• Random and Odd

    Christmas 2015



    This is the first Christmas in ever that I have woken up alone.  It’s probably a good thing that the last few months I have been doing just that to prepare me for today.  I was awaken by a text message coming in (Christmas and New year seem to be the holiday I get texts from family and friends I never hear from) and my first thought was, “This is Christmas morning…” and I felt sad that i’m alone.   After my coffee was made and I crawled back into bed, I decided to analyze my feelings and see where that sadness was coming from.   Was I truly sad or was it that I was SUPPOSE to feel sad waking up alone on Christmas morning?

    It wasn’t real sad…it was expected sad.  After rolling around past Christmas-s I know that this one is going to be a great one.  Last night was my reminder of that.  The girls, Dan, Tabitha, Rina Roo and Jeremiah all piled into the cars and went to Boston Market for Christmas eve dinner and I sat there and listened to all my kids laughing so hard they were in tears.  I looked over at Tabitha and whispered, “This is the best present I could have been given….all my kids back in one place and laughing.”  She knew because we spent the whole dinner just smiling and laughing with them.  It’s my favorite sound when all 4 of my girls are laughing at the same time.
    Next Christmas is going to be different and I am going to enjoy this one with every fiber of my being.  Who knows what next year will bring into our lives or what will be removed.   My thought is we will have Dan’s new girlfriend with us, and who knows…maybe Tabitha and I will have met someone we want to share our holidays with.  Right now that is the least of my expectations of next year.  I do know we will be sitting around talking about all the adventures we went on in 2016 and what plans we have already going for 2017.   The girls might have their significant others over.  Maybe Marina will have made it home again.  I don’t know.

    I do know that someday after I am gone I want the girls to read this and know that there was no better moment than hearing all of them together last night.   To know that later Kara and Marina got to go for a drive alone and sing music and talk and be the sisters they haven’t got to be in so many years because of distance.  I want Marina to know that sitting outside listen to her just SPILL her heart and tell her story for an hour was a memory I will cherish.   I was Marina’s step mom from 5th grade and I know how she is when she has too many feelings going on at one time, she shuts down and doesn’t talk or share.  She pushes you away until she works out what she needed to and if you’re lucky you will get to hear her share how she feels.  Most of the time you didn’t. That was always reserved for Kara.   I can’t tell you how many times I use to lay in bed with her while she just sat there, tearless and just in horrible emotional pain and unable to share what she was feeling.  She would just sigh and say, “It’s just….” and she would start to tear up and suck it all back in.  It killed me that she use to do that.  I knew it wasn’t healthy, but it was how she got through.   She was telling her story yesterday and she cried and didn’t stop sharing.  She has grown up so much and I am so proud of her.   For My Rina Roo, I wish her the wings to fly, the voice to tell her story and the love she has finally found.

    Okay, it’s time to get ready to open presents at Dan’s new house and then take my kids on a hike!

  • Random and Odd

    The State of Self…



    My doctor thinks I’m okay.  He said, “I’ll see you in class.” Without medication in me, he doesn’t need to make appointments.   It was kind of sad, but I am excited about being back in class and able to get more focused.   I did ask him about my old friend and he just smiled and said, “What would it hurt?”
    Ohhhh, nothing except my brain, heart and mess up my whole freakin’ zen thing I got going over here.

    I was listening to a bunch of old songs on Friday night (yes, that is what I do as a single person. I sit in my apartment and listen to old music and edit pictures on Friday night) and I had to keep listening to this one line over and over because I wanted to fully absorb it:

    “Life is too short to have sorrow
    You may be here today and gone tomorrow
    You might as well get what you want
    So go on and live, baby, go on and live” -Aaron Neville

    I started thinking about my mom and her story. When Dan and I split up we sat on the phone for a couple of hours when she finally told me about how it ended with her first husband and the regret she carried. I’m glad for that conversation even though I swore she was just telling me so I wouldn’t leave my husband.  Sometimes I wonder if we glamorize the loves of our parents youth because it was such an innocent time? It was just young love and that shit is the most powerful thing on the planet.  If we could harness the energy from our first loves…we could seriously cure each and every crisis out there.
    There doesn’t seem to be anything more powerful than love and loss.   Loss brings about a creative outlet that creates music, poetry and art that will rip through your soul.  The falling in love creates this addictive like drug in our system that makes us just stupid as hell.    That first love though, OUCH.
    My friend, Kacy lost her husband this year.  It was one of those kinds of loves that you enjoy being able to see blossom.  Johnny loved her with every fiber in his being and it was that toe curling love.  He was never holding back his love for her and didn’t care if he looked like an idiot.   He loved like he knew that life was too short to have sorrow.

    This very short life we have, we will have many people come and go.  They will judge you, they will hate you, they will be angry at you for not being in their life anymore.  There will also be people that will love you, support you and be grateful that you allow them your time.

    I want to live guilt free, but I know that isn’t possible.  I’m so fucking guilty of hurting others, not being what they needed to be, for no longer being in their life.   I can’t feel that guilt anymore though. This life, is SO FUCKING SHORT and I want to be happy for the last tiny bit I have left.

    So fuck it.  I’m going to live…

  • Random and Odd


    Every dream I have been having is about hiking.  The dream I just awoke from was about this beautiful canyon.   I was setting up our tent (which was HUGE and not the 1 man tent I have) and I tell Dan and Tabitha that I need the poles to spike. Dan brings me over my trekking poles and they are chewed off at the end.  I asked what happened and he told me ‘big ants ate them.’  That means something, i’m just not sure what.

    I’m signed up for my snow shoe class.  As predicted, I got tired of waiting and signed up and I have a hockey friend of mine going with me.  What’s strange is that she is on my photo a day group and we run around in all the same circles, but we have never actually met in person.  Now we are signed up for a day long snowshoeing class and she’s joining me!  We are both into photography, hiking and getting outside more so this should be fun.  I signed up for a couple of trail runs too and I put them out there and people said they want to join me, but come race day I am sure I will be toeing up to the start line alone.

    Today is my counseling session. There a couple things I want to talk to him about.  Recently someone I pushed out my life a million years ago has come back.   This has happened a few times in the past year and instead of holding on to that anger, I decided to let it go and listen to what they had to say. I have been blessed with being able to forgive them for what they did.  This is one of those opposite things though.  Even though this person isn’t asking for forgiveness from me.  They just want to hang out and catch up.
    This person isn’t a ‘hang out and catch up’ kind of person in my life.  This is someone I have kept at arms length for 20 plus years.   I need to ask my therapist if I need to stop keeping this person in a box.  It’s so complicated he might tell me to run.  I think I would be sad if I did that though.  Weird.

    My friend Amanda said, This sounds like it went from 2016 to 20KRISTINE.   I just wish the holidays were over and my new year was started already.

    I think I will meditate the new year in with thoughts of letting go of the past.   Last night I heard a line, “every step forward begins with a foot firmly planted in the past.”
    I was on a hike awhile back and I had one of those moments where things seem to make sense and I knew what I needed to do.  I needed to recognize when I KNEW I was doing something that wouldn’t benefit my future Self and stop focusing on the current Self.  There is something so powerful about the past and holding on to things you know aren’t good for you.  It’s a mistake I’m not ready to make…again.   Or am i?


  • Random and Odd


    I decided I was finished waiting to see who would join me on my adventures for 2016 and decided to just sign up for them and if people want to tag along, they can do it. I am done waiting.

    I signed up for my yearly Getty Owl run. I signed up for a 10k trail run and also a 10 mile trail run.  I want to use these races as a moving meditation session and get back what I put into them.
    I am registered for my 2016 Mindful Meditation classes.  It sucked missing the last couple of classes last year, but I would never take back that trip to Vegas.  Boy we had fun!

    The one race I signed up for, I have never done, but the trail is one I have done many times in the past and it’s not too overly hot and difficult.  I hope to finish it with the desire to want to go further next time.  I promised a friend I would go and visit them for my birthday, but this is so much more important to me in the aspect of staying on track for my mental checks.

    This upcoming year is me getting back to where I need to be.  I want to read more, visit friends more, trail, hike, bike and meditate more.  Travel. I want to travel.   I guess that’s where I decided that if people want to tag along, good…because I don’t have time to wait for people to decide if ‘this or that’ is a good time for them.  It never works if you’re waiting for the perfect time to do something.   I did get to do a few of the hikes I wanted to do in 2015, but those were just warm ups for the big 40 in 4 trip.  Every time I think about it, I nearly pee myself.   To be able to spend 4 days doing the thing I love the most…omg….I almost just peed myself.

    Travel will have to be limited in 2016.  I’m going to Utah with my dad. Crater Lake, Oregon with my hiking group and my Pacific Crest Trail hike.  That uses up about all the time my boss will allow me to leave without going into a crying fit.   I would like to make one last Disneyland trip with the girls before they decide I am no longer cool enough to hang with them.

    Is Christmas really only a couple weeks away? *sigh*


  • Random and Odd

    23459732441_7cd356dd7c_b I spent Thanksgiving with my sister…every time we go up there we insist she makes us toast, because she is the best toast maker EVER.

    It’s getting closer to Christmas and I decided this is the year of the gift card. There is just no time to go out shopping and the girls are all about clothes now that they are grown.  They never like what I pick for them, so this year they can pick their own.

    Work is going good. Working on our goals for 2016.  My boss is on board with some of the changes we need to make and I promised him that when I get mad at him and point out things that need to get done, it’s not because I’m being a naggy bitch, it’s because we have goals we need to meet and when we get away from that focus it makes the stress level a bit unmanageable.  It’s a long process, but we are getting to a place that we know each other and know that each other isn’t out to hurt the other…but we are both so much alike it’s crazy…yet SOOO FREAKING DIFFERENT.  Needless to say, when he starts talking politics I just stand up and walk away.  He doesn’t realize how smart I actually am when it comes to that shit because I don’t want to have political chats about our differences on a daily basis. I just smile and pretend I have no idea what he’s talking about.

    The photography has been going good since I decided to not shoot for people I don’t know or don’t come HIGHLY recommended.  It has made time for me to do the photo shoots that I enjoy with people that don’t make me want to pull my hair out.   This last weekend I got to spend it shooting people I dearly love and the quality in my work is showing through.  I went to the camera shop and put down 700 bucks on the lens for my new camera and even though I was twitching the whole time, I am happy with my purchase.   The process of switching from crop sensor to full frame lenses is going to break me, but it’s a lifetime investment as I don’t ever see myself going back to crop sensor camera bodies. My D300 kind of started weeping when it didn’t even make it out of the camera bag as a back up last weekend.

    2016 is targeted to be one of my good years.  I bought my snow boots yesterday and I am gearing up for the snow shoeing trip with my two girlfriends.  The reviews for the boots priced them out at 170 bucks, but the frugal person managed to get the company down to 60 bucks.  I’m not even sure how I did it, but I am happy.
    It took me about 3 weeks of comparing all the boots for weight, waterproof and material before I decided on a pair I wanted.  Expect lots of photos of snow this coming year.

  • self

    SELF: preservation



    It’s been about 5 months that I have been exploring the single life.  I seem to be doing really well.  In the past month I have stood up for myself recently and because of it I have lost a friend.  It’s time to remove people from my life that are not beneficial to my well being.

    At my last appointment my doctor told me that I can’t avoid dating.  I understand why he said I shouldn’t completely avoid seeing people,  but I am doing fine by myself and I am learning so much.   Last night I was talking to my sister and I was explaining to her what I’m going through and she pointed something out to me that made me see that maybe being a hermit isn’t the smartest thing for me to be doing.  She brought me all the way back to my marriage with Shaun.  He was my best friend and there was never really any intimacy.  That marriage, even though wasn’t a abusive, anger fueled relationship, it was toxic.   I was craving a love that he couldn’t provide.  After that I got together with someone who couldn’t love anyone but himself.  He not only loved himself, he hated himself and that is a fucked up combination.   It was the relationship I like to call ‘Eggshells’.  That lasted far too long and in the process it messed me up more than I care to admit.   My last relationship was everything a woman could hope for, but I just couldn’t do it.   I have this huge path in front of me that I need to be on and I am okay walking it alone…but then my sister points out that I’m a skydiver and I jump out of planes and I shouldn’t be afraid to give people a chance.

    My doctor is afraid that I will spend this year avoiding dealing with the issues that make being in a relationship difficult for me and when I do decide to go back, I will think that all those things will have miraculously worked themselves out.  They won’t work themselves out because the common denominator is ME.  Until I figure out how to be with someone and say, “I don’t see this going anywhere.” and walk away without feeling like if I just try harder it will eventually get better.  I did that with every single relationship and it has never worked for me.  If I find myself with someone that I do like, I can’t be so damn cold because I don’t believe in the fairy tale ending.

    Preservation of Self.   It’s a lonely place.  I don’t subscribe to lonely anymore, so I guess it’s just a quiet place that I can make whatever I want.

  • Random and Odd



    I went to lunch with a friend from Jerusalem yesterday.  We met when we were both skydiving in 2009 and remained friends because we have so much in common.  When he moved, I didn’t think it would be for so long, but he loves the difference he is making over there and finally came home for a visit.
    While walking through the shops in old town I was pointing out all the weird stuff I love. He said, “Someday when you meet a nice guy and move in together…” and I cut him off right there.  “I’m not interested in meeting a nice guy. I had a nice guy and I loved him to death. I’m interested in learning to love myself that much and to love myself as much as he loved me.  IF I can figure that out, there is a chance I will survive this crazy life.”  He didn’t understand that I wasn’t looking for a relationship, “Is that what you say, but deep down you really want someone in your life?”
    Being happily married to a wonderful woman I can see how he didn’t understand where I was coming from.
    “No, I really don’t.”

    Last weekend I spent the night with some friends and had a great night with lots of laughs. I got up the next morning and went to a photoshoot for some other friends.  Now here’s where I realized how incredibly happy I am with my life;  The dad was in bad mood.  Mom was awesome. Kids were great.   We grabbed a bite to eat before we headed out and I watched Dad just being a big ol’ grumbly bear and I just smiled. I know this family…I have been friends with Dad for nearly 17 years.  He wasn’t in a good mood AT ALL.  They all climbed in their SUV and I climbed into my little car and waited as they got the kids strapped in and watched the grumble grumble.  My music was playing the music I wanted to listen to and I sang along as I followed them to the photoshoot location.  My heart nearly exploded with happiness when I realized that not a single ounce of my amazingly great mood could be ruined by another person in my life.  This amazingly great mood wasn’t brought on by someone else either, it was MY good mood.   I wouldn’t have to sit in a car with someone and ask, “You mad at me?”  or “Want to talk?”  Nope, I don’t have to feel like shit about being in one mood another. I can be happy in my car singing and without a single person I needed to let know where I was going or when I would be back.

    After the shoot was over, I walked around the old town and popped into shops. I sat down in a coffee shop alone and people watched. Smiling the whole time.  As I made my way back to the car, I said quietly…”I love my life.”

    I want to always be THIS happy.

  • Random and Odd


    Well, I bit the bullet and bought the D750.  My bank account is cringing, but I did it.  Now to upgrade all my lenses.  Who said photography was cheap never owned a camera.

    I have 2 sessions to finish editing and then I have photo shoots all the way up until Christmas. This time of year is busy.  It wasn’t suppose to be busy because the “Closed” sign has been up on my photography business for the last year.  Luckily for me, it’s been new friends, old friends and family that I have been able to capture this year. No strangers.

    Things have made a significant shift in my life.  The quiet is getting deafening, but my balance is finally coming back.  I feel like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride where she has to figure out what eggs she likes.  I just reread that and had to laugh.  The girls use to say that I remind them of Julia Roberts from each of her movies.  Kara once told me that “My Best Friend’s Wedding” was the most like me because I don’t like all that ‘icky love stuff’.  That was the point where I decided that I needed to be a little less closed and let people love me, show me love, be loved.    It’s been many years, but I keep reminding myself it’s okay for people to show me love.  It’s just…I don’t know how to receive it a lot of the time.
    This time it’s the eggs.
    I’ve never dated myself before so I am learning how to show myself love and find out the things that *I* like.   Before I would watch whatever they were watching. Listen to the station they had on.  Spend time doing or going where they thought would be fun.
    Don’t get me wrong, I did this by choice.  “Whatever you wanna do…eat…watch…listen to…it’s fine by me, I don’t care.” and truthfully, I don’t really care.  It’s just now that those things are solely my decision and I have no one to run them by, I have to learn what I want to do, eat, watch and listen to.
    I like to meditate, eat bacon, watch discovery shows and listen to a plethora of different music.
    I like spending time with people and hearing their stories.
    Last weekend I was in downtown and I called a friend to meet me for breakfast out of the blue. SHE SHOWED UP!  I need to do shit like that more.
    My other friend invited me go snowshoeing with her, which turned into a snow camping trip!  This is my life now and I am okay with it…but changes always come and I need to be strong for those changes.

  • Random and Odd

    Code man is going to be a daddy.



    I went to Redding to do a photo shoot for my family and my camera decided it was going to have the mirror lock up every 3 photos.  I’ve had that camera for almost 8 years, it’s been to Nikon twice for repairs.  I am not complaining in any way, shape or form.  It’s time to retire her though.
    Whenever I decide to buy something I either go full research mode or just buy it on the spot and hope it works out.  I’ve been researching for about a year what kind of camera will replace my 300.  My first choice was the D810.  At least 15 trips into Action Camera to test it out and I decided against it.   It has the perfect grip for me because it’s a bit bigger, but it was too heavy…especially since I bit the bullet and bought the damn 70-200 2.8.   My next option was the d750, but it didn’t have many of the extras I wanted, but FINALLY it does.
    So I go into the camera store yesterday and they don’t have it in stock. FUCK. Seriously?    Next weekend I guess.

    I went to San Fran this weekend for a photo shoot. SO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL.   The weather was out of this world perfect.  For the first time in a long time I am excited about editing.
    I’ve decided that I am going to try to go to the city once a month and do some trail runs along the beach. It’s too perfect not to and I am ready for that kind of workout.

    Things are good.  I’m good.

  • Random and Odd

    PTC 2016



    I finally got the hiking crew on the Pacific Crest Trail and they are  HOOKED.
    I have been slowly getting my gear together for my 40 mile in 4 day hike next year and I was hell bent on doing with or without them.  During the week I go to REI and get more one on one time with the people that have done this and I ask a million questions and get a million different answers.   So far I have my tent and my sleeping back. Both are ultra light. The backpack I have is far to heavy and I am going to get an Osprey light weight pack.  I am willing to sacrifice some things for light weight gear and apparently that is all the money I have in my account.

    In the last month I realized that my Nathan pack has tasted kind of wonky.  After many attempts of cleaning it, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new bladder. Hopefully it will make a difference because I was having to drink bottled water on the trail and HELLLLOOOOO did I look like a damn rookie.

    So, the single life.  If I could get a grade at it, it would be an A+.  This is exactly where I need to be in my life.
    In the last two weeks I have weaned myself off all medication and I feel so much better.  Looking back on the last year, it was really rough. I was battling demons I had no idea were even there.  There was a hope that after I got better that I would invite a certain person back into my life, but that ship sailed when I noticed that this person deleted all the music that as a couple we had put into a file.  Those songs meant more to me than any physical possession he gave me.  Those melodies and words are what got me through and made me fall in love deeper than I had ever expected.  I haven’t been that angry and upset in a very long time.  LUCKILY, my meditation came to the rescue and I was able to recenter quickly.
    Now I am free of medication and any relationship.  Life is damn good.

    I’m ready to make 2016 as amazing as 2012.  No, i’m ready to make it amazinger. (yes, that is a word)

    Happy- checkitycheckcheckcheck.
    Can do whatever I want, whenever I want without feeling a single bit of guilt- CHECK.