Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Fog has Set In.

My worth is not in what I have. My worth is not in what I don't have.

I'm having to remind myself a lot of that these days. Sometimes I feel like I am caught in a movie. Watching the world unfold in slow motion. News clips play in my head...droning in the background of my everyday thoughts. The market is crashing. Homes are foreclosed on. Thousands of people losing jobs. It's as if I am just waiting my turn to become one of those statistics.

In actuality, I am.

I've blogged before about our housing situation. And for the most part, I think I have remained relatively calm and have tried to have a good perspective on the whole thing. I remind myself that we took the higher road. We didn't cheat the system. We didn't take out home equity loans and buy toys we couldn't afford. We are just a victim of circumstance. The details don't matter. What's happened has happened. And lately, I've been okay with it.

But yesterday, we got 4 letters in the mail. Count them 4. I opened 2. And I didn't even read them throughout because it made me physically sick to my stomach. It was basically a notice of our home being in default. I folded up the letter quickly and stuffed it back in the if tucking it away would make the problem go away. Then I put a happy face on and took my kids out to ice cream. When all I kept hearing in my head is what I failure I was. It was as if those words ripped apart my soul.

We worked so hard for what we had. I remember when we first bought our house in Las Vegas...we had a goal posted on our wall of what we needed to save to buy our first house. We ate every meal at home. We took every meal to work. We worked so hard. And we did it!!! When used that money and the profit from that house to buy our house in California...and now it is gone.

My worth is not in what I have. My worth is not in what I don't have.

So I turn off the news. I don't look at the newspaper. I don't want to be reminded of all the houses being foreclosed on. Because they are reporting about my life...and sometimes, that is too much to take in. That is how I feel on days like yesterday. And days like today.

Some days I feel as though God himself is trying to pierce through the noise of the crowd to get me to hear him. Sometimes all it takes is a whisper to remind me that stuff doesn't matter. And I feel okay. I feel good. But sometimes he needs to come through the clouds, wipe out the noise of the world by the sheer size of who he is, stand in front of me and yell in his booming, God voice, "STUFF DOESN'T MATTER". And when I hear that... When I allow my soul to digest that, I know that it doesn't matter. None of it does.

So why do I care? Why do I care about what people think of me? Why do I care about my credit rating? About living in a home that is so small, we do most of our "living" outside of it's walls. Why do I care? Cause I'm human and messed up and think that things matter. They don't. People do.

And I KNOW that there are a lot of people who have so much less than me. And are surely so much more grateful. They probably aren't up writing blogs with tears in their eyes feeling sorry for themselves. I want so much to be one of these people today and everyday. But the fog has set in on my heart...and tonight I am just waiting for it to clear.

My worth is not in what I have. My worth is not in what I don't have.

Friday, January 23, 2009

5 Years ago Today Part 3.

Today was the day. I was totally bumming because in preparation for a C-Section, you can't eat or drink ANYTHING (including water) from Midnight on. I felt like I was DYING of thirst. I remember staying in bed til' around 10 am. Waking up and watching Price is Right. (Don't ask.... Murder she Wrote was also one of my faves at the time. Apparently I was 68 when I gave birth.)

I digress...

Both sets of our parents came over in the morning and hung out for awhile. It was just all surreal. I was supposed to be at the hospital at 12 with a surgery at 2:30...

When we got to the hospital, we rode up in the elevator with a nurse that said, "Oh, are you the C-section scheduled for this afternoon? I hear you have a BIG BABY!" Wow. Apparently news travels fast.

There seemed to be some confusion, because I thought I had the surgery at 2:30, but really it was at 4:30. That 2 hour difference seemed like a lifetime to me.

I had my precious friends come to the hospital and hang out with me while I waited...Catherine, Celeste, Kathi, & April. They kept me entertained and laughing the entire time....until the room started spinning. Turns out I had an allergic reaction to the drug they were giving me to keep me from NAUSEA. In my case, it did the exact opposite. Oh it was bad.... The room went from noisy, happy, and fun to very quiet and serious in a matter of minutes. Then my friends all left to go in the waiting room while my mom, Curtis, and the nurse tried to keep me from fainting. Soon after that, they wheeled me into the Surgery Room.

Curtis had to wait outside while I got the Spinal Block. You know...where they stick the giant needle in your back to numb you up? Well, they didn't tell me to stay still, and being the NEEDLE FREAK that I am, I jumped when he put it in my back. The anesthesiologist grabbed me and said, "That could have paralyzed you. Please be still." REALLY? That might be something you should cover BEFORE the shot.

I sat on the bed, trying to breathe, trying to be still...looking at Curtis and my doctor standing in the hall staring at me. I felt so alone and scared. But the second time worked. After the shot, they laid me down and fastened my wrist down on the table. It sounds like torture, huh? I guess they don't want me reaching out and attacking the doctors while they have knives in their hands. Valid point.

Curtis came in along with the doctor. I knew we were getting close.

The C-section expereince is so BIZARRE. It sounds like a construction zone. I seriously wondered if they were using a chain saw on me at one point. My favorite part might have been when Doctor #2 got a phone call from his CAR DEALERSHIP and he TOOK THE CALL while operating on me. The nurse held his cell phone up to his ear and he talked. Yeah, I'm totally serious. And I'm thinking, "hey, this is my first kid and this is supposed to be magical and I'm listening to you discuss when you are going to pick up your car this afternoon." Sigh.

Oh wait...I forgot about my other favorite part... when Curtis leaned over and said "Your parts are laying out on the table." MY PARTS? Apparently they take out some organs in order to reach the baby. I didn't ask for much detail cause that made me want to throw up.

Then I heard "You are going to feel some pressure." To which Curtis described to me as Doctor #2 almost on top of the table using his elbow to push the baby up so they could pull her out. Yeah...these are the things they don't write about in books.

And then my doctor said, "OH MY GOSH....she's HUGE!" And Curtis just started laughing and crying and saying, "She's here...She's here...She's so big.... She's so beautiful." I will never forget the sound of his voice at the moment. It was so full of hope and joy and pride and love.

I didn't hear her cry for a few seconds, and I was so scared. It was such sweet relief to her her high-pitched scream, then I just wanted to see her. Please...let me see her. I've never wanted anything so bad in my entire life.

After they cleaned her off, they brought her over to me. I didn't know what to think. It almost didn't seem real. I couldn't hold her (hands are still strapped down.) I could only look at her. It was as if she wasn't really mine. But I knew I loved her. I knew I had never seen anything so perfect. So beautiful. So right.

When they took us back to the room, I must have counted her fingers and her toes a 100 times. I wanted to be sure she was as perfect as she seemed.

She was a perfect 9lbs. Not 10 1/2 like the doctor thought. But her head was quite large and after she was delivered, my doctor said, "Kristi, you made the right choice. There isn't anyway she would have made it through the birthing canal." To which the eloquent nurse responded, "Yeah, not with that bowling ball head." Wow. Again. First kid people. I need the magic fairy tale. much for that.

I guess it didn't matter what the nurses/doctors said or did. Haley was here. Perfectly healthy. She was beautiful and strong. Her presence had already started to heal the brokenness that I had been feeling. (As referenced to in Blog 1.) Our lives felt messy and confusing...but she made everything clear. This was now our new priority. Parenting. Loving. Being a family of 3. We were so excited. We knew how blessed we were. It was a beautiful day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hey Goggles....

Happppppy Anniversary...

Thank you for 9 years of laughs, love, and adventure.

I love you....


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

5 Years ago Today Part 2.

I had an appointment with my OBGYN scheduled for this day in case Haley did not arrive on her actual due date. I went in with great expectation, only to be told that I had not dilated at ALL, and the baby hadn't even dropped. My eyes filled up with tears and they started streaming down my face. It was like everything was happening in slow motion.

"How much longer?" I asked.

She said that if the baby wasn't here by next week, she would put me in the hospital and begin to induce me.

Pause. I started doing the math in my head. You see, we were moving in 2, count them 2 weeks back to California. 2 of my best friends had recently had C-Sections, and I started getting worried that if I too had a C-Section, I wouldn't be healthy enough to move (The recovery is a BEAR!).

Since I had earlier complications in the pregnancy, I had been seeing a perintologist every month. He recorded the baby's weight each visit. So I asked the doctor if we could get another ultrasound done, because at 8 months, she was already weighing in at 7.5 pounds. My doctor looked puzzled. "Hmmmm...." she said, as she went over to my paperwork. Her eyes got big and she said, "Yeah, we better do the ultrasound."

So - they sent me to get the ultrasound done. Before I left her office, I said "At what weight would you suggest doing an C-Section?" And she said "Anything over 9 pounds."

I lived in FEAR of the C-Section and I was hoping my intuition was wrong on this one.

So we checked into the Perintologist's office. I was with his assistant for about 15 minutes before the doctor came in. And about 5 minutes in she started asking if I had diabetes. "WHY?" I ask. "I was just wondering." Well, I know that with diabetes comes big babies....but I was certain I did not have diabetes. So I confidently replied no. 5 minutes later, she asked again. "Are you sure?" Okay... now I'm getting freaked out.

Enter the doctor. Who looks at the paperwork, does an ultrasound of his own, and then announces that I have a 10 1/2 pound baby inside me. WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT??????????????????????? How in the world is that possible? Then he said, "Ultrasounds are not always accurate...we could be off a pound either way. So she could be 9 1/2 pds. or 11 1/2 pounds."


So, he says, "We need to schedule a C-Section today." And just like that, I had no fear. The thought of pushing a 11 1/2 pound baby out suddenly made a C-Section sound as nice as an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii.

So he called my doctor and they made the arrangements for Friday the 23rd.

I was ecstatic. I called my parents. Curtis called his parents. And then practically everyone we knew.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lebanon, Mormons, MLK, OBAMA, My Man, & Purell.

My friend Gina (discomommy) writes posts that are her rambling thoughts. I think I might take a page from her playbook... I have so much on my mind and no way to put it into a nice little neat I'm going to just let it come out as it will...

Where to start...

I am tired. I have had a weird cold since Sunday. I sound like I have emphysema. I tried talking to two different people today at two different stores who looked at me like I was Alien. Haley keeps telling me to "cough"...but it doesn't make it any better. About every 32 minutes, it cycles to where I sound like I have been smoking 3 packs a day for 14 years. I think it's just this weird weather. We're going from 89 degrees to apparently 52 tomorrow.

What is the deal with that? It is so strange. And Haley's bday party is at a park on Saturday when it is supposed to be rainy and "wintery" again. So that could be sketchy.

Tonight, I had dinner with my friend Rachel in the LBC (that's for Dionne who appreciates my soul). We ate at a Lebanese restaurant called Open Sesame. It was delightful. She ordered some yummy salad. And I decided to order Baba Ghannouj. I asked the lady for the BABY Ghannouj. That was embarrasing. It was described as: Fire roasted eggplant, delicately mixed with garlic, lemon juice and tahini sauce. I was picturing a slice of eggplant with all the other stuff on top. But no. It was a hummus. Very good. Just not what I was expecting. I looked at Rachel and said, "Um...I think they forgot the eggplant." But we made do. Tasty stuff. At the end of dinner I got a "Turkish Coffee" ...cause hey...when in as the Lebanese do, right? PLEASE NOTE: TURKISH COFFEE NOT SO GOOD. No. NOT SO GOOD AT ALL. But I did love the tiny spoon it came with.

Rachel and I sat and chatted for a couple of hours. She is an amazing girl. If you don't know her, you should. She's got such a heart for people...and caring for the poor, the hurting, those in know, all the stuff we "Christians" are supposed to do. We talked alot about how RICH we are. And how God requires so much more of us who have been blessed like we have. God has really been using a book called "IRRESISTIBLE REVOLUTION" to ROCK my world and change my whole outlook on life, stuff, & money. I think he has started to pull away the stuff from me that at one time seemed to really matter. It's as if that stuff was getting in the way of what he was trying to show me. Finger by finger he is releasing my grip on those things. Day by day He is challenging me to think differently...more boldly....more out of the box. I fully expect God to change me in a big way in the next few years - I just don't know what that looks like. But I want to be ready.

On to other stuff that is messing with my head. When I lived in Vegas, I became close friends with a girl who used to go to my church but then decided to become LDS because they "met her needs" better. I really started studying the Mormon religion. What they believed. Who they were. I went to several different Wards. Had tough conversations. It was so devastating to me to see someone be deceived by a group that claims to be "Christians" but believe so differently. I believe that Mormonism is deceptive and it weighs heavy on my heart. My neighbors are Mormon and so once again, it is something I think about every day. So I've been reading a LOT about their culture, beliefs, theology. My testimony is so different from a person of Mormon faith, because my belief is not in the One True Church...but in the One and only God (both in this life and the afterlife) and his son Jesus who saves me by grace not works. It is in that grace that I live. It is in HIS grace that I need. Day after day after day.

Man.....this is long. And deep. With no pictures. If you are still I am impressed.

So yesterday I woke up and watched Martin Luther King JR. speak through my tear-filled eyes. For as long as I can remember, I have never understood how ANYONE would look at a black person as anything other than a person. I never understood how ANYONE could treat another person the way our brothers and sisters were treated. I have always hoped that if I had lived in the 50's, I would have been a part of the NAACP...a part of the Freedom Rides....I would be a white woman standing up for my black neighbors. I would hope that I would have been brave enough to go against the tide and march for their freedom. I would hope that I would have been in the crowd sharing the same dream of MLK so many years ago.

A dream that started to come true today....

I was moved to tears so many times this morning. I probably would have cried more if my kids weren't yelling about their underpants, going poop, needing breakfast, and various other early morning conversations. What a fascinating, historical day. I do hope that President Obama will be the President we need. I hope that those living in fear of his presidency will choose hope instead...and when feelings of fear start to show themselves they might pray for their new leader and find comfort in the knowledge that Presidents are earthly leaders. We need them to be the best possible leaders, but they are still earthly leaders. We have a Heavenly Father who is our Eternal King. I hope people can find hope in that.

While on the topic of Obama...His family is stunning. And I want to EAT SASHA UP! She reminds me of Haley. Just a little spitfire, you can tell! I was watching the Inauguration and wondering what Michelle bribed her with to sit still. I KNOW SHE DID. All mothers do. And did you see her run through the capitol building after it was over? I love that the White House has little kids in it again. It will be fun to watch them grow up. I hope they find happiness there!

In other news....I love my husband. He's laying next to me now and just told me that tomorrow is our anniversary. I guess technically he is correct since it is 12:30... our Anniversary is on Thursday, the 22nd. I can't believe it has been 9 years. I'm getting old, huh?

Speaking of old...I should probably get some sleep. I hope I didn't bore you to tears. But it feels good just to get it all out.

Before I leave you, may I just remind you to always carry PURELL in your car. Do you ever pump gas? Think about how many hands touch that pump each day. And where those hands have been. Purell people... Purell.

That concludes my public service announcement & the world's LONGEST BLOG.

5 Years Ago Today...

....was my due date with Haley Beth.

Oh how I longed to see her. Hold her. Breathe her in.

The world as I had known it, was falling apart around me. Closing in on me. She felt like my only hope.

I had thought she would come earlier. I went to the hospital 2 times thinking I was in labor. They kindly smiled at me...with looks of "Yeah right." I was released both times. Turns out the cramps I were having were caused by dehydration. So they gave me an IV and then told me to drink ALOT. And then told me "You will KNOW when you are in labor." Wow. Thanks. Looking forward to it.

I walked miles to no avail. I tried other "suggestions" as well....

I so desperately wanted to see these blue eyes....

But I would have to wait.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

How to Get Arrested at Sea World

Hypothetically of course....

A family of four was visiting Sea World with a sister, brother in law, and their daughter. (In order to protect their identities, we'll refer to them as the Shempletons & the Honsons.)

The Shempletons & the Honsons wondered over to the Anheuser-Busch Hospitality Center where...oh...imagine that...they offer free samples of some of their finest beers (since Sea World is owned by A.B.) So as the adults are sipping their samples, Shmisti Shempleton offered her two children, Shmaley & Shelexi a Boxed Juice - Apple flavor.

While the adults were leisurely talking, two of the children Shmaley & Shimeley were entertaining each other with shreiking delight to the thrill of EVERYONE in the pavilion. Being somewhat distracted by the shreiks, the moms did not notice what Shelexi was doing. Imagine Shelexi's mom's dismay as she looked down and saw her 2 year old throwing back a sample of Anheuser-Busch Pale Ale. Shmisti (her mother) grabbed it from her hands in the nick of time (since another mom was headed her way with sheer TERROR in her eyes.)

Shelexi started yelling, "NO IT's MINE...IT's MINE!" "I POURED IT!" And it was only then that Shelexi's mom noticed an empty Mott's For Tots Apple Juice Box sitting beside the cup of beer. Could it be? Had she poured the apple juice into an empty sample cup?

Shimisti sniffed the evidence and found that it was indeed Apple Juice...much to the relief of everyone around us. ESPECIALLY mean Shimisti, since Security Guards were closing in and the stares of surrounding mothers were piercing through her soul. Shimisti quickly discarded the evidence much to the dismay of Shelexi as she was crying watching her apple juice get thrown away.

Word to the wise...if your child likes to transfer liquids from cup to sure that apple juice is not anywhere near an empty Anheuser-Busch cup.

This has been a public service announcement.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An Exciting Week Ahead.

Mon - Sea World.

Tues - New President


Thurs - 9 Year Anniversary!!!!!!!

Friday - Haley's 5th Birthday & Disneyland.


Sunday - I may rest. Good enough for God. Good enough for me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shop Til' You Drop....

Maybe I pushed them too hard......

My kind of Church.

So God is Awesome. If you don't know that, you should.

So two weeks ago, I had the chance to talk/pray with a really sweet girl. She was hurting and needing someone to talk to. That's always intimidating. I always wonder if I'll have the right words to say. I wonder if I will do any good at all.

We spent some time together. Talking. Praying.

She was on my heart in a crazy way. I started contacting people I knew to try to find other people she could connect with. Someone to help her find a job. Someone to give her some hope.

Oddly enough (or just in God's timing...) I had a chance to go to another girl's house from church. Let's be honest - I knew who she was from other friends, but really, our friendship was a cyber one...established through facebook and we decided to take it to the next step. Good thing it worked out for us.

Anyway...while I was with her, she mentioned that our women's minister had asked her about inviting the girl I met with to Bible Study. So I did. And the 3 of us went to Bible Study tonight.

Then we went to Starbucks. My cyber friend (turned "REAL" friend) invited her best friend to join us...and the four of us sat outside Starbucks tonight for almost 4 hours. We talked. We shared our struggles. We talked about our past. We talked about our future. We talked about being patient and waiting for God. We talked about how we all need Jesus.

And I look at this night, and I am amazed that God, in his infinite wisdom and divine timing, knew before we did that we'd all be sitting there together. 4 girls who didn't know each other before, finding SO much in common (even shared friends & experiences).

Tonight was church. Maybe not the "normal" kind. No building. No pews. No music. But it was so real. So good. And I am so thankful for the chance to experience it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Milk Does a Body Good....

Pass it On.

Sea World Horror!

With great expectation, we went to the Penguin Exhibit. This is Curtis' favorite part of Sea World. He talked about it several times on the way to San Diego. Who could blame him? Look how cute these little guys are....

So....Imagine our complete shock and utter horror when we stumbled upon this....


Shouldn't there have been a sign to warn us of such things? My poor kids will never be the same.

Disclaimer: Before I get sued by Sea World... the penguin was just very flexible, and had his head bent backwards to scratch his back with his beak. I had to quickly point this fact out to my daughter Haley (who we've nicknamed PETA because of her outrageous love for animals)...who almost lost it when she caught sight of the headless penguin.

P.S. - Click on the picture to enlarge it. It's even funnier.

Good-Bye Mullet

My daughter Lexi has been rockin' the mullet for a few months now. For those of you wondering what a mullet is - it is defined as "short in front, long in back. " in front, party in the back.

Exhibit A.

We decided to get that fixed this weekend. It was Lexi's first haircut.

Her only request was that "Christie no cut me."

I think she was happy with the results.

Here is Christie Walker (who does all of our hair) with the end result. Also featured in this picture are the lollipops that I used as bribery to keep the kids still.

Farewell fair Mullet. May we never meet again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


From me & my man who are tearing the dance floor up.

From my dog - Molly.

From these crazy kids...

From my friend Gina with her mad crazy dance moves.

From my sweet Lexi getting her groove on.

From this crazy guy.

From my sweet husband dancing with his daughter in their matching outfits.

And from this tired mommy....

We had a wonderful New Years Eve spent with precious friends. Hope this year is just as good.
Wishing you all the best my friends....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why I gave up dancing...

I was once on the fastrak to having a fabulous dancing career. Truly...I was brilliant. Okay, I'm full of crap. But I've always WANTED to be a brilliant dancer.

So I turn on this Superstars of Dance show. Which by the way, is awful. It's just missing the magic. That's all I can say.

But one thing I did take from this drab show was the reason I'm glad I'm NOT a dancer!!!!



So I started playing piano when I was 3 or 4. Taking lessons and stuff. It came pretty naturally (as it should considering what my Dad AND Mom can do on the keys). Then it got boring. High School happened. And there was a lot more interesting stuff going on than practicing piano.

I quit playing for about 6 years then I decided to take it up again. But it was all classical stuff.

Again, I could play, but the problem was...not when it counted.

College was one disappointing performance (or workshop) after another. I HATED IT!

Then I started getting involved in leading worship at a church in Las Vegas. Everything was done by chord charts. So here I am able to play sonatas & have no IDEA how to play off a chord chart. It was like learning a whole new language.

That has been 7 years now. Of learning a new language. Of dealing with major insecurities & doubts. Of being embarrassed. Of trying hard. Giving up. Trying again.

Once I started working in my current job, I felt safe. And that opened me up to being more comfortable at the piano. Now I long to play and feel at home when I am sitting and playing and singing and writing. I love it. It's an escape. It fulfills me. opportunity opened up for me this week to play at a local restaurant in town. I'm only going to play piano on one song (a cover of Sara Bareilles Love Song) and I'm glad cause I think that's all my nerves can take. I'm just telling myself I can do it. I have prepared for this. And not to be scared. But oh man, is it eating away at me. AAAGH! Breathe. I will overcome. I will overcome.

It's also intimidating because I'm performing with some great musicians. Which by the way...if you'd like to hear some great music - Curtis & Robbie are singing well as Dave Yaden. The rehearsals went great yesterday. We'd love to have you there.
So come join us... KONA's on PCH in Sunset Beach. Wednesday at 7pm. (Come a little early if you can.) There is a cover charge of $7 adults but it is going to support the local Performing Arts School.

Come enjoy the music. And watch me try and battle my fears. Either way it's bound to be entertaining!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Horse says Hi.

Remember I Love Lucy?

When Lucy was always trying to get into Ricky's act? I think Haley is the reincarnation of Lucy. She finds a way to get in the middle of every show. My friend Sarah was at our house tonight and noticed a picture on the fridge of Haley's preschool class acting at the nativity scene. Guess who was Mary? Yep, Haley. Guess who was Mary last year? Yep, Haley.

So, as we are strolling along the Sea World Grounds, there is a lovely little trio playing Christmas tunes. Haley stops to listen to her "Friends". (Cause, yes...everyone is "her friends"...especially if instruments are involved.) So she puts a request in for Jingle Bells. The musicians asked her to join them up front, but she declined. She opted instead to sing from her position in the audience.

Ladies and Gentlemen...Haley....

After one song, she apparently gained her confidence and joined the guys up front. This time she didn't sing though. She just ate some chips. But at least she was kind enough to share.

Shamu through the eyes of my children.

Enough Said.