Thursday, March 29, 2012

A quick recap and so much for being Vegetarian.

So sometimes I look pregnant, like in this picture. And sometimes I just look
like I ate too many donuts. And other times, like first thing in the morning, my tummy looks 
almost normal. It's so strange. 

In other news...woohoo! The end of  the first trimester is in sight!
I'll spare you all the details, but just like most women, I've had lots of fatigue and nausea. Luckily, not throwing up nausea, just the all day general, garden variety kind. The "I don't really feel like eating, can't handle the smells of food cooking, and don't you dare try to get anything with garlic in it near me" kind. So anyways, I'm ready to have energy again for my very energetic almost two-year-old. And I'm ready to be able to cook for my family again without completely losing my appetite. And of course, it's all worth it, so I'm done being complain-y. 

I will leave you with one brief story of my first trimester:

So in December, James and I decided we would try a little experiment.....we thought we would try going vegetarian (the kind where you can still eat fish.) So we did. And I loved it. I loved all the new meals I was cooking. I was even gonna turn it into a blog series called, "The Vegetarian Experiment,"  of all the yummy recipes I was trying. And then....not too long later....I got pregnant. All of a sudden, all of these things that had quickly become staples of our diet quite literally turned my stomach. Just the thought of a chickpea patty, or a cauliflower stew, or a tofu scramble or whatever else we had been eating made me feel sick. Then there was that one day when the only thing in the whole world that sounded good to eat was a 5 guys burger. And it was delicious. So much for being vegetarian. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

To a Big Sister-to-be.

My Beautiful daughter,

      Soon you will no longer be an only child, but a sibling and a big sister. I couldn't of asked for a sweeter, more gentle girl to do the job. I know you will be such a great big sister and I can't wait to see you take on a new role.
      It might be hard at first, because you are used to having all of your mama and daddy's attention. I am not worried though, you have always been so generous with you love and affection. I think having a sibling will help teach you a lesson you have already begun to learn: that Love feels just as good to give as it is to receive. The more we love...the more our capacity for love expands.
       So never feel that just because there is another person to share our attention that you are any less loved.  
Another little person in this family to love means more love will grow for everyone...because that is how Love works.

 I love you sweet girl.

a thousand kisses,

your mama

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Little News....

Yep, it's true! This weekend makes me 12 weeks along.

We are so very thankful and excited to add another little person to our family this October!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

All Things Beautiful: Surfing

I've decided to re-install my "All Things Beautiful" inspiration series. Cause we all need a little inspiration right?

These days, I'm inspired by surfing. 

I've always wanted to learn how to surf. Growing up, I was a competitive swimmer, and had no fear of the ocean. I loved to body surf and board and would spend every day of our beach trips catching waves. I loved it and wanted to learn how to surf. I never really had the opportunity so I never learned.

Fast forward to my 28 year old self with a daughter. I still want to learn how to surf. Bad. I've always been fascinated by surfing...and the culture. It just looks like the essence of summer and freedom.  Every time we go to the beach and the surfers are out I find myself staring wistfully at them, running out into the deep blue. They all look so happy when they are surfing. I'm convinced I would be pretty happy surfing too.

We live near a beach now that gets pretty good swells. When we moved here that was the first goal I had. Well..then I hurt my leg pretty bad, pulling my IT band something fierce and developing a painful cyst behind my knee from the injury. I could barely walk during all of peek surfing season. Now the waves are calming down so there isn't as much opportunity. But I am determined. I'm convinced all I need is a day to myself (which is hard to come by) where I have a board, on a day with some beginner waves that won't bang me around too much. I may not be as strong of a swimmer as I once was, or as fearless, but I can still catch a wave. Give me a board, darn it, and I will stand up on it.

A little surf inspiration:




Friday, March 16, 2012

Hurrah for Visitors!

Hey ya'll! It's been a pretty eventful week in our little part of the world....cause we had visitors! It's the first time we've had visitors in our new South Florida home, and not just any visitors, but Erika and Catherine, two of my besties and former roomies from college!  They had a spring break with their jobs and decided to come here. hurrah!

Having visitors definitely reminds me that we are very blessed to live where we do. I mean...people VACATION here. life is definitely no vacation, but it sure is nice living so close to some crystal blue ocean. It just adds a wonderful dimension to every day life, like the sea breeze in the air and the always, warm weather. Like things to do as a stay-at-home mama in Charlotte would've gone something like this: park, playground, mall walking (for when it's too damn cold outside,) library, Discovery Place, friend's houses, etc.
Down here it goes something like this: Park, Playground, library, bike rides, pool, BEACH, zoo,etc. You know...basically the same, but without a Winter, and throw in the beach. I'll take it. Now we just need to find more of a community...

But I digress, having Erika and Catherine here was pretty great. First of all, it made me feel like I was on vacation too....cause we went to the beach like every day and we ate out a whole bunch. Those two things along with some good company always make me feel like I'm on vacay. And it was oh so nice, to get to spend some time with both of them. There's just nothing like a worn-in friendship with people that just KNOW you. I was thinking about these two friends in particular  and on the surface it could be surprising that we are such good friends. I mean...we are really different from each other. We dress differently, we like different things, we have different hobbies, different personalities, and are in different life seasons. But maybe that's why they are so great. We are allowed to be different with each other and aren't expected to be a certain way, and are loved and appreciated for who we are. We can just be ourselves.

I don't have any friends like that here yet, so it was so refreshing to have these girls around.

                                                  Love these two! Please visit again!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

On a Personal Note

    I struggle with knowing how much personal content to share on this blog. When I first started a blog, only close friends really read it, and the intention was to keep them clued in with my life. My family didn't even know I had one. So it was a no brainer. Now it's a little more difficult. My blog isn't super popular or anything, nor am I trying to get it to be, but it is a reality that more than just my close friends read it. Now this blog is a combination of a personal family album with some extra stuff thrown in. I like to think, that in real life, I am a pretty transparent person. The internet is a little trickier. I don't mind sharing personal content that just involves me, it's the personal stuff that involves other people I have trouble with. I don't want to say anything I will regret later, or that I would regret my daughter reading later on, or that could hurt someone regardless of my feelings towards them at the time. 

I've debated sharing this for some time, and if I did, how to do it.  But it has been a huge part of my lately, and is the reason why I haven't posted many other personal things. This kinda takes the cake right now. I want to be respectful but I don't want to hide under a rock either and pretend like none of this is happening.  

This has been a great time of change for my little family. We moved away from a close knit community and a city we loved to a brand new state where we didn't know anybody. Despite the growing pains, it's been a good move for us, which I'll talk about another time. Other changes have been not so easy. 

Not long after we moved, my parents marriage started to unravel.'s probably been unraveling for a long time. But the events that brought everything to light weren't pretty, with many lies, deceptions, and dishonorable behaviors and attitudes. It's been a stressful time for me, having to come to terms with the falling apart of my parents marriage, having to navigate a relationship with someone I don't recognize anymore, and be a support to members of my family. 

This isn't a "woe is me" kind of tale, because I realize so many people go through this all the time. And this world is filled with heartaches. But it is still hard and I am still in the middle of it. I'm trying to figure out what forgiveness looks like in this situation. Not just what it looks like, but how to do it. I'm trying to figure out how to navigate a relationship with a family member that has obviously changed. And I'm trying to cling to One who is always good and never changes. I'm trying to be the best wife and mother I know how to be, with me and my husband working hard to write a much different story for our family. 

That is all I really feel comfortable sharing, though at one point, out of anger, I would've shared all the sordid details. I don't want to talk bad about anyone though, especially when it's family and especially when it's in the public eye. You just can't undo that kind of stuff.  But I am trying to honest about what's going on in my life. So I've kept the details spare and have tried to stick to how it's affecting me personally. 

Unfortunately, life can't always be love letters, ocean views, and adorable toddlers. So if I get a little quiet on this blog from time to time, just know we are living life over here and all that it encompasses. 

Much Love,


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Piece of my Heart.

This video has gone viral, which makes my heart so happy. 

The first Invisible Children video, spreading awareness of the horrendous injustice happening in Central Africa, was released when I was an undergrad in college. The first documentary brought the issue to light. This video has a specific plan to combat this injustice...and you can be a part of it.  

    I first fell in love with the continent of Africa as a 10 year old, reading books and thumbing through National Geographic. I used  to wish that my parents could be missionaries so I could live somewhere in Africa.  As a freshman in college, I read the book  Good News about Injustice and through that book learned about the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. It sickened me to know that I could go my whole life not even being aware something like that had happened, and on a continent I dreamed about as a child, nonetheless.  Not long after, the Invisible Children video came out, highlighting the crisis in Uganda. Near the end of college, God put the country of the Democratic Republic of Congo on my heart, where a humanitarian crisis was occurring that Time magazine called, "The Deadliest War in the World."  I prayed for the Congo every day. When James and I first got married, we even seriously considered becoming missionaries to the Congo. 
   Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic of the Congo are all right next to each other, hugging each other's borders.  Much of the ongoing issues in this region stem from the same root evils. The humanitarian crisis in this region of Central Africa is possibly the worst of our time, yet it rarely gets media coverage and is not taught about in our schools.  A whole generation of kids has grown up in relative ease and wealth while the most lethal conflict since WWII was happening on the other side of the world, and they haven't heard a thing about it. 

Any organization, mission's group, person, journalist, or politician that works to bring awareness and fight against the ongoing issues in Central Africa have my enthusiastic support. Invisible Children, I love what you are doing. 

And Africa, I love you. We will introduce our children to your children one day. 

My husband in Malawi, Africa. 

Love, Kristina

Monday, March 5, 2012

a love letter.

source unknown

    This past Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of being married to my love. Like most people, we've had our ups and downs, but I can honestly say that these five years have been the best years of my life.

Dear James,

    You wooed my heart with your kindness and made me believe I was worthy of love. You woo me still.
 I am more in love with you than I ever was, and I know our love will only grow stronger. You are the best man I know and I am so proud to be your wife.
     Thank you for always being my safe place, my defender, my confidant, my encourager, my Truth reminder, my laughter, my joy, my best friend, my lover. Thank you reflecting the love of God to me better than anyone on this earth.

I love you and I hope to learn to love you more. Here's to many more milestones.

Always, Yours.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Magical Moments

I'm a little obsessed with my i phone, primarily because it is a really great portable, pocket-able camera. I love, love my dslr but I catch so many more magical, spontaneous, little moments with my phone. And when you have a kid there sure are a lot of those! 

Here are three recent little, magical moments. 
1. playing barefoot in the setting sun.
2. Daddy holding daughter against perfect blue sky.
3. a look of sheer, child-like joy in response to falling leaves.

It's a good life. 

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