Monthly Archives: May 2017

book cover preview

I looked back today and realized that I signed my first book contract on Dec 11, 2015. And last night I finally got a book front and back cover preview (manuscript is done). Check it out –

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It is really feeling real!


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learning to relax

The R word has NEVER been easy for me. I have never been good at meditating or doing yoga or other things that are supposed to make you relax. Thanks to a good friend, I recently found a way to *really* relax. Kava tea. Kava is a root found in the South Pacific Islands.  It is super bitter to drink, but it truly relaxes you. Here it is as prepared at Krave, a Kava Bar in Carrboro, NC.


While drinking this tea, I have learned to step away from my work computer and color. You Are Here has been a great way to start coloring. Jenny Lawson’s messages in her drawings are really relatable. Here are some of my drawings.

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At Carolina Friends School, middle schoolers spend the last 3 weeks of the school year studying a topic in depth each week. Our kiddos had 2 amazing experiences this week.

Samantha went on the Civil Rights Trip. Her group went to Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery, Atlanta and Greensboro. Here are some pics from her trip. She had a good time but heard stories that were some times hard to hear. I am proud that Carolina Friends School was the first integrated school in North Carolina where all are accepted and treated equally.

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Next up, Aidan. He headed back to the Smokies for a week of hiking and writing poetry. He did this trip last spring and had so much fun he wanted to do it again. Check out his pics. The mountains are so beautiful this time of year!


Next week Samantha will be doing the traveling play and will perform at 2 Friends Schools in DC. Aidan has an art exploratorium. The last week, Aidan will head to DC and Samantha is doing Forest Forts…. not exactly sure what that is, but I am sure it will be fun.

What my kiddos cannot appreciate is the fact that their peers in public school spent this same week taking End Of Grade tests. The learning that happened on these trips was so much more meaningful and will stay with them forever.

Happy to have my kiddos home for a bit. It was WAY too quiet here without them 🙂


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The things we leave behind

The Bloggess posted about a childhood memory of sitting in a giant turtle at the local library. She and her sister had both been looking for a replica of this turtle as adults (for their children, right?). This prompted a question for her readers  –

It made me wonder if everyone is like this.  If everyone has a thing they search for…something from childhood that they never got, or want to recapture.  A physical thing…like a book long out of print, or a toy a neighbor had that you always wanted, or a song that you knew but now you can’t remember, or a silk blanket that your grandmother had that you loved and that disappeared and you never found another blanket that comfortable or comforting again.

So here are some of my memories.

Disco Duck playing on a vinyl record on my light up stereo thing that was kind of like a Jukebox…..

Here is a picture. The lights pulsed with the beat of the music. Pure awesomeness.


The Belly Buster game.

Basically you strap on these inflatable bellies – one strap over your head, the other two for each arm. Then you slam into the other person. Good God this is such a 1980s game…. it sounds so stupid to write it out, but it was so much damn fun to slam into your sibling and bounce off of each other and fall down. I could not find a picture, but visualize blue straps and a pinkish/white belly with a picture of a bald headed dude on the belly. My Internet search history was quite suspect when I entered these search terms. I guess Belly Buster will have to live on only in my memory.

My Easy Bake Oven.


I was not supposed to use it in my bedroom…. but I did anyway when a friend was over for a sleepover. Come on, we were hungry. It cooked the tasty cakes right before our eyes… on my bedroom carpet. When I went to clean up, there was a perfect black circle where the oven had burnt a hole in my carpet. I tried to disguise it by offering to clean my room and kept a throw rug over the spot. Shockingly, I did get busted for my illegal cooking and I lost my Easy Bake privileges.

My Geraldine Ferraro biography.


My dad swears that UNC Chapel Hill corrupted my conservative Baptist upbringing, but if this book was on my reading list in 1985 I am thinking those liberal beliefs were deeply rooted in my brain despite living in rural North Carolina as a child.

Wow, now this was a fun blast from the past. Childhood memories that make me smile… thanks Jenny Lawson!


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Mother’s Day

Samantha and I started the day with a hike at Merritt’s Pasture.


Later on, we had a tasty brunch at Tandem and some hanging out time by the pool.

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So… I made it through this weekend. And I even managed to have some fun. Go me!

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channeling my inner Wonder Woman

This week has been hard. So busy with work and everything else related to being a mom. Today I asked Samantha to skip an informal soccer game/celebration tomorrow b/c I am working late… to which she said no. I asked Aidan to fold some laundry while I was getting Samantha from play rehearsal (this trip made 4hrs in the car for me today)…. he forgot. And Rahul is going to be gone again tomorrow night while I am working until 9pm in Southern Pines. I just lost it.

This time of year is always really busy with activities/life, and it is also the time of year that is the hardest for me.

So, I am channeling my inner Wonder Woman for this weekend. As a good friend said, my super power in mid May is being a warrior and carrying on. Wonder Woman is female for a reason folks.

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I ordered myself a very special Mother’s Day gift…. and it is jewelry folks. Here is my necklace in yellow gold. Mine will be silver.

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It is a symbol of adoption. The triangle represents each person in the adoption process – birth parent, adoptive parent, child… all connected with love. I have the tattoo as well.

Aidan’s guitar teacher posted on Facebook a picture of a memory that he has from his dad and asked others to do the same. This is what I shared. Jergens hand lotion always makes me think of my mom. Her hands were always so soft.


So, as we head into Mother’s Day weekend, I will color and try to be Wonder Woman for my family.


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the anticipation

For some reason I have been anticipating the anniversary of my mom’s death these days. And this weekend, I have been very tearful. I guess you never know how you will react to grief. I am trying to focus on the good things, but the sadness keeps creeping back in.

Rahul is out of town for an annual conference which is hard under regular circumstances, so I am trying to practice taking good care of me.

I failed at this in an epic way Sunday. Samantha spent the entire Saturday and Saturday night begging for her BFF to sleepover. She already had a sleepover after the weekday dance, and another sleepover at our house on Friday night, so I said no. But she was relentless. She and her friend were texting me up to 9pm begging. I finally caved and said I would pick her up after my church time Sunday morning. But by Sunday morning the pick up time had changed, which made me miss my regular church time.

Normal Kristan would have held strong to my “no” but I just did not have the energy to fight it. What I really wanted was for Samantha (who is 12, by the way) to be super thoughtful and put my feelings above her needs. I guess that is not a realistic expectation at this age.

I did get to go to church later, and it was just what I needed.

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And my blue birds have layed all of their eggs.


And I am coloring.

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I have a super busy week with work, sports, school play. Part of me just wants to blink and it be Monday of next week so this week will be behind me. But I have wise friends who have encouraged me to embrace the tears, let them come out…. they need to.

So wish me luck. May 13th is right around the corner.




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