Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband!

#Repost @tolgakatas
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On 11.11.11. She became my queen! We fight a lot of battles together but never fight with each other.  True love stories never have endings.  She is everything to me. We are living happily in  our story book life with our 12 dogs, 5 horses, 50 chickens!! I love you Christine Marie Katas, Happy Anniversary!!!!

Happy Anniversary to my sweet...

I gave a presentation at the community non-profit meeting in #ShortCreek. I talked about the Edson Academy - the new FLDS school & resource facilitated by #voicesfordignity!

I gave a presentation at...

My beautiful daughter @oohlalola #singer #songwriter #actor #director #celebrity #icon

My beautiful daughter @oohlalola #singer...

I just did a presentation on helping people from plural communities - for the International Cultic Studies Association conference. People were completely supportive and truly moved. Ashlen co-presented with me. My heart is filled with gratitude.

I just did a presentation...

I'm in Santa Fe for a cult conference. Tonight I went to #meowwolf with @ashlen.hilliard and Melanie! I had a blast with the fun company and mind-blowing creativity.

I'm in Santa Fe for...

Thrilled to have volunteers from #gracereigns helping get the Edson Academy ready! So much work. #feelingblessed. Thank you so much Gareth, Kristin and angels from Indiana! Thank you Brody as well.

Thrilled to have volunteers from...

My Story

I am a vintage-loving media psychology geek, survivor and activist playing in a complicated world full of entrepreneurs, psychologists & polygamists.

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My research interests include life narratives, narrative identity, emotional storytelling, life meaning, happiness, media ethics, victim blaming in the media, media misrepresentation and humiliation, personal branding, dehumanization, stigma, dignity, and other topics in positive media. I am a speaker, author and life coach.

I have a B.S. in psychology from Brigham Young University, an MBA, an MA in Media Psychology, and am finishing my doctorate in Media Psychology with a specialization in Positive Psychology from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.

Note: The rest is a hodgepodge of personal ramblings. Stop here if you are easily annoyed.

The most important thing about me: I have four super creative and fun offspring who grew up and moved away far too soon. We do, however, talk often and stalk each other on social media, visiting every time there are presents involved. Or cake.

By the way, my daughter does the Hollywood thing. Check her out HERE.

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My children made this with cell phone & laptop video only.
I have the coolest children in the world!

In my past life, I was a kindergarten teacher, a motivational speaker and the president of a family network that produced and marketed family enrichment and literacy products that I developed. I had 800 sales reps at one point. I have published numerous educational books, created educational and motivational systems for families and children. I have also been a parent educator on and off for 25 years, specializing in positive parenting, family literacy, and baby care & nurturing.

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Causes:

Preventing child abuse through parent education, promoting literacy, fighting human trafficking, empowering women – especially mothers & children. I try to do the humanitarian thing as much as possible. I currently volunteer my free time to helping the women and children in the FLDS community (Fundamentalist Mormons in Southern Utah).
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Heart:

My last name is legally a heart, as in the heart symbol ♥. It’s true. The story behind how that beautiful mistake happened is HERE.

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Descriptors:

Founder ✒ Technorazzi ♞ Voices for Dignity ♻ Digital MishMasher ☁ Social Media Goof ♻ Technology Evangelist ✿ Mommy Blogger Sort of✎ Parent Educator ✄ Gingerbread Lover ❤ Marriage Officiant (True)★ Idealist ✚ Feminist ♛ Children’s Literacy Advocate ❤ Baby Nurturer ☤ Geek Promoter ✔ Ventriloquist ☂ Mother of Invention ⚡ Chicken Photographer ❀ Connector & Networker ♼ Graphic Designer ❖ Web Master ♣ Author ☛ Pink Lover ❤ Humanitarian ♥ Believer ✤

Once Upon a Dam

I grew up in a small river town in Michigan called Croton Dam.

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We didn’t have much, but I had a great family, horses, animals, woods and lots of room for a child’s imagination to grow.  I also had a lazy eye, thick glasses, and a speech impediment which caused me to be picked on by the bullies.

I later learned that my speech impediment was from me being literally “tongue-tied,” which meant the tendons under my tongue were tight.  I had to have surgery to correct it, plus surgery to correct the roof of my mouth, etc.)

Experiencing peer rejection and feeling like an outcast was profoundly heart-wrenching for me because I was one of those super sensitive children.

Today, of couse, I wouldn’t trade those experiences because it created compassion in me for the underdogs. It also caused me to  develop my own best friend – a ventriloquist dummy named Howdy Doody.

I first learned  ventriloquism from a Buffalo Bob album that came with a Howdy Doody doll when I was 10 or 11.

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It was a remarkable hobby for me and it helped to build my articulation and my confidence.  After surviving a bunch of dramatic bullying stories, I became a cheerleader, the Student Body President, and the National Honor Society president in high school.

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Eventually I became Mrs. Michigan, etc. It’s my ugly duckling story and I’m proud of it.
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This is the Methodist church where my grandfather preached when my mom was in high school in Whitehall, Michigan.

My grandmother was not only a preacher’s wife, but she was a true saint.

In spite of grandpa being a pastor, there was never a lot of religion in our lives. He seemed to do it as a vocation, but we never even had prayers over thanksgiving dinner. I began my own search or God in high school and ended up intrigued by Mormonism.

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My parents helping at my business.

My parents were both pillars of the community who were constantly reading. My dad was on the school board, was Citizen of the Year, president of the Lion’s Club, on the school board and much more.  He was the Supervisor (equivalent of the Mayor) of our township until he died.  He reeeeally made the world a better place.  The town even named a park after him!

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Besemer Park, named after my father

My mother was the most creative woman ever.  When she made my Halloween costumes, I would win!  When my mom had an idea for robotic Christmas decorations in the yard or something, my dad would go out and make it. My mom has been a literacy volunteer, a museum volunteer the church treasurer and she has always had the heart to serve the poor and needy during the holidays.

I also have two amazing sisters and one incredible brother. We stayed in the same home our entire childhood, my parents stayed together, and our family had a lot of love and stability.

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I joined the LDS church (Mormon) when I was a teenager. I went on a mission…

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I got married in the temple, got a degree from Brigham Young University, and lived the devoted Mormon life.

And everything was perfect. Until it wasn’t perfect anymore.

And then I got divorced.

And lots of things changed.

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But ventriloquism remained a joy in my life.
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And I learned all about cults, the hard way.
On the bright side, at least I have cult survivor street cred now.

“Christine has lived a harrowing, made-for-TV personal history. Her story is as enchanting as it is engrossing, a meditation on what it means to be alive and at risk, looking for something to hold onto in a shaky world. Her story speaks to the tension between confidence and doubt, tradition and change, feeling found and feeling loss, an experience resonant for us all.”

-Jeremy Sherman, PhD, author, Neither Ghost Nor Machine

My life story gets evermore colorful and candy-coated, and dark and twisted, and filled with a carnival ride full of magical thinking and unexpected twists and turns, emotions of all varieties, triumphs and defeats, learning experiences made for the gods, and in the end, redemption. (Fingers crossed.)

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On 11-11-11 I got married to Tolga Katas, my Turkish prince, or “the king” as many call him. He’s a creative genius in countless ways. He does music, software, photography, video and more.

Well, my happy ending is still being written, so buckle your seat belts and come along on a wild ride.

#nomoremagicalthinking #lotsmoresavingtheworld #hangontight #subscribe&follow

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The fun never ends…
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Speaking on human trafficking in Manchester, England
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