Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emblazoned Memories

A year ago today was a very difficult day for me. And I've found myself lost in the memory on multiple occasions in the last week, so perhaps getting it out will help me to deal with it a bit better.

The day began much like many of the days leading up to it had started. I once again was scheduled to go see the pregnancy specialist for another sonogram. Had the placenta moved out of the way? Could I finally look forward to the natural birth that I'd longed for since Vince had been born 2 years previously? Or was I still looking at a 36 week c-section (just to make sure I didn't go into labor with U3)? Stupid placenta previa.

But I was confident. I had been praying and praying to St. Girard and St. Therese and St. Gianna. It was almost my 30th birthday! I just KNEW that the placenta was finally going to be moving on up. So when the kiddos ended up sick and Andrew couldn't come with me to the appointment, I wasn't terribly disturbed by the news.

I continued drinking the insane amount of water required for a sonogram as I drove down to the office near the hospital. I prayed as I drove. I talked to Mary and all my Saint friends as I parked in the large parking garage and began waddling my pregnant self across the walkway and into the building where the specialist's office was.

I got called back and laid down for the sonogram. I could see it when she pulled the picture up. Crap. No movement. Same stupid placenta in the same stupid place - right over the baby's exit. Oh well... I guess I wasn't terribly surprised. Just disappointed again. But we still had 5 more weeks before the scheduled surgery. Maybe it would move! It still could move! Then, as per every other appointment, I had to go sit in the room and wait for doc to come tell me "officially" that the placenta hadn't moved. What was the point of this waiting anyways? I had already seen it on the sono even if the sonographer wasn't allowed to tell me anything.

But then Doc walked in the room. Something was different. She sat down across from me. She touched my knee. And she said, "Kristi... I think it's an accreta." I stared at her blankly. I knew what an accreta was -- I was the queen of internet research after all. And I knew what it meant. It was serious. Way more serious than placenta previa. I began to cry. "Look, every time I've seen an accreta on a sonogram, I've been right," she continued, "but maybe this time I'm wrong. I'm bound to be wrong some time." "You'll have to have a c-section at 34 weeks. And we'll do a hysterectomy at the same time to stop the bleeding." "I know it's early, but the most recent study shows that 34 weeks gives the best chance for you and for baby."

I don't know what I said. I asked some questions. I stared blankly at her. I cried uncontrollably. It just didn't make sense. I'd never had a c-section before. I'd never had a d&c or a uterine surgery. I didn't take drugs. I'd never had an abortion. There was NO reason why I should have accreta. "These things just happen sometimes," she said.


The doc wanted to take me back to the sono room to show me what she was seeing. She and the sonographer and the PA were pointing out all of my veins showing up on the monitor. The blood flow seemed to be going through my uterine wall instead of just in the placenta. "Wow," they commented, "look at the blood flow. Just amazing." Amazing??! Seriously?!! I'm still crying. I'm scared out of my mind. "We'll schedule and MRI to see if we can confirm the accreta."

My sobs were more than audible. Doc said, "How many kids do you have at home?" I told her two... this was our third. "Well three is a good number. How many more did you want?" I was aghast at the question. Was it supposed to make me feel better?? But I politely said I didn't know and just agreed that I was blessed to have the three I had. She told me she liked my headband. She continued with some other small talk trying to calm me down and make me feel better. "I probably don't need to see you again, Kristi, until the surgery. But you're welcome to make an appointment in four weeks if you just want to ask questions. We'll deliver you one week after that."

Sigh... I made my way out to the receptionist's desk and booked the appointment. I tried hiding my puffy eyes and face as I made my way through the waiting room and out the door. I'd seen so many other extremely upset pregnant women in that waiting room. I didn't want to alarm any of the ones that were waiting today.

I made it out to the car, opened the door, sat down, and began sobbing. The only person I could think to call was Sister Sophia Grace. The poor sister that answered the phone sounded so much like her that I just started sobbing my story to her. Finally she stopped me and told me that she was so sorry, but I must think she's the wrong person. She gave me Sister's voicemail. Then I had to call Andrew and my mom. They told me to calm down so I could drive home.

By the grace of God... and that's the only thing it could have come from... on my drive home I had the thought, "Well, we've always said that we would have as many babies as God would give us. Maybe He only wants to give us three. Or maybe he needs us to adopt a kiddo and the only way he can show us that is by removing my fertility now." It was so strange feeling acceptance, and anger, and fear all at the same time.

I finally made my way to the house and fell into Andrew's arms. What are we going to do? Are we going to be okay? What if we can't have any more kids? What if this is it?

The rest of the day was basically a blur. I think I went into work and muddled through a couple of hours in tears before they finally just sent me home. I emailed our closest friends and had Andrew call his family. We needed everyone to pray... and we would keep praying.

I think I called my regular OB and went to see her as soon as possible to ask questions... none of which she would answer until we saw what the MRI said.

This emotional day... burned into my memory... was just the beginning of the hardest month of my life thus far. So many fears. So many hopes. So many prayers. So many tears. But they would all lead up to a miracle. A miracle surgery. A miracle baby boy. And a year after all of these events, I still get lost in the sea of emotions that they caused. They say that time heals everything... and I'm sure it does. And I have a feeling that the next month is going to be full of healing.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Catholic Chameleon

I began writing the following blog back in August shortly after my new boss "took office"... but I never got around to publishing it. So before I give you a new post... I give you something older...

So I'm sitting at a staff retreat at my very Catholic place of work last week, and our new director says that in order to get to know us, he wants to play the "What's your favorite ...? " game.

This sounds fun to me. I always like getting to know my coworkers better. But I was not prepared to be fourth in-line as we went around the circle. So he starts off with, my one most favorite movie is... and we are left to fill in the blanks. As the director announces his, my mind is already scrambling. I can't really say my REAL favorite, can I? It's so not holy. Then the second person announces their fav - (one that I've not heard of, but surely it isn't as bad as mine). Was his even rated R? The third person passes! OH NO! KRISTI!! THINK OF SOMETHING MORE APPOPRIATE THAT YOU REALLY LOVE! Dirty Dancing? Pretty Woman? Which is the lesser of two evils?? Julia Roberts is walking around in my head in her big ole hooker boots, and it's my turn so out it comes. "My favorite move is Pretty Woman." Oh crap... am I gonna get fired?

But the question kept moving around the circle and mine was quickly forgotten (I hope). And then came question #2. "My favorite TV show is..." Uh oh... Why do all of the shows have to be on hiatus for summer? I cannot, for the life of me, remember any okay sitcoms that I watch during regular season. And it's my turn... THINK FASTER BRAIN... "My favorite TV show is The Bachelorette." Someone in the peanut gallery says, "That really IS a guilty pleasure." Oh sheesh. I offer a crooked smile and secretly pray that someone else says something a little bit raunchy. Praise be to God for one of our cooks who said they were going to say "Jersey Shore" but decided against it.


Well... it's December now and I still have a job... so hopefully my favorites were forgotten and my coworkers can go back to believing that I'm a sweet little naive Catholic girl who only watches stories about saints....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Six years ago today, I awoke in my room in The Daisy House, and I was sad. It was the first Thanksgiving in my 25 years that I was not waking up in the same house as my family. I called Mom. Crying. "Mom... I miss all of you."

"Oh, Kristi..." She assured me. "We will see you tomorrow night. Besides, you'll have fun with Andrew's family." Perhaps she was right, perhaps she wasn't, But that didn't really matter to me. I wasn't just sad because I missed them. I was sad because it had just hit me that things were actually shifting in my life. And I was going to have to figure out a new "normal".

That morning marked the beginning of the mad juggling of families that now encompasses the majority of our holidays. I suppose most every young family goes through this (at least if they are blessed enough, as we are, to be on good terms with both sides of the family). And it seems to get a little tougher each year... As a new sibling gets married... Or another kid comes along.

I wonder at what point people stop trying to do everything with each family and just start developing their own family traditions? I assume this must happen at some point. I mean how else would kids learn about the tradition of waking up in your own house on Christmas morn and anxiously running down to the tree to see what surprises they would find?

Then again, I still don't think I could bear not seeing our families during the holidays. Sometimes it's a week before or a week after the actual day, but we still get together and break bread and do our best to have fun. It's all part and partial of giving thanks and sharing the love I guess.

At least this morning I didn't wake up in tears. Nope, 6 years after that first weepy Thanksgiving, I woke up, kissed the baby next to me, hollered (hushedly) at the other two to quiet it down, and began a baking frenzy to get us through the next 4 days of eating. No tears this year. Just a grateful smile on my face to have so many loved ones to visit and hug and be merry with.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chew chew train?

This was my first attempt at creative cake making. It wasn't exactly as cool looking as I had hoped, but Vince seemed happy with it so I guess that's what counts, right?

I bet this means Mia's gonna want a cool cake too... I better start brainstorming.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'll never let go, Jack.

Dude. It is freezing in my house. But I don't know how cold it is because my husband is convinced that the metric system is superior to the system I know, and 30 years of practice in Farenheit makes Celsius extremely foreign to me. Also, I haven't figured out how to switch our new thermostat back to a temp I can read.

So I'm in long pants, two shirts, socks, and buried under two thermal blankets... And I'm still kinda cold. And Andrew is asleep.

Despite my tendency to burn to a tomato red crisp, I would gladly take hot over this freezing business!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I might be addicted to babies

I LOVE BABIES! And I think it might be an addiction.

Yesterday, I got to go to a baby shower for a friend and see her little preggo belly and dish about how's she's feeling and what she's excited about.

And today, I got to hang with my friends who had JUST left their sonogram appointment to see if they were having a boy or girl. And they're having a girl and they were so excited... And I'm soo excited for them.

And then I had dinner with a two-week-old and her mommy. And Mary Therese is the cutest little doll baby ever. She's itsy bitsy and reminds of William when he was newborn.

And to top off the evening, I was so priviledged to go meet my new Goddaughter, only 8 hours old, Baby Bernadette Grace!!! She is so cuddly and squishy, and I kinda just wanted to never leave the hospital room.

But then again... My William is still pretty little and he would have missed his momma.

The point of this stream-of-consciousness post is only to say that i am feeling all giddy and high on these multiple baby fixes.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Treat ME... not my SYMPTOMS!

It is rare in my life that I don't trust someone or something. I tend to pretty much believe what I'm told and go along with it. But there are a few things, especially in the past year or two, that I've really started questioning, and it actually bothers me that more people don't question them.

The biggest example I can think of deals with modern medicine. Today's MDs are so quick to give us a drug to treat what ails us. It's so easy to prescribe an antidepressant, or a statin drug, or a pain killer to relieve the patient's symptoms. Not that I can blame the docs, really. Our society is all about instant gratification. No one wants to work for anything. We just want it handed to us. We need money... we use credit. We need pain relief... we take a drug. Who cares if it's not fixing the SOURCE of the problem... at least it's fixing the immediate symptom.

But I think there's something drastically wrong with this system. It's as though we are a society of ticking time bombs, ready to explode full of crazy disease at any moment. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease... you name it... it's on the increase in the U.S. And I think our medical system is failing us. Our government is failing us. WE are failing us.

Every drug we put in our bodies has some sort of side effect on another part of our bodies. So we take a drug for that... and have a side effect... so we take a drug for that... and so on and so forth. What if we stopped the cycle and just started taking better care of ourselves? What if we ate food that nourished our bodies rather than just kept us satiated? What if we considered WHY we're aching before we tossed a few more pills down our throats to kill the pain? What might a world like that look like?

I think for me, it all boils down to something pretty simple. I don't honestly think that our bodies were designed to fail on us. Should they age? Yes. Are they going to get sick sometimes? Yes. But I think we have way more control over our health than any of us think we do anymore. And I thinks we put WAY TOO MUCH trust in the medical community to KNOW exactly how to fix us, because, frankly, they too are just people... and they actually DO make mistakes. And unfortunately modern medicine in the US doesn't look at the whole picture.

I don't understand why a doctor out there doesn't combine nutrition, homeopathy, and things like acupuncture with the long list of successful treatments in Western medicine. Wouldn't it behoove all of us if they used ALL the tools in the arsenal rather than just half of them? Doesn't it make more sense to have a balance of these two worlds of thought rather than having to rely on one or the other?

Or, I suppose we could just go on trusting that everything our doctors tell us is the truth. They must know more than we do... they've had so much more school. They've done so much more research. They've seen so many people with our same symptoms. And after all, it's so much easier to just take what they prescribe than it is to research our condition, get a second opinion, or change the way we live to heal ourselves.

Bah... it's just so frustrating. And that's my rant for today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Best meal ever...

We used to play this game back in the Daisy House days about favorite foods. Basically you are given an empty plate and you can fill it with one entree, two sides, a drink and a dessert... But that's the only meal you can have for dinner every day for the rest of your life.

If calories don't matter, I choose:
Entree: Mac and Cheese pizza with chicken from CiCi's
Side dish one: Olive Garden Ceasar salad
Side dish two: Homemade Sweet potato Fries with ranch dip
Dessert: Chocolate chip cookies
Drink: Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

What would you choose??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yummy in my tummy...

I'm fairly certain that anything wrapped in a crescent roll is yummy.

I made bacon cheeseburger wraps for Vincey's bday this weekend and they were a hit.
Then I just whipped up "pizza rolls" for the kids... And boy are they delightful.

So now I'm thinking... What else could I bake up in a crescent roll?

Chocolate chips? Mmmmm...
Peanut butter? Perhaps...
Turkey, cream cheese and sprouts? Mmmmm...
Grilled veggies? Yummeriffic...

Now if only I could remove all calories and carbs from the rolls, we'd really be in business!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Earthquakes... I'm not so sure

Are you kidding me?! In the last three days, We've had TWO earthquakes close enough to where I live that I should have felt them both... And I felt nothing!! What a rip off!! When the first hit on Saturday evening, I was visiting with family quietly in my living room.... But none of us had a clue anything happened until we saw all of our friends commenting about it on Facebook. And THEN... When the second one hit about an hour ago, in was in my car driving home from a meeting so I missed out again! Ridiculousness!

On the other hand, I've been relatively sure that I've felt the ground moving on at least 5 other occasions between those two... But I don't know of I'm feeling aftershocks or I just have a wild imagination.

Also... Is anyone else a little freaked that we're feeling quakes in the Midwest?? Seems a little off kilter to me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Three years ago today...

I wrote this a day or two after Vince's birth... Three years ago. Happy birthday, little man!

Vincent Joseph - A Labor Story
It's time to write this story down before I forget all the gory details (most of which I will spare you), but if you are anti-labor story, please feel free to skip this post!

For those of you who attempted to contact me last Wednesday, I must apologize for my lack of answering the phone and general lack of interest when I did. I spent most of the day on an emotional rollercoaster of feeling sorry for myself because it seemed I would DEFINITELY be getting induced. I hadn't told a lot of people, but I was really hoping to not only go into labor naturally this time, but to actually have the kiddo without use of drugs or anything, and I was INCREDIBLY depressed knowing that I'd probably need Pitocin to get labor started. I'd always heard that Pitocin makes labor about 20 times harder, and I just knew I wouldn't be able to do it without help if I had to be induced.

As a last stitch effort, I ate spicy foods for dinner on Wednesday evening and continued with some of the other old-wives tales that are supposed to get labor started, but I had pretty much resigned myself to a Pitocin-induced labor. Much to my surprise I woke up at about 3:30a Thursday morning with contractions that were definitely a bit harder than the ones I had been feeling for a week and a half. By 4:30p I started timing them and wondering if this could actually be the real thing. I woke Andrew up 20 minutes later and we discovered that they were coming about every 6 minutes and they actually hurt! I continued to contract like that for the next 2 hours and they were still going pretty strong by the time Andrew and I had to leave to go to the hospital for our scheduled induction.

After checking in, I told the nurse and resident that I had been in labor on my own for about 3 hours and wondered if my doc would let me continue on this path without the Pitocin. They decided they'd check to see if I had made any progress and then give her a call. It turns out I had gone from 85% effaced and dilated to 2cm with baby at a -3 station on Tuesday to 85% effaced, dilated to 4cm and baby at a -1 station by 8am on Thursday. I actually WAS in labor. They gave me about 45 minutes to go walking the hospital halls and then they said they'd break my water to see if they could pick things up.

At 10am, they broke my water and my sweet nurse told me that I'd probably start feeling the contractions even more intensely. I had progressed to 5cm by then, but, unfortunately, my contractions slowed down and seemed to get less intense after they broke my water. I was pretty bummed. By 11am, I was till between 5 & 6 cm and another call to my Doc said that she wanted things to go faster so they wanted to start the dreaded Pitocin!!! I was distraught. My contractions were hurting, I was progressing (even if slowly), and I was managing my pain pretty well. They gave me a few more minutes to get up and walk around, and said they would start the Pit at noon.

My nurse told me that I had been doing great managing labor so far, and she really thought that I might be able to muscle through the Pitocin. So I still didn't ask for an epidural or pain meds... I just let them start me on the drip. About 3 minutes after they started the epidural, my contractions went from fairly intense and every 3-5 minutes to INCREDIBLY PAINFUL and every 1-2 minutes. There was no longer a break to catch my breath. And when, by the grace of God, there was a slightly longer break between contractions, the break always built up into a longer and more intense contraction than the previous one. After and hour of enduring the Pit contractions, with lots and lots of help from Andrew rubbing my back and breathing with me, I told the nurse they needed to check my progression. I decided that if I hadn't hit at least 8cm, I wanted the epidural.

I was only at 7cm. The nurse called the anesthesiologist and started fluids into me so that I would be prepped for the epidural in 10 minutes. By the time she arrived, and they had me back up in the bed, the contractions were so intense that I could barely talk through them. I could barely scoot back to the edge of the bed, and when the asked me to curl into a fetal position, there was no way I could do it because the contractions were coming so quickly. They told me I'd have to lay perfectly still for them to get the epi in, and I knew that wasn't going to happen. The anesthesiologist finally told the nurse to check me again because she wasn't sure there was time for the epidural. And that's when things went nuts.

With the next contraction, all I could think was "I HAVE TO PUSH NOW!!!" and I'm pretty sure I yelled that. The nurse somehow got me into a position that she could check my progression, and I was suddenly 100% effaced, 10cm dilated and baby was at a +1 position (ready to come out!). The nurse had to start telling to just push a little bit with the contractions if it helped but she didn't want me to push too much because they needed to get the doctors and the other nurses in the room. Tiny pushes weren't working and Vincent was on his way. At one point there was a flurry of residents and the on-call doc into the room but I don't remember that at all. After about 2 more contractions his little head was out, but I was so tired that I couldn't push as hard. Andrew later told me that little Vince was turning blue and it was at that point that the nurse forced me to make eye contact with her and she said "Kristi, I need you to push NOW." So with everything I had left in me, I pushed one last time, and out came our beautiful baby boy! The doctors didn't realize we didn't know what he was so when they said "What a big boy!!!", Andrew and I just started crying. 9 lbs 5.8 oz and 20 inches long! All I could think is "How did I do that??!!"

As much as I wanted to go drug-free, I don't think I ever believed I'd actually be able to do it. I know that it was through so many of your prayers that everything went as it did. The fact that I went into labor on my own was a miracle in and of itself, but then to progress 3 cm in a 10 minute time frame just to avoid the meds at the last minute was another miracle on top of it. Thank you so much to all of you for the well-wishes and the prayers. We are so grateful.

Now little Vince and I are home and doing great. Mia isn't so sure what this new little person in the family means, but she's so sweet when she peeks in his crib and says "Baby Brother". Andrew is the proudest Papa ever with his little son at his side. Recovery seems to be going pretty well though the preggo hormones decreasing are definitely making me feel super funky every now and then. That's pretty par-for-the-course I assume after a pregnancy that had as many weird symptoms as this one did. Vince goes in for a weight check tomorrow, but he's a great nurser and I think he'll be back up to his birth weight in no time.

I can't wait to introduce our little boy to you. He's so awesome.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Um... Help please

In the words of Sloth on Goonies... HEY YOU GUYS!!!!!

So we're only on day four of this Nablopomo business, and I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas. So I am tasking you to be my idea machines...

What should I write about?
Questions I should address?
Anecdotes that I should share?
Items I should list?

Come on people... Help a blogger out!! Remember I've been out of practice for regular blogging for 5years or so... Ive got to get back into practice I guess.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Party pooper...

Some of my friends went out karokeing for the first time in a LONG time tonight, and they wanted me to come along. And I really really really really (Did I say really?) wanted to, but, alas, I was in the midst of decorating a Choo Choo Train cake for Vince's third birthday. And it turns out that making and decorating cakes turns one's house into an explosion of frosting and baked goods.

Thus, I decided to be a responsible parent this evening and stay home to clean my kitchen instead of going to sing my heart out. Might have been a party pooper choice... but in theory, I won't wake up in the morning quite as tired or stressed out that 20 people are headed towards my house and I AM NOT READY.

But, dear friends, I WILL Karaoke again soon. It MUST be done. Maybe for FDOC?? Since I was too scarily pregnant to celebrate my 30th birthday last year, I think we're gonna have to do it up big for #31!!! YIPPEE!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rock Chalk

Tuesday night I got to introduce my family to their first Men's Basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse. Granted we had nose bleed seats and totally had to shell out money for the baby's ticket, but it was AMAZING.

Mia sang the fight song along with the band. Vince stuck Jayhawk stickers (that Grandma brought for entertainment) ALL over his clothes (I may have found one on his belly 24 hours later). And William finally mastered the art of clapping...kind of.

I think I probably hyped the game up a bit too much for Andrew, because he enjoyed it but it "didn't quite reach his expectations" (fun-hater). Then again, my memories of Jayhawk basketball mostly involve student section fourth row seating, wearing a "Roy's Girls" shirt and screaming my head off. So nose bleed with three kids in tow is bound to be a little different. What a difference 9 years can make. Monkeys on crackers! 9 years?!? I'm aged. When did THAT happen?!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nablopomo Kick Off!!

It's November. And for some reason you're supposed to blog every day this month. I already missed yesterday... But who's to say I can't start late??

I just finished watching a documentary about vaccines. You can watch it free until the end of this week here. I've always had some reservations watching my teenies get a bazillion shots... But until William's birth, I hadn't done a lot of hard research on it. And even once I started researching, there was still way too much conflicting information out there for me to be confident in any decision.

This movie brought up another issue that I hadn't thought much about though.... I'm still no closer to feeling completely comfortable with vaccinating or not vaccinating. But at least I understand the bureaucracy behind it all a little better.

I highly recommend you set aside 1.5 hours in your week to watch this before you engage in any kind of silly argument in my comments section. At least give it a chance.

Also... I plan to have a future post this month called "Herd Immunity or Herd Mentality" so I'm sure you can save your arguments for that one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Delectable Vegetarian Enchiladas

The 9th annual Great Country Getaway took place this past weekend, and it was a blast! But that is not what this post is about. This post is about how we returned home from folks' place with NOTHING in our kitchen (well besides a few staples.) And since I wasn't in the mood to go grocery shopping on Monday, I had to be creative for supper. And this is what I came up with:

Delectable Vegetarian Enciladas (DVE's for short)

Ingredients: (I didn't really measure so these are guesses)
1 small onion, diced
Tbsp olive oil
1 pkg frozen spinach
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
Some Cumin
Some Garlic Salt
Flour Tortillas
1-2 cans red enchilada sauce (but green would be tasty too)
Some shredded mexican style cheese

First thing I did was put the frozen block of spinach in a small amount of boiling water and stir it around until it was warmish. Then I put that in a colander in my sink to dry it out a bit. Next I put some olive oil in the same pan and sautéed the onions until just turning brown. I dumped the spinach back in, added the can of diced tomatoes and can of black beans... seasoned with cumin and garlic salt... and stirred it all around until warm.

Next I coated a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray. I placed one flour tortilla in, put some filling in it, put a tablespoon of enchilada sauce... and then rolled it and laid it seam side down against the edge of the dish. I continued doing this until the dish was full of enchiladas. (Note: I had quite a bit of filling leftover that I used for later in the week, but if you did this in a 9x12, you'd probably use the filling up just right) I then dumped the rest of the enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas and spread it around. Sprinkled some cheese over the top and covered with foil.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until bubbling and delicious-looking.

These things were unbelievalby tasty for a random invention recipe and I highly recommend them to you. In the words of my friend Lisa, "YUM-MO!!"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ah... Music to my Ears

And these are the moments that make every crazy day seem like nothing at all.  Baby laughter cures all ails.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kids, love and Halloween!

It's been 5 weeks since I posted on here.  5 weeks!  Unacceptable, I tell you!  So here are a few snippets of life in the past month:

A). I love being a mom.  There is nothing nothing NOTHING that compares to the way I feel about my kids.  I didn't want to be a mom.  I didn't think I'd be good at it at all.  And most kids (before my own) didn't even seem to like me that much.  But, thanks be to God, I chose to accept this beautiful gift of motherhood, because I just look at my three little beauties and go, "Wow... I see heaven in your eyes."

B).  Love is in the air lately.  Being around my friends the last couple of weeks has reminded me greatly of 2005 when I met Andrew.  There seems to be some vibe of relationshippiness floating around and it makes me kind of giddy.  I love living vicariously through my friends.

C).  I'm super duper pumped for Halloween.  I seem to forget, until October rolls around, just how much I love being crafty.  If I could come up with Halloween costume ideas and the cheapest way to make them all year, I would be a happy camper.  Well... At least if I got to make them after on came up with the idea.  Actually, it'd be even better if I wasn't on a budget... But I do like the challenge of doing things without much money.

Man, I hate posting blogs that I'm not happy about... But I also hate having a blog at hasn't been updated in 5 weeks... So here you are cyberworld, this is all I got for you right now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ten Things I'd Relive

Inspired by the trending hashtag on Twitter: #10thingsidrelive... I'm blogging.

1) May 6, 2006. - Our wedding day. Magical. Holy. Blessed. Dream-like. And SO STINKING FUN!

2) Senior Prom - I had the prettiest dress, a date that I was in love with, was the first couple to dance, and ended the night with a great breakfast with all of my high school friends. I remember sitting on the front porch with my mom the day after prom just crying and crying because I was so sad that High School was almost over.

3) William's Birthday - It's not everyday that you're granted a miracle. No placenta accreta! No hysterectomy! The chance to have more kids and a beautiful baby boy to boot!

4) February 28, 2005 - My first date wtih Andrew. The night that I knew for sure that I had met my husband.

5) 2nd Semester of Sophomore year at KU. Templin Hall shenanigans. First time rooming with Valerie. And silly (and exciting) little relationship with Mark. So ridiculously fun!

6) Thursday nights at Henry T's with all of my college besties.

7) Lake Geneva Honeymoon!

8) AHS awards night 1999 - probably the most accomplished I've felt in my life (next to Vince's natural birth at least). I sang my first solo "Walking after Midnight" at the choir concert and killed it... Then I got a ton of awards at the awards night ceremony. One night that it felt really great to be one of the smart kids in school.

9) Great Country Getaways 2003, 2005 and 2006. 03 was the first and it was hilariously fun! 05 melded college and HS friends and everyone thought Andrew was going to propose. 06 was the first Fall GCG, and the weather was magnificent.

10) The first time I took Andrew home to meet my parents. It was the weekend that it became very real to me that, though we had only been dating a month or so, this man really would be my husband some day. One specific memory was when I showed him the humble country Church that I wanted to get married in... And then we sat in the grass of the big hill next to my parents house and he told me we would get married there.

Man... That was fun!! And I want to read yours, so if you have a blog... Write them!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fly, fly, fly away...

The passage of time is wigging me out.

Pretty much I blinked, and this little girl...

Became THIS little girl...

Our little Mia-Bear started Pre-K today. And she was so excited. And I shed a few tears.

So to honor this very special day, which I've heard is the beginning of an even-faster-moving life... I'm going to write my 10 favorite things/memories about my baby girl.

1) Her birth: Meeting that little gift that had been wriggling in my tummy for 9 months was like nothing I'd ever experienced. Watching Andrew become the Daddy he was built to be... learning how to be a mom to this precious baby... and just getting to know this beautiful little Wedding Gift from God was astonishing. Her name "Amelia Grace"... or Mia Grace... means "my gift" for a reason.
2) She shocks me with her smarts almost every day. A few months ago she came up to me and said, "Mom, a paliotraechus is a prehistoric frog." What?! Okay, smarty pants.
3) The songs she makes up. Much like her momma, she frequently burst out in song. This bodes well for my long-time dream of life as a musical!!
4) How she says "Hi Jesus!" whenever we pass a Church.
5) The way she loves on her baby brothers (especially the one who doesn't steal her toys...ahem, VINCE).
6) How when Andrew is being Andrew, she just looks at him and says, "Oh Daddy!!"
7) The way she reacts when Andrew and I are getting snappy with each other. She picks out the parent that is being most snappy, and says "Mommy... just calm down."
8) How she cries every time she has to say goodbye to someone that is special to her.
9) Her imagination. Two hours ago she abracadabra'd me into Cinderella and now that Andrew is home, she's informed him that he is Prince Charming, and we will be dancing tonight.
10) Her beauty: I can't stop looking at her even still. Her big blue eyes sparkle with every notion she has. She's the most gorgeous being I've ever seen in my life and I'm pretty sure I will never get bored of looking at her.

So here's to you Princess Mia... on your very first day of school.  Mommy loves you more deeply than you'll ever comprehend (at least until you're a momma too).  I'm so proud of the little lady you are growing to be.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The decline of creativity

I read the beginning of an article the other day that said that social networking is causing a decline in creativity. It basically indicated that our brains NEED boredom and downtime in order to be creative. This makes lots of sense to me.

I had always sort of figured that my blogging days were over because I'm a mom and I don't have time. Or maybe because I'm a mom and I've nothing to write about. But it never occured to me that I stopped writing because my creativity had up and flown right out of my ears. And it has actually NOTHING to do with motherhood.... But everything to do with Facebook.

It's supremely easy for a girl like me (who finds everything about human interaction exceedingly fascinating) to get caught up in social networking. It's so thrilling to see the highs and lows of my friends and pseudo-friends as life comes at them each day. The joys of pregnancy or wedding announcements. The reactions to breakups and losses. The frequently coded statuses that always mean more than what they say, but that are too encrypted by the writer to be fully understood. These things are fun. They are fascinating. They are human.

And yet... They are zapping my Kristi-ness. My brother once told me that I was always filled with hair-brained ideas as a kid. Always wanting to redesign my room to look like a jungle. Or make a new dance routine for my amateur dance group. Or design a float to be in the town parade. Or orchestrate a garage haunted house for the younger trick or treaters. And that creativity spilled over into my blog as a young adult. But then it died a slow and painful death... Or at least suffered from a disease called Facebook.

The thing is... I cant really blame Facebook. I have to blame my excessive use of Facebook instead. Because the creativity that lays dormant does-every now and then-awake for a fun project. Lately it's been cooking. Right now in fact I'm attempting to make from roasted red pepper hummus from scratch. And last Halloween I loved every minute of brainstorming and creating Mia and Vince's cookie and milk costumes. And I miss creating things. I miss feeling that lightbulb ignite in my head and get me so excited that I've got to put it down on paper before I forget. Or the way a really good idea just eats away at me until I act on it.

So what I'm saying is this: Dear Facebook - You are fun. You keep me connected. And you keep me entertained. But you do NOT inspire me... And thus I need to take a small step away from our relationship. It's not you... It's me. Or it's actually the part of me that I've lost to you. I want me back. So over the next few months I plan to spend less time with you and more time with me. Even if that means unforesaking boredom. Because experiencing boredom means that creativity awaits. Huzzah! Take care, Kristi

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For all the single ladies

I really don't know the answers.  I only pretend to.  In fact, what is to follow might just be gobblygook that I pulled out of thin air... but you're still welcome to read it and adopt it as your own if you like.

Now that we've covered my credentials, let's get down to business. I've always been a little preoccupied with how men and women interact (case in point - the speech I did on "Flirting" back in high school), and I am fascinated by all things "relationship" or "almost relationship" or "wanna-be relationship".  I love the Bachelor/Bachelorette.  I totally dig living vicariously through the lives of my single friends.  If I could go back to college and pick any topic to study, it would hands down be human interactions of some sort.  Sometimes I even fancy myself to be the next Dear Abby or Ask Annie....

So to all you singletons in the world (especially the girls, because the male-mind is impossible to understand), I have three basic suggestions to you to alleviate some of the confusion that tends to surround all types of men-women relationships.  Here they are in no particular order.

While flirting is fun for the first few interactions you have with a certain someone, there comes a point, when it's just time to get your feelings out there without any pretense.  Let's be honest--guys aren't so great at "taking a hint".  Half the time you are flirting with them, they either aren't seeing it, or they are choosing not to see it.  So why waste your precious flirting energy any longer?  Just stop the madness, catch the boy off to the side, and say "Look, I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not, but I really dig you... and if ever there is the same interest from your end, I would happily say yes if you asked me on a date."  Then turn yourself around and march right back into the throws of whatever social event you are attending. 

Pro's of this method: You're no longer left wondering "Does he like me?  Would he date me?  Does he know I like him?  Is he just scared of rejection?"
Cons of this method:  You know the answers to those questions (even if they might be negative), so you may realize that all your dreams of your 6 beautiful children living in a nice home and taking vacations at the Ozarks each summer with this fellow as the wonderful Papa and Husband are really just that - imaginings. But at least you can pluck a new fellow into that spot now... right?

You know how there's that unwritten code that you're not supposed to "go after" the same guy that your friend has dibs on?  I means she's liked him for 3 years... it just wouldn't be RIGHT of you to go on a date with him.  I think there's two sides to this story.  Point A: I think the code is valid if you actually are persuing a guy that your friend has a crush on.  That's pretty underhanded and wrong of you.  I mean, she's your bestie.  She's seen you through thick and thin.  She has been mooning over this silly guy for a long time, and out of respect for her, you just shouldn't ACTIVELY flirt with him.  On the other hand, Point B:  If that guy asks you out, and you actually sorta like him, I think you have to say "yes."  It might not be a terrible idea to talk this out with your friend first.  But neither of you know for sure God's master plan, and it might just be that you're meant to be with him even if she wants to be with him.  I have two concrete examples of this exact situation that occurred in my own life.  And now I've got two best friends married to the guys that God intended them to be with.  And, guess what?  It's all good.  

Pro's of this:  People who are supposed to be together don't have to deal with stupid roadblocks like the "bro over hoe" code.
Cons of this:  It can put some serious strain on friendships in the short term.  But over the long term, if the friendships were any good to start out with, they will survive and possibly be even stronger.

So you're the girl who has done the previous two things:  You've crushed on this guy for years.  You've been obvious and vocally honest about your feelings for him.  But he's just not getting it.  Guess what?  This advice sucks... but it's time to let it go.  Though I don't know much about guys, one thing that I'm fairly certain of is that if they are truly interested in a relationship with you, and you've made it clear to them that you want the same thing, they will make it happen.  If they don't, then they really aren't interested.  And, in my mind, there's only two good ways to "let it go."  The first - Just walk away.  Don't spend time together anymore.  Give yourself some space so you can recover from the crush and open your eyes to one of the other 40 million single men in the United States.   The second - just kiss him. Yes. That's right.  Haul off and kiss that guy.  Maybe his hangup is the stupid, and usually lie-filled excuse of, "We'll lose our friendship."  Um... hello, dumb boy, a marital relationship is based on friendship....  So show him you can be both.  Friend and Beloved.  And if he doesn't get it then... just leave him be. He is not the guy for you.

Pros of this method:  If you choose option two, you might finally get to kiss that cute fellow that you've been mooning over.
Cons of this method:  You're quite possibly ending a relationship that has been a fairly large portion of your life.  Whether that portion was a friendship or just a really sweet fairytale up in your imagination... it's time to let it go, and there will be tears, depression and ice cream to follow.  But soon, the process will start all over again and you'll keep having fun until Mr. Right For You finally shows up. (where is that guy anyway??)

So there you have it from my point of view.  Too often, I think, people get all hung up in the "what ifs" and "what thens" and just forget to live.  I say you drop the games. Stop guessing when you really don't know.  And get on with your life.  There's too much fun and joy to be had out there to let these questions put your life on hold any longer.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hugs in Heaven

So I'm pretty disappointed in myself for not keeping at this new blog. That was, after all, my main motivation for creating a new one--so that I'd actually write on it. Oh well... So it goes.

Things in our house have been pretty run-of-the-mill as of late. We hosted our first Faspa a few Sundays ago, and it was super duper fun. I baked Zwieback rolls fom scratch (did you all know that I can cook?)! I mean it took me by surprise, but I can bake and cook and create dishes like crazy... And I really enjoy it! I suppose I should have realized this long ago because I grew up with a momma who could bake with the best of them. But I never had enough electives in high school to take home ec so I just figured I couldn't be a kitchen wiz.

Speaking of wizzing in the kitchen, we are finally making the push to potty-train Vincey. He's two and a half, and Andrew and I are totally getting sick of changing two sets of diapers, so we're hoping he gets it down soon. I'm still not clear on whether we're to teach him to stand up or sit down, because he's so short that both ways seem a bit inconvenient...

On a totally different topic, we went a big party at my SNL's farm over Memorial Day, and I'm relatively certain that childbirth has taken away my party gene. It was a very strange experience for me because I could totally tell that it was a fun party, but somehow it wasn't fun to me. Part of it probably had to do without the fact that I was afraid one of my kids was going to get run over by a car... Or a cow... Or a tractor... whilst they were running about the farm. I think the next time we hit a C&J party, we'll plan on being kidless and see if I get my gene back. How did Stella get her groove back? (okay, admittedly I've never seen that movie and really have no idea what it is about... So I apologize if that made no sense)

Hmmm.. I would say that was a fairly stream of consciousness blog, so I'm gonna call it quits... But I leave you with this:

In Church today I was pondering how AWESOME it would be to give Jesus a hug and tell him "Thank you". And though I'm fairly terrified of dying still... I think that I most look forward to that. A big squishy hug from the Lord. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Friendly Manitoba Vacation

For as long as I've known Andrew, he's always told me of his dream to move to Canada.  "Canada?!" I would say... "It's cold...  It's far away... Our family is here... Why would we do that?!"  But thanks to our vacation up North this week, I will never ask that question again.  Andrew has always argued for the health care benefits, the way they govern, and how we would get paid monthly stipends for our kids.  He never mentioned that I would fall in love with the people, the customs and the way of life.  He didn't tell me that I would find family there. And now I understand. Steinbach, Manitoba truly is a new home away from home for us, and I already miss it a little.

Granted, road tripping to a destination over a thousand miles away with a preschooler, toddler, and infant in tow is not all roses.  And Andrew-sweet hubby that he is-has this weird thing for taking "the road less traveled", so it's not like we were cruising on interstate the whole trip.  I think these two videos will help explain a bit...

1)  On our way through South Dakota, we encountered a little bit of flooded land... okay 2 and a half miles of flooded land.  I prayed most of the way through this scary encounter, but toward the end, I figured we had to get some video or no one would believe me just how bad it was...


2)  The thirteenth hour on the road... Watch, and you'll understand.


But upon arriving, and we did make it in a mostly-sane state, we began an AMAZING vacation.  The first two days were spent staying with our Holdeman Mennonite family.  No radio, no tv, no computers.  Just some delicious made-from-scratch food and a whole lot of great and Godly conversations.  We spent one evening cracking pecans around the dinner table and discussing politics while the kiddos (and a few adults) made Lego creations in the living room.  Another day I asked lots of questions and learned all about Holdeman Mennonite weddings.  Their culture and faith is SO interesting.  And despite the disparities in our lifestyles, we were made to feel so at home with them.  The peace that pervaded their household was evident in how easily Mia and Vince went to sleep our first night there and how many awesome naps we all took. I slept for 3 hours one day!

On Saturday evening we packed up our stuff and headed 4 miles down the road to begin the second part of our Canadian vacation.  At Uncle Orlan's house we encountered yet some more amazing food, but also a house filled to the brim with love and joy.  It began with an "Andrew is back in town... Let's celebrate!" BBQ.  Besides meeting some incredible new people, one of the highlights of the evening for me was watching the two cultures... those of  Holdeman and non Holdeman Mennonites... mix together.  Again, there were great differences in mannerisms and practices, and yet they were all family and so the love shown through.  Andrew and I became fast friends with a couple about our age, Andrew and Mindy.  And Mia and Vince found best buddies in their kiddos - Aidan and Dakota.  On Sunday the weather was beautiful enough to truck them all to the park for some play time.  Our Canadian family teased us for never having heard of ketchup chips or smarties,  (And their smarties are NOT the same as our smarties), so they made sure we were well stocked for our trip home.  My impression of Ketchup Chips was YUMYUM!  But Smarties were just weird M&M's (Sorry, Mindy... they were kinda odd).

The final evening in Canada was capped off with our very first Faspa.  Apparently Faspa is a low German word referring the the 5 o'clock meal on Sundays.  It was yet another stellar meal filled with homemade buns, fruit preserves, honey butter, ham and more!  And whomever from the neighborhood, family, friend, or both that wanted to come, just came on in and pulled up a seat.  After Faspa, we all sat on the back patio around a fire watching the kids play in the backyard and talking.  Orlan mentioned to us that he sees his home as a lighthouse.  It is for anyone who needs it whenever they need it.  Andrew and I have decided that our home must become a lighthouse as well and we'll be kicking off our first Faspa in a few weeks.

Bright and early Monday morning, we enjoyed one last quick breakfast with Orlan and Sharon, and then we had to say our goodbyes.  I never imagined how difficult that was going to be.  With tears in our eyes and love in our hearts, we settled in for the long drive home.  Oh Canada... you're not my home and native land, but I think I wouldn't mind too much if you were.

Friday, April 29, 2011

JP2 We Love You!!

On the morning of July 28th, 2002 and I had an encounter with the late Pope John Paul II that I will never forget.  Along with hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims from all over the world, I had come to Toronto, Canada for World Youth Day.  And the experience was one I will cherish my entire life.

It was the final day of the World Youth Day event.  We were tired... we were dirty... we were soaking wet.  As is the tradition for WYD's, we had hiked for miles to get to the place of the final Mass the day before and then camped there overnight after the vigil celebration.  But the weather was not friendly to us at all. 

For the majority of the night it misted very cold rain upon all of us.  The wind was howling and blowing the giant glow lights all about.  We had tarps and sleeping bags, but it seemed no matter how we covered up or adjusted, somehow the rain just kept getting in.  We awoke in the morning to the same weather... chilly, windy, gray.  Despite the dreariness, this was the last day we would be with our Holy Father, and we tried to remain cheery.  Pope John Paul II's helicopter flew in and he traveled in his Pope-mobile through the crowds all the way up to the stage.

Even though we were never very close (in proximity) to this man, his presence was so powerful and pervasive.  It felt like we were shaking his hand the entire week whenever he would come for an event.  And the final Mass would prove no different.  As the Pope approached the front of the stage and began Mass, we pilgrims bowed our heads and began Mass as well.  And then it happened, more suddenly than you could imagine, the clouds parted... and out came the warm and beautiful sun.  And what I'll never forget was what our dear Pope said to us.  "It looks as if the Son has come to join us."  The crowd erupted in cheers.  We were able to remove our jackets and sweatshirts.  Our clothes began drying...we were warming up... and by the end of Mass, you would have barely known that we had been drenched and miserable just an hour or two previously.  The Son had joined us... as he does for every Mass.  But on this special day, with 750,000 of my peers, we felt him exteriorly instead of just interiorly.  AMAZING.

Happy Beatification Weekend, John Paul II. I really do love you!

John Paul the Great, Pray for Us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Doc like That

So the past year or two have been a major wakeup call for me when it comes to matters of health. When I was pregnant with Vince, I began experiencing some seriously disturbing symptoms. It began with panic attacks early in my pregnancy. I remember my first one... We were driving home late one night after a dinner party, and I suddenly became very tingly. I then started to shiver (like whole-body shivers) and it continued for almost 30 minutes.

Throughout my pregnancy with Vince, I just felt "weird". There was an entire day when my legs and hands were tingling, but I just chalked it up to being pregnant and tried to forget about it.

Then after I had Vince, it got WAY worse. Most of my family would tell you that I was just struggling with post partum anxiety that manifested itself as hypochondria. But I'm pretty sure it was more than that. One day I was sitting in my office at work eating an apple and I had this strange sensation that a knot in my throat shot up my spine and into my head. I was always googling things like "head pressure" and "face tingling". I couldn't fall asleep at night because I felt weird and I was always worried I'd wake up in a panic attack. I was exercising like crazy and losing lots of weight and still I felt terrible.

I started cutting all kinds of things out of my diet... Sugar and fake sugar, all sugar, breads, dairy, non organic anything... all kinds of stuff... but I never stuck with it long enough to be sure what was causing my problems. And, finally, by the grace of God, I started feeling better about nine months after Vince was born. Feeling better happened to coincide with me returning to work full time. It also coincided with post partum depression going away and me cutting soy out of my diet... So who knows why it went away.

But a little over a year ago the weirdness began to return. And I'd had quite enough of going to see my doc only for her to tell me it was anxiety and suggest anti-depressants for the bazillionth time, so I did something different.

I went to a chiropractor. Gasp! But you know what? She actually believed me when I told her my weird symptoms. And she recommended some diet changes and to start taking some supplements, because it was pretty obvious to her that my body was aching for nutrients. And why wouldn't it be? Since the first week of my marriage when I became pregnant with Mia, there has not been a day that I haven't been feeding another human being in addition to myself. I've been pregnant or nursing for 5 years straight people! That's bananas!

So I listened to her. And I feel about 400% better. No post partum depression. No panic attacks (except after days when I've poisoned my body with lots of fake sugar). No weird tingling feelings. There's still a few odd things happening, but we're working on them. My chiropractor, instead of making me believe I was crazy, actually realized that I had legitimate symptoms that were not all in my head.

And here's my beef. Being so predisposed to hypochondria as I have been my whole life, I'm just not able to forego modern medicine all together... But I REALLY REALLY wish there was an MD out there who would employ ALL kinds of techniques for healing rather than just drugs. Treat the problem, not the symptoms. Listen to me and my symptoms and don't automatically lump me into the "she's suffering from a mental disorder" group just because you can't figure out why I feel the way I do. Anyone know where I can find a doc like that?

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's different this time.

I just read an article on how the most difficult part of using Natural Family Planning is not learning the method or using it correctly, but rather is the decision made between a husband, wife and God about when it's okay to delay pregnancy. The article points out the Church doesn't give us a specific list of grave reasons... She barely even gives us guidelines. But the reason the Church is so vague is so that we are left to keep the discussion with each other and with our Lord an open one. But really, avoiding pregnancy has never been something that Andrew and I have even really needed to discuss.

Having three babies in 5 years has been an incredible experience for us. It's awesome to have our kids so close in age, and I really love that we're growing into what most people these days would consider a "big family."  And if my pregnancy with Will had gone as smoothly as the first two went, I'm quite sure we would have continued that pattern of family growth at least until we had the 5 kids that Andrew says will "fill up the station wagon".

But, it's different this time.

After everything that went down with baby Will (more about that here) I guess I'm just a little scared. I absolutely want more babies. I just don't want them right this minute. And I'm not super sure how my body is going to accept another pregnancy. After the placenta previa, emergency vertical c-section, and miraculously cured accreta, what am I to expect from pregnancy number four? And how long do we wait before my body will be ready to gestate again? And at what point after the standard "year to 18 months after a csection" do I have to admit that I cannot let fear control when we try again?

I guess it goes back to that conversation with God. He definitely taught me to trust him this past year, so I suppose that's what I've got to keep on doing. He's never let me down before. So whether its 1 year, 2 years, or 3 or more years, it's all really up to Him, and I've just got to trust that He'll let Andrew and I know when the time is right.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's in a name?

So I agonized over what to name my new project for months... Well at least days... Okay maybe hours, but it seemed like a long time. And how did I end up with "Chasing Cherubim"?

I wanted a name to sum up my life. And I wanted something catchy. But wouldn't you know that there about a billion other mommy bloggers out there, so everything I first came up with was "sorry, that blogname is already in use".

But then I decided that raising my three little beauties, especially on crazy days, can basically be equated to chasing angels. They may drive me bananas, but I love them so much and think they're the best kids around. I imagine this blog will be a lot about them, and thus it became "Chasing Cherubim".

Five years in... Let's begin again

I'm a slacker. I started a blog 8 years ago. I had great fun with it for 3 or 4 years... and then... life happened. After searching for my vocation (awesome blog topic), a whirlwind romance (great blogging fodder), getting married (happy blog city), and being pregnant with and having my first kiddo (super blogworthy), I slowly but surely stopped being a regular to my blog. And the excitement and fun that it was... Became the same old page over and over, day in and day out.

But now, nearly 5 years into my marriage, I'm ready to begin again. Life in our household isn't always fun... But it's usually pretty entertaining. And now that I'm back to being a mostly-stay-at-home-mommy again after nearly 2 years of full time work, I'm excited to have this creative outlet!

So welcome to the new and improved blogosphere of Kristi. I hope you've come to stay for awhile!