Monday, July 10, 2017

When Life Get's Real..

It's been a hot minute since I have written a blog. I've vlogged and started a book..but no blog.
 Today, I am feeling crazy negative and I can't shake it. As I sit here in my home office, printing shipping labels and preparing for a USPS run in the morning before I go to my other full time job, I wonder, WTF did I get myself into? I am already crazy busy and have more side hustles then I could ever possibly know what to do with and I now I am slinging clothes?!
 I am trying to stay positive but damn, sometimes I bite off way more than I can chew. It's like I never learn..
 I started writing a book, I got to page 70 and decided I was bored. This isn't like me.. I don't quit so easily but honestly.. quiet and time aren't two things that happen in my home. Not as often or as easily as one would think.
 I have attempted to turn my blog into a vlog but it's hard to stomach editing myself for that long.
 I haven't read or audio booked anything for pleasure in more then two months.. which is also, really making me sad. I love to read, it's the best escape and I haven't even picked up a magazine.
 I also consider how much I do in addition to my already hectic life, what I volunteer myself for and how much I give myself to others.. it's no wonder I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.
 I know that these feelings are temporary and that I can't run away from this life. I know that though I don't have all the things I want, I surely have everything I need and more.
 Every time I type the sentence, "I'd love to give my children more.." I hit "delete" because what more do they need?
 Today I am blogging to count my own blessings and remind myself that though these feelings are overwhelming, they are fleeting and my life is great.
 So why, knowing all that I know do I still doubt everything I am doing?! Cause as a human, I am self fucking destructive and that's a hard pill to swallow.
 Not many people know that I suffer from anxiety. That I medicate for it. It isn't something people with anxiety advertise because then people try to suggest things like, "Maybe you should slow down..." "Maybe you work to hard.."
 Maybe it's none of those things and for reasons unknown to all of us, the thought if listening to my client and myself converse while trying to tune out the sound of other stylists, clients and blowdryers sends me into a completely unnecessary melt down that I have to excuse myself for.
 Sometimes I stand in the color room before mixing your formula that I have known for years and my mind draws a blank for just a second to long. It's a tightening in my chest that makes me short of breath and hurts beyond belief.
 Sometimes, the walls of my very own house are closing in on me and the damn thing is empty and 2500 sq ft. in size.
 Mostly it's the thoughts in my own head that cause these over whelming feelings to disable me. It's worry beyond my control, it comes when I feel like I need to filter myself, when I feel like I am not protecting my children well enough or situations are beyond my control. It's the constant worry if I am enough, doing enough or giving enough.
 I am always amazed when people tell me I am "strong" because that is not the first word I would use to describe myself. Not even a little.. I am insecure, I am forever doubtful and sometimes I am crazy negative. Though it is not transparent and mostly people think IDGAF, that isn't true at all.. I give a lot of fucks.
Today I needed to remind myself that my self doubt is unnecessary and that everything I am doing, I am doing it well. If I don't finish a book, who am I letting down? No one.. not even myself. If I am not YouTube famous, who does that affect negatively? Not a soul.. if I mailed all this Agnes and Dora back tomorrow, I would be super sad but no one would die.
 These clothes are selling great, they are comfortable enough that I want to keep them all and I am crazy steady in the salon. I have spent more "quality" time with my children in the last few weeks then I ever thought possible as a working mom and we have so much more planned before they go back to school. I might not have time to read but at least my kids know I love them and want to be around them.
 In fact, having them home so much has been so amazing and I don't want them to go back to school. I never thought I would use those words in a sentence!
  In short, maybe someone can relate to these feelings, maybe not but it hit my feels and felt good to get out there.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Co-Parenting Like a Mother..

No, but for real. I co-parent, with my bonus children's biological Mom.. like a Mom.
 People often ask me the same basic questions:
  1.) How do you do it?
  2.) Why do you do it?
  3.) Isn't it so weird?
 It's easy. I learned early on and not even from my own experience that if I was going to pursue a relationship with Sean, it would be important for me to have a relationship with his children. What I also considered very early on is that I would also need a relationship of some form with their mother. Why? Because she is and always will be their Mom.
 I do it because I love them, I do it because their opinion of me and feelings toward me have always been and will continue to be important to me. Who other then their father will help influence those feelings? One way or the other, their Mom.
 It isn't weird at all. We are like any regular friends. Sometimes we annoy the shit out of each other and other days we talk on the phone all day about regular life, kids, husbands and work. 
 When I am sick, she worries. When I need a listening ear she is almost always the first person to answer. When I am in a bind, she is usually my "go-to". Sometimes, people even confuse us for a lesbian couple.. thats about the only time it's "weird". We have spent holidays as one big happy family and other's doing our very own thing with the kids. Every year it changes for their needs and every year it is something we work on, together.
 We don't always agree, we don't even parent the same. What is always consistent though is our love for "our" children.
 Here is what I can share with you about being a step parent. 
 It is SO hard. It is even harder then being a biological parent. My bio children HAVE to love me. Forever I will remind them of the growing pains I endured to get them here, forever they will be half of me. They HAVE to love me,  at least until they pay their own bills. 
 Being a "bonus" mom means I have to work hard, every other week to have a relationship with my bonus daughters. I try to find common interests, I try to share in their passions, struggles and every day goals. I do my best to build them up, to motivate them and to be the best asset to their life I can be. 
 I also have to do this with an invisible line between them and me, I have to not cross to far over but never stay far on one side away from them either.
 I do this because I have an unspoken respect for who their mom is, always. I ask her permission for trivial things, I consult her when I feel that their struggles or triumphs need her more then me.. always, I walk the step mom line. I even side with her over my husband in certain parenting situations. GASP! RIGHT?!
 I do these things because I love them. I love them unending, I love them without condition, I love them as though they are mine. I never want them to have to "choose" between her and me.. and if they ever feel that way, I pray they choose her every time. I pray this because she is and always will be their Mom.
 This does not mean I don't parent like a "mother" though. For sure.. I parent teacher conference, I doctor appoint, chaperone, play date, shop till I drop and chat like a mom. Sometime's with their mom and sometimes completely alone. I take them to amusement parks, to movies, to friends houses.. just like I do my very own children. I consider their presence and lack there of in every decision made for and in our home.
 You know what the most amazing part about co-parenting with their mom is? It's fun. 
 Though I strive to be an asset in our daughters lives, Jeanette continues to be one in mine. 
 The most important lesson I have learned about co-parenting with Jeanette, Brandon, Sean and myself is that it isn't about any of us. Ever. 
 It's always about the greater good for our children. Raising healthy human beings who love and respect all their parents. It isn't about being wrong or right, being the better parent or one up'ing each other. It's about fulfilling our children's needs.
 I am no expert on step parenting, co-parenting or even parenting. I am sure we are doing lots of things wrong but some days, like this one.. things just seem right. Things seem to be working and working well. 
 It's never easy but it's always worth it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

It's "OK" to Deal With the "Things"..

Sean: Babe..
Me: Yes?
Sean: You know I love you..
Me: I'm sorry I've been so neurotic the last few days..
Sean: It's ok. You have a lot on your mind, you're ok..
Me: Just a little, maybe a few things.
Sean: You know it's ok to "deal" with "things", right?

 So, what some of you may know and what some are just finding out is that I have been having some less then desirable heath issues the last year. I try my best to down play it and to not freak myself out. I also try really hard not to freak ya'll out.. but the last few weeks have been a little harder then others.
 You see, nearly a year ago I was diagnosed with a condition called Interstitial Cystitis. Basically, my bladder is a real moody bitch and doesn't always like to be a team player. This condition sounds scary and is really hard to properly say, pronounce or even explain but mostly it's just really inconvenient. It's painful but lucky for me, I can function at almost full capacity almost all the time.
 IC is mostly (for me) controlled with a mild blood thinner that causes me to have some pretty wicked side effects. 
 None of this is really crazy important for you to know because this is not the "specific thing" occupying most of my brain space.
 Three weeks ago I saw my urologist for a follow up and after ruling out some stuff and things he decided our next course of action is for another cystoscopy with a high chance of biopsy. Medical jargon because I am watching Grey's Anatomy as I type this.
 I have done a decent job of not stressing, not letting this course of action change my moods but as my surgery date approaches I am allowing some pretty dark thoughts to occupy those positive spaces.
 I keep pep talking myself, telling myself that whatever it is, I will get through it. 
 I will.. but to be honest I am scared. I am really freaked out and I am insanely stressed. 
 I know people who have cancer, who have beat cancer and I have mourned those who tried but lost. I selfishly don't want to be any of those things. I don't want to have cancer (I know, does anyone?), I don't want to have to fight to beat or lose to cancer. I don't ever want someone to mourn me because of cancer.
 I've done what every medical professional I know has told every patient in the world not to do. I have googled, webMd the shit out of my symptoms and even struggled to explain away so many of them. I even for a day, one solid day, considered canceling this rapidly approaching surgery. (Don't worry, I didn't.)
 I have downplayed my feelings about all the new things going on because, well, I don't want to "deal" with these things. Or so I thought until my husband said to me, "You know it's ok to "deal" with "things", right?" What I am sort of starting to realize now is that I don't know how to deal with my own things. I can advocate for my children, scream from a rooftop about my job, confront an irrational client, pep talk the spirit back into just about anyone and discuss all aspects of my life but when it comes to dealing with my own personal struggles.. I don't really know how.
 I don't know how to be rationally concerned for my own well being without falling apart. The last two nights that Sean and I have tried to talk about my health all I can do is cry.
 I know I come off as a hard ass and I soldier through a lot of physical pain.. this is no secret. I am often referred to as crazy, so strong, to stubborn or my least favorite, "super woman." All said mostly as a term of endearment but the truth is this whole week I have been nervous, anxiety ridden, stressed, angry and mostly scared.
 Scared that if this is just a bad IC flare up that this will be a reoccurring hindrance in my life. Scared that if it is more then just an IC flare up that I will have to fight. Scared that my children will inevitably be affected by my fears. I am aware that my fears are premature and are definitely isolating me but I mostly prefer to be a silent sufferer. 
 I don't know how to say these things out loud but last night as I read the book called "Love You Forever" to Cooper and Riley, a book we have read hundreds of times since before they were born I got choked up and I let myself wonder if I were gone from this world, who would read to my babies?
 Who would call them my names of endearment or share their "I LOVE PENIS" stories with the world? Who could fill my shoes and be everything that I am for my adorable ehart clan.
 I don't want to wonder those things. I don't want to think of my husband and children navigating our beautiful life without me.. so I just don't "deal" with this "thing."
 I truthfully send out silent vibes every night that three weeks from now I'll be writing a blog post about how healthy I am, how stupid this blog post was and how I was worked up for absolutely nothing.
 So, in a not so short peek into my life.. if I seem testy, irrational or just plain distant don't take it personal. I am trying to deal with things and I am not as good at it as I pretend. I am trying to stay positive and I am trying to be attentive to all the normal aspects of my life but this week is a little harder then I would like to admit. <3

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"Best Friend" Articles..

To all the articles I've seen on friendship lately:

 The irony in which Facebook sporadically throws articles about lost friendships into my feed lately is alarming. 
 As an adult, with four kids and a full time job, a husband who would love just ounces of my time and a house that far exceeds my needs.. friendships take work and time. Sometimes, more work and time then I have to give. 
 I would like to think I am a simple friend. One who isn't "too needy" but also isn't "too neglectful". Sometimes I go way out of my way to ensure someone else's happiness and sometimes I don't. It's called balance. 
 To be my best friend though, that means you weaseled your way into my tiny cold heart and I let you stay there. To be there, you have to be ordinarily special. I say this because I have been broken far to many times to not be so guarded. 
 To give up a best friend, for whatever reason I choose.. it is not easy. I have always been able to walk away from someone at any given point and not look back. I call this my self preservation mode. I will cut you out for looking at me sideways, I will walk away because the minute I feel things going south, I don't want to hurt. 
 Sometimes though and not very often I hold on longer then I should. I hold on because our memories are so great and that feeling I used to have when I called you or vice versa made a difference in my day. 
 I hold on because the room in my heart reserved for such a friend is not often opened and gets achy when I let go of that type of friend. 
 However, I can't compromise who I am for anyone. I have learned this the hard way, my whole life. 
 It's hard to forgive being lied to, it's hard to shoulder both your burdens and mine. It's to hard to carry the loads alone for to long and that's usually when I have to "cut and run." 
 But to all the articles I've been see'ing.. some for the woman who cut and run, others written for the one who was just "dumped".. 
 None can be more specific to my life then this one. My own article.. my own mistakes, misgivings and my very own life experiences. 
 I've had several "BEST friends" in my 31 years. What does that say about me? 
 Some have lasted nearly my lifetime and others.. well, they had a good run. 
 What I'm saying to those articles is.. it's always hard to make that decision. If you're the friend walking away, it isn't any easier. Sometimes you don't even know why you're walking away until you're gone from the situation. Almost from the outside, looking in. 
 When you're the one being dumped, it's just as hard. You want to know all the reasons why.. you want validation that you aren't the one who was wrong..
 Here is what I know to be true. Friendships, in all sizes, shapes and forms are 100% work and what I stated above about my personal life.. my personal life is all consuming. 
 I like to have friends, I even like to have best friends. A life lasting friendship outside of my husband is desirable but it is no means, my life mission. 
 I've made mistakes as a friend, I've also forgiven mistakes that I shouldn't.. one thing is for sure though and I'll repeat it once more, I won't ever compromise who I am, inside and out for anyone else. 
 That's what none of these "lost love" articles say. Maybe because we're to political correct. Maybe the backlash from their friend removed might hurt. 
 Here is what I would like my previous "BEST friends" to know. I still love you. I will always have love for you. I wish you well, sometimes I do still say ill things about you because when my heart is achy I'm a catty bitch. I can't help it. I feel like you already know these things though because together, we were once catty bitches. 
 I wish you well, even when I say that I don't. I really, really do. I miss you, I miss your families, I miss our good times. 
 Mostly though, I miss you from my side of the fence and I wish these things quietly or in small conversation because I have moved on. I have found my own way to heal and I have figured out how to fill that time and space reserved for you. 
 I have done this out of self preservation. 

 To all the articles I remotely related to, this one fits me best. This is one I feel like I can share most.. because this is who I am, as a friend and a "non-friend". 
 So take note all you future best friends, I will cut and run without warning but I will most definitely love who we are together. The stupid shit we do, the stupid inside jokes we have and all the things that make the rest of the world go, "UGH! Fuck, they are so obnoxious!" I will cherish those things, I will love who we are together but I will always choose to love myself more. If you can handle that, then you'll fit into that tiny cold space in my heart comfortably. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

To The Man I Once Called Dad..

Isn't it amazing that you can go years without giving much thought about someone who at some point meant the world to you but the curiosity of a child can have you doing social media searches and google searches within minutes?
 It has been 9 years since I last reached out to you. Before that I was 17. You left my life, sometime around the age of 10. I guess, I am over due for my usual search for you. This time though, I'm not angry and this is my open letter for you, not to you.
 I called you just before my graduation and asked you to attend. I invited you to come sit in the stands as I was recognized for my accomplishments because I wanted someone there who could understand the weight of that accomplishment, someone who would know what I came from and what an accomplishment my graduation really was. Someone, I could say was there for me.
 Your reply was a "No." ... You told me that you had your very own family and that I was apart of your past and you asked me not to contact you again. At that time I couldn't understand why. I was once your daughter, you were the only dad I knew. The only dad I could remember.
 I emailed you when I was 22 or maybe I was 23. I emailed you to let you know my mom had passed away and I was surprised to get a response. You made some quip about my e-mail address and I think you asked how I was doing? I remember being angry in my response.. and I remember hating that I wanted you to care more.
  If this were to reach you today, I would want to tell you that I am sorry. I am sorry for expecting you to think of me the way I often thought of you. In my head and sometimes my diary, I always imagined you would just re-appear in my life and we would have a bond that I longed for.
 I want you to know I'm not angry anymore. Not with you, or my mom.. or Floyd and Carol. I turned out to be a pretty decent person and a fairly good Mom. I'm successful and happy.
 I'd want you to know that in some ways, I am a spitting image of Teri. I use "fuck" more then I should, I'm quick witted and when I see my smile in a reflection, I see her. I love hard and I give more then I should which were about her only redeeming qualities.
 I think it would also be wise though to tell you that I didn't follow in her foot steps. I've never put drugs up my nose or into my veins, I've never touched a cigarette and I furthered my education. I waited until an acceptable time in my life to have children and I'd go to the ends of the earth for each and every one of them. I say this more for me then you though, you see, when I was young and angry I reached out to you for some form of acceptance. I needed validation. I don't need that from you now.
 Today, for the first time ever, I told my daughters about you. I told them about the time you took me camping at the Kern River and how I almost drown when I slipped from my tube. How we were all thankful I had taken those swimming lessons the summer before. I was brief in my discussion about you and within minutes, my oldest had google searched you, found your home address and a land line number. She asked if I wanted to call you.. to which I replied, "No."
 This girl can only handle so much rejection and you made it clear that you didn't want me to continue to contact you directly. I'll respect that.
 What I would say to you though, if given the chance is this:
 Thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for giving me your time and treating me well while you were apart of my life. I now understand all that it takes to love a child who is not biologically mine. The time, the effort, the thankless job it is to love a child who doesn't have to love you back.
 I understand now, as an adult that you gave me what you could during a time that must have been hard on you. To not only end a relationship with my mom but to have to walk away from me probably wasn't easy on you.
 I remember the year after we moved back to Apple Valley that you sent me a couple Nintendo games for my birthday. I never got the chance to tell you how much that meant to me. To be fair, at that time I didn't fully understand that you would never again be apart of my life.
 I hope you're happy, I hope your kids are wonderful and that your wife treats you well. If google is correct my daughter informed me you're still in Bakersfield and you're still an electrician. I think I found you on Linkdn but thats as far as I took my own search.
  I hope the hate mail I sent in my younger years doesn't hold the weight I intended it to. I was sad and alone. I hope that you understand what a positive role you played in my life. As an adult, I can appreciate that so much more.
 To the man who was once my Step Dad, you did a great job.

Monday, January 9, 2017

How Pinterest is Killing Your Hairstylist..


Definition of hairstylist

  1. :  hairdresserespecially  :  a person who does creative styling of coiffures.  By definition, I do my job. By pinterest standards, you people want a miracle.  My job looks super fun, easy and a lot like "dress up". Some days, it is those things but at the end of every day, it is a job. It is work. I have lots of clients, sometimes I don't remember all of your names, sometimes I forget that you like to be toned, I'm never going to remember what we did three colors ago and I do my best to remember that you have 2 kids, a boy? two boys? shit, twins! How is your new dog? That wasn't you? OH! You had a baby.. divorce? No, new marriage.. thats right.  "Where the fuck does Pinterest come into play?"Let me break it down for you.. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LOOK LIKE THE MODELS IN THE PICTURE. Chances are, I did not do her hair, she is photoshopped and in perfect lighting and YOU are not HER. YOU are not a mermaid, you are not a rainbow, you are not a unicorn or "green with envy". "Chocolates, Mochas and Cinnamon's" are not shades of color. They are coffee drinks and spices - if you want that, stop at Starbucks before you come see me. (but also, bring me one too!) MOST of my clients pay me to get rid of gray but because Pinterest said it's all the rage, you want me to bleach out your black and make you silver, in one shot. I am not a miracle worker, I am a stylist. Chances are, if you bring me 16 pictures, all of something or nothing the same.. we are going to consult and come up with a game plan. If you don't know what you want and you don't want what's exactly in the picture but you don't know how to put into words what you need from me, I am going to do my best but I am not a mind reader. I am a hair stylist. Do you know what "Rainbow Slush" or whatever the eff those colors all perfect-side by side on the picture you found on Pinterest look like after a couple of washes? MUCK! They look like muck. THEN you're mad me me, because it didn't last. I know, that sometimes the best way to convey what you want to me, is via a picture. But what happened to the good ol' days of bringing in a picture of Jennifer Aniston and understanding that I could color your beautiful tresses  but you would not BE Jennifer Aniston?! Pinterest is what happened. Pinterest came along and allowed you to "pin to a board" titled, "Hair dreams" or "Hair goals" or #imslowlysuckingthesoulfromkristianne .. IDK what your board is called but it should definitely be that hashtag one. Anyway, these boards have given you the ability to be even more indecisive then you already were and has set me up, to mostly fail. Ya'll know, I LOVE the fun, "pop" colors. I love some pink, purple and mostly turquoise.. BUT WHY do you now want me to put it underneath, to never be seen unless your hair is up and in a 45 degree angled pony tail? Also, WHY do you want ALL the colors?!  Pinterest has also been misinforming you. You guys will send me a picture of "sun kissed balayage" .. when really, thats a "rooty" color with some grown out highlights. I know that the internet re-naming these things allows most of us stylist to slap a higher price tag on your pinterest-y needs but you all know, I try my best to keep it real and be reasonably market priced. What I am saying is.. I love you all but I can not make you look like a "Mermaids swirl tail" or any of the other BS the internet is telling you that you should want or need. One last thing: I am not showy. I am not Edward Scissor Hands. Showing me video after video of another stylist cutting someone's hair in a platform style, is not going to make me perform for you. I am never going to be the dramatic, hair flinging, fire burning-hair cut with a torch, stylist.I am Kristi-Ann. The hairstylist you have loved for years. The stylist who will tell you that, "Yes, that cut will not look good but the alternative will!" ... I am the stylist who is going to tell you, "Yeah, I'll turn you Gray but by the time we can get you there and get all your black boxed color off, this "in" look is going to be gone."  Mostly, I want to tell you that I will continue to grow in my profession, I will continue to try but your un-realistic wants and your Pinterest boards are slowly killing me. Someday's, they make me hate my job more then anything in the world. Your Pinterest boards are sucking the hair soul right out of me. Also, to answer those of you who don't already know: No, I don't have a Pinterest. (I did when it first came out but then I realized I was a "Do-er" and not a "pinner" and had to "delete".)I love you all. I appreciate all of you. I appreciate your patience and your understanding of my recent price increase's. I appreciate your love, support and your desire to come to me, despite my foul mouth and the sometimes crass conversations. I hope this made most of you laugh but for real - be nice to your hairstylist. We give our all, 97.6% of the time and we are professionals but we don't know it all- though we try our best to figure it out. <3