Monday, November 27, 2017

New Direction

Kristie's Blue Jeans has, for the most part, been an upbeat blog with a bit of real life sadness and problems thrown in.  After Route 91, I have struggled to get back here and be as upbeat as I had been  in the past and with that I have decided, on a suggestion from a friend, to start posting in a different direction.  While there will still be days of frivolous posts, there will be REAL life thrown into the mix.

My life is messy, at time chaotic and full of things that displease me and I intend on sharing it here.

 I am sure some may see cynical posts and run for the hills, but the fact of the matter is that I am not necessarily a "cynic", I am more of a realist with strong beliefs and opinions.  Many of those opinions have been shared in the past in regards to Thanksgiving (which I despise) and dating (which I loathe).

The thing is, life is ever changing and we need to be flexible enough to bend and sway with those changes so we don't snap.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Here I am, 7 weeks from the most horrific night of my life and as much as I want to write about Black Friday deals or Thanksgiving recipes, I can't bring myself to.  That is what happens when your brain experiences trauma.  You shut down.  Things that once seemed important now become trivial, vapid and shallow...

I don't want to live my life that way, which is why I am struggling. 

I am struggling to find a balance between what was and what now is.  The term "new normal" doesn't seem fair, because I didn't pick it, it happened to me, but that is the most fitting term to describe this weird purgatory type life I am leading.

We did Friendsgiving last night and I witnessed three different arguments, each trivial, but meaning so much to the people who were fighting.  To me it wasn't worth it... I guess that is what happens when you run for your life for a 2nd time from a man wielding an automatic rifle.  I wanted to yell, "do you know how lucky you are that this is how small and insignificant these issues you have are?" 

That is the new me.

I find it harder and harder each day to empathetic to people with "first world problems".  Yes life changes you, but 1 October made me re-evaluate my problems and guess what?  They aren't so bad. 

You can always earn more money, but you cannot get your time, harsh words or actions back.

With Thanksgiving approaching, I ask this of each of you, who makes your heart happy and say thank you to them for being in your life.  They may make your life irritable at times, but after so many were lost 7 short weeks ago, we must celebrate the love and kindness in each of us.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

1 October 2017

One month... How has it been that long?

October 1st, 2017 was supposed to be like any other ending to a music festival.  There would be people nursing Saturday night's hangovers, people taking advantage of a Sunday Funday,  those letting loose on the last day of vacation, but most importantly it was supposed to be the last day where all 22,000 of us Route 91 goers came together to enjoy the end of the weekend with some of our favorite artists.

Route 91 for me was all about Eric Church who had performed Friday night.  Friday night....  That seems so long ago when I sit here and write this.  It was the night that my sister and I worked our way up close to the stage and danced and drank and held up or boots for "These Boots".  It's when a random stranger took our photo because we were "awesome" and when another random put his arm around me and we swayed to "Springsteen".

That Friday night will forever remain frozen in time as we didn't know what would happen Sunday.  I look back in disgust that a shooter had been watching our joy and love for country music over 3 days from 32 floors up while planning the worst modern day massacre in American history.  I feel violated.  I feel sick.  I feel sad.  Mostly, I feel lost and very angry.

Sunday started like any other Sunday in Vegas, with a champagne brunch for the girls while the guys stayed holed up at the sports book.  Finally we all decided to get ready to go, but my family was delayed a bit and our friends went on ahead of us.  My mom, sister and I left and got to the festival around 5 p.m., got our beers and settled at the Next from Nashville tent for Adam Craig.  We decided to stay back that far until my brother in law got to the festival.  We texted our friends who said they were up close and we would all meet up toward the end of Jason Aldean.

The day went by and I noticed that Sunday seemed to be the busiest day for the festival.  There were so many of us country lovers in attendance.  At the Next from Nashville tent a guy approached me to talk about my Wyoming hat because his shirt was from the same company.  Our friend Julie who met on Friday found us at a picnic table and chatted about ice cream, her friends being close to the stage on the right side.  We met a CHP who worked with my hairdresser's husband.

What can I say?  Country people are friendly and wherever you go, you make new friends.  That is one thing I love about this community most.

Not long after the CHP and his girlfriend left, I got up to throw my beer can away.  I looked at my watch, 10:00p.m. on the dot.  Jason Aldean was starting his 4th or 5th song of the night.  My sister and I talked about how it wasn't our favorite and we couldn't wait to see what would be on his playlist.  Then I heard three pops that sounded like firecrackers.  Looking around I found my eyes settling between the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor.  Now I know, we all were looking at a devil in disguise who would soon rain Hell down upon all 22,000 of us.

Then it started... It sounded like a drive by shooting on the Strip and my first reaction was, "God dammit OJ Simpson.  Of course there's shots on the Strip the day you get out of jail."  That is when I saw him... A man in a baseball hat, orange shirt and camo shorts running toward me screaming to run.  The officers behind me ran forward, security was there pulling fences open, someone grabbed my arm and my brother in law said to run.  I looked at my mom and told her to run.  I took off to the right toward porta-potties, my family to the left.  My mom yelled for me and I took off after them.

My sister was trying to call our friends while I called home to tell my dad we were safe and running.  I was terrified to run out on a street, because that is where I heard the gunfire, but I ran with the crowd.  I looked at my new friend, Julie, and told her to come with us.  She said she couldn't and took off back toward the venue in search of her friends.

No sooner than we made it into the main casino area of the Tropicana there were screams and people running in from The Strip side and someone yelled, "Shooter!  There is a shooter coming this way."  We all scattered.  A man  was knocked out of his chair at  a slot machine.  I paused to help him and told him to get out and get to safety.  I looked around and found my family.  We all ran our side emergency exit doors.  After the crowds ran, we ducked between stairs and a building, my brother in law saw an opening and told us to get under the steel stairs.  Once under them we realized we were hiding between the stairs and an employee entrance exit surrounded by fascia board.

Here we crouched in the dirt for what seemed an eternity receiving texts from friends and family with updates from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department with reports of snipers, active shooters, car bombs and gunshots upon medics.  The first death toll released was 27 people....

Soon a helicopter was over head, lowering itself toward the Tropicana, then flying up... It continued in a yo-yo pattern for minutes.  Screams were heard from the Strip.  Gunfire.  The footsteps of those running out of the casino thundered directly above our head.  Slight explosions were heard in the distance.  The noises were chilling and being hidden, we still have no idea what exactly was going on.  Every noise made me more aware and fearful of the scene we had no visual on.  Just the noises of chaos, panic and pure terror rang out.

At one point we thought we were safe, only to be told by a security guard who saw us that they believed there were active shooters in the casino and to stay hidden.  He promised to come back and get us.  As I was getting ready to climb back over the fence to our hiding place I spotted a young couple.  I grabbed them and told them to hide with us.  The poor woman was semi-hyperventilating.  Repeatedly I took her hand and told her we all were going home.

In those moments, every sound and person going by was a threat.  We didn't know there was one shooter from 32 floors above.  That was the worst part.... Not knowing what the real danger was.

The blaring of sirens and flashing of the Tropicana's emergency system still haunt me.  How I didn't lose it in those moments I will never know.

After what seemed like weeks, the Tropicana announced we were safe but on lock down.  We pulled ourselves out of the dirt and hopped the fence once again and limped into the hotel's employee portion.  We came limping in from blisters and stiff joints with twigs and dirt stuck to us, the employees looked terrified.  Immediately our hands went up as the employees asked if we had been shot or injured, thankfully we were all shaken up, but ok physically.  They escorted us to a stairwell where other Route 91 concert goers were heading to the casino main floor.

After trips to the bathroom, I saw our friend who had been separated from his wife and us.  I yelled to him and we all embraced in a huge group hug.  He was able to call his wife from our phones as his  battery had died.  We found security and tried to get to his wife who was locked in a hotel room with 20 or so other people.  Security said they would get her, but the other's in the room refused to give her the room number.

As I walked down the corridor toward the convention center entrance, I passed hysterical girls, huddling families, men crying- the truth is- everyone was in shock, whether it be hysterical cries or silent huddles.  Each and every one of us knew we had escaped death, but had no idea what loomed outside the walls of the casino.

Strangers huddled together, shared phone cords, shared blankets, water, cigarettes and most of all, compassion.  Cowboys donning their hats walked water cases up and down the halls and in and out of ballrooms to keep busy, others huddled together and shared stories of their escape.  The true beauty of human kindness filled the halls even though the event was a tragic nightmare.

After hours, we were finally released.  After much begging and pleading our friend was able to go with the police and my sister to get his wife from the hotel room.  We all hugged and basically ran toward the exits to head back to our hotel and home.

The events of October 1st have changed each of us, we will no longer be who we were before that horrendously awful night.  We are bound together as well.. All 22,000 of us.  We have become a family, leaning on each other in the hard moments, celebrating small victories, most of all because we survived the worst massacre in modern day America.

If you have someone in your life who is a survivor, please be kind.  Check in on them, even if it is a just a text.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Getting Back

Before Las Vegas, I had every intention of returning to blogging and a part of me still wants to.  Another, bigger and louder part of me is scared. 

If I get back to blogging, what do I blog about? 
Do I continue with heartfelt posts regarding Vegas or go back to recipes, clothes and the "life" part of blogging?

It is the most bizarre conundrum as I feel like whichever I choose, I am not being true to me.  Going forward there will be all sorts of posts seeing as this is a lifestyle blog and all of that.  I may have great days where I talk about recipes and events, or bad days where I go back to one of the darkest nights in American history that I was fortunate enough to escape. 

Either way, this is my space and I plan on keeping it that way.  If offend you, I am sorry, but I have always marched to the beat of my own drummer and after Vegas, that rebel side has surfaced even more.

Much love for this week.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

How I Am Doing

Sunday, October 1st, 2017 was just supposed to be the last fun filled day of the Route 91 festival.  It was supposed to be full of beers, laughter, photos, and many memories.  It started that way, but it ended tragically.  I know, because I was there.

For days I have struggled (and I still am struggling) to process what exactly occurred and why.  The why I will never know, but the what...  That was bullets raining down from above striking many and  killing 58 innocent people.

It is hard to process, because I could have been one of those people, my mom could have, my sister, my brother in law or the friends we went with.  Thankfully none of us were injured physically, but the emotional damage is there.  It is something we each will carry for the rest of our lives.

I want to say that I am okay and honestly, for the most part I am.  I still can't listen to country music without crying, but I can talk about Sunday with out tearing up.  The news media posts bring me anger and tears. 

I cannot fathom what the families of those injured and lost are dealing with.  We all have a long road ahead of us, but I ask this... Think about Sunday when you vote in your representatives.

Think about Sandy Hook Elementary.

Think about Virginia Tech.

Think about Aurora.

Think about San Bernardino.

Think about Columbine.

Think about Orlando.

Think about every single mass shooting.

Think about how we can help prevent more mass shootings, because not one of us should have to run for our lives from rapid gunfire in America, at least not in the America I know and I love.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fall Bucket List

With Autumn approaching, (What?!?! We only have 14 days before it here) i have started looking up excellent things to do once the season is upon us.

- Photograph tree leaves changing colors.

- Go on a brisk morning hike. (Is there such a thing as brisk in California anymore?)

- Decorate pumpkins before carving them.

- Visit a pumpkin patch. ( I buy my pumpkins at Walmart after the pumpkin patch visit... MUCH cheaper!)

- Bake some pumpkin goodies. ( Like these or this!)

- Enjoy hot cocoa or coffee on the deck wrapped up in a blanket. (Again this is only if it actually gets cold).

- Watch "Hocus Pocus" with my mom (it's her favorite!).

- Go on a not so haunted hayride.

- Oktoberfest!

- Enjoy the change of season and bask in the calm before the holidays really hit us all.

What is on your bucket list for this fall?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September Goals

Here we are in September.  Soon the season will change and it will officially be fall with pumpkin patches to visit, sweaters to wear (except here in California, where it is still 500 million degrees outside), and Pumpkin Spice everywhere.

Before I run away with the fall colors, I wanted to share my goals for September with y'all!

Eating Better- Is it just me or does summer make it hard to eat clean and whole foods?  That shouldn't be the case, but it seems that processed crap is easier to heat up or rip open than bananas and spaghetti squash!  This month I am heading back to eating healthier, less processed shit.  I am not planning a Whole 30, but one never knows what could happen!  I also plan to stop drinking during the week so we shall see...

Exercise- A few weeks ago I got back into walking after work.  Well for September I plan to step it up.  Not just walking after work, but getting back to my Daily Burn subscription and lifting weights.

It Works-  In May I signed up to be a Distributor of It Works products.  I first fell in love with the Hair Skin Nails vitamins and my love for each product continues to grow.   In August I hit Executive with 1296 Volume points, this month my goal is to hit 1500 Volume Points and get a few DTs under me.  Seriously, today through the 10th, if you sign up to sell It Works and get 4 Loyal Customers in your first 30 days you get a $500 shopping spree, plus entries to win a bad ass Jeep Wrangler!

Sleep- I am really trying hard to create better sleep patterns which have been difficult with hot nights and no a/c.  I have set a bedtime and I won't be texting after a certain time of night, all in the sake of getting better sleep!