A Letter to My Mockers

To the two boys in The Fresh Market yesterday who pointed and snickered at me: I was too taken aback to confront you in the moment, but since I’ve had the time to process your asinine behavior, I have something I’d like to say to you. Grow the f--- up. You were only about 12 or 13 years old but that doesn’t excuse your behavior. You are never too young (or too old0 to be respectful of someone’s differences. I’ve dealt with my fair share of stares and lingering gazes over the years; I’ve heard the questions kids asked their parents about me; I’ve seen kids point in my direction to show their siblings or friends. But never in my 33 years have I witnessed and knew with ...

How to Create a Better Tomorrow

Friends, Today, and everyday, you have the choice to be the best possible version of yourself. Don’t ever forget that. When the world looks bleak, be the light. Your positive actions could cause a ripple effect with those around you, especially children. Be the role model that your children need so that they may then work towards a unified future. Creating a better tomorrow isn’t easy but it’s not impossible either. It begins at the heart of each one of us.   Believe that the future will be brighter. You’re going to have some tough days when nothing seems to be going right and the world crashes down on top of you. That feeling won’t last forever but you have to change your mentality first. Rise from destruction and ...

Questions with Kristin

Now that I am finished writing my book (yay!), I have more time to concentrate on blogging. I figured this would be the perfect time to let you into my world a little more. I want you to know that I am more than just my syndrome, and the proof is below. Let’s play 21 questions…OK, more like 100 questions. Here are the first 25! Who is your hero? I’ve never had a single hero or idol. Instead I choose to emulate specific values I admire from those closest to me. Although, I do believe there are heroes and they serve in the US Armed Forces. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Vail, Colorado…without question.  It is my safe haven, my happy place, ...

This Just In – Shop Now Open!

I'm so excited to announce the latest addition to the blog, my new shop! I created Sweet Maple Lane as another outlet to promote positive messaging and acceptance. Here we can stand together to fight insecurities and break down barriers.  This shop is run through Customized Girl, which allows you to add my designs to the products of your choice. There truly will be something for everyone here.  I will be uploading new designs as quickly as I create them so please check back frequently. You'll even notice that the proceeds from some designs will be donated to specific charities, helping us bring more awareness to those who need it. I know from experience that even the best of us need to be reminded of our worth, ...

An Open Letter to the Mother of a Newborn with Treacher Collins Syndrome

Last night, my cousin tagged me in a Facebook post about a newborn baby with Treacher Collins Syndrome.  When first finding out she was pregnant, the biological mother planned on giving her up for adoption.  A facial anomaly was unknown during the pregnancy and the mother simply couldn't handle a child at the time.  Adoptive parents were chosen and on the day of the birth, they waited at the hospital for their new baby to arrive.  Once she made her appearance into the world, the adoptive mother went to meet her new daughter, but quickly emerged from the room crying and left the hospital never to return.  Adopting a child with preexisting conditions requires certain approvals that this family hadn't obtained, nor had they known ...

I Lived…by scheduling a boudoir photo session

If you know me, you understand my connection to photography. When I studied abroad in Italy, I finally found my footing in the art world. Even though I had been a declared studio arts major for two years, I didn’t consider myself an artist until I found my niche behind the camera. There was just something about the streets of Florence that propelled me towards this form of raw composition. Ever since my six-month stint as a Florentine, I consider photography to be my art form of choice. I can stare at black and white prints for hours on end, intrigued by the honest subject matter. I’m drawn most to photojournalistic styles since they appear to capture natural moments in time while still telling stories. Last month ...

Coming Soon – It’s A…

I wish I could say I’ve been happy with every single choice I’ve made for my life, but that’s far from the truth. I tend to act spontaneously and think with my heart rather than my head. By doing so, I rarely pass up opportunities because they lead to personal growth. These snap decisions haven’t always led me to happiness, but I cannot regret a single misstep. To quote country singer Darius Rucker: Thank God for all I missed 'cause it led me here to this. For all the chances I took and the mistakes I made, they brought me to this very moment.  Had I not quit my stable job and moved to Massachusetts, I never would have started blogging. If I never started blogging, I never ...

I’m a Runner – That’s What I Do

I will not be trapped. I will not be kept in a cage because someone thinks it’s best for me. I need wide-open spaces for the chance to make my own mistakes and for the freedom to find myself. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I don’t let commitment back me in a corner. I’m the type of girl who can’t fathom breaking ties with the freedom she has been granted and I plot my escape route whenever I see commitment looming on the horizon. When it comes in for the attack, I swerve to avoid all contact and then run like hell in the opposite direction. That’s what happens when you spend all of your post-pubescent life as a unit of one. You become accustomed ...

Falling Into the Love-Drunk Abyss

It’s that time of year again when we are bombarded with romance. Hallmark tells us what to say; Hollywood tells us what to feel; and Russell Stover tells us what to eat. Once more I find myself loveless (but not lonely) on February 14. I don’t believe in celebrating love just one day a year. I’d rather find out that someone loves me on a random Tuesday in March instead. Being single or dateless on this particular date means that I can enjoy another peaceful day without worrying I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day all wrong. I don’t do romance. When it comes down to it, I’m just not that into it. I don’t act like the stereotypical girl. I do sports and art and power tools, but not ...

A new year means it’s time to be…selfish.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. There’s nothing like starting off a brand new year with a cliché, which is what I’m sure most of you are doing today (hello New Year’s resolutions!). Like many of you, I often quickly forget about these resolutions around, eh, January 2nd.  Instead of setting myself up for obvious failure, I’m opting to set a motto for 2016. 2016 - the year of me This is my chance to be absolutely, shamelessly selfish and focus first and foremost on myself. I grew tremendously in the last twelve months, but I’m eager to push my own personal boundaries even further. By focusing on myself, I make reaching my goals a priority. This will raise the quality of ...

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