Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Tonight, I’ll tell you about the feeling of jumping from a perfectly good airplane. Here’s how it happened for me… “Wanna see a video of my friend and me skydiving?” he asks. You watch. “I wanna go!” you say. Wait. Really? Maybe. No way. Okay, yes. A few months later, you’re on a flight to […]

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  • Kenya G. Johnson - Smiling big at your last picture. As I was reading I was going to ask if you’d do it again. Would you do it again now? I tend to get afraid of something all over again after time passes and I know what to expect. Amazing that your brain remembers what to do.February 23, 2018 – 7:12 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks! I did go again (about seven times) but no, I wouldn’t go again now. Something about being a mom has made me WAY less brave than I used to be. I know exactly what you mean about being more afraid after knowing what to expect. Brains are weird.February 23, 2018 – 7:55 pmReplyCancel

  • zoe - you ARE superwoman!!!February 23, 2018 – 7:22 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You are Superwoman! And a weeniebutt. Which is kinda a cool combination. 😉February 23, 2018 – 7:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly L McKenzie - I love how skydiving has its own vocab! “Ground rush.” Who knew? I’ve never gone skydiving but I have gone hot air ballooning. I didn’t have time to prep for it as it was a surprise gift from my maid of honor. One minute we were going out to dinner and the next I was scrambling into the basket. Terrified for the lift off and then, like you, WOW! So amazing. Didn’t you feel SO alive? And yes, I’d do it again.February 23, 2018 – 10:27 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh I’ve so always wanted to go hot air ballooning. What a cool surprise gift from your maid of honor. Truly amazing. I did feel SO alive. Just remembering it gives me that feeling all over again.February 23, 2018 – 7:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - What an amazing experience! I would never do it, but I don’t doubt that it is the most exhilarating thing you could do. I’m just happy to read about YOU doing it. 😉February 23, 2018 – 10:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Dana. It really was exhilarating and amazing. But I think I’m done with it now 🙂February 23, 2018 – 7:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - BRAVE BRAVE GIRL! I love how you told this story and even more impressive is that you did it again! And I thought I was brave to just go parasailing – ha!February 23, 2018 – 11:19 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Parasailing is scary! I went years ago in Mexico… in some ways it was more scary than skydiving because you’re so much closer to the water you might hit!February 23, 2018 – 7:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Debi - I feel like I just did this WITH you! (which is great because now I don’t have to do it myself!)February 23, 2018 – 6:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Pat B - I feel like I did this with you!. Thank you for that exciting experience, because I am pretty certain I won’t be doing that myself. My sister-in-law did it several months after her husband passed away and loved it, but I have never had such a desire to do this. Your narrative was just great and that concluding photo sums up your enthusiasm perfectly.February 24, 2018 – 1:22 amReplyCancel

My son and I walk past shop windows and I catch an accidental glimpse of myself. Bad posture, bra straps showing my backfat (there ain’t no sucking in backfat), a too-big belly, too-large breasts and too many wrinkles on my face. Sigh. My Body is Ugly and Perfect. I refrain from flipping my ugly body […]

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  • Kenya G. Johnson - I love the beautiful way you wrote what your body is for, some only a mother can do. I got at 1am text this week and it’s been a long long long time since he’s done that. I wouldn’t have normally heard it but I still had on my apple watch so it buzzed in my ear and read “Come her please”, of course I jumped up and feel like I just appeared in his room. He’d had a bad dream. And I think with this body and mom powers I would have heard that he needed me even if it didn’t buzz in my ear. ❤️❤️❤️February 16, 2018 – 11:31 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thank you! And too sweet that you got a text saying “come here please,” and I bet anything that even if your watch didn’t buzz in your ear, you’d have known. Tucker still hollers “MOM!!!” or “MOMMY!” (depending on how scared he is). It makes me happy that Christopher still wants you when he has a bad dream. Maybe I have a few more years of that left. <3<3<3February 16, 2018 – 8:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Great Kristi. Tricky subject matter. I have a lot to say on it, never ending, so I will go to work on my own post.

    I love what mothers say about what their bodies have done, but sometimes I put myself down by saying I have nothing so great as a human life to give credit to such a thing. Then I feel badly, but that’s just life. I see it all around me. I see my own amazing body achievements and I try to focus on those.

    Love how you almost did and then you realized other people were on the inside of that window, not just you and your reflection. Haha.February 16, 2018 – 1:08 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m glad you’re going to write about it Kerry. I look forward to reading. And you know… I didn’t have Tucker until I was 40 and remember feeling as you described, especially after I had a miscarriage (and then a divorce) and wondered whether my life was worth the same. But it was. It is. Yours is and you have SO MUCH time. Look at how much amazing life you’ve already lived. LOL to not flipping the people off by accident! Glad I thought about it! 🙂February 16, 2018 – 8:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Mine too.. is ugly and perfect and all mine. It’s funny to me that sometimes I think it’s wonderful and other times hideous. What’s changing. A few pounds of water weight can’t be that drastic. The problem is ME – but only my mind, and not my body.February 16, 2018 – 4:50 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to loving our bodies no matter what. What are a few pounds? Looking back, all of my past bodies were just fine. This one is fine, too. I need to get over myself. Love to our bodies!February 16, 2018 – 8:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Pat B - Shop windows often reflect what we don’t want to see, but perhaps it is just the nudge we need to stand a little straighter. Unfortunately doing away with a few extra pounds isn’t so quickly remedied.
    Compassion pulls out of us the motivation and energy needed when we thought it was all spent.
    To still have mobility, good health, and memory are all things to celebrate.
    I love that photo of the boy dancing in the sea at twilight. Beautiful, as is the description.
    Seeing photos of hands of all sizes and ages is something so awesome.
    Thanks, once again for these writing challenges you and Kenya provide for us.February 16, 2018 – 9:03 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to mobility, health, and memory. I think I’d rather have my body fail than my mind… Thanks – that photo is one of my favorites ever. It’s Tucker and his two cousins this October in Florida right as the sun was setting. There’s another I took of a huge flock of birds chasing a school of fish. I keep meaning to get it printed and framed. Thanks, once again, for taking part of the FTSF writing challenges!February 18, 2018 – 8:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Jamie Miles - agree. None of us are perfect but you are beautiful— maybe not just as fixed up that day. My dear sister, beautiful inside and out for 51 years, always in perfect shape and weight, is battling cancer for the second time. A healthy body physically, emotionally and spiritually is a gift that money can’t buy.February 17, 2018 – 8:29 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so sorry to read about your sister, Jamie. Cancer has a way of stealing our bodies from us. I hope she kicks its butt for this second time. Hugs and healing prayers to her.February 18, 2018 – 8:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Perfectly said…sometimes we need perspective (ie, reality check) about how we see ourselves and not how we hope to see ourselves — thank you for providing that.February 17, 2018 – 7:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Emily. I need that every day, all day. Sigh. It was easier younger, although I wasn’t very nice to myself then either!February 18, 2018 – 8:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - You have the BEST words. (Really, really, yours are the BEST words!) Love and hugs to you!February 17, 2018 – 11:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You’re SO SO nice. Thank you thank you thank you. Love and hugs to you! Any news on a book tour in DC??February 18, 2018 – 8:26 pmReplyCancel

      • Linda Atwell - Not looking good for a tour on the east coast. 🙁 But I so appreciate you asking…and even wanting that for me!February 20, 2018 – 11:39 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - But of COURSE I want that for you. And I want it to happen… sorry it’s not looking good. Keep me tuned into which tours will happen outside of Oregon? I’m in Colorado a couple times/year…February 21, 2018 – 7:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Debi - One of the things I work hard at remembering is that bodies that are bigger/softer/older are beautiful and perfect and important whether or not they have made and raised children. A friend of mine who adopted her two beautiful children and who is plus-sized often rails at this sort of thinking, that she can only love her above-average-sized body if it made babies. Bodies are amazing and beautiful for all kinds of reasons, yours included!February 18, 2018 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I have a tendency to forget, but when I speak with somebody who’s in their 70’s and they say “you’re so young,” I get a new perspective and realize that I say that to people in their early 30’s when they’re thinking college graduates are so young…etc. Same goes for old though, sadly! But yeah, all of us are beautiful and perfect (and ugly). Thanks Debi!February 18, 2018 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TehGoldenSpoons - Ugh! I wrote this post in my head, but didn’t type it out. Couldn’t type it out. I have pretty much nothing nice to say about my body. I try to put a positive spin on it, but I usually fail. It gave me my three girls, though, and I am certainly grateful for that!February 18, 2018 – 2:18 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It’s so hard, right? Ugh. I was thinking you might link up your old post you’d written about body image – it was a good one (feel free to link it up). I know what you mean about usually failing to put a positive spin, but so much of that’s in your head. I saw that vibrant photo of you teaching preschool at church and you looked gorgeous!February 18, 2018 – 8:29 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - There is NOTHING, my darling, Absolutely nothing…
    ugly about you.

    Appreciation & Love from MN. xxxxFebruary 19, 2018 – 2:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Yes to all of this. I started to write, and then didn’t feel like it. I found an old post and didn’t like my writing style, so I bagged it. But I’m glad YOU wrote – I have similar feelings about my ugly and perfect body.February 19, 2018 – 8:55 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Ugh to ugly and perfect bodies. Speaking of them, we should feed ours together, soon. Yes?February 20, 2018 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

      • Dana - Yes! I drove by our usual place last week and it made me miss you.February 23, 2018 – 10:46 amReplyCancel

I was six, the first time I fell in love. Not much is better than being in love. His name was Ricky, and he lived next door. We hid behind the bushes to share secrets and imagined futures. His was to become a fireman who only helped people and didn’t hurt them. His dad was […]

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  • Kenya G. Johnson - Several posts here to click back to. Definitley the “on the shelf” one. I might have read it but I said, “No he didn’t!” like that was the first time I’d heard it. LOL to Robert’s happy face, but I can see it in his eyes. Y’all were so cute! And anything about our babies really comes close to better than anything. Love the picture of Tucker “dancing” and “snapping” his fingers 😀

    “Refraining from making some humorous but true-ish self-deprecating comment” – I’ll try – but the next prompt will be a tuffy.February 8, 2018 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - To the “on the shelf” one… I’m not even sure that’s the best to click back to. It was the “real” one before Robert and he was mean, but I didn’t even know it, you know? I think there might be other posts that talk more about how cruel he was, but maybe not that much…
      The whole no self-deprecating comment… I have texting with you to thank for that line. Because I was sorta lost on that one but then thought how often we all do it. So thank you for that. And also, I can’t even remember the next prompt. Gah.February 8, 2018 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - “This body of mine….” ugh!February 8, 2018 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OH! DUH. This Body… GAH GAH GAH. It’ll be hard for sure.February 8, 2018 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - LOL! Is it possible to lose 10 pounds before I write it?February 8, 2018 – 10:19 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Well that’s more likely than me losing 10 before the weekend, so I vote yes.February 8, 2018 – 10:21 pmReplyCancel

          • Kenya G. Johnson - I’m going to go to the gym for blog fodder.February 8, 2018 – 10:34 pm

          • Kristi Campbell - OMG now I’m inspired…February 8, 2018 – 11:01 pm

      • Kenya G. Johnson - I just remembered that we only have to write for minutes. Wooohooo! Easy peasy. LOL!February 9, 2018 – 9:16 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Easy peasy for sure. We can just write about this. In fact, this exchange probably qualifies for the few minutes. 😉February 9, 2018 – 9:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi - *
    Ha!February 9, 2018 – 5:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Right? Clark didn’t seem to notice though 🙁February 9, 2018 – 10:01 pmReplyCancel

      • Lizzi - You can bet he will have noticed you overthinking it though…

        (The pregnant t-shirt is THEE CUTEST 😂)February 10, 2018 – 4:20 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Aw! Thank you! My friend Sara sent it to me. Her sister, Julie, and I were the queens of the blonde jokes back in the day.February 11, 2018 – 7:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Valerie Newman - I fell in love with you falling in love. Come on, that Tucker smile in #3, sends Cupid’s arrow right to my heart. You tugged at my heartstrings and left me laughing with the asterisks.

    Happy Valentine’s Day.February 9, 2018 – 8:20 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thanks, Val! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours. And yeah, Tucker’s smile in #3 leaves me weak too. Totally. Gah.February 9, 2018 – 10:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - You made me laugh a few times in this post…this is his happy face, your pregnancy t-shirt, your perv comment, your conversation with Kenya in the comments.

    I wonder if Phil or either Ricky know what they missed out on…probably better that they don’t know. It would just make them feel bad.February 9, 2018 – 9:35 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Phil probably is likely very successful… both Rickys are likely in jail (or not, who knows!!!). I guess the pasts of us are that way by design, or so I prefer to believe. My IRL friend Sara sent me that t-shirt when I was pregnant and the first time I wore it in public was the first time I got the unwanted belly touch from a stranger so I stayed with it at home after that. Funny the things we remember.February 9, 2018 – 10:04 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - Cute FTSF with an excellent message of “Love yourself first” and then you will be more forgiving and lovable.

    I had the child without the husband and falling in love. The husband was a child. But I adore my son unconditionally. I miss him soooo much.

    I am working on loving myself. It is a healing process. As for marriage I believe it is such an idealist institution that it could never be executed to perfection therefore I have never taken the big plunge.

    LOL on the weight. Sisters, I have both your ten pounds covered between the flu and the root canal.

    Both my parents have had cancer and my Mom died of rectal cancer so I have learned to love myself today because there may not be a tomorrow.February 9, 2018 – 9:55 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Loving ourselves is always a healing process, maybe. Maybe, we’re conditioned to think less of ourselves than others, which is sad. It seems the only alternative is to be a narcissist, and that’s not good either. LOL to having our pounds covered. I wish it worked that way. A good friend of mine recently had a double mastectomy and not enough body fat to make new boobs from. I wish I could donate my fat to her!February 9, 2018 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - I have extra boobs to donate! How about this Valentine’s Day we all just love ourselves and each other unconditionally and who wants to be heroine addict or meth addict thin anyways.

        Let’s just shake things up and ourselves and each other this Valentine’s Day otherwise the world sucks!!February 9, 2018 – 10:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Me! I’m crazy enough.

    Here’s to stardust and the future. And to love of all kinds.February 9, 2018 – 9:58 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - YES! To stardust and the future, and being just crazy enough. To love of all kinds. <3February 9, 2018 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TheGoldenSpoons - I love your list! Makes me remember that I forgot to put “traveling to new places” on mine! 🙂 I have a really hard time with that loving myself part, but I’m working on it – always working on it.February 9, 2018 – 10:05 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I have a hard time with loving myself too, but here’s to working on it. Always.February 9, 2018 – 10:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - How on earth do you find yourself next door to TWO Rickys to love?? Magic. Hopeful is like being in love. And so is everything here. Ah, a good dog. A pregnancy that isn’t safe but you feel safe. Just everything. xoxoFebruary 9, 2018 – 12:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - No idea about the two Rickys but it was pretty perfect, in its own weird way. In high school/after high school, I love three Bobs. I married a Robert who used to be a Bob. Gah.February 9, 2018 – 10:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Great list and really great pics…my favorite — the blonde with 2 brain cells t-shirt – hilarious!!February 9, 2018 – 5:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL thanks, Emily! My friend Sara sent it. 🙂 The first time I wore it in public was the first time I got the stranger touching my belly. I kept it at home after that but still have it because how could I ever get rid of it?February 9, 2018 – 10:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Pat B - What a great list! Your baby does look like he was snapping his fingers.

    Being able to accept oneself, the weaknesses along with the strengths, is important because if one isn’t able to do that, it is difficult to love others completely.

    Thank you to both you and to Kenya for providing these prompts.

    Beautiful post!February 9, 2018 – 11:10 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - So true, Pat. Why it’s easier to accept flaws in others than in ourselves is a mystery but realizing it’s so is a step toward self-acceptance I think. Thank you!February 11, 2018 – 2:49 pmReplyCancel

My first thought about this week’s Finish the Sentence Friday prompt of “I’m afraid of/that…” was that I could write about my fear of dying. But then I thought about the difference between fear and worry, and what that means. My fear of spiders and other all bugs (except fireflies because they are awesome and […]

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  • JT Walters - I have lots of worry but when everything has either died or been taken then what left do I have to fear. If I can’t change my situation then why worry.

    Fear and worry is for people who still have things to lose. I have already lost everything and frankly death will be a relief. That is how I feel and you know why.February 1, 2018 – 11:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - That breaks my heart but I understand. Although I do think that you can still change things. Maybe that’s me being naive.February 3, 2018 – 9:29 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - I hope you are right. I think it is a beautiful thought and not naive.😊February 3, 2018 – 10:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Blinston - Ha! I just dreamed of a snake biting me this week! It was scary. Thanks for hosting! Happy FridayFebruary 2, 2018 – 12:04 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I’m glad I didn’t read this last night because certainly that snake would have come! Is it okay that I laughed at the sinkhole. I think irrationally like that too. LOL! We had several potholes in our neighborhood after the big snow. So I was wondering if the ice had been so heavy that the road would cave in to sinkholes. They’ve been fixed. I guess I can relaz about that.

    As for *that* old – that’s what I say about my parent. They aren’t *that* old. 🙁February 2, 2018 – 6:42 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m glad then too that you didn’t. Because I’d feel guilty forever! Weird about the potholes and sinkholes. I don’t think they’re related but sinkholes are scary in general and when do they happen? Yikes. Ugh to *that* old. Same, with the parents…February 3, 2018 – 9:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Vickie - I think death is a given for many of us. Snakes! I do get that!!!February 2, 2018 – 8:57 amReplyCancel

  • Debi - I was running once and nearing a woman walking two German Shepards. I knew that I shouldn’t run right up behind them and startle them, so I made a wide arc onto the grass to the left of them. The dogs were startled anyway and both of them lunged at me, snarling and growling and barking while the woman walking them struggled to put her phone away and get control of the leashes. I have never run a faster 1/10 of a mile, not before and not since. They never touched me, but they were SO SCARY that I now run wide arcs around every dog in my path: Yorkies, elderly retrievers, our neighbor’s chihuahua-and-maybe-potbelly-pig mix. I just do not want to be scared like that. I get it!February 2, 2018 – 11:58 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Wow. That sounds so so scary… and also LOL to the maybe-potbelly-pig mix. My last dog was a shepherd and he was the most gentle creature ever, but I now they aren’t all that gentle. There’s a reason we’re afraid of them… Thank you. I’m so glad you told me about this.February 3, 2018 – 10:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - You’re right that there is a distinction between fear and worry and yet sometimes we muddle the two together. I feel as if fear is more prominent and yet momentary while worry is persistent and often nagging below the surface. Either way, I missed your drawings — they made me smile today. 🙂February 2, 2018 – 12:44 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Emily. I so appreciate you saying so about the drawings… I didn’t know what to write and sortof hated this prompt even though I came up with it… The fear and worry, they are so often tangled up together.February 3, 2018 – 10:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I don’t think you’re at that age yet! When my grandfather died 100, we called it sad. My father at 36? Tragedy.
    I’m not afraid of sinkholes or lava or satellites. But when I think of malls, I’m afraid of active shooters.February 2, 2018 – 4:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I guess the fact that we’re all at that age every day is what scares me. Your dad, tragedy. And omg to the active shooters.February 3, 2018 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Pat B - I really enjoy your artwork here. They are so cute, and really help present your message in a great way.
    I don’t really fear what comes after death, but the timing of my death is a concern because of what that might mean to others.
    Having that dream for years would make me not want to go to bed.
    Thanks for the prompt this week.February 3, 2018 – 12:48 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you for your sweet words about my silly drawings, Pat. And yeah… I think I never feared death until I had a little boy who is now only 8, and I can’t imagine him not having me…. Gah. So glad you linked up!!!February 3, 2018 – 10:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - My grade eight class went to camp for a week and my sister came along, as a sort of guide for me. Well, we were playing that survival game, and I was given the distinction of being Mother Nature. We were walking in the woods on the camp’s land, just the two of us, when suddenly I heard a hissing sound in front of us. Well, it sounded like hissing, at first, but then my sister stopped walking abruptly and told me to back up, slowly. We’d come across a rattlesnake and that wasn’t hissing. It was the warning rattle it was giving us.

    I was afraid in that moment. A lot of games we’d play, like that one where you run and jump over something. Not a snake though, not unless absolutely necessary.


    I do see your difference between fear and worry. I have been one or the other, but sometimes, the two get kind of tangled up.

    Lots of fears and worries. Not sure I can settle on what to write about for this one, but I’ll see. I am actually distracting myself with writing on my blog, when I have other writing I should be doing, some paid work that really needs to get completed.

    Thanks for this distraction.February 3, 2018 – 1:50 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OMG Kerry, that’s terrifying. I, too, heard that sound and deleted it from this post because it was too long already and I didn’t like it but had that same experience with the rattle.. wow.
      To the in general fear and worry… Yes, I get that. I need to write for some paid stuff too but gah, I just want to sleep right now 🙂February 3, 2018 – 10:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Interesting point about fear vs worry…I think fear is more motivating than worry. If I’m scared, I do something to make myself not scared. Worrying is more passive, and always less effective.

    A viable age to die…ugh. I refuse to believe that until…well, until later. Much later.February 7, 2018 – 4:07 pmReplyCancel

I have far fewer photos in albums than the 26,942 that live in my phone. Most of my digital ones begin in 2007, which makes sense – that’s when the first iPhone was released. Before then, we were stuck dropping off a roll of film and waiting to pick up the envelope of memories. Most […]

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  • Kenya G. Johnson - Omg girl – see masterpiece! I’m out of breath! I’d love that experience but I couldn’t do it as well as you, go as deep (physically or mfbtalky) to appreciate all its worth!January 25, 2018 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Again, masterpiece is cringy (is this a word that Christopher uses? Tucker says “cringy” all the time and now it’s in my brain) but thank you. It’s funny. I REALLY struggled. And then when I started writing about diving, I didn’t. I think I’m getting this. Next time, I maybe will skip the back-story…. anyway, I think I’m getting this. And OMG you should so go diving. I think Christopher is almost old enough. It’s super-safe, and wow-amazing life changing. I want to go after finding this photo. Which is the worst photo ever but wow, I want to go diving so I guess it worked. Thank you for the idea, co-host!January 25, 2018 – 11:25 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - You did fine! And considering the fact that you did it in the 11th hour makes it a masterpiece to me. I couldn’t have done it. And back to scuba diving – we all snorkled in Jamaica, it was awesome, and water you could also see clear to the bottom but I just don’t think I could go deep to where I could see the dark park. Nemo made me scared of the drop off.January 26, 2018 – 7:13 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - LOL to Nemo making you scared of the drop off. Most dives I’ve been on don’t have big drop offs but in Turks & Caicos, the walls are amazing. Ooh I love seeing to the bottom of the water. I haven’t been to Jamaica but have heard the water’s amazing. And thanks!January 26, 2018 – 4:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Valerie Newman - Kristi. What a fantastic, life changing experience. Love the meme, “Thank the earth for places that man still knows nothing about”.January 26, 2018 – 8:01 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Val! I love that there are still places we have no idea about. There’s something magical about that.January 26, 2018 – 4:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Debi Lewis - WOW!

    I could picture all of that, Kristi. Beautifully written!!!

    I’m terrified of scuba diving; as an asthmatic, having to control and be conscious of my breathing is too scary for me. That said, I love snorkeling, and I find the sensations to be similar. You reminded me that we need to get a plan together for spring break — maybe somewhere I can snorkel. 🙂January 26, 2018 – 9:56 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Debi! I can imagine that scuba diving with asthma is a big no-no but love that you enjoy snorkeling! I’m always scared that the water will get in the breathing thing – silly I know. OOOH spring break snorkeling! Nice!January 26, 2018 – 4:11 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - Alex and I have very similar experiences except in the sky. When we fly, it is a magical place where we almost believe our prayers can be heard. Flying through clouds blind requires a leap of faith. We are humbly small in aw of the world, aerodynamics, physics and yet certain we are not the first people to have flown.

    I have scuba dived before but here. Sharks are the main concern not whales. It kinda stops spear fishing. I never dove in the Turks and Caicos but parasailed and I loved that.

    But great sorrow and great joy must always come to an end. Nature believes in balance.

    I didn’t know FTSF had a Facebook page? You should include the link! Finding Nine Facebook page I’ve found.

    That you for the very visually descriptive FTSF article.

    Jobs are hard to come by!!January 26, 2018 – 11:29 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yes, flying can definitely be like that too especially in the small planes that you and Alex have taken. So cool.
      Yikes to diving with sharks. I suppose that’s always a danger. I’d freak out if I saw one! I went parasailing in Mexico once. It was fun but scary.
      Thank you for your kind words and yes, jobs are hard to come by!January 26, 2018 – 4:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I think I told you once before how I “failed” the scuba diving class on our honeymoon. I just couldn’t do it — too freaked out. My husband passed and I told him to go without me, which he did. He came back saying how amazing it was and I cried the rest of the day.:( The way you describe it makes me want to try it again, but it also makes me scared. I’m just a wimp about some things. I did go zip lining in Costa Rica though, so there’s that!! And that job you once had — so cool! When I worked at the ASPCA, I was able to bring my dog to work (of course, bc it’s the ASPCA!), but there was no free candy or beer Fridays. I gotta find a job like that one!!January 26, 2018 – 6:23 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - See and I think I might pass on ziplining… I went once when I was a kid at camp but the older I get the more afraid of heights I am. I might do it, if Tucker really wanted to but I might pass. And I need to find a job like that old one too! I don’t think companies are that cool any longer. Well, maybe Google and Facebook… and Apple? But maybe not. Lawsuits and stuff with beer Fridays I bet.January 26, 2018 – 8:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I know that feeling so well. When I had graduated college and was between jobs, I went to Key West and spent a boatload of money without a care in the world. I miss that weightlessness.. literally and figuratively.January 29, 2018 – 12:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I miss that time too. Literally and figuratively. How much did you dive?January 31, 2018 – 12:44 amReplyCancel

  • Allison G smith - It upsets me that your boss didn’t give you a heads up. Two weeks????? I’ve never been scuba diving, probably never will. Too scared. But I do want to go to Turks and Caicos!January 29, 2018 – 5:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yeah, he was an uberjerk. Seriously. He was stoned all the time, and thought he was much more brilliant than he was. He used to yell at me from his office to help him with PowerPoint. The days 😀 D: D You so should go to Turks and Caicos!January 31, 2018 – 12:45 amReplyCancel

  • Echo - This is so beautiful. I could serious almost feel it. It is kind of how I felt the first time I saw the ocean. I was 27 and my husband drove me to Florida. When he pointed it out to me as it appeared in view tears welled in my eyes. It was magic.January 31, 2018 – 10:38 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I cried when I saw Lake Tahoe, Echo. Totally could not hold back tears. I love that you felt the same way when you saw the ocean. There’s something magic about it for sure.February 1, 2018 – 8:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Your description of the dive is both awesome and terrifying! I think I’m still traumatized by those choose your own adventure books I read as a kid – there was one where you scuba dived, got the bends, and died. Ridiculous, I know. But for some reason I can’t forget that.

    I’m glad you don’t have the same silly fears! I also am in awe of places on earth we know nothing about. I felt that way a bit in Alaska.January 31, 2018 – 2:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’ve read that too! But wow, Dana, if you can get over that? You and your family would LOVE it. I mean wow, you’ve gone so many amazing places. Under the ocean? Oh please say you’ll consider it. Just thinking about it makes me want Tucker to be old enough to go (and I spend most of my time not wishing him older, but younger because I miss littler-him).February 1, 2018 – 8:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - I skipped this photo week, though I do post photos on my blog sometimes and may join in on one in a future month.

    I don’t think I’d get much out of this, like how I am going to the west coast in May and thought about taking a whale boat cruise because I love whales. The risk is mostly that maybe there will be some, off in the distance, and I won’t hear them, making it really just a boat ride and I don’t enjoy boat rides much at all for the hell of it.

    So, still your description of seeing down deep and imagining freeing from tank and things and drifting down. Wow. Of course, not really, but wow.

    I do like that there are places man hasn’t conquered yet, though if we don’t learn more, we don’t protect things enough. Or, perhaps, we’d just mess it all up if we knew more of what’s down there and easier ways to get to it. So I don’t know.

    So, as I often think of just going for more things, tonight, as I read I consider just going scuba diving anyway, even if it would be possibly confusing and disconcerting without being able to see. Still, maybe the experience of that state of being would be worth it all.February 2, 2018 – 11:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I completely understand feeling like it wouldn’t be worth it. And, honestly, it may not be. There is though, the freedom of breathing underwater. Of weightlessness. That’s pretty powerful, too, although you could scuba dive in a large pool to get those feelings. This week is a photo week too…February 21, 2018 – 8:03 pmReplyCancel

Winter Winter snow pants hang on the door of the coat closet rather than in it. Boots litter the floor along with chunky salt crystals tracked in from the porch. Gloves and hats tumble from an out-of-place box that sits more neatly on a shelf in warmer months. Dark-too-early days combine with school cancellations and […]

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  • Kenya G. Johnson - Beautiful snow angel in the asphalt!

    The part you wrote about him being taller from the night before, I wish that was something I’d taken pictures of for a timelaspe. The little head that barely reached the top of the mattress that used to come to wake me up in the morning to the age he stopped doing it. But I can remember one time looking to see if he was standing on something becuase he looked so tall.

    And about your three days in a row once upon a time, this year Christopher has had three full days of school in a row. That’s it. Oh my – and yes to more winter to be had. Maybe not so much here, I don’t know. This winter has already been uncharacteristic for us. We shall see.January 19, 2018 – 7:40 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Perfect snow angel right? And on a tennis court…but still. And wow, maybe I need to start taking more pictures. I take pictures of him all the time but not maybe enough about how tall he is compared to things (or me). Thanks for that idea. It’s warm-ish here now but going to get cold cold again. Like you said, we shall see.January 19, 2018 – 10:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Debi - Oh my gosh, the newspaper bags over our feet! I TOTALLY remember that, except we used plastic grocery bags which showed over the top of the boots and were horribly, horribly embarrassing. And as for your before-school fun, that is the real good stuff of parenting — being able to say yes to something amazing and paradigm-shifting for a kid. Tucker is a lucky boy!January 19, 2018 – 11:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to the embarrassment. Me too except that I also was a “walker” and so felt sorry for the bus kids who could wear tennis shoes all the way haha. Aw thanks, I almost said no to sledding before school but then was like “why not?” It’s more about sanity and the moments than being a good parent most of the time for me. 🙂January 19, 2018 – 10:20 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - I love winter, but getting a bit of cabin fever today. They said we would get just a couple inches of snow Tuesday night-Wednesday morning. It snowed ALL DAY Wednesday and we ended up with a bout 9 inches. Loving the lazy snow days, but we’ll pay for it in spring when we desperately need a break and don’t get one !:-)January 19, 2018 – 11:10 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’ve gotten the cabin fever a few times since December whatever-it-was when Tucker’s school let out. Trying to work and do all the things is so hard.
      WOWOWOWOWOWOOW to 9 inches where you are! Amazing! That’s so cool but also yes. To paying it back. Here, we only pay it back now when we don’t have snow days. A few years ago (maybe 5????) we had like 11 snow days and so the schools built that many in and now we never use that many but also don’t get out early if we don’t which is just dumb…January 19, 2018 – 10:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love that phrase, “clocks that laugh” at us…I so remember that feeling when my boys were younger because I wanted them to go to bed so I could go to bed! Now, I go to bed before them sometimes because…teenagers! I’ve discovered that one of the keys to surviving a long, cold, winter (like this one is proving to be) is a good, warm winter coat! My husband got me a new coat for Christmas and it’s so warm — I’m not nearly as cranky now! 🙂January 19, 2018 – 1:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Gah, thanks, Emily. I look at my clocks all the time and feel like they are laughing at me. There’s one in my office that’s been “dead” for years and I still look. The time’s the same (for years) and yet my baby is now almost as tall as I am, and well, that’s the clock laughing, right?
      I can’t imagine going to bed before Tucker but also I can which is again, the clock laughing at me.
      OOOH I love that you got a new coat!!! Maybe that’s what I need… it’s been a while…January 19, 2018 – 10:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - I used to love going sledding on the hill in my yard or the barn bank at my friend’s place. All of us lived in the country and so snow days were common. Now my nephew lives in that house I grew up in and goes to school out in the country too. He has had several snow days already this winter.

    I am glad you and your boys made it back from your winter driving adventure safe. Winter driving can be treacherous, that’s for sure.

    This post made me think of that famous old classic line: “back in my day, we used to have to walk miles in the snow just to get to school,” which makes me picture my grandparent’s days of going to a one room schoolhouse.January 19, 2018 – 2:02 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m not sure exactly why but it makes me very happy that your nephew lives in the house you grew up in and goes to school out in the country. That feels so, I don’t know… good, somehow. I hope that makes sense. As somebody who lives far away from family and travels for tradition, that just feels happy to me.
      LOL to “Back in my day…”
      We used to make fun of my dad for saying how he had to walk so far to school. But in truth he did. He walked a few miles.
      When I was a kid, I probably walked 1/4 of a mile with my newspaper bags and boots, but today? Tucker’s not allowed to walk because the street in front of the school is super-busy… so there’s truth to it, I guess…January 19, 2018 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - I’m happy Tucker still goes down slides. Alex was offended when I took him to the park at five(5). He thought it was too babyish.

    “I’m bored” is a child’s favorite saying and it is suppose to irritate you. You are adulting “The act of attempting to live an adult life while raising a child.” and not the grand entertainer. It is important for all children to be bored so they learn to “Entertain themselves” and this help their autonomy, creativity, and independence. You can appreciate the fact that Tucker is bored and appreciate Tucker without having to pressure yourself.

    Yes, his as all children before him, childhood is fleeting. It is both wonderful and horrifying. Wait until the morning he shows up to breakfast taller than you. I’ve been through that and while I never took a minute for granted, I think it would have been okay to not pressure myself so much. After all, no one will ever appreciate or love our children as we have. Are we setting them up for failure expecting so much love and attention? What happens when our children say, “I’m bored.” and another adult says unkind words in response.

    What happened when you were bored?

    Went to a friend’s house?
    Wrote a story?
    Played a video game?
    Taught yourself something?

    My point is boredom is a bridge to creativity, independence, and autonomy. The answer should be, “Good.” It is an opportunity for emotional growth to match the physical grow you see everyday and a sign Tucker is ready to start becoming creative. Let go of making everything structured and let him start structure his down time.

    I put centers in my classroom every year just so children had constructive creative down time to grow. Perhaps a center (no Zelda in centers) or two with activities to do when Tucker is bored. We always have tons of books to read. Reading is a good activity as is writing a story or even building a model. These are skills but then cut out two hours of time a day just to enjoy the fleeting days of your son’s childhood.

    Boredom is a bridge, IMO.January 19, 2018 – 5:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I tell him that Steve Jobs was bored and thought about having 1,000 songs in your pocket and made it happen. I think we’re on the same page for sure, although also, I very much wish I’d had Tucker at a younger age and gave him a sibling or two.
      But yes, I remember being bored. We played, and it was glorious. Thank you for the reminder.January 19, 2018 – 11:35 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - If you had Tucker younger, he wouldn’t be Tucker. And if you had more children, there is no guarantee they’d get along and you’d have more bored children on snow days and less time with Tucker than you do now.

        I have those feelings too but if I am totally honest with myself a second child would not be for Alex but for me. I miss having a baby, toddler, child that grew up and became a brooding teenager.

        Alex wouldn’t want to share me and I seriously doubt Tucker wants to share you. I have those thoughts too but our son’s come first. There are less costly and less time consuming ways to deal with boredom. I use to pull out schematics and circuit boards making Alex put them together. I differed.

        Please be kind to yourself. You are an awesome Mom and the perfect Mom for Tucker. His life is exactly as it should be complaints of boredom and all. You did a good job Momma Bear!!😊January 20, 2018 – 1:01 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - This is true, about if I had Tucker younger, and I think about that a lot. I’m thankful for the boy I have, versus the one(s) I may have had if I’d been younger. Still, sometimes, I wish I were younger… I get what you’re saying about Alex and Tucker not wanting the competition… here we are, and YOU please be kind to yourself, too… things will get better. I have to believe that for you. xoJanuary 21, 2018 – 12:45 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - I don’t hear “I’m bored” anymore…there is no more boring when you always have a phone in your hand! Or when a nap in the middle of the day sounds like a fabulous idea. Which it does at 16 or 19, but not at 8.

    Please don’t throw bowls of dinner at the wall. You know you’ll be the one cleaning it up.;)January 19, 2018 – 6:33 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Truth to the un-bored with a phone in your hand, especially when you have people to talk to. Tux has an iPad and it’s my go-to when I have to work from home, but it’s not the same as human connection. Which is gooooood…..LOL I’d always be the one cleaning it up. Probably.January 19, 2018 – 11:38 pmReplyCancel

  • zoe - Thanks for inviting me back here! It’s funny because I don’t even think of Tucker as a “little boy!” One of your stories made me remember when I was 5 and I stepped off the school bus into a snowbank and my mother had forgotten to come pick me up at the bus stop and I was so stuck in the snow bank that I couldn’t move and I don’t even know how long I stood there ,struggling to free myself , until she finally remembered that I was missing. Yeah parents didn’t worry quite as much back then I don’t think.January 20, 2018 – 9:22 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - SO HAPPY you’re back here, girl. LOL to parents not worrying as much back then. SO TRUE. And yeah, Tucker as a “little boy….” sigh. Eight is still kinda little though, right?? I mean it IS still little. He’s still little in his sweet, sensitive ways. OMG he’s so sensitive and sweet, but also doesn’t know how to be, sometimes.January 21, 2018 – 12:47 amReplyCancel

  • Pat B - I thought I’d already commented here, but I’m not seeing my post, so I don’t know if this is a duplicate or not.

    I loved the way you presented the different winters, and so nice to keep these tucked away in your memory banks.

    The word scenery of your Mom driving on that curvy slippery road is great, and then to follow up with your own experience. . .

    Oh, I can still remember the piles of wet coats and boots by the entry, especially when it wasn’t just your own kids’ winter coats and boots, but the neighbors’ too.January 22, 2018 – 9:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I don’t see your comment either so it doesn’t seem to be a duplicate. Thank you for the kind words about winter then and winter recently… LOL to the piles of wet coats and boots by the entry – we’re still dealing with that and have some gloves that I’m not sure who they belong to…January 24, 2018 – 7:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I had a similar moment in upstate NY where we stopped sliding in time for a giant tractor trailer going the other way to miss us. Whew.
    My mom loves winter and I think of cracked skin, viruses, and people sliding on the ice.
    I need to think more about sledding before school and all of the memories my kids are making – with me, even when I feel it’s without me.January 24, 2018 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

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