What a bad ass year 2018 was! It was hard in some ways and was gentle in many others. We lost Jon’s dad and took in his dog, Patches (middle). We call this her retirement home, but she shows no signs of her age when she is keeping up with Duke and Oakley.
This isn’t meant as a year in review, but more as a jumping off point to more.
I’ve had some amazing food in the last few months. The best part is that I have been the one creating the dishes! Alyx and I talked about doing our once a month dish together. I think she’s going to get my sister on board.
I made lasagna soup (sounds NOT good in any way) and it was so fucking good. It was one of those sneaky good dishes. It took maybe 30 minutes from start to finish to create. In the middle of eating it I had to call my sister (the greatest cook EVAAAA) and tell her how good it was and I was super proud of myself and in awe that I made something taste so good. We ended up on the phone for an hour and we were laughing together so hard we couldn’t speak and almost peed ourselves. My siblings are truly the best out there.
This last year cleared out some of the rubbish and allowed me to cultivate better relationships and rekindle one that is bringing me such joy.
This last month has been just a filling up my buckets with happiness, joy, blessings, positivity, creativeness, love and truth. I’ve been able to have meaningful conversations that leave me feeling … joyful. I think that might be my word for the year. I am joyful of all that I get to experience. I am joyful knowing that even though people speak such wicked evil things against me and others, I am unaffected. I am not marinating in anger and bitterness. I am not surprised. I choose to take the wonderful memories and keep those for myself and move on with only light and love. It’s been fantastic because now I get all the best that is left behind.
I found this on Facebook at the beginning of the year and it hit me right in the perfect place. I’m planting positivity, building up of loved ones, listening, joy, happiness…i’m going to have a 2019 garden of goodness.
Every morning on the way to work I am so happy because I get to spend the day at the best job with the most wonderfully supportive and loving people. Even when I am having a rough day and grumbly, I don’t want to bring that negativity with me because that’s not what I want to share with them. I think about my 2019 garden and what I need to plant to make sure my days aren’t rough. It’s been perfect for me and I don’t think I have felt this good in many years. I guess that’s why I am writing, because I want to keep this train of joy going this year. I’m happy and that’s such an amazing feeling that I want to share it. Here, I have got extra, you can have some of mine!
So I updated my WP and it seems like they finally figured out how to make uploading easier and hopefully I am able to keep on sharing on a normal rate, instead of only once every few months.
This might be the longest I have gone without posting. I still write, it’s just saved on the cloud until I finish it.
Let’s play the fun game of catch up.
I’m still at the shop and things are better than ever. We have made so many changes there in the last year. Installed my flooring and new lighting in my office. Changed a few things around management wise and got a new office chair. Shut up, it’s a great new chair.
The girls are doing great. I went up to see Alyx and had a great time. Shea has been coming over a ton and we have been hanging out. My heart is so happy. Kara is doing great making people beautiful.
My love life is still wonderful. We got a house and a new dog. We have great adventures in our travel trailer and are planning the future ones. I’m excited for our 3rd Christmas in the house.
So that is just the Campbell Soup version.
The Fab 4 decided to plan a trip to Ireland again. I’m so excited to be going back again. This time Dale’s mom is going. I called dibs on rooming with her. After two weeks with Dale last year, I know better. The Irish put something in their beer, whiskey and pot roast that makes his gas clear a whole floor. Luckily for me, I grew up sharing a room with 3 older brothers so I can handle farting on a toxic level. This tested my limits though.
Our Fab 4 trip has turned into Fab 6 (working on a new name) as our travel agent and his girlfriend are going and Dale’s original best friend is coming along. The warning of the atomic Irish gas was given and since the two lived together for a spell, i’m sure she is ready.
People keep asking why I would go to a place that I had already gone to and why not somewhere new? Because I loved Ireland and two weeks didn’t allow me to see nearly enough.
I’ve been drug back into professional photography. It was an accident. I said I would do one families photos and all my old clients found out and now I am booked again for the season. One of these days I will learn. This weekend I have two more shoots, but Shea said she wanted to go with me and it will be fun to get in a few more hours with her before she moves.
Well, it’s off to work I go. Yesterday we took in a car that had a spark plug where the drain plug was suppose to be. What adventure in car repair will I get to see today!?
Day 1: went for a 3.1 mile trot with my running group for our 5th annual New Year’s Mimosa Run. I got home and fell asleep because I was feeling ‘off ‘. Woke up and realized I had the stomach flu.
Day 2: in bed all day because spent all day yesterday dealing with stomach pain galore and dealing with a lesser pain ( 7 out of 10 ).
Not the way I planned on starting the new year, but after this pain goes away, I can get myself ready for a whole new year. I am aiming for ’12 kind of happiness and contentment. This will require a huge amount of commitment and determination.
No matter what, I’ll be alright.
A bucket list for 2018?
Travel…don’t care how I do it…more travel and lots more just for fun photos. I decided that I am not going to be a working photographer any longer. I lost the love of photography a few times since I started taking money for my photography. No more. Only for fun now.
Health…it’s important and mine right now (level 6) it’s the forefront of my mind. No insurance and way to get it=must get healthy
Travel. I think I mentioned this, but it’s important to not lose the momentum of travel. Ireland was too beautiful to never see again.
Love…I need to love, to give and receive on equal levels.
Yes, it has Christmas and New Year’s…but doesn’t have long days.
Today the sun sets while I am shutting down the shop. It usually hits me around now when everything slows down….I’m sad.
It’s seasonal sadness because I am not getting enough sun….and exercise. I need to spend my weekend out on the trails and in the mountains, but I’m feeling a lot of conflict in that lately. Ugh…oh well. Either it will work itself out or I will just die of heart desease. Either way, I won’t be alive to worry about it.
Now I’m off to work. Oh yay.
What an incredible last month we have been having.
Thanksgiving was spent in our new home surrounded by our family.
In a very unlike Kristine move, we went to pick out our Christmas tree in Apple Hill the next day. It’s a beautiful silver tip that is swimming in the most beautiful bulb lights and ornaments from my family and his. I promised Alyx that I would wait until she gets home before I put up our 10 family ornaments. Jon said there isn’t enough room on the tree for one more, but I think I can find a few spots!
This last weekend we road tripped up to Oregon to be there for Marina and Jasper’s gender reveal. It’s a boy!! (i already knew!) but right before they went to find out what the gender was, he went down on one knee and proposed. Damn near cried my heart out. Tabitha and I held it together until Jeremiah told us that Jasper had asked him if he could marry his sister the night before. Ah, crying again thinking about how incredibly sweet that was for him to include her brothers.
I got to spend the night at Alyx and Aaron’s place in Oregon. It’s so awesome and I am really proud of them for all that they have done, but I miss my angel so much.
The drive home was so beautiful. Jon and I kept saying how much we want to move up there. I suggested we take Jesse to the college so he can see how awesome it is. Maybe take him to a Ducks game!! It would be my luck all the kids move back to California by the time we sell the house and move up there!
When I started planning my trip to Ireland and told my agent that I had two weeks. He lost his smile, “No, that’s not enough time!”
at that point I thought he was crazy. Two weeks was plenty of time to be able to see all the cool things I wanted to visit.
Now that I am back and reviewing all my notes, I know he was right. It wasn’t enough time. Not even close.
When I started planning my trip I was single. I honestly didn’t believe that I would have anyone in my life when I finally got my stamp in my passport. Again, I was wrong. I also didn’t realize the sheer volume of missing him I would do this entire trip. As busy as I was the whole time, my mind always wandered to his smiling face and wondering what time it was at home.
I am working on a book that pays homage to the book that set my path in a certain direction at a very young age. My Auntie Jessie gave me a book that I picked up at her house and was enthralled with the photos and the words and how they danced together and gave me a feeling that I too could express myself through some sort of medium. My path was writing and photography, just like the book. I found the book again when I was moving into my new home. No one believes me when I tell them that I wanted to be a photographer and writer because of this beat up book I shlepped around with me since I was 8 years old. I wanted to be a lot of things because of the limited books I had growing up. In my home we had this giant atlas book that I would get lost in and ask too many questions about all the places in it, questions my parents couldn’t answer, “Mom what does Peru smell like?” My two other books were Barbar the Elephant and his journey around the world in a hot air balloon and Sleeping Beauty.
Talk about the weird shaping of my life through books. I can’t imagine what kind of person I would be if I had more books at my disposal. Regardless I am a traveling elephant with a princess complex.
In addition to the Kismet book for myself, I want to document my trip to Ireland for others to read. It’s not easy to write when I am at home and counting down the minutes I have to climb into the car and drive to work.
It’s half seven, so it’s that time to get moving.
Headed out into the heat!!
The half trail is 2 weeks after I get home and to say the least: I’m not ready.
Did 6.5 miles today and feeling strong. Not ready to turn around and do it again, but I will when the time comes.
Now to figure out the packing thing!
I’ve been sitting in front of this screen for 45 minutes with tears in my eyes trying to hold them back before I start writing, but just like a year ago, that is not possible.
A year ago my friend passed away and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her.
When I was learning how to combat daily anxiety attacks through classes and books, they talked about putting things in boxes, labeling them and letting them be. Emotions and situations that I had no control over needed to briefly examined and then put away. This was a concept I was very good at. Putting things in boxes meant that I didn’t have to revisit them. This was a survival tool I must have picked up at a young age with a high success rate.
The last few years have taught me a lot about “letting go”.
There are dreams I had for my life that weren’t selfish dreams, but I boxed them up because in life, sometimes we don’t get what we want.
I can’t put anything in a box right now because it’s all connected and it’s a beautiful mess of tears, smiles, laughter, pride and guilt.
Tears because I miss my friend. I miss reading about her adventures, her love for people, her amazing husband and loving son. She loved life so much. She was one of those people. She taught me so much just by being in my life and living.
I wonder if I wasn’t where I am in my life I would have gotten on Facebook and saw that a year ago I lost my friend, sent a message to her widow and said some heartfelt things and “I’m thinking about you today, let’s get together and have coffee and catch up.” The coffee visit would have never happened and I could put that hurt in a box and go about my gloriously selfish day being oblivious to all those boxes with ‘Dreams you had about being happy, but people fucked you over 1 too many times and you decided it wasn’t your lot in life to have a someone love you and be able to trust them’ written on them shoved in the back of my headspace closet.
That didn’t happen though. She brought five people into her world the night before she left this earth to take care of her husband.
My role was to make him laugh. I was going to go over and make him laugh, say my goodbyes and go home to cry. I had a plan. Her plan was bigger.
Because I wasn’t allowed to put my feelings about this in a box and move on, I had to examine every single thing that goes with it and accept it.
Tears: I cry a lot. Mostly when something awesome happens and I think, “She should be here for this, she would LOVE this!”
or when something happens that in the past I would send her a message and she would send me one back that always felt like a hug and never the ‘answer to my problem’, but moral support that she loved me and was here for me.
Smiles: I smile so much more now. I’m happy. I understand WHY she smiled as much as she did. She didn’t have those boxes in her headspace. She was loved fearlessly.
Laughter: Jon and Jesse make me laugh and shake my head at how dorky they are. Jesse though, whoa…wicked smart and it makes for this sense of humor that I can understand and he makes me laugh. Jon has this different sense of humor that I get about 90% of, but that 10% makes me look at him like he’s crazy…which makes him laugh. He loves me and makes me laugh like it’s his job.
Pride: I’m so proud of my life right now. I’m exactly where I need to be, where I want to be and I am grateful for every single detail of it. The icky flawed parts of it too.
I’m proud every single day of how Jon is raising Jesse. I am proud every single day of Jesse of the man he is becoming.
I see so much of her in him that it’s overwhelming. His smile is hers and when he smiles (and he does all the time) it lights up the room just like she use to.
I’m proud that I live in a home where it’s okay to tell someone you love them 20 times a day and you always hear, “I love you too!”
Guilt: It’s not fair that she’s not here. She appreciated life and loved it. She had a wonderful husband who made that smile as big and bright as it was because he loved her. I know this because I am learning how to accept that kind of love and I am telling you right now it’s A LOT of love.
My friend, Bitsy said something to me when I teared up talking about Midori one night. I was telling that I miss her and it wasn’t fair. She was too good to die from fucking cancer. She was amazing. She said to me, “Give yourself a little more credit. YOU are JUST as amazing.” That may take several more years of the love that I am learning is okay to have.
So today makes 365 days that I lost my friend. Jon lost his wife. Jesse lost his mom. Yesterday was 364 days. Tomorrow will be 366. It’s just another day, but it’s that day on the calendar and I hate that this day is the worst day in this family. If she could be here, cuddled up next to Jesse and not be gone…but she can’t.
I made her one promise that night. I will make her husband laugh.
She didn’t realize that I meant only that one night and I hope she was laughing thinking, “all those years of seeing you with someone that treated you like garbage. all those years before fighting to find that love you deserve. Here, take this because I know you will cherish it as much as I did. You’re an amazing mother and a step mother. You won’t believe the amazing adventure we are both about to go on. He will cherish you. He will make you proud.”
I hope that was her plan, because out of the 5 people in that room I’m still here and spending every single day cherishing, loving, supporting and laughing.
In order to hold myself more accountable with writing I started “Blog Revival” It was an idea I got from my friend Kathryn. She and I were on a comment section of a very high profile blog (Dooce) and I met some amazing people from that time in my life. We all fell into Twitter, MySpace and then Facebook and our blogs fell to the side as we jammed everything into a small box and stuffed down what we were really feeling about the situation. She decided she wanted to write again. I haven’t stopped, but my brain did. I update crap here and it sucks because I’m tired of censoring what I write out of fear of what other people will read and twist. I’m just saying, some people I know (and some I have never even met…yes you, stalker ass Seattle freak, go away, you don’t know me, i didn’t date YOU and I am not a threat…go away!) tend to come here, read what I write and then twist that shit all up to fit what agenda they have going. Another person comes here, reads what I write and then twists it so badly that I get a call from my step daughter. You know who you are too, it’s been like 10 years, you can go away too.
With all that being said I’m tired of censoring what I write (and I just did on that last paragraph) and I am not going to do that anymore. Fuck you if you don’t like it.
My name is Kristine. I am a mother of 3 grown daughters (they were just babies when I started this thing) I am an office manager/service writer/jane of all trades at the Automotive Repair place I work at.
That’s not ‘who’ I am, just what I do to pay the bills.
I love being outside in the mountains, on trails, in the water. I live in the city though and the weekends are the only time I get to do fun stuff. I take that time very seriously.
I use to be a professional photographer, I keep saying “use to be” hoping that I won’t get any more jobs, but I keep getting them.
This summer I went to the first wedding I didn’t have to photograph and I have to say it was a DELIGHT! I had no idea that weddings could be so much fun!! I am going to my second wedding I don’t have to work at and I am going to party like I have been to 500 weddings and always had to work!
My boyfriend, his 13 year old and I live together in Sacramento, California. We bought a house this year and pop up trailer and we plan on taking more trips.
I’ve been the step parent since I was 18 years old, I am thinking of going professional at this point. Jesse is a great kid and I am the lucky one. I’ve been blessed with some awesome step-kids that I don’t call ‘step-kids’. My kids. My boy, my Roo.
Things you should know about me; I’m fiercely protective of the things I love. If I have learned ANYTHING in the last 10 years of my life is when you have something you love and you don’t want to lose it, PROTECT IT. It doesn’t matter if people call you jealous, obsessive or crazy. Let them, because at the end of the day, you and all that you have protected from outsiders can have a good laugh…then snuggle in and fall asleep together. Go ahead, call me a paranoid freak. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I have to say, I might not have given a shit in the past, but I made a promise to keep this one safe, laughing and blissfully happy and I will keep that promise.
For now, I think that’s all you need to know! I’ll add photos from my phone if I can figure out how that damn thing works. In 2004 we didn’t have this kind of technology!
It was 6am when my alarm went off and instead of having that hostage negotiation talk with my alarm clock and phone, I decided to get up and write. There was a time when I didn’t schedule a time to purge through writing, I just sat down and did it. Man I miss those days.
Today is June 1 and the way I see it, the first day of June is Summer. The last day of August is the last day of summer.
Welcome to the first day of Summer. I have 13 weekends to do all the stuff I want to do this summer. It sounds daunting when I actually write it down. That’s not a lot of weekends and I have A LOT of stuff I want to do. I am still very conscious of ‘TIME’ and how important it is and to not over commit to things.
Things I want to do this summer:
CAMP! I want to go camping A LOT.
Travel to places I have never seen.
Camp. Did I mention camping? I want to do that. a lottt. camp. yes.
It’s going to take a calendar and a plan of action.
Fuck. I suck at this. I got distracted by the boy getting ready for school and needing help getting his stuff ready. I will try again tomorrow. Good thing no one reads this anymore.