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Friday, October 25, 2013

Alaska...North Carolina...and life at HOME!


I have a ton more than a ton to I'm just going to dive in. I'll have to skim the surface on most of it but hopefully it still ends up a good update! :)


In July we hopped a plane and went to Port Alsworth, Alaska for a week. It was iiiiiiincreeeedible! I just sang that out loud as I typed the word. It was no joke the most awesome experience for us. Not only did we get to meet some new friends whom we treasure, it was also a week of focusing on being husband and wife and our marriage without focusing on Cale's injury. 

Samaritan's Purse has a ministry set up that is topnotch. In fact, I would say if you know of a wounded veteran and spouse that would benefit from a week at a marriage conference in one of the most beautiful places on earth...TELL them about it! Beautiful. 

The view from our room... iiiiiiincreeeedible! 
(Yep...just sang that again)

We kayaked. Not our first go at this but we did come to realize we're more of a foot paddle couple and not so much the arm paddles...Cale's coordination and Kathleen's 

a form of transportation

the first full day in Alaska we signed up to hike. It was quite the um...experience! Cale did amazing! He grumbled on the way up but never gave up! It was a challenge for almost everyone at different times and for Cale it was triple the work because he had to focus on so much going on, deal with his balance issues along with battling fatigue! Thankfully there were manly muscles to help out! 

We made it to the top of the falls and ate a lunch. While we prayed together, I specifically asked that the Lord would carry Cale back down the mountain. I knew with his legs already so tired and the struggle going up was, it meant down was going to be even worse. 

There was a bit more of a hike to the bottom of the falls to fish before heading back down the mountain. We both caught a couple fish and celebrated! It ended up being a blast but it ended with knowing the hike back was going to be miserable...

Except that the only thing I can claim is that the Lord blessed us by carrying Cale down the mountain. It was amazing! He still needed lots of help and it was still a challenge but he went so quickly and didn't have near as much trouble as before! He was exhausted but it didn't show until we were back in our room and done with the hike! 

He was so proud of himself and was able to tell everyone about it back at the lodge during dinner :)

If you look the back leftish part of the picture you can see a bear...yep! We spent an afternoon watching bears play and live! 

Do you see them all behind us?! 

A few times there were bears that ended up a lot closer than expected...

There were times that Cale needed quite a bit of help to do something...and there were always willing muscles to help! It was great for me to watch Cale and watch some of the other veterans that would help him, they never made him feel less...and he never felt less...

whaaaat up?

We took a little boat plane to visit Richard Proenekke National Historic Site.
Really great opportunity! Cale was a giant in the tiny little cabin :)

He also got to be the copilot on the way back! Ask him about it sometime...he LOVES to talk about it and show pictures! Before taking off he turned to everyone and said, "I hope you all can swim!" Haha! Uh...

Have I told you yet that it was beautiful?!

Fun hat...

Another boat trip and more fishing. Only enjoyable for Cale when the fish are on the hook :)

And then it was time to go home...

Check out Operation Heal Our Patriots

We had a short time home...found out we were pregnant...and then we were off again!


We try to visit my brother every year in NC along with our friends that are more like family :)

We had a GREAT visit! It started off with us announcing our baby! They were not expecting us to share that everyone was surprised! The reactions were priceless!

"For real for real?"

Oh yes...for real for real.

Cale had a little buddy :)
just a bunch of crazies!

love her.

love them.



We had a blast at the beach! We were able to go twice and enjoy salt and sun! My brother pretty much held onto Cale the whole time and they were both pounded with waves! I tried to help at the beginning but I was getting thrown off so much that I wasn't much help!

I also went to Cary for a couple days while Cale stayed with the rest of the family. It was great to get some good visiting in! My time in Cary was shortened so I wasn't able to visit and see as many as I would have liked, but it was still great to go! Love these two ladies in my life...feels like family when I'm with them and nothing short of that!

Before leaving for home, we also went to see the tree that changed our lives. I had gone to see it with Rachel in 2010 about 6 months after the accident or so but Mama and Cale had never seen it. We loaded in the van and my brother drove us over, not far from his house.

While we were walking around looking and taking in the sight, the father of the boy that caused the accident drove up. Not much was said but he did give us permission to take as long as we needed since we were on his property.

Still emotional. Still so much longing to go back to that day, passing the tree and making it safely to my brothers. No rewind button. Mama and my brother stopped me at one point as a desperation to find something of ours in the creek came over me. I'm not sure what I would have done if I would have found something or what good it would have done...but with almost 4 years of growth and weather...not a thing to be found.


The joy of being home the last couple months even with the two trips we've taken has been wonderful. It's been a true joy to just experience life together here especially once we became aware of the new life taking place in my tummy!

At home we...

watch the Red Wings play...

spend morning's on the patio with Jesus...

go to family BBQ's...

we be crazy and get to visit with family...

we drive to a tiny little town and visit with our friends at the rodeo...

we go on date nights...

we enjoy fall...a lot...

we get Cale's haircut and make silly faces...

we visit our friends newest addition...

we do a 2 mile walk to raise money and awareness for a beautiful ministry here at home...

(Cale did awesome with this walk! 2 miles is a loooong ways and very difficult for him but he did it and didn't even take a break! I'm so proud of him!!)

we decorate pumpkins with family and eat lots of yummy food...

and we watch our local AHL hockey team play with friends and cheering loudly.

Home is good.


Cale is his own breed.


He tends to make everyone around him laugh...and he loves that. He's super excited to be a daddy and takes time at some point during the day to talk with the baby. He is really happy when he gets to spend time in his man cave. He's been running a lot of errands with me lately and is always helpful...well, almost always. ;)

We've had three bad days in a row but aside from them, we've had a lot of good days in the last couple months. Everyone has bad days so those come...but nothing like they were before. Cale loves archery. In the last few weeks he hasn't done it near as much as he would like but when he does I'm continually impressed with how good his shot is!

Since we've been home from Walter Reed, investing at home has been pressing on my heart. We as a couple have been praying about the different areas we can serve in our church as one of the ways to invest at home. This September our church started Wednesday night meals up again. We've tried to go eat before, but it was just too much for Cale, but...serving the food to everyone has been a way that he can help serve in our church and it's not too much for him! We get to the church right before the meal starts and whatever the meal looks like we find a good spot for Cale to serve! He sometimes gets corn or Macaroni and Cheese everywhere but he does it with a smile! :) One of the nights we had breakfast for dinner, I was serving the breakfast casseroles and Cale was passing out the pancakes. When we left he said, "this is so much fun!" He loves getting to see everyone and be focused on giving them the food they want. He usually picks on a few different people and has a blast doing it!

Thankful for a small way that we can serve in our church as a couple... :)


Yeah Baby! Heehee! Us having a baby...makes me smile every single time I think about it!

Update as of today:
I'm 15 weeks.
I posted this picture on FB at 12 weeks and 6 days

with the full excitement that I had "popped" "popping" would still go away. Haha.
At 15 weeks, there's still nothing. Well, nothing for most of the time except for when I eat too much food ;)

I can't eat meat. Or eggs. Or fish.

I'm still really tired but at this point I'm not having to nap every day as I was for a few weeks.

I feel like a tub of lard that's kept in my grandmas pantry. Everything just feels large even without the tummy. Awkward stage where I'm just more pudgy and uncomfortable.

I can eat bean and cheese burritos every single day and I'd be super happy.

Our baby is the size of an apple and can now hear voices. I like to play worship music so the baby can already be worshipping Jesus :)

Mama captured this picture yesterday of Cale having one of his chats with the baby. It was so sweet! I'm so thankful she took the picture! We had no idea she was taking one and now it's one we'll cherish for years to come!

We've heard the heartbeat twice! The first time Cale's mom, Mama, and Cale all came. It was perfect. There's always the question about whether or not the sound we hope for will be there. It was! We've chosen, if everything during the pregnancy allows, to do a home birth. Cale hates hospitals and doctors...and well, I'm not going to be in a place to be able to calm him down when I'm pushing out a somewhere that's comfortable and safe for him is the best option for us both...and we're both really excited about it! We love our midwife. We had met with her February 2012 so I already new she was great with Cale which was a huge factor.

At the first appointment she was looking for my uterus and afterwards Cale asked to feel it. You'll see in the video that she takes the time to help him find it! I love that!

This second video was from earlier this week. If you listen carefully you can hear the baby kicking! So very exciting! It's happening! We're really having a baby!


That about sums it up! Haha!

I hate when I lose my patients with him. I hate it. I feel like it's been a little too frequent lately...hello hormones?

Rachel and I went for a 3.5 mile walk the other day...that's quite the change from our weekend long runs with each other :) With the pregnancy, running has not been an option like I hoped that it would have been. I do miss it...but I also have a baby in me and if that's a sacrifice that needs to be made, I'm ok with that!

I've had to back out of some things that I love because I know God is asking for my attention and focus in other areas. Although this is exciting, it's not always easy.

Am I enjoying pumpkin everything? Well, yes I am!

I'm getting ready to take a'll be just me and most likely the last trip I take for a long time with out either a Cale, a baby, or both with me. I'm excited. I am so so so thankful for this time that I get to go away and just be a girl. Hoping between now and next week I do get some kind of pooch! :)

That's all for now folks! Hopefully I get another update on here before a month has passed!


  1. I feel like I get bits and pieces on Facebook, but a full update is so much better! Your pictures in Alaska are breathtaking! Wow God is great and mighty! So excited for you and Cale - and you will start showing and be just the cutest pregnant mama!!!
    XOXO - leanne

    1. I'm SO sad it didn't work for us to run together or at least visit! Missed you!

  2. was so fun to read this update...(although, I have to say, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WERE IN CARY and I didn't get to see you!!!!) I can make it to Cary in about 35 minutes!!!! Ok...I'll try to get over that quickly...I know you were very busy!!! ;o) Anyway, this was so fun. You've been busy, as always. Everyday I was checking to see if you had posted anything. All the photos and videos were so great. I loved hearing that baby's wonderful! I pray for you often!
    Blessings to you,
    Emily J.

    1. I know! I had actually thought it might happen but Cale had hurt his foot at my brothers and wasn't able to walk my trip to Cary became shorter than short! We're already trying to see if it'll be possible to go next year for a visit! Have to start saving now! :)

  3. My Dear Girl, I check every day. I had already checked for today. I was reading my emails. Emily said you had a blog post. WOW!! Alaska, I love that place. I was born in Fairbanks and live there the first 25 years of my life. :) I love it when someone else gets to enjoy "My State".
    I am blessed Baby Darling is doing so well. I am blessed that Papa Darling is doing so well. He sure has done some wondrous things. All that walking, climbing...He's an encouragement to me.
    Know that I love you and am trusting Father to hold you close and BLESS you as only He can.

    1. We loved Alaska! And, I've loved hearing from you by the emails! Sorry I haven't've been on my heart. We need a phone call soon! Miss you!

  4. So absolutely excited for you guys! How precious to hear the heartbeat and the kicking motion... sounds you will NEVER forget! What a blessing for the both of you. How precious is Cale wanting to feel the baby too! Love to all,

    1. Hey! I've been thinking a lot about you! I just reread the last email you sent to me! I think you and I need to grab Brandi and have another lunch date! :)

    2. Would so LOVE that! With her working, me working two jobs (soon 3), time together is getting sparse but I will sure let her know and we'll try to work something out!!! Have a wonderful day!

  5. You and Cale never fail to amaze me. Your strength is incredible, your positivity in all you've been through is so inspirational.
    I just love you two and I'm so happy for you !

    1. Aww! I love you sweet girl! I'm so excited you live so close now...we'll for sure have to make something happen! :)


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