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Starting Out – Our Ordinary Life

kristin l third gradeGrowing up in foster care I was always told that college wasn’t for me. I look back now and always knew that college was my way forward.  Growing up I loved school and I had dreams of being a marine biologist. I give credit to my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Maloney for making the oceans come alive in her classroom. It was her who showed me how exciting learning can be and that gave me a love for creativity and education. My father died the following year and life became less about a love for learning and more about other things.

Shortly after high school I moved to Oregon to snowboard and go to college. I had no idea how I would get to college since I had no guidance to get me there but that was my dream and I was following them! Sure enough the following year it happened.

It happened because one night while hanging with friends I met him, you know…..the one. He walked into my apartment with a friend and his long hair and dark eyes immediately caught my attention. I got lost in stories of growing up overseas in places I had only read about in books. His kind nature quickly pulled me in and when I told him about my dream to go to college he said “You can do it!”.

del and kristin

The thing about following your dreams is something we both lived by. Over the next year I found myself learning again and seeing the world outside of my own. Sometimes your dreams come true and you realize those dreams also have ten tiny fingers and toes because the following year we were holding her in our arms.

See my husband and I were both raised by family. His Aunt and Grandmother proudly raised an intelligent young man and my Aunt and Uncle. Each of us wanted a real family of our own and after Kai was born we knew we were where we were supposed to be.

kaila 2005

Starting out in life can be an incredible struggle. Whether you finally make it to college or make other choices in life, having someone there to support you is a real key to success. I never gave up on my dream to go to college and neither did he. When I started an online journal to document our child’s life he asked what he could do to help me. When I struggled in school, he tutored me. When I needed a break from the baby even after working all day and going to school, he took her.

My dream was to go to college and only after she was born did I also realize that my dream was also to have a family. We had so many firsts, my first car. Our first home.

del and kristin ten years

Our ordinary life now consists of our family of five with the birth of two more daughters. That simple journal to document our child’s life so that she would always know how we feel about her turned into what you see here today. Our journey isn’t over yet and we’re just starting out.

There’s always a new stage to life and as we move into our next stage I know we will be together.

All because he said “You can do it!” and together we said “Yes we do.”.

del and Kristin

What are some of your first and who was there with you on your journey?

Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm. 


  1. Getting Older Together - Our Journey on July 16, 2014 at 8:48 am

    […] month I introduced you to the first part of my story, our story. So many years ago I wished I would have known how fast time go by and how quickly our family would […]

  2. Stefani Tolson on June 20, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. I love how you have followed your dreams. I have also followed mine and hope to encourage my children to do the same.

  3. valmg @ Mom Knows It All on June 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    My parents are the only people that have never faltered, they have been there for me whenever I needed them and even when I didn’t.

  4. Tammi @ My Organized Chaos on June 13, 2014 at 6:39 am

    I love ‘your story’ Kristin, you’ve been through so much and have found your way – perfectly. Be proud of where you came from and where you are – the smiles say it all!! It’s amazing to realize all the firsts in life!

    • Kristin on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Tammi, means a lot coming from you. XOXO

  5. StacieinAtlanta on June 13, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Wow what an inspiring story! Follow your dreams….If you believe in yourself it can happen!

  6. Liz Mays on June 13, 2014 at 4:49 am

    I just want to give you a big hug after reading this. This was such a beautiful expression of your love for your life!

  7. Janice on June 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing it!

  8. tammileetips on June 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    What a great story of firsts!! Its amazing how the little things can change the course of your life.

  9. Emily on June 12, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    What a beautiful post. It’s so nice you found the support you needed to realize your dreams. That’s something many never get. Xo

  10. Racquel on June 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful love story. It feels so good to read about true support, love, and happiness beyond the struggles!

  11. Nancy Lustri (StyleDecor) on June 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Such a beautiful and inspirational post! Everybody should have a dream and have somebody there to support them in following their dreams! So glad everything worked out for you! 🙂 <3
    (State Farm is awesome. Hubby and I have been with them for over 26 years!)

  12. Debi@ The Spring Mount 6 Pack on June 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I love firsts. I am always trying to have a first experience.

  13. Jennifer Soltys on June 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    What a touching post and great story!!! I have the chills. Thank you for sharing this with us!! It’s really inspiring.

  14. Dawn Lopez on June 12, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    This is such a beautiful love story that could be straight out of the pages of an inspirational romance novel! One of my memorable firsts was traveling all the way to New York by myself-that was my first real on-my-own travel adventure 🙂

  15. Amy Desrosiers on June 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Having been with my husband since we were 15, we have shared pretty much all our major “firsts” together which has been amazing!

  16. Mama to 5 BLessings on June 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Sounds like a nice beginning, what a sweet story.

  17. Ann Bacciaglia on June 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I met my husband when we were 16. I knew then he was my soulmate. We lost touch and reconnected 8 years later and got married. Unfortunately he passed away way too young but I will always treasure our special years together.

  18. Pam on June 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Your story was so sweet. I’m glad your husband was able to encourage and support you.

  19. Laura (Lauras Little House Tips) on June 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    You totally made me smile. What a beautiful life you have and I am excited to follow your journey. Your very inspiring and that alone is a gift meant to be shared.

  20. Angela S on June 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I enjoyed reading every word of this inspiring post. It’s interesting how our dreams and goals grow to include more things as we get older. Thinking of firsts always takes me back to when my son was born. It wasn’t until years later that I got to realize my dream of finishing college.

  21. Brandy on June 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. When I think of firsts (outside of the usual marriage and children) I think of the first softball tournament that I/we won. It was a big win for our team as we were up against the best team in the league and all of us really stepped up our game.

  22. Amanda on June 12, 2014 at 10:48 am

    marriage, babies, school!

  23. Robin (Masshole Mommy) on June 12, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Awww, thank you so much for sharing your story. Whenever I think of my “first” my brain automatically wanders back to giving birth to my oldest son!