Hi there! My name is Kristy, and I am married to my best friend, Justin (that handsome guy in the picture with me). We have been married for thirteen years, we are (somewhere) in our 30’s, and live in sunny Miami, FL. We have three kids–Cameron (9), Cade (6), and Bryce (2). Do I even have to say it? OK, I will anyway–they are my entire world.
Justin and I met in high school in the 90’s. We sat at the same lunch table and went to the same parties. We were friends. He even planted an out-of-nowhere kiss on me at one of those parties during our senior year, and I remember thinking, “Aaaww, he really tried.” (LOL). I was not interested in anything more than friends at that time because he just seemed so…young! He was shorter than I was and had an adorable little baby face (see photo below). As we prepared to head off to separate colleges (UF for me and Georgetown for him), he sent me an e-mail to tell me how much he liked me, and to say good bye. He jokingly signed off saying, “I hope to see you again soon. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, and for the rest of your life.” I thought that e-mail was sweet, so I printed it and saved it. Neither of us knew how prophetic it was!
Fast forward 4+ years, and I just graduated from UF and was still living in Gainesville. I heard through the grapevine that Justin moved to Gainesville for medical school, and I was so excited to see him again. He called me and asked if we could meet for a drink to catch-up, and I happily agreed. I walked up to the bar, and while I waited for him to arrive, this 6’0″, super-handsome guy walked up to me, smiling. I did a double-take. Is that Justin?! It was!
And then we got married.
Lol, OK, just kidding. It wasn’t that fast, but it felt like it. We had the best time that night–we talked for hours and, as ALWAYS with him, he had me laughing hysterically. I came away from that date knowing that was it. He was it. He proposed exactly one year later, and we were married less than a year after that on December 10, 2005.
After college, I worked in management for a company called Kaplan Test Prep. I absolutely loved that job, and learned so much while working there. More than that, though, I made some incredible friends through Kaplan. To this day, I am still close to many of my old co-workers, and we love reminiscing about our days together at 409 SW 2nd Ave.
While working full-time at Kaplan, I also pursued a Master’s degree in Social Work through Florida State University (but Go Gators!). UF did not offer this program, so they brought it to their campus by allowing FSU to conduct the program in their classrooms. I attended classes on the weekends for over two years and completed two internships, including a life-changing experience working on the Pediatric Heart and Lung Transplant team at Shands Hospital.
In 2010, I left Kaplan after six years to take on the most important role of my life–motherhood. My daughter, Cameron Rose, was born on March 22, 2010. My life, of course, has never been the same. That was 8.5 years ago, and two more kiddos have followed in that time: Cade Wallace on 11/17/12 (born on my birthday!), and Bryce Justin on 7/29/16. It’s hard (impossible) to put into words the unending joy they have brought to my life, but I am sure I will try to convey it many times on this forum.
I thought I was going to live in Gainesville for only the four years I attended undergrad, but that changed when Justin came back into my life. In the end, I lived in Gainesville for fifteen years, as Justin completed his medical school and residency there. It will forever be a place that feels like home for me, and a place I will always miss. I essentially grew up there. I arrived as an 18-year-old kid, and left in my 30’s as a married, mother of two!
Once Justin completed his neurosurgery residency, he accepted a job in Miami. I’ll admit that I did not want to go–I had the touristy metropolis of downtown Miami/South Beach in my mind and did not think it was an ideal place to raise a family. But–surprise!!– there’s much more to Miami than that, and we could not be happier with our life here. Justin’s job is amazing, we found the house of our dreams, we’ve made great friends, and we love the school our children attend. The best part, though? We live so close to both of our families now. We used to miss so many things because we lived too far away from them for many years, but no longer! We are very blessed.
So, how did I get here, starting a blog? Mostly, with some encouragement from family and friends. Plus, I have always loved writing, and this gives me a chance to put my degree in English from UF to good use! 😉 I am also known among family and friends as someone who researches every. single. thing. to death., so I am often giving solicited (and sometimes unsolicited, haha!) recommendations and advice. I also love fashion and great style, and I especially love it at a bargain. Here, I hope I can help you with something–whether it’s finding great deals on cute clothes, discovering products that are tried and true by me, relating to some of the stories I may share, or learning some things about motherhood.
I’m glad you’re here, and hope you’ll visit often!