Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A wedding...birthday...and house!

Before I can say anything else, I first need to say thank you. After I typed up the post last night and hit publish, I instantly felt better! I knew that sharing my heart with you meant that today as you read, you would be praying and battling right along with us. There is no way to express to you how much I need that in my life. I can’t even imagine walking out this journey without you joining me. Just the thought makes me want to start searching Google for Anti-Depressants. You’re a blessing.

This last weekend we went to a wedding on the western side of WA. It was beautiful!!! The Father of the bride was my youth pastor for a while before he left for seminary years ago. He honestly made a world of a difference in my life. I very much respect and look up to him! His wife is amazing and goodnessI just love her. Their daughter was the beautiful bride over the weekend, and it was so special to share her wedding day with all of them!


These three girls were my flower girls 7 years ago! They were just itty bitty! They haven’t all 3 been together since!

Waiting for the ceremony to startCale’s talking watch went off about 15 minutes after it started! Oops!

Introducing the Mr. & Mrs..





The location was BEAUTIFUL!!!! I’m a fan of the charming Port Gamble.
Our niece came along on our little trip. I loved getting to spend time with her! She thought the bride was like a celebrity and so pretty! She made her a little gift out of the favor bags and flowers she picked outside and then wanted her picture with her. So cute!

My good lookin’ date J

The ladies

Cale did the dollar dance with the bride. Before he went to her, I told him he could twirl her like he twirls me at home, but he wouldn’t do it. Twirling is only for his girl! It was so incredibly lovely watching them dance. I’m grateful he didn’t lose his balance. Thankfully they didn’t move too much!

On our way home we stopped at a produce/antique stand. It was full of goodies and while the ladies were checking things out, Cale found a treasure as well! Getting him low enough to sit on it wasn’t nearly as bad as trying to get him up. He loved it thoughSilly boy!

There has been a CHANGE for the Darling Project! We received Cale’s VA letter a couple weeks ago and that started the process of rethinking our plan. We’ve been unsure of what finances were going to look like, but things are settling and we now have a better picture. We are blessed. We’re now house hunting with the idea to use the Darling Project to help fix up the house for Cale’s needs or in other areas if needed. All last week I was on phone calls with a financial advisor and between yesterday and today we’ve been around town on the hunt. We actually were able to find a house today that has everything on our list of needs and wants!! There was one thing missing, but it’s on the want list and is made up for from another area. The only thing as of yet that we can see we’ll need to change is the flooring. Cale gets tripped up on carpet easily, and to give him the ability to be as independent as possible, we’re going to need to rip out the carpet and put in different flooring. We’ll see how it all plays out though! I’ll keep you updated!!! Please be praying for wisdom! So far it’s just been Mama going with me. We’ll be showing Cale in the next couple days to make sure he’s a fan J

Today is our good friend Zita’s birthday. We love her. Her family just moved to a new house and tonight Mama, Cale, and I joined them for a yummy dinner to celebrate Zita and see their gorgeous new home!
Today has been different. Overall it was a great day. It wasn’t absent of any mood swings from Cale, but I was encouraged by you all throughout the day. I love each and every message/email/text/comment/call that you send my way. Finding a house I’m crazy aboutyeah, that helped a little! J

No matter how many ups and downs we havehe always makes my heart smile.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Daily I surrender...

Friends, I’ve always been honest with you. I may sometimes leave a few details out or wait to share a few things, but so far along this journey we’ve traveled together, I’ve always let you see my heart and all that goes on in my little mind.
Tonight I’m coming to you for prayer.

I was able to get out of the house with just Mama this afternoon which hasn’t happened in way too long. It was good. I needed fresh air. I needed Mama to make me laugh and be silly with.

It’s been a challenging season with Cale. I’m not sure that I can quite pin when it started, my guess is Aprilish. Times like this are always in and out and even day to day we go up and down so much if you were in a plane, you’d vomit for sure.

Cale has no control. When he knows that he’s hurt me, it hurts him, but in the moment, there’s no reasoning, no understanding. Nothing outside of his little bubble matters, including his wife.

My heart breaks.

Over and over again.

I tell myself it’s only for a season. Lord, please let it be only for a season.

I try every possible tactic I can think of to help free us from those ugly minutes.

After they pass, he’s completely amazing in every way. Making my heart melt and dream.

He doesn’t know.

Sometimes, it’s a fit like a child, a tantrum when his way isn’t met. Frustrating…annoying…hilarious; a mix of it all.

Sometimes, it’s anger.

Day after day.

I find myself not as patient with him lately.

I try. I know it’s not him and that he doesn’t understand.
My heart breaks.

Over and over again.

So many tears.
One huge area I miss in our marriage?

Cale leading me spiritually.
He no longer has the initiation to lead in prayer, to bring the Lord into his day, or to lead me.

Some days, his standards, morals, and thought pattern line up with the way it all was pre-brain injury.
Some days, I have no clue where his thoughts, words, or standards are coming from. Pre-Christ?

Each day is so hard for him.

Choose your battles.

I was told that several times before our wedding day.

I’ve continued to heed the advice.

What happens when the battles are over showering, brushing teeth, eating, and taking meds?

The only place to run to and escape the heavy burden, is at the feet of Jesus.

Surrendering.

All of it.

Daily.

There are so many more thoughts.

So many more things to share about the last week.

Later. For now, please pray for us.

All day I tried to think of something to post on my Facebook status for Memorial Day. Everything I started to type sounded so impersonal and repetitive. I was never able to think of anything that satisfied, except for saying thank you. I know the men and women that have given their lives for our freedom aren’t able to hear me, but maybe you are a family member of someone or you know someone that sacrificed and to you I also say thank you.

To think of all the families that have given so much to make it even possible for me to sit here so freely on my laptop and share my heart with you…

Thank you.

p.s. Cale just said, “You are so much better than…something. Blank.” I asked what blank was, but he said he couldn’t think of it! Oh how he makes me crazy! Haha! He’s so cute when his left frontal lobe is not kicked back on vacation!




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wounded Warrior Wives

I feel like it’s been so long that I’ve sat and taken the time to update, that I’ll never be able to catch up.

But, I’m going to try.

We are still herestill chugging along.

Things seem to be moving so quickly. I wake up in the morning and suddenly I’m hitting the pillow and saying good night.

The wedding week was a blast! I was spoiled with being able to have so much time with friends! Cale had a good hard week. It was full of challenges because although it was wonderful, it was a whole lot of stimulation for him. I knew that the time he was having with the guys was needed and whatever I was going to have to deal with, I would.

Joe and Beth had a beautiful wedding! It was extra special having Cale walk and be a part of everything. There was a time that Rachel and I had talked about how Cale may be in a nursing home when they got married, or in a wheelchair. If he was still in the wheelchair it would have been no problem and we would have made whatever needed to work happen, but praise God that he walked!

We did have a couple escape plans in case Cale wasn’t able to handle standing up front. The rehearsal was a bitinteresting, but everything worked out just fine!

At the reception, Cale was Mr. Happy. His humor shines through more and more every dayand I love it! At one point Mama was talking with our Pastor and Cale walked up behind her and bit her head! Twice! What can I say?

He also at one point looked at me and stated, “You are K A and I am C A” I agreed as he was talking about the first two letters of our name. He then added, “We’re ka ca” Oh how I love that man. Nothing like announcing to everyone around that the Darlings are ca ca poo poo!   

I was playing catch up last week along with spending time on phone calls. We’ve been trying to straighten out a few things with the VA.

Early Friday morning I left for a retreat. I had just recently been to one and wouldn’t have gone to another so quickly if I wouldn’t have been invited by one of the ladies running it. They were doing a pilot program and asked if I would attend and give feedback and compare to the last one.

It was awesome.

I was so impressed with the materials they used and the focus of the weekend.

I was thinking today about what a wounded warrior wife is

And after reading some of what the ladies posted, I wanted to share.

These wounded warrior wives were making a declaration to be women that


Are strong, compassionate, tireless, determined, fighters, live in the moment, love, family, strength, faith, they pour love into people, they listen, they teach by example, an advocate, empowered, alive, a breath of air, and speaks possibility into others.

This was just a fraction of the list.

Are we all of these things? Nope. Are we any of them? Hopefully, but not perfected! What stands out and amazes me is that I sat in a room full of women that all came with baggage and struggles, but they all desire to be more than what their situation is at home.

I thought of them Sunday night as I sat alone crying on my bathroom floor. Coming home was wonderful and I was having a beautiful time with Cale, but that lasted until he got really upset about brushing his teeth.

It was a big tantrum.

It was hard.

I hated it.

I felt defeated.

And then I thought of all those women and what they were dealing with as they went home. Were they all having perfect romantic nights?

Nope.

But I knew they were trying.

In that moment of frustration and hurt, I asked myself what in me allows for me to love my husband when it’s the not-so-easy times? Why do I love him so? Why am I still crazy about him even though we have these hard nights when brain injury wins out and I’m left alone?

It’s Christ in me.

His love is enough. His love is enough that when the tears are still streaming down my red cheeks, that I can get up, locate my husband, and with loving words talk him into coming back to the bedroom with me.

God’s enough that even though I may have not done anything wrong, I can still ask Cale to forgive me because in his mind I hurt him in some way. His feelings matter.

I went to bed Sunday night encouraged. Challenged. Comforted.

I was blessed to get away from life here and take a break.

I’ve been working on a new tactic with Cale the last few days for when he starts to get worked up. The idea came from one of the things we worked on at the retreat and I wondered how I could switch it around and change it to fit Cale’s needs.. So far, I think it’s helping!

Before our appointments in Seattle, Cale’s doc had already prescribed some therapy. Even though we were told we wouldn’t get PT and only a few sessions of speech, we’re able to still add on what was prescribed. Today was our first day of testing and assessment for where Cale is at. Speech went good even though Cale started the session off with letting the speech therapist know he did not want to be there at all. Haha!. She handled it well :o)
I was nervous about how PT was going to go since he has struggled with it the most the last several months, but to my surprise it went great! We talked about goals and Cale told the PT that he wanted to pick up and carry our baby safely! We talked to him about how we would love to have a baby at some point and the different things we need to work on to reach that goal. I fully believe it’s possible for Cale to reach it! It warmed my heart hearing him make a goal for our future baby!

I finished the Hunger Games.

It heated up here for a few days and then BAM! the chill came back.

There are way too many people I wished lived on my block.

I attempted to watch a movie from Netflix with Mama the other night. Bad. Movie.

I have a list that is longer than Santa’s naughty or nice list of crafts I have planned.

Cale had orange and blue suits made in Afghanistan for him to wear with TJ when he came back from deployment. The idea was from the movie Dumb and Dumber. It never happened because of the accident, so while the guys were together for the wedding, they suited up!

Cale almost always has a Mt. Dew bottle with him but he hardly drinks any of it! It’s just a comfort to have it with him.

While I was on my trip, he sang along with Mama to the theme song for Gilmore Girls.

He cracks me up!

There is a possible change of plans to the Darling Project. I’ll update more when I have info. Please keep praying!

I’m sure there are many more things that I should be adding, but I’ve come to the end of the memory bank.

One last thinglast night was incredible. There were tears again, but happy ones this time. All things are possible through Christ!


I found the pot from the 1920's and decided it was perfect to host my oregano. I adore it. We’ve been spending (well, when it was warmer out) more time outside.
We are so blessed with the house we have now and the deck that came with it. Do you think that a nice deck can go under the list of “needs” for our next house if I say it’s for my therapy?!
These are the two best people to hug before flying!

The first activity of the weekend was painting. Mine looks like a kid in grade school could have done it, but Cale said he liked it J

Home with him is always good.
I really am going to try to update a little more often. Haven't I said that before? hmm...

Monday, May 14, 2012

All about the pictures...

                                                               Wedding Days...



























Mothers Day...




Mama's Surprise Birthday...






Happy Birthday to my crazy Mama! :) Love ya!

More update to come...