ft. Drum. He first shrugged wondering how I knew but then we saw one guy had his dog tags on. At the end of service I started talking with a couple to my right and behind us. When I finished and turned back to Cale, he had a great big smile and said, "I talked to them! Three of them!" When I asked what he said he told me, "I said, Fort Drum? and then they said yeah and then I said me too! I'm Fort Drum! I'm Sergeant!" He stayed so happy for about 5 minutes! He never just talks to people on his own! Pretty Saweeeeet!
I also hugged on some ladies!
Right after church we went to a cottage our NY family owns. We had gone several times before the accident so even there is full of memories. After eating a good lunch, Julie, Melissa and I went for a run. I was supposed to run 5 miles but neither of them were too thrilled with the idea. They were both a sport and did it anyhow! What was so great is that we were at about our turn around point and decided to go a little farther...so we did 6 miles! I loved getting to run with them AND laugh and visit. These two ladies make me smile every single time I'm with them. Goodness! I've missed them so much! I already can't wait to see them again!
Sunday night we went to a young adults bible study. I was wondering how it was going to go with Cale. Sometimes he does ok and some times he just wants to bolt! I had in my head that it was around 8 couples and instead I think there were about 30? people? I then became even more nervous because the night had potential to go either way. It started off with everyone eating all around the house. After getting Cale a plate of goodies, we found him a spot with a table and I went around to visit. There was a point that was kind of awkward. I didn't really know too many people and the people I did know were all in conversations so I went to sit with Cale. We joked a little about how it was awkward and how we didn't know that many people. Every now and then I would get up and find someone else to talk to. I would keep coming back laughing that it was a short conversation and had become awkward again. I pointed out a group of about 4 guys that were all Army to Cale at one point during all of that. When he finished his dessert he said, "I'm going to talk." Uh...huh?!
It was loud with everyone talking so I let him know they may have a hard time hearing him. His reply was "eh" and then he walked right over to them and joined the conversation!
He never-NEVER does this!
I'm not sure how much he actually talked but he definitely was listening! Watching him just walk right over was crazy and I was in shock but then suddenly I was laughing so hard because I was the one left sitting there! It didn't take me long to find some ladies to chat with though!
So...wow! Yeah...so cool right?! Well, I'm not done yet!
When the actual study started, Cale normally would get really bored and not be able to process and understand what was going on. That's the point he usually decides he's going to walk to WA! But, this time he focused. He listened. He responded. It was so great! When Hannah and I were talking about it later, Hannah said, "he says what everyone else is thinking." Which is so true all throughout the day! I had to snap a picture of him because he was so engaged and I wanted to capture the moment...
The last few days were full of friends, laughter, and food! It was such a GREAT time!
So...after our WONDERFUL visit in NY, we're now in NC! Yahoo! We have two parts to the trip in this state. We're first back where Cale was inpatient at the second hospital he was at. Do we have family in this town? Nope! Well, yes...we just adopted them! :o) Can I just repeat yet again how incredibly blessed we are by all the people the Lord has put in our lives?! It was mentioned to me how interesting it was that we make trips back here when there's no family connection, but I honestly feel like the people that we've built a relationship with here are family!
We've had a fun time so far! I can again say that it's been full so far of friends, laughter, and FOOD...so much good food! Yikes!
We've enjoyed frozen yogurt...
Can you guess which one was my lunch and which was Cale's?
We like each other a little bit...
I had a girls lunch date...
...got a bit crazy...
...and baked some cupcakes!
While in NY we had fall. The real kind of fall when you where boots and scarves, eat soup and drink warm coffee, and sit by the fire place but so far in NC we're still in summer! I was not prepared to switch! Although, after a few days of summer, I do think the last couple days here will be a bit more chilly! Tomorrow...boots! :o)
Our first full day in NY a friend of mine was sweet enough to bless us with a photo session. A while ago I had found these guys in storage...
...and that sparked the idea for the photo shoot! I busted out my wedding dress and Cale's uniform, we shipped them to NY, and after getting my hair and make up done, we had a great photo shoot! I'll be putting up more pictures and details when I get all the pictures but for now I just wanted to give you a sneak peak. I absolutely love them!
We started a new devotional last night. I'm not sure if you remember but last spring I started using Jesus Calling. Love it. I don't use it everyday, but every time I do use it, it's awesome! My friend Sarah in NY asked if I had ever used the kids one. Cale and I have tried a few devotionals together but he has a hard time understanding and grasping whats being said. I had never thought of using a kids one for him! We found it at the bookstore yesterday and started it right away! We had a great time as I read it and we discussed. Our prayer time was really good too! I'm excited to start this as we prepare for this new season in our lives! I know it's going to be one of great growth and most likely many tears but I know we've already been equipped for the road ahead!
I read Isaiah 43:18-19 today...and needed the reminder!
Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.