(*I first wrote this years ago, but updated it today)

It was never about the pizza. But I want you to know I burned it.

But you couldn’t tell. It was just always there.

Like my body.

I don’t know when the first time I realized I didn’t like my body was, I think it was always just there.

I realized in fourth grade that my mom wore a smaller jeans size than me. Which was hard for me to understand because my Mom always seemed to be working on her body. She was, even then, tiny and petite.

I have always favored my Dad’s side, the German Irish side- with thick thighs, and broader frame. Even at my thinnest I am always much bigger than my sisters, and my Mom.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I started falling into comparing myself in early elementary. I compared myself to my siblings, and then my classmates. From my looks- I was always too pale, too blonde. I wasn’t fast, or athletic. I didn’t feel I measured up, and couldn’t keep up.

I started skipping meals in middle school.

It seemed easier to skip meals. Because even back then I had become so aware of how to diet. To cut back, rather than deal with big feelings.

I carried those “feelings” around for years after that. I was an insecure friend. I was a clingy girlfriend. These qualities were not endearing. When someone broke up with me I would always blame the way I looked…not even registering it was because I was bat shit insecure. My parents sent me to counseling, but when I was there I never talked about my anxiety, my body issues. I talked about surface stuff, I didn’t want the counselor to not like me.

I was ashamed of that part of me. Of my body.

And then I tasted a reprieve. My senior year. The year I traveled full time in ministry. Both years I was free from any sort of body issue. And I can give you one reason.


I always knew Jesus but I kept him on the side lines of that part of my life. It wasn’t until I chose Him the second time that I started loving myself. I look back on those years with gratitude. Because I was free.

My husband and I were friends for over a year before we started dating. He knew me, and my issues. And he still pursued me anyway. I showed him my crazy, and he still showed up at my door…again, and again, and again. The man has got to be a Saint. Because no one, no one, has ever loved me so much in my life. So I kept it hidden, all the burnt parts, all the bad angles because of him, and because of my desire to not let it rule our marriage.

I have failed many times in this.

Because of my own childhood- I have also hidden these thoughts from my kids for years. It has been my greatest gift to them, besides sharing my faith. I didn’t want them to have to carry in them what has been burned under the surface in me for too long.

And I have had great successes with it. I have been successful in doing things the right way, being healthy the best way. And I shared it. And I taught it. But it was still there, just simmering. Even at my best I would hear “But you could be better. You could run that marathon and not get injured.” And I would compare…with my sisters, with my colleagues, with my friends. Because that is what I knew. That is who I was.

And suddenly everything changed. My body became something I didn’t recognize. The burnt places became visible as my symptoms became something I couldn’t hide.


The worst part is that no matter how hard I tried to get the burnt smell out, tried to fight the symptoms…fatigue, losing my hair, weight gain, confusion, loss of energy, anxiety, body aches, swelling, the severe anemia and…LOSS OF ME! It never left. And I LOST ME!(do you hear me scream that?) I was losing me. I went from being a friend people liked to work out with, to someone they used to see at the gym. I have mourned who I used to be. I’ve mourned the people I used to be close to, especially those who I thought would always be there. I’ve mourned the old me. Even if I had to hide the burnt pieces. Because I still saw my hard work. Because I still recognized myself.

Now all I saw was closed doors. And a body that had betrayed me.

For years I had read the Gospel of Mark 5:24-35,

25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but instead had become worse— 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His [a]cloak. 28 For she had been saying to herself, “If I just touch His garments, I will [b]get well.” 29 And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her (A)disease. 30 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that (B)power from Him had gone out, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, (C)your faith has [c]made you well; (D)go in peace and be cured of your disease.”

That was me. Because hemorrhaging was the biggest symptom I had. I had lived through this for eight years. Only I didn’t tell my doctors everything because I thought every woman went through what I was going through, with this level of intensity. I know that’s not true now.  I let it go on year after year, not realizing it was just getting worse. I had one small surgery. It helped for a month. I went to countless prayer services. I got prayed over.

… eight. years. of. this.

But even through all of it, I’ve kept begging God to heal me. I’ve kept searching for answers. And I did things. I got a different job. I rested not just because I was exhausted, but because I needed restorative sleep. And I got another BIG surgery, and this time with the help of divine intervention I found physical healing.

I began to just pray and ask God to just be with me and He has. Because I didn’t have a lot of prayer left in me- but those words I could say…on repeat.

In the years of my life He has shown up.

In my children’s hearts. In their prayers. In who they are.

Suddenly there it was. All of it. The truth. The big huge truth.

I realized that something in my heart needed to change.

And that’s when shit got real. That’s why I need to get real with you.

I realized that for as long as I could remember it was never about my Body.

But I want you to know I had made everything about it.

I had made my relationship with my body and self worth, more important that my relationship with my God.

It has consumed me. I was chained to it. I have been chained to it.

And it started so much longer than 8 years ago. It started when I was ten years old.

And the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Actually it didn’t. It hit me like traveling with 93 high schoolers, on a charter bus. Which I did a few years ago.  And when it hit me…when it came to me, the chains that broke off were incredible. And I did something.

I laughed. I laughed so hard I cried. I laughed so hard my ribs hurt. I laughed like I hadn’t laughed since I was a little girl.

And suddenly, I loved my strong broken body.

In the middle of Disneyland, I put my swollen ankles over a bench and I laughed with my friends Lisa and Luba, and may have also peed my pants a little too because I hadn’t had bladder surgery yet and it was still totally worth it.

Because I was free.

Because for the first time in as long as I could remember it wasn’t about my body…it was about God.

It was about His Promise. His Grace. And His Joy.

And I am so happy.

Not because it’s all better. But because I was free.

I was finally free.

It was never about the pizza. But I want you to know I burned it.

I allowed those constant thoughts and comparisons to burn through and within my soul for years, and even if no one else could see them. They were there. And they stole my freedom.

So now what?

I’m letting God be my God. Nothing else. And I’m entrusting him with my body. My strong broken body. My health. My freedom. My marriage. Our beautiful family.

And I can give you one reason.


I often share the quote “we are only as sick as our secrets…” so putting this out there, and sharing this real-charred part of me puts to light a heaviness I’ve carried too closely. But I don’t want it to be a secret anymore, because I don’t want to allow it to make me sick anymore. And I want to keep choosing this freedom, even if I don’t know what’s next…

But I do know God is good.

Which is something I’ve had to cling to time and again. This didn’t just go away. That moment in Disneyland was great but mountaintop experiences don’t provide long term healing. It was just a special moment. With two amazing friends.  It wasn’t like I went and laughed and I was cured. Instead I recommitted to not being a slave anymore. And believe me, it’s hard.

And not

And now, my Amazing Grace is 12. Friends have began the constant body talk. Weight sizes. Numbers. Negative talk. Stuff that’s banned in our house. Stuff I do not allow. All of it. And fellow parents you’ve gotta stop- now. Stop them. Stop yourself.

Because You are creating an endless cycle and obsession. You are creating a prisoner to their body. They will have enough things to battle in their lives but as a 42 year old who is sick and tired of obsessing, stop with the body talk. Stop with the weight talk. Stop with the talk period. Just love your kids.

You can start by teaching them by example, teach them healthy habits, and love yourself.



Teach them Joy.

Teach them freedom.

It was never about the pizza. But I still burned it.

I still have to choose to not be prisoner every day. And it’s still a battle. A battle for freedom. Every damn day. A battle for my daughter. A battle for my future daughter in law’s, because people better not be messing with their heads. And a battle for Me.

But I’m still here. And God is still Good. 

And my relationship with Him is more important than making you comfortable. Than making me comfortable. It’s about reaching out to him and knowing He’s there and trusting He’s there.

It’s about freedom.

ps. This also extends to sons. We’ve dealt with this with all our three sons but for the purpose of this post, I didn’t change the wording. I will write one for them as well. Just don’t talk about weight and bodies. Just be healthy and use moderation. In the smart words of the ever intelligent Spongebob “Don’t be Jerk, It’s Christmas.” It’s not Christmas but the song is catchy.

When Jonah was 5 he did soccer.

Well, actually whenever they started to run after the ball, he would just start running…off the field, through football practices, just running. I would have Daniel in a front pack and be chasing after him.

Recently this whole growing up thing has me frantically running after him. I can’t keep up with technology, in fact I hate all the pressure/unnecessary it brings, and I don’t understand why something being lit is cool. How do I explain to him how much the stuff he has to deal with today scares me?

These days loving him now is making hard decisions in parenting and setting limits, while still letting him grow into his own person. Trying to balance it all is hard.

Because(to me), he’s still this guy. He’s still my wide eyed beautiful light who looks at everything with fresh innocent eyes.

I’m still very much that 22 year old girl holding the the newborn- best thing that ever happened to me tight to my chest promising to never let go. To always protect him.

I’m still that 24year old that sat next to him shrieking on a curb outside a restaurant during one of his toddler meltdowns while he was in time out, saying over and over “I’ll just wait until you’re ready to be calm. I’ll just wait right here.”

I’m still the 26 old who sat on the floor of his bedroom as he and his little brother raced match box cars across the floor and had to tell him his little sister wasn’t in my tummy anymore, and that she’d gone to heaven..”But out of all the little boys and girls in all the world, how were Mommy and Daddy so blessed to have a Jonah, and a Daniel, and now a Mary in heaven.”

I’m still the 28 year old who sat next to him, trying to keep up, during his Toy Story obsession. And then through his Star Wars obsession. Then his Pokémon obsession. Then his Star Wars obsession. TheN his bey blade obsession. Then his Star Wars obsession. Then his Harry Potter obsession. And then his Star Wars obsession. Then his Mariner’s Obsession. “That’s amazing buddy. Yep I was listening the whole time.” I’ve loved every minute.

Gosh, how do I explain to him, that even though He has the whole world in front of him…he’s still my world? He may be growing up. But I’m still Me.

So I stand by. I wait for those moments when my tall lanky boy puts his arms around me, and I know I’m enough for him. And I pray protection over him. And I pray for his relationships, his choices, and his Faith. I pray He never
loses sight of how much that can and will guide his life. I pray that for all my kids. On the good days , and the hard days.

And I love him. I love him so much.

I won’t ever catch up with time. I can’t run fast enough. But I will trust God. And Jonah knows that no matter what happens, he is loved. He is so very loved. No matter how far He may run away. God will be right there waiting. And so will I. The whole time.

To God be the Glory. k

The last four years have been hard. My health went from being optimal to slowing creeping and spiraling down to a place I don’t know. A person I don’t often recognize. Last month I was so hopeful my surgery would reap answers, and I did get a good one- I’m cancer free, but a whole new door became opened. Another surgery looms, and most of my questions are still there. 

Every morning when I wake up I tell myself “today…today I will be able to be me again, today I will be able to run and have energy again,” and not feel like my body has betrayed me. I haven’t written much about this, and I haven’t wanted to share much because I am someone who is hopeful…every closed door, every month where things haven’t improved have left me feeling hopeless and discouraged. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much this has effected my family. 

This morning I looked over the vastness of Crater Lake, probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and I thought about how a huge mountain erupted into the ground creating something different, something so beautiful you can’t look away. Maybe that’s what God is doing to me, maybe he’s taking every pretense, every confidence and creating a hole in me that only he can fill. 


Today I am working on focusing on the good. But I feel that in order to be real, I have to focus on the deep crevices too. Because right now…that’s where I am. This is where I am. 

Looking at Crater Lake made me feel Hope, maybe not in my health, but Hope in the Glory of God. 

Maybe hope can bloom in me again.  In the right now.

*i had to hike up a hill to write this as I have no wifi, and a deer ran right by me and Danny. I swear God and Nature are in cahoots. 

March 20, 2013.

On Sunday Jonah had a piano recital.  Which means he got a hair-cut.  So he sat in the chair in our kitchen as I draped the heavy black cape over him.  I give hair cuts to all the “men” in my house.  Micah is the easiest, because he loves getting his hair trimmed. Daniel is fine, though he gets a bit whiny.   And Jonah and Dyp are the hardest. I don’t know if it’s because they both have similarly coarse hair which grows every which way, and it gets uncomfortable and sometimes pull as I run the clippers,  or because they think it’s a good time to test my patience. Dyp being the only real man that lives here, has gotten better.  For a long time I refused to let him talk as I cut his hair.  I dreaded giving hair cuts, but it is so cost effective we can’t really afford not to. In fact after the first time I cut his hair, he went to work and the Sergeant told him he had to go and get a hair cut before he could hit the street(it looked THAT bad). I was mortified and refused to cut it again until I had watched enough You Tube Videos that I felt confident.  So, as reluctant as I was, and unskilled I cut all their hair.

Truth be told; I love the look of their freshly trimmed hair, and I love knowing that I did it. 

So, Jonah got a hair cut. Maybe he realized I needed a day of rest but he didn’t complain once.  In fact it was as if I was being paid to do this job, and he opened up to me.  I felt like a real live hair dresser, for about 5 minutes.  Jonah has never really confided in me.  He is very close to his Dad, so if he is ever going to tell me something I have to practically sit on him to get whatever is on his mind out. But he just started talking to me.  He confided in me about someone who is mean to him.  Earlier this school year we had a reaccuring bully issue.  Unfortunately I didn’t know about it until it had been happening for a couple of months. Jonah, had tried to deal with it on his own, was embarrased, and was hesistant to tell us. But one day it flooded out…that was how it was today. As the natural sunlight lit up our kitchen–He told me about how everytime we are around a certain person they are very mean to him and his brothers.  He said he really wants this person to like him.  I explained that if this person isn’t nice, they aren’t the kind of person we need in our lives.  But of course as with life, it’s not that simple. 

After I talked to him about this, and told him that I would personally moniter this situation the next time.  I thought about my own life, my own advice. Recently I had realized that I didn’t like someone, didn’t like being around them, was trying to “will” myself to like them, so that maybe they would be nicer to me.  Or atleast less offensive.  As a kid you’re told you need to be friends with every one…which is hard when the other person is a butt. And yes I know…even buttheads need love, but still. 

July 13, 2017 

All these years later, I still cut their hair. Over the years I’ve also cut my sister’s hair, my Spanish daughter’s hair, and some of my boys friend’s hair too. I’ve learned how to layer hair thanks to having a daughter. I’ve never been paid except for in Diet Dr Pepper. I’ve made mistakes and cut hair too short, and had a teenager not speak to me for the remainder of the night. I’ve shaved two of them bald in honor of people fighting cancer. And My husband has much more grey these days as I cut his hair, but these days I let him talk.
Now as each of my boys have grown I wait for the moments when the flood of words come out and they share their hearts with me. 

 Jonah and I have become very close in the last year, and I’m so thankful he has two parents he feels comfortable sharing things with. But sometimes it’s weeks or months until he shares the real stuff he’s going through. Sometimes I feel like I’m just talking and filling up the space. He now knows there are real monsters out there. He’s not naive, and sometimes I just want to move away from all of this because I see my beautiful boy has become hardened by real hurts and deep disappointments. He has a life and relationships I don’t always know about. He is close to us, and yet is growing into his own person. And He is in love(what?!). Sometimes I just want him to tell me his stuff, it doesn’t even have to be big stuff…I just want to feel a part of his life. 

Daniel will talk to me, especially right before bed, but prefers his Dad. His Dad has always been his person. I cling to the times he does open up to me. Sometimes his heart gets overwhelmed with gratitude or moved by his Faith and we both cry. His faith inspires me every day. He has been a rock to one of his closest friends who lost his Dad, he is the friend I always know will show up. And he has shown that time and again.  And yet, he is still very much a teenage boy. I think I will still need to call him when he’s 30 to remind him to pick up his socks. 

And Micah loves to tell me about every detail of school, sports game, and situation. He loves to tell me riddles and jokes, and all of his amazing stories. But when things have hurt him, or things are hard he buries those things deep down in his heart. I told him recently how if you don’t let your self feel things and if you cover them up too tight, you can poison your heart by letting them sit and not be settled. He came in later that night and told me all the times that he felt or was burying because he didn’t want to get sick. Gosh, I love that kid. Gosh, I don’t want him to grow up. 

As for the girl…

Grace wants to cut hair someday. Or be a singer. Or be a teacher. Or a nurse. Or a farmer. And be a Mom. And she will and can do all of those things. She likes to tell me everything, everyday, sometimes even twice. 

And Dyp said he doesn’t ever want anyone else to cut his hair. I should marry him. And make out with him. 

Today as I read back over these old unpublished drafts I was able to step back into the then and see clearly in the now. I often try not to look back…it makes my heart hurt, I loved them all at every age. I don’t long for them to grow up. But then I get to see how beautiful they are. I see what faithful friends they are. I see how well they love. I see how real they live. And I realized that even if I wasn’t their mom, I would want to be their friend. They are much coooler than I ever was…because they are already so good at knowing who they are. It took me 38 years to know that. And a lot of days, I’m still working on being okay with her. 

So, I’ll continue to cut their hair, as long as they’ll let me. These days my boys buy me Diet Dr. Peppers with their own money when they go on walks. And I tell them I’m here, and when my kids tell me their “stuff” I hold it tight. I listen. And I hold them tight, and love every hair on their heads. Even when it’s shaggy. Even when they are buttheads(which they usually aren’t)…but still. I love them. 
…to God be the glory. 


When we were first married it drove Dyp crazy when He’d ask me if I wanted to do something and my answer was “Sure.” He has always been someone who is good at knowing what he wants, knowing what’s important, standing by what’s right. I mean the guy drove 8 hours to take me to coffee once. 8 hours. 

I, on the other hand, spend way too much time being anxious about details, who I may be offending, or how many points/calories/sugar grams is in anything …or any number of my obsessions before I make a decision. 

So, maybe that’s why I would just say “Sure.” Because maybe, deep down inside I wasn’t quite sure how to make my decisions count. Even when I know what God has called me to, my fear of messing up has caused me to stall.  It’s the same reasons I replay hard conversations for days and weeks, and it’s also the same reason I avoid the hardest conversations. 


Because I’m afraid I’m not good enough.

Because I’m afraid I’ll fail. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll pee my pants. 

Because I’m afraid you won’t like me anymore. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll gain weight. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll embarrass my kids. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll embarrass your kids. 

Because I’m afraid I’m too young. 

Because I’m afraid I’m getting too old. 

Because I’m afraid of your answer.

Because I’m afraid of what will happen. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll get my heart hurt. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll hurt you. 

Because I’m afraid of the unknown. 

Because I’m afraid things won’t be the same. 

Because I’m afraid things will never change. 

Because I’m afraid of letting people down. 

Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure. 

Unsure. Afraid. Uncertain. Insecure. Hesitant. 

And don’t get me wrong sometimes the uncertainty is overcome by the spirit in me and I do say something. Or do something. Especially when it comes to my family…but if I do, it means this has grown big and huge, and I can’t just say “Sure,” and go a long with it. If I say something that means the truth has become too big to ignore. 

But I still have to battle with the much larger piece of me that struggles with the “Unsure”  whether it’s fear of throwing things away to advocating for myself. 

And that is a detriment to my family. To my children. 

Because of that I am so incredibly thankful for who my husband is. He says Yes when he means Yes. And he knows that the word No is invaluable. And when he says something he means it. When he believes something He lives it. 

His Words mean something, and His Actions always reflect that. That is a beautiful gift He has given each of our Children. Equally and unconditionally. 

When He went on his First Camino(Read my Last Post) it changed our lives. Actually the Camino didn’t change our lives, God did. God used the miles to carve new spaces in my husband’s heart, to whittle away places in him that had hardened and place new life, and faith, and hope in him. And now as he and Jonah have finished their Camino together, all 150 miles of it, I see the beauty of the time that has been carved out for them. This gift to be together, to walk along side each other, to pray with and for each other. 

One of the entries from my husband’s journal 6 years ago has given me so much solace, and hope over the days they’ve been gone…about the Camino, and about life. 

“Slow down. Take more breaks. Keep nourished. Split the long trips into two days. Pay attention to our bodies. A small rub will turn into a blister, and a blister can become misery. In other words, little problems can become big problems if Ignored. There are so many more…and all the lessons of the Camino are applicable to life, spiritual and otherwise.” -June 18, 2011

When I sent those words to him, He said they were still true. And that he still hates cobblestone. Only this time our Jonah got to learn the lessons along side of him. And Jonah hates it too(if you walk 150 miles on it, you will agree).

And I’ve learned some lessons too. The heavy things weighing my mind the last months(years) haven’t went away, instead I’ve had to look at them head on. Some of them I can’t change. But I have been able to look at the places in my life that I need to change. I need to stop being afraid. It’s not going to be easy…but I believe God is calling me to say Yes to Him, and even admitting the things I couldn’t write here. The hard real stuff. 

Things are being carved and exposed in me, life long things, and I feel exposed. But I’m not alone. I’m “sure” of that. 

Because of a Good God. 

Who gave me this Man. 

(Dyp after he finished the Camino 6 years ago. He did 25 push ups with his back pack on.) 

And He gave me this life. This beautiful hard, glorious messy life. 

I may be unsure about many things, but this is a life I say Yes to. Without any shadow of a doubt. It’s not perfect. There are trials and debts. But there are miracles and riches beyond compare. 

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Because God gave me them. 

Our Jonah and his Dad after they finished. This is one of my favorite pictures. In fact I cry every time I look at it. In two years He and Daniel will take this picture…in Five he and Micah will. And in seven years we will both take Grace.

Yes, Lord, to all of it. 

-to God be the Glory. -kristin ann 

Today, my husband and our oldest son Jonah walked 21 miles through Portugal heading towards Compestelo Spain. They are on the Camino De Santiago together- a trip we’ve been saving for for 6 years since my husband returned from journeying on it with our dear friend. They have already been gone 6 days. 

This year, our marriage has been tested and stretched farther than any other point in the 17 years since we said our vows. So many components of our life have been tested, and the stress and pressure from a broken world has threatened to hurt ours. 

Today, I found another note He left me. A note telling me He’s praying for me. Telling me loves me. I’ve found them in every part of the house…in drawers, in my favorite coffee mug, inside the flap of my kindle. I have loved them so much. 

This year, as a family we have had to deal with grief and loss of family, fear over health issues,  disappointment due to deep cutting rejections, and even financial stress of a big family, a big house, and the ever growing demands on us at work and school. It seems that whenever we felt we were finally able to breath, we had to start  running again to catch up. Our pace was never the same. That’s hard. 

Today, I missed my two guys so much my heart hurt. Up until now I have been so busy I didn’t have time to think how empty our house feels without Jonah’s long legs hanging over the couch. Or how much I miss the warm coffee I wake up to every morning because Dyp always gets it ready for me the night before.  These things seem so inconsequential…but they are so important. I miss my Jonah’s sweet laugh, and Dyp’s hugs. 

This year, and last year, and the year before that, being a police family sucks. No matter what we say or do, we spend most of our time in fear over safety, over the public’s never ending scrutiny. You think you hate bad cops? Try being a good one..they detest everything about shitty cops– it makes their job hell. But what’s even more is when good men and women are being attacked for doing their job, and hated when the media has depicted something without including all the crucial facts*. I don’t want to get into logistics or arguments because I will never win. I only know what we live through, and it has taken a big HUGE toll on my family. My husband will never win big awards. He’ll never be noticed for the lives he’s saved by the public. But I know. I see him. And I’m so proud of how hard he works in this community. That has been one of the biggest graces of him being gone…I don’t fear for him at work.  It’s so hard been hated for doing the right thing. 

Today, he has been praying. This whole trip He’s been praying constantly. When he did this walk six years ago,  it was a couple months after his friend was killed on duty. He prayed for their family nonstop. He prayed for the safety of all our officers. He prays for his enemies too. He prays for the people who hate him. He prays for the President and our Country. And He prays for Me. He prays so hard for me, and the kids. What a gift to have someone who loves me so much. 

This year, they are on the trip of a lifetime. And in writing this and putting these words to life as I cry I am finding a little bit of my voice again. My real. Something God has constantly told me to share. On the good days. On the real days. It’s come as you are here. 

Today, my Hero walked 21 miles with our son. We’ve been dating 21+ years. We’ve walked by each other’s side through the good and hard things. No matter how many miles a part we are…we’re in this. We trust God. And He’s got this. He’s got us. 

To God be the Glory. July 23. K 

*my husband is rarely on social media and doesn’t read the news. He doesn’t care what people think because he does his job, and serves people. He doesn’t care because He has had to look beyond the critics to see the purpose, and his purpose is to keep people safe. And then he comes home(the goal is to make it home safely every day). He discovered limiting those outlets is a gift to our family. Our kids however have suffered, they can’t seem to get away from it, and that’s been so very hard. But they know their Dad is a hero and they have been raised surrounded by his friends and coworkers who would do anything for them as well. And they adore their Dad because everything he does is to Glorify God and take care of us. I do care what people think, almost too much. I’m working on figuring out a balance. 

It was a bad day for both of us. 

The reasons were mostly inconsequential. 

Work was stressful. 

Middle school is stressful. 

Change is hard for both of us. 

He just ended a sports season and school is winding down. I was getting ready for another change up in health and schedule with many unknowns. All of these are mostly good things, but the changes and shifts are hard. 

We were both tired. 

Our kids are all too aware of the stresses we carry on our shoulders and our hearts. Even when we don’t share them. 

Parents are all too aware of the growing pains our kids are experiencing in their minds and their daily lives. Even when they don’t express them. 

But we both saw them. 

We saw each other. 

We have been living in a season of unknowns.  

We don’t know the answers, because the questions still linger in the air above us. 

We weren’t dealing as well as we should of. 

So, it was a bad day for both of us. 

Instead of speaking of the real stuff we are living with, we dwelled on the inconsequential. Both of us felt unheard. So hurtful words were spoken. Tears were shed. We were on our way somewhere and turned around and came home. 

Later. Hours later. After I had loaded some laundry, and the floors had been vacuumed he came to me and told me to look on my bed. I told him I would soon. 

But then I loaded the dishwasher. I swept the floors. I showered his sister, and tucked her in. Somewhere in that time he told me goodnight. And I hugged him. But I still had things to do. 

Later I went in my room, and washed my face and brushed my teeth and I saw a box on my pillow…

Dear Mom, 

Today was kinda rough on all of us. Especially on you. I made this list to hopefully cheer you up! 

Love, Daniel 

101 reasons why I love you 

Start each note with: I love you because…

I opened up the box to sheet after sheet of paper of reasons why he, my beautiful son, loves me. Even after the day we’d had, he found a way to tell me all the things…

As I read through the small carefully cut strips of paper I felt big tears fall down my cheeks. Some were tears of regret, why didn’t I just go look when he asked? Right then? Why do we always let our “day to day” stuff get in the way of the “what really matters” stuff? 

Some were the happy tears, I’m so happy I get to be his mom, on the good and the bad days. 

And some were tears of relief, that no matter how much goes on, no matter what the future holds…this is what he knows is true about him relationship with me, his mother. He knows that I love Him. 

After I read through each slip, and then I read them again…I wiped my eyes and went and kneeled next to his bed. I watched  his chest rise and fall with each breath and I thanked God for this child. 

This child who has taught me more about God than any other person. This child who challenges me and loves me even when I fall short as a parent. I hugged him as he slept, and prayed that he would  exhale out the long hard day, and inhale the grace of a God who has even more reasons that he loves us. Millions of reasons to love him. Boxes and boxes, and lists and lists. 

But sometimes we forget. 


Sometimes we just need to be reminded. The next morning I woke him up telling him  many of the reasons I loved him. And I told him it was one the of best gifts anyone has every given me. 

I’ve read the sheets of paper multiple times the last few days. It’s amazing how much  these little sentences have meant each time. I’ve read them over and over. Before my surgery. And now as I recover. And it’s been a good reminder that while I was busy trying to get it all right, they still saw Me. They see my love. They see the best parts of me. What I want them to always know. And to always remember. 

I need to focus more on that. On them. 

And I’ve realized I need to focus more on the things I am grateful for in my life. This little life so blessed by God on the beautiful days, and long days. They far outweigh the hard stuff. I need to write out them daily. I need to say them out loud. They don’t need to be boxed. But I need to remember them. So my kids know. So they remember too. 

I’ll start now. 

1. I am grateful for the box next to my bed, and the words it contains. 

2. And I am thankful for my Daniel…
to god be the glory. K 

A couple weeks ago I started a post and was almost done when some how it vanished. It was probably a good thing. I wrote it while sitting in my Mini Van(named Edgar Martinez, after the best Mariner’s Player ever) outside one of my kids baseball games sobbing my eyes out. 

I had, after a long week of work…taken my son to the wrong baseball field for his game, in the wrong jersey, and dropped him off taking his brother to a different field 20 minutes away for his game. “Stranded at the wrong field” (should be a country song)didn’t have his cell phone, and when he asked an adult for help was told “Go away kid.” Luckily I had a weird feeling, and called my good friend Gretchen who helped me, but also had to hear me swear a lot(sorry). “Stranded” was picked up by husband, who got him to his game just a little late. Everything worked out. 

But me? 

I couldn’t get passed it. I had failed. Again. If you’ve read my blog before failing is kind of a theme. 

But as the weeks have passed by and the season has began to wind down, and back up into play offs I’ve done some thinking. Especially when I’m driving kids to and from practice and games. And I’ve realized my year so far has been a lot like a Baseball Season. 

For as long as I remember Baseball has been my favorite sport to watch. I saw my First Mariner’s game in Third Grade. Years later, I remember in the 90’s sitting outside Church with my Mom listening to the Mariner’s Game from our Toyota Corolla(which would later be my first car). I still get goosebumps thinking about it and can hear Dave Niehaus’s voice and excitement during that 95 season. I think we missed half of Mass that night. 

So, when our boys took an interest in Baseball I was ecstatic. It has been an incredible journey in so many ways. They’ve had amazing seasons, and hard seasons. And baseball has broken our hearts more than once. Especially this year.

“Be a Hitter Baby” 

A fan from an opposing team this season yelled this frequently during our games when we played them. One of my least favorite terms is “be a hitter” and adding baby to it didn’t help. They’re 10. This isn’t Dirty Dancing. I could give you a million other things you can holler as a super fan. But I digress…

I want to be a hitter. I want to get parenting right every single time. I want to have a clean organized house. I want to drop my kids off at the right ball field. I want to do well at my job. I want to be a good wife. And really, I’ve been striking out. A lot. I’ve realized I’m swinging so hard all the time, but I’ve been striking out because the pace is too fast for me. The game has gotten too intense. The pressure has been too great. And it’s discouraging. So discouraging. And no one has put that on me. It’s just me. Trying to handle it all. 

I’ve had to force myself out of my head and the box, and ask for help. I’ve had to ask friends to help with rides, and tell people what I need. I’ve had to miss things(gulp), and try to give myself some grace…which is hard. I have a lot of deep seeded parenting rules for myself- don’t be late…don’t miss a game…don’t be the parent who complains all the time…don’t be the parent who yells “be a hitter baby”…always encourage…and don’t drop your kid off at the wrong field. 


One Two Three…Hits.

This year I’ve watched God do some amazing things. I’ve seen miracles happen. I’ve been woken up from a dead sleep with the word of God for me in my heart. I’ve become so dependent on prayer and His Grace this year. And He has been good. Even though some things have been very hard. I’ve watched all four of my kids grow and flourish, and they continue to inspire me. I’ve also watched them hurt…and work through hard, brave things. Now that I have teenagers, I can’t share their real here, but I can say I’m raising two of the most beautiful perseverant people I’ve ever met. Far braver than I ever was. Far braver than I am. I’ve watched them choose to do the right thing, the hard thing, at all costs. And sometimes it was because of their own mistakes. And we all learned together. These are good things. I am raising good people. I’m so blessed to be their Mom.

Starting Line Up. 

But I can say with all the flourishing my kids have done, this has been one of the loneliest years of my life. There have been some really hard things, things where I really needed reassurance, and I was on the bench. Don’t get me wrong…I have good beautiful friends. And God has brought good beautiful people into my life. But sometimes you just need to cry your eyes out, and have someone listen. Sometimes you need to share your real hard truth, and have someone not downplay it, but give you what you so desperately need…to know you aren’t crazy, know that they are there, and that it may not be okay…but they’ll stay either way. And I’ve become guarded because…some may not. I remember one night talking to a dear friend and trying to share what I was going through…and they kept bringing up their team, their season, their life. Of course I wanted to hear about them, in fact I usually do. But not once did they ask about me. Afterwards I just kept thinking…but I need you. I really really needed you. So there’s been some curve balls. And I’ve come to the realization that You can know and be so Very loved, but also be Lonely, and that’s ok.  And I’m not losing it…even if I just did in the parking lot. 

There will always be better teams. 

Those people that have it all together. They are the exception. My friend Renee. My friend Ashley. They are exceptional. We can’t compare. It took me forever to realize that. Now I can just appreciate their exceptionalness. 

And there will be those who will tell you they are busier, better, more everything  than you. And those people are lame. So don’t compare yourself to them either. 

And there’s the rest of us. The best of us. The people who look like  they’re always winning but are fighting their own real battles. Swinging and missing at their own real pitches. Social Media along with the Life we present can be deceiving. More than we ever want to admit. 

We need to win with Faith, and Lose with Grace. I’m learning that. 

There will always be those umps.

For me, it’s been doctors. Those who are smart but made the wrong calls for a long time…so long I stopped believing I’d ever get better. I’m still pretty nervous and not at all confident. But for every crummy call, there’s a good ump. There’s someone who will listen. Sometimes it just takes a while. Like three years. But big good things and happening, and I’ve got a new season coming up! And it’s gonna be good! And I just know the answers that continue to come will lead to me feeling better. We just need one ump, who is willing to make the good calls. And find a good team who is willing to tell you to keep going. Like my Mom. A few friends. And my family, especially my Husband- my biggest fan. 

Dig. Dig. Dig. 

I’m still learning but the old cliches are still true. 

Don’t give up.

 Don’t stop swinging. 

Keep yourself Guarded in Truth, and you can catch anything. 

Cheer for others. 

Be a good teammate. 

Be honest. 

Be brave. 

Don’t be afraid of trying something new. 


Be real. 

God bless Baseball. 

I’m grateful for every season. 

And pray. 

…to God be the Glory. K 

Good Friday. Tonight as we sat in our newly adopted parish I was struck by how I am always speechless on this day. How I inhale so much love and sacrifice, so much pain and a burden so great…a prophesy so ugly that I cannot find words. But tonight as the music switched from somber Latin, to songs I have heard since I was a young child–by people singing who have probably been old since I was young, to the up tempo of Spanish music…the thought crossed my mind “None of this fits together, every is mismatched…” and yet as I knelt beside the cross, with my daughter next to me…as I kissed the cross I realized that isn’t that the mystery of the Passion? None of it should have fit. An innocent Man, the son of God made Flesh. Persecuted and killed. Dying on a slab of a splintered tree for us. For you. For Me. 

And yet it comes together. Not because we are good. But because He is. And yes, it is hard, and our “thirst” for the perfect life, the perfect body, the perfect everything will never be quenched until we SEE and Recognize this Day. Until we SEE Him. Good Friday is important. So important…because the one who said I THIRST gave everything for us. None should fit and yet Today it all does. Because He did. 

Yesterday was International Day for Women and to be honest I had no idea about it. And then I saw about a million different notices of it mid-day. Is this a real thing? Is this a social media holiday? Seriously I cannot keep up.

Needless to say I celebrate being a woman everyday. I surround myself with strong amazing, beautiful world changers. And I gave birth to a girl who will move mountains. I raise my sons to respect women, and watch my husband do the same. My children are raised in a house where their Father loves their Mother relentlessly, on good and bad days.

But for years I had a deep seeded fear I was an inconvenience.

I can even remember going back to my childhood being afraid of asking for certain things because I didn’t want to be a burden.  I was always afraid that I asked too much. If I desired to be a part of something I would hear a voice in my head saying that I wasn’t good enough. If I struggled at something  I was worried it was because I wasn’t smart enough, and if I did well I always thought it was a fluke. This fear caused me to use my gifts sparingly, and create different(pretend) gifts that I thought people would like better.

I took the negative and made it my truth. I was desperate to be liked by other girls, and I would tear myself a part when I was left out. I could never keep up with the trends or changing moods. I was raised where we included people all the time,  where our little black and white TV was enough, and we gave to people who had less and loved more. I didn’t understand why that wasn’t popular. I still don’t.

As a teenager I constantly compared myself to others. I was merciless when it came to my body image. Looking back I realize I forgave toxic people too easy, and I tried too hard to please everyone. I felt huge amounts of guilt when good things happened to me.

When I was 17 I had a huge shift happen in my life…I began to prefer the safety of home with my parents and my little sisters. I began to write every day. I made and kept good friends. I met my future husband. I stayed with some nuns at an Aids hospice. And I fell madly in love with God.

Fast forward.

I became a wife.

And soon after became a mother. With Jonah. Then Daniel.

For years I fell into the whole trying to fit the mold of what a Mother/Woman should be. Suddenly I realized I hadn’t washed my hair in a week, hadn’t bought anything for myself in years, was still wearing maternity clothes, and the kid was two. I couldn’t balance and I did a lot of sacrificing…and it was enough for that time. I cherish those memories. Every one of them. But it was a hard season.

But then I lost my first daughter. Our beautiful Mary Therese.

(Pregnant with Mary Therese, and our little Daniel. I’ve never shared this picture before)

And suddenly it changed who I wanted to be as a Wife, and as a Mother.

She changed me. I began to use my gifts more freely. I wrote more. I cherished more. Through my grief I began to live more.

Then came our Micah.

Then came our Grace. Our amazing Grace Mary.

I made a vow when she was born she would never doubt her worth. That she would be told every single day what a gift she is. And that she would never ever think she was an inconvenience.

Grace knows she is strong. Not just because we’ve told her that, but because she’s proven it. Fighting for her health for the first five years of her life, and because of her Dad, who just like her brothers, has taught her to work hard everyday. He’s also been adamant that she knows the right way to do push ups, and requires her to do them. (Seriously, she could out push up any one.)

We work hard on teaching her how to voice her needs. We celebrate her when she sets limits and tell her it’s ok to trust her instincts and say no. No is an honorable word in our home. Being raised with brothers, she wasn’t used to girl drama until school so we’ve worked on it,  and continue to work through it. She’s not afraid to say sorry, and not too proud to say “I forgive you.” She still doesn’t understand why friends will be your friend one day, and be mad at you the next. She doesn’t like being left out. Like mother. Like daughter.

She is feisty and sensitive. She has to work hard at school and never ever stops trying. She is feminine and brave, and the most happy person I’ve ever met. She’s the kind of person I’ve always wanted to be more like…she’s the kind of person you want to be friends with. She’s magical. She knows she is worthy of great things.

I celebrate her everyday. 

It took me a long time to realize that good friends are worth the wait. I have friends who span each season of my life. They are women who are unique and beautiful souls. And their lives haven’t been easy. Their stories are so vastly different, and their real is different.

Everyday I celebrate them. I don’t need a hash tag for it.

My tribe is filled with women who have loved through the greatest of losses and still show up most when I need them. The women I love don’t tear each other down- we believe in each other completely. I celebrate My friends who have risen above addiction, adversity, and every sort of journey that has broken them–and still give this world their best shot. I celebrate my friends who get my quirky, crazy self and get me, and say hi to me in the grocery store when it’s clear I’m a)not wearing a bra. b) haven’t brushed my hair. c) am wearing my workout pants backwards. I celebrate the women who became my family when I married their brother and son- who love me completely. My sisters…who have taught me so much, and love me so much. I celebrate my Grandmother, the most faith filled person I’ve ever known. My Mom…who has and will always be my biggest cheerleader.

My daughter Mary, who is now with her Granni Great in Heaven. Who I know is just loving her so completely. Who I miss and love with my whole heart, and who continues to change me everyday.

And these two. The person I continue to find and remember, and the little girl I’ve been given. I don’t take a moment of her for granted. I used to hide my gifts but I’ve been working on fighting for them now. And I will always fight and pray for all women. Those who are slaves or are persecuted. Those who are abused. Those who live a life imprisoned by addiction and grief.

I will fight for all of us.  And it’s not with bold harsh words…it’s with truth and grace. It’s with a grateful heart. It’s with great big love. It’s with Faith lived. It’s by living my real, and giving glory to the one who made me who I am.

A woman…A daughter….a sister…a bride…a mother…a child of God. My own revolution of real.

I celebrate you…

You are worthy.

You are relentlessly loved.

I promise.