Dreams

Once upon a time
I dreamed of a husband that was my best friend.
Once upon a time
I dreamed of a big house filled with family.
One upon a time
I dreamed of nights around the table with my kids, playing games, laughing and creating core memories.
Once upon a time
I HAD that big house and big family
However, the house was filled secrets and the family was filled with chaos.
Had I known that my dreams would become something of nightmares, maybe I would have had different dreams.
Now, as I enter my 57th year standing on the balcony of my small rental condo, my eyes filling with tears, I listen to the laughter of my kids and their significant others. I see them all sitting and standing together, just happy to share space. I smell the ‘team effort’ dinner that is almost ready. I stand here taking it all in and realize that my current reality is so much better than that of my dreams.
I no longer have a spouse but I have realized that I am far stronger and more capable than I ever realized. I can do it all on my own.
I don’t have a big house but I now have a home that is a safe space for not only my own kids, but their friends and my friends too. I have a big family that is still chaotic but in the best way possible now. We laugh, cry, disagree, play games, communicate, get loud, get quiet, are protective of each other and love each other fiercely.
Here’s the thing about dreams, eventually you have to wake up and face reality and my reality is looking pretty good right now.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

14

Tomorrow begins the 14 days of love challenge. For the next 14 days I will leave a note (we’ll now I create images and text them!) for each of my kids with “I love you because…” with a different reason each day.
It gets more difficult as the days progress as I try to find reasons I love them that they don’t think I see.
Try it with the people you love.
Challenge yourself.

Kids

These kids.
My kids.
They have been though a lot as individuals and together.
They are the cause of my grey hair, my tears and my laugh lines.
They are the source of my pride and the origin of my insanity!
They build each other up more than they tear each other down.
They may be at different ages and stages of life, but watching them share space as they grow and mature fills up my momma heart.
I find peace in the fact that long after I am gone, they will still have each other….. and the memories of our times together.
I have, and always will be, their Kristine (mom)… whether they like it or not…. they can work that out in therapy!
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Connection

2021 Pay-It-Forward:
The first five people to connect with me will receive from me, sometime within the calendar year, a handwritten note, perhaps with a gift attached. There will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me.
Let’s all pay it forward this year!
🖊
Pay it forward!!
Let’s connect!! Peace, #tutulady #forwardisapace

Images

Visual representations of times, places, people. Images can be real, imagined or manufactured. Images capture a single moment in time but not the context. While we spend time looking sometimes enviously at others photos of holiday and other family celebrations, we know not the daily struggles behind those smiles. Every picture tells a story. Sometimes the story is one we tell ourselves and sometimes it is a fairy tale others want us to believe.
This years holiday gifts in my family were those of photos. My children were gifted photos of childhoods long gone and gifted me with photos of who they are now. Each photo carried a story that was told as we turned the pages of the books and our lives. Memories were shared and new ones created together.
As I sat alone at the end of the night in the glow of the Christmas tree, I scrolled social media. I looked at the images that family and friends had posted. I saw more than the surface in many of those photos. In some I could see strained smiles and sad eyes. In some I could see body language that most would not recognize unless they had lived similar lives. I looked at the often highly curated settings of many photos and saw what many would miss. Most people would just hit the ‘like’ button and keep scrolling but not me. Perhaps it is because in the past I had been the one posting those “impression management” photos to cover for the inadequacies, deep pain and heartache I felt. Perhaps it is because some of those posting the photos had privately shared their struggles with me or because I just knew the reality of their lives.
We all want others to believe that our lives are perfect and without strife or struggle. We see the ‘picture’ that others present and think “why not me?’ or “what is wrong with me?” We step into that place of lack…that feeling that we are somehow inadequate….that feeling that somehow we are not and do not have enough.
STOP THAT! STOP right now!
Life is real and messy and imperfect…and so are we. Which is why I shared the stories behind the photos my kids had in front of them. I shared joyful, happy memories as well as pain-filled moments as we looked at the photos. I owned moments of grief and anger as well as moments when my heart overflowed with love and pride for each/all of them.
The more that we are authentic and real with one another, the more grace we offer each other, the kinder we are……the more love is created. Accept yourself for who you are and love the person looking back at you in the mirror. Accept one another, and yourself, for who they are and love the person…not the image. Every picture tells a story…own your truth and tell your story.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace