“I can’t breathe.”

Right now. Hold your breath. Do it. Do it for 45 seconds. When you try to make it that long, what happens when you breathe? You pant? There’s panic? Of course, there is.

And George Floyd, laid on a street, in America, and was murdered.

Ahmad Aubrey went running. Running! Being healthy! Fresh Air! And was tracked down and shot like an animal.

And why? Because their skin color. I can’t begin to wrap my brains around it. And what else I can’t understand? How there are still people out there who don’t get it!?!

You can’t understand maybe, until you have worried about someone, because they are running. Riding a bike. Late to show up – because you are afraid that they could be hurt , just because their skin tone.

I watched the video of Ahmad Aubrey. It will haunt me forever. It was so brutal. And unprovoked.

I tried to watch the video of George Floyd. I couldn’t make it through. This has to stop. We are watching humans being murdered. They were murdered in broad daylight. In public. Murdered. I can’t wrap my mind around it.

And I want everyone to know. My heart aches. It aches in the way that makes you feel prickly all over.

I want the day to come, where we are all color-blind. Where we no longer see race, we only see that beauty that lies within the different tones.

I want the day to come, where God-fearing people behave in a God-fearing manner, and stand up for injustice that occurs against their brothers and sisters in Christ.

I want the day to come, where people take responsibility for their own actions, and will do the right thing, even if no one is looking.

I want the day to come, where we – as humans- show grace, love, and mercy to every single person.

I want the day to come, when there is no more hate. No more injustice. No more division.

To my friends and loved ones that will understand in a way I never will, I am so sorry. I will stand by you, beside you, and hold your hand. I will get on my knees in prayer, and pray that there is a change of heart in this crippled nation right now. And pray, that we all change. Everyday. And that everyday, we all become a better person.

To the family of George Floyd. My heart aches for you. I know its hard to lose a loved one no matter what. But to lose them in such a senseless and hateful way. I can’t even begin to imagine.

Jesus, we need you now more than ever.

Love Fully. Live Fully.

Shine on.

Sat Nam.

I mean, let’s be honest – I didn’t really go anywhere. I was here. In Orlando. Maybe at work, maybe at home. But yeah, if you look at my Instagram or my Facebook, I took a small step out of the social media world for a bit. I mean, don’t get it twisted, I would scroll. I would see your sweet pics, funny memes, etc . But I needed to take a step back from putting myself out there.

Why? I think, I struggle with self love – a lot. And to be honest, I was using my social media to look for it (self love) in the outside world. I mean let’s be honest. We put the best pics out there. Stand in the “right” pose. (When you all see me on social – you are seeing the best me. I don’t get any better than that. LOL! That’s it – that’s the top of the Kristie line. ) I digress – you can’ t find self love in the outside world, now can you? That’s quite the oxymoron. For some strange reason, I want to present myself as if I am completely put together. And even if I vent, I want it to look the right way. And why? Imma tell you in a second.

But I’ll tell you something else. I struggled with jealousy. I really did. When I would see, in my perception, the perfect family – perfect clothes – perfect kids – perfect cars – perfect vacations. They seem financially set. Spiritually grounded. I really would let my inner voice beat me up. The things and insults I would hurl at myself – well, I wouldn’t say it to my worst enemy. It took an unexpected mentor to say to me – “Baby, you are that to other people. They see you as the perfect one. Always postive. Always coiffed. Always, always, always.” And she was right. And that’s when I thought – step back and do some serious soul searching, girl.

Here is what I realized. It’s okay to be a mess. It’s okay not to post that you are a mess. It’s okay to post that you are. It’s fine – and you owe no one anything. We don’t have to prove ourselves to each other, and feeling like you do? Well, that was my ego talking. My ego wanting to be stroked. My ego saying, tell me I am good. Tell me I am pretty. Give me value.

Then that moment where I realize, I am valued. By so many people. And it isn’t because of social media. It’s a little boy climbing up in my bed and saying, “Good morning, mommy”. It’s my daughter, asking me to come by her job so she can introduce me to her work friends. It’s my oldest son, leaving me a note that says “I love and appreciate you.” It’s grabbing my hand and the car. Kissing my head. That being said, I had to punish the same little boy for talking back. My daughter crying and screaming because she had a blowout. My oldest son being blatantly hateful – because he needs a nap. But even then, I am valued. Even in the dark moments. I am being a good mom by punishing my son for being sassy. My daughter, albeit she gave me a heart attack, she called me to rescue her. To tell her what to do. And my oldest? He walked up to me later and apologized, and said he was beat. All on his own. So with each good there’s bad – and it’s that way for everyone.

So, I will keep posting. I will keep writing. It might get read, it might not. It might be liked. It might not. My hope is this. That I will become more aware of myself, more grateful, less critical, more loving, and more accepting. That when I see something that makes me feel jealous? Well, in that moment, I am going to take an inventory of my blessings. I am going to pray that my heart loves more. That I care more.

And hey, you wanna know what I have figured out? There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m worthy, I matter, I’m significant, because I exist. Not because of anything I have accomplished. I am not less worthy because of anything that has been done to me or anything I have done. Same goes for you, too. Ya know why? Because we are human.

To wrap it up, I love each and everyone one of you – and I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas! And below? Well, Here is some pics from the past month or so. Enjoy!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

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.

Huzzah!

I really just typed the word to keep with the whole “H” thing.  Fits though, right? I digress, and we are only one sentence in.  Focus Kristie!

So, I have skated around the fact in previous posts that I have had some health issues.  Quite a lot of them, if you ask me.  But, one of the ones that reaked havoc on me, was the diagnosis of Hoshimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Sounds wicked, right?  Guess what.  You are right.  It is.

Hoshimoto’s is an autoimmune disease.  If you are like me, I had heard the term before, but until I was diagnosed I had no idea what it was.  So, in case you don’t know – an autoimmune disease is a disease where your immune system attacks your own body.  So, you know, your immune system is supposed to attack foreign bodies, right?  Like bacteria, splinters, whatever.  In my case – my body says – “IMMUNE SYSTEM!  GATHER AROUND! THERE IS A FOREIGN BODY INVADING US! IT IS CALLED THE THYROID!  GO GET IT!”  This ridiculous proclamation is followed up with a strong warrior cry and steadfast speed to my thyroid.

Sis, I am gonna need you guys to relax and back up off my thyroid.  Quit being agressive.

They didn’t listen.  So now I have Hoshimoto’s.  I felt like crap.  Aching joints.  Dry skin.  Restlessness.  Depression at times.  Mood swings.  And I can’t handle cold.  Like I can’t.  We aren’t talking about the type of cold when it’s 30 outside.  Cold affects me different.  Like I can feel my bones inside my body.  It’s freaky and it hurts.

So.  Finally, They figure out what is wrong with me.  I had an awesome team of doctors who actually read my blood work and figured it out.  They put me on thyroid medicine, but also changed everything about my diet.  Yes, I said diet.  I know, not fun.  But whatever.  It is what it is.  Here is what I figured.  I have had issues and felt like crap.  The doctor is telling me that diet affects my health.  (And we aren’t talking weight watchers lose weight – like dietary eating plan).  Why would I not do it?  Because it’s hard?  Well, I can tell you dealing with depression and mood swings and ending up forever alone – that would be a lot harder.  LOL!

So here is where I stand today.  I am Gluten Free.  Dairy Free.  As organic as possible.  I also meditate.  Pray.  Breathe.  And a lot of other things.   But I am now going to share with all of you – with gluten/dairy issues – the best thing that ever happened to me.  And it’s a recipe.  An easy recipe at that.

IMG_9242

It might not look like much to you – but to me… It’s heaven.  In a jar.  So, short backstory – I can’t eat out without mega planning.  In turn, I pack my food when I go anywhere.  A few weeks ago, I forgot my lunch at home. We were slammed – and I resorted to Uber Eats.  I found a place called Purple Oceans Super Food Bar– here  in Orlando.  I got an Acai Bowl.  Never had one. But research and a phone call – I got a gluten and dairy free acai bowl ordered. And it changed my life.  I love it.  It’s like a healthy banana split sorta.  Anyway, I loved it so much, I thought can I do this at home.  Enter Pinterest.  From Pinterest, a little shuffling of the recipe – and I have now found perfection.  Here ya go:

1 packet of Sambazon Unsweetened Acai Smoothie Pack

1/2 cup of FROZEN strawberries

1/2 cup of FROZEN blueberries

1/4 cup of Unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup of Diet Pomegranate/Cranberry juice

I make a few at a time.  And then, I pour it into mason jars.  And stuff them in the freezer.  Each day, I pull one out and throw it in my gym bag.  By the time 10 am rolls around… It’s sorta thawed, and delicious.  I use a stainless steel straw, and spoon!  You might want to add protein powder, if that’s what you do – or maybe whole milk.  Yogurt even.  Find what works for you!

It’s super healthy.  Full of anti-oxidants.  And delicious.  And I am not kidding when I say this – I always hated smoothies.  Like, Smoothie King, Planet Smoothie, Tropical Smoothie-I was never a fan.  This – yummmmmmmo.

Nutrional info –

147 Calories; 21 carbs; 6 grams of fat; 1 gram of protein; 12 g of sugar

And if you are in Orlando – GET OUT TO THE PURPLE OCEAN SUPER FOOD BAR (https://www.purpleoceansfb.com/) -For me – it doesn’t get much better.  I hope you enjoy!  Have a great and healthy day!

Well, I guess I feel like owe you an explanation for last night’s video.  It was surrender and defeat.  That’s it.  That sums it up.   Today, though – is a new day.  And who knows?  I might be crying on Facebook later.  But hopefully, I won’t. 

You wanna know what is different this morning compared to last night?  Well, I can tell you what is the same.  My kid is still trying me. Well, in his defense he is still asleep – but you get what I am saying.  My bills are still ever present.  Health issues – exact same.  The difference is my mindset, for now.  That being said – that can change, too.  But hopefully, today – I kill it. 

I got a lot of direct messages last night, and some comments that you all can see.  And my whole goal in that video was just to let one person know they aren’t alone.  Because, tbh, scrolling facebook – I felt like the biggest loser on the planet.  Especially the day after Easter.  I saw the beautiful families in beautiful matching clothes.  Having beautiful family dinners.  And don’t get my lying – I even saw my own family having a beautiful dinner in Tennessee – but I can’t afford to travel home every holiday and I live a million miles away – and I chose that.   It made me happy but also jealous.  And yes – I don’t care what anyone says – you can have both emotions.  My therapist said so.  LOL!
And then, I looked at my own page.  And guess what I saw.  A beautiful family.  Having a beautiful family brunch.  And based upon my scrolling – we looked absolutely perfect and picturesque.  On the outside, it looks like we are happy, and killing it.  And we are happy.  And we are killing it.  But, here’s the freaking truth.  We struggle.    I struggle as a mom.  I question if I am a good one.  I have guilt when I just want to sit alone.  That guilt comes from me working. But I have to work, to keep a roof over their head…  I could go on and on with that alone.
I struggle financially.  I am a one income household and I got three kids.  To anyone with kids – nuff said, right?  At times, I wonder if I will ever be financially sound.  If I will ever not have that worry of money.  Today, with the sun out and shining down – I know that this is just a moment – and it will get better. 

I struggle with myself worth.  I struggle with admitting what my dreams are.  I struggle with the fear of people making fun of me, if I tell them what my dreams are.  And for those people who say, “I don’t care what anyone thinks” – LIAR!  LOL!  We are biologically designed to care what other think.  But I want to write and speak.  I want to let people understand how valued they are.  I want to help.  I want to change the world.

I also want to be healthy.  I want to travel.  I want to be married one day – madly in love with my guy.  I want romance.  I want to make it a full day without crying.  Or worrying.  Or questioning myself. 

I say all this to just say.  I feel you.  It isn’t easy.  So here is what this woman lies about. 
My lies: I’m fine.  Everything is great.  And sometimes, that is just false.  Not always – but sometimes.  Sometimes, I just want to cry and say “Today is freaking crap – My kid is being a jerk – I feel alone and overwhelmed – I’m sick of being sick… etc.”  But I don’t say it.  But now, I am gonna start.  Because guess what ?  My tribe, my closest, my people – all said – “You can tell me anything.  I understand.  I’m here.  What do you need.”  Also they said, “I feel that way too sometimes.  It’s a season.  We will get through this.  You are doing amazing.”  It helps.  Telling people helps.  Telling you helped.  Writing this helped.  (And just so you know, I didn’t fake cry in that pic.  That’s real tears, that I sent to my friend, because they were leaving.  Those were real tears. LOL!)

It’s okay to be vulnerable and have fears.  You know what makes it even better? It’s when you are brave enough to admit it to yourself, and your loved ones.  Because then, you start to see a shift. 
So, thanks guys – for everything last night and today.  Who knows.   Maybe this is the start of something amazing.