Finding My Craniofacial Tribe

I was born different. There’s no denying that. Maybe it’s not as noticeable now, but the truth is I wasn’t like all of my peers. Not completely anyways. I had appointments with reconstructive surgeons. I received copious amounts of stares out in public. And I knew the ins and outs of my local children’s hospital. It was all thanks to my craniofacial abnormality.  But I didn’t mind being different then and I certainly don’t mind it now either. It’s who I am and I’ve learned to embrace it. In high school, a teacher posed a question to my class of predominantly Caucasian students. How many of us had ever been the minority? No one raised a hand. It wasn’t until a while later that I realized I ...

The House That Built Me

Today I said goodbye to the only Home I have ever known. About a year ago, my parents made the decision to build a house closer to where I live. I seemed to have been denial about this even though we consistently went to check on the progress when they visited. My parents would certainly back out, right? As that expiration date drew nearer, I realized my time with my childhood Home was limited. One thing I try to hide from the world is that I am a very sensitive person, at least for things that matter most to me. Over the last few months I have cried more than I ever have in my lifetime. I lay in bed and the sobs would unexpectedly rise ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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