20 Random Facts About Me

Happy Monday, all!  And a very happy day it is.  My brother and I finished the condo on Friday!!!   Actually, we finished it at 3:45 am Saturday morning after working all day Friday, and all through the night.  I was determined to finish it on Friday because I had things planned this weekend for my birthday (which was yesterday), and I didn’t want to have any projects remaining over there that I had to work on this week.  I wanted to be finished for good.  I’ll give you the final tour tomorrow, and then it’s back to working on the house for me, starting with finishing up my bathroom remodel.

As I thought about it being my birthday yesterday, I realized that most of you probably have no idea how old I am.  I get quite a few comments like, “If I were as young as you, I’d love to do some of these projects around my house,” and other comments that allude to how young I am, and they always make me giggle because I’m positive that I’m quite a bit older than most of you think I am.

So I got to wondering what other things you may not know about me.  I realized that other than the random post here and there, like the one I wrote last week, I really don’t share a lot of personal info about myself here on the blog.  So I came up with a few random facts about myself so that you can know me a little bit better.  Ready?  Let’s start with…

  1. I’m 42 years old, as of yesterday.  Are you surprised?  🙂  Matt is eight months younger than I am, and he doesn’t let me forget it.  😀
  2. I was born in Waco, and grew up in a suburb of Waco.  I went to the same school from kindergarten through 12th grade, and lived in the same house from the time I was born until I moved away for college.  In fact, my mom and step-dad still live in the same house .  I’ve lived in Waco about 35 of my 42 years.  I love it here.
  3. I’m a Christian — just a simple Bible-believing, non-denominational Christian.  I made the decision to follow Jesus when I was seven years old, and never looked back.
  4. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life.  I just never understood the point.  But…
  5. I have enjoyed the occasional cigar.  Just occasionally, though.  As in, maybe 7 or 8 in my whole life.  I tried my first when I was in my 30’s, but I haven’t had one in probably five years.  It can be an expensive (and not very healthy) habit that I’m happy to live without.
  6. I don’t drink.  In my entire life, I’ve had one sip of beer, one sip of white wine, one sip of red wine, and one sip of champagne.  Not only could I not stand the taste, but I couldn’t even stand the smell of any of those.  And because I hated all of those, I’ve never even had the slightest desire to try a mixed drink of any kind.  So it also stands to reason that…
  7. I’ve never been drunk a day in my life.  I’ve never even consumed enough alcohol to be the slightest bit tipsy.  And as you might assume, based on the my experience (or lack thereof) with cigarettes and alcohol…
  8. I’ve never even tried an illegal drug in my life.  It was just never something I was curious about.  So given all of the above, it might come as a shock that…
  9. I support the full legalization of marijuana.  🙂  It’s true.  I think it should be completely legal.  It’s a plant that grows naturally from the earth, and it’s one of the most powerfully nutrient-dense plants on the earth, with amazing health benefits.  It can work wonders on people with neurological diseases, but smoking it makes about as much sense as smoking your broccoli in order to get the health benefits from it.
  10. I actually support the legalization (or at the very least, the decriminalization) of all drugs.  The war on drugs has cost us billions of dollars, and it’s a war that we’ve lost.  Prohibition never works.  It didn’t work with alcohol, and it hasn’t worked with drugs.  In fact, prohibition generally makes things worse.  Much worse.  It’s time to reevaluate.
  11. I graduated from Dallas Baptist University in 1995 with a B.S. degree in psychology.  My plan was to take a break, and then return to graduate school and become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Obviously that never happened, because immediately after graduation…
  12. I worked as a claims adjudicator for the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office here in Waco, and I was there for 4.5 years before deciding that I couldn’t spend another year at a desk job that I felt was sucking the life out of me, no matter how good the pay and benefits were.  While I worked there…
  13. I did quite a bit of traveling in Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Of all the countries I traveled to, the country that stole my heart was Turkey.  And specifically…
  14. I love Istanbul.  It’s my favorite city in the world.
  15. In 2000, I decided to quite my job at the VA and move to Turkey.  I went there with a church-planting team through the missions organization of the church I was a part of at the time.  I lived in Turkey for a year-and-a-half, and I spent my first year in Istanbul before moving to another city called Eskisehir.  So I can honestly say that…
  16. In my life, I’ve lived in two countries, but I’ve lived on three continents.  It’s a fun riddle that stumps most people.  About 3% of Turkey is in Europe, while the rest is in Asia.  I happened to live on the European side of Istanbul for the first year, before moving to a city in Asia.  Two countries (U.S. and Turkey) and three continents (North America, Europe, and Asia).  🙂
  17. I met Matt in an online chat room when I lived in Turkey.  We were 7600 miles apart (he was in Oregon) on opposite sides of the world, but he worked nights so we were always online at the same time.  Our chatting online turned into long phone calls, and we got to know each other quite well.  I knew I would marry him before we ever met face-to-face.
  18. In the spring of 2002, I traveled from Turkey back to the U.S. to be in a friend’s wedding, and Matt asked me to come to Oregon so that I could meet him and his family.  I stayed in his parents’ house for a week, and after that week, we decided that I should move to Oregon.  So I went back to Turkey, and got things wrapped up there, and moved to Oregon in June 2002.  Matt and I got married the following September.
  19. Matt and I don’t celebrate Christmas (or Easter).  Because we’re Christians, that often shocks people, but the fact is that neither of those holidays are actually Biblical holidays.  Both are thoroughly pagan holidays that were celebrated for millennia before the Roman Catholic Church “Christianized” them, but they have very little (nothing) to do with actual Biblical, New Testament Christianity.  And as we are neither pagans nor Catholics, we don’t participate in them.
  20. Politically speaking, I’m a conservative (which shouldn’t shock you at this point), but I do not identify as a Republican.  I gave up on the Republican party many, many years ago.

So that’s me in a nutshell.  Did anything shock you?  🙂

I’ll be back tomorrow with the final post/tour of the condo, and then it’s back to working on the house for me!  Finally!  Woohoo!!  😀



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  1. I am so happy for you! To be finished with the Condo is such a weight to be lifted from your shoulders. Happy Belated Birthday! I find with your 20 facts I would really like to hang with you! Lol. What an interesting life you have led! Too bad (for me!)that I live on the east coast. Looking forward to seeing the finished project!
    Sheila F.

  2. Happy birthday! I had always felt that we are the same age, perhaps because of your style (which doesn’t scream uber young like YHL or something), and you just confirmed that we are. As for the rest, I’m a live-and-let-live kinda person, but I sure hope you haven’t opened a can of worms with this post! It would be funny if your religion and politics end up being ignored while people go crazy over the Christmas comments. And congrats on finishing the condo. Can hardly wait to see the pics.

  3. Happy belated Birthday! Thank you for sharing somethings about yourself. I would love seeing a picture now and again of the people in your life. A face to the names. Have a wonderful day!

  4. First, happy belated birthday! Hope you had a blessed day! Secondly, congratulations on getting that monkey off of your back! Woot woot! Thanx for sharing a little more about yourself and I, too, think it would be cool to hang with you. Praying for a quick condo sale!

    1. Yes I am also old enough to be your mother…HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY…you youngster! 🙂
      Loved reading about you and I resonate with you on many points…

    2. Same here, old enough to be your momma! Happy Birthday, and I love your position on marijuana & drugs. They wouldn’t be so glamorous if they were legal, and the sellers would no longer have billions of dollars!

  5. Happy belated birthday! I figured you were around my husband’s age just by the style and way you blog. He will be 41 next month. I am 10 years younger than him. Your 20 facts are interesting but I think everyone should have their own thoughts. I am a true believer in choosing what you want, as long as it doesn’t harm others. I love your blog and enjoy your updates.

  6. Happ belated birthday from over here in Germany, too! And loads of congratulations for getting the condo finished! I kept my fingers crossed that you manage that and you did – you (and your brother) rock! I sure hope that your personal info doesn’t generate much bad mail as you don’t deserve that at all for being this frank and helping shape your readers’ image of you better 🙂 I keep my fingers crossed a while for a good sale on the condo and look forward to the hosue tour as well as whatever you are doing in your house again.

  7. You asked if anything shocked us……#9, #10 and #19 did. Can’t say that I agree with you, but, this is a free country and we all are entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I’ve been following your blog and DIY’s for a couple of years now and I will continue to do so. I love what you do. Happy Belated Birthday, I hope your day was full of joy and blessings. Congratulations on finishing your condo….I wish I could live there. Looking forward to continuing with you on your journey with the remodeling of your new home.

    1. Ha! Those are the very things I do agree with you on.

      I am the mother of an addict. Drugs did not harm her nearly as much as the war on drugs. She has been sober for years. She is not even on probation anymore. But, every prospective employer, apartment manager and even curious bystander can look up her history on the Internet. It is absolutely paralyzing her chance for reintegrating into society and has kept her and her children in poverty for years. I would like to see all drugs decriminalized and addiction treated like a public health issue.

      And, I am a Hebraic Christian. I believe that Jesus came, died and rose again. I celebrate his Epiphany every day of the year. My husband is not. I find it entirely too devoted to the god of consumerism. I hate the Santa image and the idea that we have to be good to be shown love. We have a compromise holiday that focuses on Jesus as the Light of the World and our call to be lights to the world. We go to church and meet with family (after all it is a national holiday and everyone gets the day off).

  8. Woot! Condo finished! Wow, I bet that was a wonderful moment. Thanks for sharing some personal things about you! I think we are kindred spirits in many ways. And, NOW I know that 42 is young …. not sure I believed it when I really was 42! But as 60 approaches (gasp) I have 20/20!

    Way to put yourself out there! I really do feel I know you much better now! Can’t wait to see the condo!

  9. I agree in part with Margo. #11 and # 19 surprise me. I wonder if the drug issue has anything to do with Matt’s illness. Waco is not a big place, so I am guessing you have never been exposed to the effects of illegal drugs on inner cities. I pretty much knew your age, maybe not exactly but I knew your were in the low 40’s. I am surprised that you don’t honor the birth of Christ, as it is in the bible, and yet you call yourself a Christian. Glad the condo is done, Blessings

      1. I agree with you! No where in the Bible does it talk about Jesus being born on December 25th. Also, it doesn’t say how many wise men there were – only there were three presents given. The world has made it a religious event. The Bible says we are to remember his death – not his birth. I love Christmas though! Just not a religious event for us.

        1. I am a born again Bible believing child of God myself and love Jesus. I too celebrate Christmas and don’t consider myself to be celebrating a pagan holiday. I know he may not have been born then but I do it in rememberence of the awesome amazing saviour I know and love! But I don’t judge…celebrate or don’t. It’s between you and the Lord. Good post. And I do t believe for a minute you’ll lose readers. We all have to think a line? Nope..

      2. I also do not celebrate Christmas for the same reasons that you state, Kristi. Not only could Jesus not have been born in December, but the date that has been assigned as his birthdate was a date chosen because people were already celebrating a pagan holiday then, so it was easy to Christianize it, as you correctly stated. This may not matter to everyone, but it matters to me.

  10. Happy birthday, adventurous lady! The forties are a great decade. I loved reading about you. We have a lot of the same ideas about things. If I lived in Waco, we could be besties. 😉

  11. Happy Birthday for yesterday Kristi and congratulations on finishing the Condo. Wow what a great double celebration for you. Well done to you and your brother for helping you. It must be a huge relief to have all the jobs completed at the Condo now and being ready for sale. Can’t wait to see the final reveal. Congrats again and I’m sure I’ve told you this many times, but I really love your Blog and everything you do, you are amazing Kristi.

  12. Hi Kristi, I’m sure a weight’s been lifted off your shoulders now that the condo is finished – congrats. I enjoyed reading your facts. I have always been fascinated with Turkish influence on design/decorating. How do you think your travel has influenced how you decorate? Cool post.

    1. I don’t think my travels continue to affect my decorating. I think I’m more influenced now by Pinterest and Houzz. 😀 But when I returned to the U.S. after living in Turkey, my house was filled with furniture and decorative items that I brought back from Turkey. I loved that look, but after a few years, I was ready to move on.

  13. That must feel so good to have that accomplished. I had assumed you to be about that age. And, I had pretty much assumed most of the personal philosophy. I think you are pretty brave for stating all that because of the risk of loosing followers. You are also pretty brave to travel and live abroad like you did. I’ve lived multiple places in the US so I know the difficulty just right here, let alone abroad. And, your were brave to follow your heart in love, looks like it’s still working. I’ve never done any smoking anything or illegal drugs and I am totally in your corner on the war on drugs. Interesting take on the holidays, but I’m a liberal so whatever floats your boat. It’s nice of you to share and wish you an amazing birthday year.

  14. Happy birthday. I guess I am the exception, I guessed your age at 44 (though you don’t look it).
    Congrats on getting the condo done.
    I would also like to see a pic of Matt and Mom 🙂
    Have a great day.

  15. A very happy belated birthday and a big congratulations on finishing the condo. I can only begin to imagine how good that feels. Thanks for sharing a little about yourself. I appreciate the thought you have given to your stances on many topics. It doesn’t matter if they match perfectly with mine, as you have well thought out reasons for them. I always look forward to reading your blog and I am sorry we don’t live close to each other so we could occasionally meet for lunch!

  16. Kristi,
    Happy Belated Birthday!!
    So glad for you to hear the condo is finished. Bravo! It’s always nice to “get to know a blogger better”. Thanks for that!

  17. Haha!! Yes… I am surprised! I guessed you to be in your early 30’s. The rest of the ‘facts’ … I can’t say I am surprised… except for mentioning the drug thing… maybe you have a little libertarian leaning? But not celebrating Christmas and Easter…and knowing you are a Jesus follower… that surprised me. Though I don’t ever recall a post about Christmas decor… am I correct? You put yourself out there girl… I hope you don’t get a bunch of controversy. I’ve been surprised lately by how people choose to make a mountain out of nothing. So often I read a post (out in blogland) and think it’s good and then I read a pile of criticism in the comments that I just don’t get. Seems we live in the most judgmental time in history.

    Glad you can put the work on the condo behind you. Hope it sells in a flash!!

    1. I definitely have some libertarian leaning in my political stances on various topics. 🙂

      I can’t even remember the last time I wrote a post about Christmas, but it’s been several years. Matt and I stopped celebrating Christmas about four or five years ago.

  18. Is this the house that your Dad built a second floor onto? Didn’t you say he had never done something like that before? You get your bravery from him.

    Your love of Turkey explains the kelim or rug that you have written about incorporating into your decorating. It is beautiful.

    You gave hints about yourself, they stayed in my mind! You are a fascinating woman and all who get to interact with you IRL are truly blessed!

  19. happy bday to you!! long live your life and continue on, I love seeing your ideas…. way to free your self by expression!! lol

  20. Happy Birthday! I pretty much knew your age by some previous postings on where you were in your life. I’m one of those who said, “If I were still as young as you are…” When I WAS as young as you are, I was very active, but I’m 68 now and it’s not as easy as it was then. You’re still a youngun’!! LOL
    As for being shocked by anything, absolutely not. I totally agree with #9, #10 and (especially) #19. I also identify as Christian, but I’ve known for a long time that Christmas and Easter were originally pagan holidays. A lot of people are “Christian” only on those days, so it kinda defeats the purpose. But that’s just my opinion…and I have a right to it. 😉
    This is one of my favorite posts to your blog! It’s nice “meeting” you and knowing that you are a lot like me in so many ways. No wonder you’re my favorite blogger! 😀

  21. Wow, Kristi, like so many others, I eagerly await your posts above all others and have felt you are such a kindred spirit. This post proved it to an amazing degree! I share your spiritual and political views exactly….insofar as you expressed them anyway,even your avoidance of drugs and alcohol and tobacco is the same as mine except I never did the cigars either. I can’t tell you how many times I wished we were neighbors so I could offer you a hand or get feedback on my projects, but I live out in the country near Tampa. Women like us who know our way around a power tool or two aren’t too plentiful! My husband isn’t physically handicapped but his talents aren’t in that arena. I am nearly 20 years older than you but I am in really good shape since I’ve been a personal trainer for the last 10 years after beating fibromyalgia. Those comments people make about age sadden me because most of us can be a lot more fit and active than most are! I work with the older or frail clients primarily and know what I’m talking about. thank you for having the courage to take a public stand for biblical authority for what we practice religiously.

  22. Happy Birthday, Fellow Gemini! (I’m June 11)
    And no, nothing shocking but it does confirm why I feel a “kindred spirit” in you.

  23. Happy Birthday! It was my birthday yesterday too. I hope your day was as fab as mine was! Love your work.

  24. Well, I’ll admit to being surprised. Not shocked. but surprised for sure. You are older than I envisioned, but at 42 you are still so young (in comparison to my 67!). The drug, alcohol, legalization, etc. stuff doesn’t really surprise me; your blogs and comments to other people’s comments have made me think you are pretty laid back, not uptight or judgmental. I too am a Christian. We celebrate Christmas, but it is as a secular holiday, not religious. I love decorating for Christmas. Easter in my home is synonymous with a great ham dinner and lots of deviled eggs and of course, family coming to visit. The dates have more meaning (to me) as days off work so family can be together rather than the actual dates of Jesus’ birth/death. If schools let out for 2 weeks in February we’d celebrate then.
    I hope you had a lovely birthday. Can’t wait to see pics of finished condo. I love your work and appreciate your candor and openness.

  25. I love # 19…finally someone gets it!!! You are 4 years older then my youngest son…(I am an old lady….LOL!!) Love all 20 of your, ahem, admissions….;) Well maybe except for 6 as I do enjoy the occasional cocktail….you do wonderful creative work…I only wish I was as energetic and creative…I try!!! Love your outlook on life and immensely enjoy your blogging…Keep up the good work!!

  26. Happy Birthday Kristi! With age comes freedom. Thank you for having the courage to make this post. I stand with you about your facts. When my husband and I,several years ago,started reading the Bible for what it actually said and not what a denomination said it changed our whole life. I have been following your blog now for about a year and a half and love your use of color. I also found it refreshing that you did not bombard us with christmas trees and easter bunnies. Love the apartment I’m sure it will sell soon.

  27. I knew it! Yes – you are young! in fact I have a daughter your age. But even in my late 60’s I still do lot of projects around the house. The most recent was replacing some deck boards. Ripping out the old one’s without damaging the surrounding boards was the hardest part. But I did it!

  28. I hope you had a great birthday. I can’t wait to see pics of your condo now that it is finished. As for your 20 facts, no shock here! I judge people in only one way and I guess that would be kind spirited, which is how you come across. While interesting, I just don’t care about the other stuff. 🙂 Thanks for all you do in writing this blog which by far is my favorite!

  29. Happy Belated Birthday! I hope after finishing the condo, you got to have a nice relaxing weekend and a great birthday!

    So glad you were able to get the condo finished as scheduled. Now, I hope your condo sells quickly so that you can get your air/heat unit installed in your house soon. It will certainly be nice to have those!

    I know you are anxious to get back to work on your house and now you will be able to and won’t have any distractions. Can’t wait to see what you’ll be doing!

  30. No shock…
    I’m sorry that you don’t feel you want to celebrate Christ’s birth and the promise He made with His death with the rest of us,….but a person can do that EVERY day…not on a particular date. My two favorite services at my church are Christmas Eve communion and Easter sunrise service. But I’m old and “sot” in my ways :^)
    I’m very proud of you for the person YOU are and your general helpfulness and caring for the ones of us who get to share special views of your life.
    Blessings to you,

  31. Your brother gave you a wonderful birthday gift by helping you finish the condo! It was a great gift to yourself to get that out of the way and I can almost hear a sigh of relief and the freedom you now feel…. so much so, that it gave you the freedom and piece of mind to share with your loyal readers a glimps into your personal life. When the condo is finally sold, I hope you won’t mind if I lift up a glass or two of wine in celebration and smile as I drink it in your honor. Hugs

  32. Love the fun facts! That is pretty cool about how you and Matt hooked up. I met my husband in a bar and danced with him on a double dare. Who would have guessed that we would still be together 28 years later! You never know when sparks will fly. 🙂 Happy belated birthday! I hope you enjoyed the day and that the year will be peaceful, productive and life-giving to you and Matt!

  33. Hey, I’m cool with all your statements. Oregon just legalized pot, following WA and CO. I have never tried it but as long as people don’t smoke and drive I’m ok with it. My only question is why in the world would you leave Oregon? Weather here is great–no humidity. Four seasons but none of them harsh. Beautiful countryside. You can be 2 hrs from skiing or the beach here in SW Oregon. No tornado, hurricane, earthquakes or blizzards–of course we do have forest fires and California transplants! Obviously I am totally biased 🙂 My birthday was the 19th and you are my daughter’s age. Blessings to you Kristi!

    1. I wasn’t fond of the nine months of rain that you have to endure in order to enjoy the three months of summer. 😉 But Oregon summers are the absolute more gorgeous I’ve ever experienced in my life. It is a beautiful state, but I just couldn’t deal with all of the rain.

      1. It is a real challenge for some people to live in western Oregon because of the gray skies a big part of the year. The central and east side are not as green but have more blue skies in the winter. Did you live in the Portland metro area? They get a lot more rain and wind than we do. Anyway, just want to say again that I look forward to reading your blog more than any other! Although I haven’t done much “handy man” work I do so enjoy learning from you.
        Thanks for taking time to reply to me.

  34. I’m actually thinking we have more in common than I would have thought. Not on the travelling, but more the belief systems. However- cigars. What??? 🙂

    1. Kristi only smoked them because I did before ms. I have not had one in 6 years because of ms.

  35. Nothing shocks me, and why should it? You have a completely logical and sensible outlook on life and I couldn’t have said it better and agree with you on everything. Good luck and I love your blog.

  36. Nice to meet you! I knew there was a reason your blog has been a mainstay for me and one I have always enjoyed reading. Your my kinda peep Kristi Linauer!

  37. Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you enjoyed it, especially knowing the condo is done! Whoot whoot! You’re a straight shooter, and that’s what I really like about you. I loved Turkey, too, but not enough to move there. 😉

  38. Happy Birthday!! Thanks for the fun facts. As a Christian and independent thinker, I enjoyed reading.

  39. I divide people into 3 ages: Older than me, younger than me, or around the same age as me. I knew that you were younger than me (by 14 years).

    Love #9 and #10. I’ve thought this way since the 1970s, even as a non-user. What a drain on our national resources, not to mention the lives destroyed; by the enforcement, not the use, of drugs.

    On a less controversial note: Happy birthday!

  40. Happy Birthday to the best blogger on the internet. So glad for you and Matt that you are finished with the condo and get on with the rest of your lives. Well especially after the sale and as gorgeous as I know it is it should not be on market long!!

  41. Happy birthday, Kristi. I’m old enough to be your mother but I’m as passionate about interior design as you are. Thank you for sharing about your life and your many accomplishments.I’m interested in how you became an interior designer?

    Good luck with your house plans,

    1. I actually just refer to myself as an interior decorator. I don’t have any formal training. Decorating is just something that I’ve been interested in since about high school…or may be junior high school. I would decorate my room, help my mom with the house, help friends and friends’ moms. In hindsight, I wish I would have gotten my degree in interior design.

      It wasn’t until after Matt and I were married for about three years (after we moved to Waco) that I decided to start my interior decorating business.

  42. I loved reading your 20 random facts about you. Nothing surprised me or perplexed me about you. You’re still fabulous in my eyes. I’m a Christian and don’t go all crazy at ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ with gift buying. The birth and death of Jesus should always be remembered, just like we should remember soldiers/veterans for their service. In Canada, we have Remembrance Day for helping the forgetful who wouldn’t think about remembering otherwise.

    On another note, you must be feeling just giddy having that ‘finish up’ completed at the condo! Whoohoo!! Now may it sell in a flash and deliver cash to your bank account!

    I can hardly wait to see what you will tackle next at the house. I’m hoping it’s going to be your master bedroom. You and Matt deserve a beautiful room to retire to each night. Besides, having a gorgeous room might just entice you not to burn that midnight oil so often. You need to look after yourself by getting a good rest each night. Our western culture thinks we should always be busy but we’re killing ourselves when we keep cutting out our sleep.

    Anyway, I can’t wait yo see what’s next on the ‘To Do’ list!

  43. Well, can’t say I found out anything astounding or that I hadn’t figured out. I was right, you are young enough to be my daughter. I grew up in a very conservative Christian denomination but gave it up because too much emphasis on the trivial things and not enough on the importance of love and acceptance and “helping but without being judgmental”. I, too, do not identify with any group. I agree with you regarding the legalization of marijuana. The war on drugs accomplished the same thing as Prohibition…a larger criminal enterprise and more violence. It also became a war on people who deal with chronic pain, whether from injury or disease, I do have chronic pain and have had for over 15 years.It is due to multiple spinal of spinal conditions and surgery is not an option. The hoops I must navigate to continue to receive my medication are mind blowing and it gets worse every year. Marijuana is not legal in my state and I doubt it will ever be in my state since we are in the southern “bible belt” where they would legislate your entire behavior if they could.
    I love the story of you and Matt, its great. Most likely you knew each other quite well before your first face to face. All you could do is talk since going on dates was out of the question and sometimes dating couples really don’t talk as much as one would think. Besides, sometime its also easier to actually put things on paper than to say them. You guys seem happy and I hope your lives are full and happy. The way both of you are dealing with Matt’s MS warms my heart. Oh, and it may seem trite but always remember to LAUGH! Wish I had taken those words to heart when I was much younger. So Matt was your “bad” influence, huh? Well, everyone should have at least one bad habit lest we become sanctimonious (not to mention boring). Kristi, the great attribute of marijuana is that it can be used in so many ways and doesn’t have to be smoked. After watching some of the reports from Colorado, it can be made into a tea, used in any number of edibles and has been used distilled down for liquid use for children. I’m certain you have seen some of the programs on its usage in children with extreme seizure disorders. Its amazing and is the only thing to help so many of them when the medical professional have run through their options. It is just sad to me that families much uproot themselves and move to Colorado in order to be able to get the treatment for their children to give them a chance at a real life.
    Matt, keep her on track and don’t let her run herself down again. I suggest handcuffs and a rope. The handcuffs because if you only tie her up with the rope, she will have it cut, untwisted and made into a room divider before you can count to sixty.

  44. Thanks for sharing your intimates. I have a whole new respect for you and your adventurous spirit. I think you could start an online advice column about everything from marriage to decorating. I’ve got so many questions for you! Because I’ve followed your blog for 3 years and admire your talents and your experiences, I would trust anything you told me. Thanks for your kindness and sharing of your life.

  45. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I hope that you enjoyed your special day with Matt and your family…

    I to LOVE Turkey and most especially Istanbul (I went there for my 60th birthday 5 years ago)…. it is an amazing place… I only spent 10 days there with 4 days in Istanbul and another week touring the countryside… I am soooooo jealous that you were able to spend a year there. I cannot wait to go back with my husband sometime soon.

    Congratulations on finishing the condo… that must be such a relief!! 🙂

  46. I love, love, love number 20!

    Congrats on the condo. Now you can breathe, and get back to the things you love.

  47. Kristi, hope you had a wonderful birthday weekend! At the age of 59, oh, to be 42 once again! Better knees, back, energy etc. lol

    I loved this post and getting to know you better. Shocked by anything. No, of course not! I was a teenager in the early 70s. 🙂 I will say I was surprised that some readers commented that you would lose readers or however they worded it due to your beliefs. That is so wrong. If someone unfollows you for what you believe in, then just smile and wave bye, bye!

  48. Happy Birthday! I’m so excited that you finished the condo. I’m sure it will sell in snap!

    Your list didn’t hold too many surprises. I thought you were 40ish from reading your blog and knowing about your time abroad. We have similar attitudes. I am certainly for the legalization of Marijuana. We do celebrate Christmas and Easter, but I know that the dates are just symbolic. Many, many people who are not Christians celebrate them also. So, I certainly understand why you choose not to. Thanks so much for your blog!

  49. I’m so glad the comments here are positive in nature. I consider myself Christian and I read the Bible, but I don’t celebrate Christmas/ Easter for the same reasons you listed. It’s nice to see/ hear that others feel the same way.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for quite some time and I now I get to enjoy it even more, knowing a tad more about you.

    Congratulations on finishing the condo and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  50. Congratulations on finishing the Condo. And a warm Belated Birthday. Looking forward to seeing the finished Condo. Thanks for the introduction xxxx

  51. Happy Birthday! I am surprised that you’re 42. I had you pegged for mid-30’s. I LOVE ISTANBUL, TOO! I’ve been 3 times to Turkey and I find Istanbul to be magical.

  52. A very big Happy Birthday to you Kristi. I’m very excited for you and your husband that you have finally finished the condo. What an awesome brother you have who had the time to help you get it all done. Can’t wait to see the pics, when you are ready to post them of course. Good luck with the listing and sale.

  53. Just curious (and this isn’t meant to entrap – you’ve been pretty open so I just want to know your honest thoughts) what your philosophy is on gay marriage and transgender issues since they’re prevalent in society right now. I am a gay reader and assumed I knew your position based on your past shared religious beliefs. With this post, I decided to ask the question because your liberal conservative side may have me surprised.

    1. Putting me in the hot seat, huh? 😀 I want to..and will…answer your questions, but I need to think about how to express my views in a concise manner. It may not even be possible to express my views concisely, so you may be left to read a novel-length comment. 🙂 Let me give it some thought.

    2. Hi M~
      I’ve given your question a great deal of thought over the last 48 hours, and I’ve decided that it’s impossible for me to answer concisely, so I’m afraid you’ll have to read and sort through my VERY long ramblings on the topic. 🙂 To me as a Christian, I believe these to be very complex (spiritually, socially, and politically) and multi-faceted issues that don’t allow for a simple “I support this” or “I don’t support this” kind of answer.

      First, let me say that as a Christian, I DO NOT hate gay people (or bisexuals, or transgenders, or anyone else with an other-than-heterosexual identity). It frustrates me to no end that this seems to be the common perception of Christians these days – that we hate gay people. I have a feeling that that perception is thanks in large part to things like (1) jackasses like the Westboro Baptist Church (evil, hate-filled people who are NOT Christians), (2) the tendency of the media in the U.S. to focus on the sensational (like the Westboro Church idiots, who are absolutely NOT representative of true New Testament Christianity), and (3) the highly politicized issue of gay marriage that seems to be dividing our country, and which has attracted some very vocal people on both sides, with many on the right claiming to represent Christianity at large.

      I’ve been a member of two very large Christian churches here in Waco (both with a 1500+ membership), and I can honestly say that I’ve never personally known another Christian who hates gay people. In fact, to do so would be in contradiction to the faith we claim to hold. In the New Testament (Mark 12:28+), when the scribe asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment of the law, Jesus said that the most important commandment was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and that the second most important commandment was to “love your neighbor as yourself.” He said that there was no other greater commandment than these two commandments. He offered no qualifications, like “love your neighbor only as long as they’re not gay” or “love your neighbor only as long as they’re Christian” or “love your neighbor only if you agree politically.” The commandment is simply to love. Period.

      Many people like to point to the Old Testament to say, “See? This religion called Christianity isn’t loving at all! Look at the horrible things in the law of the Old Testament!” (People also love to point to the Old Testament to “prove” how hypocritical Christians are because we don’t follow ALL of the laws, and therefore, in the eyes of non-Christians, they see us as picking and choosing what parts of the Bible we want to follow). However, these types of accusations come from people who simply don’t understand what Christianity is, or what significance the Old Testament holds for Christianity.

      The bottom line is that the Old Testament is not Christianity. It pre-dates Christianity. Christianity was born with the death and resurrection of Jesus just over 2000 years ago. That doesn’t mean that the Old Testament isn’t important to us. It’s very important for many reasons. (1) It’s an historical record of the plight of the Israelites, (2) it demonstrates the impossibility for man to follow the letter of the law required for us to be pure enough to approach a perfect and righteous God, and therefore, (3) it demonstrates the need for a savior (Jesus), and (4) it contains over 700 prophesies regarding the coming of a savior, all of which were fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

      So while it’s important as “background” for Christians to understand, the Old Testament IS NOT Christianity. The text which forms the basis of Christianity is the New Testament. And just the New Testament. Period. And in Jesus’ own words, He described which were the two most important commandments. We are to love our God, and love our neighbors.

      People like the idiots of Westboro Baptist Church obviously don’t even understand the very faith they claim to have, as their entire hate-filled message is based on one random verse in Leviticus, which again, is Old Testament law that pre-dates Christianity. Not only that, but they’ve also chosen to pluck out that one verse and use it as the basis of their entire message to the exclusion of the rest of the Old Testament law. As I said, they’re idiots who don’t even understand Christianity, and yet they claim to be Christians.

      Wow. I’ve already written a novel, and I haven’t even touched on your actual question yet. 🙂 But I just feel like any discussion of LGBT issues by true Bible-believing Christians such as myself must always start with that foundation, and I won’t ever discuss these issues with anyone without first establishing that foundation. The greatest commandments given to Christians are to love, not to hate. I have a feeling that if you and I were to meet, we would get along splendidly. 🙂 Now on to the marriage issue…

      I’ve already stated several times that I’m a Bible-believing Christian. As such, I firmly believe that God is the Creator of the institution of marriage. And as He is the Creator of the institution of marriage, He alone gets to define what marriage is. The Bible is pretty clear in defining marriage as a covenent between a man and a woman, so as a Bible-believing Christian, that’s the definition I accept.

      But here’s where my views diverge from most other Christians who hold the same view of marriage that I do. (And this is where my libertarian leanings start to show.) As I believe that marriage is an institution created and governed by God, I don’t think the government has any business sticking its nose into such a private area of people’s lives. I mean, how unbelievably overreaching of our government to say that THEY govern marriage, and you’re not married unless THEY grant you permission and define you as “married”. And in order to do that, you must BUY a marriage license from them. Ugh…the whole idea in general is so absurd to me.

      And it seems so unbelievably ridiculous to me that we actually willingly invite the government into our marriages. Unfortunately, Matt and I did just that 12.5 years ago, but if we had to do it all over again, we’d leave the government out of it completely. They can stick their “marriage license” and “marriage certificate” where the sun don’t shine. I don’t’ need or want the government’s permission to be married.

      And yet, here we are as a nation, not only fighting over who gets to have a marriage license and marriage certificate, but actually viewing it as a privilege to be able to invite the government into that most sacred of unions. I find the whole thing completely absurd. So my view is that if someone wants it that badly — if they feel that their lives are incomplete unless the government becomes part of their relationship with their significant other, and unless the government deems them worthy of being granted a marriage license and marriage certificate — let them have it. I couldn’t care less what the government does in this regard. I don’t care if it’s a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. Heck, I couldn’t care less if it’s a man and his horse, or a woman and her cat. If you want to invite the government into your personal life to be a part of your most personal union with another person, then go for it.

      But what you won’t find in me is a person who takes a stance on one side or another in the whole gay marriage debate. I won’t be one of those Christians yelling and screaming about “sanctity of marriage” in the political arena. I won’t be one of those people who suddenly feels compelled to rush to the polls the minute a gay marriage amendment is announced on the ballot so that I can be a part of “preserving traditional marriage.” And on the other hand, I won’t be one of those people yelling and pounding my fist about marriage equality. I don’t have a dog in this fight, so I’ll just sit back quietly and watch. And frankly, either way it goes, I don’t see that there are any winners. So you’ve fought and fought, and have now been granted the permission by your Almighty Government to make the government the third member of your relationship? Congratulations…I guess. From my perspective, there’s no victory in that, and it seems like there are a lot of mind games and reverse psychology going on in order to convince people that this type of government intervention is a privilege that should be fought over. George Orwell would be proud. Or scared. But again, if people want it, give it to them. I don’t care. They can give away (or rather, since it is government we’re talking about, SELL) marriage licenses on every street corner to anyone who wants one, for all I care.

      My views on transgenders are the same views I have about gays, lesbians, bisexuals…or anyone, for that matter. I worship a God who gave each and every one of us free will. That is a right given to us by God, and thankfully (so far, for the most part) upheld by our government. I believe that people should have a right to make decisions regarding their own lives, and live their lives in a way that they see fit, so long as their actions and decisions don’t cause damage to another person. That is my view of EVERYONE. Everyone should have that right, and I would defend that right for everyone. And I don’t have to agree with or condone another’s lifestyle choices (and I’m referring to ANY lifestyle choice, not just in regards to LGBT issues) in order to say that people have a right to live their own lives as they see fit, so long as they don’t harm another person in doing so.

      Phew! My goodness, I get super wordy and long-winded when it comes to talking about things like this. 😀

      1. Hi Kristi,

        I didn’t ask this question, but I was fascinated to hear your answer. I was worried you were trying to come up with long-winded way to say you had something against LGBT people, because, I thought, ‘Well, live and let live doesn’t need a lot of explanation!’.

        But I see that that is your general stance on the matter, you just expanded on it. Thank you for putting so much thought into your answer.

        The only thing I would say is that many people aren’t fighting just for the privilege of bringing the government into their union. They are fighting for the -legal protections- that affords. Next-of-kin status when making serious medical decisions, for example. Or automatic inheritance of property jointly owned upon death. Marriage isn’t just a piece of paper, it’s a legally-binding CONTRACT.

        The day I married my husband I said, to the world, and the government, the doctors, and all the lawyers, “Him. If I’m brain-dead, I want him to be the one to decide when to turn off the switch”. There may be other ways to achieve each one of these things individually, but marriage is socially accepted shorthand which ALSO provides many legal rights and responsibilities.

        It seems disingenuous to deny these legal rights whilst also benefitting from them. And if you haven’t had to put legal documents in place to cover all these things between yourself and Matt (inheritance, medical wishes etc) then you are benefitting from them, because getting married put them in place for you.

        1. “It seems disingenuous to deny these legal rights whilst also benefitting from them.”

          Yep, that’s what I meant when I said this topic, for me as a Christian, is multi-faceted and very complex. I did my best to explain my basic, general philosophy within the context of a blog comment, but to touch on every aspect of the topic, filtered through my Bible-based Christian faith and how I’ve come to believe that should play out in the political, legal, social, and economic arenas in this country, would require a very long face-to-face conversation. 🙂

          But again, my bottom line stance is that if people want it, and vote it into law, I don’t have an issue with it. I’m not actively fighting on either side of the gay marriage battle. I’m Switzerland. For the reasons stated previously, I’m neither for it nor against it. Or to put it practically, if I get a craving for a yummy chicken sandwich and waffle fries, I head straight for Chick-fil-a. And at the same time, I spend about $1200 a month at The Home Depot. 🙂

          ETA: I included that Home Depot link just in case anyone was wondering what the heck Home Depot has to do with the topic. Obviously, since I spend money there every month, I’m not calling for a boycott of my favorite store. 🙂

  54. Kristi. I don’t think I have ever posted on your blog though yours is one of 2 blogs I read regularly. Anyway, what most surprised me was your talk about Turkey. We have a special interest in this nation for some of the same reasons you do. We know quite a few folks working there. Perhaps we know some common people. My husband visited there 3 times and I got to join him once. Anyway, thanks for sharing about yourself and for sharing your creativity.

  55. Thank you for sharing a few facts about you and happy belated birthday ! You’re a wonderful human being. I just wish to have your determination , will and motivation to achieve such big projects! And I’m wondering whether you could give me some tips about turning a dream into a reality! Where do your determination and motivation come from?
    I love your blog,

    1. I think it just comes right down to making yourself do it. I’m the type of person who can spend my entire life planning, dreaming, scheming, reworking my plan, scrapping the original plan and coming up with a new plan, tweaking the new plan, etc. There comes a point when you simply must STOP planning, and start doing. If the big picture is too intimidating, then focus on the small steps necessary in order to make the big plan come to fruition. And then just jump in. Just start. Just do something.

      I’ve personally found that, in the absense of motivation to start a project, sometimes I just have to make myself start on it through sheer determination to see it done. But once I start seeing progress, the motivation starts to increase. And generally as the project continues, and as I can begin to see the finish line, I become even more excited and motivated to continue. But it’s the actual action — just getting started and putting one foot in front of the other — that breeds the motivation and determination. Very often if I wait until I feel motivated and determined before starting a project, I’ll never get started.

  56. Congrats on finishing the condo!!! I have my own ideas about how our government could help to fix the whole drug issue (and make money off of it like they do taxes on tobacco/alcohol) … I think a lot of people think hard street drugs are the cause of so many problems but precription drugs and alcohol are both legal (to an extent) and in my opinion when abused are just as bad, if not worse. The Marijuana thing… completely agree with you there. However, I also like you have never done either or had any direct impact on my life by either so I may be biased. Thanks for sharing your facts!

  57. You’re the fourth person I’ve talked to recently (well, read about) that expressed their love of Turkey – all saying basically the same thing, that it’s the most fascinating city in the world. Imagine travelling all around the world and then falling in love with someone from back home.

    I love that your beliefs are well thought-out and based on fact instead of tradition which people often follow blindly. I too am Christian but do not celebrate Christmas or Easter or Halloween or any other pagan holiday.

    So what was the final job/touch-up you did in the condo that was the official “last thing” to do and then it was done! You must have done a big high-five with your brother after that one! Ya-hoo!

  58. Happy Belated Birthday! I have loved your blog since the day I came across it. You give me inspiration and motivation to get my own house in order. Even my caveman hubby will ask what you’ve been up to lately. And I’m super excited to learn a bit more about you. We are more alike than different, but I celebrate the differences and love how you put yourself out there. I think you can see by the comments you mean more to most of us than you probably realize! Celebrate your condo victory! And I think once you are ready to list it you should give all of us the link to post on our facebook pages. Let us help you sell it!

  59. I actually read the comments almost holding my breath- I was so worried that you would get some ugly feedback! I have often been shocked by how awful people can be on the internet-so happy your readers are in a different league!!

    Nothing that you said shocked me, maybe only your willingness to put it out there which I love! I am slightly older than you and like Matt have MS (7 yrs.). Though I have been very lucky and looking at me you wouldn’t know it. For me low dairy, low sugar, NO gluten (and on the lower carb side-paleo) and lots of veggies and LDN have kept me healthy. Not evangelizing-just think it’s important for all of us with MS to share information-you never know what may help!

    Happy Birthday to you-I hope you and Matt do something fun and relaxing. I liked the advice to remember to laugh-so important!

  60. Hi, I’ve been following your blog a long time. I think I found you from a search for Texas bloggers! I always love “get to know you” posts from bloggers.
    My youngest is attending DBU now and will be graduating in December.

  61. Happy Birthday!! Your blog is my favorite blog that I follow and then to find out that we not only share the same birthday, but also the same birth year was quite the surprise! Thank you for all your inspiring work that you do here. Congratulations on finishing the condo and I look forward to what you have in store for your house!

  62. I crossed over to this page from today’s blog to find out why you don’t celebrate Christmas. I was surprised to find that you love Istanbul because so do I. When people find that out they say, “Huh?” but they don’t know how magical a place it is. It does tie with Paris for me because I lived there for many years and miss it.
    On a different subject, I’m loving the music room and can’t wait to see the black walls. I’m also stealing the pocket doors behind the bookcase idea. The finish work around the opening is outstanding.

  63. I enjoyed reading more about you. Thank you for posting that. YES! I was surprised by some of the stuff I read. Nice to learn more about what makes you tick. You are an amazingly talented, motivated woman. If I could do the stuff you do in remodeling, my husband would be so impressed.

    1. Well, that was certainly an entertaining article. I especially got a kick out of this: “Only the Catholic Church has the authority to determine which Jewish customs are binding on non-Jews.”
      Sorry, but that’s a lie. The Catholic Church has zero authority over me, and this article is complete nonsense.