Monday, April 18, 2016

Home is where...?

I frequently see a car in our neighborhood with a bumper sticker that reads "home is where the hand is," with an outline of Michigan's lower peninsula - the mitten. I smile when I drive by thinking of all the times I've held my hand up and pointed to the spot where I grew up. Lately though, I've been thinking about where home really is. I was born in Wisconsin, lived 26 years in Michigan, and in the time since have called Memphis, Seattle, Minneapolis, and now Denver, home. I'm on the road a lot for work and often wake in the night having to remind myself of where I am - sometimes even when I'm in my own bed. On a recent trip to Minneapolis, the place I lived longest as an adult, I reflected on how nice it was knowing where things are - favorite shops, restaurants and some of my favorite people. "Maybe this will always feel like home," I thought, as I drove through the the city with a friend one night. Maybe home is the place you feel the greatest kinship - the place that's most familiar.

And then I flew back to Denver. I drove home toward snow capped mountains on a glorious blue sky morning and was comforted by my breathtaking view.  Still, I wasn't sure about this whole "home" thing. 
I wondered, could a place I'd lived just over a year and a half really be homeI remembered telling our son, who is away at college and has never lived full-time in Colorado, that I understood if he didn't think of our home in Denver as his home. It didn't bother me at all that he referred to his school in Missouri as home - though I noticed that he also referred to Colorado as home, even with the little time he had spent within its borders. And that's when it occurred to me: home isn't a place. Places are familiar. Places are comfortable, engaging, fun to visit - or live in. But home, for me, is a feeling of belonging. It's the space where I can be myself and where I can work on becoming an even better version of myself. It's where I can be vulnerable and where I can celebrate my accomplishments. It's where I am who I am, with the people who encourage me to be that person. And that means I have a few special places to call home, including the city I am learning my way around in - that I'm becoming familiar with.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Be Your Best Self 2016

We live by the mantra "be your best self!" Part of being our best selves means being active and making healthy choices. We started thinking about how we can inspire others to do the same - and we came up with a plan. We invite you to join us in being active - and being your best self - in 2016! It's easy: join our Facebook group and do your best to complete a 5K (3.1 miles) of something (you pick - run, walk, swim, bike, dance...whatever makes you happy!) during a designated week each month (the last full week of the month, including both weekends). Post your efforts on our FB page and enjoy being part of our supportive and encouraging community! No pressure, no competition, just a friendly group encouraging one another to get out and move and be their best selves in 2016! To register, fill out our simple form:

We're looking forward to a great year!
Marm & Jam

Welcome to our World.

A blog. Why write a blog? And who is writing this anyway? Let's introduce ourselves. Actually, we will introduce each other.

I'll go first. I'm Kris. Meet Anne, also known to me as Jam. Anne is a junior in high school, living one full and inspired life. She's a student-athlete, an involved leader in her school community, and a girl with a mission to change the world. She takes time to notice what makes other people tick and skillfully brings people together who might not otherwise have connected. She'll go out of her way to thank a volunteer and she'll make you smile with her quick wit and infectious laugh. She loves fashion, music, the mountains, and Starbucks - and she's committed to changing the educational paradigm that currently means some kids don't get the same opportunities and advantages that she does. You can expect to hear from her about all of the above, and then some. Anne also happens to be my daughter.

Okay. My turn.

Meet Kris, Kristin, mom, or as I like to call her, ''Marm." She is one incredibly admirable woman. I don't just come up with fantastic ideas on changing the world by myself. My mother is my role model and my biggest supporter. She is intelligent, caring, hardworking, and absolutely hilarious. I can't put into words the how much she has influenced me, through her work, helping improve the educational system in schools across the world, through her determination and self-prompted goals for running, and her overall support and genuine care for every single person around her. She is always willing to help me any way she can to meet my (sometimes crazy) goals. I wouldn't want anyone else to laugh with at Pinterest fails, make late night trips to YogurtLand, or to run Jane Wow with. She is absolutely extraordinary in every way. 

So that's us and this is our blog.

So, really? Why write a blog?  In a 2011 post for Forbes, Dan Reich gives 9 Reasons You Should Blog. Among his ideas are "network with new people," and "turn messy ideas into neat ones." Joshua Becker, of Becoming Minimalist, suggests blogging helps you "become a better thinker" and "develop an eye for meaningful things." A Tale of Two is meant to serve all of those purposes, and a few more. Here's what we hope will happen as a result of welcoming you into our world.
  • We will share our passion for LIFE. We plan to open a window into our world - the crazy, busy, fun, engaging world we live in everyday. It's about the people, places, experiences - and yes, sometimes food & stuff - that make our world what it is.
  • We'll meet new people - YOU! Between us, we know a lot of people from diverse backgrounds, with wide ranging interests. We'd love to expand our network and make this a place where our circle of friends and acquaintances can share ideas.
  • We'll learn as we share. Every idea can spark another idea - and we hope this will be a platform for us to learn from each other, from you, from the world.
  • We'll inspire and be inspired. We hope that our ideas, our passion, our joy will inspire you to savor YOUR crazy, busy, engaging world - and in turn, we will be inspired by all you do!
Thanks for reading. We hope you'll stay with for the journey!