Last week we heard from the ever-awesome Joy, and learned lots about her life, her blog and her motivations for being a TToT Co-host. This week (in at last place, as is her wont) it is my delight and privilege to introduce Kristi from Finding Ninee – a completely awesomerockin’ blogger, all-round gorgeous person and mother to an INCREDIBLY cute boy. She has a habit of ‘flinging something together’, writing-wise, and utterly blowing my mind with how
good brilliant incredible it is – heaven help us if she ever got her act together and really made an effort – we’d all be on our knees in awe.
1. Who are you?
There are days when I’m still figuring that out, but mostly, I’m a writer, a mother, a wife, a marketing professional, a special needs advocate, and a drawer of stupid-looking pictures that make me laugh. I am also lazy, sloppy, and a believer in the fact that small, everyday moments are often the most powerful.
2. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado (USA), moved west (northern California) for college and to escape a stepmother from hell. I returned to Colorado to continue growing up, and moved to the Washington, D.C. area about 9 years ago for my job. I’m proud to say that I’m still unsure whether I’ve mastered the growing up part.
3. Describe your family.
The players: me, my husband Robert, and our son Tucker. After our first date, I knew that I’d marry Robert. He has the calm to my notcalm and the most amazing voice I’ve ever heard. Also, he’s super smart in the ways in which I am not. I met him after moving to D.C., and, four years ago this July, we welcomed our amazing little boy Tucker into our home and into our hearts.
4. Why do you blog?
I began to blog because I read that a publisher would rather shave a cat than read another memoir. After almost a year of wondering what was going on with my son, and hearing the word “autism” but not having a diagnosis, I was lonely and terrified. I searched autism and special needs blogs and found some true gems but also nothing that felt like it fit perfectly perfect for our situation. I read about issues that we don’t have. I read about anger that we don’t have. I read and I read and I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I felt like we lived in The Middle World – one where the spectrum exists but a diagnosis does not. Because of the loneliness and uncertainty, I wanted to create a community for parents like me. A place without judgement. While I feel good about having since found that exact community, blogging has evolved into so much more.
I’ve found parents who are in The Middle World, I’ve found special needs bloggers, and mom bloggers, and educational bloggers, and so many more who have issues and lives and loveliness and amazement. I’ve found that I didn’t need to create a Middle World, I just needed to create a platform to find writers and thinkers and laughers and amazing friends.
Blogging is weird in some ways. I think that perhaps because we are writing, and putting ourselves out there so much more than we might IRL (in real life), that we find deep and meaningful connections. We make one another laugh and cry and nod our heads in agreement or shake them in disbelief. I’ve also found non-bloggers, which, in some ways, is even more rewarding. When a mom reaches out to say thank you, or please help me, late nights and soul bearing become more meaningful and right. I’ve actually written about why I blog a few times. The most top-of-mind one can be found here.
5. What do you like about the Ten Things of Thankful hop?
Simply put, Ten Things of Thankful reminds me to be thankful. There are days when I come home from the playground in tears. Others when we attempt to run errands that end up sucking. They’ve sucked because I’ve wrestled with trying to keep Tucker in my sight while he’d rather hide in the middle of clothing racks and pretend that they are carwashes and that he is the car, and because other shoppers aren’t always as delighted by his adorableness as I am. I get frightened that I’ll lose sight of him and then I usually end up buying nothing and having to calm my racing heart in the parking lot. Incidents such as this are why Tucker’s newly-painted big-boy room is still without bedding for his big-boy bed (I keep saying I’ll just buy them online but there’s something about feeling the thread-count, you know?).
TToT each week reminds me that these are not the moments that matter. Stress and worry and losing patience are, of course, par for the course in everybody’s lives, no matter what their situation. Taking a few moments to sit down and think about what I am grateful for from the prior week, or in general, is a way to focus on the lightness of life. The gift of it.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in life?
Somewhere along the way, I learned to mostly believe in myself. That hasn’t always been the case and it’s something that’s allowed me to feel peace in places that peace hasn’t always been.
7. Which people inspire you?
My son. He works sohard for his triumphs and manages to find wonder and glee in leaves and butterflies and airplanes and tickles. Tucker inspires me to be more and to live more every single day. His ability to find sunshine and joy after his tears is mind-blowing. That he is able to giggle after struggling to make a particular sound that he didn’t want to make – was convinced he couldn’t make -is proof of greatness.
My dad inspires me. My mom left him, me and my two younger brothers when I was 13. He stepped up to the mom-plate and just did. He never complained, never resented us, never did anything but learn how to become the best mom that he could. We didn’t make it easy on him.
Also, Steve Jobs. Because Duh.
8. What achievement are you working towards?
I’m currently working on a few books. I do not spend the time required to actually make great progress on any of them but I’d like to change that. I’m also working on helping my son with his language development and working on myself to learn the best ways to facilitate and to accept that reality.
9. How would you most like to inspire others?
Through authentic connection. I’m a big believer in laughter. I’d very much like for the world to learn to embrace -and live- empathy and wonder. There’s nothing more inspiring to me than acceptance, and, if I can help people learn to accept differences and quirks in others, I know that we will evolve to a place more welcoming to my son and to all of the everyones. I hope that Finding Ninee’s recent Our Land serieswill be one of many vehicles that helps this to happen.
10. Tell me something utterly frivolous about you.
I love cheese. And massages. I think vanilla is way better than chocolate. I’m also a recovered sunglasses addict.
Kristi, thank you for sharing this. The ‘Our Land’ series is one of my absolute favourites and I love how hard you’re working to bring the compassion, empathy and wonder into people’s lives by getting their stories out there and working hard to engender such beautiful attitudes. I’m hugely, massively pleased that Ten Things of Thankful is something you’re so committed to, and that it fits with the way you’re addressing your own attitude to the negatives of life – with intentional, purposeful, combative engagement with Good. You rock the attitude.
For now, this is our last Co-Host interview – kindasorta! I’m out of co-hosts to pester, and so next week, I go under the spotlight, and my dear, wonderful, generous, kind-hearted* co-hosts have the opportunity to devise some questions for me to answer.
See you on Saturday for the Ten Things of Thankful hop – I look forward to learning about what’s made you thankful this week.
*Really? Who’m I kidding? They’re gonna eviscerate me, quite on purpose, for your entertainment…