Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wilmington, NC  8/06

This picture makes me laugh so hard.  It's me, Em, Turner, and Kim.  Triad men's team was playing a game against Cape Fear in Wilmington, so we went to cheer them on, and since the day was so hot, perfect beach weather, afterwards we decided to head to the beach, only none of us had bathing suits.  We stopped at a Walmart and we all picked out underwear and soft bras to wear into the ocean!  Kim and I got these striped boy short underwear (that I still wear when my laundry is low and I can bear to deal with the wedgie they give me!)  

I laughed so hard on this day, and it was so random and fun.  I wish I could have more days like this.  My life feels very mundane right now.  When we get back to school, I feel like it's just going to be all the same again.  Every day, a tiny copy of the day before.  Wake up, shower, go to school, come home, rugby, eat, watch tv, go to bed.  

I need something to be different, I just don't know what.  I want the summer to be here now.  I think I want to work at camp again, just because even though last year it was a little rough for me, I don't think I could handle living in Greensboro and working everyday at a random job like at a restaurant or even babysitting.  

I think I need an adventure.






Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Far, Far Away.


Posted on PostSecret, Dec. 23, 2007

This wasn't my secret, but I really feel so attached to it. At this point in my life, I really wonder what "home" is to me. Temporarily, it's Greensboro, NC, but I know that I definitely do not want to settle in NC. I love the state, it's beautiful, and the people are for the most part, great. It's just not where I want to spend the rest of my life. When I come home to Delaware now, things are so different. It's home, but in a strange way..it's like, a home that I can't be at for long periods of time or else I will go crazy.

So where does that leave me? It leaves me with 48 other states to explore and experiment with. This summer, Em and I are visiting Colorado and California, as there are two great grad schools out there (Colorado State and University of La Verne) that I am looking into. I'm thinking about just majoring in "Child Development" or "Pediatric Therapy" instead of Child Life, which will confine me to a hospital. We shall see...

Me and Kels had way too much fun with photobooth on her Macbook last night after dinner. Here's a little sample of our fun:








Love everywhere,
Kris

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stresses of Christmas

Christmas is a really stressful time of year. For some reason, everyone's emotions are always really hightened. It's like, if you're mad you're going to be SUPER-RIDICULOUSLY-ANGRY or if you're excited then you're I'M-PEEING-MY-DAMN-PANTS-I-AM-SO-PUMPED. On top of that, the department stores are BLASTING the heat so high that it feels like you're in a god damn sauna, it makes you want to pay and get out of there as quickly as possible. Plus, next to the sale-crazed ladies in knitted holiday sweaters with their bags bumping your knees as they fly by, you have to worry about seeing half of your graduating high school class at the mall. Which is why it's nice to go somewhere far, far away to do your holiday shopping (although, Delaware is the best because then there's no tax.)

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and Kels and I just finished our shopping tonight. We got my mom the rest of her presents, and we got my dad a birthday present. Hopefully he likes it, and it fits him. We'll see.

I'm off to watch a movie with Kels. I found this picture of us from the summer of 06, when we went crabbing with Suzi, Elliott, my mom, and my grandfather. It was fun, and EARLY..the pic was taken at like 5:30am out on the river!

Warmer Days!! August '06

Love everywhere,
Kris

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Resilience Day!!


Hello friends. Today is Resilience Day- a day to celebrate the fact that we are all alive, despite the fact that we all have hardships and other factors that make our lives stressful or sad or hard. Everyone has the ability to bounce back from anything that they're going through, even if it may seem impossible.
Just a quick update today. I've been home now for a few days, was able to get some Christmas shopping done with Kelsey and Em, and tonight we're decorating our tree. The next week or so is going to be really fun and packed full of visiting and holiday activities.
Life in Wilmington is so much better when my friends are home! It was so good to see Meredith and Maria last night, I saw those two at Thanksgiving, but when you hang out in a large group it's hard to really catch up on what's been going on in everyone's lives. It was great to see them and to swim around in the hot tub in 30 degree weather!
I'm heading out.. I actually have a pretty nasty sinus infection from the surgery, we think, so I need to go find my antibiotics. I've been so miserable - breathing and sleeping wise - but it's so hard to be miserable when so many exciting things are going on!
Speaking of exciting things.. I met my mom's boyfriend, James. I like him, I think it will take me awhile to get used to him and the idea of her having a boyfriend, but for now, I'm happy with him. My mom certainly deserves to be happy, and as long as he makes her happy, then I'm happy.
Love everywhere,
Kristen

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Funny Story

Ok, so I forgot about this funny thing that happened to me last week.

I'm a the Philadelphia airport waiting to board my flight to Raleigh. I've got my headphones in and I'm reading a magazine.. when the plane I'm about to board begins to let off its passengers. A whole slew of people come off, followed by an airline worker who is struggling to push a woman in a wheelchair who is wheezing and hooked up to oxygen, and also pull her oxygen tank behind him. He looks in my direction and yells, "I NEED SOME HELP OVER HERE!"

Now, maybe it's because I'm always paranoid that an emergency is going to happen and I won't realize it. Maybe it's because I'm terrified that if my CPR certification from this summer were ever needed to be put to use, I might not remember exactly what to do. Maybe it's because if anyone ever yelled for help, my first reaction would be to drop everything and run to them.

For whatever reason, when he looked in my general direction and yelled that, I immediately yanked out my headphones, put down my magazine and SPRINTED to the man and the woman in the wheelchair. I just looked at him and he wasn't directing me to do anything... I started to assess the situation.. the woman didn't look like she was dying or anything.. no heart attack, no asthma attack or seizure... uh oh... The man starts to look at me kind of funny... My armpits begin to sweat and I can feel my face turning pink...bright pink...

Another woman walks up right behind me... an airline worker... who takes the oxygen tank... The man looks at me and says, "Are you with this passenger?" and I stutter to say, "No..you yelled for help.. so I came to..." my voice trailed off as I realized that the airline worker who had come to help him had been standing right behind my seat... This was all starting to make sense now.

The man says, "Well, I have her to help me," gesturing towards the other airline worker. "Thanks for the offer though."

I sheepishly apologize and turn to go back to my seat, when I realize that the whole waiting area is staring at me, silent. One woman is in her seat, eating a piece of pie, her forkfull paused halfway to her mouth, her eyes looking upward at me.

I sit down, put in my headphones, pull up my hood, and lean back against my chair. Just another embarrassing moment in the life of Kristen ;-)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

All I Want for Christmas..

First of all, thanks for all the responses about the pictures! I think I'm going to give her 2 and 4, and maybe 5 for her birthday since it's just something different to add to the wall.

Last night we had Christmas at our house, since our roommate Liz was going back home for the holidays. Em and I decided to exchange gifts then instead of waiting.. (mainly because Em bought my present that morning and has a hard time keeping secrets hee hee). Well, I was SO SURPRISED with what she got me, it really was her own idea and she was very proud that she thought of it all by herself. Here is a picture of my present:

It's a GREAT Kelty back pack for when we start camping this spring, and also a really freaking sweet head lamp that I will be using every night for the rest of my life.. last night I wanted to sleep with it on so I could use it if I had to get up to go to the bathroom..it was a little too uncomfortable though ;-) I think the headlamp will be my favorite gift of the year though..it's going to be hard to top that one. (ps..in the picture, I'm pretending to climb a mountain, not do the Thriller dance..)

I'm almost done with buying my gifts for the year, I just need to get my LSC secret santa gift, and something for my mom and then I'm all done.

Finals are going...interestingly. I'm completely done with only two classes, Human Development Across the Lifespan, and Criminology. Because of the whole nose ordeal, I am right on the cusp of an A in Criminology... so send good "A" thoughts my way. Other than that, I still have three papers to write and two exams. Hopefully I'll be finished by Monday so that Em and I can leave Tuesday to drive home...

That's about all that's been going on. Just lots of paper writing and studying. Em bought this great blender with her Bed Bath & Beyond gift card that her waterfront staff gave her this summer, so we've been making all kinds of stuff in there.

Enough rambling. I'm off to a meeting with a professor about my make up work.
Love, cool backpacks with lots of pockets, luminaries, and the new DMB "best of" CD,
Kristen

Monday, December 10, 2007

I need your help!

Hey folks. Well, if you've been to my mom's new apartment, then you've probably seen her extensive display of sunrise/sunset photos. She collects them, she has had people take pictures for her in Africa, Spain, Australia, England, and all over the US. So, my friend Mariah sent me a bunch of pictures that were taken by her family in Florida, and they are stunning, to say the least. I'd like to frame one for my mom for Christmas, and I can't decide which one I like the best, (I narrowed it down to five...) so if you could, please tell me which one you think is most beautiful and let me know which is your second choice!! :)

Option #1:


Option #2:


Option #3:


Option #4:


Option #5:



Let me know which one you like the best.. I really can't decide!
Love everywhere,
Kris

Friday, December 7, 2007

Classic.



I've been getting a lot of inquiries about this picture. If you go to my Facebook, and go to pictures that were posted by other people, there are something like 13 copies of this picture, all from different angles (I could probably create a 3D image or something cool like that. Well, not me, but someone who's good with graphics. Like Lindsey.)

So, I'll take this post to explain this very embarrassing moment in my life. It might be funny now, but at the time, I almost cried. Leave it to me to not be able to find humor in a situation that is actually pretty hilarious, but I digress.

We were at the staff banquet for camp. At the time that this picture was taken, Em and I were about 45 minutes away from leaving camp and beginning our looong journey to Greensboro, only to start classes the NEXT DAY. The Leadership Team was getting together for a picture and I went to whisper something to Em, but she was too far away, so I had to lean on a table to get close enough. I put one palm down on the "table" and started talking, and suddenly it occurred to me that the table had a funny feel to it...spongy.. like a pillow. What was up with this table? It took me approximately 3.4 seconds to realize that my hand was in a HUGE SHEET CAKE, as you can see from the photo. Luckily, I realized what I was doing before I put my hand all the way through the cake.

Why didn't I just giggle along with the rest of the crowd? I still kind of wonder why I cried. Maybe it's because I'm really over emotional, maybe it was because I was leaving my friends, maybe I was stressed, and maybe, earlier in the day, I had pissed off our Boss so badly that she flipped out in front of half the staff and threw shit all over her office, only for one of the assistant directors to take me aside and explain that the reason she was so upset was because of something I had said to her. Either way... when she walked towards me with that look on her face, and my hand was covered in pink and white icing, I couldn't help myself. I expected her to say, "Tell me again why I hired you?" So, luckily, my good friend Beaker (ahh camp names) whisked me off to the bathroom to get me cleaned up. (She's the one you can see in the photo, in the cute tank top)

So, that's the story of this picture. My boss followed me into the bathroom and made me feel better, so I came out and everyone pretended that it had never happened. Actually, I almost forgot about it..until every got home and the first they did was jump on their computers and facebook. Now, I laugh about it, because it is pretty funny when you think about it. It's like one of those classic funny moments, like a pie in the face or pushing someone's face into their birthday cake.

:D

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wild Wednesday


I love this picture that I took while in Idaho of
Averie, my cousin's daughter.

I am home in Greensboro now. Reuniting with Em and Sydney was awesome, and such a relief. I've been worried about Sydney, she's now started peeing everywhere when she sees Em, Liz, and me.. it's really weird, she never used to pee when excited.

I love shopping for Christmas. Basically, I love shopping and not feeling guilty, and Christmas is a great time for that! I bought Em's gift already, and I know what I want for a few others. I am completely clueless about what to get my mom.

Holiday season is rough for me money-wise. My mom's birthday is December 17, my dad's is December 26. Em's is Jan. 16. Within 1 month, I have Christmas and 3 birthdays! AHH!

Every year, my grandparents just send me a check so that I can get what I want. I'm thinking about getting an iPod Touch. I've read numerous reviews (which are very mixed). The iPod Touch seems to be "an iPhone without the phone and more space for tunes". It also seems to be a piece of technology that is at the beginning of a new "touch interface" era for Apple. Basically, reviewers are saying that the iPod Touch is only the beginning. Better, Bigger things are coming, and we should wait for them. One other criticism is, why spend $300 for an 8 GB iPod Touch, when for $250, you can get an 80 GB iPod Classic. It's a good question..but the curiosity in me takes over. iPod Touch has a lot of features that the Classic does not. A big one - a WiFi internet browser. Also, a bigger screen (I guess more important if you're going to watch videos on it), storage for photos, and a calendar you can keep info in. A lot of people are saying that the iPod Touch is a great buy, that how it works is interesting and it's fun to explore all of it's features. Those reviewers who were extremely tech-savvy were very mixed in their reviews, but for the average, every day person (like me), it seems to be a great purchase, and very fun.

We'll see. Anyone have an opinion?

It's good to be home. Em and I are going out to eat tonight, I am so excited. I haven't had an appetite in over a week!

Love everywhere,
Stay safe traveling with this weather lately,
Kris

Monday, December 3, 2007

Meghan Mondays

This weekend my cousin Meghan came to see my mom's apartment and hang out for awhile. Luckily, I woke up Saturday morning feeling a lot better than I had been, so we had a great time. Kels came home from West Chester for the weekend, too, so the three of us took it easy and hung out Saturday night. Meg brought Sculpey with her, and we created the best holiday sculpey scene that ever graced the planet, for my mom to display proudly.
I left a few items out of the picture so that they all would fit (mainly, the elf's flask and vomit) And yes, that is a skiing dinosaur with a scarf.
Tomorrow I'm flying home to NC. It seems surreal to be actually saying that, I feel like I've been here so long now. I've gotten quite used to sleeping until noon, having complete control of the remote ;-) and having my mom do my laundry for me. However, I am so ready to go back, I miss my puppy and my other half.
Yesterday we went to my Uncle Donnie's house for a big dinner. My cousin, Erin, is being deployed to Iraq in January and this is the last time she'll be home before that. As everyone was leaving, I realized that we had every single grandchild present (except for Stevie, who lives in Idaho). How often do we have every single grandchild, PLUS Mommom and Poppop in the same place? Hopefully we can do that again sometime because I want to take a picture next time. My family means a lot to me, even if we don't see each other every day.
I should go shower and get on with my day. In 24 hours I will be sitting in Dr. Briskin's office, getting my post-op check, and in 27 hours, I WILL BE ON A PLANE HEADED TOWARDS RALEIGH! Sweet.
Love everywhere,
Kristen
EDIT 5:34pm : Liam is on the front of the Alex's Lemonade Stand website!! Alex Scott, founder of the organization, who passed away at the age of 9 from the same cancer that Liam had, Neuroblastoma, her mother and father continue to work for the cause. Alex's mom, Liz is friends with Mrs. Kane, and they live very closeby. (Kennett Square, I think) Anyway, check it out!! http://www.alexslemonade.org

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Awake.

One might ask what I am doing up at 5:37am the day after I got surgery. Well, one's answer would be that I am not "up" as in.. I did not wake "up" as in.. I never fell asleep. Yes.. I have this funny little dilemma that is not so funny at all.

My nasal passages are completely blocked right now. I mean, there is absolutely NO air going through my nose at ALL. Fine.. whoopdy doo, a few pops in my ears everytime I swallow. Not the end of the world. Until I try to fall asleep. Then I am plagued by this ridiculousness. Basically, I have to sleep with my mouth open, or else, I can't breathe. (obviously). I sleep sitting up, propped up with pillows and blankets, and try to fall asleep with my mouth open, but inevitably, about 6 minutes after I doze off, my mouth closes itself and I wake myself up trying to gasp and shudder to take a breath.

I am extremely confused as to how this even happens, seeing as I am sleeping sitting straight up. Gravity should be wrenching my jaw downward and holding in there, but for some reason.. even gravity is out to punish me.

This might seem like a minor issue, however, when you have been in bed for 6 hours trying to sleep, and this "shuddering gasping" thing happens one every ten minutes or so, that means 6 or so times an hour, that means THIRTY SIX TIMES my body has woken itself up because it can't get oxygen.

I mean..atleast it's doing that. With all the drugs in my system for pain, I could just sleep through the gasping for air, never realizing it because I'm passed out on painkillers. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that my body is trying to live. I am just being pushed to the edge of insanity. I'm so tired that my eyes "sleep" and the rest of my body can't. The night before the surgery I only got about 1.5 hours of sleep because I was so nervous. Yesterday during the day I got probably about 1-2 hours while resting. That is somewhere around THREE HOURS OF SLEEP for the past 48 hours.

I sense that when I have kids, I may be somewhat miserable for those first few weeks... ;-)

I will come out of this bitter hole of darkness. I don't know when..but I will.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Better Days

I hate to make a miserable post to this blog, but that is what I'm about to do. I will allow myself to feel sorry for myself for approximately the next 10 minutes.

My surgery is set for Wednesday, 11am. That's when I go under the knife. Or..the hammer/chisel. Or whatever they use to reconstruct a nose and septum. Lucky for me, all of my cousins were sick last week when I was visiting them, so now I have a sinus infection. Well, it hasn't been officially classified as a sinus infection, but when you blow your nose and everything that comes out is dark green, you know that something is infected. Thus, the pressure from the "infection" or "sickness" or whatever it is, is making my face feel like it's going to explode. Literally, just shatter into a million tiny pieces.

With my 9 minutes left of feeling sorry, I will make a list.

Reasons I Am Angry.
1. Although my professors are being very helpful, there will be points that I cannot make up for certain things in certain classes (pop quizzes, attendance, etc.) I have worked my ass off this semester, and I am angry that it's going to go down the drain.
2. Because I am getting surgery, this means that there's a chance I can't play rugby anymore. One nose surgery + playing rugby again + re-breaking my nose one more time = no insurance coverage on the next time it breaks. Plus.. 2 bad concussions within 18 months isn't a good thing. And everyone around me seems to be hinting that it's time to retire the sport that has actually helped to shape who I am today.
3. I want to be at home. I miss Em. When she dropped me off at the airport, I barely hugged her.. I thought we were going to be apart for 6 days, not for two and a half weeks. It's not that I can't live with out her (which.. I can't..) but it's just that I know she's at home with Sydney and my spot on the couch is empty, and I'd do anything to be at home with them. I know it's a lot to take care of everything by yourself, especially with Sydney being so weird lately.
4. I hate being sick. First of all, I hate being injured, but the next worst thing is being sick. And both at the same time? I can't even describe to you what the pressure in my head feels like. My nose feels like it's breaking every second. Not to mention, my sinuses are full of shit because they can't drain properly, I'm coughing and sneezing, which kills as well, and I'm just plain miserable. The entire day yesterday I sat in an easy chair, surrounded by my "supplies". My artillery consisted of: cough drops, nose spray, a sinus irrigation device, my pain medication, vicks vapor rub, a box of tissues, and chapstick. This is war.
5. My mom has two interesting neighbors. One is a woman who's husband constantly screams at her in some indistinguishable language. The other insists on listening to his music with the bass BLARING.. don't these people go to work during the day?
6. I am bored out of my freaking mind. I have played all of the Super Mario that I can handle, I have read two books in the last 4 days, and I've watched enough re-runs of Run's House and America's Next Top Model to last me for a lifetime.

Lucky for all of you, my ten minutes is up, and it's time to be happier, and remember that others are much worse off than I am right now. My teachers are being very helpful, a few of them are letting me write papers instead of take their exams, and all of them are working with me.

If you live in the DE/PA/MD/NJ area and feel like visiting, let me know. I'll be here until December 7th.

Love from Wilmy,
Kristen

Friday, November 23, 2007

Update on the Shnozz

Well, I have bad news and..well, bad news.

I need reconstructive surgery on my nose and septum.

The surgery is on Wednesday, and I have to stay in DE for atleast a week, because the follow up appointment is 7 days after that.

Which means I have to miss 2 weeks of class...

Which is bad news. I am going to be so behind, it's scary.

And... I'm worried this will hurt. I've NEVER had surgery before.

:-/

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

CROOKED!




OUCH!!







that's about it. i'm leaving for the airport to go home. i hurt.

love,
kristen

Monday, November 19, 2007

Give me the strength to carry on


August 05, Liam, Alli, Me


June 05, Me and Liam at my Graduation Party


Beautiful Family.. 11/12/05

"Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used to. Put no difference in your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effort, no trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, somewhere very near. Just around the corner. All is well."
- Henry Scott Holland



Liam James Kane 6/29/00 - 11/19/05



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Broken

Yesterday was our last game of the season, against Guilford College. We've never lost to them, and I was determined to keep it that way. At the end of the first half, the score was 10-0 us (which means we had scored 2 tries, worth 5 points each, and missed both of our conversion kicks, worth 2 points each) During the second half we were obviously extremely tired, and they scored one try, making it 10-5. With about 15 minutes left in the game, their biggest girl (and nastiest..) had a break away and right on the try line I went in to tackle her, and that's the last thing I remember.

The next thing I remember is staggering off the field, my hand to my face, and I could feel that my nose was completely sideways. As I was going off the field, Em was coming on and she took one look at me and the look on her face freaked me out so bad, she immediately made me lay down and hold very still. And after that, I just remember people talking to me as I drifted in and out, waiting for the ambulance.

So, unfortunately, I spent all evening in the Emergency Room, luckily I was given a good amount of morphine (yes, morphine!) I have a concussion and completely displaced, broken nose. Even worse- my nose is so swollen that it can't be fixed until the swelling goes down - so probably a week or so. So, I will have a broken nose for Thanksgiving... great :-)

Aside from the smashed nose and concussion, everything else is fine. I babysat for Vance and Macy yesterday, who were sooo excited to see me. I missed them too. I'll post pictures of them and of my face/nose as soon as I can. I'm pretty drugged up on excellent pain medication, so I've just been laying around and drifting in and out of sleep today. I fly home Tuesday morning, so you'll hear from me before then.

Love everywhere,
Me

Friday, November 16, 2007

Good Morning Baltimore

Last September, Em and I were hanging around on a Friday trying to figure out what to do with our evening. Our roommate Liz suggested we go see the movie Hairspray in the theater.. I was completely skeptical. I mean...Hairspray? I had no clue what it was about, all I knew about it was from the playbill that Liz had on her wall from when she saw it on Broadway. It sounded weird. Who names a show "Hairspray"? What could it even be about.. hair? Hair salons?

Well, I completely judged THAT show by the playbill. We saw it, and I LOVED IT! I was bouncing around in my seat the whole night. I loved the music, it was so "feel good" and the story itself was something that I wasn't expecting - it's basically about segregation in the 60's.

I forgot about the movie until yesterday we saw a commercial because it's coming out on DVD. If you didn't get a chance to see it in theaters, I highly recommend renting or buying it, it's definitely worth it. Good acting, good music, good story, plus, it takes place in Baltimore, MD! =)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A quick update

Monday night someone tried to break into our house. I was home by myself and at about 6, the power went out. Just as I began to think that it was strange, as the weather outside was fine... the power came back on. I went back to what I was doing, and 30 seconds later, it went out again. This time, for good. It was pitch black, and Sydney was at my side immediately. I decided to go check outside to see if our neighbors had lost power as well. Right as I opened up my door, the power came back on, and there was a man standing on the porch who turned away and jumped off the side of the porch and ran to the back of the house. I grabbed Sydney's collar and we ran to our neighbor's house and called 911. After calling two more times, the police finally showed up at MIDNIGHT. They didn't even write a report (mostly because he never entered the house or actually tampered with anything. He could have been trying to steal the two bikes on the porch). Either way, it was a long ordeal - and we later ended up spending from 3am-8am in the Emergency Room with our roommate Liz. (She's okay now).

After it happened, I felt fine - thankful that I was safe, but now, two days later, I just feel kind of unsafe/vulnerable. I find myself becoming more upset when Em has to leave for class in the afternoon and I am here by myself. Today I almost went with her to her design class! The experience also left me with another feeling - the family that lives next door to us is very cute. A mom & dad, and their 2 kids. They have a boy, Dylan, who is 4 and a baby girl, Abbey, who is 1. The family dynamic is SO reminiscent of the Kanes. I didn't realize it until I was hanging out with them, waiting for the police. Dylan is so proud of his little sister. "She took four steps today, because her legs are getting strong!" So cute...and Abbey, of course, is completely infatuated and obsessed with her older brother. It reminds me SO MUCH of Liam and Alli, and I didn't realize it until the next day. When I realized that, it actually sent me into a panic. This time of the year is always so hard for me. But more about that later.

So..lock your doors and windows and everyone stay safe.
Love.
Kristen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Money Made You Mean


Sorry for the awful quality, I had to scan this picture in, plus it was in bad shape to begin with. Either way, this is from my senior year, Field Hockey. I think it was our last home game, making it Senior Recognition Day.

My parents divorced when I was 14. It was the summer that I was going into high school.. everyone told me that it was for the best, and I know that to be the truth now. It was something that should have happened years before it did. But at the time, I was outraged. I didn't want to leave my house, the house that I basically grew up in. Even though it meant that Kelsey and I would get our own room, even if it meant that there would be less fighting all the time and that my mom would be happier.. I still didn't want it to happen. I am taking a class called Adolescent Development right now, and adolescents are pretty self centered in the early teenage years. Every thought they have is centered around themselves, and I definitely was no exception.

Six years later, things are different, but somewhat the same. My parents have been constants in my life in two different ways. My mom has been a constant support system, and my dad has been a constant let down. I still cannot count on him for anything, really. When my mom left him, she took us with her. After all of that drama ended, it was time to go to court for child support. My dad actually told her, "You took the kids with you, and their financial responsibility" What loving parent says that?

I am aware that things could be way worse. I feel as though I constantly have to step back and know that my situation could be a lot worse. I have a great mom who does everything that she can and works 2 jobs in order for Kelsey and I to be able to get a college education. I'm not ungrateful, and I wouldn't want anyone to mistake my anger for anything it's not. I know that I could be in a way worse situation, but I'm not. This is the situation to me, and to me, it makes me angry. Why am I going to spend Thanksgiving with my dad and his family, when I am more thankful for my mom and her family? I hate that it has to sound like that.. like the line is drawn and it's not a collective "family" anymore, it's sides. But that's the way it goes.

Enough, I feel somewhat better.
Love everywhere,
Kris

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Teen Leaders

As much as I have enjoyed my time off from leaders..not having to deal with any drama or responsibility, I really truly miss it. I miss making a difference, even if it was only for a weekend every couple of months. Down here, I want to make a difference but it's hard to get out there and find a way to. With leaders, it made it easy.. I was making a difference and hanging out with some of my best friends at the same time.
I took Em to her first rally last spring, and she loved it. She took this picture of our values group - we had the young ones with Mel. I think they were ending their 6th grade year. I miss values groups, vespers, early birds, morning meetings and songs. I can't imagine being on staff at PACAA, and not junior staff, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.
I just miss going to sleep at night knowing that I made a difference in someone's life.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Random Things

No photo today.. I'm updating from campus. For once I have a huge break in between classes because I finished an exam early.

I registered for classes for next semester. 18 hours.. interesting classes, though. MWF I have: Theories and Principles of Parenting, Families and Children- Global Perspective, Social Problems, and Relational Communication. TTh I have: Family Diversity and Child Observation/Assessment. This is guaranteed to be my hardest semester yet, but that's okay with me. I've been really lucky about my schedules so far. And for all you H**verites - it looks like I might (MIGHT) be making my way back to camp next summer... because I can use my job there as my internship..as long as our boss agrees. (which means technically, I could graduate a semester early, not that I plan on it though haha.)

To everyone who had an idea about Sydney who either let me know on my blog or elsewhere - Thank you! We're basically trying a combination of things.. including gates, re-crate training her while we are home, and some children's benadryl for when we have to be gone for longer than a few hours. (ex: rugby game on Sat.) I'll keep you updated.

Tomorrow should be really fun- After we get done classes, at 11, Em and I are driving to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, SC to spend some time with our friend, Katie Krize. After receiving devastating news last month about the progression of the cancer in her body, she is still fighting this thing tooth and nail. Currently she is receiving chemo as part of her treatment plan. Stop in and send her some love! www.caringbridge.org/sc/katiekrize

I guess that's enough random bits of information for today. I guess the only thing else I have to say is that I really want someone to come visit me. There is a ton to do/see in North Carolina, and in Greensboro... I promise it would be fun, plus we have a whole extra bedroom. :D

Think about it.
Love everywhere,
Kris

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rewind

I have a few pictures that I've been too lazy to upload from my memory card.. Halloween was really fun this year, I haven't had so much fun celebrating the holiday in a long time. Steph and Amy had a little halloween get together, and the rugby team also had a halloween smash, which was pretty fun. I think, though, my favorite part was just staying at home and handing out candy. There are so many kids in our neighborhood, they were so cute.



Em was Cupid, and I was a fairy.



Cupid in deep thought.



Me and Herman, our back line assistant coach.


So... let's talk dog.

Sydney. She's having issues...some sort of separation anxiety problem, we think. We've been crating her since we got her. Not for long periods of time, never longer than a few hours for while both of us are in class, or while we're at practice. I mean, she's only 1.5 yrs, she's still got some puppy in her. And that puppy in her makes her think it's fun to chew up a pillow or stuffed animal...I'm just not ready to let her have the run of the house while we're not here. A few weeks ago, she broke the mechanism on her crate that locks it. She pawed at it for so long that it broke.. so we bought her a new crate. The kind that's black wire, really strong, with two sort of dead bolt type locks. Well..the first time we left her in it, she "magically" got out... her crate looked untouched. So I'm not sure what happened, but the next day we tried again, and we used cable ties to lock the crate shut. When I got home from class, I ran upstairs and Syd was going NUTS in her crate. Then I saw the blood smeared on the walls next to where the lock is on her crate. Her paws were bloody, and her snout/nose was ALL TORN UP and bleeding. I let her out and was really upset because she is like my kid, I love her more than anything... So I called Em and when she got home, we took care of her.


The next day, we exercised her a lot before we had to go to class, in hopes that she'd just sleep for the two hours that I would be on campus. Unfortunately, she didn't sleep. When I got home, I found her... the bottom of the crate was torn to shreds, (its like 3/4 inch thick, plastic). Our carpet is kind of cheap, and she SHREDDED IT, she ripped it up, and it came up in long strips that lead right into the closet. The whole carpet in that room has to be replaced now. She bent the bottom wires of the crate up into a rainbow trying to get out. The crate is broken, and it only lasted for about 3 days. And let me tell you, it was over $100. So don't ever buy an "iCrate" from Petsmart. Or else it will look like this:


I'm at a complete loss.
Please help.
Love, Kristen.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Guilty-Funny

I saw this video awhile ago, and found it again tonight to show Em because it's pretty hilarious. I just feel so bad for the girl at the end.





I'll update soon about Syd. We've somewhat solved our problem, but nowhere near what we need to do. Maybe a trip to the vet is in order.

Love everywhere,
Kristen

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lucky.

When camp ended this summer, I reached into the little secret pocket at the top of my backpack, where I had stored my grandmother's engagement ring for 8 weeks, only to find the little pocket empty. Yes... the first ring that my grandfather gave to my grandmother when he proposed, that my grandmother gave to me on my graduation day, that she had specifically sized for my finger... was... gone... lost somewhere in the woods of northern New Jersey. I cried for awhile, but eventually the tears turned into just anger at myself for not just leaving the ring at home, in NC, in my jewelry box.

Yesterday while Em was at class, I was looking for something in our bedroom and came across the backpack that I used this summer at camp. I thought about the ring (which I usually think about every once in awhile, when my finger feels naked) and searched through that secret pocket one more time...nothing. Not even a hole that the ring could have fallen through.

Then it hit me. There is a special clip inside the front pocket of the bag, for clipping your keys or whatever else may be on a key ring. I pulled out the clip. There, gloriously attached, was a dirty rubberband, and the simple, silver, diamond chip ring. I have no recollection of putting the ring on that clip, but nonetheless, I haven't taken it off since. I think I must have lost weight or something, though, because it slides off way too easily now.

Em and I are having a major issue with Sydney, next time I post I will share it, with the hopes that one of you may have some sort of insight as to what we can do, because we are at the end of our rope.

Love everywhere,
Kris

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Baseball

I grew up with a baseball game constantly on in the background. Even when my sister and I somehow miraculously convinced our parents to have "Family Fun Night" (which usually ended in us playing a 3 hour game of monopoly, full of tears and yelling) there was a game on in the next room over, volume up to the max so my dad could "keep up on the score". When my parents divorced, it was us three girls without my dad constantly needing control of the television. I found myself in the basement late one night when I was about 15, and I was flipping through the channels. I was falling asleep, and stopped on ESPN - a baseball game - and the sounds of the game.. the cheering, the crack of the bat, the articulate announcers, put me right to sleep.

I've never really been into the whole Yankees/Boston duel that is forever ongoing. Whenever my dad was watching a game that wasn't the Orioles, I'd ask who he was rooting for, and his response was always, "the underdog". I'd nod in agreement, even before I really understood what it meant to be an underdog. That being said, whenever NY was playing Boston, my dad would be rooting for the Sox. I never saw them play, and never knew that much about them until I got to college and met Suzi Meconi, who is the most die hard Boston fan I have ever met in my life. She introduced me to Boston, not only as a team, but the foundation that they're built on. Their official charity is The Jimmy Fund, which has brought in over $400,000,000 towards Pediatric Cancer since it's original founding. The Jimmy Fund is in connection to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and their pediatric cancer center. The Red Sox- players, coaches, managers, and even team owners - are constantly involved in fundraisers and visiting the hospital in Boston to hang out with the kids. It's been widely stated that most of them do it in their own free time, and not when they're involved in publicity engagements. I think that's respectable.

Not to say that the Yankees don't support great causes.. or any other MLB team. It's just that this one seems special - the Jimmy Fund has been around for over 50 years. And also, this is not to say that the team who supports the best cause (or what happens to be my favorite cause) is the best baseball team.

I'm just saying, I wouldn't mind if the Boston Red Sox won the World Series (and at this moment, they're 1 inning away from clinching it!)

I'll post some pictures of the Halloween party tomorrow.
Love everywhere (including the Red Sox Nation..)
Kristen

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

AMAZING.

Thanks to Gill Looney for bringing this to my attention. This video is absolutely brilliant.. it deserves your 4 minutes and 23 seconds..

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Updates.

Hello All.

Just an update on some of the families that I read about every day.

Unfortunately, there's just not a lot of good news going around. If you remember the Loneliest Road campaign, of those 7 fathers, three of their children have received the worst possible news. Please keep these families in your hopes and prayers, that these children may be in the least amount of pain, and that they maintain stable disease as long as possible.

Grace Oughton

Grace relapsed awhile ago, but recently her prognosis became extremely poor. Her abdomen was described by her doctor as "a mess" and she has been sent home to hospice. Her parents wrote on her website, "If Grace is to die of cancer, we want her at our home, in our bed." This breaks my heart, this little girl is beautiful and has fought so hard. Her website is here: www.savegrace.com

Marissa Monroe

Marissa was NED, and on antibodies (3f8), however, she HAMA'd recently, and unfortunately, a few days later, her family learned that she had relapsed. With this relapse comes a new chemo regimen. This little girl has a lot of fight left in her, please keep her in your hearts. It seems that when relapse happens, the families hope and pray for an answer that will "buy time" until something new comes around that may save the life of their child. Marissa's website is here: Marissa

Jack Brown

This little boy is from England... he received his chemo and transplants in England, and then his family raised $350,000 to come to NY so that he could treat at MSKCC and receive the 3f8 antibodies. While he was here, he relapsed. He just flew home to England, as he has run out of options. In the words of Jack himself, "I just want to be at home." Jack's website: www.jackbrownappeal.org


The other Loneliest Road children are all undergoing treatment, and dealing with their own scans, tests, and chemo. All of them can be found at the Loneliest Road website.

One other bit of news - beautiful Lucas Tran gained his wings a few days ago. His father was a founding member of Band of Parents, a new group of parents who are willing to go to almost any measure to get their children the care that they need, that the government refuses to provide.
Lucas Tran

Lucas and his mommy. Visit his website here.


Finally, as always, please PLEASE keep Katie Krize in your hearts. I feel a really special connection with her, even though I have never met her. She is the very first child that I knew other than Liam who has NB. She was in a state of relapse while Liam was treated and passed away, and sadly she relapsed over a year ago.. I was devastated. Once again, Katie is at odds with this monster, but she fights each day and Em and I keep up on her very regularly. (She also sent me mail while I was at H**ver.. so that instantly made her one of my favorite people!!)
Katie Krize

Please visit her website, and leave her some LOVE!

Please keep all of these families in your thoughts, and remember that there are always struggles going on all around you, even ones you may not be aware of.
Love everywhere,
Kristen

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today is my half birthday.

CNN right now is showing live, the Dalai Lama speaking on Capitol Hill. It's the ceremony in which he is accepting the Congressional Gold Medal. He's struggling his way through the speech because he wants so badly to do it in English, but he's making great light of the situation, lightly joking as he struggles through words like "Pelosi" and "Personable" and "intolerable".. Kind of funny - He just thanked President Bush for his kind friendship, and Bush just giggled, his face turned red, and he smiled this ridiculous goofy smile - not looking the D.L. in the face, but looking out into the crowd. He then thanked "Madam Speaker" (haha) for her support of Tibet and for her excellent representative skils, and she smiled, and gave one long nod and said, "Thank you". I'm glad someone knows how to treat one of the smartest, hardest working individuals on the planet. Bush's reactions tend to be so rude sometimes.

Anyway! So last weekend was fall break, and it was FABULOUS! I didn't want it to end! It started out with driving to Richmond, VA on Thursday night, where we stopped to stay at a hotel - a first for us. We are usually "marathoners" - we drive the whole thing all the way through. But we decided to treat ourselves to a night at the Hampton Inn (thanks Mr. Galbraith!) which was really actually pretty fun, the bed was HUGE! The only negative part was that Syd was forbidden to come into the hotel haha, so we made her up a really comfy bed in the car, and put one of Em's sweatshirts on her to keep her warm. I was really worried about her all night, but as you can see from the picture, she had a great night!
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Friday we arrived into Wilmington and we drove to West Chester University in W.C., PA to pick up my sister/see her dorm, which was great! Friday night my mom took us to Red Lobster, which I haven't been to in years - it was great =) Saturday we went to the Mutter Museum in Philly, which is this great museum that is full of medical anomalies and is used to teach the human anatomy. There is this collection of skulls from around the world, so you can see the differences, and there's a TON of scary looking this submersed in jars (conjoined twins, babies born with ALL SORTS of disformities. (is that a word? because blogger is telling me it's not haha). Anyways, after the Mutter museum, we switched gears and met up with my dad (luckily, Kels was with us to help buffer the awkwardness) and he took us to Charcoal Pit for dinner. After dinner he dropped the three of us off, and we went to see a movie with my mom - The Heartbreak Kid .. it was really funny, as long as you're not one of those people who needs movies to be extremely realistic. It was definitely worth the money, lots of good laughs.

Sunday morning we left DE and headed to Philly to meet up with Em's best friend Lindsey. She took us to this great place for lunch, and I had an excellent tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad. Yum, then we went to the AIA bookshop, which had the coolest stuff ever. I need to go back there at some point because I already have a birthday present picked out for a certain someone :D It was great to see Lindsey, and her pooches (sorry again, about the accident in the apartment!!) but we had to get going because Em's family had a big dinner Sunday night. Em's parents recently returned from China, so we heard all about that and everything else that's been up. Mrs. Galbraith bought me this beautiful Love Ball from China - I guess the story is that the girls used to make them (they're beautiful, and very ornate) and give them to the boy, and if the boy wrote her a love note back, then they were to be engaged. Cute =)

Monday was another great day, minus the part when we went to the DMV and sat for over an hour. Monday afternoon BEAKER JEAN met us at Target, and her and I went to Starbucks for coffee and catch up... it was sooooo nice to see her. She came to dinner with us and Em's parents, and then afterwards we went back to Em's and played around with her brother's Wii. (Beaks was the best at golf.. let me just say ;-)

Tuesday morning we woke up, drove home, had a tiny mishap that set us back, and arrived home after 13 hours on the road. We saw this sunset coming into Greensboro, and the picture, of course, does it absolutely NO justice. Sorry that it's blurry, but it kind of shows how the sky looked like it was exploding red and orange!
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Enough for now.
Love everywhere,
Kristen Nicole

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Rainbows and Dancing..


Em and I saw this rainbow yesterday on Pisgah Church
Rd. I had to snap a picture, because it made me really
happy.

I haven't updated anything but pictures in awhile... so I thought I'd stop by and talk about something besides pictures =)

Em and I are coming home next weekend. It's fall break, and it seems that fall break in the past has been a sad time for me. My first fall break was the last time that I was honored to be in the presense of sweet Liam. We visited him at A. I DuPont hospital. He was walking, talking, and looking great. Last year for fall break I went home and went to Steenstock, which was fun, but just hard all around - for everyone I think. Hopefully, this fall break will be a little less depressing =) We plan on going to Wilmington first, for Friday and Saturday, then Sunday morning drive to Chatham and spend Sunday and Monday in NJ. We'll drive back Tuesday. If you're in the Wilmington/Northern NJ area and want to see us, then let us know!!

Katie Krize, a sweet neuroblastoma fighter from South Carolina, has recieved the worst news ... they are out of options for her. Basically, she is going to start a chemo regimen that hopefully won't knock down her platelets too badly, and that way she may be eligible for some sort of clinical trial that will buy her time. Katie is SUCH a cool girl. She's in 8th grade, and she sent Em and I sweet letters all summer! We sent her letters too, and meant to send her a H**ver tshirt, but we forgot at the end of the summer. We play Clemson in a few weeks, so we're thinking about maybe heading over to meet her and give her hugs in person that weekend. She has fought for EIGHT YEARS total. The only way I even found out about her was because her website was in the "Hope" section of Liam's website... she was in remission then. She relapsed a few months after Liam passed away... such a shame. This cancer is such a monster, and I will never stop doing whatever I can to help fight it.

On a happier note (and there usually has to be a happier note with my entries, sorry!!), if you haven't seen the disney movie Cars, then go rent/buy it!! It's brilliant, I love how clever the screenplay writers were. It's one of those movies that is hilarious for kids, but even more so for adults at times because it's so funny. Ex: Lightning McQueen: "Doc won three Piston Cups!" Tow-Mater, discretely: "He did what in his cup?"

I'll leave you with this video of my little cousins...Coulby and Emma. If you remember, I went on vacation with them after Christmas last year at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. It is totally worth watching!!!!


video

Love everywhere,
Kristen

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

1 year of happiness.


Big Dorks... in Florida at Em's Aunt Ginny's house,
playing with a really sweet blow up croc.


Today marks one year of Em and I dating - and I can honestly and happily report that we are just as happy as we were when we started dating :) This is a first for me- I've never made it an entire year dating someone. So cheers to us!

To love!
-Kristen

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just a picture for now.



I like this picture. The sign I'm writing says "Free Hugs"...

I think the human body is one of the most beautiful things in the universe.

Monday, September 17, 2007

There Is Love...

Weddings are amazing. This weekend was absolutely fantastic. It was so beautiful, the entire wedding and everything about it. I'll post some pictures, and try not to go overboard ;-)


Getting ready! Me, Parker, Allegra, Alycia,
Kim, and Jaden the flower girl.


In the boathouse, 10 minutes til Aisle Walk!


Suzi with bridesmaids and Geoffrey, her
man of honor =)


Speech at the reception =)


Me and Elliott.. I love this man =)


Dancin' the night away

Em's artistic skills at work!

The night ended with fireworks that were
setoff over the lake... and then I got hit by
an explodingbox of fireworks, but I'm okay
because I'm tough :D

Since I was in the wedding, I don't really have many pictures of the actual ceremony, but you can trust me when I say that it was absolutely gorgeous... we were right on the lake! These pictures I took while on the ferry from Burlington to Port Kent:


And that's about it for now... let me know what you think :)


Love, crying at weddings, awesome bridesmaids gifts, seeing Sydney for the first time in 4 days, and watching 2 of your best friends say "I do"...
Kristen








Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I thought for awhile about what I wanted to post today. And then I remembered a paper that I wrote my freshman year of college, in English 101...

[I deleted out the boring parts, about what we did that day when we got home from school...]


We thought we looked so cool, sitting in that cherry red convertible with the top down and the sun shining on our hair. We were only fourteen, with the exception of my twelve year old sister, Kelsey. We had gotten off school early and we all walked home together from the high school that was just around the block from our houses. Things were unusually quiet in our middle-class neighborhood, and we were looking for something to do. We decided to pose in my next door neighbor, and friend, Laura’s beautiful convertible for a few pictures. Amber sat in the driver’s seat, while Kelsey and I squeezed together in the passenger seat. Mariah climbed in behind Amber, and Laura sat behind Kelsey and I. We smiled in numerous poses, giddy to be in a convertible and having ourselves photographed. After the photo shoot, we started a game of touch football in my backyard. We played for hours, not thinking about anything except for passes, interceptions, and touch downs on our makeshift end-line. When the sun began to go down, we went our separate ways for dinner.
Famous photographer Ansel Adams once said, “A photograph is usually looked at, but seldom looked into.” Looking into this photograph, I realize now that there is a certain sadness in my eyes. Although the five of us are all smiling happily in the picture, it is obvious that something is not right. Or is that just my guilt talking? Is it that I want us to have been upset and unable to smile?
When I pick up that photograph from my picture box, I hold with one thumb over the bottom right corner. I cannot bear to look at the date, for it breaks my heart and fills it with guilt and sadness. However, when I do remove my thumb from overtop of the tiny orange numbers, a universally recognized date appears: 9/11/01.
I woke up that morning and walked with my friends to our high school. It was only my third day, and I was still trying to adjust to being in such a big school with so many students. I can clearly remember walking from my history class and hearing talk in the hallways about some sort of attack on New York City. When I reached keyboarding class, my teacher had already turned on the televisions. I walked into the computer lab and immediately noticed everyone gathered in front of the television. The first image that I remember of the September 11th attacks was of an African American woman on her cell phone screaming at the top of her lungs, blood running from her head. The camera then panned the horizon and the World Trade Center buildings came into view. Thick clouds of grey smoke poured from the steel buildings, and I read the bottom of the screen: “PLANES HIT WORLD TRADE CENTER”. Moments after I walked into the classroom, we watched on live television the first building crumble to the ground.
In the days after September 11th, I found myself immersed in the articles published in magazines and newspapers. I listened to more of the news broadcasts of what had happened. I was informed about the attacks on the Pentagon, and the plane that had crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I also learned the death toll and who was behind the terrorism. When I look back now, I can easily remember the pain and suffering that I felt in my heart for the months after the September 11th attacks. However, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at this photograph.
Four years later, I can barely look at the picture without my heart wrenching. I still cannot believe that at fourteen years old, I dismissed the fact that thousands of people had lost their lives in an awful display of terrorism. I played touch football with my friends that afternoon and smiled into the camera for silly pictures while people in the thousands were praying and sobbing at the sights on the TV. While my friends and I were having fun and glad that we had been awarded a half of day off school, the rest of the world was weeping.