28 September 2010


its funny how life works out. more often than notthe days unfold in ways completely unexpected. My whole life i have had expectations of the life i would lead; ideas on how i wanted to live said life. now that i am 28, married and have a child, i am smack dab in the middle of living the life that i spent so many years imagining. and the funny thing is, it is NOTHING like i imagined.

well, that is not entirely true. i always said i would marry an international and live overseas. so that part is actually exactly how i imagined it. it is the outer-lying details that are so strange.

a good friend of my recently asked me what it was i truly wanted. not what i should want, or what people think i want. not even what i always thought i wanted. but what do i really want right now, at this very moment. that questions has proven to be quite thought provoking. and as i have spent several weeks thinking and praying over the question, the answers that i have come up with are vastly different than i would have ever imagined.

I have always prided myself on being the 'free spirit' of the family. quite nomadic, always on the go, never really having stability and loving every second of it. i have always fought against the typical suburbia life style. i didnt want a white picket fence with PTA meetings and neighbourhood bridge clubs. i wanted a faster pace of life, with no roots. i watned to explore and bring my family with me. it was one of the first things that really brought rhys and i togther, the desire to make everything an adventure. never the norm, and never the safe.

shock number one for Kristina....i want suburbia. i dont want to live in the middle of nowhere; and 3 years in london has shown me that i do not want a busy city either. i want the middle of the road. (yes, i did just type that. i know, its hard to believe. the middle of the road) i want the suburbs. although after typing that, i feel i should clarify. i want the stability that a settled life offers. the 1950's idea of a nuclear family. that is what i want. a nomadic, live life out of a backpack does not provide the house, dog and boat all sitting nicely in my driveway.

rhys and i still desire to make an adventure out of our lives and family, but we also want roots. i want to have a space that we can call our own. not a rented flat that is less than the size of a one car garage. but space. space to have a back garden where we can have a family picnic. space to play on the kitchen floor. for that matter, space to have more than two people in the kitchen a time.

i want furniture and a bed that rhys and i choose, not simply forced to make due with whatever mismatched hodge podge happened to come with the flat. dishes, silverware, towels, picture frames, books, movies, picture albums, closet space. normal things that familes have. i want that. i really do. i want our OWN space. i long for the settled life of suburbia. I cant ever see myself as the typical 'soccer mom' but i think i have finally found a happy medium.

shock number two for kristina?.... i do not want to be a full time stay at home mom. i know, the horror, the horror. but its true. my entire life i couldnt wait until i had my first kid and could quit work FOREVER. and i was truly blessed to have a year paid maternity leave on the mildly socialist government that is the UK. and that year was perfect. now? well, now i want to work again. not full time. and not to have a high powered career, but work none the less. i would like to get out in the world, interact with other adults and make a difference in something. however small or large my job may be, i want to be dedicated to do it and do it well. I want to put on a suit and heels a couple days a week and roll around building forts and painting the rest of the days. i love little eleri, but i love others things as well.

since admitting, mostly to myself, that i really do want to go back to work, i feel like a big weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. there seems to be an expectation in the middle of america that to be the best possible family, mom needs to stay home. i have had people tell me "good for you, its the best for your children" and "i feel sorry for kids whose moms work" i think those are very negative and misguided comments. whatever works best for each family is the best option. not a blanket statement of "dads go to work, moms stay at home". and i know that it will be best for eleri and my marriage for me to be out in the 'world' making a difference as well as at home, loving and teaching my little one.

after i came to the conclusion about suburban life and being a part-time working mother, i continued to think and pray about what it is i really want out of life. i came up with little things like I want to run long distances. hence the ultra marathon on the horizon. and i came up with idealistic, long term things like i would love to open a fair trade, freshly produced/grown food and product store that has price equivalents to walmart. that way people could get fair and healthy products without spending the entire budget. i would also like to develop a city wide recycling scheme in tulsa. they are in desperate need.

i also want this leather jacket and another tattoo. but thats a different story all together.

it has been an interesting question to think about. i encourage you all to do it. sit down and really think about what it is you want. not what you think you should. or what you have always said you wanted. but what it is right now that you really want. you might be just as surprised as i was.

24 September 2010

the weekend, finally.

its been a long and busy week as rhys and i dove head first into fundraising. i am glad it is friday night and we can take a break to enjoy one another.

but before i head off for the weekend, i just wanted to extend a giant THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to our cause so far. i am amazed at the generosity. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! we really do appreciate all the help as we try to reach our goal of £750. i hope that we can raise above and beyond that.

so if you have not done so already, go to our Ultra Marathon Website and think about joining our team.

more excitment to come on monday! enjoy the weekened everyone.

the weekend, finally.

21 September 2010

fund raiser number 1: guess my time

i love to run. there is nothing else that really compares to the feel i get when i am out there, just me and my shoes, on the open road. nothing to distract me, nothing i have to do, no deadlines to meet, no meals to cook, no laundry. nothing. just me and my shoes. short distances, long distances, fast, slow. it doesnt matter. i love running.

and i have decided to take my running one step further.

i used to run 4 or 5 half marathons a year. it gave me something to train for, but also a wonderful sense of accomplishment after finishing each race. rhys and i used to train together as well, so it was a good way to spend quality time together as a couple.

then i got pregnant. and really sick. that slowed my running down quite a bit.

and then i got skin cancer. i had several operations and more stitches than i can count. and that brought my running to a screeching halt.

slowly i have worked my way back into running shape. and joy of all joys....i still LOVE running! and i have decided that its time to take my running to more than just a few half marathons here and there and some long runs on the weekends.

i am doing an ULTRA marathon in November. let me clarify. i would LIKE to do an ultra marathon in November. but i need to raise enough money for entry fees and charity benefit. I have managed to convinve my husband that he should do it too. so we will be running together! we have already started training. now its time to start fund raising.

fund raiser number one: guess my time.

the race that we want to do is the Pembrokeshire Costal Run. 78.6 miles over 3 days. basically a marathon a day for 3 days straight. awesome eh?

so i thought it would be fun for people to guess how long each leg, or the total, would take. and whoever is closest to our actual finishing time WINS! and what do you win you ask? double your money. lets say you contribute £10 for your guess. and you guess correctly. you win your £10 back plus an additional £10!! profit. sweet. of course i will accept normal sponsorship as well. but i thought the contest made giving your money away a bit more exciting :) you can guess just my time, or just rhys' time, our both of our times. lots of options!

outside of entry and fees, money raised is going to THIS charity. having dealt with, and still dealing with, skin cancer issues myself, this charity is near and dear to my heart. information and support are crucial and this organisation has provided me with both.

we have 3 weeks to try and raise all the money we need. not a lot of time, i know. So spread the word! any amount, small or large, is greatly appreciated. basically i am asking my friends for money. i feel a bit strange about it, but i am not sure how else to raise money except ask people. so please know that i am not entirely comfortable with this, but i am doing it anyway :)

if this sounds like something you would like to do please send me an email: kristina.williams0@yahoo.co.uk or just post a comment on how i can get in touch with you and i will do so. i really appreciate all your help towards the ultra marathon and towards the skin cancer foundation

never before in my life....

have i had to change my entire running route because of sheep. yesterday i started my evening training run the same as every other day. out of the house, down the lane and up the hill to the next village over. only yesterday i was stopped before i even got to the hill. a farmer was herding his sheep from one pasture to another. and about 300 sheep were blocking the road. the sheep dogs were running wild and the farmer was sitting patiently in his defender 90, waiting until all the sheep has crossed over. I was not patient enough to wait and then get stuck behind 300 sheep as they walked down the lane.

can you imagine the conversation when i got home? "what took so long" rhys would ask.... "uh, i got stuck behind really slow sheep and couldnt run past?!" crazy.

so i ran a new way yesterday. and had to laugh because that has never happened to me ever before!

17 September 2010

things i love

e loves to say 'boo'. she will hide behind, around, in, and under anything to play peek-a-boo. i treasure these moments with e.

I love that this is a sight i see daily on my runs. even in the middle of no where, on a tiny country lane, i am reminded that i live in the UK. i smile every time i run by this.

basically i love everything in this picture. i love ele's new converse's. i love the multi coloured blanket. and i love her little turn up jeans from baby gap. she is a stylish kid.

I love that with rhys new job he can take time out of his day to be with us. we ate lunch together Wednesday and i am grateful for the flexibility that lets him do that. i LOVE my family.

I love these flower detail ballet flats.

i love being married to rhys. everyday i am reminded in new ways why saying yes to him was the best decision of my life. today in particular, because we have so much fun together.

it is fairy chilly over here; already time for scarves and jackets. and the leaves have started to change. i used to say that i loved boiling hot summer the best. i think it has changed. i absolutely LOVE sunny, cool fall weather.

e loves to immitate. whatever an adult is doing, she wants to do. my mother-in-law always takes time with the little one. even down to getting matching mops!

there is a tiny, hidden away spa in Covent Garden, London. I LOVE thier products. they are my one super girly splurge. they are fantastic face and body soaps, srubs and lotions. I will be bringing quite a few back with me when we move. they are fantastic!

i LOVE that i had the opportunity to be pregnant. lately i have heard so many heart renching stories about woman desperately trying to have children. i am eternally grateful that fertility was never something rhys and i struggled with. and even with the sickness and difficulties, i loved being pregnant. wouldnt trade it for the world!

Sunshine! because this is how i feel today, excited and ready to take on the world!


15 September 2010

on friendship

whenever i write about a singular topic, i like to start the post "on..." whatever. to me it is reminiscent of John Locke's "On Government" and sometimes it is nice to feel like John Locke. that said....

living abroad has taught me a lot about friendship. i have come to understand the need for fellowship on an entirely new level. there is an element to life that is not meant to be lived in a solitary way. without a doubt there are times in life when we need to pull back and recuperate as individuals, but there are times when we so desperately need the companionship of other people. sometimes we need help, sometimes we need a listening ear, and sometimes we just need a laugh and a pint. but whatever the occasion we need people. three years out of the comfort zone of my friends, family and country has taught me what a valuable necessity friends can be. old friends, new friends, friends of friends. being in the company of friends can provide some of lifes greatest moments.

but friendship can also be painful. when you truly open yourself up, becoming vulnerable and completely honest with another person, you also open yourself up to a new level of hurt and sadness. often times it is feeling empathy for whatever your friend is going through. but often times it is pain at the hand of your friend, be it intentional or not. this is the aspect of fellowship that proves difficult. because we are humans interacting with other humans, we are bound to make mistakes. our own selfishness comes through and the people around us get hurt. yet in spite of that, the benefits of friendship will always out weigh the negativity.

and i was recently presented with the best and worst of friendship all in the same day. yesterday in fact.

i woke up, quite please after a great nights sleep, ready to start the day. almost immediately i was smacked in the face by the hurtful words and actions of someone i would class as a dear friend. our lives are quite similar, this friend and mine. but perhaps at the moment the few differences that separate us are too great a distance for him to climb. perhaps he is merely distracted by his immediate surrounds. or perhaps our friendship is changing and neither one of us are prepared for that. but whatever the reasons, over the past few weeks, said friend has made me feel used, unappreciated and expendable. even when confronted on such topics, said friend makes no attempt to remedy the situation. i have tried nearly everything i know, but the friendship seems to be at a standstill. because of the history this dear friend and i have, i am having difficultly just moving on. and yesterday i reached the boiling point. it was mentioned in a round about way that i was too self indulgent. hmmmm. when pressed, he couldnt, or wouldnt, elaborate.

at first i was hurt, but that gradually transformed into frustration. and i allowed that frustration to reflect on other aspects of my life. instead of recognizing that it was one friendship, it became that i was estranged from all my friends back home. i was isolated here in wales. even my london friends were too far away. no one really understood, no one really cared. life is so hard for poor little kristina. poor me, poor me, poor me.

obviously that is the mature response to friendship difficulties.

then, later in afternoon i had a chance to have a skype call with another dear friend of mine, devi. Devi and i have an equally long history as the above mentioned friend, but in a much different way. she and i have a unique relationship. people are often surprised that we are such close friends because on the surface we appear quite different. plus in university we had a VERY different group of friends. however, our bond is strong. and our friendship is one of my most treasured. we ended up talking for an hour and half. and it filled my heart. single handedly, she reminded me of all the positives of close friendship. she spoke truth and joy into my heart and life. she asked difficult questions whilst providing laughs at the same time.

the frustration and hurt i felt from one of my friends led me to be vulnerable with another friend. and that second conversation led to an new and very much needed perspective. as a result, today i am evaluating life in a different way. and that small change is making a drastic difference.

both aspects of friendship are necessary. the good and bad are so intertwined that they often work together bringing amazing and unexpected results. and those are the things that enrich our lives. as i think about my friends, i can see specific ways that different people have blessed and filled my life. my london mom friends have helped me become a parent. my london rugby friends have helped me stay spontaneous. my university friends helped me become an adult. my tulsa friends remind me of my roots. my arkansas friends show me what normal life can look like. and my european friends help to open the door of my mind. there are friends for every stage and every situation.

and whatever the situation, we need friendship. all the good and bad that comes along with it. the extroverts among us may want more friends and more interaction than those who tend to be introverted. but there is no way around the basic principle that fellowship is a necessary element of human life. we need friends. and even when i am hurt and frustrated with some of my mine; i am extremely grateful to have the friends that i do.

13 September 2010


we are home. finally.

it was a long flight, a good trip, great to see my parents and great to see rhys after two weeks. it has been busy, but worth it.

and i am tired. so this is it for me today. but enjoy these pictures, a random sample of our time in the states. more to come later.

8 September 2010

the lurgie

little e is teething. MASSIVELY. can you teeth massively? i am not sure, but in a 3 weeks 6 new teeth have come in. that is a HUGE amount. as you fellow parents out there can imagine, she is not happy about it.

i think i was quite spoiled with her at the beginning. she had 4 teeth before i even noticed. and a total of 9 came in without so much as a whimper. i had no idea what teething trouble was like. until 3 weeks ago. oh my goodness, i know now.

when we first arrived in the states, eleri had a bit of a virus. i imagined something she picked up from the airplane as she was eating off the floor, the tray table and even sharing snacks with another baby on the plane. i know, i am such a sanitary mother. if you need some hygiene tips, let me know ;)

and now my mom is sick. fever, nausea, yuckiness.

and now i am starting to feel a bit crap.

the lurgie is hitting our house.

rhys says i am just telling myself i am sick because i do not want to fly all the way back home with a one year old by myself. and that part is true. because not even a little, tiny bit of me wants to make that trip. it was bad enough the first time. lets just hope this leg of the trip doesnt involve a quarantine (more to come on that later)

right now i am off to tend to my screaming child. ugh. i hate the lurgie!

6 September 2010

9 years later....

i wrote an entire blog post tonight. it took me almost an hour which is unbelievably long for me because i type like a maniac. its true. i am a crazy fast typer. as soon as a thought appears in my head, poof! there it is, already on the screen in front of me.

but i am not posting it.

i am not sure why. perhaps its a bit too controversial. that usually doesnt bother me, but lately i have not had time to be super, SUPER on top of politics so perhaps it is because i feel i would not be able to defend my point enough? or maybe i just am not controversial anymore? nah, thats not it. whatever the reason though, i am not posting it just yet.

instead i will say this.

i have a wonderful husband, who although is far away from me at the moment, i know in a few days i will be in his arms again. i have a wonderful daughter whom i get to kiss and hold and love and laugh with and spend every moment of every day with. i have wonderful parents, and wonderful in-laws. wonderful friends. and i get to spend time with each and every one of these wonderful people. as much or as little time as i want.

9 years ago, that changed for 2,977* people.

2,977 people will never kiss their husband or wife again. they will never hold their children, or be able to even have a child. they will never see their parents, talk to their friends. they will never share a moment of laughter with their spouse or a moment of frustration with their children. every precious life giving breath was stolen from them.

2,977 people lost their lives on september 11.

it is easy to forget about it. it is easy to move on. yes, i do acknowledge that there is an element that makes it necessary to move on as well. but as we approach the 9th anniversary of such a tragic and painful day in american history let us remember those around us, whether we know them or not, that are living with unimaginable pain every day. to the friends and family of those 2,977 people september 11th is not just another day. it is a day that forever changed their lives.

as i am a mother, children are very near and dear to my heart. as a result of the attacks, roughly 1,300 children were left orphaned. 17 women gave birth to children who never got a chance to meet their father. fellow mothers, can you even begin to imagine that?

so as we draw near to september 11th, let us truly be mindful of the pain and suffering that surrounds this day. let us really lift our country and our fellow countrymen up in prayer. dont treat saturday like any other day, take the advice from Paul and "pray continuously". The Bible tells us to be a light on the hill, one that cannot be hidden. Be that light today to a country, to a world that is full of hurt, pain, anger and bitterness.

*the death toll number of 2,977 that i am using does not include the 19 hijackers. i do not feel that they deserved to be honoured or remembered.

1 September 2010

storms, they are a' brewin'

i can remember several occasions when i was growing up that we had to take cover in a closet or under the stairs because of tornado warnings. once my brother and i were home alone and sat in the under stairs storage unit for hours! when we finally came out, one of our windows had a tree through it and another was bent completely in half, hanging over our drive way. that tree made a great bouncy swing until my dad cut it down. once we took shelter in my parents closet, with a matress over our heads. another time we had to get out on the side of the road because they used to say it was dangerous to be in cars when there was a tornado. do they still say that? im not sure.

we dont get tornados in the UK. ok, i should rephrase that. technically the UK has more tornados than any other country in the world. but they are wimpy, pansy tornados that most people are oblivious to. they are not like oklahoma tornados.

i was reminded tonight that i am in fact in oklahoma, and we do have big storms.

i went to my nephews football practice, american football that is. (that was just for you mom) and about half way through the practice the dark clouds started rolling in, bringing with them the distant sound of thunder. within about ten minutes the first streaks of lighting shot through the sky. in a matter of seconds 5 primary school teams were cleared off the fields, parents were frantically gathering up their belongings and coaches were shouting out warnings to stay away from the fences and metal bridges. it was the calm, quiet kind of panic that comes from people who know what can happen, and are used to experiencing the worst.

oklahoma is hit more than any other state with severe storms and tornados. in my years here, i can think of at least two towns that have been completely levelled by the winds and rain that come every spring and summer. it is fighting, the power of God evidenced in nature.

little e has never seen lighting. or heard thunder. i just laid her in bed, as the wind and rain beat heavily against the window. i am hoping she sleeps through it. i am hoping she is not bothered by the new, harsh sounds. because the storms, they are a' brewin'