blast from the past

We visited my brother this weekend and he passed along some old family photo albums. I have a bunch already, but these were from the time Kevin was born and right up until I turned 16. Check out some of these pics and the memories that go along with them.

The creepy Santa pic that all parents made children participate in. My poor brother.

IMG_6385

Me and my Raggedy Ann doll. I carried her lovingly by one of her feet so her face was always dragging the ground.

IMG_6390

Our Disney Vacation.  I cannot even begin to count how many times I have told the story of my brother bolting from the super long line at Space Mountain because he was too scared to ride it. And Goofy pulled Kevin’s tooth at the character breakfast.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 7.12.55 PM

And this gem. This is Elvis… the real Elvis at his last concert in North Carolina before he died. I can remember going to Dairy Queen with my mom and all of her friends who could fit in the sky blue VW bug on that terrible day in 1977. I was 4, so super confused about why all the grown ups were crying. I was just there for the ice cream… all you cat eat when Elvis dies.

IMG_6388

And me at age 16, complete with new Ray Bans and a UNC sweatshirt.

IMG_6386

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

plan for life near water

I am the happiest when I am near water. Folks who read this blog know that. I can make this happen for 2 weeks during the summer months, but other than that, I have been stuck.

Every few months I do a search on Realtor.com for a home like ours but next to a body of water and 15 minutes from Duke hospital and Carolina Friends School. Shockingly, I do not get very many matches.

Recently I tried to find an affordable lake house. But those words do not go together. And then it hit me. Why not visit the Lilly Pad once a month, complete with pontoon boat rental?

Remember our first trip to the Lilly Pad in June… totally found by accident. I learned to drive a boat, you can rent for just one night, and Smooch can come. And you get a boat rental discount when you rent the Lilly Pad.

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 6.26.38 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-06 at 6.26.46 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-06 at 6.27.16 PM

So this is my plan for regular water therapy. Anyone who wants to contribute to my water therapy plan, feel free to donate.

Water therapy is amazing… especially with a boat!

Kristan

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

the Father of ADHD

My first job out of undergrad was nothing less than life changing for sure.

I remember getting a flyer from one of my professors in my last semester about a position at the Duke ADHD program. It seemed like an interesting experience, and since I was considering graduate school, I thought it would be a good first job. Little did I know then that I would work there in various capacities from 1995-2004.

My first role was to provide the psychosocial interventions in the first longitudinal study of children with ADHD. Click here to learn more about this very important research.

I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, and this first job was no exception. Not only did I get some pretty amazing training, but I also made some lifelong friends. Oh, and it was at this job that I first met my hubby! I can remember when he came to interview for the position. We were friends for a few years after that first meeting, but he ended up at UNC for medical school after his stint at the ADHD program, and in 1999 we started dating. And then one of my own kiddos ended up with a diagnosis of ADHD. Because of my training and professional experiences, I was the perfect parent to get school accommodations and teach self advocacy skills.

Y’all everything does happen for a reason.

So why go back down memory lane? The director of the ADHD Program, also known as the Father of ADHD, passed away this week. Keith Conners was an exceptionally smart and amazing researcher and clinician. I feel so fortunate to have worked with him. Click here to read more about him.

What an honor to have worked in Keith Conners’ clinic and be a part of the first long term study of treatments for ADHD. So grateful for his contributions in the world of ADHD.

Kristan

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Camp Grandparents

The kids are at Camp Grandparents for 8 glorious days of fun filled activities. Yesterday was rainy, so they headed to a new indoor go kart track. I had to sign some pretty serious waivers and email my Driver’s License… oh and I forged Rahul’s signature because he had already left for work. Shhh, don’t tell the go kart police on me.

P Pops emailed me saying that Aidan was having a blast. He had completed 14 laps and was going back for 14 more.

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 7.10.10 PM

Samantha sent me the following text –

IMG_6332

And then she and Mema headed to the mall.

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 7.10.34 PM

I cannot think of a better way to describe our kiddos. One risk taker, one cautious shopper.

Camp Grandparents is always a hit. Every single year. I am feeling especially grateful for them this summer. Other than my brother, they are really the only family we have.

Kristan

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

making some changes

Fotolia_79298456_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg

I am not sure what it is about the summer months, but it is the time of year when I start thinking about ways we can save money. In the past I have tried some plans that have fizzled. Click here for one of the biggest fails. I lasted a week. Shopping at Wal-Mart does save you money, but it is NOT a fun experience.

This summer I am determined to make some changes… and stick to those changes. The first step was looking at our credit card statement. I could not believe how much we spend each month at the grocery store. Yes, we have a teenage boy who eats all the time, but we are spending over $2100/mo at the Harris Teeter. That is just ridiculous and shows how lazy I am with shopping. The HT is convenient but it is also the most expensive place to shop (other than the Fresh Market or places like that).

To address my hatred of the Wal-Mart – because after a head to head comparison of Wal-Mart vs Amazon Pantry, Wal-Mart is cheaper on almost all items – I decided to shop there with wireless ear buds to block out the parents screaming at their kids or other terrible things. The first time I went, I listened to my new favorite podcast…..

banner_1.jpg

I was in my own little bubble of inappropriate laughter, and it was not that bad.

I am also taking a more general savings approach this time around. Last time, I tried to calculate item by item and the savings. It was just a bit overwhelming. This time I am going to just add up grocery expenses on the credit card statements.

I have also been looking at other areas we spend money in excess. I am super guilty of spending money for exercise. I will not even post how much I spend to exercise each month. And my trainer has a new policy that you pay for sessions even if you go out of town, etc so I added up how much I would be spending for work outs that I would miss because of vacations and work commitments and decided I needed to make a change there as well.

I know what to do and need to motivate myself. HIIT workouts work for me. So I am going to try to work out at home for the summer.

5a5180_dc6bffc042fb4fe7a648d6f5f6a18680.png_srz_979_618_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz

So why the push to save money you ask? I want one of these views…. a lake view.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.21.40 PM.png

If we are smarter about how we spend money, we could have one of these views in our not so distant future. My heart is the happiest near water….so I am super motivated.

The plan – keep working full time, be smart about spending, use the extras for water views. I love this plan.

Kristan

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

my blue birds are back

My blue bird family left 3 weeks ago after Randy Rat Snake ate all of their babies. Wait, I just realized that I did not post about that. In early June, just when the babies were about to fledge, I noticed that there was no activity from the bird house. So I took down the house to check. Imagine my surprise when this is what came out of the house.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 8.43.57 PM

Now I know everyone has to eat, but my blue birds are special. Those who read this blog know why. But I am happy to report that my blue bird family is back and settling in their newly fortified house complete with pole and baffle. Oh, and I am sprinkling Snake Away around the perimeter of the pole…. just in case. My heart is happy when my blue birds are here.

DSC_4557

Fingers crossed their new home keeps them safe.

Kristan

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

beach fun

What a fun week at the beach. The weather was not 100% cooperative with all day, everyday at the beach but we found some other fun activities to keep us entertained.

IMG_6203IMG_6232

Grilled fish for dinner… twice. Shrimp and tuna steaks, then more shrimp and salmon steaks. And fresh Farmer’s Market vegetables. So tasty!

IMG_6198

Lots of coloring for me…. super relaxing.

IMG_6235

On Wednesday we headed to downtown Wilmington to check out the Museum of the Bizarre and the Serpentarium. Poor Aidan was not a fan of the museum, but he found an old Rubiks Cube to distract him from the scary stuff. Such a strange collection of things. And the snakes NEVER disappoint.

We head back home tomorrow, and I am anxious to see what the vegetables look like… if our blue birds have nested again… pick up Smooch and the kitties. Speaking of Smooch, we got this picture of her from Companion Camp. Hogging the dog pool as usual!

IMG_6278

We will only be home for a week before heading back out of town for the holiday weekend to camp at a new place for us – Hanging Rock. I do love summer!

Kristan

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized