Secret’s out!

Keeping a secret is hard!

Only a few select people knew I was coming back ‘home’ for a visit! Finally, everyone that I wanted to surprise has seen me, so I don’t need to keep it a secret anymore! I am in Washington until the 24th!

I am a Bridesmaid in my Niece’s wedding on the 17th and had booked my tickets months ago. I booked my trip as a long weekend, not sure what my employment in MI was going to be. Since AGS made a position for me, I didn’t need to find a job when I moved to MI and I can do my work anywhere with internet. So I extended my trip to visit Kori! I am super happy to get to spend three weeks of my summer with her and the boys!


Mom - AND you got to go see the mothership and your employer ALL pluses. Okay not as great as your sister and the boys, but still, we aren’t dog food

Shelly Cunningham - This is a great picture. You are both SO beautiful!!!

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Tell Me to have Sweet Dreams

Lately, I haven’t been sleeping well. A new house with noises and shadows I am not familiar with are keeping me up. I’ve been having night terrors a lot.

What is a night terror?

Night Terrors
People who have night terrors are often misdiagnosed. The most common one is a simple nightmare. Any of you who have had a night terror can say they aren’t even close! Another common misdiagnosis (especially among veterans) is PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. For this reason I have included a description of the difference between nightmares and night terrors.

Night Terrors Symptoms: Sudden awakening from sleep, persistent fear or terror that occurs at night, screaming, sweating, confusion, rapid heart rate, inability to explain what happened, usually no recall of “bad dreams” or nightmares, may have a vague sense of frightening images. Many people see spiders, snakes, animals or people in the room, are unable to fully awake, difficult to comfort, with no memory of the event on awakening the next day.

Night Terror or Nightmare?: Nightmares occur during the dream phase of sleep known as REM sleep. Most people enter the REM stage of sleep sometime after 90 minutes of sleep. The circumstances of the nightmare will frighten the sleeper, who usually will wake up with a vivid memory of a long movie-like dream. Night terrors, on the other hand, occur during a phase of deep non-REM sleep usually within an hour after the subject goes to bed. This is also known as stage 4. During a night terror, which may last anywhere from five to twenty minutes, the person is still asleep, although the sleepers eyes may be open. When the subject does wake up, they usually have no recollection of the episode other than a sense of fear. -David W. Richards,

Night terrors for me mean I usually wake up screaming, in an extreme panic and frequently hallucinate. They are completely terrifying when I remember them, which is about 25% of the time. Night terrors are a big part of my life. I don’t know anyone else that has them or when and if they will ever stop. Some nights I’m scared to even go to sleep fearing the fear and panic I feel.

A recent night terror I had remembered was someone was standing above me, beside my side of the bed, holding a red workout tube that he was going to choke me with. It’s always some man trying to kill me someway or another. It’s always just a black figure, never someone I know, but know it is a man. That particular night terror I didn’t scream, but I felt it was so real and frightening that I grabbed Nick’s arm and started shaking hard. He rolled his arm over me, and suddenly my scary vision disappeared, having the pressure of his arm was really comforting to me. Another night, Nick got up in the middle of the night and the floor creaked which made Paislee bark. I was asleep, and woke up as scared as I’ve ever been. I didn’t hallucinate anything, but just had the dark feelings. It’s hard to convey how scared I was. Nick immediately cuddled me, and repeatedly told me that I was OK. Having him hug me, reassure me after an episode is soothing. And honestly makes me completely happy I’ve found someone who can cope with this, I’m sure it’s not easy for him either.

We’ve notice that I typically get them when I am stressed out. If I’m feeling particularly stressed I will take a hot bath with lavender before going to bed. I also do not watch scary movies anymore. I recently watch The Conjuring, which I am sure is aggravating my non-sleep issues right now. My imagination is already pretty active without the help of Hollywood. I don’t need movie images manifesting into additional night terrors.

Moving into the new house, I’ve also learned that I need my bedroom to be cold. I love the security of being underneath my sheet, quilt and sometimes comforter (you know because they will protect me). If I am hot/sweaty at all, I will have a night terror, or wake up only to go back to sleep to have a night terror. I haven’t been feeling stressed lately, and I kept having night terrors. So Nick turned the temperature down in the house, and it has worked wonders on cutting down my night terrors.

Most nights I take melatonin to get me to sleep faster. Otherwise I lay in bed and just dwell and frighten myself. I like melatonin because it’s naturally produced and not habit forming. I would love to stop having night terrors and am pretty sure a synthetic longer-lasting sleep aid wouldn’t help me.

When I do have good dreams, it’s such a respite from my typical night. I relish them and look forward to them and their lightness. So tell me to have sweet dreams. For when I do, it’s one of the best things in life for me. It’s the little things that count and good dreams are gold.

sweet dreams friends

almost kidnapped » The Scattered Stars - […] of just about everything, and I have anxiety, always thinking the worst will happen. I also have night terrors. So this prompt, for me, could go on and […]

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How We Met

There is something about how-we-met stories, they’re timeless and irresistible. And, I think Nick and I have a fun story: We met at my senior prom.

At that time Nick was living with friends who had kids. Their babysitter, Melissa, my friend, had her prom date cancel on her at last minute. The Mother volunteered Nick as her date, and after some convincing he decided to go. Concurrently, a couple weeks before my senior prom I decided that I should probably go, knowing I would regret if I didn’t.

The actual dance was pretty uneventful and filled with typical ugly decorations, cult favorites and cheesy pictures. I went to a small magnet school resulting in a very homey, small-town feel prom. You knew everyone and if you weren’t or hadn’t already dated, you weren’t interested. I did notice my friend’s date who was commanding the dance floor and seemed to dance with every girl but me, but I wasn’t interested. I was enjoying prom with my sister and friends.

At the end of the night walking out the door, Melissa’s acquaintance came up and told me it was nice to meet me. I was sure he thought I was another girl that he had danced with that night so I went along and told him that it was nice to meet him as well. I watched him walk away.

He stopped, turned around and walked back “Wait, I didn’t meet you…I’m Nick,” he said shaking my hand. He seemed fun, was good-looking and had a compelling presence.

“Hi, I’m Kari,” I replied and felt my sister tug on my arm to introduce her as well. After introducing her, he walked away, only to come back around to honestly say, again, it was nice to meet me.

A week later, Melissa was having a graduation party and invited me. I am not and never have been one for parties, so I initially declined. Then she told me that Nick was going to be there and I happily changed my mind. Meanwhile, she had invited him, he also declined and then later accepted when he learned that my sister and I would be there.

The party was small and intimate. Nick and I separated from the party to take a walk and get to know each other one-on-one. In the end, we ended up hanging out for the rest of the weekend. And the weekend after that. And the weekend after that one.

And the rest is history…


Roxanne - I never knew this! How fun!!

to where i am today » The Scattered Stars - […] obviously the day that I met Nick my life took a turn, and especially when we got married. I will be a bit more personal to myself […]

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A cup of happiness

When I left my last job they gave me a $50 Starbucks gift card. I sat there thinking how in the world was I going to use $50 at Starbucks?! The only thing I drink there are their Frappuccinos. I’ve always been a tea drinker, and have never been fond of the bitter coffee taste. I like sweet.

So it was odd when, recently, I’ve been craving coffee. I quickly used my entire gift card, and was left wanting more. So, I bought myself a Keurig. I like the versatility of it since I am not a regular coffee drinker. I bought it from Costco, got a great deal, and it came with a 60-count variety pack of their K-cups.

I busted into that puppy as soon I got home, and quickly brewed myself 1-2-3 cups of coffee. I tried the flavored coffee first, afraid I had just wasted my money on something I wasn’t going to like. In the end, I liked the medium roast non-flavored coffee. I do mix it with a caramel vanilla creamer to punch in some sweetness.

And, now I like coffee and drink it regularly. I look forward to each morning brewing myself a cup of happiness everyday.

Shelly Cunningham - Pre-kids I never drank coffee. Now it is probably the single thing I most look forward to when I wake up in the morning. I drink instant Folgers with Vanilla Caramel creamer. Oh man is it delicious!!!

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If you were trapped on an island…

Most of you, my readers, already know me, so I don’t feel like I need to do an introductory post on here. Instead I thought I would do a fun questionnaire and maybe you will learn something or two new about me.

1) What would your dream house look like?
It definitely has a big porch – one I could relax in the summer and decorate during Halloween. I want a house that has a fun door color, nothing outrageously wild though, just a good contrasting color. Craftsmen style probably. Has a view, even if it’s just a sliver, of mountains. Inside would have hardwood floors, at least 2 levels with an attached garage. I want a window bench seat, a hidden room (A MUST!) and a cozy, warm reading nook somewhere. It must have a great bathtub.

2) Do you have a cherished childhood toy?
Yes, several actually. I have an unhealthy attachment to things. If you know me closely, then you know I still have my baby blanket, and am still very much attached. (If your house is burning down, what would you save? Well, it was my baby blanket). Bshankie is what I call it. No matter where I am, if I have Bshankie than I will feel at home. My mom replaced 2 of my childhood stuffed baby dolls that I lost in the fire – Tootsie Baby and Baby Ann.

3) What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
Nick has a ton of nicknames for me. I am sure he would be somewhat embarrassed if I listed them all. For the general public, I like Kar (Care) and Kar-bear.

4) Describe a recurrent dream.
I frequently have dreams that someone is trying to kill me. In High School it was animals trying to kill me. I’m progressed to men trying to kill me now (I never see their face, but it’s not Nick, if you’re wondering). I have night terrors -I wake up screaming and hallucinating. We’ve attributed it to stress, so I try to manage it. It really scares Nick (and Paislee), but most of the time I don’t remember.

5) What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?
My strongest is definitely my sight. I am very observant. I have a horrible sense of smell though, so it wouldn’t be missed if I lost it.

6) If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, which would you choose?
Hm, I do watch a lot of TV, tough question… It would have to be New Girl. I would be thoroughly entertained.

7) What is your blood type?
A Negative

8) If you ever became a hoarder, what would you hoard?
Blankets…actually I might already be a blanket hoarder, LOL.

9) Have you ever been stung by a bee?
The only time I can remember being stung I was in the 4th grade, and I accidentally stepped in a yellow-jacket’s nest. We got stung by the entire pack.

10) If you could go back into time and live in one era, which would you choose?

11) Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous?
I like to plan things out, only because I will plan ahead for myself. For example, maybe I was really looking forward to going to a sit-down restaurant that has bread, but Nick was really craving Taco Bell, so we go there instead. I just really wanted that bread, so I get really disappointed. So I like to plan ahead so I don’t end up looking forward to something and not be fruitful. Or maybe I like to be spontaneous because of that? Ha!

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