Welcome to Gather the Wind: epithets on life and love. I’m Kristina, a Black American, homeschooling, inter-racially married, mom of a 10-year-old daughter. My husband, daughter, and I left Yonkers, NY on December 25, 2012, and relocated to Arizona’s West Valley after feeling like NY had given us the best of its Apple. While we love the sun and the cost of living here, we sometimes wonder if maybe we should be somewhere less red.
My digital life history is pretty extensive! In 1998, while in college, I created a creative writing community and magazine for amateur writers interested in learning about the writing industry. The zine, “Epiphany: a celebration in writing!,” allowed me to work with both established and amateur writers and served as a place where writers could learn from and connect with, each other. As Managing Editor and Publisher of the magazine, I tried to help writers find their voice and to polish their writing. In the midst of it all, I lost my voice, my dad, a baby during my second trimester in Vegas, and for a short while, my mind. I also got married and became a New York City Teaching Fellow.
I taught English at Harry S Truman High School in the Bronx, not too far from where I grew up, while also attending graduate school at Fordham University. During my second year there, we got pregnant and I gave birth to an amazing daughter who danced to Shakira while still in my womb. Mya is now ten, still dancing, and brings me equal parts joy and worry. She has also added a little purple to my yellow, blue, and green world.
My foray into blogging began on the now defunct, platform called Mo’Time. In 2003, I started blogging at what would become “Mom on the Rise (and sometimes on the decline).” I chronicled my life experiences including tales of pregnancy loss, interracial marriage, weight loss, Hyperemesis, exclusively pumping breast milk for a baby in NICU, and my journey to become a teacher. I also served as a March of Dimes Mom, writing informative articles about pregnancy related issues. The year that I left teaching to work from home, I had the honor of being one of thirteen moms to participate in Disney’s first African-American Mom Blogger’s Weekend. As a participant, I helped Disney to better understand the concerns and desires of many working and middle-class mothers.
That year my sister, who had just turned thirty-six, died unexpectedly as did my father-in-law, although he had been sick for some time. It was also the year that I decided that I would focus on my mental health by cutting off ties to my mother, and right before all the loss, I co-birthed the multi-authored blog “Moms of Hue,” which is no longer in publication.
In Moms of Hue, I found a renewed passion for “voice” and became determined to create a space for women who wanted intelligent conversation about issues of importance to parents raising children of color. The popularity of “Moms of Hue” led to the creation of the site “We of Hue,” which provided a platform for both women and men parenting children of color. We closed up shop there after I began to feel like it was too small for what it needed to be, but too large for what I needed.
I have managed multiple social media accounts for various brands and as an independent blogger, served as a Community Leader for the “ABC/UN Foundation’s Million Mom’s Challenge” hosted by the BlogFrog community, a Blogging Coordinator for “Traveling Mom,” and I have fostered partnerships with amateur and established writers through my entrepreneurial ventures as Managing Editor of three online magazines.
Of note is that at 2010’s United Nations Week at “Mashable’s Digital Media Lounge” I served as a panelist and spoke to the power of online content and online spaces to spark action on both a global and local level and the importance of “do-something” campaigns for Mom’s who were eager to give back to their communities.
Throughout my crazy online life I managed to earn a Master’s of Science in Teaching (Adolescent Education Grades 7-12; English) and a Bachelor’s of Science in English. I am a lifelong learner, and I continue to challenge myself to learn new skills.
As you can see, I have been involved in digital marketing for a long time. I have evolved since starting my early blogs and my voice is no longer reflected in those posts which is why I shut it down. I started Gather the Wind to reflect where I am in my current journey. It’s where I celebrate the individualism that I have spent much of my life fighting for and it is where I show that living outside the box is better for the mind.