I am Kristin. I cannot believe I am 32, have been married for 8 1/2 years, have three children, and that kids I used to babysit are having kids...but find it oddly exciting. I like to take on way too many things at once and crave change.

I love my husband, Nick, and that he can always make me laugh. I love that he cooks, gardens and lifts weights. I love his mildly inappropriate sense of humor. I love how much he loves audiology and that in a few months he will be an actual audiologist (WAHOO!) and in a few years, he will be a double doctor. I simultaneously love and jealously hate the fact that he just gets more attractive as he gets older. I love that we can laugh (and sometimes cry) at the fact that with each passing year of our marriage, we have actually made less income than the year prior. Hopefully that will stop soon. We can't go much lower.

I love my almost-six-year-old, Nora, and the spirited, kind, independent, empathetic and scarily brilliant child she is. I love that she asks me if I need help carrying heavy objects, worries that I don't watch her sisters closely enough, misses her sisters while they are napping, talks about onomatopoeia and alliteration, writes letters to fairies, sings and dances with all her soul, and is STILL happiest wearing just her undies. I love that she loves people and books and pretending that she is a mom or a chipmunk or a mommy chipmunk. I love that she is always concerned about how others are feeling, but hate that she is so empathetic she absorbs the pain, stress and sadness of those around her. I love that she is content wherever she is, but hate how hard it is on her when anything changes (even the color of the wall).

I love the book, Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. It was a lifesaver. If you have a Nora, you MUST read it. 

I love my three-and-a-half-year-old, Madeline, and the easy-going, INTENSELY stubborn, happy, serious, observant stinker that she is. I love that she smiles with her whole body, has incredible rhythm, dances and sings to bluegrass music, sleeps like a champ, and lights up when she sees her sisters. I love that she is a total ham and has this crazy, innate sense of what is funny.  I love (and hate) that she may just go with the flow or drop down and throw a screaming tantrum if you pour her a glass of milk before she is ready. I love that she assesses everything through meticulously rigorous examination and that her hugs are hard-earned, but always genuine. I hate that she has a congenital heart defect and a huge scar down her chest, but love that she is "fixed" and through that horrid experience we met some truly amazing people.

I love my nearly two-year-old, Lidia, and the happy, fearless, people-loving, motivated baby she is. I love that she chatters incessantly, repeating the last word of everything you say and that she gets so happy she shakes. I love that she decided she was done with diapers at 16 months, but hate that she doesn't have the bladder (or bowel!) control to actually be done with diapers. I love that she dances when music comes on and that she is happiest when she is wrestling with her sisters. I love that she kisses and waves and falls asleep in the car and really, REALLY loves animals (the bigger the better). I greatly appreciated the (now outgrown) allergy to milk and all milk products that allowed me to expand my very narrow cooking repertoire over the course of a year to include foods I never would have discovered. I love her mischievous nature and independent spirit, but hate that that means she's a terrible listener.

I really love Jesus, but really, REALLY hate that people assume that means something political. 

I love my family and the fact that my siblings are two of my very best friends.

I love that I am still great friends with people I met in kindergarten. I hate that we can't get together more.

I love to write and read. I love photography and wish I had a better eye for landscape pictures.

I love traveling and learning about other people and places. I loved learning Spanish and the doors it opened personally and professionally.

I love Fortaleza, Brazil and the amazing organization, The Channel. I loved working there and hate that I can't do more.

I love St. Olaf College, but hate that it will probably be too expensive for my kids to attend.

I love dance. I love to do it and I love to watch it.

I love to bake, and wish I loved to cook.

I love dark, dark chocolate. And tea with cream. And cheese. And coffee from our home-roasted beans.

I love living in cities and way out in the country. I hate living in suburbs. 

I love the BBC and PBS. I love the fact that we only get 4 channels and that three of them are PBS channels in HD. I seriously love Downton Abbey and Sherlock.

I love music with meaning.

I loved my time living in Maryland. I hate that I am no longer living by the amazing people I met there.

I hate overhead lights, loud chewing, being cold, touching fish and money.

I hate hypocrisy and really hate that no matter how hard I try, I am still a hypocrite.

I love that I now have an excuse to be creative.