100 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

I read somewhere that on your 100th blog post you should write 100 things about yourself. So, in honor of my 100th post, I present to you…

100 Things that You Probably Don’t Know About Me

  1. I am embroiled in an unhealthy and one-sided love affair with cheap wine.
  2. A colleague and I were once driving in South Africa when we were pulled over by men carrying big guns. When I tell the story now, I say we were pulled over “at gunpoint.” The guns were pointing somewhere… just not at us.
  3. When I was a kid, I wanted to name my future daughter Phronsie Brett, after a character in The Five Little Peppers.
  4. The first time I cried from joy was when my parents told my sister and I that they were going to have a baby. I was ten years old. It was Christmas morning, 1980.
  5. I resent getting old.
  6. The happiest hour of my life was the hour after my husband proposed to me.
  7. I can flip a quarter off my elbow and catch it in my palm.
  8. I learned to drive on a stick shift.
  9. The only time I ever heard my father swear was when he was teaching me to drive.
  10. During the summer between fifth and sixth grade I read 52 books. I thought I was a shoe-in for the Summer Reading Contest. Turns out I was wrong. Another girl won. She read 53 books. Her name was Sally Sokolowski.
  11. Some of my favorite family memories consist of holding séances with my cousins at my grandparents’ house.
  12. The last time I cried from happiness was when I received a 21-seond personal video message from Sean Stephenson.

  13. I once broke up with a boyfriend the day before my birthday. That night a girlfriend took me out to get drunk. Then we decided to dye my hair. It didn’t turn out well.
  14. The hardest I’ve ever laughed was the afternoon that my sister, Angela, and I decided to wax our underarms. I lost my nerve and couldn’t pull off the wax. We spent over two hours trying to melt it off my right armpit using matches.
  15. I am an expert in absolutely nothing.
  16. When my sister, Cori, was a baby, I used to take toys away from her before she was done playing with them. I then handed her something else that I thought was more interesting. When I was in college I was an intern for a PhD student doing a research study on this exact behavior. Turns out mothers who do not allow their children to naturally choose which toys to play with do serious damage to their kids. Sorry, Cor.
  17. I was once slapped by an old woman in the streets of Nepal.
  18. When I was a teenager I would regularly fantasize about going to a pep rally before the “big game.” In my fantasy I would be overcome by the heat of the bonfire and faint into the arms of a cute boy who would instantly fall in love with me.
  19. I’m judgmental and petty. Not all the time. But more often that I like.
  20. I have epilepsy. Several times I’ve lost consciousness and was caught by a cute boy. It sucks.
  21. I am terrified of screwing up my children.
  22. I broke my nose in high school when I was playing right field in a softball game. Pop fly. I lowered my glove for some reason, which allowed my face to catch the ball. When I tell the story, I played shortstop and the batter hit a line drive.
  23. The six weeks I spent in Africa were simultaneously the best and worst six weeks of my life.
  24. I’ve walked barefoot over hot coals three times, walked barefoot over broken glass twice, and broken an arrow with my throat.

  25. I got caught shoplifting from Wegmans grocery store when I was in middle school. Turns out that eating from the bulk food bins with no intent of paying for what you’ve eaten is considered stealing.
  26. I make killer ice cream.
  27. Parenting doesn’t come naturally to me. What? You didn’t know?
  28. I fish for compliments.
  29. The most emotional years of my life were in 1984, 1992, 1994, 2005, 2009, and 2012.
  30. I accidentally flooded my class toilet in Kindergarten because the bathroom was out of toilet paper. I used paper towels instead. The teacher was pissed. She made all the students in class put their heads down on their desks in silence. The intent was that we stay that way until the culprit confessed. I never did.
  31. I care terribly what you think. (It doesn’t even matter if I like or respect you.)
  32. I became engaged to be married at 5 years old. My marriage proposal came from a boy of the same age. He sent it by mail. It was written in white chalk on black construction paper.
  33. My first concert ever was Captain and Tenille.
  34. When Zaffron was born I was terrified of her. Russell took care of her almost exclusively for the first three days.
  35. When I was a kid I had a huge thing for men with mustaches. HUGE.
  36. I had a very happy childhood.
  37. I idolize Harry Chapin.
  38. I won “Most Original Costume” in my elementary school’s costume contest. I was a McDonald’s French Fry Guy. When the local newspaper lined up the various winners on stage to take a photo, my ping pong ball eyeball fell off and bounced off the stage.
  39. I’ve travelled to thirteen countries: Canada, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Nepal, Swaziland, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Australia, Belize, France, and South Korea.
  40. I’ve fallen in love exactly three times. I’ve never fallen out.
  41. When I was a kid the worst punishment I could receive was being grounded from the family typewriter.
  42. I was a horrible mother to Mgazi for the first 6 months.
  43. I do a mean imitation of a horse.
  44. Last August, I climbed the Waimea Bay rock with the intent of jumping off into the ocean. I lost my nerve. I’ve been marinating in self-imposed humiliation ever since.
  45. I once told a joke to a captivated crowd of family friends that lasted over twenty minutes. The joke was about a giant pink gorilla. I killed it. (The joke, not the gorilla.)
  46. Sometimes I think that Post-Paris Kristine is just a figment of my imagination.
  47. When I was in high school I had a pin on my denim jacket that read, “Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.” I thought it was original.
  48. My sixth grade class had an ornament-making contest. I made a balsa wood Christmas tree hanging in a balsa wood oval frame. I got disqualified because the teachers thought I didn’t do the work myself. The winner was Sally Sokolowski. She made a God’s eye. Have you ever seen a God’s eye? I could have made a stupid God’s eye in my sleep.
  49. In high school I had a pen name. Myrtle T. Clearwater.
  50. My favorite vacation with my husband was on a Disney Cruise. Don’t ask me. I’m baffled too.
  51. I cried during the last chapter of the last book of Harry Potter.
  52. I have a horrible memory. I don’t know how old I was when I lost my first tooth or got my period.
  53. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid.
  54. I was 26 years old before I realized that things don’t always turn out “okay.”
  55. I sucked my thumb until I was in sixth grade. The only reason I stopped was because I picked up a fan (while it was plugged in and turned on) and sliced all the skin off my thumb.
  56. I’m not one of those people who have no regrets.
  57. I have seen the Monkees in concert six times. No, this is not one of my regrets.
  58. I’m sometimes embarrassed to say I’m a blogger.
  59. My mom worked for NutraSweet when I was a teenager. Several types of candy used it as an ingredient at the time and they used to send her logoware. I used to walk around wearing a t-shirt that had “WHOPPERS — The Original Malted Milk Balls” printed across the chest.
  60. I think my first memory is of falling down the basement stairs.
  61. A 911 operator once hung up on me during an actual emergency. (Well, it was my friend, Sam, that they hung up on. But the story flows better if I substitute myself for my friend.)
  62. In sixth grade I auditioned for the lead in the Christmas play. When I sang “O Holy Night” for my teacher, she stopped me short and remarked, “Boy, you sure do sing with your mouth wide open, don’t you?” I didn’t get the part. Guess who did? Sally Sokolowski.
  63. I once had a “run-in” with Owen Wilson in a bar in Waikiki.
  64. My favorite joke of all time is The Pig with the Wooden Leg.
  65. If I knew any famous people, I would definitely name drop.
  66. I think I’m funnier than I actually am.
  67. I have a horrible memory. I have no idea how old I was when I experienced my first kiss or what I said in my wedding vows.
  68. In sixth grade I had the best friend in the world. Sally Sokolowski.
  69. My dad taught me that you never boo at a hockey game. And you always clap for a player who makes a good play. It doesn’t matter which team that player is on.
  70. In high school biology class I dissected a grasshopper and wore his leg on my yellow sweater the rest of the day — like a gruesome corsage.
  71. My favorite and boldest Halloween costume was a short dress accompanied by a a bow with a simple gift tag tied around my neck that read, “To: Men. From: God.”
  72. I adore hyperbole.
  73. My favorite books of all time are: A Prayer for Owen Meany, Life with Father, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Straight Man.
  74. I value honesty more than almost any trait. Honesty made more attractive by decorative details is even better.
  75. When I was a kid, I memorized the Announcer’s Test. My dad taught it to me and my sister during long drives. If we made a mistake, he’d stop and we’d have to wait until the next long drive to try again. My dad memorized it by listening to Jerry Lewis say it, just one time, on the radio. I can still repeat it to this day.
    • One hen.
    • One hen. Two ducks.
    • One hen. Two ducks. Three squawking geese.
    • One hen. Two ducks. Three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters.
    • One hen. Two ducks. Three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters. Five corpulent porpoises.

    And on and one until number 10…

    • One hen. Two ducks. Three squawking geese. Four Limerick oysters. Five corpulent porpoises. Six pairs of Don Alverzo’s tweezers. Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array. Eight brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred crypts of Egypt. Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth. Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who haul stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time.

  76. When Russell and I were dating, I accidentally backed my car into his ex-girlfriend’s car in a parking lot. It was a total accident. I swear.
  77. I have an intense dislike for the aloha shirt.
  78. I scored in the 97th percentile on the verbal portion of my GMAT. Don’t ask me. I’m baffled too.
  79. I once had a fist-fight with a neighbor boy on my front lawn. I was protecting my sister’s honor. In my version of the story, I won.
  80. During my sophomore year of college I owned and operated a singing telegram company.
  81. I was baptized when I was thirteen years old. It was a full-on dunking.
  82. The first time I got drunk was in eighth grade. Gin.
  83. My mother used to say I was never happy unless I was complaining. Thirty-five years later, I think I finally agree with her.
  84. In sixth grade my friends and I put a girl on trial for stealing my Rubik’s Cube. We appointed her a lawyer and rigged the jury. The verdict came back guilty. We also planted the Rubik’s Cube in her locker. I’ve always wanted to apologize but I can’t remember who we did it to.
  85. My first job was at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  86. I breast-fed Zaffy until she was 22 months old. By that time she could ask for it by name. (It got a little freaky.)
  87. I believed in Santa Claus until I was in sixth grade. When my parents finally told me the truth I locked myself in the bathroom and alternately sobbed and shouted “YOU LIED TO ME” through the door.
  88. I fervently defend my right to tell my children that there is indeed a Santa Claus.
  89. In seventh grade I started drinking Diet Coke. I hated the taste but kept drinking it because I thought it was cool. Now I crave it.
  90. At the age of forty-two I started drinking coffee. I hated the taste but kept drinking it because I thought it was cool. Now I crave it.
  91. As a kid, I loved to play the 1980 Atari 2600 version of Space Invaders. I even remember flipping the game. (When you reach 10,000 and the score flips back to zero.)
  92. Once I was trick-or-treating at a neighbor’s house and I stood on the wrong side (the hinge side) of the screen door. I could barely see out of my costume and when the lady in the house opened her screen door I didn’t move out of the way. The door knocked me off the porch and into the bushes. My arms were pinned to my sides and I couldn’t move so there I stayed, wedged between the house and her bushes until my sister grabbed my dad from the bottom of the driveway, and he came and pulled me out. The lady was mortified so I got extra candy. Such is the life of a french fry guy.
  93. I’ve gone to a nude beach. I even took off my clothes.
  94. Until recently, I believed that pride was a sin.
  95.  I have never had a cavity.
  96. The best I ever felt about my body was when I was pregnant with Zaffron.
  97. I’m a piss-poor long-distance friend.
  98. Growing up in Buffalo, New York, I had a very sheltered childhood. Everybody I knew was white. There were a couple of black kids in school and one Chinese boy in church. (Where’d you disappear to, Peter Ho?) Except for the congregation at my church, everyone I knew was Catholic. 90% of the kids at my high school were Polish. Imagine my surprise when I got to college and discovered that the Italian boy I had been dating for three weeks was actually from India.
  99. Five days ago I dyed my hair blue.
  100. I love myself.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It <– 10 Reasons to Read this Book Now!

A friend of mine from college wrote a book entitled, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. The ideas in the book changed my life. They can change yours too, if you let them.

Here are my top 10 reasons why you should read this book.

1) You can trust the author. Kamal Ravikant is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who found himself at rock bottom – a soul-sucking, heart-crushing, body-wrecking bottom. He pulled himself out of that mess with a simple vow to love himself fully, deeply, and completely. He has no motive – not to make money, not to become famous. He just wants to share what he learned with other people so they can maybe avoid going through what he went through.

2) The book is blessedly short. You can read it in under an hour. The author isn’t a scientist, psychologist, or personal development guru. He’s just a guy. Like you. Like me, but not a girl. Having zero credentials works here because he doesn’t spend pages and pages boring the reader to hot “get-to-it-already” tears explaining why he’s qualified to write the book. Nor does he waste our time with scientific gobbly-gook about how the brain works.  (That’s the point at which I normally put a book like this down – for good.) He simply explains the exercises as he does them, encourages you to make them your own, and wishes you luck. Minimal pontification. I’m a fan.

3) The cover kicks ass. I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but in this case an exception should be made. The cover stops you cold — makes you think. The book does too. I’ve read it half a dozen times and I still go back and reread, rethink, analyze and dissect. The cover was designed by Sajid Umerji. I think he’s a rock star.

4)  Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It comes highly recommended by really cool people. James Altucher, who encouraged Kamal to write the book, wrote an incredible review immediately after reading it. James is a trader, investor, writer, and entrepreneur who brought himself back from the brink more than a few times. He knows good stuff. This book is good stuff. (Tim Ferris recommended it too!)

5) It’s a steal! It’s 99 cents if you buy the kindle version on Amazon. (Did you know that you don’t have to have a Kindle in order to read a Kindle book? You can download kindle software for free on your PC or Mac.) Or it’s $4.99 for the paperback version. I bought both. My life is better because of my version of the practice Kamal outlines in this book. MY. LIFE. IS. BETTER.

6) The practice that Kamal describes is simple and easy. It doesn’t mean that it’s not work. It is work. But it’s the kind of work you feel good about doing because the results are instantaneous. They will vary for everyone. We’re not all in the same place in our lives or in our minds. But if you approach your own practice with honesty, openness, and a sincere desire to be compassionate to yourself… you will see change. Big change.

7) The stuff inside works. I’m living proof. Since Paris, I’ve been making some pretty significant changes in my life. Loving myself has made it so much easier to make those changes. Has anyone noticed that Russell is happier lately? That’s because his wife has been happier lately!

8) It’s not a cure. It’s a practice. You have to apply what you are reading. Kamal incorporates this into his message by talking about his own experience with letting things slide. You can’t coast. You can’t be lazy. There are no empty promises in this book. No one says, “read this, your life will change.” Rather, it’s “apply this. There will be magic.”

9) The book is dedicated to me! Yep, you heard me right! It’s dedicated to James Altucher, yours truly, and Sajid Umerji because we “made this book happen.” I am the turkey in between some seriously talented bread in this dedication sandwich, and I am so honored. I earned my spot by reading the book when it was simply a collection of Kamal’s thoughts on what he’d been through. I’m grateful that he decided to share it with people.  Based on the reviews, they’re a pretty grateful bunch, as well.

10) It’s a solid foundation. The practice that I’ve developed from the ideas in this book has become my foundation. When I’m dedicated to it, magic happens. When I’m not, when I allow myself to coast, to be lazy, (those exact things I said you can’t do) the difference is startling.  Things start to feel a little “pre-Paris.” I feel low. It’s easier to feel  sad. Eventually, when I’ve had enough, something will remind me of the one question that Kamal gives us as a tool to return to our practice. It’s my favorite part of the whole book. The one question.

If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?

No, I would not. I have no reason to ever again not love myself as completely as I possibly can.

And so I begin again, the work that is changing my life and that I expect will continue to do so for years to come.

You should read this book

Café, Thé, ou Moi? Or in English: Why I Love French Waiters

The view from my table at Jardin des Tuileries. Of course, I wasn’t in the view, I was at the table. You get the idea. My flirty waiter took this snap.

I’ve talked a bit about my ten days in Paris. It was an important time because the trip gave me some badly needed clarity about my life. One of the reasons I was able to achieve that clarity was because I had so few decisions to make. Do I have cheese or bread with my saucisson sec? Or both? After all, I am on vacation. The decisions I did make only affected me, not my work, husband, or children.

And I had QUIET time. Something that is virtually non-existent in my house. It’s not even quiet when everyone is sleeping. Both Russell and Mgazi snore!

In Paris, I felt like I had permission to enjoy “moments” because there was nothing pressing going on. Nothing to distract me from being present. Does this make sense? I’ll try to explain by telling you about one of those little moments.

I was visiting the Jardin des Tuileries. It was lunchtime and I wanted to eat. I sat down at a cafe in the middle of the park and practiced my French on my very forgiving waiter. After the poor man endured that bit of torture, he brought me a lovely cobb salad and a glass of wine. (I thought I had ordered mussels with fries but no matter.)

I took my time and enjoyed my meal in peace. No one was asking me to cut up their chicken. No one was complaining that the mashed cauliflower didn’t taste like exactly like mashed potatoes.  I didn’t have to forcibly remove my house cat from the dining room table for the umpteenth time.

It was quiet and I was content.

Twenty-five luxurious minutes floated by and I had just finished my last bite when the waiter revisited my table. In English, he asked, “Coffee, tea or me?”

I couldn’t help but smile (and probably blush). “I think I would like some dessert,” I said.

He returned my smile (although he pretended to look a little disappointed too) and turned away to leave. As he passed the couple at the table next to me, he leaned toward them and stage-whispered, “Did you hear that? She didn’t say ‘no.’”

I laughed. The couple at the next table laughed. The waiter laughed. It was a little moment. But one that I got to enjoy fully because no one was making demands on me or my time. It was a moment I had time to savor.

Paris was full of moments like that. They are a part of what made the trip so special. I will never forget these moments and I will always relive them with a smile.


It never would have occurred to me to share this simple little story even though it makes me so happy to remember it. But I read a post today about an unexpected bike ride on the blog, The Deliberate Mom. She was writing about the magic of the mundane with encouragement from the blog Sofia’s Ideas. I thought it was a great idea and decided to do it too.

Thank you, Deliberate Mom and Sofia! I got an extra boost of “happy” today by writing this little memory down.

Post-Paris Kristine

I have referred to myself jokingly and not-so-jokingly as “Post-Paris Kristine” dozens of times in the last few months. Twice I’ve tried to explain what the term meant and both times the result was dissatisfying. I was only able to scratch the surface, not fully explain. I realize that I don’t fully understand it myself.

Post-Paris Kristine

Before I went to Paris, I was living a very nice life. After the initial logistical and emotional upheaval of the adoption, our family had found our routine. The kids were going to school, learning, growing, and happy. Russell and I had found our groove too. It took us 15 years of sometimes tumultuous marriage but we finally realized we could not be everything to each other. The relief was immense and immediate and our relationship improved by leaps and bounds. It was the first time in years that I considered myself “happily married.”

I was finally working in the field I had coveted for 10 years. It was far from what I expected, but there was a certain pride at having achieved this goal, despite the sacrifices I had to make.

The shell of my life, what surrounded me and supported me was functioning, humming right along. Inside of me though, not much was going on.

I started working out and taking better care of myself. There was pride in this, but also guilt. Just like many other 40-year old woman — rattled by the signs of aging that confronted me daily, I started spending money on treatments and creams and anti-aging promises. I started wearing make-up for the first time at 40 years old. I no longer believed that the untouched-up me was good enough to present to the world. I longed to be attractive to people other than Russell. (This would prove my worth, as his opinion seemed to matter less for some reason.) I was unable to extract myself from the sticky muck of nostalgia, even though I knew deep down that it was unhealthy. I was terrified of getting old.

So I took up jogging.

My future wasn’t bleak, it was just there. I didn’t expect there to be joy in my life. My happiness would come from professional accomplishments, pride in my children, experiencing new people and places through travel. I didn’t expect to learn or grow. Happiness certainly would not come from within me. There was nothing to draw on.

I no longer believed in God. When I died, I would disappear.

In a way, I already had.

As Pre-Paris Kristine I was grateful that my life had reached a stability and level of comfort that it had not had until then. But if pressed, I would have uneasily acknowledged that I believed this to be a bitter trade-off. Stability but no magic. Contentedness but no joy. Expectations but no hope.

I was existing, but not living. I diligently executed my responsibilities in my roles as mother, wife, and professional. There was no fulfillment in being me. There was no me.

Then came Paris. Ten days of being responsible to no one but myself. Ten days during which the biggest decision I had to make was what I would drink with dinner: red wine or white wine? Those ten days of “freedom” allowed me to be open and relaxed enough to set aside my cynicism for a little while. I allowed myself to consider ideas that I had previously and whole-heartedly rejected.

Those ideas came from a friend to whom I’ll be forever grateful. They came at the precise moment, and possibly only moment in years, when I was able to listen.

I had fascinating conversations while in Paris. At home, I didn’t have the time or the patience to discuss anything at length. I didn’t have the courage or the confidence to even attempt introspection.

My life had become so muted, that I didn’t even know that I needed these things until they were happening. I didn’t fully realize that I had given up until I had stopped giving up. In Paris, I had the time. I had the courage.

While I explored the city outside my apartment, I also explored my spirit. I learned that there were exciting “places” that I could take myself, my mind, and that the world was full of possibilities. Without fully comprehending what I was doing, I began a journey.

Of course, eventually, I had to return home. I wanted to go home. I missed my family. But I didn’t want to leave my fascinating life in France. My life at home had become muted, neutral. In Paris, my life had colors. I was afraid to “go back.” What if it all went away? What if Paris wasn’t magic at all, but simply a dream?

For a while after I returned, I found comfort in the belief that I had “learned” a lot in Paris. But in retrospect I realize that I wasn’t really learning as in “incorporating”, I was just opening myself up to the possibility of accepting new ideas (or old ideas I had previously rejected). This was still important, but it made things slightly more difficult when regular life resumed.

The best example of an idea I thought I had learned: I have everything inside of me that I need for happiness and fulfillment and love.

Before Paris, if someone said to me, “Kristine, you have all the tools you need inside of yourself to be everything you could ever want to be,” I would have replied (if I had the courage to be perfectly honest), “I want to agree with you, but I just can’t. Other people may have that, but I do not. It’s simply not in me. I am too afraid.”

Immediately after Paris, if someone had said the same exact thing to me, I would have replied, “Yes! I just learned this. Isn’t it wonderful?”

Of course, that response would have been a good example of my Post-Paris high. I didn’t learn really learn that. I heard it. Remembered it. But was I living it?

Not sure.

As the Post-Paris glow faded, I struggled.  If someone said to me a couple of months later, “Kristine, you have all the tools you need inside of yourself to love yourself and be a complete, content human being,” I would say,  “Yes, I believe that too. But I am not there yet. I am trying. It’s more difficult than I expected, but I hope to reach that place someday.”

And that’s why I have committed to doing a “big thing” each month of 2012.  I’m being proactive in changing my life. I’m not sitting around waiting for it to happen. And I’m finding, slowly, that as a result, I really like me.

My time in Paris transformed me. It was slight but it was significant. As the same dear friend likes to remind me: a small degree of change can make a huge difference.

Things I that did learn in Paris:

  • Possibilities do exist. This is probably the most important thing I have learned. I don’t always believe it 100% of the time. But since Paris, I have always and continuously returned to it.
  • I do have in me what I need to make changes in my life. Real changes. I used to think that life ruled me for the most part, and that any changes in the direction I wanted to go were coincidental. I don’t think that any more.
  • People can manage fear by letting in light.

Things I have learned Post-Paris:

  • I believe I have in me what I need to be happy and feel love without the constant yearning for validation.
  • I cherish myself.
  • Forgiving myself is okay. I don’t always have to be so hard on myself.

When I look at this list, it’s not small stuff at all.

The new me is Post-Paris Kristine. It’s not future me. In referring to my old ways of thinking I sometimes say the “real me” but that is not accurate. The real me is the me of today. I am Post-Paris Kristine. It’s not just a moniker.

Before Paris, I had expectations but not hope. Today I have both.

I hope that I can teach my girls what I’m learning. I’m embarrassed that it has taken me this long to be clued in. I don’t want that to happen to them. When I walked over fire the first time, I did it for me. I told the people around me. “I’m doing this because this is the year that I’m learning to love myself.” Then I walked over 12 feet of burning coals. When I had the opportunity to do it again, I didn’t hesitate.  I did it for my girls. I said, “I’m a mom and I don’t want my girls to be 41-years old before they walk on fire.” What I meant was, I don’t want them to be struggling like I have been when they are my age. I want them to be confident and self-fulfilled women well before they reach the age of 41.

I am a firewalker. I am Post-Paris Kristine.

I want to earn a new moniker. I want to earn several. Paris was a wonderful gift and my moniker reminds me every day how blessed I am. Imagine how magical my life will be if I collect monikers like badges on a Girl Scout’s sash.