THE POWER OF WORDS

WOW, is this still MY blog, or what, huh?? Not only have I completely revamped it (hence, changes galore), BUT I haven’t posted in 2 weeks! WHAT???!!! Walk of shame in progress!! WALK OF SHAME IN PROGRESS!! Watch out for flying frowns!! Geez, talk about a walk in the clouds or better yet, a walk across hot coals. Can ya see the smoke? Seriously though, I’ve missed you guys SO much!! DID YOU MISS ME….??? (…nervously, Kristin waits for an answer…)

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Well, OK, although I haven’t been walking on hot coals per se, I have been burning rubber, so-to-speak (Wait, did I just use another idiom?), that is, going in a million + 1 directions ALL at the same time and OH, by the way, I leave for vacation tomorrow!! WATCH OUT, Orlando, Florida because HERE I COME (+ my family, which = DOUBLE TROUBLE)!!! Tehehe!!

GOOD NEWS!!! MY NEW HALF MARATHON PR IS 1:35:53!!! YEP INDEEDY!! I RAN RICHMOND HALF THIS PAST SATURDAY AND HELLO, 2 minute drop! Although I won’t necessarily be recapping it, I WILL be sharing some KIND THOUGHTS that I had along the way, that is along my half marathon way which by the way, is a loooong way (I don’t see how you marathoners do it…y’all are tough!!)!! I also rocked out a meet (the weekend before Richmond), tryin’ to get that 100 fly zing back AND will be runnin’ a 5k AND swimmin’ another meet in less than a month (OH and in the same weekend)! Action packed weekend here I come!!

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NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF KIND WORDS!! THEY CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS (or maybe even move you to the finish line)!

During Richmond Half, I carried with me a piece of crumpled up paper that didn’t look like much, but honestly, meant the world to me. Inside this lousy note were words that infested my soul with inspiration. This past Saturday, I was one with the road and to be truer than true, I was one with MYSELF. I’ve never felt better at a race! It felt easy and smooth, as though I were free falling over a waterfall! I was excited, yet nervous! I was a kid in a candy shop, yet totally focused. I was inspired, yet totally overwhelmed with so many different emotions!! In summary, I WAS THANKFUL for the opportunity to get out and move my body in the way that I wanted to move it! There’s just nothing better than that!

RUNNING AND SWIMMING MOVE ME IN A WAY THAT NOTHING ELSE CAN! Think about it, why do YOU do what you do? Why do you hike or bike or run and have fun?? Well, because you like how it makes you feel! Being grateful for the things that we CAN do is so important because in these very things, we find peace and love and so much joy and even touch the very places that need to be touched (i.e. our hearts). Pulling on our heartstrings creates beauty that’s transparent. It’s a way that we relate to ourselves and to the world. Alright, soooo….

Inside the shagged out paper were these very thoughts:

(Note: During the race, when I needed a pick-me-up, I unfolded my piece of paper and read these very words.)

“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.” – Tim Noakes

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” -PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’” – Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

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“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.”-Arthur Blank

“During your pains and efforts and belabored breaths, remember the pains and belabored breaths of the dying who, at this very second, fight for every last second of life. Then suddenly, the real reason for the race gives you strength.”

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Re-read the bold words above and remember, that every gasp you make towards the finish line is a miracle in and of itself. WE’RE ALIVE! Your finish line might look different than mine (maybe it’s not a race at all), but we can’t lose sight of the fact that we are living and breathing and healthy! Seriously y’all, let’s LIVE and BE HAPPY!! XOXO

-Kristin

CHANGES GALORE

Welcome to my new life chapter titled, unadulterated happiness! Well first, Hey Everyone!!! It’s nice to be back blogging, especially with a new perspective. Hint: My blog will be changing. It’s probably no secret that I’m obsessed with analyzing my life, setting lots of physical goals (running, swimming, etc.), and feeling the need to keep surpassing my own self, BUT these last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing lots of soul searching, and have found that I’m no longer happy with where my blog is going and where my spiritual (for lack of a better word) life is going. I want to talk about issues that will inspire others to no, NOT keep pushing themselves into oblivion (like I’ve been doing with running and swimming), instead, I want to inspire others to be happy with where they are. 

You see, I’m SO tired of being soooo scared to race for fear that I won’t reach my own personally set goal, which will THEN lead to me being upset, which will THEN lead to me having a bad day, which isn’t fun at all. I’m tired of having that same transaction with myself time and time again and to be honest, all I end up with IS a lonely feeling of wanting more (even when I reach my goals), which just isn’t me. Aaaand guess what, there’s WAY more to Kristin than swimming and running, I promise.

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My very first day of yoga teacher training, we had to partner up and share our answers to the following three questions:

#1- What is something that everyone knows about you?

#2- What is something that very few people know about you?

#3- What is something that you want the entire class to know about you?

Well, I partnered up with this lovely lady and of course, we discussed the above questions. She’s a great gal and we’ve been partners ever since!! Smooch on her!

My answers:

#1- Everyone knows that I’m a competitive swimmer and runner.

#2- Very few people know that I’m terrified of snakes.

#3- I want the class to know that yoga has changed my life! 

Anyways, after getting home and pondering on the questions (yep, I’m THAT analytical), I realized that I wasn’t happy with my answer to the first question. When I die, I want to leave a mark that can’t be erased, you know, something that far exceeds my physical self. Of course I’m still “taking my mark”, swimming, running, and the like, BUT I will no longer be talking about that side of my life very much. It’s something that I do and that I enjoy very much, and that of course I’m very passionate about, but it’s something that I know longer want to talk about here.

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My blog will be more about kindness, which was my original theme anyways and I’m really happy about this decision. Let me end by saying that YOU guys inspire me to the nth degree! After all, there are so many metaphors for life and y’all cover the spectrum!!

MY ADVICE? NEVER stop being YOU and talking about what makes you blossom. It just so happens that I love running and swimming, but I’d rather write about other stuff, like kindness galore.

TALK TO YA SOON!!! XOXO

-Kristin

YOGA STYLE

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” ~ Donna Farhi

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The time has come to ravish my yogi self! I’m excited! 18 hours of yogi lovin’ this weekend (starting tonight at 6:30 and ending 2 pm on Sunday)! My journey ahead (RYS200) will be long and challenging (ending in May), but I’m takin’ my new, pink Manduka yoga mat by the straps, slinging it over my shoulder, and singing the tunes of a once lost girl, having now found my true self through yoga. I’m in heaven! Am I nervous? Of course because I’ve spend most of my mat time alone, half moonin’ it solo in my living room with Prince, my doga pup, BUT my mat’s smoothed out, ready to go, and my body is ready to rock it teacher style (with 13 other yoga companions that will be along for the ride). I’ll miss Bryan Kest; although, I’m pretty darn excited because I’ll be poppin’ into one of his workshops next month! Vacationing in Florida (Disney World! Yaaay!!) has its perks, especially when Bryan Kest is hittin’ up the area, too!! Such great timing!!

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3 textbooks is how many I’ve got!! Count ‘em! BAM! Well, THAT was the sound they (i.e. my books) made when I picked ‘em up, browsed through ‘em, and then quickly dropped ‘em, overwhelmed with the info at hand. Lots to absorb! Here’s a bit from my yoga school (Yep, pretty cool I gotta yoga school right around the corner!):

The certification is recognized worldwide and will give you much more than a
certificate. It will be a transformative, individually focused journey shared with others.
We are all on our own path, but that path leads us to the same place.

Training Topics Include:
Teaching Methodology
Yoga Anatomy & Physiology
Philosophy, Lifestyle & Ethics
Meditation Techniques
Prenatal Yoga
Restorative Yoga
Yoga For Seniors & Back Problems
Children’s Yoga
Basics of Ayurveda
Pranayama
Yoga Business & Marketing

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Aaaand after all this, I plan to complete RYS500, which is a year long yoga therapy program!! As you can see, I have lots of yoga schooling in my future (about 2 years worth), but how cool to be a yoga therapist, huh? Wish me luck!! xoxo

Yoga Therapy is one of the fastest growing natural health fields in the US. Science is discovering more every day about the measurable therapeutic benefits of practicing yoga.- Zenya Yoga Academy

Have a GREAT weekend EVERYONE!!!

-Kristin  

CONFESSION SESSION

Okay, confession time! Secretly, I’d love to be an advice columnist (especially for teens), you know like Steve Carell in Dan in Real Life. Um, LOOOVE that movie BTW!! Life advice is just so darn beautiful, don’t ya think?! How could you not take it (i.e. advice) in and (at least) reflect on it a bit? I guess the one thing I’ve always believed in…is to take the advice of others or to at least listen to what people had to say. We’re all beautifully different so why not open your ears, open your heart, and  open your eyes to what could be?

I’m the first person to admit that I’m not perfect (shocking, I know!), but come on, perfection is so overrated… I’ve learned the best stuff (yeah, stuff) from my oopsies. I mean, haven’t you? Being both a swim coach and a writer (visiting schools and interacting with kids), I’m often asked by parents/teachers to sound off advice (i.e. advice that exceeds swimming and writing). Alright, so here we go.

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Teeny-boppers, this one’s for you!! 

#1- Believe in yourself. Believe that you’re capable of greatness all on your own.

#2- You don’t need anyone else to make you happy. Happiness blossoms from within. The aftermath of contentment is self-confidence. Self-confidence breeds friendships.

#3- Alcohol is not the answer. You can be fun and fabulous without the added edge.

#4- When dating, don’t squeeze yourself into an unrealistic mold that looks nothing like you. Stay true to you!

#5- Target your dreams and never lose sight of your goals until you hit the bulls-eye. Never count the fallen arrows, instead, use them as a road map to your final destination.

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#6- Link your head to your mouth and your mouth to your heart: Speak with wisdom and courage.

#7- Indulge in kindness (it’s free!)!!

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#8- Technology is the way of the world, but never forget your roots- to get outside and lavish in the sunshine.

#9- Belittle is to Be little- never stoop to that level! It’s just not nice.

#10- There’s no ugly-pretty, only pretty ugly, and I equate ugliness to unkindness. Put your best foot forward and your best face forward because HELLO, you’re beautiful!

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GOT ANY ADVICE FOR TEENS? I’D LOVE TO HEAR IT!! XOXO

-Kristin

HOW THE COOL KIDS WORKOUT

Alright guys, I’ve been asked to share my weighty secrets (Ohhh baby!), that is, my secrets in the weight room! Yep, I’m up for the challenge and SO up up up that I’m typing (wait for it…) up my (lengthy) workout from today. Ready Set PUMP IT UP!

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Me being silly!! Hehe!!

I love lifting weights because…

#1, it helps out my swimming a whole bunch,

#2, it gives me a sense of control,

#3, I love feeling/looking strong,

#4, it’s fun getting creative, and

#5, let’s face it, spandex rocks!

I’ve been lifting weights since the age of 12, but inhabited the gym long before that. Yup, little, baby Kristin squirmed around the Nursery Gym like a…well, baby with her thumb in her mouth and her finger, well, NOT up her nose. My mom worked out like a hard core beast while I sat in the baby center twirling my precious curly Q around and around, wishing I could be like the cool kids (i.e. those kids 12 & older). Those “cool kids” sure knew how to walk around the gym in style. Never saw them do much, but at least they were in the vast openness breathing in more than gross, poopy pants. Yuck!

Speaking of cool kids… (LOVE THIS SONG!)

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to get it.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.” – Echosmith

Before I post my workout, I wanna note that I have freakish strength, like total super strength. It’s genetic (thanks mom!)! I’ll have to break out my baby photos and show y’all the six-pack I rocked as a little chick. I had these cute, little muscular arms, too! (I’ve definitely always had fast twitch muscle fibers.) Growing up, my grandpa used to punch me in the stomach and pretend that he broke his hand. Ohhhh, how I miss those days (and him very much)!!

Anyways, the workout I’m posting today is fairly moderate for me. I’m pushing semi-light weight. I’ve backed off my heaviness some, especially overhead, because I don’t want to blow out my shoulders. I’m swimming lots now, so can’t overdo it.

Note: I always mix up my workouts and never do the same workout twice, plus don’t do a lot of leg stuff because of my knees. Swimming and yoga take care of that (that being my leg muscles)!

Warm-up: (Repeat set 3 times)

*20 Jumping Jacks

*20 Arm Circles (with 5 pound dumbbells)

*12 Shrugs (with 45 pound dumbbells)

*15 Squats

*20 Push-Ups

*10 Throwdowns (with 10 pound medicine ball)

*15 Bench Dips

*10 Bar Twists (with 45 pound bar)

*10 Step Ups (10 on each side)

Main Set: (Repeat 6 times)

*10 Handstand Push-Ups

*15 Bicep Curls (with 20 pound dumbbells)

*10 Single Arm Rows (10 on each side & using 40 pound dumbbells)

*12 Overhead Tricep Extensions (using both arms & using a 55 pound dumbbell)

*15 Cable Crossovers (with 30 pound plates)

*Handstand Hold for a minute

*15 Hammer Curls (25 pound dumbbells)

*10 Bent over Barbell Rows (100 pounds total)

*15 Reverse Tricep Pull-Downs (using cable machine & an 80 pound plate)

*10 reps of Chest Press on Hammer Machine (180 pounds)

Abs: (Repeat 6 times)

*10 Hanging Leg Lifts

*15 Hanging Abs (with arms in straps)

*20 Side Bends (with 15 pound dumbbells)

*20 Trunk Twists (with 25 pound plate)

There ya have it…my weight workout from today!! As you can see, I broke it into three different parts (warm-up, main set, abs) and I always do it like that! Also worth noting, I write my own workouts and always lift solo. I don’t like being weighted down (Get it? Hehe!) by anyone because I move at such a rapid pace. I’m like a freakin’ tornado spinning around the gym. It’s fun, though! No, I’m not a personal trainer, but I’m very well known in my gym and get lots of questions about my workouts. At first I was kinda overwhelmed by all of the attention, but now, I take it as a huge compliment!

THANKS GUYS! HOPE I ANSWERED SOME QUESTIONS!! HAPPY THURSDAY!!! ROCK IT OUT!! XOXO

-Kristin

WATCH ME SWIM!!!

Yep, you read it right, you’re going to FINALLY see me swim!! Saaay whaaat??? Eeek!! I’m so excited to read your comments! Like seriously excited! Oh yeah, Happy Tuesday by the way!! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Mine was sensational!!

WATCH ME SWIM HERE!!! By the way, found this video in my phone storage! Had NO clue! Each year, at a meet in Virginia (at George Mason University to be exact), they hold this totally awe-inspiring sprint contest at the end! This gal is a sprinter so yeah, I’m lovin’ it! I usually hit the end of the pool between 12-13 seconds! Of course I race the 25 yard fly!! The lady 2 lanes to my left is a National record holder (for her age group)!! I was so happy to be head-to-head with her!! The ultimate compliment! BTW, I’m the swimmer with the white cap and black suit!

DID YA LIKEY ??!!!! 

Alright, more swimmin’ stuff up in here:

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

If you like The Walrus and The Carpenter by Lewis Carrol, then you’ll love my version. Check it out:

“The time has come,” the swimmer said,

“To talk of swimmer things:

Of caps–and pools–and goggle rings–

Of too tight suits–and sets–

And why the water is freezing cold–

And whether swimmers have tails. 

10 things you probably could care less knowing about me (+swimming), but will:

#1- Sometimes during warm-down, I pretend I’m a mermaid swimming through the depths of the ocean. It’s relaxing knowing that my workout is finito. I have quite the vivid imagination.

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#2- I often times talk aloud to myself while swimming (like physically swimming through the water). It sounds a little bit like fish talk because my face is in the water.

#3- I absolutely hate showering before entering the pool! As if jumping into freezing cold water wasn’t punishment enough, they make you shower, shiver, and then shuffle past blowing fans to get in. Luckily, I’m pretty well known at most local pools, so I’m given a free pass to walk (or jump) right in. While out of town, I’ve been asked to shower before entering their pool and this is the face I give them (I mean, pure shock):

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#4- I have a tight left shoulder, like seriously tight. Yoga really helps it out, but at times, while swimming, I get really mad at myself for not consistently doing my shoulder opening exercises. Eagle pose is crazy beautiful to my lefty!

#5- I can be quite cheeky when I swim, and I don’t mean the playful type either. My cheeks hang on for the ride. Blame the suit cuts, not me! Oops!

#6- I dislike being in a lane that’s directly in front of a lifeguard stand, especially when swimming backstroke. I’m paranoid that they’re looking up my nose.

#7- I love lap swimming while there’s a swim meet going on. What can I say, I like an audience. I even pretend that everyone’s there just to watch me. Yep, I’m a total ham when I’m in my element.

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#8- I love the smell of swimming: Chlorine, latex, baby powder, polyester, spandex, etc. I feel like I’m home…

#9- Even in snow, I wear flip flops to and from the pool! Whoa, right?

#10- A fear of mine while swimming is getting hair in my mouth and/or wrapped around my fingers/toes. Eeek, it grosses me out. Also, swimming while untangling a hair…not easy!

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BE HONEST, AM I WEIRD?? ENJOY WATCHING ME SWIM?? HAPPY TUESDAY!! MAKE IT A GREAT ONE!! XOXO

-Kristin

INSPECTOR GADGET UP IN HERE

Hey y’all!! Happy…Saturday? Oops, totally didn’t mean to leave you guys hangin’ yesterday…just got a little busy. Soooo…What’s new? What’s old? How ya doing? I’m fine. Just a girl rockin’ the world I guess. Can’t complain. I’m excited that I ran today! It’s been a few days (hence, recovery mode), so I was ready to knock it out of the park. In runner talk that means, I ran like the wind!

Anyways, fun fact here: I’m convinced that my husband read this article and that he now impersonates Lorde when he sleeps.

(Note: I’m obsessed with this song and with this 17 year old pop sensation cutie, SO I’m NOT making fun, k?)

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Well, now that we’ve cleared that little issue up, here we go! Similar to how Regina George (from Mean Girls) knows that the word fetch will never ever happen is the same way I know that my theory is happening each night when I sleep. Scratch that, is happening each night when I don’t sleep. It’s no secret that my brain gets easily distracted at night. Seriously, it’s like the energizer bunny that’s had too many espresso shots….it never (scratch that, rarely) sleeps.

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(Insert Dracula voice) WHAT DOES KRISTIN THIIINK ABOOOUT ALL NIIIGHT? (Wouldn’t you like to know!)

Scared much? Okay, probably not, so moving on! I swear, its like Marc (a.k.a. my hubby) falls asleep (right to sleep may I add…um, jerk!) and ventures into the wonderful world of dream pop. It’s totally stellar. I mean honestly, repeat knock out performances night after night. I’m expecting a bill at anytime!

Front row seats x every night = Cha ching (for Marc at least)!

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At first I questioned what he was doing. I thought he was reenacting a scene from Addams Family Values. I was pretty sure it was the scene where Gomez Addams catches a knife in his teeth. I was thoroughly impressed! I think I might have even clapped (good thing we didn’t have those clapper lights…would’ve made for a looong night). But then I decided that that wasn’t it because although Marc was baring his teeth (like Gomez Addams) he was also doing this weird thing with his hands. I admit, I was a girl obsessed, playing charades like my life depended on it, eager to figure out the answer. 

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Alright, I clued into the claw fingers, twitchy vibe thing he had going on, so naturally thought about the scene in Hocus Pocus where Winnie conjures up that eternal youth spell. You know the one where she plans to suck the life out of every child. No biggie, right? I mean, how hard could that spell actually be? Aaand not that I really should mention this, but I have noticed a few wrinkles on his forehead aaand if I’m being honest, with him being (almost) 41, who wouldn’t want a more youthful sheen, huh? Buuut then I thought, you knooow, Marc is too nice for all that aaand he does look pretty young for his age, sooo probably not.

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Sadly, I was hitting a dead end, but then he did this full body twitch thing (almost like he was preparing to sneeze, but not really). I lifted my hands in the air like I just didn’t care because golly, I had it!! Marc was subconsciously trying to scare me by channeling that 12-year-old girl Regan from The Exorcist. He knows I’m terrified of her. His hissing teeth, claw hands, and body shake made it chillingly clear to me. I quickly covered my face for fear of a pea soup explosion, but it never came. Come to think of it, we had veggie tacos that night. So close but no cigar baby!

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Well, clearly I’m no Inspector Gadget, but I finally saw the mothership of all clues! Marc did this light stomp thing with his foot, almost as if he were trying not to kill a bug with his Frankenstein boots on (not that he was sleeping in them…or that he even owns a pair…I don’t think…). Regardless, I knew at once he was impersonating Lorde. Let’s gather the clues, shall we?

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In his sleep, Marc was

Clue #1: Baring his teeth

Clue #2: Working his claws

Clue #3: Twitching all over

Clue #4: Doing weird foot stuff 

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TA-DA!! Lorde!! Look at this and you’ll get it!! Hehe!! Hope ya enjoyed!! Love you Marc!! Thanks for letting me stare at you while you sleep because that’s not creepy at all, right? It’s amazing what you can find out about a person when you watch them sleep!! Because THAT is not creepy at all, right?! Tehehe! Have a fab weekend!! xoxo

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM WATCHING PEOPLE SLEEP (because no, you’re not creepy at all!)???

-Kristin