Wednesday, February 24, 2016

One Week Down.

We dropped Mama off at the airport last Wednesday.
In case you were wondering, we are still alive...all 3 of us! 

Ha!

We're not just alive but we're actually doing well! Things have been going surprisingly smooth...to which I'm grateful! Yesterday we all had to be out of the house by 8:30am to get Nora dropped off to a friend and then Cale and I had an important meeting. At 8:20, Nora was ready to go, the house was clean, everything was calm and Cale and I were hanging out on the couch. I looked over at him and asked, "How are we doing so good? How is this possible?" Cale very quickly responded, "Um, we're adults." Ha! Well...yes we are. ;)

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On Monday we went to a farm nearby and had a BLAST! 







Cale would have conversations with the animals before feeding them :)




This pony was rescued and brought to this farm. She was so so so sweet! Nora kept saying "ride it! ride it!"




The peacocks were beautiful!!! Nora didn't have any problem walking right up to them and saying hello :) Cale and I both could have watched them for a long time! There were several and just so stunning! 


Today we're hanging out and praying this storm that's expected passes us by! We've already gotten our first Tornado watch alert on my phone...we have zero experience with these beasts. Yikes. Praying for peace! I'm trying extra hard to not react too much over it and upset Cale. So...we're casual and cool over here. Haha. 

Thanks for the prayers in advance! 



Sunday, February 21, 2016

Not just a laundry basket...


This may look like just a laundry basket-but to me, it's now a reminder.

It was piled high with clothes. After getting Nora down for her nap, I knew I needed to tackle our mound of dirty laundry. When I talked about getting the laundry started and that I needed to take the basket downstairs, Cale wanted to help. Sometimes stairs are hard-especially if he's holding something. As much as I wanted to step in and let him know I could do it or say something to distract him away from the idea of helping, I let him.

He was able to get it to the edge of the stairs no problem but then he struggled with finding a way to get him down and the basket and which was going first. During this process, I watched him move the basket one way and then back. I watched his muscles flex as he wrestled with the weight of the basket as well as griping the handrails to keep him upright. I had to grab him three different times to keep him from falling, one of those times I almost was unable to help. Clothes fell out and he was breathing hard. 

When we reached the bottom Cale yelled out, "Yay! Made it! See?" 

At any moment during the whole process, Cale could have said that it was just too hard and he was done. He could have gotten frustrated and mad and marched himself back up. He could have just dropped the basket and quit.

He didn't

It was such a simple task for most of us but for him it was hard. It was a struggle. 

My heart was soaring with thankfulness at watching my husband care for his family. It may seem like such a simplistic way but for us-that was huge. Huge that he was willing! Huge that he kept working at it and finished a task! Huge that he didn't get angry! 

He also didn't say that I needed to sell all my clothes ;)

It's not just a laundry basket. 

It's a reminder of how good God is. It's a reminder that my husband desires to care for his family in which ever way he can-even when it's hard. 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Comic Relief.

Here's some of our silly moments for ya!

In our BFG (Bible Fellowship Group) class on Sunday morning,  details about the upcoming men's breakfast were being announced. Cale points straight at one of the leaders and says, "I want to eat him." Haha...uh...awkward laughter...Cale adds, "What? It's a men's breakfast. Eat men." They don't quite know Cale yet, but they will soon.



My daughter devoured a cake pop the other day. It was serious business. The first moment that I should have realized what was to come was when we pulled it out of the bag she yelled out "yay!! cake pop!!" uh...how does she know what a cake pop is? That must say something about the treats I indulge in...then when I handed it to her, she didn't just eat it. She didn't just enjoy it. I'm not actually sure how much she tasted. She devoured it. As soon as the job was done she yelled out "more cake pops!!!!" She is my kid. We are serious about our treats. 


Doesn't everyone play the piano with a pair of wings?

Last night I was trying to quickly put dinner together. I was cutting some cheese chunks for Cale and Nora saw the cheese and began pleading for a bite. I cut her off some little chunks and once we were all seated for dinner, we prayed and I set her plate on her tray. She was so excited for cheese! A chunk went in her mouth and after just a few seconds came right back out. She loves cheese. I didn't understand. Well, it turns out I was cutting chunks of parmesan rather than our white cheddar...whoops. That was a surprise taste!



We had one day of ice this week. You would never know it since its now in the 50's, sunny and beautiful now. We spent the day inside playing with play-doh. Nora loves snowmen so we were having fun making one together when Grammy pointed out our snowman had a little...um...crack... 


With it being so beautiful outside we spent quite a bit of time walking in our little cul-de-sac last night. Nora said it was cold outside and Susie Bear needed a blanket!

All of a sudden Nora is talking SO much! She's been talking a ton for awhile now but suddenly all of her words are coming together like, "I so tired. I yawning." or "Oooh! Look Mommy! I can get it. I can hold it." It has been so so so fun to hear all of these words all come out together and so clear! She's got a lot to say! One of our favorites lately is "Daddy funny." 

There was a brief moment where Nora was running around without a diaper this am. Cale was trying to be helpful so he asks me where to find a diaper and then he gets Nora laying down on the floor. I was in the kitchen and after several seconds Cale says, "Yeah, I don't know how to do this at all." and seconds after that, Nora was running into the kitchen...diaperless ;)



Nora LOVES her milk. Loves it. In fact, she wakes in the am and can be very grumpy until she drinks her milk-and then she's a totally different child. We often joke that her milk is like mommy and coffee. It's hilarious. 

While singing Old McDonald Had a Farm with Nora, Cale and I added tiny dog. Please if you see her, ask Nora what noise a tiny dog makes. haha. 

---



Life has shifted for about 5 weeks for us. Mama has gone back to WA and although its a good and needed thing, we already miss her and she just left yesterday. It's also one of the reasons I've had a heavier heart with other changes that have been taking place. Well, I had started a bible study a few weeks ago at church and now because Mama has left, I'm not able to go. A couple hours ago, 4 women came into my home, sat around my table and while we all ate lunch, we did the study together. Two of them had already gone through the week with the group yesterday and still came and went through it again. 

Man. 

I can't even begin to describe what this did for my heart. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thank you.


Over the last few days I've been praying that God would overwhelm me with His love. I sat the other morning singing those words over and over.

Lord, overwhelm me. Overwhelm me with your love.

I knew that my flesh was wanting to be content with living in an emotional storm. I was fighting the urge. Fighting to not give in. Confessing to all of you that I just really wanted to but knew I needed to get. it. together. girl. 

I was pressing in. Seeking Him. Asking Him. Worshipping Him.

And as I let that request fill my heart and mind through out my days, you want to know what happened?

He overwhelmed me with His love.

Surprised?

I'm not. :)

He's always been faithful to pour out and consume me when I seek Him. When I surrender.

One of the ways I so sweetly experienced His love was through all of you-thank you for being you. Thank you for still being here with me and always encouraging my heart. I needed it. All the different ways too-the comments here, the prayers, the texts and emails...I didn't skim over any of it. 

Thank you friends. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Chocolate Day!

Happy 
Valentine's 
Day!! 


Last night Mr. & Mrs. went out for a little date to a hockey game. It's kind of a must when NHL is 20 minutes from home! ;) 

We have the Hurricanes here and although they aren't the Red Wings, we've decided we'll love and support them...unless they play Detroit! 

Before Christmas I had found shirts for us on clearance at Target. It was an exciting thing to get dressed for the game and already show we're fans as if we've always been. I do have to say, when we arrived at the game and decided to step into the team store just to look, it did feel like we were cheating on our beloved Wings. No purchases were made. Haha. 

We had quite the event looking for the Pilot after the game. It was in the 20's so we were both freezing and neither of us had any clue where we had parked. Let's just say, next time we'll pay more attention! Whoops!


He was SUPER excited to be watching an NHL game again.


I love him. Like, really. The small things are fun with him...and I know we'll never miss out on an adventure. Wowza.

(also, please enjoy the enthusiastic photo bombers)




We won! Yahoo!!



Some friends of ours gave Nora a large colored caterpillar as a fun little gift. They had seen it and instantly knew she would love it. She did. She named him Peter and she'll get on his back and yell out "Go Peter Go!!" It's pretty cute. Well...because she loved it SO much, they found another. They gave Cale this pink and red one to give to her as a Valentines gift. You guys. I can not even begin to tell you how much these kinds of things bless me. To think that someone would think of our family and know that Cale can't just go buy me flowers or buy his daughter a massive pink and red caterpillar so they do it or take him to do it...there's just no words. 

Anyways, they brought this thing and we didn't quite realize how large it was until putting it next to Peter. Guess what? She loves it. She's named her Penny-she's also Peter's mommy. She may be large enough to fill our living room...but we'll keep her :)



And these two-what else can be said? 



You know those friends that God gives you and your so very thankful for them you just want to dance? Yep. That's this lady. She was willing to stand in the freeeeeezing cold (freezing for here...but I'm very aware that some of you are literally freezing!) and cheer me on. I ran a fun 5k this afternoon. I had totally planned on just enjoying an easy pace but once I got to running, I ran. Beast Mode Yo. Beast Mode. 





My average pace was 8:06 and my chip time was 24:54 
Maybe not quite beast mode...but beasting for me for sure. :)

Darling questions:

Daddy- (During the sermon at church today) What do you think of circumcision? Should we get Nora circumcised? 

uh....

Nora- Why?

She had her first why question the other day and this afternoon it came out over and over. Here we go. Here. We. Go. 

Mommy- Nora, how much does mommy love you? She loves you BIG (with arm motions). Can you say that? Mommy loves you BIG! Nora crystal clear says "Mommy's big."

Uh...retract. Let's not walk around saying that. Thank you. 


I hope you had a great day full of chocolate...mine was ;) 

Friday, February 12, 2016

His hands.

Three days and three posts. 

That hasn't happened in awhile! Haha! 

I actually have been struggling with something and at one point today decided I would share and hopefully you would be praying for us.

Within the last two weeks I had received some hard news about a program that Cale is involved in here. At this point I'm going to be vague-sorry. I asked to meet again with the Lady I had spoken with and then fretted. Like, really fretted as it led up to the day I was going to meet with her. Last week as I laid in bed trying to fall asleep, I began to feel my breathing quicken. I was thinking about the meeting the next day and all the different outcomes that were possible. I started to pray asking God to still my heart and help me not to be anxious. I didn't want to stress about it! 

At about that time, God gave me this picture of me standing on a balance beam. My left foot was on it and my right leg and arm were out to the side. On the left side was God's hand. I was trying to balance but kind of wobbly and afraid. God said, "Kathleen, that's how you're praying. You're praying as if the result and me providing for you is by chance." I then pictured His other hand come to the right side of the beam. Not weak hands or wrinkled. Not small or fragile. They were strong thick hands. And then God said, "This is how you need to be praying and coming to me. I've got you no matter which way the meeting goes. I have you and always have and always will."

I still see the picture so clear. I feel as though I'm walking on this balance beam waiting to know how different things in life are going to go...but the difference with Jesus in my life is that I don't have to be scared walking across. I can be confident knowing that He has me. He has me. He has my husband. He has my daughter. He has my family. I can trust Him-no matter the outcome. 

As I laid there I was taken back and reminded to a few years ago when God had given me a different picture with His hands. Maybe you'll remember?

I was holding on to this tree branch and felt scared and was saying that I couldn't hold on any longer-I was going to fall. God said to let go and when I did, I was standing in His hands. He was holding me and I didn't need to fear or worry. 

One of you had drawn me pictures of it after I had shared about it. I tried to look back on the blog and couldn't find it so I'll have to do some more looking...

Anyways, as I laid there thinking about the picture He had given me and the one I was reminded of, I felt so encouraged and ready to have this meeting. 

The next morning I woke early and sat with my Bible open pondering what God had shown me and the confidence in Him that I needed to claim. A friend had shared a few verses with me which was exactly what I needed to read.

Later that day was the meeting and I honestly thought it was perfect. I was able to share my heart and I thought we were on the same page. I was thankful and able to relax. 

Well....

the afternoon of the 10th I received an email. Yuck.

It was hard. SO hard. In fact, it was shortly after posting on here when I read the email. It felt like a punch in the gut. 

Wait. What? What about the meeting? Didn't it go so well? Didn't we come up with a plan? 

I was so confused. Still am. 

I cried. 

We were having company over for dinner to celebrate Cale. I was trying to help Mama make tortillas and all I could do was sob. 

Lord, why did you move us here? Isn't this the opposite of what we were expecting??

I sucked up my tears long enough to enjoy our friends, celebrate Cale and even have fun playing Bingo...

BUT, I was still SO frustrated. I whined. I complained. I let myself feel discouraged and defeated. 

Honestly, just from me to you...

I know I've been overreacting. I have another meeting Tuesday and I'm sure it will all be just fine but I still don't understand. I'm still confused. I'm still discouraged...and well, frustrated and a little bit of me wanted to just be angry and not care about how I was actually supposed to be reacting.

Like, I didn't want to think about the picture God had given me just a week prior. 

Ask Mama. 

I haven't been handling this change very well. Part of it is timing and there's a few things all happening at once-which is still enough to make me get all fired up as I type...

But I won't. Instead, I'm choosing to surrender. I'm choosing to have full confidence that God's strong unwavering hands are right alongside me. I'm choosing (or at least trying) to not let doubt & discouragement overtake me. 


I'm writing about all of this so that I'm held accountable but also so that you can be praying. Also, what things in your life are you praying about as if life is all by chance rather than allowing God to give you confidence in His plan and His timing?  

---

We had a little family morning at one of the malls in the area. We rode the "yeehaws" as Nora calls the carousel and the "choo choo" which is the little train that goes around. She also very much enjoyed a lollypop :)




thanks for letting me be real y'all.

(Now that we live in NC...I should be able to say y'all right?!)

ha. 



Thursday, February 11, 2016

cuteness, sweetness and Cale.

Just a little this and that-


we celebrated daddy last night. There was tacos, apple pie, Bingo and friends. Great night :)


My husband takes selfies while getting his teeth worked on...everyone who has worked with him at that office says he's quite entertaining. Yep.


Nora said "wipe nose" and then ran out of the room. That was quite the nose wiping job...


I think she just may be the cutest shopping partner... 


...also the cutest passenger. :)



Last year Cale took Nora to a Father-Daughter Dance. It was so sweet and they both had so much fun. He also had a lot of help with some older girls from church...and I waited in the car in the parking lot in case he needed me. This year, they didn't go to a dance, but they did get to go on a Daddy-Daughter date night put on by Chick-Fil-A. This was sooooooo sweet. After looking into it we found out a couple guys from church were also going so Cale would have support. It was an interesting night for him with being daddy and not having a group of older girls swooning over Nora! On our way home, he did say, even though it was hard, he was happy he went on a date with her. 

Also, doesn't that second picture say so much? Haha. 


Bath pictures in B&W...favorites.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hello! Hello! Hello!

"I'm scared!!!"

While I was on a run a couple weeks ago, I had the book Fervent by Priscilla Shrier playing through the ear buds tucked in my ears. I love listening to audio books while I run. 

In this particular part of the book, she was sharing a story about a friend who had been wrestling around with something she was feeling led to do. After many excuses given, she finally yelled out in the back seat, "I'm scared!" 

Priscilla goes on to tell about how immediately she felt angry for her friend and responded quickly telling her that if the only reason she wasn't stepping out to do what she was being led to do was because she felt scared, than she needed to do it! 

The story was told with a much better choice of words and description than I can retell it from my memory bank, but the way it resonated with me, I can share a bit about that...

While I listened and my feet hit the pavement, I also opened my mouth and yelled out, "I'm scared! I'm scared. Lord, I'm scared." 

Why?

I'm sure that you can tell that with posting on the blog...well, it's become something that went from every day to almost never. In fact, Many days I thought that maybe I should just delete it completely. 

Why?

Because it's scary living in a fish bowl. 

I would like to say that from the moment the accident happened I chose to live openly and share our life-good and bad with everyone, but actually, it's who I am. I have always been open-sometimes a little too open about my thoughts, what I was experiencing and just life. 

When this blog started, I first didn't really know what a blog was. And at first, when everyone else had left the hospital and it was just me posting-I didn't want to. I didn't have the energy..

...until the Lord spoke. 

And quickly as I obeyed, this blog became a source to help me process. Many of you became like family walking each day with me in tears and laughter. Many of you are still such a HUGE encouragement to me and my family and it all started with you reading what I typed out on this computer. 

With the blessings of obedience and the way I've allowed you all to see my heart and the struggles and beauty of our life also came pain.

Not all of you reading agree with the way we live our life. Not all of you agree with us having Nora-I get that. I really do. I'm sure being on the outside looking in, it may be hard to understand (or impossible) how I could make the decision to have a baby when we face so many daily challenges already. It's true. We're a tad bit crazy over here. But...we're living. We're living life as best we can and enjoying it to the fullest. 

Nora is truly our greatest earthly blessing. And as amazing as all the therapy was for Cale while inpatient in different hospitals, having his little girl play with him has been the best therapy possible for him in the season he's in. We're so very thankful for her. And because I know all of you are wondering, yes. We hope to have another...and if not, we're ok with that too.

Life is busy. It is. It's complicated and full. 

Over the last almost 2 years, I've started to withdraw. I've had this desire to just disappear into our own bubble and live our life and be happy and when the hard days come not to share them because I can handle them and no one really cares and it's just easier and and and...

I have not stopped feeling the Holy Spirit nudging me to write. Not once. I've written whole blog posts while trying to fall asleep at night and then I let it stay there...in the little comfortable space in my room. And, I've just kept pushing back. Saying no. Saying that there are enough blogs out there that have really good stuff in them. Saying that I'm not good enough or the right person for the job.

And as I ran and heard myself say, "I'm scared." I knew what I needed to do. Yes, living life in a way that allows others in is scary. Sometimes though, if we remove fear and just allow ourselves to be real and vulnerable, it's beautiful. Not because of what I can do or say but because of who He is. Not because of what I can say or do but because of the gift all of you are to me. 

So...with that, hello :) you're about to see a lot more of us again. If you're friends on Facebook with me or on Instagram, you may see less of us for a little while as we begin to use this blog! I won't be posting every day but we'll be here. I'm ready to share life with you again...even if it's just to one person on the other side of this screen reading, I'm excited. 

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AND, on another note...

Happy 6 year Alive Day to my Man!!! 

I could say every year how amazed I am with where God has led us and all we've been through. I can say how thankful I am and what a blessing Cale is to us...and it would be true every year. I made a video last year and decided it would be the last one we did focusing on Cale's recovery. I ended up making it into one that told our story and kind of showed our journey in 5 minutes...wowza that was hard. Haha. 

Since I didn't post it on here last year, here it is! Enjoy!