written at the luxurious Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE


Hello from Dubai! It is 6am here, and I have not been to bed yet. I arrived in Dubai around 9pm last night, on an amazing Emirates flight from JFK, and am now at the most incredible hotel I will ever stay at. I know that there are a million things to see in this city, and this hotel, but I have not left my “room” yet, and while I should be sleeping, I cannot seem to turn my brain off, and I think i am experiencing a sensory overload. I’ll post about the flight and this hotel later – for now, I’m going to give yall a little recap of what I have been up to lately.

Where did november go? I feel like it was just yesterday that I complaining about how much I dislike halloween, and now its thanksgiving. Let’s start with Halloween. I was a surfer. I dont like spending money or really putting any effort into halloween costumes so i wore clothes i already had, and gave myself a really, really, really bad spray tan. I wore little makeup and didn’t dry my hair. Too easy. Despite my best efforts, I managed to keep it pretty tame.

I’m a pretty big fan of my Timehop app… and on November 1st a post popped up that I wrote on Facebook 5 years ago. “it’s a new month…time for a KIP!” See, I used to do these little things called KIPs (KRISTIN IMPROVEMENT PLAN) every few months, and always on November 1. I think that is likely due to over-celebrating a holiday that I don’t particularly care for, and allowing for a few too many fall indulgences. A KIP usually involves things like eating healthier, working out more, getting more/better sleep, and drinking more water. Sort of like a reset button.

I was especially happy to see this timehop post, because it reminded me of when I first started implementing KIPs. I can’t take credit for the clever little name – I stole the term KIP from my friend Denver, who does DIPs. I met Denver, along with a few other seriously awesome people when I first moved out to Honolulu after college. He worked at the 24 hour fitness that was a block from my apartment in Waikiki. He signed me up for my membership and introduced me to Molly, who happened to be from a town very close to where I grew up. They let me join their group of friends and made the transition so much easier.

Thinking back to that time in my life made me really start to question how I spend my time now. I used to spend saturday mornings follow up 10k races with spin classes and trips to the health bar. I never skipped a workout to go to a bar, even if it meant I had to get up early and do it before work. I worked full time, went to grad school, studied for the LSAT, and stayed in great shape. Where did that girl go?

These questions aren’t about fitness and I’m not giving myself a hard time because I don’t run as much as I used to. My issue is that my values and priorities are not in sync with how I am actually spending my time, and how I’m living my daily life. So, while in the past KIPs have been geared towards healthier eating habits and increased cardio, this particular KIP has been geared more towards sorting out the difference between what I want for my life and what I’m actually doing. Does that make sense?

My life has been chaotic since I got back from Bali in May. Each week that chaos has grown, and it peaked in October. I am exhausted from it. It has been fun to have some freedom and time to figure out what the best next step is, but it has been stressful, and scary. When November popped up so quickly I knew that I needed to get serious about figuring out what I am doing, and actually make some things happen. I will jump ahead and tell you that I was successful in my endeavors and have found a (somewhat) clear path. But more on that later.

My intentions for November were honorable and while I did find clarity, I’m lucky to be alive. I truly mean it when I say that football season nearly killed me.

I am very lucky to have some very generous friends who apparently like my company at football games. I went to the Panthers/Saints Monday Night Football game right after halloween. It poured but we had a blast. That weekend I was back in Greenville and headed to Clemson for the the Clemson/FSU game, only to find myself racing back to Charlotte the next day for the Panthers/Packers game. Dawn and I celebrated her birthday and the Panthers victory over the cheeseheads to the extent that we lost our voices and ruined our iphones. No regrets, girl.

What else happened?

  I finally moved out of the Selwyn house. Like, for real. After I loaded up the altima, again, I headed to Myrtle Beach. I was offered a fantastic job that I’m not sure I deserved, and went out to there to check out the living conditions. I stayed at the BEAUTIFUL North Beach Plantation, and really didn’t want to leave my little beach house. I’ll write a separate post on that.

After Myrtle I headed north to D.C. I had a big decision to make I knew that while I had to make it (almost) on my own, there was one person who could really sit down and hash it out with me, and that I can always take her advice without hesitation. Faye is my soulmate, and has been for years, and it was amazing to spend time with her. We had a fantastic brunch in Old Town Alexandria, eavesdropped on a proposal, made fun of some meatheads dining next to us, and we sorted out my life. We went to the National Harbor and she introduced me to some of her wonderful friends. When Faye and I were living in Hawaii, we were broke. We talked about how we used to go to the grocery store and put everything in our basket back before check out, because it was too expensive. Faye always took leftovers home even if we were going out after. Yes, her handbags saw many burgers pass through. Things are very different now, and when we went shopping it was awesome to see her buy what she wanted. I could write a book on Faye’s selflessness and kindness, and it makes me so incredibly happy to see her happy and doing well.

But anyway, the point is that we sorted out my life. It was great. As soon as I made a decision, I felt like bricks were just falling off of my shoulders. While I knew that I still had a lot of things to do to make everything happen, just making the executive decision felt SO good.

After my time in DC, I proceeded north to my mom’s house. The next day, we drove out Boston to see my sister and my niece, who are moving to Dallas this week. We spent some time in the city but mostly at home, which was great. My niece is at an awesome age and it was so cool to have time with her. I did one of my favorite workouts at Harvard Stadium, resulting in me barely being able to walk for days, but it was sooo worth it. That will also have its own post.

After Boston I got back up to NY to get ready to go. Yes, I said go. I packed up my suitcases and a few boxes to be shipped and headed for the airport on the busiest travel day of the year. Destination? Guam. I’ll be prosecuting for the Attorney General’s Office out there. But first, Bali. Well, ok, Dubai.

THe plan was to fly Syracuse to JFK, JFK to Dubai (THE FLIGHT….THE FLIGHT!!!!!!), 7 hour layover in Dubai, then to Bali. A few days in Bali getting a tan and surfing, then out to Guam to start being a real person again! As per usual, I was delayed in Syracuse for 7 hours causing me to miss my flight to Dubai, causing me to miss my flight to Bali. I’m now in Dubai on a 24 hour layover and am horribly fortunate to be staying at the world’s most luxurious hotel. I fly to Bali tonight, arriving Saturday morning. It was stressful and exhausting for most of the trip (until THE FLIGHT) but I’m super happy that I got 24 hours in Dubai, especially here. This place is over the top.

The sun is coming up and the fog is starting to lift. I need to rest my eyes before I venture out and explore this incredible hotel. More to come later.