My life is a movie script.

Sometimes things happen in my life that are quite out of the ordinary. Strange circumstances like a toilet smashing to the floor seconds after using it or slicing my foot open during a photo shoot on a rogue piece of glass are just a regular part of my life. I also have very touching things happen like the day I met my husband playing in the mud or when my children saw me act for the first time. And sometime down right serious things happen in my life like when I picked up an old man on the side of the road or my youngest had an adoption melt down. Of course, these aren't every day occorunces, but they happen often enough to me that when something like the day I had yesterday occur, my friends just say, "It could only happen to Karissa!" Let's set the scene.

I was feeling under the weather for the third day in a row as I finished up my rehearsal for my upcoming show of "Miracle on 34th Street" at Garden Theatre as I got into my car to drive home. It had been a productive time of genuine connections on stage with my co-actors but I was preparing myself for the stress that await me at home: over-booked schedules and feverish kid as I drove down the highway. The call to my husband letting him know I was driving home had concluded and I was left with my thoughts.

Suddenly, it felt like something hit my front driver side wheel and my car began to thump and bump and jump as a horrible noise was happening. I slowed my 80 mph speed down and crossed three lanes of traffic with my 4-way flashers brightly signaling all who surrounded that I was not O.K. Thankfully, I was able to do this with no incident and was oblivious to how seriously I could have been hurt if my car had decided to respond to the incident by spinning or flipping.

Once I was off the highway, I assessed the damage: tread completely off the tire, wheel well dragging and cracked, front turn signal missing, and front bumper broken and dangling. Tow truck called, while I Periscoped (find me @theactingmom) to pass the time, parents came to the house to watch my four sleeping kids so my husband could be my knight in shining armor and rescue me from the side of the busy Thursday night highway.

The tow truck showed up sooner than I expected and started to lift my vehicle off the group with me still in it! No hello from the tow truck driver. No, "are you all right?" No, "please, get out of the vehicle before I start jacking it to heaven." NOTHING. As I sat in the passenger side seat, I felt myself rise to a higher elevation than one should while broken down on the side of the road. I hurriedly grabbed my script, water bottles and theatre bag as I scurried out into the midnight air.

My knight didn't have time to come rescue me because of the efficiency of the tow driver, so he met me at our mechanic and we drove home, with a stop at McDonald's for really-horrible-non-organic comfort food. No sooner had we said thank you to my Mom for sitting with the kids and my husband laid his head on the pillow after a stressful day then what should transpire but another unfortunate circumstance.

The bedroom door opened, little feet scurried to the bathroom and then I heard moaning. I quietly knocked, opened the door and the eruption of liquids began to pour from my oldest's mouth. All over the floor, himself and anything in between. I coaxed by poor child to aim at the toilet, but the force took over and drenched the wall, vanity, and sink. It looked like a crime scene in that tiny hall bathroom as I cleaned up my son and the mess. The couch was quickly turned into a bed, complete with a vomit bucket and I myself headed to shower, wondering why the house felt so hot.

More incidents happened throughout the night with some of our other children interrupting our sleep complaining of hurting teeth and confusion as to why their roommate wasn't in their bed. After a fitful night, I woke up to the cold that had plagued me the previous days intensified with three kids asking when I was serving breakfast. The house felt warmer than usual, but I chalked it up to a possible fever until I had a cup of liquid caffeine in me.

Took my temperature. No fever. So I went to turn the AC down only to find that it was 81 degrees in the house! Jumped on the phone to call my mechanic about the car that had been dropped off at nearly midnight and then called our AC guy. And what do you suppose happened? It would be too easy if he was available to come out and inspect things in the morning. Instead, he had lost his technician, his receptionist had quit and he was on vacation in another state until Monday. Lovely. Since my brother's family just had their AC  unit fixed yesterday (their life could also be a movie script!), I called for their recommendation but he won't be available until the end of today.

So, I am seated in my bedroom with fans spinning, lines to memorized, a sick kid and two others with boundless energy, laughing. Laughing at how much my past 24 hours is reminiscent of many comedies I've seen on the silver screen and wonder if all this craziness could make me a box office smash, if I only wrote it down.

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A Cause in a Cup

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Wendy’s. All opinions are 100% mine.

Adoption is the heartbeat of much of this blog. Once you open up your life and home to someone born to another person, it changes the way you view the world. Everything you encounter fits through that new lens and my blog and social media did the same when our adopted sons, Andrew and Simon entered our family nearly three years ago. A lot of what I post around the internet focuses on social justice issues and today's post also highlights that very topic.

Wendy’s is known for their delicious JR. bacon cheeseburgers and Frosty, but there is a far greater reputation they have because of their founder Dave Thomas. In 1992 Mr. Thomas created a foundation that had a very personal connection called the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Being an adopted child himself, he understood the importance a forever family has on a child's life and set out to help other kids who were just like him. Through his foundation Mr. Thomas has served more than 11,500 children and has helped more than 4,500 children be adopted. With the ongoing support and collaboration of Wendy’s adoption page, the foundation works to find permanent, loving homes for the 130,000+ children who are currently waiting in North America’s foster care system.


I really had no idea that such a great organization existed in one of my favorite burger joints! Recently I went through the drive-thru at Wendy's on my way to a performance and noticed that they had a new design on their cups. Children's illustrations adorn the cold and specialty beverage cups and there is an amazing story behind each design. I received Richard's cup the last time I ate at Wendy's and he shared his "family first" moment at the zoo. Since we are annual zoo pass holders, I immediately connected with this 9 year old's experience. Here are Richard's illustrations turned into a short film highlighting his trip:

The four illustrations featured on the Wendy's cups now through November were drawn by children who have been adopted through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a collaboration between Wendy's and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption that focus on the kids that have been waiting the longest for a family. Each story appears to be an ordinary moment in any family, but the moving animated films utilizing the kid's drawings and personal stories shed light on the importance a family plays in the life of a waiting child. Each only a minute long, it's quick to see the great impact Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program had on these four children plus 4,500 others who have been stuck in foster care for far too long. All four videos can be seen here.


Foster care has always been something my husband and I have been drawn towards. I sat and watched each video with a tissue in hand because I knew I would cry. Something as simple as a mom, dad, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins can change the trajectory of a person's life for the better. And all it takes is one family saying yes to one kid and this miracle takes place. I'm getting teary-eyed even typing these words because I know first hand that Andrew and Simon will be forever changed because they are a part of my family and I'm forever changed because I'm a part of theirs.

What makes Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program unique is the 206 recruiters that are hired specifically to take on a caseload of children that the system has forgot, partnering with these children to give them the attention they deserve and working aggressively to find these children their forever families. Children like Rigo, Angel, Olivia and Richard need an advocate to come alongside of them and make sure that their best interest is what is being pursued with vigor and tenacity. Because of Wendy's and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, kids in the foster care system are receiving this type of care and consideration.

Dear friends of mine have fostered and adopted through the foster care system here in the United Sates and it has been spectacular to witness the growth that happens when a child has the permanence of a loving, supportive family. Adoption is a wonderful thing to consider and Wendy's has free resources and an adoption guide for those interested in learning more information. Maybe adoption isn't something your family can consider at this time but you would like to help; the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption website has lots of information about practical ways you can get involved.

Another way you can help is to share this blog post with your friends and family on social media to continue to spread the word about foster care adoption for the 130,000 other children who are still in the foster care system. And the final way is to make a financial contribution directly to the foundation.


Thanks for taking the time to learn more about Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and don't forget to share your favorite family moments or adoption stories in the comments below. Take a spin through the drive-thru at Wendy's today, grab one of these fantastic cups and remember what Dave Thomas said,


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Big Ballet for my Little Ballerina

My only daughter has taken exactly one ballet class. And she hated it. She loved wearing the leotard, the tiny tu-tu and little ballet flats that adorned her tiny feet. But the moment she walked into the class with the teenage instructor, she was ready to bolt for the door at the idea of standing in perfect positions and controlled arms. We probably started her too young for her wild, I-have-3-brothers spirit, but a week doesn't go by without her asking when she will start back at her ballet classes. It made a lasting impression.

And so when I was contacted about attending the Moscow Ballet right in my hometown by US Family Guide and sharing information on discounted tickets with my readers, how could I refuse?!?! Below is all the information you need and if you aren't local to me, there are many shows taking place all over the United States where the discount would still apply.

The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker is coming to Lakeland Dec. 30 and we will be in that audience! My readers can save on tickets now with this exclusive offer from US Family Guide .

It's the ultimate holiday tradition and creates memories for a lifetime. The production includes over 200 romantic costumes and 10' tall playful animal puppets; shimmering colorful, backdrops splashed with 3-D effects; life-sized Matrushka (Nesting) Dolls and a puppet show for shadowing the Nutcracker Story at the opening Christmas Party. 

During the battle with Nutcracker Prince and the 3-headed Rat King, a golden cannon shoots roses! In the Magical Snow Forest an authentic Russian style Troika Sleigh, known as the fastest sleigh in the world, is escorted by Father Christmas (Ded Moroz) and Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) on their way to Act II. The Great Russian Nutcracker is known for its dedication to world peace with Act II named the "Land of Peace and Harmony." The first scene of Act II features a stunning "Dove of Peace" with a 20' wingspan and danced by 2 dancers each with one feathered wing. All ages feel the spirit of the season at Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker! Use the code JOY to get the biggest discount of the season for your family.

Save on the Moscow Ballet's celebrated Great Russian Nutcracker 2015 North American Tour. USE PROMO CODE: JOY

We are using our tickets as a Christmas gift for my daughter and I can not wait to see her face light up with excitement. She's never seen a ballet in person and I thrilled that her first experience will be with the world renowned Moscow Ballet.