Monthly Archives: August 2015

The fledge

Samantha and I have been watching the second brood of baby blue birds closely this time. I was determined to see them leave the nest. We missed it the first time this summer, which was devastating to me. I had no idea how much I needed to watch them this summer until the first brood was gone.

Last night was it…. Samantha started squealing as we were cleaning up the dinner dishes. I ran for my camera and sat outside watching the process. The first two, pictured below, left quickly but the mom kept coming back to the house, so I figured there was at least one more left. She coaxed and coaxed but they did not come out. We will keep watching.


Like a lot of things this summer, the timing of the little ones leaving the nest was significant. I have been struggling with how to find closure with my mom’s death and the secret move of our neighbors. I will have good days and bad days, but both were weighing heavily on my mind this weekend. With our neighbors, I need to come to terms with the fact that I will never know why they acted the way they did about Samantha and her quest to become a Catholic, and the judgment of our family’s beliefs. It is hard to think about knowing someone for 20 years and not knowing how they truly felt about you. Betrayal is the closest word that I can use to describe it. As for my mom, I know in my head that I could not have saved her. She had to want to be happy in order to be happy. Her life experiences made that impossible.

Rahul has tried to be supportive of my grieving process, but he is ready for the old Kristan to return. Whenever we have had problems in the past, there was a solution for the problem and we moved forward. Like my wise friend Courtney ever so gently reminded me last week…what I have been struggling with, in regards to our neighbor for almost a year, and 3 months with my mom’s death, there are no quick solutions. But like Rahul, I am ready to get back to being me. I think starting back to work next week will be a great help, but yesterday my blue bird family leaving us for the final time this summer told me it was time to move forward. I will never be able to fix either the situation with our neighbors or my mom’s mental illness, but I have to fight to be present and happy for my family otherwise I fear that I will become the sad and bitter person my mom was, or the angry and judgmental person our former neighbor is.

The rain stopped this morning, and so I went outside to spread my mom’s ashes around the stepping stone Samantha made for her memorial area. I hope she is proud how we are honoring her memory. My children becoming a part of our family made me believe in a higher power (there is simply no other explanation of how 2 amazing children in countries far away ended up with us). This summer has reaffirmed my belief in a God. He gave me the gift of my blue bird family to help me heal.

I will close with a quote from Lindsey Buckingham, as I want it to be my mantra this fall…

“You know I think all of us have some inner demons that we struggle with. We all have them, and there’s been times when we let them get the best of us probably as well. I think its just important to remember that no one falls into a simple set of labels, and its even more important, I think, to learn from your mistakes and to fight for the positive choice.”



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Happy, Happy Birthday

It is hard to believe, but Aidan is officially 12 years old today. Rahul took him guitar shopping earlier this month, and he got a NICE guitar to continue playing on…. we kept it in Rahul’s office until the official birthday, so Aidan sprinted downstairs this morning to get it.

I had a nice little bday gift box for him at school pick up…filled with all kinds of special treats (think Starbucks drink, cheddar pretzels, gum…. and a super sweet card from mom and dad 🙂 ).

Then a dinner celebration at Tyler’s with Aidan’s best buddy Sam.

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The celebrating will continue this weekend with a visit from the grandparents!

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Back to school!

Check out our 2 middle school students!


How is this possible when I still think of them like this…


Time flies…..


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middle school orientation

Samantha had middle school orientation this morning. We just did the first year of middle school last year with Aidan, so orientation was more for her than her parents. What blew me away this morning was the student panel of speakers who were there to answer questions that parents had. Their answers to tough questions were amazing.

The obvious question – what do you like most about middle school? I would have answered…NOTHING! Their answers included respect and freedom from teachers, small classes where even shy kids are celebrated, and the best response of all…. an environment where you can figure out who you want to be and no one will judge you for it. Wow, just wow.

I cannot wait to look through the elective choices with both kiddos later in the week. So many choices that will help them learn and grow. Can I go back to middle school at Carolina Friends School?
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Aidan’s friend party

Aidan asked to have his school advisee group and a few close friends over before school started for a b-day/back to school bash. Check out our visitor minutes before the party started.


He is a brown snake, so harmless, but not exactly the party favor we were looking for.

The boy and girl dynamics were interesting at the start of the party. Girls with girls, boys with boys. That is until they discovered the water guns and water buckets 🙂
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And, the token group pic.


Fun times for sure.  Now, back to school you kiddos!


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memorial area

Samantha and I have been thinking all summer about how to honor my mom. We wanted it to be something outside. She loved butterflies, birds and gardening, but I did not want to force it….if that makes sense. So we weeded and talked, and then the idea came to us. My mom was truly at peace swinging on our front porch swing. Now, being able to look back, I think it was one of the few places she was able to truly relax and be happy. Building on this idea, Samantha and I decided to build a swing set area with some plants… oh and a solar powered butterfly so that we would always have one fluttering around this area. I added a blue bird house with fingers crossed that another family would want to move in. Mahonia are in both of the green planters. They can tolerate shade and deer, bloom, and stay green year round.

Check out our progress.


The final steps? We are making concrete stepping stones to honor Nana and spreading her ashes here. With every step in this process, I am feeling more closure. And the fact that 2 blue bird families have moved into our back yard this summer, the summer after my mom died, when there had been NONE since 1995 makes me believe in a higher power.


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the last 2 days

We have had a blast at the beach this week. Yesterday we walked to Jeanett’s Pier in the morning, introduced the kids to the & Eleven Slushie, dinner at the Tale of the Whale, then back to Jockey’s Ridge for more kite flying. Check out our family selfie 🙂


Today we went back to Jeanett’s Pier for family fishing lessons. They provide instruction, bait, etc all for $15. It was a slow fishing day (Of course, right? Our family was there). But Rahul had the whole pier excited when he caught a giant sting ray. Our instructor anticipated 70-80lbs. Rahul held on trying to reel it in up and down the pier with everyone watching, then it just sat on the bottom of the ocean to wait him out. Our instructor said he would sit there all day…sigh, so he cut the line. But what excitement. I caught the world’s smallest sea bass and the kids each caught a fish, and we all had fun on the pier. Such a different experience than Johnny Mercer’s!

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After some go kart racing and a nice beach nap, we headed out to the beach for one final afternoon of fun. What a great week of family fun!

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