Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So I come back to the lyrics that awoke with me this morning…

“… just gonna stand there and watch me burn, but that’s alright, cuz I like the way it hurts.”

Like everyone, I have made my fair share of mistakes I would like to forget, and I understand how easy it is to get wrapped up in the memories of who I used to be and think about the things I did or said, or allowed to happen to me or my children-things that today’s Cristin would never dream of… When I get in that space, it is easy to let others “stand there and watch me burn”, because the self destructive side of me “ likes the way it hurts”. But that is the old me.

I am grateful for my followers who recognize when I am burning and tell me jump in the water! I hope for my friend that the people he loves most will choose to follow his parade, learn the stories that shaped who he is today and watch the change as he learns to march to the beat of his own drum.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and in its own time. My life path is no different. I am grateful that I chose my family - both the one I was born into and the one I bore. That I chose the trials that have been mine, because for better or worse- they have given me life experience that has crafted me into the person I am today, and I like me. I am grateful that I have attracted these followers to my parade and that they are there because they choose to be, not because they feel obligated to stand and watch the parade march by. I feel so blessed and grateful this morning for those people… who take the time to follow because they love me.

I wish for each of you- loving followers to your parade, just waiting for you to be wonderful so they can yell out to support you, and willing to douse you in water the minute they see you start to burn…

From the bottom of my heart… Cristin

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have a friend who I have come to love for many different reasons. I have only known him a relatively short while. Some months ago I saw his parade passing by and decided to watch a while. The more I watched the more I loved it and decided I would like to follow it. I chose to follow because of the strength in which he held his banner, because of the smile he had for everyone he passed, because he stopped to help when he saw someone getting trampled in the crowd of onlookers. I choose to keep following because of the stories I hear about where he has been, who he has seen and affected, and the choices he makes daily to be a better man. His path has been riddled with as much darkness, sadness and self destructive behavior as mine, and like me, he is making choices now to change it. To be the person he truly wants to be.

Like me, he was raised in the LDS faith, following the path laid out before him, making all the right choices: lived clean, worked hard, served a fantastic mission, got multiple degrees, had a temple marriage, children, successful jobs, money, callings, leadership… and ended up trying to smile over the lie his life had become, though a marriage devoid of friendship and love. Looking back, he made mistakes he can’t do anything about… but I am sorry…haven’t we all? Haven’t we all reached a crossroads at least once, and known we made the wrong decision? Can you go back and change it? No. You just have to do the best you can and move forward. Trying to do that… how many of us have had to deal with our bad choices being advertised to those we love most and the world we live in? And how many of us in spite of it all, have taken the opportunity to look our demon straight in the eye and tell him to go to hell? How many of us have had the strength to make the daily choice to push forward-smiling, even when the very blood running through our veins is screaming at us to make a different choice- to take the easier, more traveled road? My friend has… and he does.

Unlike me, those he cares about the most are not close to him, so they are missing out on the process. Because of their limited exposure, they only know what others tell them about him and remember the old version of him that wasn’t good to himself, or as good to others as he wanted but was not capable of being at the time. They don’t have the benefit of the great stories about him from when he was younger, or memories of the good man he tried to be under not so great circumstances, or watching the change happening now and seeing the wonderful man he IS- emerge from the ashes of the man they used to know…

Sunday, September 12, 2010


If you know me at all, you know I live my life and express myself through not only songs and music, but stories from my past. I LOVE remembering the good stuff and I guess I keep it alive by sharing… so if you have ever shared a car ride, an afternoon at the park, a day at the mall or even a simple lunch with me, you have probably heard at least one story that helps you understand how I got where I am now… this beautiful path which I call my life! Now the point I want to make with that in mind… if you run across something you don’t quite understand about me, chances are you will either remember a story I have told you or experienced something on your own with me, which will help you try to make it right in your brain because you want to- because you care enough about who I am today, you are willing to search that which you know about who I used to be to reconcile the quirkiness and move on.

Not everyone is as open with the chapters of their life as I am. It is a blessing and a curse for me, so I understand those who choose to keep themselves to themselves. But there are times that I feel knowing a person’s story- who they used to be and how they got to the path they are currently following- that helps us understand WHY they are there, and even endears us to them because we can feel compassion for them. “Walk a mile” so to speak.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


On any given day, I have half a dozen teenagers wander through my home or yard, waiting on one of my boys, taking food out of my cupboards and fridge, grabbing a hug and sometimes a kiss from the parental unit they all call mom… that would be me. J Some of them have known me for 10 years or better and others just met me this month, but they all gravitate here and I love it. If you were to tell any one of them that I used to be a frustrated, overwhelmed, could barely smile at the kids who passed through my home-mom, (because they were interrupting the schedule I had so carefully crafted for my children to be “well rounded happy individuals”) they would probably laugh in your face. Cristin? Mom? No way! Hewy and Devin may remember whispers of that woman, but probably not because they didn’t spend much time here the. The mom they all know today is who I really am- just me-pouring out at the seams, ready and willing to accept all who enter with a smile and a cookie if they are lucky! I like her much better than the old me- trying to filter through everything and still smile at the person standing in front her. I used to have to struggle for the energy to smile at my own kids and show them the love they deserved, let alone welcome somebody else’s kid in my home. Thankfully not anymore!

I know my big boys remember that woman. They loved her because she was their mom. Nic talks often about the struggles growing up in this house with the cloud of tension constantly threatening to rain on his picnic. The woman I am today is the mom they choose to love because they want to and it comes naturally. This space is much happier for everyone who enters.

I have had the benefit of having my kids, close friends and family here the past couple years… while I was breaking the hard shell off of the exterior and allowing my true self, the room to BE. Because they have been here every step of the way and watched the process happen, I think it has been easier for them to grasp and to forgive the ugliness in the woman they have always called mom. I hope that as the years go by, they will learn to forget as well. Because really, what is the point of remembering things that don’t make you feel good inside, right?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Introduction to the Parade

I realized something in one of my restless thought processes last night or maybe it was this morning... The only people who really know who I am today, are the ones who are currently in my life and hear my daily happenings. My life is changing so quickly these days. I have chosen a path and find myself in unfamiliar territory at times, but the surroundings are familiar. I guess it is because I am creating the road as I go, using my life experience to make the road what I want it to be. It is a little scary, but exciting, and at the end of each day when I lay my head down, I am generally at peace...

Because there are only a handful of people who are choosing to be followers as my parade goes by, there are few who can even pretend to understand me. I am ok with that though. 1- I don’t feel the need for everyone to understand me and 2- those who are most important to me are here- My children, my closest friends and some of family members. When my parade began, there were so many people waving flags and hollering as I marched by. Because they recognized the path, it was easy to follow. Now, as I have continued marching and changing the path, there are not many who have cared enough to continue. It is only those who watch, and smile in happiness because I am wearing MY smile instead of the “painted on” one that was crafted for me… that follow. They are the ones who care enough to see what I am wearing today, is my hair curly, straight, in a pony tail or did I choose bedhead all day long and the real question is, why... They are the ones who look to see where I am going instead of just wishing that the parade had the same look, feel and route it took last year. I am a very different person today than I was even a year ago, but I would think we all are really. If we choose to embrace life and take it all in, how can we NOT feel a change! Today, I am more genuine and true to myself and those around me than I have ever been. The best parts about me are still here, shining through… the things that needed to change-are… and that is what is causing my route to change.

So I reiterate…The only people who really know who I am today, are the ones who are currently following my parade.