The End.

Just Kidding.

This week has been a roller coaster for me. A huge roller coaster. Shoot, who am I kidding. My life has been a huge roller coaster for the past month. Let’s recap, shall we? My son’s car literally somewhat explodes while he is driving it, in front of me. (Just the transmission, but when you are a mom, heart attack.) The company that I worked for, loved and adored, was bought out. My baby turned eleven. We announced the podcast.

And this morning, I snapped at my kids, and I sat in my car and cried for about ten minutes before I went into my job.

What’s wrong? It hurts to hold the steering wheel. To type is so difficult sometimes. I hardly slept at all last night. Sometimes I get so cold I feel like I am laying in the middle of a snowstorm. Then two hours later, I am pretty sure I am frying under a saguaro in the middle of the Arizona Desert. I have fallen in public because my feet hurt. I have crawled to the bathroom. I have turned on the water with my elbow to wash my hands because they feel locked up. So what’s wrong? I have Lupus. SLE Lupus (Systemic lupus erythematosus) and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

So basically? My immune system attacks my own tissues. So, I kick my own butt. Get the title? Clever, I know.

I’m private. I don’t put my business on front street. But this morning, after my ten minute pity party, I decided to pull it together, and maybe I can help somebody with this. Just so they know they aren’t by themselves.

Some days, I have no idea how I am actually going to physcially walk down to the car. But somedays, I get on my treadmill and run three miles. Sometimes, I can’t even hold hands. Somedays, I can hold hands and play a game of mercy along with it. Somedays my skin itches so bad, I cry because it hurts to touch it, but it itches. So it’s like having a bad itch that you can’t scratch. Somedays, my skin is perfect without a flaw. Somedays, when I cry, my tears feel like acid running down my cheeks. Somedays are so amazing that I laugh until I cry, and I love that. Somedays I am afraid that this disease will kill me. Somedays, I feel like I can live forever.

What triggers me? Changes in my thyroid meds (which happened this week, go figure). Excitement, nervousness, fear. Near death experiences – and by that, I mean that feeling you get when a tractor trailer comes over three lanes and about side swipes you? Yeah, that has literally triggered a flare.

But, I’m lucky. I have such a great support system. My friends, my family, my kids, my sweetie – everyone. But what makes me even luckier is this – A couple weeks or so ago, when the whole merger was going through, I was alot worse than I am today. I was laying in my bed, and I finally fell asleep. When I woke up, my hand was being held, and I was being prayed for. Folks, that’s powerful. Tears running down his face, praying…

I laid there and watched him, cause he didn’t know I had awoken. And shoot, I wondered if I was about see something… LOL. But all I saw, was a person who was broken for another person. The next morning, my oldest son who rides to work with me, picked my hand up off the gear shift, and kissed it. And he said he hopes I feel better. I was alot better then, but he could look at my hands and see it.

I have been accused of having a perfect life. My life isn’t perfect by any means. My everyday is a struggle. But everyday, I choose my path. I can choose gratitude, or grievance. I can choose pain, or passion. I can choose fighting, or freedom. And not everyday I make the right choice. Somedays, I lay in my bed and cry. Somedays, I cry before I walk into work. Somedays, I wonder if I will ever make it the next day.

But somedays, aren’t most days. Most days, I choose wisely. I get up and do yoga. I eat healthy. I do my hair and makeup. I take my medicine like I should, gluten is a no-no, and I listen to others with inflammatory issues.

But more importantly, I choose to love like Jesus loves. I choose gratitude because I am so loved, so honored, and so blessed. I choose forgiveness, so I have the freedom to live a passion filled life. I choose grace, because so many people have real issues in their lives, and to honest, I have medical insurance, a great job, and so many people who love me. What more can someone want?

So this is my story. My truth. So yeah, I might not look sick today. My eyelashes are perfect, brows even better. But that doesn’t mean that just because people look great, that they don’t have troubles, too. So I ask for you prayers – if you happen to think about it. For me, the people who help and care about me, my babies, and my co-workers. I have never missed a day of work for this stuff – I don’t plan to now.

So guys, there ya have it. And thanks for all the love and support on the upcoming Podcast! WE ARE SO EXCITED! Anyway, Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

I know. I know. It sounds rude, and pessimistic. Well, today I feel a little rude. I’m kidding. I don’t really feel rude, but I do feel anxious. So as I was talking this morning, I figured out why. Thanksgiving is coming. Three days away.

People love holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Valentine’s Day. Those rack up a lot of points when I ask what is everyone’s favorite. And I love decorating for Christmas, and Valentine’s has adorable hearts – and Thanksgiving, well who doesn’t like to be with the ones they love the most, and have a great meal?!?

Let me roll call this for you in my perspective. Valentine’s Day this past year was good. And it was the first one and I am 43. I am not saying the rest were terrible and heart breaking. But this was the first one, that was good. It has been a day in the past where I hoped to feel special, but was let down. Where I tried to make others feel special, and they didn’t care. So, for years, I chose to just scoff at it and not acknowledge it. Lame, but survival mode kids.

Christmas. I still look forward to it. But often times, the desire to give my kids the best Christmas and make sure that they had all their little hearts desire, stressed me out. I felt like they were so good, and didn’t ask for much, I wanted to make their day magical, just like my parents did for me. So, it gave me so much anxiety, but it always worked out. But still, Christmas gives me some pangs of anxiousness.

Thanksgiving. We all want to be with those we love right? Enjoy a great meal? Sure we do! But this year, due to Covid, I won’t get to be with my mom and dad. Not to mention, when you are a split household, there is stuff that goes along with that too. So thanksgiving, isn’t traditional at all. To avoid anxiety? I order it. You heard me right. I order my thanksgiving meal from Publix. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious. The kids love it. But for years, It was me and the kids for thanksgiving. That’s a lot of work for 4, especially when the kids are picky. And not to mention, when you are dating someone that has a child also, you have to take their traditions into considerations, their timescales – so guess what – Thanksgiving day might be Cinco De Mayo – you gotta be flexible, even when you want to be selfish.

Maybe it’s one of the reasons I love Halloween. Halloween is just fun. You can celebrate with kids, or without. You can do it with your friends. You can do it alone. Just sit outside with a big bowl of candy. Costumes and candy never let you down!

So right now, I am glad to know, that this time next week, thanksgiving will be done. And I am going to be honest, I don’t need thanksgiving to be thankful. What I need, is exactly what I had yesterday. Yesterday, I was cared for so well, and so sweetly, and for that – I am thankful.

Another pro tip – do something fun. Saturday, I felt frumpy. I hated my hair, and felt the blues – dreading the holiday, missing my parents, etc. So what did I do? I got my hair cut and colored. And I did a blueish -silverish color, that I love. I did something fun. It put a big smile on my face. And to be honest, my kids love it, my fella loves it – what more can you ask for. I love the fact, that my people love me enough, to love me how I am. And you know what feeling good makes you do? Eat better. Exercise more. Put on your make-up in ways that would make the best drag queens envious. Get out there and slay it.

“So, Listen up here’s the story… About a little guy that lived in a blue world..”

So, this Thanksgiving, if you dread it or feel sad, be glad that Friday isn’t Thanksgiving. If you are looking forward to it – cherish it and have a fantastic time! What I am saying, is make the best of each situation, but don’t beat yourself up, if you catch yourself in a struggle. Give yourself some grace, but in turn, give grace to those around you.

Is there a holiday that you love or hate? How do you cope?

Kids, make good choices. Have a great day. And most importantly…

Love Fully. Live Fully. And Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Not original, I know.  But for me, 2020 has been that year.  The year to wake up.

Everyone keeps talking about how excited they are for 2020 to be over.  And to be honest, 2020 has been tough.  I agree.  Covid-19, politics, everything in the world got cancelled.  It has not only been annoying and scary – it has been inconvenient and stressful.  Along with a lot more adjectives I could throw in there.

I had plans.  I was going to New York. Chicago.  I was going to see Hamilton.  I also was gonna see Lizzo in concert.  I did none of those things.  

Here is what I did do.

I have had deep and heartfelt conversations. And have become a better person because of it. I have learned forgiveness. For myself and others.

I’ve hung out with the people most important to me. 

I realized that I work with a bunch of folks, who do what it takes to keep our company opened – even when there are companies shutting every time I turn around. I always loved my job, and the folks I worked for – I loved it more after this.

2020 has taught me a lot though.  A lot that I am acting on.  A lot that I am changing.  And a lot that I realize that I am doing just fine with.

There were things that I always wanted to do – but I was lazy.  Things I wanted to do and see around here.  In Orlando.  But, I always had a reason to put it off.  Not now.  No way. No how. 

I have been to Epcot.  Animal Kingdom. Orlando Eye.  I have went on amazing walks.  I have stayed in and watched movies – that I always said I wanted to see. And for transparency, I have watched even more that I didn’t want to see…LOL! But the company made it completely worth it.

 I have danced.  I have laughed. 

I have calmed down. 

I have realized that any problem can be solved through conversation.  I have realized that I love being with my people, and sometimes that can just be sitting together quietly.  Sometimes it’s a walk.

And to be honest, a lot of the stuff that I used to get angry over – just doesn’t matter. 

I am intentional with my time, where I hadn’t been before.  I enrolled in college (got straight A’s, btw).

Listen, there were parts of my life that weren’t working before.  I see that now, and I am fixing it.  I have thought about what I want my life to look like, and I am working to make it that way. 

Hang on, my friends.  74 days left in 2020.  What have you learned this year that’s positive?  That you are gonna carry into 2020?

Wanna see pics from 2020 lessons? Follow me on Instagram @kristiegreenberg

Love Fully.  Live Fully.  Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Being a parent is tough. Hardest job I have ever done. And my day job is to make people happy who have wrecked cars. Being a momma – much harder.

I am an emotional person. I can be all over the place. Ask those who know me the best. What I consider my worst trait, is my capability to go zero to 100, in a matter of seconds. I am a perfectionist, who likes things done a certain way. I am Southern, so I was raised with manners. And being defiant, makes me wanna lose my mind. You want to know how I have handled lack of any of the above in my kids? I have yelled and grounded – normally in that order.

Now, luckily – my kids are pretty good. I have had no major issues (knock on wood). But one day, a year or so ago, a friend of mine heard my correcting my little guy. He said, “Relax. You are louder than he is, and you are telling him to stop being loud. He probably doesn’t even know what you are saying.” If we are being honest here, I was mad. One, opinion wasn’t asked for. Two, my kids are good and this is why. That being said, I couldn’t ‘unhear’ what he said.

Then it hit me. My heart got broken, long story – so we won’t get into it. But anyway, there I was, broken hearted. It was the type of broken heart, where I couldn’t even cry correctly. Snotty nose, crying hiccups, and really – wailing out loud. I was trying to will myself to shut up. I wanted to pull it together. I couldn’t. And guess what? The next time my little guy started screaming and crying, I remembered what it felt like to be out of control in sadness. And for the first time, I didn’t raise my voice in response.

One of my favorite pics of me and my little guy! He’s the “spirited one” that makes me practice what I am preaching! LOL!

I calmly told him he can cry, I hugged him, and when he pulled it together – we talked. I asked him why he was freaking out. He said because he knew he would be grounded, because he disobeyed. And he was sad. Well, I told him he was right. He would be grounded – because he had to listen. He teared up again, and I told him he could cry if he needed , too. The best way to stop, though? Just obey the rules. He sniffled some. Then he hugged me, and we moved on. I didn’t feel like I was about to have a heart attack, and he seemed a little more understanding.

I practice it a lot more. Sometimes I have to step away before I speak, because I still can get to 100 pretty quick. That hasn’t changed. It’s just the speed that opening my mouth that has. I mean, I love them and want the best for them – so I gotta keep myself in check.

I think it’s hard to remember, that just because they are little – doesn’t mean their emotions aren’t big. You and I might know that what they are going through will pass. They don’t know that yet. And newsflash – it means nothing when we tell them it will. So whether it’s sadness, fear, disobedience, whichever. Let’s work on taking care of these little people’s emotions. Cause this word is hard sometimes – and it doesn’t care about your size.

Love fully. Live fully. Sat nam.

I stress out over money. Big time. That’s a fact. I am single mom of three. From health insurance, to groceries, light bill, extra curricular activities, gas – well, I operate kissing the red line more often than not. And my closest friends – know this. And I decided to be vulnerable and share this – because I know I an not alone. (And wait until my book comes out – you can find out a WHOLE BIG BUNCH of my financial fears and worries – aren’t you excited!? LOL!)

First, and the most important thing for you to know – is you are not alone! A lot of people struggle with finances. And here’s some startling facts. To begin with, in a recent survey put out by Bizrate – the number one cause of stress in America? You got it. Money. And if you are anything like me, there is some comfort in knowing I am not alone.

Second reason? Almost 75% of people surveyed – didn’t have a three month emergency fund. Once again, I am in good company. LOL! Less than half of the respondents, would have the funds or access to funds (meaning credit cards, etc.) to cover a 1000 dollar emergency. This is probaby the reason why most people say that “unexpected expenses” are there biggest concerns.

Why am I randomly giving you facts? Because I want you to know that you aren’t alone. And just because you struggle financially – does not mean you are a loser. It doesn’t mean you are dumb. And it doesn’t mean you are irresponsible. You might have had moments of being irresponsible that made it worse – but you are a human.

Listen, I have made my own situation worse before – so I don’t mean that judgmentally. I am just saying – I get it. I, personally, have random times where I feel complete panic and think I might burst into tears – over finances. I wake up sometimes in a sweat and I am panicking. But you know what else I know? This is only temporary. I haven’t always struggled financially, and in a couple years, with God’s help and everyone’s prayers, I am sure I will be fine.

But isn’t it this middle that stinks? Brene Brown said, “The middle is messy, but that’s where the magic happens.” You want to know what I have learned about struggling in the middle? It teaches you to be grateful. It gives you goals. And it can keep you focused. I look forward to the day, where I can just go to the grocery store and get what I need without running a tally in my head. But for now, I am grateful that I am able to run a tally in my head, and can purchase groceries. Some people go hungry. I am grateful for every single thing I have been given. And I might have to hustle and work hard to make ends meet – But guess what guys. It’s worth it. I am learning so much. And if I hadn’t went through this – I wouldn’t have.

Check out those dolla billz in my glasses! (And yes… that photo has all the filters. No shame in my filter game when I took that. I had just spent 10 hours on a bus.)

Here is a thing that I have learned that helps me. When I panic, I talk it out. Sometimes it’s to God and my friends, sometimes it’s to God alone. But when I do, I realize it will be ok. I also do positive affirmations in my mind. I will just think, “You are on the right road to financial freedom. It’s just a curvy and bumpy one.” And what’s my idea of financial freedom? No bills but house bills/insurance/groceries. No medical bills, no car payments, no credit cards. It’s not 2.5 million dollars. Not mansions. Not fancy cars.

Another funny thing that has happened in my ‘middle’? I am the happiest I have been. I feel so loved. My pack is an amazing group who rally around me. Encourage me. And still say – you have to keep writing. Keep doing this. It’s important work. So yeah, I might sit up at night working on my book and writing blogs – but hey. I can sleep when I’m dead.

So here is what I am saying. I’m no Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, or any other financial guru. I am not here to give financial advise. If you are in a tough financial season – you are not alone. I’m in the trenches too. I cry too. I get waves of panic that take my breath. I look at my kids sometimes, and feel so guilty because I can’t take them on a proper vacation. But here we are, all in this together. And hey- be grateful I’m in it with you, I make pretty good company! But on a serious note, WE can get through it. So hey – keep praying for me for and I will pray for you, too!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

We have been deep for way too long on this blog, so lets lighten it up today! Often times, in here, and my everyday life, I get some pretty killer compliments. One being – my hair. Let’s start there.

First of all – my hair stylist is the best hair stylist in the whole entire world. So, as far as my fantastic hair goes, she gets all the glory. She is a true visionary, and when you are searching for a stylist – make sure that you aren’t going for price as much as skill. I say this, because she can tell me what will look horrible, and what will look great. She tells me what can be done, and what can’t be done. She gives me realistic expectations. That’s so important.

You wanna hear a misnomer that hear I everyday!? “I love your hair! I wish I could do that! There is no way I could do that!” Yes there is. I promise. You can. Now, you might be scared to do it. You might be afraid of what it looks like. You might use your hair as a security blanket. All those are good reasons not to do it. But – I can’t? Yeah, that’s not a reason. In my opinion, you only live once. And I read somewhere, that people on their deathbeds only regret the things that they never tried. Not the things they tried and failed. So, dye your hair pink. Cut it off. Grow it out. Do you.

Now let’s talk about clothes. And here is the best piece of advice that I can give you where it comes to fashion. Pinterest. Now, I have public pinterest boards and private pinterest boards. My true fashion ones, are private. And here is my methodology. I will type in some of my fashion Icons. Here are some of mine – Pink, Marilyn Monroe, all of Michael Costello’s work, Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly, Michelle Obama, and Blake Lively. I look at images of them. Then, I pin them. And here is why – I will take an outfit that I see of theirs, and do my own version. With things in my closet already. You can get so much inspiration from looking at the way these folks dress, and add your own spin. I mean, c’mon. They have stylists dressing them all the time. That they pay a lot of money for. I get color ideas, pattern mixes, that I wouldn’t have thought of.

Lastly, and the most important to me. Confidence. You wanna look good? Then feel good. I rarely leave the house if I don’t feel good about my appearance. I want you to think about the day that you looked the most beautiful or the most handsome. Where you felt the best about yourself. Now pick five more. What was the commonality? Here is a commonality of mine.

In everyone, I had my hair great – my makeup fantastic, and heels. So, I can’t wear heels everyday – I work in a bodyshop. But, every chance I get, I throw on a cute pair of stilettos – you better believe I do it. Also, I ain’t rich. But I budget for my hair and makeup. It’s much more important to me to have my hair and makeup – than it is to go out to eat. Notice, none of those things had to do with my weight, because that fluctuates. But when my hair, makeup, and heels are on – I feel like I can take on the world.

So, what are the things that make you feel the most confident? Can you mimic those often? If you can’t , what could you do so you can? Like, we all know that confidence comes from within, of course. But let’s not lie, we all feel better when we look better.

Let’s own our everyday runway’s stronger than Lady Gaga. Below are some of my faves from the past 6 years.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I love my kids. 

All three.  Equal. 

Every single day, they amaze me.  Their heart, soul, laugh, faces, well – you name it.  Everyday.  Pure amazement.

But last night – took the cake. 

Let me give you a little backstory.  I hate video games.  Abhor.  They make me mad.  I hate to see kids just completely consumed by them.  But there was a time, about 10 years ago – that I too, had an obsession with a video game.  That game was SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE!

I loved that game. Tariq and I would sit for hours, side by side, playing this game.  Until a very tragic day.  They day, that at seven years old, he deleted my game.  The memory card.  I was about to beat the game.  Months of playing, straight down the tubes.  It was so sad.  I never turned it on again.  That was the last video game I ever played.

Through the past 10 years, I have been asked why I don’t like games.  If Tariq is around, I tell them that it’s because, “Your memory card could be deleted, and then it’s heartbreaking.” As I would look at him.  He would always say, “I’M SORRY!”, and we’d both laugh.

But last night, I cried.  Again.  Over a video game.  And here’s why. 

Tariq led me into his room telling me he had a surprise for my birthday.  He had created an emulation of Super Mario Sunshine on his computer – and had the game back at the spot I was at – when the game was deleted.  I was floored.  Overwhelmed.

The amount of work, the amount of time, the amount of dedication that it took on his part to make sure he knew how special I was to him – overwhelmed me.  That he remembered.  He worked.  And he surprised me.  I just can’t even believe it. 

I really am the luckiest mom alive.  The luckiest woman alive.  I have never felt more cherished and loved in my life.  God has blessed me in ways I don’t deserve – and I am forever grateful.

Tonight, I am feeling kinda somber.  Yesterday – was my grandmother’s 103rd Birthday.  And I know – It is amazing that she has lived to this age.  But to be honest, she isn’t doing good at all.  I spoke to my mom yesterday, she has double pneumonia.  She is bed ridden.  She doesn’t know where she is at – or who is with her.  She sometimes thinks that my mom, is her mom.  She is calling out for her own parents.  She is mostly blind.  It’s just completely sad.

And what makes me feel so sad – is that she has lived.  And it’s okay for her to go.  I am totally at peace with it.  I don’t know if it is that I am hardened, and I worry that I am.  But I honestly feel like she has lived a long life – and she is now only existing.  She isn’t living.  My grandmother, as I know her, has been gone for a little over a year.  This woman, now, isn’t the woman I knew growing up.  My grandmother, would eat chocolate fudge cake and mix it with a peanut butter sandwich.  My grandmother, would go through pictures with me on her couch – and tell me about the things I did when I was little.  My grandmother put up her Christmas tree  way too early – just because she thought it was pretty.  This woman, in the nursing home, is just what is left of who she used to be.

You know, although I thought for awhile I would die myself when Shaun died, I didn’t.  When he died – he was full of life.  He lived every, single, solitary moment – up until he died.  I can’t imagine what my mom is going through – seeing someone she loves – just not there anymore.  I am so thankful I never saw that.  So my heart hurts for her, too.

It will probably be any day – and I pray it’s sooner rather than later.  That makes me feel awful to say – but it’s honest.  She just isn’t who she was.  She has lived – and has a legacy behind her.  I just hope she knows how much we love her – and it’s okay for her to go.  She doesn’t have to live forever, we will be okay.

I am the mom to a fourteen year old boy, and 10 year old girl, and a three year old little boy.  I love my children in many different ways.  My oldest was my first child, he grew up with me in a way.  My daughter came next, and she is like my little mini me.  And then Jacoby, the baby.  The child that I am in complete awe of, everytime I look at him, because I know just how precious he is.  And I know, after having two before him, how fleeting this time is in his life and to appreciate the moments.

But tonight, I am talking about my oldest.   I have never been a fourteen year old boy.  I can’t imagine what that is like.  I have never had divorced parents.  I never lost a parental figure.  I never was a stepchild.  My son, has experienced more in his fourteen years more than I have, in many ways.  And for the most part, he is a well mannered, well spoken young man.  Does he do things that drive me absolutely crazy?  More than you could ever know.  But does he have a good heart? The best.

I am writing this because he has weighed on my heart a lot lately.  I moved him across the country – and he was willing to go.  He started a new school, that is triple in size than the high school that he would have went to, and he went with a smile.  No fear.  His first day of school – he didn’t have a schedule.  He went with a smile.  I have never been as strong as that kid.  He has seen more in his fourteen years than many people in the US see in their lives.  He has experienced more pain, and pain of his family, than I ever came close to.  And he still does it with a smile.

So what I am saying, Is I am thankful.  Thankful for the resilience of a child.  Thankful for all that he has taught me.  Thankful for the trips we have went on together.  The adventures we have had.  And I look forward to the many to come.  I have not been the perfect parent, I wish I had.  I have learned a lot with him – and I know that I am a better parent to Bella because of it, and even better to Jacoby.

To be honest, on June 22, 2011 – Tariq was a little boy.  On June 23, 2013 – he was almost a man.  Overnight he grew up – literally.  And he has never been the same.  I think, at times, I have expected a lot from him, because of how adult he can act.  Which makes me sometimes forget, that he is still a kid. Learning.  Figuring things out.

So this post is for my son.  I love you Tariq.  To the moon and back again – and I know I am not the perfect momma.  But you are most definitely the perfect son.  And God blessed me so much by giving me  you.  I love you baby…. More than you could ever know.  And I just felt like you should know it too!