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Kristin Hiemstra

Be Successful at Anything

I don’t know how many times it takes a baby before they learn to walk but suffice to say, it is a lot. In the first few months babies want to straighten their legs, then there is the whole crawling experience, followed by teetering, and finally there is walking. Going from 0 to 100 takes place in roughly a year give or take a few months on either side. When babies are not being successful in their walking efforts they certainly don’t second guess themselves, mentally replay their mistakes, think God has it in for them, blame the sofa,...

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7 Tips for Parents to Keep Your Kids from Being the Target of Social Media

@CallingKristin: According to Wikipedia the word parent means to take care of your offspring. Personally I like to think of parenting as an exercise in self-discovery because every time my offspring do something I am challenged to understand I learn something about myself, my tolerance levels, and my personal biases. The truth is my children want for nothing. ‘Suffering’ is not part of my children’s vocabulary and I’m okay with that to a certain point. However I often wonder if they will have the fortitude to make lemonade out of the lemons life deals. For example, tonight my nine...

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5 Ways to Stay Focused and Motivated Until You Are Employed

Dear @CallingKristin, I’ve been unemployed for over a year. I’m discouraged, depressed, and having a very hard time getting motivated to look for work. Do you have any suggestions to help me get my act together?   Dear Reader, First let’s get something straight. You are worth far more than any amount of money! It is unfortunate that as a society we often define people by their job titles and income level because those are truly a poor measure of a person. In that same vein it is also difficult to be in the position of wanting to work...

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Six Job Getting Strategies for Upcoming Graduates to Take Advantage of Now

Dear @CallingKristin, I am going to be graduating in May and will be looking for a job. Is there anything I need to be doing now? Great question and the answer is ABSOLUTELY! Here are six tips for soon-to-be graduates:   1. Run, don’t walk, to your college’s career center. These gems are packed with great information, knowledgeable people, and most importantly, job leads. Put a resume together to bring with you and set up an appointment to get it reviewed. Attend all of the campus career fairs and interview with as many companies as possible. Even if you don’t get a job offer you’ve increase the likelihood of someone hiring you and gotten interview experience. 2. Start getting your letters of reference together. In much the same way you used recommendation letters to get accepted to college, reference letters written by professors and previous employers can speak for you in ways your resume and cover letter cannot. Many colleges have a service where they will keep reference these on file and send them out upon request. 3. Fire up your network. 7 out of 10 jobs come from referrals and these referrals are often one person removed. For example, let’s say you know Kelly and Kelly knows Mike. Mike would be one person removed from you and he would be the person looking to hire someone. Kelly is...

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Back When I Wanted To Be A Trucker

Back in elementary school I wanted to be a truck driver. I lived by I-57 on the south side of Chicago and would watch the trucks go by in long convoys. Both Convoy the movie and the song were big hits featuring really cool trucks. Growing up we did a lot of road trips and my dad let me talk on his CB so I learned a bit of the truckers lingo “What is your 10-20?” meant “what is your location?” and was very useful if you were stuck in a traffic jam because if a trucker was ahead of...

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Racing Back to Reality and Other Stupid Things Not to Do

This year my in-laws decided to host a family reunion in Key West, FL for Christmas break which meant, of course, sunshine and palm trees for the tired and weary. Bring it on! Besides Jimmy Buffet’s reference to stepping on a pop top and busting his flip-flop I had as little understanding of Key West as I did the importance of printing out boarding passes on Southwest Airlines before you arrived at the airport. Not knowing how Southwest works meant that none of our family of four got to sit together as we were the last to board the plane. (Note to readers: do not do this.) My ignorance of Key West meant that I was unprepared for the amount of “happy-go-lucky, why bother with stop signs?, let’s party right now!” crowds that dominate Duval Street all hours of the day and night. I was also completely unprepared for roosters and cats that have free reign over the city as well as the Mallory Square crazy man who trained cats to jump threw hoops of fire while a breath taking sunset served as his odd show’s backdrop. Personally I would not recommend making Key West a family vacation destination any more than I would recommend heading to Las Vegas with the kids. Though there are no casinos in Key West, they have a lot in common including tasteless t-shirts,...

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Traditions: Friend or Foe

‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you.” The Velveteen Rabbit Every other year, my extended family gathers at a lodge in Montreat, NC for three days over Thanksgiving. Cousins from all over Michigan endure a 10 hour drive with small children, no less, to come to the ‘warm’ NC mountains. At this Thanksgiving gathering, we do puzzles, play poker, chase our children, and sing campfire songs. In the quiet moments, when the kids are asleep, the realness of our lives is exposed. At one o’clock in the morning, it is not unusual to be catching up on how widowed Aunt CeeCee is adjusting to life after her move from a Detroit suburb Novi to the socially-hard-to-penetrate city of Holland, or learning about secret fears one of us cousins has about our child falling short on some standard academic measurement. In these moments, we reveal our dreams and sorrows while filling up each other’s souls with the type of love that is sustaining. From the moment this gathering ends, I begin looking forward to the next one and plan my calendar accordingly. This gathering is an anchor point in my life. These people know me, I am real to them, and they are real to me. When I have felt lost in my life it is a tradition that reminds...

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Opening Ourselves to the Other Side's Point of View

Today marks the end of one of the bitterest elections I have lived through. Both sides had ample reasons to support their candidates since both candidates had strong records of success. Now comes the hard part: healing. Every words we say about another person, whether political candidate, friend, foe, or family  member carries energy. All of us are constantly pouring our energy forth and creating the world in which we live, the question is, with what type of energy are we creating? This question deserves reflective contemplation because in it holds the key to our personal future as well...

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Go For It! Now … Yeppers, this very instant!

On Saturday mornings, my children watch the most ridiculous television shows I’ve ever seen. Silly wizards and over-the-top ninjas save the earth from ridiculously stupid villains. Though I try very hard not to be a judgmental person, I have been known to say things like “Your brain is crying right now because you are making it suffer through this show.”    What happened to all the quality television like Scooby Doo? Back in the 70’s I got to watch profound mysteries solved by rockin’ role models like Thelma and Daphne who used both brains and charm to tackle some...

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Is it Fashion or Just Fitness I Covet?

My latest internet addiction is Pinterest.  Pinterest lets you find things that interest you and ‘pin’ them on your ‘board.’ I have many boards on my Pinterest site including one on Mediterranean Cooking, one on housing inspirations so I won’t forget all the cool features that will be going into my next mega mansion, and of course, one on clothing. It is the one on clothing I spend the most time working on because I am ‘fashion-challenged.’  Being fashion-challenged means that I both notice and admire “well put together women” but cannot seem to replicate this notion of personal...

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