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, January 14, 2014

Hi Everyone! Happy Tuesday!

Some things I am grateful for/happy about today:

1) Hosted my first play group yesterday...15 moms and about 25 kids. Worked out great...our house comfortably holds a group like that (with everybody spread out between the living room/dining room, kitchen, playroom), and I have to brag on my kids for a minute...they were SUCH GOOD hosts...shared their toys, etc. It was super fun...can't wait to do it again. (My mother-in-law helped, too, which made it a lot easier than it otherwise would have been...she's so great...)

2) Was EXHAUSTED after play group, which at first I attributed to that, but I actually think it was the Whole 30 diet thing I'm doing with my husband (we're one week in), plus we've been doing Crossfit four days a week at 5:00 AM for a while now. I got some carbs in me last night (don't think I've been getting enough) and we took the morning off from the gym this morning, and I am feeling a whole lot better today...

3) It's been in the 50s every day here this winter, pretty much...perfect hiking weather...another thing I love about ABQ...

4) Oh my gosh, my kids are fun right now. Talking up a storm...they have so much to say...I am loving it. Loving that I get to spend every morning with them...that time is so precious...

5) I'm going to make my billing quota (20 hours/week) for January with my job. I'm in a big transition at the moment (my biggest client is essentially gone as of January 1, trying to make up that work with past clients to start), and 95% of the time I'm sure it's going to turn out fine, and 5% of the time I'm a little scared. But so far so good. And not only am I getting the work I need, overall I'm working less, an adjustment that has been needed. (In theory I've been working 20 hours/week, but in practice it's been more, which means early mornings, nights, weekends when the kids nap...essentially, no time for me. Feels so good to not be so crazed for once...)

After being with the kids this morning, I've got a little work this afternoon, the Apple Store to sort out some IT issues (oh how I wish I had an IT person), a hike with the dogs, dinner with my family, early to bed so we can do the 5:00 AM gym thing tomorrow... Happy and grateful today...



Dog-Dog as Superhero

My husband got the kids each a stuffed schnauzer a few months back.

("I don't want any fighting over whose turn it is for the stuffie," he said at the time.)

Both are named Dog-Dog, and are favorites around here.

For X-mas, my mother-in-law made superhero capes and eye masks for the kids--Luke's black and red with a big red "L" on the back, Zo's pink and orange with a "Z." She also made matching outfits for each Dog-Dog. With big "D"'s stitched onto the back.

Who knew our Dog-Dogs had secret identities?

Cutest. Thing. Ever.


Two Rockers Are Better Than One

These brown bear and pink bunny rockers were my idea for X-mas.

The kids love rocking on them in the traditional way.

And Zo today, once she figured it out, couldn't stop doing this, where she's got them both rocking in unison.

My husband's best friend has been visiting. "Kids get so smart so quick, don't they?" he's said.

Yes, they do.


Two Full Weeks With Daddy

We've had my husband with us all through the holidays...so hard having him go back to work! Saturday, one of the last days of this stretch of time off, found us at the duck pond (officially the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park), one of my--and the kid's--favorite places in ABQ.

More ducks than I've ever seen, maybe 100, plus some geese, plus the wind was blowing the browned leaves into the pond like enormous flutters of snow. And warm--high 50s--such warm days here our first winter in ABQ...

Happy Monday!




Hi Everyone! Happy New Year!

Wanted to share some pictures and stories of the holidays today. Honestly, this was kind of a tough one for us...Hunter, our daughter we lost, her due date was yesterday and my husband and I really felt it all month long. But, as usual, we did our best to make things as good as we could and count our blessings. There were some really great moments, and I LOVED seeing my family, as always, but overall I'm so glad the holidays are over.

We were going to Colorado for X-mas, so we didn't do much around the house...we did put up our fake "disco tree," though. (My husband thinks our tree should be fake and I think real, we each get our way every other year.)

A week or so before X-mas, we had a surprise visit from my husband's niece and nephew, originally from Kuwait, now in college in Arizona. It was lovely to meet them and have them for a few days. We took them to the duck pond, one of the kid's favorite places. And then to Old Town, where there was an enormous X-mas tree where each branch was an individual tree...it was really cool. Oh, and I let Zo touch a cactus and she got prickers in her hands...yeah, I felt like a bad mom. I try not to hover over them and be too restricting...there are a lot of things I'm terrified of in terms of they could hurt my kids, but cacti isn't one of them. Oh well. Her dad got the prickers out. No major harm done.

Grandma and throwing leaves...happy kids...

We had X-mas in ABQ with my mother-in-law and the kid's presents, so we didn't have to travel with those. And then drove to Colorado up Highway 285...very isolated and rural, gorgeous drive, full of fields of cows and horses...the kids were entertained the whole 6 hours just pointing out the cows and horses...it was amazing. Also, on the way up in the San Luis Valley, it was minus 3 degrees and everything was covered in ice. One of my favorite parts of Colorado and so, so beautiful.

We had an early X-mas dinner with my extended family at my uncle's place in Evergreen...so gorgeous where he lives. And there were deer that hung around the house for an hour or so, which was pretty cool. The picture below is me and Zo and my Mom and Aunt Judy, who was a big part of my life growing up. Love her.

X-mas was kind of disjointed this year, doing things here, and then my uncle's, and my brother's girlfriend had to work and didn't have her kids on X-mas so we did kid presents before, adult presents late on X-mas after my kids had gone to bed and Santa presents the day after...not ideal, but we made it work and not a problem to be flexible...so lucky to get to be with family. Also, don't have any pictures but saw dear friends of ours for X-mas brunch, which was such a nice treat...

Oh, and Pa Pa got Luke a peacock...perfect as that's all Luke talks about since we went to the zoo over Thanksgiving and saw peacocks there...

Otherwise, a lot of hanging out at my brother's up in the mountains, with the kids sweeping (they are really into sweeping right now for some reason), and visiting the chickens, and getting stories read to them, looking at pictures of themselves on Pa Pa's iPad, and both kids got to ride on my brother's bulldozer...Zo liked it more than Luke...

An easy trip back a week later (again, looking for fields of cows and horses...endlessly amusing for the kids). And my husband had/has 2 weeks off work, so we've been doing some fun things around town. Like the aquarium, which is turning into our favorite winter-time outing. Love this pic of my husband and kiddos:

New Year's Eve we decided we should go out and have fun...my husband's best friend is in town and I let my husband plan it. We went to the Monte Carlo Steak house, kind of a dive-y place in the back of a liquor store, but truly the best steak of my life. And so relaxed and cool. Then we went to Il Vicino brewery, also for the first time, very sleek and modern, loved it. And then home 10:30-ish, with drinks in the upstairs "Daddy Lounge" so no one had to be the designated driver. It was a really fun and cool night.

New Year's Day was hard for me...I cried over Hunter, I know I don't talk about it a lot here but I would give anything to have our girl. Just because I don't talk about it doesn't mean I'm over it...not by a long shot.

But then we made beef borgenoin and hung out in our PJs all day, did sparklers out on the back patio once it was dark to celebrate the start of a New Year and all day I gave thanks for the beautiful, perfect children that I do have:

Love and light to you all.

Wishing the best for all of us in 2014.