Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell to 2013!

This has been a FULL year.

A beautiful year. 

An eventful year.

So many challenges that come and so many blessings and joys experienced! 

I've been saying just about everyday since my last post that I need to do an update but it hasn't happened until tonight…and what a perfect night to wrap up the year with a crazy long post and a photo dump. ;)

Our home-

We love our home. We love being home. We love living in our home. We came home from the hospital this year to our very own home and have already made so many memories and created a cozy little place to rest in. We recently had the youth group from church over for the first part of their progressive dinner. I whipped up a whole bunch of appetizers and quickly found out the max limit to how many can fit in our home! There was about 40…and well…it was very tight! It's a home we love…but a very tiny cute little home for sure! 


The end of October I flew to NY all by my lonesome. We decided to limit trips for Cale this year, but I still wanted to make sure we were able to visit all of our good friends in NY before we had a baby to travel with! At one point I decided I wasn't going to go, thinking about how hard it was going to be on Mama since she would be taking care of Cale. I was quickly reminded that my time to travel alone and rest with friends was quickly going to come to an end…so I purchased my ticket. 

I LOVE all of our friends there. It always feels like we're home in a different way when we go back. I was able to visit a good amount of people, but as always the time goes too quickly and I leave wishing for more time to see everyone. I'm not so great with keeping in touch with phone calls, email, or even Facebook (as I'm sure many of you have discovered…) I just happen to be a face-to-face-sit-and-have-a coffee-and-visit-kind-of-girl. :)

One of the ways I was able to see a lot of beautiful faces that I had been trying to figure out how to fit in the week, was some of the girlies planned a surprise baby shower! I hadn't really talked that much about me coming until last minute, so it was a last minute shower they put together-and it was perfect. 

 Towards the end of the shower I was asked if I had any questions for anyone. Almost everyone gathered is a mom and they all have tons of advice…but instead of asking a specific question about parenting, I was able to open up about a struggle I was having with a baby on the way. After I opened up, all the ladies took turns speaking truth and encouragement into me. I only wish I could have recorded all that they said so in hard days ahead I could replay and be so encouraged again! 

I also enjoyed every single minute with this family. Love them.

I left NY and flew to SC to visit another friend and her husband. It was such a restful time. At one point I actually said that I had never been so lazy in my life! It was wonderful! Haha! I truly treasured the days I spent with them! 

(Paula Deen's restaurant! We didn't eat there…but I felt cool driving by!)

While I was on my trip, Cale went and stayed with Mike and Rachel for a good chunk of while I was gone which was so good for him. They had some fun adventures and hang out time. For Halloween Cale dressed up as…

a pregnant woman. :) Apparently everyone loved it as he handed out candy. 

We together took a trip to Leavenworth, WA and met up with Cale's brother and his family before Christmas. It was a quick trip and lots of fun! It was a nice little getaway for us to enjoy and be with family. 

These three went on a little road trip…

We were surprised when our room came with a huge tub and fireplace! I know there are many of you that have these tubs in your house-know that I'm jealous. Just saying. 

Enjoyed walking around the town…

We walked into one of the shops and in the back it was full of candy. Cale immediately said, "We're home. Lets set up camp."

Our pretty hotel! :)

Look at his face! Such a ham! 

(The sign he almost bought…)

(…and the sign he ended up buying.) 



Pregnancy is going well!

Baby bump finally showed up at 17 weeks!

Bump at 18 weeks…

At 19 weeks…





and then 24…

Lots of belly pictures! Haha! I thought I'd just go ahead and post them all :) My belly is growing and I think my bum is in a race with the belly to see which will grow the most! ;)

On December 6th we had our first ultrasound! Oh my word. I could have stayed on the bed and stared at the screen all day long. Amazing. Seriously.

Our baby may look like a little duck now…but hopefully a human will come out!

Rachel came to the ultrasound with us and was handed a yellow envelope that contained the results of this baby being a girl or a boy. We had to make sure Mama didn't peek at the screen!

Rachel opened the envelope later that day and did a little shopping. She wrapped the gift and the package went under the Christmas tree.  The wait was on.

Finally Christmas morning came and we fought to stay in bed until 5am. Cale and I ran into Mama's room singing, White Christmas to wake her up. We were excited!

Once all three of us were set up, we opened the gift! Mama recorded to save for memories and we decided to share with all of you!

We're going to be welcoming Baby Nora in April! :)


Veterans Day came and Cale received a card. Along with the card came a blizzard from DQ but Cale said the card was "the best ever." He was so thankful!

I also thought a lot this year about how my husband joined the military to provide for his family. And, because of that decision, he has continued to provide for his family. Praising the Lord for such a husband.

Cale has been helping as much as he can around the house since I'm pregnant. I often have to walk him step by step through whatever he's doing, but he's doing it. Love.

Cale continues to do archery and love it :)

We go on little dates with cutie girls :)

We did Christmas things…

Nora made lots of chocolates with Mama and I :)

and we had a very merry Christmas and hope you did too!

As 2013 comes to a close, we look back and are both so thankful for all that took place. I ran a half marathon, we left the hospital, moved into our own home, I ran a marathon, and we found out a baby is on the way!! That's just a few highlights!

I know we're both going into 2014 with excitement along with being slightly terrified with whats to come…but it's all covered with grace and smiles!

Happy New Year!!!! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

a heart of thankfulness…in the middle of a mess.

Around this time of year, it's basically culture to be thankful. Isn't it? Lists are made and shared of everything in life we're thankful for. Fall comes, yummy food is eaten, family is around, decorations go up, gifts are given, life is full and good-and we are all thankful. 

About the week and a half leading up to Thanksgiving, life around our home was difficult. Cale was having some hard days that may have been handled with a little more grace and patience if hormones within me weren't all over the place. I tell you what. NO control with these hormone-things. None. Tears come and everything can seem so helpless when reality says otherwise. 

I even had an evening that I was just done. I left to the store alone needing a break, needing to breathe. Needing to just surround myself with cans of vegetables and bags of dried pasta. I had one single item left on my list and for some reason, the grocery store employees had hidden it from me as if I was in the mood to play a game…while strolling down one aisle, I just about sat in the middle of it and cried my eyes out. Frustration and fatigue had hit. I was done. Tears were forming and I know my face had to have been fire red.

I left the store huffy and puffy without the relief I had left the house looking for. As I drove home, I started to voice all that I'm thankful for. The hard stuff-like brain injury? I'm thankful Cale's still with me. I'm thankful we're having a baby and starting a family. I voiced my list all the way home while at the same time covering those difficult things in life with prayer. 

By the time I walked in the door, I was exhausted but ready to be home and ready to see Cale and Mama. I talked with Cale about how the last week had gone, and he vowed to try harder to be gentle and more patient with me and to not get so upset over little things. 

The next morning started with a BAM! Cale was upset. I was then upset and all the while I was trying to get ready for church. I felt a desperate need to try and fix whatever was broken in our home, but God has chosen not to give me the tools to just "fix" everything. Thankfully.

I've learned early on that there's no need for me to put on a smile just for church and to pretend everything is just dandy. Hard days are hard days and struggles are real. I was blow drying my hair that morning with red puffy eyes and had really considered just not going at all. Mama had already said she would let Cale cool down and try to get him to join me at church when she came for the second service.  The person that was starring at me in the mirror looked pitiful. 

I started reading one of the devotional apps I have on my phone and part of it said if we give Him thanks regardless of our feelings, He will give us joy regardless of our circumstances

In that moment of a hard week built up and in the middle of the mess I was in that morning, I needed that reminder.

Two days before Thanksgiving I had posted on Facebook that brain injury and hormones don't mix…please pray for us. 

The next day things had turned around for Cale and we came up from the hard place he was in. These times will happen with his injury, but oh what a blessing to know people are praying us through them! 

Overall things are back to being just dandy in our home again…but I don't want to forget to keep a thankful heart-not just now but during the rest of the 12 months as well! Not just while we're all happy chappy but while we're trudging through each day feeling the weight of it all.

Thankfulness is not just part of the holiday festivities. It's a heart condition. Are we thankful in the middle of a mess or just when everything seems to be shiny and neat?