Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My One Word...

As longtime readers know, I gave up on resolution and switched to the "One Word" challenge. Last year my word was Determine/d and I completed a couple of the things I was determined to do:

1. My book was published
2. I received a 1 year teaching contract

However, 2014 really sucked for me. I lost one of my best friends in January and lost my father in September. My health hasn't been terrible, but fluctuated enough that I wouldn't say it was good either.

I am hoping for a much better 2015! My word for this year is Brave (Courage)! I am using Glennon's definition of brave from this post.... Let's see how I do this year.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

54 Years...

Today is my parents' 54th wedding anniversary. I feel for my Mom as this is the first "milestone" of many she will have to face this coming year.

I still expect to see him when I go to the apartment. Can still hear his voice when I do something that would've generated a reaction out of him. I cannot get into my new car without hearing him tell me it is a station wagon because he knew that drove me nuts!

Still miss him so much it hurts. I know time will lessen the pain, but I truly hope it doesn't. Not that it would mean I've forgotten him, but only that I want to remember how important he is in my life and to remind me that whatever pain I am going through, Mom's has to be so much worse.

I am taking Mom out with her friends this evening. Mom and Dad were supposed to be on a cruise to celebrate their anniversary. She cancelled the trip when he got sick, but today is going to be tough on her.

I'm having trouble not crying as I sit here and it's not my anniversary. I know I have a guardian angel in him, but I'd rather still have him here with us.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Still Not Real

My father passed away on Sunday morning. I don't think I believe it yet, even though I saw him after it happened. Not dealing well with this. Drove past the old house today; had to pull over because I couldn't breathe. Called their apartment and Mom wasn't home yet; Dad's voice was still on the machine. His funeral is Wednesday...that will be one of the worst days of my life. I am, and always will be, Daddy's Little Girl!

Godspeed Daddy!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Knitting the Summer Away

I know my blog has been suffering, but it is tough to type with knitting needles in my hands. I have been busy knitting baby blankets and scarves and other things.

Once the book was finished, after spending years on the dissertation, I decided to give my mind a little break. I only have a picture of one of the blankets I've worked on and  none of the scarves yet. I will post them later, but here is my cousin at her baby shower with the baby blanket:

Working on one more blanket that I need done by the end of August and then I have 5 scarves to finish before school starts again. 

Hope you are all well. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Picture on Title & Family Reunion

The weather cooperated this year and someone else gave up their room. I was able to make it to Geneva-on-the-Lake for the family reunion this year!

I love my crazy, fun family!! I took the new header photo from the Firehouse Winery with my younger cousin and her friend.

We had a baby shower for my cousin who is due in October because it was the last time all the girls would be together. We had family from Chicago, Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Camp Hill, PA all in one location. It is always a great time seeing everyone. Miss them all already!

Here's a picture of the entire group on Thursday night....

Friday, June 13, 2014

It's Here!!!

Blogging: How Our Private Thoughts Went Public advance copies have arrived!! It's Here!!! Soxy is already checking it out!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Grades are Submitted!!! Summer Officially Starts Now!!

I am done with grading my final projects and all grades have been submitted! I am officially done with my Spring semester and on "vacation" until August!! Time to ramp up the job search for something full-time; clean the house well; finish some projects I wanted to get done; and spend some much needed time with D and Soxy! Soxy is lying behind my desk chair as I type sighing because we are both on computers working and no one is paying her any mind. Poor puppy! She will get more attention now that the book is done and the semester is over. I plan on doing some reading and writing this summer, but mostly this summer is about the job hunt!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life In and Out of Hospitals--My Messy Beautiful

My Messy, Beautiful, Amazing Life
This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

As many continuing readers may know, my story is a long one...but I am taking part in the Messy, Beautiful project at Momastery and the best story I have to tell is mine.

I'll begin, at the beginning. I was born blue, three months early and my mother honestly believed that her labor pains were kidney stones because I wasn't due yet. Luckily the doctor convinced her to go to the hospital because by the time she got there I was already crowning. My mother went through natural childbirth to wake up after I had been transported to the nearby Children's Hospital. My esophagus wasn't formed and I had a birth defect of the heart, tetralogy of fallot, which is basically a hole in my heart. My first surgery was at 2 days old, to repair the esophagus. At two years old I went into cardiac arrest in my backyard. My mother found me. My mother is a WARRIOR! I had my first open heart surgery at 2 years old and my second at 7.

My parents tried to let me live a normal life. I played with the other girls in the neighborhood, but mostly spent my time with the boys playing street football and basketball, climbing trees and skinning my knees. I really don't know how my mother lived through the many mini-heart attacks I must've caused her.

At 17 I left for college, only an hour or so away. Got engaged my senior year; called off the wedding three months before it was supposed to happen. Found a job in Wheeling WV as a radio salesperson. Moved away from home with a 1976 Mustang II that barely ran. Scared the daylights out of my parents many times. While in Wheeling, I got engaged again. This time the wedding happened.

On our honeymoon, I had heatstroke. This required me to have a pacemaker inserted on December 13, 1996, a Friday.... I was 26 years old. That night, the heart monitor malfunctioned and I woke up to the machine flatlining.... I asked the nurse if I was dead, and she proved I wasn't by pinching my big toe. I went home with my "new" husband promising to take care of me. He left two hours later to go to a family party.

Seven months later I found out he was cheating on me. Came to my senses and realized he was emotionally and mentally abusing me also by telling me that I was a "freak" and "no one else would ever love" me so I might as well stay with him anyway. Nine months into our marriage we filed for divorce. I got the annulment through the Catholic church and moved back in with my parents.

I started working at my dream job in advertising. I stayed there for three years until my cardiologist made it known that the job was too stressful for my medical conditions. I left the only job I ever loved on the day our team found out we exceeded our goal for the year. I cried!

By this time I owned my own home. My bad taste in men continued. Dating one "stray" after another, as a friend's mother referred to my dates. Drunks, recovering drug addicts...I could "save" them, I thought. Finally, after way too long, I decided to "save" myself first.

I took trips with my friends. One friend and I went to Paris. I told her, but no one else, that I was having some dizzy spells, but I wasn't concerned much. Shortly after returning from Paris, I had to have brain surgery to have a cyst removed. A year after that, I had to have reconstructive surgery on my ankle, because I stepped off of a curb the wrong way.

After the surgeries, where did this leave me? I had a Master's degree,  had a job I didn't like, and I was lonely. I found a new job, actually, it found me, and I started traveling the country and being recognized for doing what I loved. I met a guy, a good one this time, and we started dating.

Fast forward to today...that good guy, D, my husband and I are coming up on our 9th anniversary. He encouraged me to go back to school and get my PhD right after we got married. I completed my degree last March (the picture above is my "hooding" ceremony in May 2013) and find a job teaching. I am still looking for that elusive tenure-track position, but my book on blogging is set to be released in June. I was honored to be able to interview Sister and include Monkee See--Monkee Do and Momastery in my book.

The doctor's told my mother if I survived the night I was born I would be a vegetable. I think I have surpassed that...and I know my mother, My Warrior, has been there the entire time, cheering me on, drying my tears, and loving me...even if she doesn't understand my drive or passion, which I get from both of my parents.

Anything is possible if you set your mind to quote Glennon; "Carry on Warrior(s)"!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


This title means that my book has been edited, proofread, and typeset. I have chosen the cover style and image. My book will be out in June!!! I have contacted some of you as a survey I conducted several years ago through this site, had some entries used in the book. My title, with revisions, was approved.

Coming in June....

Blogging: How Our Private Thoughts Went Public

Author: Kristin Roeschenthaler Wolfe, PhD

Can you tell I'm excited!?!?!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Determined to Submit...And I Did

My book manuscript officially went to the publisher today!!! Now I have to rethink the name, as they didn't approve my "working title"...but otherwise it's one step closer to being published!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014


Yes, one of the perks of teaching at a university is that when the kids are off for break, so are you!

I am going in tomorrow to help judge a forensics tournament, but I volunteered for that. I love watching these jr. high and high school kids really give it there all in the speeches they give.

The rest of the week will be spent finishing the edits to my book, God willing, and cleaning out closets and, hopefully, refinishing a side table that was my grandfather's to turn it into a night table for our 2nd spare room/my office/my niece's room when she visits.

We are currently redecorating and once the table is finished and final pictures are hung, I will post pictures of the room that was once an over-crowded mess with a queen bed and a $40 small dresser from Kmart. Now it has a Twin XL Amish-made storage bed, my desk, my pretty file box, a bin for necessary book storage, and this side table. I am going out on a limb with the table and taking it from its original green and painting it the 2014 "Color of the Year". Since the room is painted lavender, I think it will work well. We shall see.

Sorry for the lack of updates, I keep saying I'm going to get better, but...

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Year's Resolution Shot to Hell

Do you all remember my New Year's Resolution? That I wasn't going to have any Emergency Room visits this year....well, I blew that away on Monday. The young girl behind me was digging for something in her purse and rear-ended my car and pushed me into a Dodge Ram with a trailer hitch. The car has a ton of damage, but is being repaired. My neck and shoulder took the brunt of the force from the hit and I ended up in the ER getting my neck checked out.

Diagnosis: Cervical sprain

Resolution: shot to hell!

Friday, February 7, 2014 Relax

I have been teaching, grading, planning, & writing for the past several weeks. On the way home today, something hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm not sure what, but it derailed my Costco run and caused me to sleep for 5 hours in the middle of the day.

I don't know if I've been running on too many cylinders or getting sick. I'm going to try to take it easy this weekend and hope it's only stress and this weather that is making me feel sick.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

'Til We Meet Again, My Friend

Rodgers , Brian S. 44


Brian Scott Rodgers, 44, of Murrysville, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, after a long and
 courageous fight with cancer in his home surrounded by family. He was born Dec. 29, 1969, in Butler.
He was the devoted husband of Marcey (Carlisle) Rodgers; awesome father to Brian and Caitlin;
 loving son of Dian (Reott) and the late Lenny Rodgers; beloved brother to Bruce, Barry, Kelly (Brian)
 and Kristy (Chris); son-in-law to Jim and Marcey Carlisle; brother-in-law to Ed (Laura), Jim (Erin),
Theresa (Tim), Tim and Cede (Joe); and adored uncle to several nieces and nephews. Friends will
be received 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the GEIBEL FUNERAL HOME, 201 East Cunningham
 St., Butler. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Saturday, at St. Mary of the
Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Herman. Interment will follow in St. Mary's Parish Cemetery.
 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Brian Rodgers Memorial Fund
to benefit Brian (age nine) and Caitlin (age three).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Determined to Let Some Things Go

In every life there are things that are out of our control and those we are still determined we can control. I am determined to:

1. Get over the fact that Christmas stuff is half boxed up and half still up. D has a sore back and I'm on day 10 of a migraine. I tried to carry some boxes and ended up with chest pains. To keep my New Year's resolution, I had to stop packing!

2. My friend is getting worse. I want to help him, his wife, and his kids...I visited last week, I took pictures, told stories, and gave hugs. Those are the only tools I have to offer. I also offered to do the eulogy because I know his wife and mother won't be able to... Not sure I can either, but he always joked that I talk too much; I owe him one more time . ;-)

3. The semester is back in full swing. Three classes and lots of new personalities to figure out. Lesson plans and related work is back in full swing.

4. Applying for full-time jobs is also back in full swing as local positions are starting to pop up.

5. Edits on the book are moving much slower than I'd hoped. Still moving forward, but at a snail' space. Still shooting for end of January to get it back to my publisher.

6. The house needs cleaned, the laundry needs put away.

Comparatively none of these are near what others are going through; but I am determined to get this all done or let go and let God without having a nervous breakdown!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 My Word and My One Resolution!!

After 2013 kicked my ass, took my name, and spit me out...I am going to try the My One Word again for 2014. My Word is: DETERMINE / DETERMINED.

I also have one New Year's Resolution:

No Emergency Room visits in 2014!

We rang in the New Year as we have for the past several Harmony, PA where they celebrate Silvester...German New Year's time. The ball drops at 6 PM EST. We have already eaten our pork and sauerkraut by then. After that, we came back home and our neighbors came over. All in all it was a wonderful New Year's Eve that allowed us to be in bed by 11:30 and still have celebrated the 2014.