I'm Kristen. Mom to Luke and Zoey, two-year-olds extraordinaire. Trying to keep a foot in the advertising world (I freelance part-time as a writer/creative director out of San Francisco and Boston). Recently relocated to Albuquerque, NM for my husband's job (I love it). Trying to do the creative stuff I did before babies, but it's hard. Hoping to be an outdoorsy/backpacking/ snowboarding/surfer girl again someday, but fear that may be in the past. Really, just trying to embrace change and find balance--and to be grateful for all the things big and small that are good in my life.

Welcome and thanks for stopping by!






Grace in Small Things, April 18, 2014

Hi Everyone! Happy Friday!

Some things I'm grateful for today:

1) Easter is going to be so fun, although there is WAY too much chocolate coming. :) My husband and I have had fun collecting little things for Easter baskets, and the kids and I are going to dye eggs this morning, and there's something that happens in New Mexico called confetti eggs which are real eggs hollowed out and filled with confetti...the kids are going to love it! Plus we're going to do a really nice dinner at the dining room table...looking forward to making the holiday special...

2) My daughter running around the house yesterday with a stuffed bunny as big as her called "Tiny"...cutest thing ever.

3) I put our nice warm down comforter back on our bed last night...we were a little too anxious for spring I think switching it out for a light quilt a few weeks ago...nice to be toasty warm again.

4) Luke's been waking up with bad dreams (usually some sort of animal in his bed, there's been a peacock, a donkey, a dog), but he snuggles into my shoulder while I rock him for a few minutes and then he goes right back down...

5) Didn't realize I had these pictures of Dexter on my phone...I took him on a hike, one of our favorite spots, right before we put him down. It was weird at the end, he would get super distressed and have a massive nosebleed, and then whould be fine. The last nosebleed it was just clear he was hurting before it happened and I just couldn't see letting that happen again; the nosebleeds were happening about twice a day. It was hard to make the decision to let him go...he had late-stage cancer that we couldn't do anything about but I thought it would be obvious when the time came, that he would be obviously weak and sick, but instead it was this weird mix of everything is awful/everything seems fine. Anyway, I did the best I could with the decision...it was going to be hard no matter what. So after the last nosebleed he was fine and so I took him on one last beautiful, peaceful, amazing hike...and when we got back to the (remote national forest) parking lot a motorcycle zoomed by which I took as a sign because my brother Luke--to whom Dexter belonged--loved his motorcycle, actually was on it when he died, too. And then the spot in the last picture makes me so happy because to me that means Luke was with us. And now he's got his dog back and I'm grateful for that. So glad I have these pictures...

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!



Remodel Update

Hi Everyone! Happy Wednesday!

Lots going on at our house...starting with a new roof because it rained and ours leaked. I soooooo would have liked to have spent that money on something fun (eg new carpet), but my husband is all about being responsible and that's a good thing...

Here is our living room/dining room breifly put back together (LOVE LOVE LOVE our new floors, they make the house feel so airy and clean and beautiful vs the dirty white carpet):

And the stairs which were carpet before:

Someday we will reupholster the dining room chairs something colorful:

Wood still in the dining room...destined for the laundry room floor at some point...

And here's the exciting part...this is totally my husband's vision but it's going to be the coolest thing ever. We have a 2-story wall in our living room (that our upstairs family room looks out over too) and we're doing these textured tiles and then a design that my art-director friend put together for us is going to be painted onto it. The tiles were initially tricky to get to stick to the wall (they are very thin and light cardboard), but once the guys helping us figured it out, it's gone fast.

Living room is torn up again...so excited about this wall but also can't wait to get our house back to normal. This is it as far as house projects for a while...going to have to save up before we can do any more... :)




Library Book Review, April 14, 2014


Hi Everyone! Happy Monday!

A few library books we've been LOVING lately:

  • That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown. This is probably on my top ten ever list. The story is like the Velveteen Rabbit, but I just love adventurous little Emily and her stuffed rabbit Stanley. The queen wants the rabbit because it's the coolest toy ever, because he's been so loved by Emily, and they've done so much together...
  • Smash Mash Crash There Goes the Trash. My kids are crazy about trucks right now...and I never thought a book about garbage trucks could be good, but this one is. The pictures are so cute!
  • Fog Island. This book's a little dark as the plot is about some kids getting lost at sea, but the atmosphere is so cool. I have to admit I like this book a little more than my kids do...
  • 1-2-3 Peas! A counting book...but what's cool about this is on every page is a hidden ladybug...my kids love finding it.
  • Digger Dozer Dumper. Again with the trucks. This book is cool because it talks about how all the trucks have different personlities...just like kids...
  • Monster Mess. Have I talked about this one before? It's gone back to the library a time or two and the kids say, "Mommy, find Monster Mess again!" meaning they want it back. A monster is cleaning up while a little boy is sleeping...cute littly rhyme-y story...kids can't get enough of this. We really need to buy this for our library, along with Miss Emily Brown... (Although Emily Brown USED is $30...and it's not available new...why is a used book $30?)

Happy reading!



Grace in Small Things, April 10, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Gosh, I feel like lately I'm either posting like crazy to try and catch up or not posting at all. A million excuses for neglecting this space...the regular overwork, not sleeping well, dealing in weird ways with my dog's death (which has brought a lot of other stuff to the surface), etc. etc. But mostly I think it's my kids are changing their sleep schedule, often up at the crack of dawn and so some time I used to have to myself in the morning has evaporated. On the plus side, I get more time with my kids. :) Naps are also getting shorter and shorter, some days pretty much nonexistent. 

And also, something I always struggle with here...I want to be honest in this space...like right now, I am tired all the time, my "TO DO" list is way longer than what can realistically get accomplished, I'm feeling burnt out at work, my dog dying sucked, what happened with our daughter dying still hurts in a way I can't even begin to describe, I think about it every day...what happened with my brother dying too, for that matter, and the anniversary of that is coming up at the end of the month. But...I just don't want to talk about all that stuff because it's better for me if I just put it to the side and say, "look at all the good, Luke and Zo and my husband and my family and we have work and a beautiful home, I like where we live, and I only work part time and get to spend so much time with the kids, etc., etc." I really admire people who can write honestly about hardship and pain, and I don't want to make it seem like everything is sunshine and roses over here, but I have to focus on the positive to keep going.

Anyway, a long prologue to some notes about what is lovely in my life right now:

1) It felt like summer here today. I went to the zoo with the kids this morning. I wore a T-shirt and shorts...no sweatshirt over the top for what felt like the first time in forever. We had all the windows wide open all day. Ahhhhhhh...

2) We have this 2-story wall in our living room and we're essentially making it into a giant peice of art. Textured tiles are going up and it's been such a challenge for everyone involved to figure out how to make them stay, but it looks like they've found a solution. And the wall is going to look SO COOL. The stuff we're doing to our living room/dining room, I just love it. It's making the house feel cool and artsy and ours.

3) I ordered some bikinis online from Roxy the other day...where I used to get all my swimsuits back when I lived in California and went surfing every day. With IVFs and pregnancies it's been years--years--since I could wear a bikini. I've worked really hard (CrossFit and Paleo) to get my body back to normal and I'm almost there and that's really gratifying. Also, I am SO EXCITED about summer. My goal is to get up every morning and put on a swimsuit under my clothes, because I'll be getting in the pool every single day.

4) We got the best new book at the library the other day, it's called Duck, Duck Moose and the kids can't get enough of it. It's been a while since we got a really good new book. It's so silly and fun, with a moose that's just a tornado wrecking everything in his path, and the ducks who live with him loving him anyway. The kids always do "Moose Face!" before we read it, which is making a funny face with your hands put up like moose antlers on the top of your head.

5) The kids have been wanting "Rainbow Connection" (Luke: "Mommy, sing Rainbow con-nection please?") as their bedtime song almost every night lately. (I love this Willie Nelson rendition). Reminds me of my childhood. Makes me happy. 

And speaking of happy, my daughter says, "Sissy happy!" almost every day, and Luke generally chimes in with, "Luke's happy too!" And I say--when it's true and it almost always is--"Awwww, you guys, that's great. Mommy's happy too."

How can you not be with those little sweethearts to hang out with, you know?



Truck Safari

Hi Everyone! Happy Tuesday!

I'm all about doing cheap/no-cost things with the kids.

Like right now, they're really into trucks...and there's some road construction not far from our house...so I thought it might be fun to drive over and check it out.

I got a nice hot cup of tea and we spent the whole morning there, parked on the side of the road, kids standing up in the passenger seat for optimal viewing.

It was right along I-25 too, so in addition to the road construction trucks, there were tons of trucks that drove by--semis and cement trucks and car carriers, gas trucks, even a couple of ambulances.

So grateful that I can spend a weekday morning like this...