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!






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.



"Dream Life, 2013"

Hi Everyone! Happy Thursday!

In the last few days of 2013, I'm looking back at the year and the goals I set for myself (that I titled "Dream Life, 2013").

I did a lot. Some things--the most important things--turned out horribly. Really looking forward to 2014 and what feels like a fresh start.

But first, last year's goals and how I did:


  1. Dream House: We ended up with the coolest 1960s home in ABQ. That also needs a lot of work to make it ours...work we haven't started but some (or maybe even all) of which will happen in 2014. We're going to do it in chunks: Living area, bedrooms, outdoors, kitchen, probably in that order. Can't wait to share some before-and-after pics! :)
  2. Girlfriends: ABQ has got to be the friendliest city in the US. I made a huge effort to make friends, and feel like I have a really good start.
  3. New Office and Work Schedule: My office needs work, especially my IT situation. And I worked too much in 2013. 2014 is bringing big changes, though, with my client base shifting. Hope I can stick closer to 20 hours/week. Tired of working before the kids get up and on weekends to make deadlines...shouldn't be having to do that...
  4. A Finished San Francisco Book: I did terribly with writing and it is so easy to say there is just not time but I know that's not it. It's just fear of things not being perfect. Fear of putting things out into the world. Doing creative stuff--it's something I really want to focus on in the coming year.
  5. A New Baby: The loss of Hunter is one of the worst things that will ever happen to me. And we haven't made a final decision, but I don't think we have it in us to try again. I read somewhere that families who lose a baby, usually they try to have at least one child, but they often can't go beyond that. We have two perfect toddlers, and as much as I would love a third child, I just can't fathom doing what we would have to do to get there...
  6. Everyone I Love Happy and Healthy: This is out of my control, but it's devastating what happened with Hunter. But all's well with my parents, my brother, my husband, my kids...grateful for that...
  7. Celebrations: We did a lot of fun holiday stuff this past year. My mother-in-law is so creative and such a great help in this regard. My husband really doesn't like holidays, though, so that's a challenge. Plus we have almost no storage space, so tons of fun holiday decorations are out. We're figuring out our own ways to make the holidays special...it's important to me...
  8. All Things Good With my Mother-in-Law: It's worked out well having her with us. She's so sweet, and I'm grateful for all her assistance. The kids absolutely adore her and she them...I think it's so good for them to have her in the house...
  9. Time With My Best Friend: Dans came down over Thanksgiving and we had such a wonderful time. Hope to visit her in Seattle next year (hopefully to put on her baby shower!)
  10. Pictures: This is wrapped up in the whole creativity and fear thing...I've taken lots of pictures this past year, which is good, but the way I want them to look (or the way they look in my head) and the way they actually look doesn't always mesh. Making that happen is a big goal of mine for 2014.
  11. Lots of Time With Family: This worked out great. ABQ and Colorado are so close. And everyone has made a great effort.
  12. Happy Little Blog: I'm really happy with my blog. It's small, but it does exactly what I want it to do, which is record what's special and important to me.


So 2013: Horrible. And great, depending on what you're talking about. A weird, strange, heartbreaking, magical year with lots and lots of change. I feel good about the things I accomplished. Also really glad it's almost over.



"Don't Worry About Cool"

This is going to go over my desk as a sort of New Year's Resolution:

Sol Lewitt's advice to a young Eva Hesse:

"Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubthing, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping...Stop it and just DO!...

Don't worry about cool, make your own uncoll. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you--draw and paint your fear and anxiety...

YOu must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!...

Try to do some BAD work--the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell--you are not responsible for the world--you are only responsible for your work--so DO IT. And don't think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be...

I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before you work you have to empty your mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that's that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I'm sure you know all that. You also must know that you don't have to justify your work--not even to yourself.

Via Desk of Tobias van Schneider.

Merry Xmas everyone!