How To Ask Me About My Unique Appearance

There are many reasons why I write: to tell my unfiltered story, to bond with others dealing with craniofacial differences, and to educate those who are not. I have always wished that strangers knew more about Treacher Collins syndrome so they could see me the way I see myself. I think people forget that I don’t stare at my uniqueness all day long. The only time I see what I look like is in a mirror or photos. The rest of the time I just witness life around me through my own eyes, the way everyone else does. I see the bridge of my nose, the tips of my bangs, and on occasion, the rim of my glasses. I truly forget that I am even ...

Diary of a Beautiful Disaster Book Launch Recap

Monday, March 27th was a dream come true. It’s when I officially celebrated the launch of Diary of a Beautiful Disaster with the world. (OK, maybe the world is a bit exaggerated, but at least with my friends and family.) I’ve never been a huge enthusiast of public speaking. I don’t mind it. I don’t hate it either. I just don’t love it. Then again, I’m not much of a talker in general, am I? I’m also a little self-conscious of the sound of my voice. It’s very common for people with craniofacial anomalies to have speech impediments. While I did work extraordinarily hard as a child to learn to speak clearly and properly, there’s no denying that my narrow nasal passage complicates things. I definitely sound ...

I am in Control

I often wish I were quick-witted. I wish I knew what to say the very moment it needed to be said. For instance, the other night in an elevator a preteen was standing across from me, noticed something weird about my face, and ran over to her friend to whisper in her ear. Her friend then ran over to stand across from me to stare. I thought to myself: are you serious right now? I need to say something. But all I could blurt out was a very quick "I know you're looking at me!" I wish I had said something stronger. Not spiteful nor malicious, just more impactful. Why say anything you ask? Because if someone is going to be that obvious about my face, I'm going ...

When a Perfectionist Writes a Book

It’s here! It’s finally here! It’s been a year since I found out I would be writing a book and having it published, but in many ways, it feels like I’ve been waiting for this day my entire life. I don’t necessarily believe in fate or destiny, but I have always known I would do something meaningful with my life. For thirty-three years I struggled to figure out how exactly I would do that. When KiCam Projects contacted me in February 2016, I knew I had my answer. It was too perfect to pass up, even if it meant completing a book in roughly four months while still working my full time job. I had never backed down from a challenge before. Why start then? Now that the ...

What Happened When I Took Pride in My Appearance

Ok, I’ll admit it.  When it comes to my appearance, I’m pretty lazy.  Most weekdays I toss my sopping wet hair up into a bun and head out the door to my job.  In my defense, the alarm on my phone usually starts its obnoxious blaring at 4:30 in the morning so I can go for a run.  My gym opens at five and I’m there when the doors unlock.  I’m home and in the shower by 6:45 and I leave for work at 7:45.  You may think that seems like enough time to blow-dry and straighten my hair, but ask my stylist and she’ll confirm I have about three heads worth of it.  An hour really isn’t enough time to do everything I would ...

I Love Me

If you’re anything like me, you find yourself year after year wondering what makes February 14th so dang special. I don’t get it, do you? I’m single (nothing new there) and dateless (yet again) on Valentine’s Day. And I’m actually OK with that. Had you asked a twenty-something-year-old me what I thought about being perpetually single on Valentine’s Day, you probably would have gotten a (self-bought) box of chocolates thrown at you. But at thirty-four, I’m content with February 14th being just another day on my calendar. I do have love in my life. Plenty of it actually. More than I could ever imagine possible. My family loves me. My friends love me. But most important of all, I love me. It may have taken me a lifetime to ...

Make a Muscle for Parker

My experiences with surgeries and scars never broke me.  In fact, they made me stronger and empowered me to look for ways to make the world a better place in any way I could.  One of those ways is by fundraising for charities. I am running the Star Wars 10K in Walt Disney World as a member of Team Muscle Makers for UCMD (Ulrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy).  All proceeds from this design will benefit children and their families who utilize the MDA facilities in California.  The founder of this organization has a son, Parker, with UCMD and she has dedicated so much time and effort into giving back to the association that has shown so much support for her own family. Purchase this shirt and you will ...

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, ...

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