Dear little old lady at Walmart……..

Thank you. Perspective is a wonderful thing. When I heard your daughter struggling to help you get inside I didn’t hesitate to rush over and grab your other arm. I was happy to do it. When I got you on that bench and sent someone for water and sat with you and asked if you were ok it was instinct. It’s just who I am. As you held my hand and assured me you would be ok in a few minutes and told me a little about your recent health struggles I listened intently, gave you a hug, told you I was glad you were ok, and went on my merry way. Because I was in a hurry. Because I’m ALWAYS in a hurry.

I shouldn’t have done that. I’ve felt bad about it all day. Your daughter was scared. I could see it in her eyes. You weren’t. Because you are the mother, and even if you were scared you couldn’t show your daughter that. You. Are. Fierce. And I am sorry. I should have stayed with you until your daughter felt better. I should have stayed on that bench as long as it took. I saw the relief in her eyes when I rushed over to you and when I listened as you talked. She was scared to be alone with you. I realize now that is what I was seeing in her eyes. But I was in a hurry. I was in a hurry to get those low carb tortillas I was out of and that mascara I was out of and to get back home so I could lay in the pool all day. THAT is what was important to me. Not the fear in your daughter’s eyes.

I’d love to be able to tell your daughter how sorry I am. I had an opportunity to help her, and I did, I just didn’t help her enough. I didn’t finish the deal. I was in a hurry. I have to do better. I have to slow down. I hope I run into you again. I will thank you for the perspective. I promise.

Advertisements

Summer is over and I miss baseball……..

For the last 18 years of my life, every summer was spent at a Little League baseball field. With 3 boys 6 years apart, we often had more than 1 game in a day, played in more than 1 league, at more than 1 field, in multiple states. To say that it was our life is an understatement. Until this year. This year Mr. 9 decided he didn’t want to play baseball, and I was devastated. I begged. I tried everything short of making him do it. And still no. You see Mr. 9 tells me doesn’t love baseball. And again, I am devastated. Baseball=Summer. The End. What would we do? Where would we go? What about all our friends? WHAT THE HELLLLLL!!!???!!! I’m tellin y’all I didn’t know what to do with myself. Until I did.

Win-or-LearnIt took some time, some getting used to, some missing the hectic schedule, but when I got past all of that Mr. 9 had what I am certain will be one of the best summers of his life. You see Mr. 22 and Mr. 16 have aged out of Little League and high school ball is a different thing entirely, so we were free, for the first time in 18 years to do whatever we wanted. All. Summer. Long. And aside from a trip to sunny Florida that was fabulous, we…..did…..nothing. And it was AMAZING.

We live in a wonderful neighborhood in KY and are blessed to have great kids on our street, all within a year of each other in age, all who get along famously. They are like a little pack of wolves who stick together. So this summer our little pack spent their days pool hopping and laughing and running around from daylight till dark on this quiet little street. And when it got dark they would pick a house and we would build a fire and they would swim some more and make s’mores and eat junk food and laugh some more. They laughed ALOT. And it was beautiful. They had their share of arguments of course, but for the most part it was great. I would sit outside with them and often wonder if any of them had a clue what a wonderful summer this was for them. I would have given ANYTHING for that summer when I was growing up. Brats. I’m sure they won’t realize it until they are much older. But that’s ok. I realized it for them.

So change is good I guess. This change was amazing. I still miss baseball but I learned that sometimes when we slow down, stop with the hectic and just be, amazing summers happen. And I mean AMAZING. I will forever love baseball. It holds some of the best memories for my family and luckily I have tons of pictures and stories to ponder over when the mood hits me.

Every time I hear this song it will take me there, somewhere, to some dusty field in the scorching sun……

spotify:track:42CpUS5BaPnY1FUgY7MMbo

And then there’s this…..watching my boys grow up on a baseball field is something I will never regret…

Ryan ready to bat Ryan hit IMG2114 IMG1968 IMG_9055 IMG_5744 IMG_4728 IMG_2107 IMG_2075 IMG_2024 IMG_1334 IMG_0835 IMG_0833 IMG_0827 IMG_0795 IMG_0768 IMG_0763 IMG_0753 IMG_0729 IMG_0706 IMG_0023 ilovethis Hunter pitch 1 Hunter at bat Hunter 3 fence DSCN6303_063 DSCN6298_060 DSCN0574 268019_2217727843404_1253868357_3852531_497408_n 186

The post that made me stop and think….

Five years. That’s how long it took me to face my demons. FIVE. YEARS. I did it silently as long as I could, then it spilled over into everything I loved.

She lifts her skirt up to her knees, walks through the garden rows with her bare feet, laughing…..Empty, Ray Lamontagne

When I was a little girl, that was the life I longed for. Truth be told it still is. Carefree, free spirit, laughing, always laughing. But that wasn’t the life God had planned for me, or maybe it was, but it would take time and lessons learned to get there.

There’s a lot of things I don’t understand, like why so many people lie….Empty, Ray Lamontagne

I never wanted to write about that here, not really, until I read this piece by Southern Belle on Caffeine and realized I had told myself the same thing she did….if I was going to do this I was going to be honest, and honest wasn’t always unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes honest is pain and tears and facing demons. Her honesty shook me. It made me stop and think, and I mean stop DEAD and REALLY think…a lot.

Will I always feel this way? So empty, so estranged…..Empty, Ray Lamontagne

We all have pain. I know I’m not alone in that. I’m not alone in any of it really. If you read my Dieting = Hell post, you know I mentioned body image issues and molestation issues in my past. I had pushed all of that stuff so far down that I honestly didn’t even think about it, until I did. And it was hard, so I would push it down some more. Hard is not my favorite. I much prefer unicorns and rainbows. I was ok. I was FINE. Who wants to deal with feeling inadequate and not being good enough and all the other toxic things that come from those situations when you can just go on being FINE?

And then my papaw died. And suddenly I wasn’t ok or fine at all. 

IMG_1023My papaw was the best man I have ever known. He was my “man compass” if  you will. Everyone got compared to him and the way he loved my mamaw. I didn’t even realize what a commanding force he had been in my life until he got sick and I knew what was coming. But the day he actually died, I couldn’t breathe. We were all right there around his bed, just like he had always said he wanted, and he hung on….until mamaw told him it was ok to go, that we would all see him soon. And just like that, he was gone, and I slipped down the rabbit hole.

See I’ve been to hell and back so many times I must admit you kinda bore me….Empty, Ray Lamontagne

I went on this self destructive rampage in little tiny segments for five years. It was a roller coaster I couldn’t get off of. I was gonna make damn sure that my husband loved me like Lee loved Anna Lois. He was going to have to prove it, because I wasn’t worthy of that and I was going to be a complete bitch and give him every reason to walk away and leave me. When that didn’t work I would drink too much, blame him for it all, and anything else I could think of to push him away. You must understand, until this point we had no problems. We honestly didn’t. We lived quite a charmed life. This could have ruined us. I could have ruined us. But through all the mess he never left me. To my amazement he NEVER left.

I looked my demons in the eyes, laid bare my chest and said “do your best to destroy me”…..Empty, Ray Lamontagne

It wasn’t just my husband, my kids saw it, my friends, my family. I left no stone unturned in the unraveling of Kristen. It was bad. And just like that, it was over. It was over. I can feel that. It’s over. I’ve always been that way. Things in my life last for a season, I don’t know how to explain it, but when I’m done with it I’m done. Therapy helped, along with faith, amazing friends, and the endless amount of love my husband showed me during all of the mess. IMG_5227Somehow he instinctively has ALWAYS known me better than I know myself. It used to make me so mad. Now I find it comforting. He told me very early on that he had already climbed every wall to get to me and he was just gonna wait until I realized he was already in. He was so right. He’s truly my greatest blessing.

IMG_0239

I commented on the blog post I mentioned earlier that I had trouble writing about my pain, that I focused on the good, and that is true. I also commented that her honesty made me think maybe I should explore the dark parts, but when I really thought about it I realized that I had already done that, I’m not sure I even realized it until that moment. I had faced my demons, and I had won. I’m not stupid enough to think that thoughts will never creep back in, the devil is great at that, but even then I know where to turn and how to handle it. Thank you Ray Lamontagne for singing me through it and thank you Jesus for my husband, and the lesson.

Dieting = Hell

You know it’s true. Unless you’ve never had to do it and in that case I’ve probably said horrible, HORRIBLE things about you.

images-18

I have had weight issues all my life. I’ve won and I’ve lost the battle many, many times. It stems from body image issues. I’m very tall, always taller than any of my friends. Awkward. I always felt awkward. Then there was the self esteem stuff that came of molestation when I was very young. My thyroid is the devil. But so is food. I love it. And wine. Love isn’t even the word for that. Most of those things I have worked fought through and they are in the rearview, except for the thyroid and the food and the wine. But it’s always been a perfect storm and the psyche will beat your ass every time, more so than the actual eating. I get really tired of handling it, managing it, so I don’t and then I find myself right back here again, on the diet wheel. UGHHHHH.

My younger self would do ANYTHING to get it off as quick as possible and forget it, until the next time. My older self is looking at it a little differently now. I have noticed this time how much better I FEEL. I’m not sure I ever even thought about that until now. It was all about getting skinny again. I’ve cut out sugar completely. Carbs have been limited and dairy is gone, for now. My beloved red wine is also on hiatus. I. Feel. Great. No 3 pm slump, no dragging around like a zombie after 6 pm and in bed by 8.

I hear everyone say this, but now I understand it. I just want to be healthy. I want to watch my kids grow up and have kids and play with those kids and LIVE. Still, it isn’t easy. I smell pizza and OMG, its hell! I know eventually I will eat pizza again, but now I can’t or I will be eating it 3 nights a week like I was before. It’s a learning process I guess, and FINALLY, at 44, I think I’m learning.

Also…. just FYI…..that whole “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” thing is bullshit. Pizza is freaking delicious.

Is it just me, or is this BLOG-READING thing addicting??

My house looks like hell. Thank God my boys are semi self sufficient. I took Mr. 15 to the grocery store last night so he could pick out food that he could fix for himself and Mr. 9 so they wouldn’t bother me while I sit and read….for hours. THAT grocery cart was impressive. But I can’t be bothered with such trivial things as lunch right now! This blogger lady lives in INDIA and is telling me all about it! Mother of the Year right here! Of course I told him it was so he could learn to be MORE self sufficient. He bought it, of course, so life lesson points.

i_heart_blogs_postcard-r471447be76624f50b6a9f7dd1db5163c_vgbaq_8byvr_324THERE! I said it. I love blogs. I’ve read some pretty awesome stuff since I started this big adventure, about SO many different places and things and experiences and perspectives! So thank you fellow bloggers! You have opened my eyes and expanded my mind and I needed that! People have always fascinated me. I love to hear people’s stories, and everybody has one, but I think I forgot that there is a great big world out there outside little ole Kentucky.

I suspect I’m not alone in this newfound addiction, am I?  I couldn’t possibly be. It’s like a whole new glorious world out there every time I pop open this largely unused, fabulous new MacBook Air I got for Christmas(thanks babe)! Well, used to be largely unused.

Photo on 7-11-15 at 1.10 PM

I drink enough coffee in a day now to float a small boat, because for some reason coffee goes with blog reading like peas and carrots. AND, it has been the perfect storm, literally, for blog reading lately, which I’m not sure is a blessing or a curse. The husband is out of town on business, I am a kindergarten instructional assistant so I’m off for the summer, and RAIN every day for two weeks means no pool time, but I mean I have to go back to work in a couple of weeks! My kids are NOT gonna appreciate Miss Kristen staring at a screen all day and not their beautiful little faces. I’ve got to get ahold of this thing and NOW! I mean not RIGHT now, but soon. RIGHT now I just got a notification that somebody I follow posted a new entry! WOOHOOOO!!

(h e l p.  m e.)

The Sisterhood

Sex In The City will always be one of my favorite series in the history of EVER.

“They say nothing lasts forever …dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” – Carrie

I’ve always been a girl’s girl. Not to be confused with a girly girl, I’ve never been that. But, I’ve always had this deep rooted appreciation for girlfriends and women in general who lift each other up. We have enough tearing down in society and it makes me sick. Jealousy and greed are ugly, ugly creatures and I want no part of either of them. I am genuinely happy when my girlfriends do well, achieve, climb, and fulfill dreams. I’m equally happy to be there to help them pick up the pieces when they don’t. Thats what a sisterhood is. It’s unconditional.

“We made a deal ages ago… men, babies, it doesn’t matter. We’re soulmates.” – Samantha

You don’t have to agree with someone all the time to love them all the time. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not in the sisterhood. Don’t even try it! THEY WON’T LET YOU! I’ve been fortunate enough to build myself quite a network of very good friends, some as individuals and some as groups. They come in all shapes and sizes, professions and religions, and I cherish the relationships we have together. All very different, and all very much the same if that makes any sense.

It took me a long time to realize that some friends come for a season, and some for a lifetime. God is funny that way. He will provide what you need, when you need it, if you let him. When I realized that the seasonal relationships were just part of the lifetime it was easier for me. Through all the seasons though, I’ve always had my person.

originalMy person showed up in the 7th grade at Buffalo Middle School on the very first day. My person has been a blessing to my life in more ways than I could ever put down on paper. My person takes sisterhood to a whole new level. Every emotion, every life event, every boring Tuesday, everything, we have been through it all. Now we are going through it all over again with our children.

And so it goes…..the cycle of life. It’s amazing really, what a blessing sisterhood is. They get you, I mean really get you, and even when everything isn’t ok, it is, or it will be, and they will be there cheering you on, picking you up, wiping your snot, whatever it takes to pull you through.

The Name Game

Why THE WANNA BE ISLAND GIRL? Because there is no better way to describe me. I wrestled with Island Gypsy, ALOT, but that implies I’m there, and I’m not. Not yet. I’m here, in the beautiful bluegrass state. I love KY. I love the people and relationships I’ve formed here, but ultimately the islands call me and one day I will answer.

images-2

It all started when I was a little girl visiting Myrtle Beach with my family. It started with the ocean. I fell in love with everything about it and over the years it has only gotten stronger. We have always visited at least once or twice a year, usually more.  I remember when I was pregnant with Drew and just feeling fat and depressed and gross and the man took me to the beach. It was October. He instinctively knew that’s where my soul is at home. So he came home, threw some stuff in a bag and off we went. I had no idea where we were going and as usual I fell asleep in the car. And when I woke up it was 2 am and we were at Carolina Beach and I sat on the steps that lead down to the sand and I cried. And every time we leave, any beach, any time, I cry. I am not a crier. It feels like I’m leaving a part of me there. My home is in KY. But the shore feels like my SOUL’s home. It’s settling. It’s intoxicating. It’s my refuge and my sanctuary. When I’m there I know I’m home. I haven’t completely ruled out that I very well may have been a mermaid in a former life.  Actually, I’m almost positive that’s the case.

My tag line says “A day in the life…” Generic? Yes. Accurate? Absolutely. I intend to wade through this thing one day at a time and drag anyone along who wants to go with me! I love life. Life is my favorite, and mine is brilliant.