Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Today I turn thirty.

I hate saying that. I really do. Thirty-years-old. Ehhhh--I know it’s not “old”. I know that. In the scheme of things it’s just a number. People say that their thirties are some of the best years of their lives. And the celebs are saying forty is the new thirty must be the new twenty right? So cheers to twenty.

I can’t even talk about it around our house. My husband is older than me so he just scoffs and pulls out the tiny violins everytime I so much as mention the arrival of this dreaded day.

When I was a kid, pretty much any age in the “twenties” sounded pretty cool. Twenty-something, twenty-anything was still sexy and hip. But thirty-something...that was just ancient.

But alas, time’s a thief and here I am. T-H-I-R-T-Y.

And to be honest, I feel thirty. If you would have asked me two...three years ago if I felt twenty-seven or twenty-eight I would have laughed and told you I felt like I was still eighteen and just playing a super realistic game of make-believe. But no, these last couple years have me feeling nice and aged...and not like in a fine wine or cheese kind of way. a wrinkly applehead doll. Did you ever make those in grade school? They’re super gross and creepy but I remember making two different ones in fourth or fifth grade. You basically let an apple dry out and then use it as a head for a homemade doll (anyone in need of a gross Halloween craft--check it out!)

What once was a sweet delicious apple---now a dried up shriveled doll head. That’s me--applehead Kris. Thirty, flirty, and thriving.

My twenties---definitely the decade of the most change in my life. I think about where I was when I was just twenty and it’s almost too much--I’m not sure whether to laugh or to cry or to just turn on some Friends reruns to numb the awkward feelings.

For starters--my early twenties--I had absolutely no idea what I was doing with my life or who I really was. Yes, I had dreams, plans, goals, and ambitions...but I was also at the end of the day I was mainly just living in and for the moment. Living for the night. Living for the next experience. Just so curious and eager to gobble up life in feast and famine. I had strong opinions and a lot to say. I was selfish and narrow minded, eager and complicated, but I did learn a few things...I may not have realized them right in that moment but over the years I’ve come to understand that with every experience, every moment of pain and heartache, and with every turn--right or wrong--came a moment of truth and an opportunity to learn something.

I haven’t written in a while—like a long while—but I figured what better occasion to jot down a few lessons than the day I celebrate thirty years of life. Sooooo here ya go. A few lessons from the last decade of my life.

I think I felt true heartbreak at twenty-one. It hurt—a lot—but with it I learned that sometimes in life you have to choose whether to walk away or try harder...and sometimes you may make the wrong choice. Sometimes you stick around for just a bit too long hoping that this time around it’ll suddenly work out. Learning to say goodbye—gracefully— is a necessary part of life. And is something I have never been good at. I don’t regret much about my thirty years. I don’t regret an experience or a person that didn’t work out...because they all helped make me into the human I am today. What I regret is not letting go when I should have--I regret the wasted time.

Part of life is learning when it’s time to let go and move on.

At twenty-three, I did just that. I let go and moved on. I left behind the world I knew to start fresh. I took off to a new city--leaving behind pieces of me that I hoped would be just be lost forever to those lovely Wasatch Mountains. Leaving behind parts of the person I had become--the one that I honestly hoped to never see again. Praying that the west coast would be my saving grace.

Let go, breathe in and take a step forward. You never know what magic awaits you. I think this was the first time since I was a kid that I truly *lived* life. Waking up with an open heart and an open mind--with a desire to learn and grown. To not only accept people for who they are but to love unconditionally. It was then that I finally stopped worrying about every little thing (I’m an obsessive planner and worry about everything) and just embraced that moment of time. I’d have deep conversations with strangers, cab drivers and people on the Bart. I’d sit by the pier and listen to my own breath...inhale and exhale...consciously feeling my chest rise and let down.

Within my first couple weeks living there, I sat down with a new friend. She asked what my story was. I told her about loving big and falling short. Being broken. Searching for healing. The advice she then proceeded to give me changed my life. She told me that she had a similar experience--and that in order to truly fall in love again you had to accept that you’d never fill that hole--at least not in the exact way it was once filled. Because you won’t find another person exactly like the last. But what you can do is open your heart and mind….be willing to fall in love with the new...and not expect the old. I don’t know why it took me so long to process this--but there it was. Bam.

One week later I was introduced to the man who is now my husband.

“One new perception, one fresh thought, one act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith, can change your life forever.” --Robert Holden

Twenty-five. The year of possibly the most soul-searching and intense change in my life. The year I entered the world of motherhood. I always kinda assumed mothering would just come natural to me (ha!) I mean, that’s what they always say--that those maternal instincts will just kinda kick in and it’ll work out like a well planned Pinterest board, right? While for some that might be true, it was not so much the case for me. Being a mom has taken me to the lowest of lows, highest of highs and just about every stop in between. It destroyed me mentally,  physically and emotionally. Basically broke me down into just tiny bits and pieces and then said--okay, now put yourself back together again---while a baby screams in your face! Funnnn! Oh, Motherhood. It’ll humble you...again and again. It will make you question everything about yourself. In my case, took me into the dark corners of my closet in tears as I battled through postpartum anxiety...which then led me into the arms of a loving friend who helped me realize it was all going to be okay and that I wasn’t a total freak. Yes, it’s really really hard. But I promise, it’s worth the pain and worth the struggle and worth the craziness. Worth every damn second of it.

My kids are not just my kids give me life. They are the reason I fight for the things I believe in--the reason I want to make the world a better place.

Twenty-eight. Became a mom for the second time. I learned a lot this year, but the lesson that stands out is actually not about motherhood--but about people in general. A little over one year ago our city of Houston was aggressively hit by the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey.  It destroyed homes and took many lives. One afternoon--in the middle of the rains and floods--I watched my husband trek out into the road (now looking more like a river) to try and make it to a neighbors house to help them move some of their precious belongings to their second floor because the water was now at their front door step. Those few days were difficult, but what changed my life was what happened after the flood waters receded.

I watched as a city ripped to shreds by a natural disaster came together in love and unity in a way that I had never before witnessed. Our church volunteered for days, weeks, and months mucking houses. Once we could finally get out of our neighborhood, my husband went to help a coworker in a nearby area that had flooded badly. After helping muck one house he decided to walk down the road and see if others needed help. He felt moved to knock on the door of a home that seemed to be empty--but was surprised when a man who looked scared and overwhelmed answered. My husband asked if he needed help, and the man began to cry...telling him that he had just been on his knees praying and pleading for help when he heard a knock at the door.

Hurricane Harvey reminded me--in a time when hate and controversy and bullying seemed to dominate the news cycles--that God is good, people are good and love can conquer all.


This year was a good one. And to be honest, nothing too life-changing would have stood out if it hadn’t been for the past month and a half.

Six weeks ago I had one of the most world jolting experiences of my life when I was rushed from an urgent care facility to an airtight room of the infectious disease wing of a hospital after being diagnosed with Meningitis—a rare virus that infects the brain. There are multiple types of meningitis and my tests had come back inconclusive. Because it could potentially be life threatening and very contagious, they kept me in the hospital for a few days until they knew exactly what it was.

I don’t really want to go into all the details--but I know I was incredibly blessed and looked after during a very scary few days and through a very lengthy ongoing recovery. I’ve felt an abundance of love from family, friends and people I don’t even know. Seriously I have the best family, the best friends and the best support system--you guys know who you are and I'll never be able to repay you for all you have done for me and my family. I'm so lucky to have you all.

But back up to those few frightening days--starting with that ambulance ride to the hospital. It was the first moment I really processed that this was much more serious than just a bad migraine and a high fever. Realizing that my brain was infected and there was a small chance my time on this earth could end abruptly, had me in all sorts of panic. And folks, this may be the most important lesson in all my thirty years. I sincerely think God saved this one for the last month of my twenty-ninth year because he knew exactly when I would need this powerful wake up call.

In that scary moment of realization--as I processed the seriousness of the situation--I can tell you that the thoughts going through my mind were not about material things, my busy schedule, the big wrinkle on my forehead or the people that had offended or wronged me. I wasn’t thinking about the many insignificant and worthless things I had allowed myself to stress and wallow over. Nope, none of that mattered. There were just three things going through my mind...

First, my beautiful kids. I wanted to hug them. I wanted to kiss them. I wanted another chance to just sit and cuddle them in my arms. I wanted one more morning to make them breakfast and to drive my daughter to school. I wanted another chance to rock Bron back to sleep in the early hours of the morning after he had awoken from a bad dream. I desperately wanted them to know how much I love them. I prayed and prayed that no matter what happened that they would know that. Never again will I take those simple perfect moments with my children for granted.

Second, my sweet husband. He sat there next to me reassuring me everything would be okay--but there were moments even in my drugged up state that I could sense the fear he was trying to hide from me. I didn't want to lose him--and desperately wanted to take back every rude or snappy comment I had ever made. Every fight or argument suddenly seemed embarrassing and adolescent. I just wanted to tell him that I was sorry, and prayed he would know how much I love him and our children. I saw this quote recently and while I haven't read the book, I thought these words were just so incredibly beautiful:

“He loved her, of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice: that was the thing.”— Sherman Alexie, The Toughest Indian In The World

How incredible is that?

It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by President Thomas S. Monson, "Choose your love, love your choice."

Here's the thing...falling in love, getting married, and having kids isn't some magical formula for continued love and happiness. It's a choice. And once we make that choice, we need to love it--through all the good and all the bad. It's a conscious effort. A choice that we need to make every day.

The third and final thing I thought about in that hospital bed was my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.

You may not be religious or come from the same religious background as me--and that's totally okay. Because what this boils down to is what kind of life did I live? I found myself wondering if I tried my hardest and continually worked at becoming a better version of myself. Did I love and serve others? Was I selfless and kind? Was I a good human?

Did I live a life I was proud of? And more importantly to me--could I stand before my Savior tomorrow and feel proud of the work I did here on earth? Did I show my God that I love Him?

Shortly after coming home from the hospital I came across this talk from a past General Conference held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it had such a profound impact on me. I highly recommend reading it, whether or not your are a member of our church--if you are familiar with the Bible you will be familiar with the story of Peter that is referenced, and this is one of my favorite excerpts from it:

“What I need....are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world." (

That massive wake up call was actually the perfect way to end my twenty-ninth year...and left me feeling so loved and moved and motivated to become a better wife, mom, and human being.'s to thirty! I can't wait to see what the next ten years will bring!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

that impossible step.

A few months back we took a family trip to Newport Beach, California. 

It was the first vacation we had taken as a family of four. The trip was planned as a getaway just for our little family. There was no one else coming along, no one else meeting us there. It was our trip, just to be with each other. 

We went to Disneyland, stayed in an Airbnb right by the ocean, rode bikes down Newport Beach, took the ferry over to Balboa Island, ate delicious food, slept in, and woke up to the sounds of the waves and ocean breeze.

It was the best and happiest I have been in a long long time. 

As I reminisce back on that week, I always start to cry. Not so much out of sadness, because the memories are really the most beautiful ones and I will cherish them for all my life, but more out of longing. Longing to feel that joy again. 

Since having Bronson six months ago, life has been the most intense and overwhelming roller coaster of emotion. My husband made a sudden job change, we lost a sweet (great) grandmother, my parents sold my childhood home and are leaving the small town we grew up in. We've had tragedy and drama within our families--that both took an emotional toll on me personally. Mila turned three and has the attitude and energy to prove it. I've been dealing with a handful of health problems, plus the normal and expected exhaustion that comes with having a small baby and a toddler. I haven't had a lot of family around, and I struggle asking for help, because I know that all my friends have their own hectic busy lives, and are dealing with their own set of problems--many worse than my own. I feel foolish thinking that my problems are worth anyone else's attention. They are so small compared to other trials. 

Sometimes, I stop mid-track as I'm putting laundry away or picking up toys, and just wonder if I can make it one more step. It seems so that one step might be just one step too many. One step that I cannot reach. I pause and seriously doubt my abilities--maybe even shed a tear--but then I hear Mila scream at me for a sippy cup or Bronson waking up from his nap. And I have no choice. So I smile and with all the energy I have left, take that step. The one I thought might be impossible...but never actually is. 

And as I step forward--emotionally wincing--I go to my happy place. On that beach in California, with my babies and my husband. Smiling, watching Mila make sand castles, eating sandwiches, and feeling the sun on my pale legs. Everyone was so happy. That kind of happiness is magical. What is it about the west coast and happiness? Somehow I left behind my stressed-out reality before my toes even touched that sand...left behind the stresses of everyday life. Left behind my feelings of inadequacy as a mother. I left behind my anxiety and fears....

...or maybe the ocean just took them away from me for that brief period of time? Taking on my burden so that I could enjoy that week of heaven on earth. 

I'm not sure how it happened exactly, but I was free. Free of it all, free of the prison of my own making and free to just be me and to love my people. 

We returned home--and quickly jumped back into the norm. Play dates, work, grocery pick-up, library trips, church callings, family gatherings, 3am feedings, business trips, and doctors appointments. We're now in the middle of another big change for our family--another change that came unexpectedly and while exciting, has added some stress and anxiety to our lives. 

But I guess that's what reality is all about. Reality can't be a work-free, stress-free, magical beach vacation all the time. And if that is your reality, please let me in on your ways! 🙌

I think God gives us those moments because they are something for us to hold on to when those dark moments take over. And while I know He wants us to be in the moment, living and breathing in whatever that day brings, there are those times when the next step seems impossible and we need to escape... 

...and that's okay.

Newport, we'll be back.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Happy Four Years!

 Guys, I can't believe this was FOUR years ago today! What a magical and perfect day this was!
It's been a couple years since I've posted photos from our wedding, but as I was going through some of them last night--I just couldn't help but feel so blessed to have so many wonderful family members and sweet friends that helped make this day so special.

And of course--I feel so lucky that this amazing man wanted to marry me! 
I can't believe that handsome face is mine forever. 

I couldn't possibly share every photo, so I've just chosen some highlights...

So grateful for all these BEAUTIFUL people! The fact that they all came to support us on our big day just fills my heart with so much joy. Many of them traveled from very far distances to be with us--we have such amazing people in our lives.

I love you all!

I really loved my reception. 
It was a simple and elegant backyard gathering--just liked I had always dreamed!

(My only regret is not having a videographer there on this day--I ran out of money and decided it wasn't "that big of deal" but I now REALLY regret it!)

 The entrance to our magical backyard reception!
 I love these siblings of mine!
 My family was such a huge help making our wedding happen! I'm so grateful for them.
 Doesn't Robert's sister Heather just look like she was meant to be one of the sisters?! So gorgeous! Love my bridesmaids!

A sweet friend of mine made this cake for us--and Rob and I still talk about how delicious it was to this day. Seriously, one of the best cakes I have ever eaten! And again, it just makes me feel so loved that I have such amazing and talented friends that made this day so special!

 My cousin--who had been in at military training on the west coast--SURPRISED the whole family by showing up! It was so special! He literally graduated from camp that morning, his family picked him up, and then they all drove like 12 hours to my reception!
Just thinking about this special moment brings tears to my eyes!

 Just so many wonderful memories, with good friends and family!
I'll remember this day forever!
Good times on the dance floor!

It was also really fun to have our wedding featured in Utah Valley Bride Magazine! 
I remember I had soooo many people ask about my dress--and I'm not going to lie, it was definitely one of my favorite details of the wedding! It is from J.Crew but as since been discontinued.

Of course the wedding details are fun and all, but the most amazing memories I have are the feelings of love I felt from those around us--both family and friends--and the love I felt for this best friend of mine. He is my rock. He always will be.

It was such a perfect day--and a perfect start to an eternity together.

I love you Robert!
Happy four years sweetheart!


P.S. I used to be much better at blogging, so if you'd to like read about our love story :) you can find it HERE (I'm biased, but it's a dang good story)

Monday, May 16, 2016

family trip to destin, florida // video

The Campbell Family from Nichel Warwick on Vimeo.

I am SO excited to share this amazing video that my sweet and talented sister made of my little family during our recent trip to Destin, FL! This is so special to me and is something I will cherish forever! Life is been so busy lately--and time is flying by much to quickly--these memories of Mila at this adorable age are so very dear to my heart.

We also took lots of amazing pictures! (Sidenote--Destin is heaven on earth! We are obsessed and plan on going back ever year as a family!) Hopefully I'll be able to get some of those pictures up soon! The backdrop of the crystal clear waters, bright blue sky and white sugar sand are simply dreamy--some of my favorite pictures we've ever taken.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful week--and that you're having better weather than we've got here in Houston right now (grey and rainy is the forecast for this whole week--and we're not thrilled about it) I may just keep re-watching this little video and dream of being back in that perfect place!

Friday, April 1, 2016

bluebonnets + easter ❀

If you follow me on Instagram, you've already been spammed with a lot of these bluebonnet photos--and I'm sorry about that, but also not because this really was THE. BEST. DAY. EVER.

 I hope to remember it forever and ever--and pictures are one way to make that happen. It was one of those days, when you're humbled and reminded of what is really important in life--where your priorities should be. 
My husband and I are are both firm believers that experience trumps material things. Don't get me wrong, we like our stuff--and sometimes it's hard to not have things that we want--but then days like these happen...
and none of it seems to matter anymore.
 This is what it's all about.
These people right here are my eternity, and the experiences I make with them are what we're going to remember and are going to shape us as individuals and as a family.
 I love these people with everything I've got--and feel so blessed to be a wife and mama to them.

And if you know me personally--you know that I can't and won't stop talking about my love for Texas--and this time of year is a huge part of that. 
The weather is heavenly, the humidity has yet to hit in full-force, and these bluebonnets start spreading over hill-country--it's like a dream come true.

Pair the bluebonnets with this Texas babe, and it really is perfection! 

 Rob and I hope to be able to stay in Texas forever and raise our kids here.
It's such a perfect place to have a family.
And maybe one day build a little ranch out in hill-country where we can retire, buy some chickens and grow old...
yep, that's the dreammmmm.
Gah, I love it!

When I think of my love for these two, I always think of one of my favorite quotes from Gilead
(one of my all-time favorite reads)
“I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle."
And I had to throw in a couple Easter sunday pictures of course!
Sweet Mila was a little cranky all day--mainly because she had been bitten right in between the eyes by a nasty spider. It was all swollen and itchy. Poor thing.

It was a lovely Easter! 
Church followed by dinner and an Easter egg hunt with the family--doesn't get better than that!