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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

fourteen for twenty fourteen.

Hello Friends :)

I have definitely posted the least amount of times on here this last year. Let me just say that this has been cause for many different reasons and rather than wish otherwise, I'm just going to be excited for this next year and how it might look on this blog. Excitement is bubbling as I look ahead and think about our little family living life together and as always seeking to bring God glory in this Darling kind of life he's so richly blessed us with. 

Here's 14 thoughts and updates as we bring an end to this sweet year. 

1. We didn't make an appearance on here last week to say, 

Merry Christmas. 

This season of holidays has been full as is always the case, this year though, it was all experienced with a different view; through a different lens. Everything was thought through and acted upon with this sweet & sassy little lady in mind. Cale and I often had conversations about how things must seem to her and how unusual or confusing everything must seem. 

When it was time to put the tree up I couldn't wait to see her reaction. I was told that at this age she may not care too much and not to expect her to be excited. That seemed like a good bit of information to place in my memory bank and be reminded of instead of being filled with disappointment. 

Let's just say, this girl loves lights of all kinds. Loves them. 

So when the day came and lights were being wrapped around the green pine, I couldn't wait to see Nora react. I just knew she was going to love it!

...and she did. 

Before feeding her every morning I would turn the lights on filling the dark room with twinkle lights. After she was all done eating, we'd walk quietly into the living room together and her face would light up as soon as she saw the lights. Amazement. Wonder. Awe. Those are memories I soaked up with her and hope I never forget. I loved every morning; every smile!

Thank you Christmas for being so enjoyable :)

2. Cale completed his No-Shave November Challenge. 

He was not a fan. Haha. More than once he threatened to quit and be done...and then he would decide he couldn't quit and he'd keep growing. He was quite the happy camper when his beard was shaved off and had stopped itching him! He did say it was fun for only one time ;)

3. Our very loved RS let us know in September he was moving. Devastating news. Not just an RS but a friend to us. When I talked to Cale about it one morning, he had forgotten and so my saying it in the midst of conversation was a shocker to him. With wide eyed confusion he said to me, "my friend is moving?" my heart broke for him! Such a huge blessing that he was able to say that and call Skylar his friend. So sad to see him go though... We didn't lose him until the first week of December which ended up being quite a difficult day to say goodbye to him and his wife. Thankfully things had moved along quick enough that we didn't have any time without an RS which made the transition a lot less challenging for Cale. God brought Donny into our life and he seems to be exactly what Cale needs. I pray as always that the Lord would use our family and my husband to encourage and draw Donny closer to Him. So far we're really impressed with his ability to get Cale motivated and trying new things! 

They tried to start up cooking dinners once a week again...but after the second week Cale was done ;)

4. More than once I've been caught having a dance party in my home while One Direction played. Do you know that group? Yeah, I didn't really know them either. I wouldn't say I know them now but Mama's friends daughter is staying with us for a couple weeks and she's kind of a big fan of theirs and so that means...their music plays in this house and parties get started. 

5. Cale really wanted an Xbox One. I had come up with the idea that he needed to sell a few things to get money to purchase the xbox. I wasn't quite sure how he would react and to my surprise, he loved the idea and was quickly full of excitement. I've tried to help and so has Donny as far as posting them to be sold in social outlets. If any of you are in need of hockey gear or a snowboard, let us know! He still has those two things to sell. We did end up getting him the xbox for Christmas, but the gift was time. He still has to pay for it! I'm holding him to it! 

6. One of our favorite gifts from 2014 was of course our little bundle of Nora. We adore her...incase you didn't already guess that...

7. This last summer, Cale started to ask questions about him being baptized. When Cale was in 8th grade in his room, he prayed and surrendered his life to the Lord. This isn't just a pretty prayer that is spoken and suddenly everything is perfect. No, this is a prayer that is said, spoken from the heart with words uttered from the lips of a person who acknowledges that they are not enough and there is only One who is. When the person realizes that the word "sin" is not mythical or irrelevant rather the very existence in their life that separates them from freedom in Christ. Yet, Christ made a way through Himself for us to know Him. Several years after, Cale was baptized which in the Bible is an example representing when Christ was buried and then rose again on the third day. This is powerful not because you "feel" different but because you show the world the decision you've made to make much of Jesus in your life. Cale couldn't remember doing this. He couldn't remember any of it and it began to frustrate him. When he began to ask questions, I didn't want him to think he somehow lost his relationship with Jesus because he couldn't remember. This didn't seem to be the case. We met with our Pastor and talked through where Cale's heart was. 

I don't think my mind could quite grasp what was taking place right before me. After everything, after all the ups and downs, his heart was concerned about claiming and taking back his walk with the Lord by showing to himself and his church family that he still loved God even though he felt like he was different. This is beautiful friends. Beautiful.

8. This last year we've so enjoyed getting to make changes to our home and continue to make it perfect for our little family. I've been reminded more often lately on how truly blessed we are to have these walls around us. I know so many will never even fathom the idea of living in such a place. The dirt on their feet is a gift because they know they have two feet. May my heart continue to be molded to burn with passion for the people that don't live in easy comfort. I pray that I wouldn't get so comfortable that I forget about them and live life as though they don't exist. 

9. Our daughter somehow turned 8 months. How does that happen?? I have no clue how she fits the jammies that wasn't it just yesterday I said they would never fit her because they were so big? Yikes. 8 months. Really?

10. This fall I started helping to teach the 4 and 5 year olds at church. I had wanted to for a long time but I had Cale and I knew he wouldn't like me not with him. Well, he started going to the youth group  at church on Sunday mornings and because of that...quickly I found myself committing to teach. It's my favorite thing in the whole world. Well, maybe not the whooooole world but it is one of my favorite things. I love those kiddos so much. I love their hearts. 

11. How do I even start my thought process. I might have to break this one down and write more later? Not really sure. Let me begin by being completely honest. I've been struggling. I can't even quite pin down the exact way either. You know in those weird movies where there is someone locked in a little area with walls all around them and they start pounding to get out, yet, there's no way out and no one comes? Multiple times I have felt this way lately. I feel stuck. I feel so stuck that even now as I write this out and actually let my heart do the typing, I feel like I could scream. Am I miserable? No. I mean not that I think at least. I wouldn't say I'm depressed but I will say that there have been moments in the last few months where I could see myself heading that way. I have found myself searching for some way I don't even know. 

I love Cale. I love this man so much. I love the love the Lord has given us for each other. It's a solid kind of love because it's a godly kind of love. 

I also find myself missing my old Cale way more lately. I know he's the same person. Yet, he's not. I know everyone changes and I know others may deal with this in some way, but let me just say, this brain injury life is hard. It's so hard. It's painful and lonely. It's swallowing back what I remember what was and what I think should be over and over and surrendering to what is. and the what is that I live can be really ugly and unfair. 

I was just talking to my SIL when she arrived in town the other night and after her asking, "so how are things going?" I started to just talk. I started with talking about how as a family we're good and then I continued. It felt good to have her sitting in front of me and she has always been someone I easily open up to...although, take me to coffee and I'll probably open up to you too ;) but as I was talking, I could feel my heart become even more frustrated this time. Even at that moment what I was saying didn't feel like it was what I meant to say. 

And until that point the most that seems to come out is I'm struggling.

I've been sick with a nasty yucky sick-thing the last few days and two nights ago, I curled up under the covers hoping for sleep to overtake me. Cale whispered into the darkness, "I love you my girl. I love you." 

There are hard brain injury days and there are good brain injury days. I do realize that is life. Hard days and good days. I also know that my hard doesn't end. The reality of no escape from brain injury is like being in that little room with all the walls and I'm pounding and no one can take me out because there is no escape. I don't want to escape my marriage or my family, I just become overcome with this heaviness that I'm so stuck with brain injury. 

I don't remind myself enough that Cale is also living with brain injury and so so so stuck in a life that is hard and ugly. That sometimes he does things that he can't control and he actually hates it. 

I often tell Cale when he gets really upset that we're a team. We're on the same team. We can't play against each other-thats not how we win. It doesn't get us anywhere. 

These same words need to be said back to me sometimes...I need to remember that he's not the bad guy. He's the man that loves me. He prays for me. He's my team. 

Hmm...did that come out right? Not sure. I can try to explain more later. Well actually, that just helped me because at least my brain feels like it came out. ;)

12. One of my goals this next year is to be more intentional with relationships. This ability to invest in those around me became nonexistent after the accident and slowly as our life has continued and changed, I'm relearning what this looks like. It's also interesting as we now have baby Nora in the mix...keeps things entertaining! Haha. 

13. I've been really wanting a puppy lately. Please remind me I have Nora and don't need a puppy when she's 8 months. 

14. This has been a great year. It's been full of adventures...different to those in the past. These involve the number 3. Which...Cale does always say is his favorite number. :)

Happy New Year!!!!!!!
Cale, Kathleen and Nora


  1. Happy New Year !!!!! Beautiful Life right there ! The dark places only make the lighted ones more accentuated and there would be nothing to look at if it was all light ~ nothing to see , nothing to take your breath away ~ So love you girly and I am anticipating a New Year full of delight in packages you can't even imagine ~ Love this last entry for your year ~ Give Nora a big hug and of course you and Caleb too ~ :) Blessed and filling to the brim are you among women , Abundant heart and honest voice ~ you call out and those who have ears listen ~ continue to call out ~ your message is important and no one else can tell it like you can ~ so loved to hear Caleb has a spiritual awareness that no one can take from him ~ not even a TBI !!!! Love you guys continued prayers for you walk together Reenie

  2. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I have been wondering how you all were doing. Wow--brought tears to my eyes seeing Cale be baptized. What a blessing that you showed that to us...thank you! I praise God that he is sensitive to things of the Lord. The Lord is truly working in his life through the Holy Spirit within him. Great things are in store because of that!!!! So many wonderful photos you shared. I loved the one of Cale holding Nora's hands while she was standing. I felt you described the struggle you are having well and thank you for allowing us to pray for you. It is an honor. Psalm 126:5 "Those who sow in tears with reap with shouts of joy". We may not always understand exactly what you are going through but the Lord always does and sometimes a good cry and being held by the Almighty is what we need!! You are beautiful, inside and out, Kathleen!
    Emily J

  3. Dearest Kathleen, My heart is full...if that is so, how much more our Father's for you. He saw you from before the beginning of time in this very situation. He KNEW then you would be having these feelings. While not always understood, He PLANNED this very walk for you. For you, for those who journey with you and for those who watch from the sidelines. Every word I say to you I hold a mirror in front of so to bounce them back to me. In no way am I making light of what you say, or are going through. I just know this too shall pass. Either here or in New Earth, BUT IT WILL PASS ! ! ! I sometimes forget we are here only for a little while. That's a song on one of Mandisa's CD's. I just know Father is SOOO proud of you, of you and your family life. He looks at you and points out to the angels, "See, she is doing well. She is shining just as I knew she would. Yes, the walk I chose for her is....unusual, BUT she dances it well."

    I love ALL the pictures. The one where Cale is cooking with his're going to laugh at this...At first glance I wondered what Brad Paisley was doing on your blog ! ! Cale's expression looks just like him to first glance any way. :) :)

    Father is doing wondrous things. Cale's wanting to baptized is a miracle. I am grateful to have been a part of it through the blog....a good gift. My friend, I close my eyes and see Father holding you close to His heart. Even if you can't get out of those walls, He's right there with you. Gosh, girl, I can hardly wait to get home and see our finished tapestries. What we walk through now are just paint brushes Father is using to finish our masterpiece. Or, another picture, our lives are gardens. As a gardener what is the best fertilizer? Sometimes the seeming dung of our walk is what will make our garden grow the best.

    Dear One, I love you and am honored to be a part of your journey. I continue to trust Father for you and your sweet family. A grateful friend,


  4. Girl I am constantly inspired by your honesty and courageous attitude towards life despite how hard it is! You are an amazing mama to Nora and a beautiful example of love to Cale even when you might not feel like you are. I am praying for you! Love - leanne

  5. It's such a gift to be able to identify & verbalize your feelings so I always appreciate how honest you are in your writing.

    As someone who adopted a sweet, loveable puppy when my daughter was under a year old, a few things to think about if you haven't already:
    - A puppy underfoot a baby trying to walk is frustrating
    - Puppies love kid's toys & the kids will prefer gnawing on the puppy's toys. They also like each other's food.
    - It's hard to devote time to consistently giving the puppy the training he needs to be a well-behaved, likeable family dog.
    - Adding a puppy doubles the amount of poop & pee you have to deal with every day.
    - You'll *always* have to go pick up poop in the yard before your kid(s) can go outside to play & you'll always have to pick up the kid toys before the dog goes out.

    All of the above challenges are redeemed by one sweet, beautiful, priceless quality of having a dog & a baby....
    You'll never, ever, ever have to sweep & vacuum dropped crumbs again.... a dog underfoot is like having your own Roomba! Our dog's favorite spot in life was underneath the high chair. =)

    1. Thank you Megan!! This is helpful and good reminders! :)

  6. Kathleen,
    I love the updates, and the news of daily life. What a gentle reminder that we should always be thankful, especially with "the little things" which aren't necessarily so little. God is good to you guys, you are truly blessed in the little family you have and I know that He will continue to walk with you, talk with you, and even continue to heal Cale.
    Nora is such a sweetie, I would love to meet her! She is, and will always be a blessing in your life. Call me and I'd love to catch up over a cup of coffee...
    T Watson


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