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

Thankfulness Over the Holiday & a 2013 Review

It’s that wonderful time of year filled with cookies, ribbons, broken childhood ornaments, impossible to assemble toys, and just enough magic and laughter sprinkled throughout to give parents something to hang onto so that we gleefully repeat the whole process each year. While Tucker did break a Frosty the Snowman ornament that had my 1977 signature on the back, I can’t really complain about anything from this merry season. I still have my 1978 Frosty, as well as my thankful things.

Thankfulness Over the Holiday & a 2013 Review

First, the thankful.

This holiday season, I’m thankful to have experienced an amazing light show at the botanic gardens,

Botanic Gardens Lights Bench

that Tucker found some new friends to hug,

Holiday Lights New Friends

and that he had belly laughs in a secret and wondrous world with his best friend.

hiding place

I’m thankful that our trip to Denver to see family and friends was relaxing, fun, and that Tucker did really well interacting and playing, in spite of the fact that none of us slept perfectly with his squirmy sharp-kneed self. I’m also thankful that he has his own bed, here.

And that the lovely Stephanie (Mommy, For Real) is just as awesome and adorable in person as she is online.

This holiday season, we had important life lessons, like how to make a duck face using a few chips from the $5 mini Pringles can that the airline so generously stocks.

Pringles Duck

We had bravery,

bravery climbing

and more bravery.

He almost touched the turtle

He almost touched the turtle

We had a tranquil place to wash off the day’s grime.

tranquil bath

And we had magic. Magic that I didn’t plan.

tiny snowman

Stress-free magic and wonder.

We found very big magic in the very small. 

magic in the little things

We had Merry, Thankful, and Life. We had good.

We also have about 27.5 hours to complete our 2013 New Year’s resolutions! Whoot! Which means that I’d better start organizing, running, and being a better me. Rightnow. Er…just as soon as I wrap up the year, that is. What’s another 30 minutes in the scheme of things, right?

And now, a 2013 Review.

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by. It seems like too few yesterdays ago that Tucker celebrated his first Christmas.

6mo old Tucker Santa hat

This year, we did not receive a diagnosis, and so we continue to inhabit The Middle World – a place where the autism spectrum exists but a diagnosis does not. This year, we also learned that a diagnosis has little to do with finding amazing community from so many different places. Places where you’re raising typical children, Middle World kids, special needs kids, or still hoping for them, whoever they will become. This year, I found you.

In January, Robert and I held an intervention for a dear friend, I attempted to give you a grammar lesson, and I shared one of my most embarrassing moments.

February brought posts about the evolution of a bloggerpeeing in a graveyard, and what it feels like to be a special needs mom.

In March, I worried about toilet paper liceMexican laxatives, and how someday, I want to be like you (but not really).

April brought me wondering about Tucker’s school photo, and wanting a land of empathy and wonder, which led to the lovely Our Land Series, which has taken off in ways that honor and amaze me. Thank you to each author for continually growing our awareness and kindness. With that great joy also came heartbreak, when I had to say goodbye to my keeper of secrets, Chief.

In May, I talked about why I blog.

June brought reflections on life’s turning points, a ghetto DIY project, and a reflection on braless nub boobs. It also brought a letter to my old man son, and the story of pet rocks.

Tucker turned four in July! My sweet boy. Time flies. There are me’s that I used to love, choosing to do nothing overtroll dolls, and us each being our own version of normal.

H%LYF$cK this post is getting long. Did you all leave? I suppose this should’ve been two posts!! Sorry – too late.  In August, I shared my bucket list (using the year 2059), the best Halloween costumes, and what I think it sounds like sometimes, in Tucker’s head.

September came, and I wondered whether to fix the child or the world, and discussed laser light shows and skanks.

In October, I said that being here is the best part, and also that I wish I were a more perfect mom.

November came too quickly, and I said that we can fly. I also talked about pilgrims, and sang a vlog about Caillou sucking (I know. I was surprised, too.).

December! Finally, right? December brought me wanting to be a better me, a broken hand, some favorite childhood memories, and a reflection that I could have had Kevin Costner’s baby.

Still here? OMG you people rock.

I really want to link up with Joy for her end-of-year post because she rocks, and not just ’cause she started her blog after finding Finding Ninee. However, I’m hoping she forgives me for skipping some of her 40 questions…

1) Gained or lost weight?
Really? Our scale ran out of batteries. So I’ll assume lost, although my boobs are looking larger.

4) Something you did for the first time in 2013?
Had a four-year old.

6) Something you unfortunately did not do in 2013?
Become famous.

7) Word of the year?

13) (Fallen) In love?
Over and over. His name is Tucker.

18) Book of the year?
The ones I’m in!!!

20) Insight of the year?
Worrying does nothing but eat my guts.

26) The most delicious meal or food you ate?
The ones that other people made.

31) The most beautiful sentence someone said to you?
Tucker saying “I you” in reply to my “I love you.”

33) How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve?
Still waiting for a great party invite that will warrant me calling a sitter and a car service.

37) What are you going to wear? Comfy or glamourous?
Ha. Really??

38) Did you have any resolutions for 2013? And how about 2014? 39) What are your wishes for the new year?
Tucker, getting language, and having a smooth transition to kindergarden in September (EEEP!!!). Me, remembering to be here, now. Always, and no matter what.

40) In one word: 2013 was…
Mine, here.


Ten Things of Thankful

  • Jean - Kristi, I loved your wrap-up. What stood out to me the most was your mention of Tucker attending kindergarten in the fall. I get sucked into your posts that reflect on time gone and the future and of course everything about your child. I am so looking forward to what you have to say about him heading off to big kid school. I’m so thankful I found your blog this year.December 30, 2013 – 8:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Jean! I adore you! I can’t believe Tucker will be going to kindergarden this year! Also? I’m SO glad to have found YOU!!!December 30, 2013 – 8:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Considerer - I CALL FIRST! (I hope…)December 30, 2013 – 8:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Considerer - Damnit! Leave the ‘first’ THEN read the post *facepalm*

    You hooked me in too soon.

    Love this.

    All of it 😀

    Thanks for it. And for you. And for your way around words and your knowing.

    And for gorgeous Tucker pictures 😀

    And goofy drawings.

    And you. 😀December 30, 2013 – 8:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Great wrap-up (and photos!) and you’ve helped me realize that I actually CAN list things to be thankful for from this past year. So what if there are only 4 of them — kidding (sort of)! Happy New Year and thank you for all your virtual support this past year — it truly has meant so much to me.December 30, 2013 – 8:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Excellent, Kristi. I read the whole damn thing, and I don’t have to click on any of the links because I’m a creepy stalker and I’ve already read them all. I mean, I’m a devoted friend so I read everything you write. Also because your writing is Good. Happy new year, my friend!December 30, 2013 – 8:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - You did good! I read the WHOLE thing. LOL – I’ve been off from reading blogs for about a week or so and this is my first day back so you had my full attention. 😉 I am trying to decide if & what I’ll will write about it I get one more in this year. Anyway…

    I am exhaling that you had a good Christmas break without all the stuff you worried about. Sorry about the knees. My husband and I sleep in a full size bed at the in laws. Christopher sleeps in his own spot now but for the several years he slept with my in laws in their king bed. One night we came in super late and didn’t want to wake them so Christopher had to sleep with us in the full bed. He was probably Tuckers age. I had a TMI stomachyuck and it was the worst up and down spend the night somewhere in a full bed with my husband and son night of my life!December 30, 2013 – 8:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Janet - Excellent summary. I’m so glad we met and that I found your blog. It has been an immense help during a very trying year. Best Wishes for 2014!!!December 30, 2013 – 8:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - so very, very happy you are back. Missed you. You’ve had a remarkable year and I’m personally glad I’ve been a part of it. And your Christmas sounded spectacular too. Denver must have kept you incredibly busy since we missed so many of your words of encouragement and courage and love. Happy end of 2013. And Happy New Year to you and your family too. Love the pictures–especially your family pic. GLAD YOU ARE BACK!December 30, 2013 – 8:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Lori Lavender Luz - Hey, Duckface.

    Wanna come to a NYE party? Totally sitter-worthy (though maybe not car service-worthy from VA).December 30, 2013 – 9:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Considerer,
    SORRY!!! But thanks for trying to be first!!! Thanks for you, too… Big. Huge.
    Four of them is ok. You’ve had one SHIT year. Four is good….

    HAHA!!! Love that but really? January? You rock!!!!

    OMG the KNEES!!! I can’t imagine having the stomach nasty at the same time!!! OUCH!!! Hubs of mine left the room. I almost did, but each time I was about to, Tucker put his arm on my neck and said “mommy.”

    We so need to catch up!!!!!

    DEnver, life, my head…Glad YOU are back, Mz. World traveller!!!!

    YES!!!! Is that an invite?????December 30, 2013 – 10:23 pmReplyCancel

  • christine - What a wonderful Christmas you had! That Tucker is just precious. My favorite photos are the ones of him hugging the statues. Adorable. And aren’t those airlines so nice, only overcharging a leg instead of an arm and a leg for a tiny can of chips.

    I did Joy’s link-up, too, and we have two of the same answers. Book of the year (thought I only had one) and favorite meal. Any meal I didn’t do anything to make is my favorite.
    Here’s to a great 2014!December 30, 2013 – 10:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Ginny Marie - I stopped by to read how you broke your hand…I was curious after I watched our MOAM video! Not only did I learn about THAT…(you really had me going with the woman and the bat story!) but I learned a lot about you in this very long post! 😉 Such a nice recap of your year!December 30, 2013 – 11:50 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected] Menopausal Mother - I like the way you did your wrap up—great pics (love the light show at the botanic gardens)and especially love the way you answered all the questions. Nice to learn more about you. I can relate to a lot of your answers! 🙂December 31, 2013 – 12:22 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - I am SO looking forward to visiting some of those past posts you’ve linked here! I am trying very hard not to click now because, well, once I start I’ll be here all night and I really need to sleep.

    This is the loveliest thing I read all day – “We found very big magic in the very small.” I have not read your blog very much yet, but I think you have a wonderful way of seeing things. I wish you and your family all the best in the new year!December 31, 2013 – 12:36 amReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - WOW what a year!!! And yes- I kinda scrolled through it, but dangit I hung in there til the very end!!!

    Here’s to a beautiful and bountiful year for you. CHEERS!!! (*She gulps her “Kristi-bought” Bacardi*)

    I adore you 100 X’s over. 🙂December 31, 2013 – 1:40 amReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - I remember and loved so many of those posts. 2013 was the year I met you in the blogosphere!!! xoxoDecember 31, 2013 – 1:43 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzy - Muddle-Headed Mamma - Our scale mysteriously ran out of batteries too … unfortunately for me though I know that my boobs are getting smaller and saggier and my bum and tum larger and wobblier. Love your duck faces and love how you write about your beautiful boy … “I you”, just gorgeous. I agree, food made by someone else is always the best 🙂 So glad I found you in the blogosphere this year. Happy new year to you and yours!December 31, 2013 – 4:46 amReplyCancel

  • Jen Lauren Schneider Kehl - Loved. And I’m not really here. So Happy New Year, and I am so glad that I got to read so many of those awesome posts, cause you know, you’re awesome and highsterical and also very touching. Mwah!December 31, 2013 – 5:42 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I am seriously so happy that in 2013, we got to know each other better through blogging, co-hosting FTSF and become friends. Seriously, when I was reading this, I remembered so many of your posts and felt like I had been there for so much of this past year with you. I really loved the first picture of the three of you at the Botanical Gardens by the way. Oh and I also couldn’t resist joining join today either!! Happy New Year Kristi to you and your family 🙂December 31, 2013 – 7:28 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Holy crap sista friend that was the longest typed with one freaking hand post ever written. Tell the truth, Robert is playing secretary for you. I would write more but your trip down memory lane has my nether regions itching thinking about toilet paper lice. I could have sworn I scrubbed that from my memory!

    In all seriousness, thanks for being my friend. I look forward to 2014 and wondering what you will think of nextDecember 31, 2013 – 9:16 amReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I read the whole thing and my biggest takeaway is that I want that bathtub – the tranquil place to wash off the grime!
    And..that I had read many of these already but I did have to click on a few. 2013 was the year we virtually met! Maybe 2014 will be the year we real-life meet!December 31, 2013 – 9:24 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Christine,
    Whoot to the book! And yes, I agree that the airlines were kind in allowing me to keep my broken arm. Happy NYE!!

    You’re so awesome to have stopped by! Thanks, friend!!

    We do have tons in common, for sure. Happy New Year to you, sweets!!

    Aw, thanks so much. I look forward to getting to know you better as well, and happy new year!!

    Cheers to Kristi-bought Bacardi! I’m impressed you still have it! Also I adore you rightback. Big.

    I am pretty sure that my too-tight pants are an indication that I did not in fact lose weight…sigh. So glad that I found you!!

    Happy New Year to you, Kevin, and your adorable girls!! I’m so glad we became such good friends this year as well!!!

    I wish Robert were playing secretary for me but I hate to say that my one-hand typing is about as good as his two-hand typing!! Sorry about the TP lice… Thank YOU for being my friend!!! Happy New Year, you!!!

    I want their tub, too. They never use it!!! I hope we will meet IRL this year!!December 31, 2013 – 9:41 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi - This whole post is completely engaging! I’ve been bouncing all over the place, visiting link after link. I love your magical photos of Christmastime. Happy New Year!December 31, 2013 – 11:03 amReplyCancel

  • Shay - I stuck around for the whole post, becuase you’re awesome and it was a great post. So sweet. I love seeing the pics–and it really was a great year for you. I’m so glad we “met” through out blogs!December 31, 2013 – 11:05 amReplyCancel

  • meeshie - This year I found your blog and we managed to connect. I’m glad for that. I hope you have a lovely new year.December 31, 2013 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - I love number 20 and 26 on your list.
    Insight of the year? Worrying does nothing but eat my guts. The most delicious meal or food you ate? The ones that other people made.

    Amen to both to those!

    That light show does look amazing, and I’m glad to read your Christmas went well. Here’s to a Happy New Year.December 31, 2013 – 4:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah | LeftBrainBuddha - Wow, great pictures, great holidays, great posts! Happy New Year to you, friend. xoxoDecember 31, 2013 – 6:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Louise - Okay – I’m so coming back to check out a few of the links, but we are about to do family new years (yay!).

    It looks like you guys had a wonderful Xmas! Rock climbing rocks! It’s my hubby’s sport. And Tucker truly looks No Fear there 🙂 Your photos are beautiful (I’ll have to check back more re: the funky snowman… but I like him).

    I’d also been wondering about the Our Land Series – so I’ll bookmark and visit back.

    Finally – I suspect you can verify this fact with half the population: bigger boobs are fine.December 31, 2013 – 6:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Kristi,
    Happy New Year!!!

    YOU crack me up, over and over. Happy New Year, friend. I can’t wait to see where 2014 brings your brain!!!

    What can I say other than HOLYFUCKTHANKYOU???? Because you saved me, from me….December 31, 2013 – 11:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Yvonne,
    Gut eating is bad,,, bad, bad. Happy NY to you!!!

    Happy NY to you, Sweets!!!!

    Yay for the fam NY. I’m a little jealous, as we don’t have family here…
    YAY for climbing. I mean you know, not for me… but for Tuck and your hubs!!!December 31, 2013 – 11:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Clark Scottroger - hey Kristi! Happy New Year to you and Tucker and Robert!

    ( I was going to say ‘the gang at the Wakefield Doctrine’ but then you are a part of that gang, then I thought, ‘me and the Wakefield Doctrine’ and that started to sound just a little…. normanish and my last hope was to go for ‘from everyone’s favorite little personality theory’ but I got, well they’ll surely all be thinking ZZ Top when they read that! Have I mentioned Wakefield Doctrine enough yet?)

    Hey thanks for helping to start the soon to be whispered about tradition of the Dirty Joke feature of the Video chats! lolDecember 31, 2013 – 11:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah Pavitt - love it love it love it – as always. You are awesome and I am so glad we finally met!!!
    January 1, 2014 – 12:32 amReplyCancel

  • Sarah Shaw Almond - Ah the Middle World… you know I can so relate! 2013 was the year I met you so that makes it a GREAT year, right? Sorry I’ve been so out of the loop. I;m hoping to do better in the new year. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!January 1, 2014 – 4:08 amReplyCancel

  • Kate - I love the photo of Tucker looking at the snow globe. Adorable and i can see the magic from here.January 1, 2014 – 2:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Cathy Harlow - What a year you’ve had. Thanks for sharing your happy, creative self with us all. Happy New Year, my friend! <3January 1, 2014 – 4:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Joy Christi - There is so much beautiful, absolute JOY and love in this post, I’m wiping my tears on my shirt.
    Did that all really happen in just ONE year??
    p.s. I’m totally loving this sentence:
    “Worrying does nothing but eat my guts.”
    Amen, sister!
    Happy 2014!!January 1, 2014 – 6:38 pmReplyCancel

  • zoe - Kristy I’m so glad I got to meet you this year. some of the links you had here for your review were absolutely hysterical.I hope only the best for you and your family in 2014 and I hope to see more of you! ZoeJanuary 1, 2014 – 6:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Katia - First of all you look gorgeous on that family photo. Second of all, the photo of Tucker studying magic is breathtaking. Third of all I loved that trip down memory lane letting my mind wander back to some of your amazing posts last year (the letter to old man Tucker, oh my gosh, my heart palpitates at the memory). It also made me a little sad realizing I will probably never find the time to go back and read every single post there, because I wish I could just read more and more of you. Love you, my friend, and isn’t Steph like totally awesome? 🙂January 1, 2014 – 8:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Manal The Go Go Girl - A very sweet post. I made it thru the end but was hopping from post to post..Love your blog and I promise I will read a lot more..Love the pictures and I’m in love with Tucker. Adorable little angel!January 1, 2014 – 9:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Catherine Gacad - what a year! looking forward to what 2014 brings.January 1, 2014 – 10:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Kate,
    I love him looking at the snow globe, too…

    Amen to less worry and I’m so glad I found you!!!

    Ditto, my friend!!!!

    LOVE LOVE you! And yeah, Steph is awesome. I’m glad I found you this year!!!

    Go go-
    Tucker is awesome and I look forward to reading yours more too! Happy New Year!!!

    OMG I look forward to what 2014 brings you!!! A new baby!!! EEEEP!!!!January 1, 2014 – 10:39 pmReplyCancel

  • A Morning Grouch - Absolutely love the photos and holiday memories. What a great post and one you will love to look back on. And wtf is up with you losing weight but getitng bigger boobs?! That just isn’t fair. But, good for you, I guess lol.January 2, 2014 – 12:55 amReplyCancel

  • Ilene - Learning to make a duck face with Pringles is a valuable life skill! I’m glad you got to meet a blogger friend who was just was awesome in person as in the blogging world. I love when that happens. And worrying? Can’t agree with you more on that one!January 2, 2014 – 6:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - Now see… I was coming back to make sure I HAD read this one yikes…don’t judge- Bacardi can do these things…

    And I just read your reply…

    Dear sweet Kristi,

    Tis NOT the same bottle, my love.
    The Good Lord knows.
    That was many bottles back.
    I surely don’t keep track…
    Way too many to count!

    LOLJanuary 2, 2014 – 6:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. - No, YOU are awesome and adorable! How much fun did we have??? More, if we’d stayed up all night playing CAH, no? Anyway… I am jealous of this- I intended to do a wrap-up year end post, and I totally bailed. I guess I needed the blog break more than I needed to write that post. But I wanted to. Sigh.January 3, 2014 – 4:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Mike - Awesome photos and that one of Tucker and the snow globe is priceless, Kristi! I soooo have to try that with the duck lips. I’m a Pringles addict hence I virtually never have them in the house except for food posts. My favorites of your’s here were 1, 13, 20, 31, 39 (of which your saying inspired me to write my last post)! May 2014 be even more beautiful for you every day 🙂February 13, 2014 – 6:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Mike! FOR REAL? I inspired you to write a post? How awesome are YOU??? And thank you so much my awesome friend. Huge. Duck lips are like a law of Pringles.February 13, 2014 – 10:08 pmReplyCancel

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