What would you do if someone else treated you the way you treat yourself? How would you react if someone criticized you the way you criticize yourself? How would it be if someone forced you into the same self-defeating behavior that you choose to do on your own? What if someone else prevented you from enjoying life as much as you deny enjoyment to yourself? You would, no doubt, be outraged. If you would never let someone else treat you that way, why do you allow yourself to do so? You have control over your own actions, your own thoughts, your own feelings. Stop defeating yourself. Allow yourself to live, permit yourself to succeed, let yourself enjoy life. Be good to yourself. You deserve it.


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.


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.


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!


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