Good afternoon!

This year Jason and I stayed in town and spent Thanksgiving with his family! After some gentle prodding from my sister, Alexa, I am very excited to share some of our family’s Thanksgiving dinner pictures with you!:-)

1Here is my sweetie proudly carving the Thanksgiving turkey!! Can you see the pride on his face???:-)

2Check out this spread!! Everyone brought a little something to share in the feast!!:-)

3It was CROWDED!!! It was decided that if we wanted to try and squeeze any more people into my sister’s place, we were going to have to rent a hall!!πŸ˜‰

4Here’s some of the crowd!! From left to right, Morgan, Jason, me, Rudy, Alyssa, Kayla, Derrick, Anna, Gabriel (only the top of his head is showing), Megan, Julian, and Jordan!

5Here is Grandma and Grandpa Feskens, and I am not sure what has Morgan laughing – but I LOVE seeing him look so happy!!πŸ˜‰ The kids did such a great job being patient and waiting for everyone to get to the table, so that we could pray, before they could eat!! There was almost an audible cheer when the kids were finally given permission to eat!!

6Here is mom hanging out in comfy chair that was tucked in the corner!!! The BEST seat in the house!:-)

7Derrick and Anna! I am not sure what they were discussing, but aren’t they cute??:-)

8My niece, Kayla, and I!:-) I love this little fancy girl!!:-)

9Grandma and Grandpa Feskens, with mom smiling in the background!:-)

10Rudy, Alyssa, and Kayla!! Having enjoyed a yummy meal! Waiting for pie!!πŸ˜‰

11Kayla and Gabriel!!! These kids are growing up sooooo fast!!πŸ˜‰

12Here is Julian enjoying his turkey leg!!!πŸ˜‰

13Cousins, Riley and Christopher – ABSOLUTELY inseparable!!! These two are practically young men!! Where does the time go???

IMG_2012This is Megan giving me a pose!! Before I know it she is going to be a full on teenager!!:-)

14Uncle Jay-Jay harrasing Chris!! They have so much fun together!!:-)

15Jason getting ready to mow down on his Thanksgiving dessert stash!! Fruit salad, sweet potato souffle, and green frozen jello!

16I can’t remember what I was talking about it, but apparently arm motions were definitely required to get my point across!:-)

17Riley and Chris again, being silly!!:-)


18Jason and Kayla!! She is such a snuggly girl!!:-)

19Yep! This is Jason and I! I really do love this man!!πŸ˜‰

20We really did have such a good Thanksgiving!!! This sign that is in Nette’s living room really sums our day up!!πŸ˜‰

Here is to a FABULOUS Thanksgiving!! ;-)

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

CrownGood morning!

I am not sure if you have noticed, maybe you have, but I really haven’t been blogging here as much as I used to.

I started ChristinaVille on April 4th, 2010, can you believe it has really been that long? My intention for starting ChristinaVille was to have an outlet to share my day-to-day ramblings with whomever would listen. I didn’t really have any other goal outside of my own personal wishes, and in the last few months, I have been really convicted that I need to be blogging, not just for myself, but for others. I am a firm believer that we are here to learn from each others experiences. I have been having a hard time with the fact that my blog name is ChristinaVille. I know, silly right? but hear me out – ChristinaVille is a monicker my family gave to me a long time ago because I always want things done my way; I guess it is the plight of being born the oldest to 5 girls. Evens though I still struggle with wanting things done my way a lot of the time, I want my message to encompass more than me.

More than anything I want to help women realize that their wildest dreams can come true, and they can truly have the life that they desire. To help make that happen, I have decided that I will no longer be updating ChristinaVille, and have started a new blog called This Artsy Life. I will however, keep ChristinaVille up on the internet so all of the many hundreds of posts that I have written thus far will continue to be available to anyone interested in reading them.

My goal at This Artsy Life is to create a space where women can find resources, and encouragement to go after their dreams, while living a creative, art-filled life. It will be an evolving process, and even as I speak about it now, I am not sure how I will make it happen, but I know in my soul that this is the next step in my evolution. It is my job to be brave and take it.

Starting over is scary, but I think that having a clean slate is going to be exactly what I need to get from where I am to where I want to be.

I would be so honored if you would join me there, and subscribe to This Artsy Life. I know that I still have a lot more to share in my life, and I would LOVE for you to be a part of my journey!

Thank you so much for so many FABULOUS days! Here is to many, many more!!πŸ˜‰

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Good evening!

This is going to be a short post this evening! I have a to-do list that seems to be a mile long, but I promised my sister, Alexa, that I would share some pictures as soon as I was able to locate them. Well, I found them!! GO ME!!!πŸ˜‰

My sweetie and I

My sweetie and I

I should probably tell you what these pictures are from. For those of you who may not already know, my sweetie and I had gastric bypass surgery this past year. My sweetie has lost 150+ pounds, and I am floating around a 95 pound loss. Anyway, every year the center where our FABULOUS team of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, psychologists, and counselors all do their day to day magic, host a big gala for all of their patients who have had the surgery.

My sweetie looking dapper in his tie! ;-)

My sweetie looking dapper in his tie!πŸ˜‰

Needless to say, this was our first year going, and I have to tell you I was really nervous because I had no idea what to expect! Everyone gets all dressed up, and goes to the convention center here in town for a formal sit-down dinner. There is a professional photographer there and you basically get to share your stories with others, see you how your friends are doing, and pretty much just show off the newer slimmer, trimmer you!! It was like prom night for formerly obese people – ok, so that may not sound so glamorous, but trust me IT WAS!!!

Myself & BobbieJo! One of my FAVORITE peeps!!

Myself & BobbieJo! One of my FAVORITE peeps!!

We really did have an amazing time!! I look forward to going again next year, after I have been out of surgery for over a year! I can’t wait to see what I look like then!!

Anyway, we have not gotten our professional pictures yet, but I will be very happy to share those with you when I get my hands on them!!

Here is to a FABULOUS night!:-)

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

JoggingGood evening!

I am having such a freaking good day, that I could not help but get excited and tell you all about it!!!:-)

First of all, after over a year on hiatus, I have started writing my morning pages again! For those of you that may not know, morning pages are a tool that Julia Cameron developed, who by the way is the author of The Artist’s Way, a fabulous book that I highly recommend for anyone wanting to tap into their authentic inner self!! Anyway, back to morning pages, it is basically writing, free-hand your randomly flowing thoughts for 3 pages first thing every morning. It is a great way to tap into your inner self, and to really listen to what God is trying to tell you and what your soul is longing for or feeling. When I first started doing morning pages, it was about the beginning of 2011, and at the time, I swore I would never stop doing them because they just have therapeutic way of helping you clear your head and see the world from a clear vantage point! Well, long story short, life happens and I stopped doing writing in my mornings, among other things.

You may have also noticed that I have not been blogging very much lately. Well, I have a confession. Not only have I not been connecting with myself by writing my morning pages, I stopped doing my artist dates, my belly dancing class, all forms of exercising, and blogging! Blogging, and all of these other things are so intimate and personal, and I really was sick of spending time with myself. I have realized that I have really been suffering from not wanting to spend any quality time with myself, so I have been doing everything and anything to keep the external chatter so loud that I have not been able to hear myself think. Literally. and I have to tell you, when I realized that this is what I had been doing, I was not only surprised, but realized I needed to turn off all of the external stimuli and get in touch with me again!!! My inner child was definitely starting to throw a hissy fit wanting to just have some pj time at home, with no obligations or commitments. So…. after a weekend of sitting around in my pajamas all weekend, doing almost nothing except reading, spending quality time with my sweetie, watching movies, and crocheting like a fiend, I decided it was time to make time for me, and put my internal dialogue back into the forefront of my life again.

Jogging 2

I am recommitting to my morning pages!

I am recommitting to blogging!

I am recommitting to taking long walks to absolutely nowhere!

I am recommitting to dancing like a crazy person for no other reason that it is just absolutely fun!!

I am recommitting to singing at the top of my lungs! My neighbors deserve to have a good laugh every once in a while too!!!

and I am recommitting to listen to myself. To my inner Chrissie, and whatever it is that she needs to have heard.

I am here.

I can be quiet.

I am listening.

Jogging 3I know my inner me has something that she is just struggling to get out into the universe, and I have decided it is time to start making the actions that will help her, instead of hold her back!! So, this morning, I woke up extra early! Walked my half-asleep self into my freezing cold art studio, and wrote, wrote, wrote!!! When I was done, I hadn’t felt so free in a really, REALLY long time!! Like I had lifted the weight of the world off of my shoulders.

Jogging 4

This simple act of spending time with myself writing emboldened me to do more with my day, so I decided that as soon as I got off from work this afternoon, that I would head over to the local high school track and I would walk, walk, walk, but first I would jog a quarter of a mile. Ok, I realize that may not sound like a lot to some of you, but I am a 37 year old, former 330 pound woman, who hasn’t had serious exercise in about 6 months, this was a pretty good freaking start!!! One of my goals this year is to run a mile, and then a 5k, and eventually a 10k, but let’s not get ahead of myself!!!πŸ˜‰

Jogging 5

Finally, when we did get home, I have a mountain of about 500 books that I am working on selling online, but in all honesty I had COMPLETELY overwhelmed myself with the daunting thought of


Well, I realized that if I can jog a quarter of a mile, on a whim, I certainly could post a few books online to sell, just to get the ball rolling. Well, I committed to posting 5 books, and ended up posting 12 – that really does take a lot more time than one might think that would take!!

Happy, Happy Girl!!! ;-)

Happy, Happy Girl!!!πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I feel so at ease, like there is hope for tonight, hope for tomorrow. I really can do what I put my mind to if I am willing to step up to the mirror and just face it.

No more hiding.

No more wishing someone else would make it all happen for me.

Today is the day.

Now is the time.

and that realization is energizing!!!

Here is to a FABULOUS evening, not being afraid to get quiet and listen!!πŸ˜‰

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Good evening!

I know that to say “Happy New Year” on January 10th is a little johnny-come-lately, but I figured that it is better late than never!! So…


2012 was a pretty great year for a lot of great changes for both my sweetie and myself, and I personally am very excited to see what 2013 has in store for us!!!

As you may already know, my sweetie and I have both had gastric bypass surgery this past year, and my sweetie has lost a little more than 150 pounds. I have lost almost 95 pounds. I only throw that little tidbit in this evening because I know a lot of my friends are curious – you are, aren’t you!! Yeah – I knew it!!!πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I did something ABSOLUTELY INSANE tonight, that I am SERIOUSLY-CRAZY-SUPER-EXCITED about!! I have just purchased about 500 like-brand-spanking-new books!!! WHOA!!! and it only cost me $100 dollars!! I can hear some of you saying, “like you really needed any more books???” Ok, so no, I don’t NEED any more books, but I’ve got a plan!! and I am going to keep my plan under my toup’ for a little while! (BTW, that is toupee for those of you who I may have just confused the heck out of!!!)

What else?? Well, Christmas was pretty cool!! My sweetie went above and beyond in the gift-giving department. Everything that he got me made me feel uber-girly, and I LOVED every single gift I got this year. My sweetie got me:

Urban Decay's Naked Eye Pallette

Urban Decay’s Naked Eye Pallette

Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark

Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark

Katy Perry's Perfume Purr

Katy Perry’s Perfume Purr

A Cute DS Travel Bag

A Cute DS Travel Bag

Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook

Fannie Flagg’s Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook

Quitter book by Jon Acuff

Quitter book by Jon Acuff

Plus my sisters got me a really cute Santa at his toy workbench – SOOOOOO CUTE!!Β  and a two foot Christmas tree COVERED in Hallmark Santa ornaments – ABSOLUTELY INGENIOUS!!!

So, all-in-all, it was an AWESOME Christmas!!!

Anyway, I have a whole slew of chores that I still need to get done this evening before I get to go to bed soooo…

Here is to a FABULOUS evening!! ;-)

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!








CrownGood morning!

Have you heard that it is FRIDAY????

Well, it is!


Which means I am happy to share my Friday’s Bliss List with you. This is the list where I focus on all of the things that I am grateful for, the things that are currently making me happy!!!

My Friday’s Bliss List:

  1. I get to make a ton of Christmas cookies this weekend for my church!! Just thinking about it makes me feel like a kid again!!πŸ˜‰
  2. I am loving my crocheting lunches with my girlfriend, Chris!!
  3. I am married to the world’s BEST MAN!!πŸ˜‰
  4. My puppies are always sooooo happy to see me, no matter how my day has gone!!
  5. It is December – MY FAVORITE month of the year!!!
  6. My Christmas tree is sparklingly LOVELY!!
  7. I live in a GORGEOUS part of the US!!! I just love the Pacific Northwest!!
  8. I get to spend some quality time in my art studio tomorrow!! IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG MY OLD FRIENDS!!!πŸ˜‰
  9. This Sunday is our first time at our church’s Jingle Jam – I am not exactly sure what that is yet, but I have it on good authority that it is going to be F-U-N!!!πŸ˜‰
  10. God is so good, and we are so blessed, and are ABSOLUTELY FEELING IT!!!πŸ˜‰

Now, that I have shared My Bliss with you, now it is your turn! Go to the comments section, and let me know what you are thankful for this Friday!!πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to read them!!πŸ˜‰

Here is to a VERY THANKFUL Friday!!πŸ˜‰

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!

CrownGood evening!

I realize I am severely overdue on a post, and thought I should just stop procrastinating and get on that this evening!!

I would love to tell you that I have been uber-productive, and that I have tons of great news, but really?? my life is automatic-mode at the moment. I am busy, really busy. Almost to the point of asking myself, “why the heck am I keeping myself so busy for?” None of it is terribly important, but maybe it has become my habit??

My sweetie and are still working on getting out of non-mortgage debt. We have 4 of 6 credit cards gone, and our car to finish paying off. We have been working like crazy people to make that happen, and thankfully that should be accomplished by next August!!


On my weight loss journey…I have lost 85 pounds so far, which I know is a WHOLE HECK OF A LOT, but my weight loss is really just going so slowly, and the fact that I have been plateaued for a few weeks is really getting discouraging!! On a positive note, I am getting ready to go back in to make sure my thyroid medicine is at the right dosage, but we are thinking maybe not so much, so hopefully we can get that resolved soon, and my weight can start coming off again! I know I only have a 12 to 18 month magic window where my body is supposed to reset itself, so I am ready to get that moving again soon!!πŸ˜‰

Married life is AWESOME!! Jason and I are doing FAMOUSLY!!! I honestly have to admit that we are back in the honeymoon phase and we just could not be happier with each other, so that is FREAKIN’-FABULOUS!!!

Oh, I have a confession to make – I have become a HuluPlus junkie!! Jason and I don’t normally watch too much television, but for some reason, as the weather has been getting colder, and the days shorter, I find that I have been gluing my heinie to the tele for hours on end!! It is awesome to be able to catch up on some of our favorite shows, as well as find waaaaaay too many new ones to fall in to!! I seriously need to do something about this!! I know that my body would benefit so much more if I spent the time exercising, or dancing, or playing, or really just about anything, but there you go!!πŸ˜‰

What else?? Well, we are all decorated for Christmas, and have bought all of the presents we are going to buy this year, so that feels good to be done with all of that!! This year, as most every year, we are going down to my family’s place in Roseburg.Β  I will try and make it a point to post some of our Christmas pics later this weekend!

OH, another new obsession…CROCHETING!!! My girlfriend, Chris and I have been crocheting like fiends every day at lunch! It is quite addicting!!! I have already gotten a baby blanket made, and am just now starting another throw blanket! We are actively working on recruiting some fellow crocheters to join us once a month for a stitch-and-bitch club, which I think would be a HOOT!!! Any volunteers???πŸ˜‰

Alright, I think that is about it for this evening’s rambling session!! I am planning on getting some crocheting done, while watching some tele – I know, I did just say that I have to break the cycle, but really? I just am not feeling in the mood to change my bad habits this evening!!πŸ˜‰

Here is to a FABULOUS evening!!πŸ˜‰

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Good morning!!

it is about 3:15 in the morning, and my sweetie and I are spending a lovely time down in Roseburg with my family for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately this morning, my sister’s neighbors have decided to have a party, and I have been unable to go back to sleep since about 2 o’clock. So, instead of dwelling on the negativeΒ I thought I would try and add something new, and even though it is technically Sunday, I thought that now would be the best time to start my Friday Bliss List!!! A list to focus on what I am grateful for, the things that make me happy!!!

My Bliss List…

  1. My awesome husband!! I am still in awe that even after 17 years of marriage, we can still be madly in love with each other!!!
  2. Being able to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving!
  3. Our four-legged girls who love us unconditionally!
  4. Having lost enough weight that sleeping on an air mattress is kind of fun!! Kind of!!πŸ˜‰
  5. Having gotten all of our Christmas shopping done early, on budget, and entirely in cash!!! (Thank you, Dave Ramsey!)
  6. I am still a sucker for a really good book!!
  7. Spending time learning some new crochet stitches! It is so relaxing, and when you have friends who likes to crochet with you, that is THE BEST!!!
  8. Coming home. There truly is no place like home!!
  9. Being fit enough to out play our nephews!!
  10. Realizing that the neighbors may have finally gone to bed, which means I can now get back to sleep!!!

See, I knew this Bliss List was going to be a good idea!!!

Here is to a FABULOUS morning/day!!!


If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Good evening!

I realized it has been a while since I have posted, and I wanted to make a point to get on this evening and give some quick updates on how everything is going.

Long story short…

Life is good!!


As far as my weight loss goes, things have been going rather well. So far I am down about 75 pounds, but am plateuaing at the moment, which is frustrating, but very normal, so I am not too worried!! Now that the weather has gotten really cold and rainy, it has been a bit more difficult to get out and get moving, so I am going to have to get creative! Maybe some workout videos, or mall walking, or something like that!:-)

I have to tell you, I am so proud of my sweetie! As you may remember, he had bariatric surgery 6 weeks before I had, and as of this morning he has lost 139 pounds so far, bring his total weight to under 300 pounds! Isn’t that AMAZING?? I am really just so proud of him!!! Keep up the good work, love!!!:-)


Jason and I are still going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and we are making leaps and bounds kind of progress – at least to us!! You may know that there are 7 steps to Dave’s plan, and Jason and I have completed step 1, Put $1,000 away for a mini emergency fund. We are currenlty working on step 2, and that is to pay off all of your non-mortgage debt. This step is going to take us at least a year to complete.

We have been busily selling items from our home to try and help pay this debt off. I have sold most of my clothes on E-Bay, and Jason has sold a hide-a-bed-loveseat, and our old laptop! This hasΒ been great, because not only can we use the extra room in our tiny place, it has felt really good to get debt paid off. So far we have paid off 3 of our 6 credit cards, and 3 of our medical bills!! That is such a GREAT feeling! At this point, we are thinking this step will be finished in August 2013. YEAH!!!


Besides getting some items out of the house sold, Jason and I have been actively downsizing, purging unneeded belongings. Our goal is to have everything we own fit into our two bed, one car garage condo. It is just too insane to have so much STUFF when you think that only 2 people live here!! I know that we have been married 17 years, so we have had quite some time to accumulate all of this stuff. So, we have a lot of work to do to accomplish this goal, but I know in the past month or so, we have made a lot of progress!!


Work is good and work is not so good! It is good, because I am on a FABULOUS team, with supportive management. It is not so good because we have so much work to do and there are onlyΒ 3 of us to get all of that work done. How we are going to manage without some serious stress (or some serious drinking (just kidding)) I have no idea!!! It doesn’t look like things are going to let up until about May or June of next year!! I guess we are just going to have to hunker down and do the best we can with what we’ve got!! GO TEAM!!!πŸ˜‰


Last but not least! Life really has been so good! Jason and I are doing great, our relationship is stronger than ever. It still awes me that even after 17 years of marriage you can actctually be in love with your spouse! Not only that, but passion doesn’t have to die – with some devoted time and attention, you really can keep the flame burning!! I think that it has been helpful that we are in better shape than when we were first married! Our energy levels are through the roof!!

I have said it before, and I have a feeling I will keep saying it again!!


Ok, so I am done gushing and rambling about my life is going!!

I am off to spend a nice, quiet evening with my sweetie!!

Here is to a FABULOUS evening! ;-)

Β If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!

Good afternoon!

I ran across a post on one of my favorite blogs, Artsyville. Every week, Aimee, chooses a topic to art and then post about, and she calls it “List it Tuesday”. Well, I have to tell you, I was immediately inspired! Between my love of arting, and love of making lists I thought that this weekly challenge would be right up my alley!!

This week’s topic is “I am a sucker for…”

Here is my sucker list:

I had so much fun doing this, and it gave me a reason and an excuse to get back into my art studio this evening!! I hope that I am able to make this a weekly feature of ChristinaVille!!:-)

Here is to a FABULOUS evening!πŸ˜‰

Β If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!

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