A Fatherless Daughter: A Tiny Broken Heart

Grief is unpredictable and overwhelming. I’m reminded of this in the most unexpected moments.

My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member. A Fatherless Daughter is a blog series that highlights his last few weeks and the struggles we have had to overcome as a family as my dad’s cancer battle came to an end.

I think we all take turns in the barrel. Last month, mom was having a hard time. There was one weekend where I cried several times. Grief comes and goes and ebbs and flows. I talk about grief in an analogy here:

Sometimes my ball is big and my box is small and sometimes I can go days without the ache of grief tugging at me. I forget that even the smallest of us still have our turns in the barrel.

It’s harvest season. I was feeling a little lonely and I invited my mom and brother over for supper tonight. Laughing, joking, smiling, happiness and goofiness ensued. Until all of a sudden, Carver got very serious. He got very quiet. I said “Carver, what’s wrong?” He burst into tears.

“I miss Papa Moo. I didn’t want him to die.”

Queue the waterworks for ALL of us. It stopped us all right in our tracks. Even the littlest hearts, the hearts that lost their hero at 2 1/2 years old still hurt.

I scooped my now four year old into my arms. He’s laying on me right now as I write this. I had plans for tonight but none of them matter now. I need to be here for my boy.

Before mom left she read Carver the Papa Moo book (my dad was a farmer and was so lovingly called Papa Moo) and our tears soon turned into laughter and pictures and memories.

You can read more about our Papa Moo book here:

He perked up a bit after we read the book but he’s still pretty droopy. Just like when I’m grieving and I don’t need someone to fix me, I’m just trying to be here for him and not fix him.

That’s all I have for tonight folks. Thanks for reading.

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A New Adventure…

So I have a confession…

I have a secret…

Something in my past…

That I’ve not shared with many people…

When I was younger…

I used to play guitar…

and write my own music…

I actually created an album…

of original songs…

that I sold on iTunes…

and I was in a rock band…

and I was on the radio…

and I won talent shows…

and songwriting competitions…

and I had so much fun.

And now I’m going to start…

Professionally recording my songs I’ve written….

To market and sell to publishing companies!

I was recently listening to Lori McKenna’s new album, she has a song called “Stuck in High School” and one of the lyrics goes “That picture in the hallway, 18 and graduating did you ever make those dreams come true, or is a kid still waiting.” I have a kid still waiting with a notebook and album full of songs tucked deep in my memory box where they’ve waited until now.

The songwriting has turned back on just as suddenly as it turned off 7 years ago and I’ve got a new notebook full of songs with a more mature sound, and lyrics that have grown with me into adulthood. In the meantime, I’m revisiting my first album, released in 2012 and looking at the lyrics through a microscope as I gear up to begin professionally recording on November 18th to create a demo to send to publishers in the industry.

My intention is to become a songwriter – not an artist. I’m the story writer not the story teller – a dream I can safely chase from the comfort of NEIA.

I’m so excited about this project! I can’t wait to keep you posted! Thanks for reading friends!

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I missed you guys – I miss blogging! I really intend to blog every day but ya know, life. Here’s a quick rundown as I’m waiting for the pharmacy to open after work:

I got my butt kicked yesterday morning with my personal trainer! I told her I’m committing to meeting every Thursday until New Years and then reassess where I am in my health journey and what is working for me!

I found this INCREDIBLE recipe – so simple:

Cauliflower rice, sliced pork sausage, cilantro, green onions, pepper, garlic salt, An egg, all fried up in avacado oil – seriously so delicious and it is my new go to!

Gannon said 6 words in speech therapy yesterday which is a huge accomplishment: bubble, in, hi, blue, baby and please! We love our speech therapist and Gannon got all excited when he saw her yesterday! I ran and got groceries while he was working with her.

Craig is still combining – on to corn now. I can’t wait to take Gannon to ride with him – he’s the only one who hasn’t yet. If Craig (by some miracle) has Sunday off we are mountain biking and I could not be more excited at the possibility!

Carver has been putting ranch on EVERYTHING lately . Including his eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns.

I finally have a long stretch off here next week which is SO NEEDED – I’ll be honest, I’m teetering on the burnt out end of my work-life balance. I’m ready to be at home and really dig into a few organizational projects.

Hopefully I can get caught up on blogging too. There’s a few glitches I’ve been meaning to fix but haven’t got around to yet.

Check out Carver’s preschool photo – all the way Carver!

Also – remember I said I would try new things in October? Well last Saturday I went to a salon I’ve never been to and told her to do anything she wanted (within the natural color range)

It was so so fun to watch her work. I could tell she had a vision she was working off of. At one point, I did get *a little* nervous when she said “I just keep cutting hair off!” And she did, I lost LOTS of inches, lots of weight, and I’m happy to report it is my favorite hair cut/color I’ve ever gotten!

It’s so easy to style and so easy to work with now that it is so much lighter! Also, I’ve literally been LIVING in these American Eagle pajamas since I got them a few weeks ago! SO COMFY!

Speaking of my “try something new streak,” here is a sneak peek at tomorrow’s blog post:

Can you guess what I’m doing? 🙂

Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow!

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Sunday Funday with the Friedman Fam!

We had a beautiful Sunday.

Like I said in my last post, we’ve been missing Craig. Harvest season is in full swing and we are so excited to hear about the progress in the field and we love riding in the combine with Craig any chance we get.

Sunday, we were so fortunate that Craig had the day off. He had just an hour of chores in the morning and I had breakfast ready when he came back – we had these delicious breakfast quesedillas – I’ll share that recipe in an upcoming post.

Craig suggested we go on one last trail ride of the season with the boys. It’s amazing how our love of biking has grown over the Summer.

Our favorite 4.5 mile trail once required an hour of preparation, snacks, water bottles – the whole she-bang. Now we know we can knock it out non stop in about 30 minutes no problem and even have energy to contemplate a second lap.

The helmet we bought Gannon in June finally fits him. He can sit up a little straighter in his bike seat. It was just a perfect fall day for a bike ride. We stopped at Casey’s so Craig could get his soft serve ice cream with a cookie and then at the convenience store in town so I could get my hard serve and a personal combo pizza to share – all Summer traditions when we ride the Fredericksburg trail.

When we got home we played in the leaves. We all took a nap – just enjoying each other’s company. I got up and packed Craig’s sandwich’s for the week once he gets back in the combine.

Before long, it was time for me to go to work. I work a lot of Sunday nights because mom is available to watch Gannon on Mondays.

I’ll admit, I cried leaving for work. Carver cried too. It’s so hard to leave home when Craig is actually there and we don’t know when we will get more quality time with him again. It’s a part of farm life and nurse life. It’s a hard season.

Trying not to cry because its over. Trying to smile because it happened. We vowed that if he has next Sunday off we will go mountain biking and have a date. Thanks for reading friends.

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Missing Craig

I left you off last Thursday with our big garage clean out. I worked overnight Thursday night and Friday morning I ended up staying late at work. All through the shift on Thursday night I had this strange sensation in my jaw and by morning I felt like I had an abscess – a palpable lump was forming. I decided to stop in at the dentist to get it checked out – I was already late anyway.

So that pushed back the time I got home (after stopping at a few garage sales) to 11 am when I got a call from Craig – Craig who has been combining late every night this week. “Wanna come ride along?” How could I say no?

So I ordered some food from the bar and on no sleep whatsoever, hopped in the combine with Craig just in time to see him finish up beans! That’s right – beans are harvested! Craig and I calculated it all out and concluded he’s about 35% done with taking the crop out. The weather has been BEAUTIFUL the past two weeks and they’ve been able to work day after day which is a stark contrast from 2019 harvest.

We had such a good time in the combine. I was tired but so was he. Craig showed me a few of his songs he’s been listening to in the combine, he explained all of his buttons and widgets, I so missed him. Then he said this:

“My Kalissa battery was getting pretty low.”

This is our way of letting the other person know that they are missing them too much – our way of saying “I need something from you.” So I was exhausted, I really wanted to sleep, but Craig’s battery was low – I needed to make him a priority.

THANKFULLY, the farm decided to take a rest on Sunday and we got to see Daddy ALL DAY but that’s another post for another day ❤️ Time together is few and far between this time of year! I’ll take all I can get!

I’m working on a post about a Summer 2020 recap and I’d say one of the best things to come out of this summer was the growth our marriage has gone through. Craig and I truly have never been better – not just the fake kind of filtered Instagram social media love but really truly.

We found our groove spending all those hours in the pool, mountain biking, enjoying our favorite hobbies together like trail riding with the kids, and just making the most of the time we had together.

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I wanted to talk a little bit about consistency. These are some thoughts I had on the way home from my meeting with my personal trainer this morning.

I was really beating myself up last week because I hired a personal trainer to teach me all of these exercises and proper form and things like that and I didn’t do a single work out between last week and this week. And I was so upset with myself because I wasn’t being consistent in my mind. I was looking to define MY consistency by someone else’s definition.

But then I use my new tool, called what else is true And it completely shifted my entire mindset.

So my frustration was that I hadn’t worked out between meetings with my personal trainer but what else is true?

Well I am working out/exercising a full hour more per week than I used to just by committing to meeting with my personal trainer every Thursday morning. That is my consistency.

What else is true? I worked this weekend so I had a stretch of three nights in a row.

What else is true? My mom and I spent a good two hours hauling mounds and mounds of garbage to the end of our driveway and I got rid of so much stuff and that in itself, carrying boxes, moving furniture, lifting 20 bags of mulch, all was some light exercise. Plus, how good was it to hang out with my mom for my mental health?

What else is true? I completed my first 24 hour fast and followed it by a 21 hour fast. That’s something I’ve never done before and also propelled me farther on my health journey.

Anyway, I’m sorry that this is turning into more of a exercise health blog than what you’re used to but I wanna make sure I’m documenting my journey and sharing some tools that are helping me along the way!

Consistency is how YOU define it – someone else’s consistency does not define mine. Some people consistently go to the gym four – five times a week – I consistently go once a week. That comparison game will getcha down.

Someone commented on my Instagram and said “you look like you’ve lost weight!” I don’t know if I have! I feel better, my scrubs fit better, my SHOES fit better but I’m not going to measure myself with a scale or a measuring tape! I’ve found it throws me off – this goes for tracking workouts too closely, tracking calories too closely, I just want to feel better and that’s what I’m going for – a number can’t define if I feel better or not.

Thanks for reading friends!

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