I am not sure if it is the cloudy day or the crisp of the cool air hitting my cheeks that has every being in my body wishing to crawl back under the covers…… or maybe its the way my heart has softened and slowed this week. For more than a few moments the weight of it all has me stopped in my tracks. I crawled in bed Tuesday evening and slept almost twelve hours. My body and my mind were overwhelmed and I couldn’t bare it anymore….

I got my test results and everything was good. My tumor markers were normal. My ovaries looked fine. But yet my heart feels heavy. Why me I ask? It brings me to tears. How come me? What about her? She had a husband? She had little kids? Why not her? Why me? Why give me more days? I mean the collateral damage that I would have caused would be so minimal. My family they would be fine, I am sure of it. My parents, they have their grandson and my sister and brother in law close. Me? well gosh I mean it would have been fine. I was an easy choice. Why not me? Why them? Why now? This is the conversation that brings tears to my eyes. The conversation I have had a million times with myself and I don’t have an answer to the Why. There is no explanation for why I am still here and breast cancer was not the end of the story?

And while my words may be difficult to hear, it is how I feel quite often. I become overwhelmed with the reality that is living. That I am alive.

For many of you I would imagine that you don’t often think this way but this week I have been given the incredible gift of being overwhelmed with gratitude that God would grant me more days. More healthy days at that. What a sweet reminder it is.

While I continue to process, heal and allow myself to feel all that it is about my story, I come back to this place of gratitude. Of an overwhelming feeling that I get to live, and live well. I have hours and minutes to love on other people. I have hands to feed homeless. I have friends to run with. I have a job to take pride in. I have a nephew that makes my heart explode. I get to feel and live. So on this day… even when tears meet me so expectedly I am grateful. I don’t know why, and sometimes wish I could understand but for now I accept the gift I have been given and gosh darn it I don’t want to waste.

Cancer totally and completely stinks… but it can be if we allow it, the sweet reminder that life is so very precious and we are indeed given such a tremendous gift in being alive.


Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

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“Bucket lists seem so self-involved. I live with the joy of the snuggle today, the hope for kisses tomorrow, and the grace to see grace even when it’s hard.” – Kara Tippets

In my recent days of scrolling my Facebook or Instagram feed it seems more and more of people are climbing this supposed ladder of life. Always wanting, longing and wanting again for more. As though that one more thing, one more experience, one more purchase will provide for us in some way the next thing we need to get to the next place we want to go. Some deep place in my heart has told me that perhaps this is all wrong. That life is not meant to be lived in excess, or without rest, life is simply being present in your everyday.

So yes while I would love to see the Northern lights and walk the course at Augusta for the Masters with my dad, I long even more for nights of seeing the stars in my home of Colorado and better yet to find myself getting tips from my dad on a tee box in Kentucky. While yes the idea of skiing in the Swiss Alps seems magical and the thought of driving the coast of California while my hair flows from the roof of a convertible makes me smile, the sheer gift of getting to ski the same mountain that I have since I came to Colorado in my teens is enough and my faithful Subaru that gets me to and from my job beats any red mustang if you ask me.

All because the life I am given today is enough. It always has been.

I have always wanted more, always reexamined my life to find what was missing. But more recently I began to ask the question, what if nothing is missing? What if I am already made whole. What if this is the only job I ever have the rest of my life? What happens if I never see the Great Barrier Reef or hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? Was my life full? Was it enough?

Kara Tippets writes this sentence “Sure I long for graduations, wedding days, and grandbabies with a giant part of my being, but I’m not angry if that isn’t given to me. For today, this day, I have ……..”

If I were to rewrite her sentence for myself it would read:

“Sure I long to get married, to have a family, to buy my first home with a giant part of my being, but I’m not angry if that isn’t given to me. For today, this day, I have….. a family that still makes me feel close even though I live far away. I have a job that I enjoy, a home that is warm to come home too and roommates that make being a single gal in Denver just a little bit more fun. I have a new found love for golf that I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to start, I have a blonde haired nephew that whole world seems to revolve around and I am ok with that. I have the joy of living in Colorado, a place that I love and mountains that I get to ski, climb and admire. I have hair to my shoulders again and god willing will be two years cancer free this March”

So that bucket list that is on this site, while those things all seem pretty incredible I would take these things written above over it all. Because my life today is enough and I am enough.

I encourage you to try to rewrite the sentence for yourself. Remind yourself of what you long for but don’t forget what you already have.

Sending all the best and love this new year to you.

Love Kristina


“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.”
Mary Oliver

There are very few things I enjoy more than a quiet morning with a cup of coffee and a book. Well for this morning a Hallmark movie seems to be just the right addition. I am flying home today for Christmas and my heart could not be more full. I have my Louisville jersey ready to wear for my flight and my bags are packed. Tomorrow I get to spoil my little toe headed nephew with what I think is a really cool blue dinosaur and a book about Santa Coming to Colorado. If only he knew what a gift he has been to all of us.

This time of year for many of us it can be hard. I encourage you to take a deep breath, maybe a walk in the middle of the day… take care of yourself. Take a look back at the past year and all the ways that God showed up in even the tiniest places in your life. How the unexpected became a moment of joy and how heartbreak slowly healed. Just take a moment and look around the room. Surely there are things to be grateful for. If nothing else a room that is too loud, too messy, chaotic and hectic.

Or maybe these are the words you need to hear….

“HE showed me what love really looks like, and He built a depth of beauty into my story that a life without suffering would have never known.”

This Christmas I celebrate so many little things like skiing in below zero temperatures and big things like knowing I have been on Tamoxifen successfully for one whole year, not to mention I have had a year of clean test results. Whatever it may be, big or small know you are loved, thought of and cared for. Not just by me.

I pray this season you are able to take a look around the room, tell that person what they mean to you and simply be present for all that this season has to offer.

Merry Christmas!

It started in Preschool for them and 1st grade for us. The beginnings of what would become a great friendship. But it was not until Middle School the we combined to be the “four of us”.

Christie Lee and Me …. Stephanie and Brittany.

This year we celebrate Year 14 of making Gingerbread Houses at Mark and Lee Etta’s House on Christmas Eve Eve (although the day has changed in recent years to accommodate all of us). We gather at the same table, in the same room at the same house with the same agenda… spend time decorating, laughing, eating too much cheese tort, drink as many mimosas (one year we finished 12 bottles) as possible and celebrate all the we have to be grateful for…. most especially each other. This table has experienced its fair shares of joy with high school graduations, pharmacy school, physical therapy school, masters degree, successful jobs, lots of traveling, two marriages, and the newest edition Baby Juiliana. We went to four different colleges and now live in Central America, Colorado and Kentucky. While we have our joys we have also had our share of tears with breast cancer, breakups, moves, and most recently celebrating the life of Brittanys Dad (a second dad to us). But as with most things in this thing called life we continue to be grateful for the opportunity to be apart of each others lives for this long. My heart is full just writing about this most beloved tradition.

Each year we decorate, exchange Christmas gifts in the living room and then the Scott’s invite our families over for the evening before we have a sleepover in their basement. Our parents usually try and guess who’s house is who’s and then usually one of the Scott brothers gets the frozen margaritas going. We indulge in Lee Etta’s famous cheese dip and have Mexican food. We have been known to bring out the marshmallow guns and play a round or two of apples to apples all while listening to Mannheim Steamroller. The house gets more crowded as siblings and significant others gather for what becomes a house that reflects very much what the season is all about.

I thought I would share the photos I could find of us through the years. One day I will get them all together. As you can see we almost always sit in the exact same spots 🙂

Christmas 20091929267_624117341810_7412_n

Christmas 2010 (6 years ago)


Christmas 2012


Christmas 2013


Christmas 201512373166_10103658412798495_4355871781977414591_n

Not sure where the group picture is from this year (2010)???

Below are some of my favorite pictures and this one below taken this year 🙂 We are now 5!


An oldie but a goodie


One of my favorites is below from a year ago. Julianna in Stephanie’s Belly and Brittany Looking like a Barbie and Christie Lee and laughing at each other.


Somehow the last nine years have passed and when I reflect on all that I have been allowed to do I quickly become overwhelmed with gratitude. I lived in Amsterdam, became a college graduate, a second grade teacher, backpacked in Central America alone, an aunt, gained a brother in law, started a career in private equity and a breast cancer survivor.

That last one though is the one that gets me.

I often tell people that what I gained as a result of having cancer came at at a big price but it is one of the sweetest things I have ever been given.  I received the gift of seeing how precious life is. How much better it is to risk loving BIG than not loving at all. How just the simple touch of a hand can change how you view the world. I realized the gift of giving. Of showing up in others lives. I say YES more and say NO more than that. I learned how important is to take time for yourself. The precious gift of holding a baby and watching your parents become grandparents. I also learned just how deeply the father loves us, even in our brokenness.

I still find it hard to dream about living a long life. I am afraid to let myself go there because what happens if I don’t get too? I ask myself this often. Will I get to live long? When I look back at all the plans I have made over the years… I realize there are hundreds of plans that have never taken place and thousands of plans that have happened instead. I slowly begin to realize the joy is in the thousands you never planned. I believe in the depths of my heart that the plans for my life will far exceed what I could have ever dreamt for myself. One of my favorite sayings has always been…..

“This was her life. Not the life she once dreamed of,

not a life her younger self would ever have imagined or desired,

but the life she was living, with all its complexities.

This was her life, built with care and attention

and it was good.”

I must say it has been pretty good, bad ugly and everything in between.

I turn 30 next year and could not be more delighted. Birthdays as you may or may not know have recently become one of my very favorite things. I love being reminded that someone is here and honoring them on that day. And nothing more than being reminded that I get one more year.  Some say lucky is a silly word, but I must be honest some days I have nothing else to say than to say that I feel incredibly lucky.

Tonight I get the honor of celebrating a dear friend of mine who turns 77 years old today. (she doesn’t look a day over it). Tonight we will have champagne, share stories and she will share her wisdom. But more than anything tonight I hope she knows how grateful I am for her, her friendship and all that she has shared about living a long life. The picture below we took at my Birthday party. I think we both agreed that we could raise our glasses and “cheers” to many many more years.


Cheers to you on this Friday. For more birthdays. More plans that don’t go our way. And even more days trusting that we weren’t meant to plan it ourselves either.