over the summer, my family embarked on our self-proclaimed “baseball trip”: attending 3 baseball games in 3 days (& eating a hot dog at each stadium, DUH.)

jk. i’m the only one that did that. OOPS.

stop 1: Nationals Stadium. we took the Metro from our hotel, and felt like champs because we successfully changed trains THREE TIMES on the way there and somehow managed to not lose a single one of us! (a feat to be proud of with 11 CLUELESS metro riders.) when we first walked in, they were giving away free t-shirts and ILLBEDARNED if we didn’t each get one. BIG TIME Nats fans over here, obvi! braving the masses, we each successfully claimed our prize and clutched our t-shirts like they were our most prized possessions for the rest of the night. i even braved the stampede twice to get one for my brother’s girlfriend. in hindsight, NOT my best idea. anyway! the game! the weather was beautiful and it was so, so fun to be there with my WHOLE family. the 6 of us (7 including danny) are rarely all together, and haven’t ALL been on a vacation for as long as i can remember.

the game was exciting, due mainly to the fact that the park sold dippin’ dots!  i had a red, white & blue concoction during the 4th inning, and chocolate during the 8th. you know, just doing my part to support the local businesses.

the Nats ended the game in the 10th with a walk-off home run and we hooped and hollered until they kicked us out.

FYI, hot dog score: 7/10.



stop 2: oriole park at camden yards.

we got to baltimore early in the morning on GAME DAY. the O’s were playing the red sox, and people were NOT messing around. we went out to breakfast, and roughly 100% of people were wearing some sort of Orioles or Red Sox paraphernalia. it was rad! i don’t think there was anyone in the city NOT going to the game.

my cousin, kelsey, who somehow knows EVERYONE managed to snag us a private tour of Camden Yards. you guys, this place is AWESOME. it’s right smack dab in the middle of the city, and has the most incredible atmosphere. this was my favorite stadium of our trip, by far. on our tour we got to sit in one of the dugouts (!!!!) and see all sorts of crazy things: the press box, the special little room the ump’s go to to play-back & review a play if necessary, the VIP club room that i unsuccessfully tried to hide in until the game started…etc. it was crazy to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff.

en route to the game, it started to rain. which was fun! until it started to come down hard enough to delay the game, and UT-OH…what if the game gets cancelled?! luckily it let up enough for the show to go on. of course, only AFTER my family had spent a small fortune on ponchos. dry, but clearly NOT locals. whateva!

danny & his adventurous, refined taste buds enjoyed a nice crab cake mid-game while i chowed down on my 2nd hot dog. (rating: 9/10.) however, the highlight of this game for me was watching my mom & dad YELL at Victorino, the right outfielder for the BoSox, as if they’d been DIE HARD fans their whole life. watch out, we Orso’s are pretty fiesty!


stop 3: Yankee Stadium.

ah, New York! you insane, crazy place. day 3 brought us to the magical land of honking horns and insomniacs galore.

our seats here were LITERALLY in the sky. tickets to see everyone’s beloved Yanks play are absurdly expensive & so we went with the cheapest available, aka: the nose bleed section. well, i called it the “if-i-lean-over-in-my-seat-too-far-i-will-surely-tumble-to-my-death!” section, but nevertheless.

baseball wise, this game was exciting because a) it was Jeter’s first game in a long while because of an injury and like the hero he is, he hit a home run with his first swing of the bat! and b) Soriano hit a walk-off single to win the game! if i’m being honest, both of these things would have been way more exciting if i had even an ounce of admiration for the Yankees, but alas…i do not. oh well, i’ll take teams i hate playing exciting baseball over teams i hate playing boring baseball. now THAT would be fun.

i did feel important being at Yankee Stadium, for some reason? almost like i was actively participating in something historical, like i was checking something off of my bucket list that will now forever elevate my status among all my Wall Street friends. i don’t know though, jury’s still out.

the garlic fries here were top notch, and the hot dog…well, to be honest, just the THOUGHT of another hot dog almost made me want to die, but i was NOT going to let go of my dreams and wimp out like everyone else. as far as ratings go, i don’t remember much besides being elated that i had finished the darn thing. therefore, i award this dog a 10/10.



other stops included: baseball hall of fame & a a full day gallivanting around NYC, but i’ll get to those later. maybe.


this past weekend, danny and i went down to mexico with our church to help build a cute little house for a very deserving family of 7. of all the new friends i made, vernon was my VERY favorite. i mean, look at the guy! how cute is he?!

vernon(please excuse our matching shirts. it was an accident. kind of.)

anyway, we got to talk to vernon for a few hours on saturday night and after talking about jobs/kids/moving/his sweet wife kate/how he can’t remember anyone’s name and has to write them down, he said something that i wanted to tuck away and keep with me:

k: vernon, how many years have you been married?

v: 46, i think. hmm, 47? no! 48. umm, i’m not really sure. let’s go with around 45.

k:  ha! okay. what’s your secret to a successful marriage?

v: if you work at it, it will work.

AMEN, verny! man, i just LOVE that.

oh, and just FYI: if (and only if!) you’re over the age of 85 and make a HORRIBLY inappropriate joke over the walkie talkies that have been handed out to everyone in the ten car caravan, you will quickly be cleared of all appropriate consequences and instead (and deservedly so!) be awarded MVP of the trip.

touche my sweet and innocent looking new best friend, touche.


this girl.

i’m baaaaaaaack! weird, i know. i don’t even believe it and i’m writing the darn thing.

well, let’s just get down to it. kapeesh?!

modesta!meet Modesta. she’s 11 (we think) and the brightest little girl i’ve ever met.

my sister met Modesta on her first trip to malawi. when we went back with her the next summer, i was so incredibly excited to met all of the beautiful children i had seen countless photographs of. i clearly remember kara’s excitement as we pulled up to the school on that first day, crossing her fingers the whole way there that modesta would show her sweet face.

as soon as the doors opened and we (attempted!) to step out of the car, we were SWARMED by about 100 little flailing arms pulling on our blonde pony tails. and then, in all the madness, a small voice… “kara!!” it was her! as she weaved herself through the crowd, my sister started sobbing (of course) and then quickly introduced me to her dear, sweet friend. as soon as i heard her say my name for the first time (“kreeeestan”) i was in love. i grabbed her hand and placed it in mine, and that was that.


over the course of the next few weeks, modesta was always by my side.  i experienced many things for the first time with her help: eating nsima sitting cross-legged on the dirt floor, learning how to shake my very uncoordinated hips like a PRO (more of a lame attempt on my end), playing soccer in a skirt, trying to make someone laugh when you both can’t understand a LICK of what the other person is saying…and on and on.

my very favorite memory of modesta came on an unsuspecting day. we had brought along a few hunded sweatshirts with us, the goal being to hand out one to each child. we wanted to give the children something warm to wear for the upcoming winter months, and we were told this would be the first “new” piece of clothing that many of them had EVER seen.


we laid all of the sweatshirts on the ground, and lined the children up outside. one by one we would bring them in, find them a sweatshirt, and after making sure it fit we were to happily send them on their way. when modesta’s turn was up, i led her to the pile that had all of the sweatshirts in her size and watched the magic begin. in my silly brain, i thought she would choose one quickly, happy to have something warm and HERS. boy, was i wrong!

modesta took her sweet time, trying on every sweatshirt in her size. she twirled around after putting each on one, looking for my approval with a thumbs up or thumbs down (our main form of communication) and then happily moved on to the next. she tried them all on, and when she was done, she tried them all on again. she looked darling in every one, but that wasn’t the point. this was as much about finding  something warm to wear as it was a chance for her to feel like a beautiful little girl, dancing around in somebody’s old high school soccer sweatshirt, all eyes on her. the look of joy on her sweet face felt tangible, and is something i’ll never, ever forget.


(isn’t she precious?!)


on weddings.

ever since danny and i got married, i get SO excited whenever we receive a wedding invitation in the mail. and by SO excited, i mean full on skipping back to our apartment after checking the mail, doing cartwheels upon entry while simultaneously singing some sort of happy made up song about the soon-to-be bride & groom, and spending the next two nights thinking about what i will wear to such a monumental occasion. yep, THAT kind of excitement.

i’ve always loved going to weddings, but after personally going through all the joys/hardships/stresses/let-downs/excitement of planning a wedding myself, it’s a whole new ball game. side note: after attending the wedding this weekend, i realize now that i was at such a disadvantage being the first out of all of my close friends to get married in regards to wedding planning…AKA there wasn’t anyone who told me that spending $300 on a cake cutting set was a COMPLETE waste of money (because NO ONE else will see them and after your wedding you will have no idea where they are) so instead, i happily spent$300 like a complete idiot thinking it was of the most utmost importance, for reasons unbeknownst to me now.

ANWAY. i love attending weddings and admiring all of the quiet details and decisions the bride has made, from the color of the linens down to the song choice for the father daughter dance. i love thinking about what the bride is feeling as she sees all of her months and months of hard work come together for her big day, i love looking at the groom waiting at the end of the aisle as soon as his bride appears, and i love sending the newly married couple off at the end of the night! CORNY, i know…but it’s all so romantic to me!

can you tell i love weddings?!

and, i absolutely LOVED this one. lindsay looked gorgeous, jeremy was smitten, and danny & i had so much fun laughing and dancing with old friends.

already excited for the next!







have you heard of this “ombre” sensation?! i’m assuming i’m WAY late to the party, per usual…because i JUST figured out that all these girls walking around with grown out roots are doing it on PURPOSE. imagine THAT, why don’tcha?!  GENIUS! (side note: i can tell you exactly how this came about. some cool human thought to themselves “man, paying $100 to get my hair highlighted every few weeks is ridiculously exhausting. what happens if i stop?” and all of a sudden, TA-DA!) genius, i tell you.

ANYWAY, i’m into it. not on my head, because i don’t think i could shake the idea that i just look like someone with grown out roots. (because, um…that’s all it is?) BUT, i found another way to redeem myself in the fashion world and jump on board: ombre NAILS. i didn’t know how that was possible until a few days ago either, don’t worry.

a friend at work gifted me with this:


how fun is that?! i painted my nails as soon as i got home from work, and i’m borderline OBSESSED. amber bought the blue’s for herself…i love them both!

consider yourself warned: my nails will look like this for the next 6 months. which is funny, because by then this trend will be good and DONE. next time kristen, next time.

love you, D.

(words from here by Ann Voskamp)

1. i’m alive! i went back to work (wahoo!) which is 100% to blame for me being completely MIA. and while i absolutely love my job, i absolutely HATE the commute. 100 miles a day in LA traffic = not fun. at ALL. by the time i get home, it’s all i can do to keep my eyes open while i eat dinner, let alone write a blog. but now that i’m starting to get in the swing of things, i miss writing on this guy! i’m coming back with a vengeance, people! watch out.

2. danny had to attend a conference in denver last week for work and i HAD to tag along, obviously. i feel like i’ve truly arrived at wifedom now: my first business trip is in the books! hurray! i tried my very best to refuse to leave. i failed, but not without putting up a fight! denver is GORGEOUS! and freezing. really, really freezing, actually. we ate great food, met a lot of fun denver-ites, and were completely content staying snuggled in our 75+ degree room catching up on our tv shows most nights. it was fun to actually RELAX on a vacation. we’re already scheming up ways to go back.

3. the lease on our apartment is up in 4 months. this is blowing my MIND, i feel like we moved in yesterday. we’ve decided we want to move….but have no idea where to. well, we have a few ideas, but most of them are crazy! EEK.

4. funny story: after checking in to our hotel in denver, danny and i went to hard rock cafe  for lunch. we sat at the bar so we could watch the ravens vs. packers game, and about half way through our meal a man came and sat down next to us. when the bartender asked what he’d like to eat/drink, he told her he just wanted water. she told him that in order to sit at the bar he had to order something, so he got a beer. no harm, no foul…right? WRONG. once she gave him the bill, he flipped. “SERIOUSLY?! SIX DOLLARS FOR A MOTHER EFFING BEER?!!” he then proceeded to angrily tell the bartender reasons as to why he didn’t have to pay the bill, citing colorado law and the fact that he “only had ONE sip!!!” umm sorry bud, doesn’t work like that. has that ever worked for you? didn’t think so. give it up buddy, give it up.

5. well, i majorly gave up on the photo a day challenge. boo, me. i’m NOT happy about this. in my defense, the content-t0-be-photographed turned kind of lame. water? light? really?!

6. i’m trying to stop biting my nails.  the other day i saw a girl GNAWING on her finger. first i was horrified, then it made me want to throw up, and then (after staring at her for at least 5 minutes) i thought to myself “man, is THAT what i look like? hmm. probably. cute K, reeeal cute.” and so, i’ve resolved to break my worst habit since 1998. wish me luck.

7. american idol is back. FREAKING FINALLY! i will always have a place in my heart for you scotty, but it’s time to move on. season 11, don’t let me down.

8. i bought a camelbak and am subsequently now obsessed with drinking water. if you can’t tell…i’m very proud of myself! (don’t worry, coke i haven’t forgotten about you. i’m sure i’ll be back to 3 cans a day soon enough.)

9. found this quote the other day, and i love it. really makes you think. “the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ah, Steven Furtick…i think you might be on to something.

10. i need to stop buying stripes. BUT in order for this to happen, i need stores to stop SELLING stripes. you can’t REALLY expect me to not buy them if they’re right in front of me, can you?! i’m helpless. it’s pathetic! the only thing more pathetic is my closet, currently home to about 76 striped shirts. dear me.

there you have it, friends. be back SOON!


day three: something you adore.

uh-huh, those are my pants. my neon pink pants…mind you. all you wonderful
people in my life, don’t worry: you were a close second.

day four: letterbox.

boriiiiiiiing. so i took two: the first one is our actual mailbox, the second is where
we keep our mail when we bring it inside.


p.s. happy half birthday to my man! (he’s into that sort of thing.)

 my dear friend sara invited me to play along in this photo-a-day challenge for the month of january. due to the fact that it’s HARD to think of something to post every day…which explains my once-a-week-posting (if you’re lucky!)…i happily agreed. so far, so good!



day one:

i got past the first day (which in my opinion was the WORST of the whole list!) with this picture. i absolutely HATE taking pictures by myself! i told danny to tell me a joke and then take a sneak attack picture…ta da! now i have 30 days to think of how in the world i’m going to take ANOTHER picture all by my lonesome.







day two:

breakfast! yep, those are rolos.  at least i’m being honest! usually i don’t have anything…so this is a step in the right direction. right?

on to day three!





our first Christmas Card!! it only took me about 4 hours to chose from our 1,500+ wedding pictures and 500 different designs/layouts/colors…but we finally pulled the trigger. AND they’ve already been sent out. BEFORE christmas, mind you! i’m feeling very proud.

(however, when i showed danny the finished product his first comment was “awww, it shows off your bump-it perfectly!” that boy, i swear. the NERVE!)



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