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

It Is With This Body

I cannot brag about ever having climbed Mount Everest, or finishing a refreshing swim across the English Channel. I don’t have a single triathlon medal, and am not a big runner. When it comes to the idea of running, I’m all for it. I imagine the exhilaration, the sweat, and the satisfaction that I’ll feel once the run’s complete.

I lace up my sneakers, and am mighty, and strong. Gazelle-like, in my imagination.

I imagine running. And when I do, I am a gazelle.

I feel free, healthy, and powerful.

That is, until I begin actually running. Everything starts off alright. Then, I start thinking about my knee and how I really need to do some strengthening exercises for it.

I wonder whether running is actively bad for it. I proceed to curse the dumbass who brought homemade wine on that one ski trip, because that’s when I tore my ligaments and likely why my knee hurts. I mean, who brings booze skiing?

I often wonder who brings booze skiing. Oh. My friends.

Oh. Right. My friends. Which is probably why they’re my friends, and also probably why my knee hurts while I pound the pavement.

Then, I start thinking about my boobs, because they’re bouncing around and I wonder if real runners buy more expensive sports bras than the ones I get from the sale bin without trying them on.

Is it possible for my boob to hit me in the face while I

I think too much about breathing, sure that I’m not actually doing it correctly. Then I try to do it correctly, and end up getting more winded. I decide to give myself a little break, and walk for a few.

This usually happens before I’m even at the ½-mile mark. I know. I told you that I’m not much of a runner.

While my body hasn’t done much in the amazing department when it comes to running, or climbing famous mountains, there are some things that it has accomplished. Here are a few that come to mind.

My body comforts my son. There was the moment when he was born, kept warm upon my chest, and there was today, when I was able to catch running-flying him as he greeted me after a day of work, and there was tonight and all of the nights, when it wraps itself around him, reminding him that he’s not alone, and that bad dreams can be sent away.

My hands cradled his newborn head, both with trepidation and with voiceless power, gifted to all new mothers throughout the ages. My hands held onto my husband’s during labor, connecting me to a place that was both inside and outside of myself.

Tucker Newborn on chest

Today, they apply band-aids, make school lunches, and spike Tucker’s hair so that he looks almost as cool as he actually is.

Tucker Smile May 2014

My body carried my little boy. While it required bed rest to do so, it came through for all of us, allowing my husband and I grow from two to three, and gave us the light that will bind us through sunshine and rain.

My feet and legs and back have carried my sleeping infant up the stairs, and they have carried my ailing dog to his final place.

Kristi & Chiefly Dog 1

It is with these fingers that I typeMy body breathes, and lives, and beats, and thinks. It is with this body that I have walked among all of the streets on which I’ve lived and visited. It is with this body that I have hugged relatives, friends, and, sometimes most importantly, people I’ve only briefly met.

It is with this mouth that I have voiced my dreams, and even made a few of them come true.

It is with these fingers that I type these words, allowing my mind and my soul to share my stories, and to read and listen to yours.


There was one time, while I was still in college, when my body defied all gravity laws and may have been responsible for creating some type of vortex or whatever they’re called.

Anyway, it happened during a party.

A bunch of us were having fun and then, I was in a closet, and


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. As in, we’re BACK!!!

It is with sadness and understanding that I announce that Janine and Kate will no longer be hosting on a regular basis. They’re both focusing on IRL and will join us as hosts and participants as they’re able to. Here’s a very very warm thank you to both of them, who began Finish the Sentence Friday 19 months ago, and have made it one of the most inspiring and creative blog linkups on the internets.

Both Stephanie and I will continue to host and will feature guest hosts for each prompt. Remember, we’re on an every-other week schedule until September (and really? It’s almost mid-August??), which means that the next prompt will take place on August 21 (one day before my birthday for those who need time to shop). We don’t have a sentence yet but I promise to think of something good. Or, bloggers, feel free to submit your sentence suggestion in our Facebook Group. Those chosen get to co-host!!

Tonight’s sentence was “The most amazing thing my body has done is…” sent in by Ruchira of Abracadabra, and tonight’s awesome guest host is Michelle of Crumpets and Bollocks.

So, to recap. Finish the Sentence Friday. Your hosts are:
Stephanie, from Mommy, For Real
Kristi, from Finding Ninee
This week’s guest hosts are Michelle and Ruchira! (see above)

  • Don - Bed rest? What a wienie!!!

    The best part was the boobs in your face because, boobs. Lol.August 7, 2014 – 10:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Whatever. You grow a human in your um, parts, and push it out. Also, yeah, boobs. 😀August 8, 2014 – 12:39 amReplyCancel

  • Allie - Oh momma – I can’t believe you left me hanging. What happened in the damn closet? I am a runner, kind of. I think of some of the same stuff when I run and I have a bum knee and now a bum hip…but something keeps me plugging along.

    Sorry I didn’t participate. The only thing I could come up with was have the kids, but nothing original to add. SO I posted about their first day of school instead (for another link-up. so I guess I cheated on FTSF). But I’m going to but my thinking cap on for a sentence to submit!August 7, 2014 – 10:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - HAHA sorry Allie! That may need to be a story for another day. 🙂
      And I know what you mean about not being able to think of anything. I was convinced that I had nothing to write until about two hours before FTSF went live and then I was like “OH!” I hope you’ll think of something to submit! You could always write about how you run and don’t worry about your boob hitting you in the face??August 8, 2014 – 1:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Oh, Don – such a man. If only my boobs were able to reach my face. You forgot to add that your hands have created these awesome and funny drawings, Kristi!August 7, 2014 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OOH thanks, Dana! I should have included that they are quite good at drawing really stupid-looking pictures!!! 🙂August 8, 2014 – 5:21 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - Beautiful.
    This post pretty much had it all 🙂 xxAugust 7, 2014 – 10:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Mike - To get this out of the way, I got a knot in my gut at the carrying your ailing dog to his final resting place part. I do love that you shared that though 🙂 The sentence…hmmm…the amazing thing my body has done is be blessedly relatively healthy (knock on wood) for my lifetime. Running. Argh! I ran in school but then stopped after I moved out. Having had knee surgery myself I get your pain, our friend! These days I save it for running to the fridge or when I’m leaving work to get into Phoenix’s Jeep and come home to him. And if a bear was running after me I would run. Oh wait, that is what you are NOT supposed to do! Ooops…cancel that last. I loved how you shared about holding Tucker and communicating to him that bad dreams can be sent away. Then about you holding your husband’s hand in labor and the connection to the inside and outside. That was AWESOME!! Another incredibly beautiful post, Kristi! 🙂August 7, 2014 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yeah, I got a knot in my gut at that part too, Mike, and thought about taking it out, but Chief was a huge part of my life… Sigh. YAY to being healthy and have you ever heard that joke about the two guys who are being chased by a bear? They’re camping, and climb up a tree to get away from the bear. One guy starts digging in his backpack to find his sneakers (because he was wearing flip flops) and the other guy is like “Dude! You can’t out run a bear!!” And the guy putting on his sneakers replied with “Well, I don’t have to out run the bear. I just have to out run you.” HAHAHAH 🙂
      and thank you, Mike!!!August 8, 2014 – 5:43 pmReplyCancel

      • Mike - That is VERY funny, Kristi!!! That would totally be Phoenix as he was 100 yards, safely, ahead of me. Turning around to check, “Run you lard ass! He looks pissed! AND hungry! But, if he does eat you at least I get to sleep on the bed finally! Woo hoo!!” Man’s Best Friend 🙂August 9, 2014 – 12:43 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - HAHAHAH and I have no doubt in my heart that Phoenix would totally fight a bear for you, and win. Because hello invincible.August 9, 2014 – 1:03 amReplyCancel

          • Mike - Yes, all kidding aside, he would protect me Kristi. Thank you 🙂August 9, 2014 – 1:22 am

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - I love this! (Do I say that every time I comment? I’m such a goof.) But really it’s a great perspective because we women are all too often so hard on ourselves about our bodies. WTF.
    OK, now about the running thing – do you remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe and Rachel go running and Phoebe’s all CRAZY??? Yeah, I’m not even that graceful. 😀 hehee.August 7, 2014 – 10:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You’re SO not a goof – you’re awesome and fabulous. And yeah, we are so hard on ourselves about our bodies. It’s really unproductive. I thought I knew every single Friends episode but now can’t think of that one at all. Must Google it. Thanks!!August 8, 2014 – 7:59 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - It a wonder how our fingers can peck out what is conceived in our brains and hearts. And those tireless mothering days. When we (or I am) are so very tired. Yes, our bodies are amazing.August 7, 2014 – 10:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Jamie, I know – it really is pretty awesome when you think about being able to convey emotion and grief and hope and happiness through our fingers. Thanks so much!!August 8, 2014 – 7:59 pmReplyCancel

  • April - Some of my friends double up on bras. I opt for paying more for a sports bra, because otherwise, it just means that I have more laundry to do! I love how my body comforts my babies and there’s no judgment of imperfections. But that’s not the route I took tonight.August 7, 2014 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Really? People for real double up on bras?? And I agree that our bodies being able to comfort our babies is incredible. Your route tonight was incredible and brave. More hugs. Because, no words.August 8, 2014 – 8:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Yup, I am here at 10 pm on on Thursday night, because I adore and love you and couldn’t stay away to let you know this. Seriously, thank you for carrying on the FTSF tradition and couldn’t thank you more if I tried. So, thank you again from the bottom of my heart and like I told you before you are an amazing person and friend, too 😉August 8, 2014 – 2:12 amReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - We’re baaaaaaaaaack! Good to be back looking at posts at 10 PM ET on a Thursday night! I was excited enough when I got your message that I sat right down and wrote out my post. Once again not nearly as dramatic as your post — seriously girl your college years — TOTALLY different from mine.

    Thanks again for taking this on. Glad to hear that you are getting support for continuing FTSF. Please remember to feel good about reaching out to the FTSF community if you need help with anything!August 8, 2014 – 2:19 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - Loved your touching yet a sprinkle of humor in this post. As mom’s our bodies are precious and priceless!!

    Will miss Janine n Kate in this FTSF tours…but glad to have you guys back!

    Kristi dunno if my inlinkz is linked up correctly. Although, I pasted all that you gave me…lolAugust 8, 2014 – 2:21 amReplyCancel

  • MyTwice BakedPotato - No one could say those words like you 🙂August 8, 2014 – 2:42 amReplyCancel

  • Crumpets and Bollocks - I have the same issue running, exactly the same, the words out of my head and written way better than I could ever have. And then, the positive reinforcement over the fact that I just cannot run. Well written, heartwarming post about how a mother’s body is amazing. You struggle with running, but when you need strength and endurance to tackle more physically challenging feats, all the sudden, your body is there, doing it, with ease. Love it. August 8, 2014 – 4:39 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - Funny and Beautiful as always! I haven’t written for today because, honestly this prompt makes me cringe. I have a very hard time finding anything positive to say about my body. I’m mulling it over, tough, and might link up later today.August 8, 2014 – 7:52 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It made me cringe, too, Lisa. Seriously, I put off writing about it until the very last minute because I had NO idea what to say. None. Also, I met you IRL and can promise you that you’re very very perfectly beautiful. For real.August 8, 2014 – 8:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - I love what you did with this prompt. I had no idea how to finish the sentence so I skipped and then read yours and don’t want to be a copy cat. But…now I might have an idea to play with. So thanks for that. However I am a little worried about what you could have done in a closet that caused a vortex.August 8, 2014 – 8:20 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kerri, the closet vortex story is but one of many that will need to only be shared in person. I’m glad that you decided to play along with FTSF because I love your post!!August 8, 2014 – 8:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Beautiful post and I always love how creative you are with these prompts! And HA-love your ending.:)August 8, 2014 – 8:26 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Emily!!! The ending, I have to admit, was cracking me up a little bit!!!August 8, 2014 – 8:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I love these responses, and how you ladies are thinking beyond athleticism to what our bodies actually do everyday. I think our society wants to celebrate the ninja warriors (though those people are really amazing) but we also need to celebrate the people who work hard everyday, and our connections. Also, I think I am going to end up one of those ladies who can only do water aerobics, because every joint on my body hurts from me beating it up (via hockey). My knee feels your knee’s pain! 🙂August 8, 2014 – 10:59 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - So right the the ninja warriors are impressive and amazing but really, it’s all of the things we do everyday, each day, without medals or any type of recognition at all that matter. I’ll totally do water aerobics with you! As long as it’s not too early in the morning, okay?August 8, 2014 – 8:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Michele @ A Storybook Life - Oh, HELL YES. Your body has done amazing things, and I’m so glad to see that you take the pride in them that you should! (And if you do manage to hit yourself in the face with your boob, well, that could easily count for another amazing thing that your body can do.) Love the cliffhanger ending — looking forward to getting that story in person!! 🙂August 8, 2014 – 11:17 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - HAHA Michele – in your “delicate state” that story may need to wait a little while. Or not. Because compression socks needs some comedic relief!! And here’s to our awesome bodies!!August 8, 2014 – 8:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Susan Maccarelli - Love it! I can definitely relate to the running play by play. #bloppiesAugust 8, 2014 – 12:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - I was all set to begin swooning over the body talk, how you turned 2 into 3, used it to vocalize dreams, and then the vortex….HAHAH! That dang content! Too funny! You are cracking me up. With regarding to boozey skiing…I know no other way! LOL But geez, it’s always the damn knee with skiing injuries. PS. I loathe running and don’t try on sports bras either. People do that? Oops!August 8, 2014 – 12:52 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - YAY to cracking you up and re: boozey skiing? So glad I’m not alone. And yeah, always the stupid knee!!! I don’t know – do people try on sports bras???August 8, 2014 – 9:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I have a knee issue too. I didn’t come from skiing or drinking – it just showed up. It makes me have to choose sensible shoes and workout carefully. One of these days I’m going to have to work up the nerve to try a aqua spin class. Anyway love this post. Christopher has told me I’m the best pillow in the world because I’m so soft. When it comes to compliments like that, you think well a little fluff never hurt anyone 😉 I’m so glad FTSF lives on!!! Though we are sure to all stay connected, it’s “the place” where we all connected.August 8, 2014 – 1:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - UGH to knowing the knee problem, Kenya!!! I have to choose sensible shoes as well. In fact, I’m reminded of the very first post I read of yours – it was about how many black shoes you had and how “similar” yet different they all were!!! Wow. Was that really a year and 1/2 ago? Pretty sure it was FTSF, too.
      Yay to being the best pillow for Christopher and Tucker. You’re so right – a little fluff never really hurt anybody (I never did mind the little things!!!!).
      xoxoAugust 8, 2014 – 10:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I just want to know how you managed such a put together postpartum photo. Seriously, look at mine. And that’s the best of the bunch.August 8, 2014 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sarah yours is awesome!!!! Also? I was 40. It makes a first time mama glow. Trust me, and I know you’ve seen first-hand, I’ve not had another photo as good, since!!!August 8, 2014 – 10:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - You just epitomized the concept of self-compassion, my friend. I love how you have a message that you encourage other people to live, and then you stick to it with your own words and your own life. Not that i’m saying it’s easy to always love our bodies, but still. This was beautiful. And your comment on my post made me feel much less alone, and loved, and weepy… so, thanks. xoxoAugust 8, 2014 – 3:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - LOVE LOVE LOVE this. The best BODY IMAGE EVER. And every mom deserves the same. Beautifully said Kristi Rieger Campbell. One of my favorites from you!!August 8, 2014 – 3:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I have always had this low level feeling that my body was my enemy, and I love the idea of thinking about it in a new way. Great topic, great post!August 8, 2014 – 4:05 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Elizabeth! I have a hard time accepting my body these days and liked the opportunity to remember that my son (and my life) don’t view it the same way that I do!!August 8, 2014 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly - Isn’t life itself amazing enough? Who needs to climb Mount Everest or swim the English Channel, if we look at our bodies as a micro-cosmos and what it achieves every single day! Thank you very much for this great prompt, Kristi!August 8, 2014 – 4:36 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much for participating, Stephanie, and you’re right. We don’t need to climb Mount Everest to get to the amazing.August 8, 2014 – 10:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Brittnei - Oh boo! I just found out you all were back today when I read you and Janine’s blogs. I will definitely try to be apart. I’m also joining the FB group. 🙂 I love love love how you shared what your body has done all these years. Very heart-warming. 🙂August 8, 2014 – 6:29 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sorry Brittnei!! The code is open until Sunday if you would like to participate!!! And I appreciate the visit and comment. Glad to know that you will try to play along – I’ve missed you!August 8, 2014 – 10:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - Kristi, this and all the other posts I’ve read in this hop are wonderful and you’ve inspired me to write one of my own. I wasn’t going to do a post today and have never joined in this hop before, but I’ve stayed up late to finish mine!
    Thanks for the inspiration.August 8, 2014 – 6:42 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yvonne. I don’t have the words to say how honored I am that the incredible and beautiful and seriously blow me away post you wrote was inspired here, somehow. You did well. You win. Seriously. Thank you thank you and wow.August 8, 2014 – 11:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Katia - I can’t remember which one of your readers it was who said they loved the way in which you take them through an entire gamut of emotions in one post. I actually laughed out loud, as in “HAHA!” (all capped and with an exclamation mark) at the jogging rant with the angry knee and the fear of boobs knocking you down and then I went straight to that heart-clenched-really-tightly-in-a-fist type of feeling I often get when reading your posts. OMG, Kristi. I love you.August 8, 2014 – 9:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Katia my sweet now IRL too friend!!! Thank you thank you thank you so huge. I love you too, you. Big.August 8, 2014 – 11:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Courtney - I know I will hold your words in my heart as I get frustrated with my body for not working as fast as my mind tells it to during workouts. I love how you listed the many things your body had done, despite how you feel when you run. You have beautiful words and heart.August 9, 2014 – 12:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hold it in your heart that you are so enough. Because you are. Whether you work out to the chatter in your head, or decide to not work out at all, and take a much needed break on the couch – your body is doing what it was meant to. You’re there. With your kids.
      Thinking about you SO MUCH. Sending hugs and prayers.August 9, 2014 – 12:16 amReplyCancel

  • Debra Cole - I cried at the dog. I always cry at the dog!!! Funny and touching piece, as always, K.August 9, 2014 – 1:50 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle - You crack me up! I can’t ski anymore, due to the fracture in my neck. Too risky. I learned as an adult so I’m not totally devastated but I am irritated to have a condition that limits me from doing certain activities. But anyhow, I think we all get frustrated with the limitations of our bodies. But our bodies all have done amazing things too.August 9, 2014 – 3:57 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Having ANY condition that limits us is what makes me feel old – and UGH to that!! You’re right though – they have done amazing things…August 9, 2014 – 7:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - This is so beautiful! I never thought about my body like that. I mean, sure, I’ve thought about knee pain, flopping boobs (love the illustration) and the fact that I am out of breath at the end of the block. Yet, I never thought about my kids’ and how they snuggle into me for comfort. I love it.August 9, 2014 – 9:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - YAY to re-seeing your body as the amazing thing that it is. It’s YOU, here, now. Comfort and mamma-ing.August 9, 2014 – 10:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Debra Jenkins - What a beautiful – and hilarious – post! And by the way, your son is absolutely adorable!August 10, 2014 – 4:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay from Trashy Blog - I LOVE that ending! Laughed so hard!August 10, 2014 – 5:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Natalie D - At first I was all, “yep, that’s my body when I run, then I was like, “aw, this is so touching!” then I snickered at the image you removed. So yeah, you took me through the range of human emotion. 😉August 10, 2014 – 11:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Natalie. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels like that when I run and that you went through the range of emotion!!August 11, 2014 – 7:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna - The most amazing thing my body has ever done is carried me three miles in the Grand Canyon in the heat of the day. It’s also amazing that I can climb a 5.7 with moderate effort considering how hard climbing is.

    Did You Know? Marching band gives someone the same cardio workout as a runner in the middle of a marathon.August 11, 2014 – 1:54 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Anna! That’s so awesome. You’re amazing and no, I had no idea that marching band gives somebody the same workout as a runner in a marathon!!! WOW.August 11, 2014 – 7:20 pmReplyCancel

  • becka - It is my one fear that I will be knocked unconscious when I run from my own boobies… it’s my excuse to not go running. 🙂August 11, 2014 – 11:01 amReplyCancel

  • clark - running… is there any other natural body function that creates such high expectations of enjoyment and satisfaction and results in such a let down? (no, not including that)
    I have tried, for similar reasons….the challenge of the ordeal of running, the hope for some of that endorphin shit, but talk about abstract benefit…. “hey baby check out my cardiovascular system… hot, non?”August 11, 2014 – 5:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - I always love your posts with the quirky cartoons!! Too bad you removed the self-incriminating photo!! 😛August 12, 2014 – 7:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Steck - Beautiful, Kristi. Our bodies are so amazing, despite the fact that running is not our best talent. There are so many others. When things finally slow down, I hope to rejoin the Finish the Sentence Fridays. Thanks for keeping it going.August 12, 2014 – 10:52 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Jennifer! And I agree that our bodies are amazing even if running isn’t on the list of talents. I look forward to you rejoining FTSF. Also, I can’t wait to see photos of your trip!!August 14, 2014 – 10:54 amReplyCancel

  • Alison - Ooh, I love this, Kristi! Our bodies are truly amazing, if only we give them credit where credit is due, always.August 18, 2014 – 8:32 pmReplyCancel

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