I’m At An 8

This month I’ve had a very rude awakening about just how much physical therapy helps me. As someone with POTS and EDS, I have lots of chronic pain, particularly in my upper body and limbs. Whenever you go to the doctor or physical therapist, they ask if you can rate your pain scale from 1-10, 10 being completely unbearable. I’ve had very wide ranges, but the more I am able to go into the office and have hands-on work done, as well as doing my monitored strength and mobility exercises, the better I typically feel.

This article about exercising and living with EDS is well written and super-relatable. My insured PT visits ran out this month and I’ve only been a little over a week without care, but my pain levels have quickly shot up to an 8. I can’t focus on anything entirely because of how much everything hurts, and I can’t do the activities I’ve worked up to because of how much it hurts my shoulders and arms. Sleep is the only thing that relieves my pain right now, and I need to get back to my therapy sessions as soon as possible so that I don’t lose the progress I’ve worked so hard to get. It’s so frustrating living in a body that depends so heavily on doctors and working out the right way, but the thing that is the most difficult isn’t the time or effort put into all of this; rather, it’s the expense and toll this unwanted illness takes on myself and my family. I’ve always tried to remain positive and focus on the good in my life without allowing myself to dwell on the fact that it’s not fair for a young twentysomething to be sick, however it’s a lot more difficult when I feel like everything in the healthcare world is working against me. I don’t want to debate politics on this blog — ever — but one thing I do want to touch on is that I very strongly believe that people with disabilities should be cared for and given as much help as necessary to have as much of a chance at normalcy as possible. “Normal” hasn’t been attainable to me yet, but I feel blessed enough to not constantly have sharp, intense pain that I am grateful for the help I do get through physical therapy.

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In the meantime, I’m going to continue to do the best I can by doing my gentle stretches, mobility exercises, and managing the pain the best I can until January comes when I can get back in a normal routine. I have a pretty big doctor’s appointment today, and am hoping to get some relief from my pain tomorrow, so if you could say a little prayer for me that would be amazing. I’ll be back on this little corner of the Internet soon, but wanted to write a quick update about what’s been going on lately since I haven’t been great at keeping y’all updated. Love and hugs to you all.

Enjoying Engagement & Wedding Planning

I should start this by saying no, we don’t have a date yet, and no, we haven’t done any concrete planning. It was hilariously overwhelming when Robert and I announced we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together how quickly the questions about specifics came. It’s kind of nice that we got engaged over Thanksgiving because instead of doing a ton of planning right off the bat, we are just enjoying the holidays together and being excited at the thought of everything. There are a few things we know we want to do for sure, but those are sweet little details that I will save until after the big day.

In the meantime I have a few really neat surprises up my sleeve that I’m excited to eventually reveal to Robert. I’ve thought about getting engaged to him before and what I wanted to do to make this time — and the big day — special for him, and I am really stoked to start making some of these daydreams a reality. He hates surprises and this is going to be the first he’ll be hearing of this, but trust me babe, these are going to make you really, really happy. Nothing too crazy, but a few special details that I know you’re going to love. Surprises are kind of my jam, so he knows that marrying me means that even if he’s not totally into getting little surprise presents or going on spontaneous dates, he’ll be marrying that part of me, too.

Anyway, I got my fitted ring in yesterday and I absolutely love it. Robert did an amazing job picking out something for me, but more than that I think it’s so sweet and romantic that it makes me think of him every time I look at it. I never realized just how much you look at your hands throughout the course of the day, but I’m super sentimental, so jewelry has always felt special because of the thought you know someone puts behind getting it. I’ve always worn something that he’s given me, whether it’s the beautiful bracelet he got for my birthday our first year dating or his dog tags under a cozy oversized sweater. Now I have something I get to wear every single day, no matter what, and it’s a really neat feeling.

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Other than all of that, I don’t have a lot of major updates, but I do have a lot of new posts coming up! I know I’ve been a bit MIA, but it’s been the perfect storm of busy between getting engaged, having the holidays upon us, celebrating my birthday, and having a few winter weddings to attend. I am so excited to share more of my life and feelings with y’all, and thank you to everyone who’s been so excited, supportive, and wonderful during this exciting time. I’m right here cheering all of you on, whether it’s with blossoming relationships, new jobs, exotic travels, or serving others with little acts of kindness every day. I love you all so much and am so blessed to be able to write about things that make hearts happy.

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I took this picture about five minutes before Robert proposed, and it’s one of my favorite things now. I can’t wait to go back to New York with him and continue to celebrate life together. 

WE ARE ENGAGED!!!!!

Hi Single in The Suburbs family!

You might have noticed that I’ve been gone for a little over a week now… Well that’s because I’ve just been busy getting engaged! Robert asked me to marry him last week in New York City, and I have been so excited since. I wanted to share the news with some of my close friends before announcing it to the world, but now that everyone knows I can’t wait to share some of the story with y’all.

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Two Christmases ago I would’ve never guessed that I would be spending the end of 2017 engaged. Actually, I kind of take that back, because two years ago was the first time Robert and I said we loved each other. All my friends knew from the start that my relationship with Robert was different than anything I’ve had before. Our hearts combined are a once in a lifetime love, and I’m so excited to have him by my side for forever.

This weekend is a little crazy because it’s my mom’s birthday and then mine, but I’ll be doing a lot of writing next week to give you guys the scoop. ❤

Do You Believe In Magic?

Something about the Christmas season is just so beautiful. It’s a time for love, joy, patience, and family.

The past few years I haven’t been in the Christmas spirit as much. It’s always been tied with Valentine’s Day for my favorite holiday, but I think I just Christmassed myself out after years of starting to listen to the tunes the day after Halloween and jumping into the season a little too early. I always love spending the day with my family, but leading up to it just hasn’t been as thrilling as it usually is for a few years. My family and I have little traditions I’ve looked forward to — like driving around our neighborhood and looking at lights and going to the Japanese steakhouse for hibachi on Christmas Eve — but I haven’t been going nuts about the holiday for more than a month in advance like I usually would.

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This year I’m really excited about all the beauty Christmas has to offer. I’m excited to see all the beautiful lights and decorations, I’ve found some Christmas albums I’m not tired of, and I want to do lots of little acts of kindness this season.

I started my shopping early this year and have already found gifts for several of my friends and family. We are going to New York City soon, and I am just dying to go to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree and ice arena. I haven’t ever been to the Top of the Rock, but I hear the views are spectacular, and arguably the best in Manhattan. I want to go to Macy’s to see the Christmas displays in the windows, and I want to visit the new cafe to see what it’s really like having Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

This season I want to build gingerbread houses, bake cookies for people who have touched my life in one way or another, and drive around looking at lights at least twice a week. I am going to drink lots of peppermint hot chocolate, sit in front of the fire with cozy wool socks and my puppy, and watch as many Hallmark Christmas movies as I can handle. I feel like my list is getting incredibly ambitious, but I think we need to celebrate the things that make us excited in this life. Christmas is a time of the year we can really feel the magic of other people, and despite hating the cold, I always have a warm heart this time of year.


What makes you the most excited about the season? What are more fun things I can add to my list? What should I do to give more this holiday? I would love to hear some ideas in the comments!

Life As A Burden To All

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sometimes insecure about having a chronic illness.

I often try to hide my pain and symptoms, even from those I love most. First and foremost, because I want to try to ignore the fact that my life isn’t the way I wish it was. A part of me feels like if I try to shove all my frustrations with being sick deep down that some of them might disappear. Maybe if I close my eyes and pretend I’m not dizzy or hurting one day I’ll wake and that will be my reality.

Second, I hate sounding like a broken record. I’m in pain every day, so if I voice my discomfort people will get sick of being around me really, really fast. It’s kind of like when someone runs a race and keeps talking about how sore they are; it’s completely valid and understandable, but after being reminded for the fifth time that their legs hurt you wonder if they think you are hard of hearing. No one wants to hear about how I have sharp, painful triggerpoints in my shoulders or can’t load the dishwasher because it hurts my forearms to grip anything for more than a minute or two.

Third, I feel broken. I sometimes wonder why people still care about me since I can’t go out and have fun like a normal 26-year-old. I can’t give the acts of service to my friends and family that I’d like to, I don’t have a normal 9-5 job, and I need help with things that others do mindlessly on a daily basis. My parents have taken care of me since I got sick, and it’s been really hard to rely on others to do things that I want to be doing for myself. I’ve always been pretty independent, so giving up control in my life has been one of the toughest tasks.

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My heart hurts because my head isn’t affected by this illness. I want to be able to run, dance, and crank out dozens of pages of words at a time. I want to be pressured by the journalism deadlines that were once the bane of my existence, and I wonder why my body has betrayed me and doesn’t allow the vigorous work ethic I once prided myself on. It hurts feeling like this illness hasn’t just taken some of my hobbies, but it has also stripped me of having a purpose on this earth. 

That’s lie #1 I was fed when I first got sick. Deep down I know it isn’t true; I actually believe this is Satan’s disgustingly twisted game of trying to make a very complete and beautiful soul feel worthless. Worthlessness is a dangerous feeling because it’s based on a lie that only seems real to the person feeling it. I strongly believe every single person placed on this earth has a purpose they are here, including myself. I think each human being can add invaluable love, kindness, and strength to the world if they choose to give it. Each individual has some sort of special “X factor” that they can offer people in their life.


God wrote in Psalm 139:14 that each and every one of us was fearfully and wonderfully made. This means that we were made with His very own heart taking an interest in us, and that He made us different than anyone else. It means He cares about us more than we could ever understand.

That being said, I know so many others who are also different in one way or another and have had this feeling on some level. The next several weeks I am going to be completely smashing this fabrication and showing that the feelings of worthlessness are based on a complete lie. Whether or not you are a regular reader or you’re new here, I would love if you would be patient and stick around until I get to the main point of these posts. This message is so important, and I want to connect to your heart and help it listen to how I have begun to debunk the lies that the evil in the world wants us to believe.

In case you don’t come back, just know that you are a valuable part of society and you can make a much greater impact than you even realize. God gives incredible blessings to those who keep pushing forward and He can create a really beautiful masterpiece from brokenness. You just have to stick around to see what the beauty in your hardship is. Sometimes it won’t be as obvious as you might hope, but He sprinkles light into even the darkest of stories.

Should I Drive To Him?

Ask Krista


I met a really great guy online, but he lives in a different city than me. Should I offer to drive to him for our first date? I don’t want to seem high-maintenance. 

Absolutely not! My situation was a little different in that I physically cannot drive further than a few miles from my home, however I never drove to a guy for the first date. I believe guys need to step up and be a gentleman, especially in the beginning stages of a relationship. It can sometimes be hard figuring out who to go out with when there are so many options, however the driving rule is a really good way to weed people out.

Let me ask you a question. Are you worth driving for?

My answer to this question was “yes” because I know that I am caring, thoughtful, and often selfless in a relationship. I know that whoever ends up dating me is getting a good deal, and that someone who is willing to put in extra effort to meet up with me is likely caring and will be a gentleman, which is a great base to build a relationship upon. You often get more out of the things in life that you have to work for, and by setting the standard a little higher you could be weeding out people who aren’t ready for a relationship just that much easier.

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The dating culture is a bit strange now because anyone can get a hookup anytime they want. You may not be able to find love at the flick of your finger, but you can find lust, and you can find physical intimacy. There’s a reason Tinder is known as a “hookup app,” even if there are plenty of people who use it for dating, too. By creating standards for your dates before you meet up, the dating world becomes a lot less stressful because you are able to recognize who is — and isn’t — looking for the same things as you. If you are looking for a long-term relationship, odds are that the guys who want the same thing will be more likely to drive further to meet up than the ones who just want a one night stand.


Guys — What do you think about this advice? How far would you drive for a girl on a first date, and do you think this is a reasonable thing to ask? 

Girls — You’d be surprised at how many guys don’t bat an eye at driving distances to meet up for a date. It’s not because they feel obligated to; it’s because they want to go on a date with youThis means we should treat them well and be honest after a date if we aren’t feeling it, rather than ghosting or leading them on. Respect and kindness are a two way street, and I think that this is fair.

Give A Piece Of Your Heart To Someone

I’m always seeing little graphics that say, “tag someone who needs to hear this,” or, “tag a friend to let them know you’re there for them,” on Facebook and Instagram. While the person who created the thread means well, as do the friends who write, “@insert_name_here” in the comments, that just doesn’t cut it for letting your loved ones know you care about them.

November is a month for thankfulness, so the next few weeks I’d love to challenge you to write love letters to friends and family you care about. A letter is one of the most intimate and personal things you can offer someone; you are giving a piece of your heart and spilling out your feelings on a permanent page.

Is letter writing not really your thing? Then I encourage you even more to sit down at your desk and write a few letters. Often some of the most beautiful notes I get are from people who have scribbly handwriting or don’t use the most eloquent adjectives available in the English language. I realize that these letters are truly written from the heart, and that someone was sitting and thinking about me for an uninterrupted amount of time while they put pen to paper.

If you don’t quite know where to start, some of the subjects you can touch on are why you love the person you are writing to, how they have made an impact on your life, and what they do that you happen to think is incredibly amazing about them. You love them for a reason, and all you have to do is write that down so they can see that and cherish it forever. If nothing else, I challenge you to write three letters in the rest of November. Then, see who really appreciates the note, and make a habit of sending one letter every month. It only takes a few minutes, but is a gesture that can mean the world to someone.

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Bonus: Write a letter to sweet little Jacob. You can count this toward your three for the month, and I promise this will be an effort that won’t be in vain. As someone who saves special letters from readers and loved ones, this gesture means more than you could imagine.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I hate rainy days. They make my head hurt, body ache, and they are only soothing if it’s warm outside.

I love this blog, though. It’s so good for my heart and I’m always happy to share my feelings with everyone because I know I’m a super-average twentysomething who can relate to Taylor Swift just as much as the next girl. Today is a Call it What You Want kind of day — partly because it’s her newest song, and partly because I have been feeling particularly brave about writing lately. It will take a little bit of time to share some of the things I’ve been working on lately because the gnarly pain in my arms seems to have come back for a sudden vengeance, however I am trying my hardest to use the dictation software that frustrates me to no end.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Hemmingway,

“There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

As an ENFP this is a really easy task for me. I don’t have the best memory when it comes to numbers, dates, or names, but if you ask me how I felt at any given event I can recall it in such vivid detail. If I think about the day Robert left to go overseas enough, my heart will hurt and remember the empty ache that took resudence in my body while he was gone. I remember small details from birthdays and how I felt on each of them, how much joy I felt running around New York City with my mom while I lived there and she visited me, and I can clearly recall the warmth that filled my heart when I realized I loved Robert. I can easily remember how I’ve felt in every stage of our relationship, even if I can’t recall how many dates we went on our first couple of months together.

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Having strong feelings can be a nuisance sometimes, however I think they help me connect to others so much more beautifully than if I didn’t feel deeply. Even if I haven’t been in the exact same situation as another human, my heart can connect to theirs and sing the same melody until they feel less alone. And that, my friends, is the reason I want to keep being so open in this space and why I have to keep writing.

Taking Note Of Red Flags

Today I want to touch on some red flags for those of you who might be wondering whether or not you’re in the right relationship. Often, odds are if you are wondering and continually have the gut feeling that you aren’t with the right person, you probably aren’t. Here are a few red flags that are often pushed aside or ignored:

  • Your significant other has drastically different priorities than you. For example, he values work much more heavily than relationships, and you think family should be the number one priority. Neither of you are necessarily “wrong,” however it is incredibly difficult to make a relationship like this work in the long run.
  • They always tell you one thing and do another. Actions speak louder than words, and if their behaviors don’t match up to what they’re telling you, move on to someone who stands by their words.

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  • Communication just doesn’t seem to be there. If your significant other doesn’t attempt to learn how to communicate with you, there are a lot of problems ahead for you as a couple. I do think men and women often communicate differently, as do people as individuals. It will take work and effort to learn how to effectively communicate, but if you feel like you never get through to your partner, find someone who can learn to effectively communicate with you.
  • If you feel like you need to post quotes and pictures on social media that will hopefully catch your significant other’s attention and make them think, reevaluate why you can’t bring up these points to him in person. A quote or two here and there are great for inspiration and expressing yourself,  but if he is constantly at the back of your mind when you post things like, “Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” find a relationship where you feel appreciated and cared for.
  • Your partner should make you feel secure. If you consistently feel anxious about the  status of your relationship, reevaluate and ask yourself why. Work on any internal insecurities you might have, and communicate those with your partner. They should be willing and open to working on them with you. Love is patient and kind, and the right person for you will know you’re worth working through hardships with. No marriage is exempt from difficulties, and resilience will be a quality that can withstand the test of time.

If in doubt, make a mental note of the little red flags you notice in a relationship. Ask yourself whether your partner’s actions are something you are willing to live with or not. Yes, people can change and work on themselves, but dating is meant to give you data about someone.* Once you are in a committed marriage I do believe unless there is abuse or cheating it is so important to work on any problems to fix the relationship together, but why start off that relationship on the wrong foot? Any couple is going to have trials, but life and love is so much easier if you are both on the same page on what is important in life from the get-go.

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*One of my next posts is going to be all about how to efficiently collect data about a partner before deciding whether they are marriage material.

It’s A Nightmare On M Street

I’ve never been to Nightmare on M Streetbut every year I tell myself that next Halloween I’ll give it a go. At 26, though, I’ve decided I’m done with bar crawls.

Since I got POTS I haven’t been a huge fan of going out into big crowds as I often feel dizzy and worry about fainting in a crowded area, but even if I didn’t have a chronic illness I don’t think it would be my jam anymore. It’s hilarious talking to friends who feel the same way. I definitely still have a mix of people who enjoy big parties and loud music, but for the most part everyone is starting to settle down and enjoy a more low-key weekend with family or a friend or two.

Yesterday I handed out a few handfuls of candy with my mom, then went over to give out candy with Robert. Guys. I don’t think Halloween has ever been this much fun before. Giving out candy and seeing all the trick-or-treaters made my heart so happy! I definitely started off a bit too jazzed, though, as I told the kids, “Take as much as you want,” and then quickly realized there were going to be too many people stopping by to make that a sustainable practice. It was just so great seeing their eyes light up as they chose their favorite chocolate bars from the mix!

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I also loved how polite most of the kids were. I remember when I used to go door to door every Halloween how I would only take a piece of candy unless offered otherwise. Most kids this year were really sweet and thankful, but it cracked me up when one of the girls dug her hand deep into the bottom of the bowl and scooped out as many pieces of candy as her hand could hold. She was the reason I had to start rationing the candy better, and when she came back for a second treat a half hour later, I had to tell Robert that he’d need to turn her down if she had the guts to come back for a third scoop (thankfully she didn’t) because we still had a good hour left for other kids to come to the house.

Sitting by the door with a bowl of candy in my lap was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in awhile. I loved seeing all the creative costumes, complimented the ones that weren’t the coolest to other kids, but that I thought were neat — like a Groot and a “sweatpants mannequin,” which was made from a black bodysuit that covered even his eyes — and I smiled about all the little middle schoolers who probably wouldn’t get to go out again next year. I love seeing any age of children trick-or-treating; even the older kids who don’t really dress up are great because I think it’s sweet that they are still doing something as innocent as getting free candy with their time instead of getting into trouble.

By the end of the night the kids had cleaned out almost 3 big bags of candy, but Robert and I noticed that that we were left with primarily Almond Joy candy bars and Whoppers. We’ve been having a big debate on my Facebook page about which is better, and somehow far more people seem to like Almond Joys than Whoppers. What the heck?! I always liked getting Whoppers in my pillowcase, but I never met a kid who liked an Almond Joy. I suppose next year we’ll need to try to find big bags of Reeses mixed only with Hershey’s bars, Twix, and M&Ms, rather than trying to pawn off the two untouchable candy bars. You live and learn, right?

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This was the “before and after” of our candy bowl. Note all the Whoppers and Almond Joys that were left! >_<

I’m already really excited for Halloween next year, as I want to give out more candy and keep seeing cute costumes throughout the evening. I think we will need to go all out in the decorating to try to really attract a crowd next year. What’s your favorite part about Halloween? And are you as excited about Christmas as I am now? Sadly I hate most Christmas music, but I can’t wait to start seeing all the decorations and enjoying all the Hallmark Christmas specials and movies on ABC Family (now known as Freeform) as I want!