About Me

Welcome friend! I’m glad you’re here.

I’m Kristin – blogger, mom & wife, jewelry designer and finder of beauty in brokenness.

My blog is all about real life moments that inspire us to grow. Sometimes real life is funny, heartfelt, serious or downright embarrassing. But within each moment, there are powerful lessons that can inspire growth.

I have worked as a leader for over 20 years at several Fortune 500 companies (including Procter & Gamble, Clorox and Campbells) and as Executive Director at a non-profit and have a long track record of helping people and teams learn and grow. But, my most important role is that as mom and wife.

My husband Doug is an adventurous Marine veteran with a love of family and a passion for cars. We have two kids. Sydney is our strong, spirited girl with a loving heart. Jenson always let his eyes sparkle and lightened up the mood with perfectly timed jokes.

Our lives flipped upside down when Jenson was diagnosed as a baby with a rare disease – Histiocytosis. Over the next three years, we lived in the land of chemo cocktails. Jenson received some exceptional compassionate care. He also endured more than most do in a lifetime including 55 rounds of chemo, medical setbacks and mistakes, and tumors spreading throughout his body. Remarkably through it all, he lived with joy. What an inspiration. I want to live like him!

Everything would change when Jenson departed this world at the tender age of three. We would be tested to the core and learn more about perseverance, overcoming trials, and finding joy in the midst of overwhelming darkness.

Whether it’s choosing joy in the darkest of times or being a bright spot in someone’s life or finding beauty in broken places, life presents us with many opportunities to grow and learn. You CAN choose growth and become even wiser and stronger. I’m passionate about sharing this message with people.

My faith is my rock. God is always teaching, and I enjoy learning (well, most days).

Jenson inspires us to appreciate each day and choose joy, and we do several things to keep his joyful spirit alive. One thing is mailing out Monkey Grins care packages to Histiocytosis families. Battling a rare disease can feel incredibly isolating and nothing lifts your spirits like knowing others care and that you’re not alone (read more at monkeygrins.org).

My jewelry line is also inspired by Jenson with a single purpose in mind – to inspire YOU to choose joy and find beauty in each day. You can read more below on how my jewelry got it’s start in the most unusual place.

Come on in and look around. I hope you’ll leave feeling uplifted and inspired… enjoy!

 

About My Jewelry Designs: The Story

My jewelry designs began in the most unlikely of settings… a children’s hospital oncology unit.  For three years, our son Jenson endured 55 rounds of chemo and many procedures as we fought for his precious life.

A special program called Beads of Courage became a bright spot in his treatments. After each procedure, kids with life threatening illnesses receive different colored beads as a symbol of their bravery. Jenson had close to 1,000 beads.

A month before he passed away, Jenson made a Beads of Courage necklace with his favorite beads. He handed me the remaining beads and said, “These for mommy and Sydney (his compassionate sister and bone marrow donor).” Jenson would depart this world at the tender age of three. My heart shattered in a million pieces.

Overwhelmed with grief, I put the beads in a closet unable to face what they represented. About a year later after church one Sunday morning, Sydney said, “Mommy, let’s make necklaces and bracelets with Jenson’s beads. It will be fun!”

I reluctantly went to the closet and grabbed the beads. I followed Sydney as she bounced with excitement up the stairs to her bedroom. I poured out all the beads on the carpet and sat totally overwhelmed. And then something amazing happened…

From the ashes of life came amazing beauty as we started creating jewelry with Jenson’s beads. And I discovered one of the many lessons Jenson taught along the way: When we mix joy into the ashes of our lives, they can be transformed into something beautiful. Butterflies became a symbol of transformation reminding me to be brave and choose joy.

Inspired by this life altering event, I started making “beads of joy” bracelets for friends going through difficult times. The beads on the bracelets represent the hard times we walk through in life. When we string them together and mix in joy (represented by a special bead) like a butterfly they can be transformed into something beautiful. “Circle of joy” necklaces would follow and eventually an entire jewelry line designed to inspire joy.

I hope these designs inspire you to choose joy and find beauty in each day!

P.S.  With each purchase, a donation is made to Beads of Courage to help support their amazing work providing arts-in-medicine for children with serious illnesses.

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