Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2021

What's Behind the Mask?

  I've lived in one or two neighborhoods where women set a pretty high bar for beauty and outward appearance. It's an unwritten, unspoken expectation that we need to look a certain way, or that the homes need to be "just so," or that the people in them need to be well dressed or well mannered or well... Well, they need to be practically perfect in every way. Well, I'm not a trophy wife. My husband works really hard at his job and I work really hard at home full time, but sometimes I intentionally dress like a hobo because I want to go against the grain.;) It takes a lot of courage to run around in Costco workout gear when surrounded by the latest in LuluLemon. I don't have fake eyelashes, I don't get my hair done every three months, I paint my own toenails, I shave my legs at least twice a week during the summer. ;) I don't have time or money for all that other stuff. Recently I'm realizing that the battle between Barbie and Raggedy Ann is unnecess

Word Nerd

  Over the years, some of the most thoughtful and lovely presents have been centered around words. One year Norm gave me this beautiful word cloud. Obviously that was when we were still in Utah and everybody called me Kristy. (For more details about why I switched to Kristina, you can read  One More Syllable  over here.) Another year, I tried to have a "virtual" birthday gathering by asking a bunch of friends to just drop a word to honor my hubby. I had over 40 replies from forty different friends, and it was so fun to get all the emails and then print them out. My presentation was severely lacking, but once again I'm more about content than polish. Here's what the wall looked like before the big reveal. Here's what was hidden behind the super fancy blanket that we taped to the wall. It might look like a mess, but some of the most thoughtful friends and co-workers sent in really thoughtful "words" to describe Norm. Here's a close up of Daddy reading

Between the Lines

  Writing a blog is kinda like inviting a bunch of strangers into my house. I'm not sure if you'll like it. My house might be smaller or bigger, messier or neater than the one you're from; I might hide all the piles of clutter really well or not. AND I've finally reached the conclusion that mine is fine. I like what I have, and that includes all the dusty blinds and so forth. You see, this is a people house. We live here, and make messes all the time. And we clean and repeat. We laugh sometimes, and cry sometimes. We say nice stuff and mean stuff. At the end of the day, this is where we belong. Because my family moved so.many.times when I was growing up, I've lived in LOTS of houses. And this is my favorite house that I've ever lived in. Not because it's bigger or better or anything like that. Because I like me  better than before. I've finally figured out how to be me and still balance all the other people; I'm 44.4 years old and finally brave enoug


  These four books are either written by or about some of my favorite authors of all time. Isaiah , Prophet, Seer and Poet, by Victor Ludlow. One semester during college we did a deep dive into this poet's literary works found in the Old Testament. Someday if I get bored, I want to learn Hebrew and read his stuff in the original language. Neal A Maxwell  is another favorite writer. My favorite book that he's written is called All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, and is a masterpiece on human suffering and why it's necessary in the refining process. Highly recommend. The first time I read through it, it took about a year because I could only digest about a paragraph a day. believe  is such a fantastic collection of quotes on hope. Love it. Eliza  The Life and Faith of Eliza R Snow, by Karen Lynn Davidson and Jill Mulvay Derr. I love this lady so much and she's my favorite poet and pioneer woman. This biography is beautifully written. My favorite poem or quote by

Picture Books for Kids and Adults

 These four books are beautifully illustrated. You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Clockwise from top left: The boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse , by Charlie Mackesy. My sister gave this book to me recently, and I love the cursive font, the characters, the beautiful artwork. And I love the mole. Let's eat cake. The Boy who Spoke to the Earth , by Chris Burkard and illustrated by David McClellan. I found this one at the giftshop at the Sundance ski resort. Once again, a great message with beautiful scenery. The Touch of the Master's Hand , written by Myra Brooks Welch and illustrated by Greg Newbold. I love this poem for a hundred reasons, and the pictures here make me happy. And the violin!   I Am Different Just Like You!  by Rebecca DalMolin, illustrated by Megan Speirs Mack with photography by Kathryn Mertz. This book resonates with me because I love my friends' children with Downs Syndrome. I bought this book (during covid) just for the beautiful p

Notes for a joyful Mother

 I love these four books. This wonky combination of fiction, nonfiction, notes from another mom, and correspondence may seem completely unrelated. (But at least the purple color scheme runs throughout.) Clockwise from top left: The Help  If you're a mom, you will need a lot of help. This fictional piece is set in the south and I just love Aibileen. "You is kind, you is smart, you is important." Paper , by mark Kurlansky. I haven't read this whole book yet, but I love paper. Enough said. Joyful Mother of Children  is a book I read years ago, and I still love it. This is the blog post from a while ago. Letters  by Marjorie Pay Hinckley. I loved reading this collection of correspondence from a woman I admire. Through the years of mothering and grandmothering, she wrote dozens of notes to the people she loved.

Tools for Moms

 These four books are great tools for moms to have. Clockwise from top left: Girlfriend!  A Fable for friends, by Carol Lynn Pearson. What I'm saying here is that every mom needs at least a handful of girlfriends in her village. This story is beautiful and simply written, love it. Have a Nice Conflict  is a fable that teaches you how to deal with people. Highly recommend. Codependent No More  by Melody Beattie. Lots of girls grow up thinking they need to fix other people's problems. My favorite line from this whole book is this: "Not my circus, not my monkeys." I've highlighted enough paragraphs throughout this book, so that every year it takes me about an hour to skim through the whole thing all over again. Good stuff here. Parenting with Love and Logic  has principles that are useful to me One of my favorite stories about Amber is over  here . Notice that it took me over 16 years of practicing these techniques, in order for a funny story like t

My Day with Kay

 In order to set the stage for this story, first you must understand the setting and the two central characters. Ephrata, my father-in-law and me. Ephrata is a train town, and the Grant county seat since it's been there the longest. It's not like Seattle and not like Spokane; the exact center of Washington state is dry and dusty and reminds me of Nevada with two key substitutions: delete the casinos and add in the farmland. Ever since they dammed the Columbia River, irrigation makes for great farmland. They grow apples and potatoes, asparagus and corn, pears and grapes. This is the setting where my husband was raised.  My father in law was raised in a large family in southeast Idaho, not too far from Idaho Falls, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. He's one of 13 children. There are some overarching results of his humble childhood.  A person must never waste food. A person must never overspend.  A humorous remark is worth its weight in gold. Once you understand these operating pro

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

  Today is Labor Day, so of course we grilled burgers and swam in the backyard with friends. In six more days, it will make TWENTY YEARS since September 11, 2001. For my friends who are new to TX, you need to check out: 1000 Texan Trail; Grapevine, TX 76051.  On 9.11 there are fresh flowers and wreaths around the plaza at the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial. American Airlines has a hub in DFW. Many of our friends are pilots and flight attendants, and many of our neighbors work for the airlines. One of the most memorable things I've ever done on September 11 is to visit the Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine. Taking my kids there has been a way for me to teach about the past. It helps them to connect to the greater community and share this collective grief as Americans. They are too young to understand what happened that day, but I've been moved to tears as I've talked with strangers in this setting.  One year an older gentleman approached me and said, "Thank you for bringing


A few days ago I went on the coolest field trip. My cousin and I did a family history tour. We explored the places that were important to his parents and my parents and our grandparents. I loved meeting some of the extended family that I'd seen before on zoom, and I loved being in the cemetery where my grandparents were buried. I have a new satisfaction from this physical connection. Being able to feel the summer sun and the dust on my feet, these are part of finding my roots. This journey actually began sixteen years ago. Rewind the clock and I was super pregnant with baby #2 when my dad's dad passed away. Of course I was too pregnant to travel, so I missed the services. Years went by, and the time finally came when I thought I'd go pay my respects to them in Colorado. I have good memories of my Grandma and Grandpa Bare living there when they were older. So of course it seemed natural to find the little cemetery by their house, where they'd be buried. I drove the eight