“I always dreamt of being a mom,” and a great mom she turned out to be. Kristi Waller is a mother, grandmother, wife, and a friend. She works everyday but has time to make everyone in her family knows she is thinking of them and loves them. She did not have the easiest childhood, but it made her a strong woman today.
Kristi learned her family values from her mother. Eloise, Kristi’s mother, attached herself to her children after her husband died in a tragic farming accident. The accident happened when Kristi was 11 years old. Growing up without a father is a hard task for any child.
“I wish I had a male figure in my life when I was growing up,” says Kristi. Eloise was a great mother to Kristi and her siblings, but something was always missing. Eloise did not handle the loss well and relied on her children very much to fill the empty spaces in her life. The family stuck together through every sad moment and every happy moment and became a stronger family unit because they knew Wendell would want them to be happy. “My mom tried her best to fill all the voids we had growing up without a father figure.”
Kristi’s family lived in a small rural town called Holstein, Iowa. She went to nursing school in Iowa City and then returned home to marry the love of her life Steve Waller. She met Steve in school and they fell in love and got married at the age of 21. “He had the same values as me, family first,” was how Kristi described how she knew Steve was her one and only.
In their 35 years of marriage they have been blessed with four children and now three grandchildren. “My life revolves around my children and going to see them at any chance possible.” Her family may be spread all over Iowa and Nebraska, but distance does not stop Kristi. “I make sure to see my grandchildren at least once a month.”
Kristi knew she wanted a family once she was married. “I wanted a large family, 13 kids, a family full of laugher and happiness.” She had a hard life as a child and did not want her children to miss out on any things families should do together. Her family time was full of a lot of sadness and she wanted her kids to have everything that a family should have. Kristi and Steve took vacations with the family all through the kids’ younger years. Every holiday was spent together and every birthday was a huge celebration.
Stephanie, Kristi’s oldest daughter, says “My mother is a strong woman. She is so family-oriented and I hope to carry on her values into my own family.”
“My wife is the reason my family is so great. She gave me four amazing children and I hope she knows how much we all love her,” says Steve. “Kristi is hard working. She tries to put a smile on everyone’s face.” “She knows what to say to someone to make them feel better. She went through sadness and she knows how to help people get through anything.”
Kristi works hard to make sure her family is happy. She would not trade anything for family time because to her, “Family is first.”