Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Big Gulp died

I affectionately call my car the Big Gulp. You might ask why? Because she is a giant, old tank who guzzles gas. Three summers ago, I almost traded her in because I had all of these mysterious problems that no one else could ever hear or diagnose. Literally the whole summer, I would get in the car not knowing if she was going to do her “jerk and shake.” For the highly anxious, this was not a good form of transportation. But, by the end of the summer we had the problem fixed (and it was not in my head), and life went back to normal with my Big Gulp. I did put a Bobble Head doll of Daenerys Targaryen (AKA, Khaleesi) on the dash that summer, and she protected me like one of her baby dragons until yesterday.

I turned left at the light on Smith Level Road and heard an awful noise. I could not accelerate, turn the steering wheel, or use the brakes. I immediately turned on my hazard lights and coasted to the side of the road and used my emergency brake to stop the car. Ironically, I stopped next to the mural of Dean Smith that was created after his death. I talked to Dean, told him all was good, and asked him to watch over me as I figured things out.

Here is my special Big Gulp. My 13 year old tank with 230,000 miles.

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I called Bob’s towing. I still had his card in my visor from that summer 3 years ago. But after calling and asking if it was extra to tow me to the Toyota dealership too, I called Rahul to tell him what was happening. Hello, getting into a tow truck with someone you do not know with no one knowing. That is straight up like the plot of ALL of my true crime podcasts. Girl goes missing, never to be seen again. I am clearly the least trusting person on this planet.

But Bob was super nice. We talked about all things Chatham Co, and all he asked for were some Girl Scout cookies in January.  I am happy to report that I made it to the dealership safely and no podcasts will need to be made about my disappearance or murder.

I waited all day to hear about the fate of the Big Gulp. Rahul said those awful words when we talked later – we need to come up with a number that is too great to spend to save her. Gulp. But, right around 5pm I heard back that the axle was broken and needs to be replaced. Totally doable. Whew.

Hoping to have my girl back before the end of the week, since Samantha and I are heading out of town this weekend for our mother / daughter special weekend together.

Cars… like a friend of mine shared…Cars are so annoyingly essential and annoying and expensive. So true.

For now, The Big Gulp will live on… with all of her quirks and character.

Kristan

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The 2016 version of Clark Griswold

So every Christmas, Rahul wants lots of lights on the outside of the house. Think National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-christmas-movies-32844508-1920-1080It is one of our favorite holiday movies. And this year, it came to life in our front yard.

Samantha and I headed to Target for some holiday gift shopping and found this…

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Laser motion lights… for the entire front of the house. I set it up, and like Clark, it did not work the first time. I took my hair dryer out to check the outlets, laughing a bit at myself. I was becoming Clark in the truest fashion.

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But the light show was so worth it.

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Let the Christmas celebrations begin!

 

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Thanksgiving 2016

What an amazing Thanksgiving. Rahul smoked a turkey on the Big Green Egg and good times were had with family. This year more than ever, I am so grateful for a healthy family. We have good friends experiencing serious sickness and death, which really helps put things into perspective. Never take anything for granted and always be grateful for what you have.

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Happy bday Smooch

Can you believe that our giant toddler is 4 years old today? We celebrated with some special chew toys from the Dollar Store (they only last a day folks), a walk in Briar Chapel, and some dinner steak bones.

Check out the happy birthday girl.

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She is 100% love, does not listen that well, but we love her unconditionally.

Hoping for many more crazy, fun years with the giant puppy!

Kristan

 

 

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my mom

It is strange how my mom pops back into my life. I always think about her, but there are days when she is more present than others. Like today.

I watched some old 8mm video footage my brother gave me of our mom’s teenage years. It made me happy to see her with a smile on her face riding horses, playing on the farm.

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But in watching all of the footage, I saw more of her life. So much more footage of her younger brother. The step-father teaching him how to swim, shoot a gun. My mom only in peripheral footage. Like she was an after thought, which is how she felt.

I always think about how her life would have been different if she had someone in her younger life who taught her that she was important, a person who could make a difference in the world. And I have had close friends say that maybe this is why I am doing what I do professionally. My experiences drove me to try to make a change in the lives of young girls. They do not have to end up like my mom. I can help change that.

And then 2 other things happened today. First, I went to Siler City to do my first middle school outreach meeting. I have never seen a group of 6th graders so excited. They soaked up every word I shared, were engaged and super happy to have me teach them during their enrichment period. I know I was meant to be with those girls today.

When Rahul came home, he had a condolence card from a friend from my mom’s high school expressing their sadness that she was no longer with us. Apparently her 50th reunion was in the planning phase and someone saw his name in the obituary and mailed it to him.

But the timing… like my birds… I believe are on purpose. I watched my mom happy, yet not really happy. But the same day got a card thanking her for being a great friend and helped a group of underprivileged girls learn how to be strong leaders. An important message for me…. I am heading in the right direction. If I can make one more girl confident enough to not feel  like an after thought, my life will have been worthwhile. I will keep fighting this fight, in my mom’s name.

Kristan

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How to help

Many Americans are trying to figure out how they help be the positive change our country needs. Here is one way #safetypin #iamsafe

Click here to read the full article around this campaign.

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I have also decided to make the AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) our holiday Honor Card charity. We pick a non profit and give gifts in honor of our close friends and family as a way to say thanks during the holiday season. This has been a great way to honor those close to us. It just feels like the right thing to do this year.

Kristan

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November 2016

I have not been able to stop thinking about our country and the direction we are heading, which feels so backwards. Both of my kids have friends who are openly gay. What will happen to them with this new administration? One of Samantha’s friends is already making plans to move in with relatives because her family is undocumented and will be leaving our country in January. How different would this girl’s life be if a different president were elected? There have already been sightings of radical conservative groups rallying in North Carolina. This all just makes my heart hurt.

As I wrote on Wednesday, I made my kids go to school. I felt very grateful that this day was the time they had their scheduled meeting for worship. I heard there were some great discussions from adults and students at this meeting. How amazing they had this forum to speak and process the events of Nov 8th.

On the way home from school, Aidan wanted to rip down a Trump sign on the side of the road. I used this as an opportunity to talk to him about breaking the cycle of hate, and the only way to do that is to hold Donald Trump “in the light” like Quakers do when they want to keep a person close to their heart. I think of it as the Quaker way of saying we are praying for you. We have to accept everyone, even those we disagree with. Aidan is not ready to do that now, but it is something to work towards.

Tonight I had my area meeting with troop leaders in Moore County. One of the leaders had posted the following statement from an organization called No Labels on social media, so I decided to share it and build on it as it relates to our work with girls.

For some of us this week was a time to celebrate. For some of us it was a time to cry. But for everyone, our future must be one of action.

 Though the election is over, America remains divided. We have the responsibility to start bringing us back together.

 So I have a small task for you. It has been said that “… it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

 I grew up a child of the Civil Rights movement, with a grandfather who marched and led in the 1950s. We wanted the same thing every American wants.

 An opportunity. To go to school. To work. To be full participants in the political process.

 No Labels will be working to ensure an inclusive process that includes input from citizens and leaders across the political spectrum. That is the only way to forge sustainable solutions and heal the wounds in this divided nation.

 But first, I ask you to join me in setting a new tone after this tough election. Let’s light that candle and remind ourselves that we are always Americans first.

 -Lisa Borders, No Labels Vice-Chair and President of the WNBA

I added the following…

As leaders of girls with Girl Scouts, we are charged with teaching Love. The next generation can break the cycle of Hate. After all, it is a part of the Girl Scout Law – “to make the world a better place.” Let’s be the positive role models our girls need us to be!

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I am trying so hard to be positive. I honestly do not know what else to do. I see people posting on social media comments with such hate and ask myself how that is going to make anything better. Wanting Trump to fail means we want our country to fail. Does anyone really want that?

I come back to my Lindsey Buckingham quote from My Little Demon… I have referenced this quote many times in my life, but it seems fitting here as well.

I think its 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.

So, I will keep fighting for that positive choice. Even when it is hard.

Kristan

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