A Personal Post- Lipstick and Laces

I've had hesitations about sharing the following post. Everyday K is a personal style blog, and although the following isn’t style related, it is very personal. I decided that in sharing my story I can let you get to know me a little more and potentially work together to turn what will begin as a devastating story into a beautiful ending. 

In 2007, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was a loving, active and healthy woman. Being that she had never smoked, hearing this diagnosis was a shock to all of our family and friends. Numerous treatments were attempted and countless prayers were said. I have never seen anyone battle as hard all while keeping up great spirits and an unshakeable faith during an incredibly dark time. Soon after her 50th birthday, my mom lost her (nearly) three year battle.

From the day she was diagnosed, I looked for a way to get involved in finding the cure for lung cancer! Last September, as I did another random Google search on lung cancer advocacy, I came across the organization Free to Breathe. Immediately, I loved the mission and vision of this organization, and knew I wanted to get involved. Their major fundraising sources are 5k runs they host across the country. As luck would have it, the first annual run in Oklahoma City was in November.

In reading through their website, I felt compelled to put a race team together and talked to all of my family and friends about my desire to make a difference. One of my best friends came up with a team name, Lipstick and Laces (thanks Taylor). As I’ve mentioned before, I get my obsession with lipstick from my mother and I couldn’t imagine a better name for something that honors her! The team was quickly put together, a team t-shirt was designed (we had to run in style) and fundraising began.

The hardest part for me was knowing that an actual 5k was lurking in the near future. Running is not a requirement of the 5k and there is also a 1 mile walk option. However, if I was going to lead this team, I really wanted to run the entire 5k in honor of my mom. A 5k may not be much to many people but for someone that has never been a runner, it might as well have been a marathon! I started training immediately and in full disclosure, it was not fun!! I can remember texting my friends many times about losing motivation. They helped me immensely during training and during the actual 5k! I could not have completed the run without them.

Race day came and I was ready to honor my mom! I was proud of the large team that had been put together and the money that we raised in such a short amount of time. I was not ready for how emotional the day would be for me. Seeing the outpouring of love and support almost brought me to tears. I think I can speak for my friends and family and say that the day was healing for all of us, especially my dad, brother and me. We felt that we had made a difference in battling something that had taken someone so important from us! It was truly an amazing experience.

After being a team captain last year, I knew I wanted to become more involved this year. I am now on the committee for the 2nd annual Free to Breathe 5k in Oklahoma City. The run is November 1st and I know this year’s event is going to be an even greater experience. I have officially formed my team for this year!! Lipstick and Laces is ready to go and has a pretty lofty fundraising goal!

If this cause is something that you want to get involved with or want more information, check out Free to Breathe here. If you want to join our team and start fundraising, or just want to make a donation, the Lipstick and Laces team page is here. Every little bit makes a big difference! If this isn't the cause for you, I encourage you to find something that inspires you as much as this does me. 

Thank you for reading! This post is very personal for me and I truly appreciate all of my readers! 

Kara Krittenbrink


  1. What an inspiring story!! Such a great reminder that God can make good things come out of even the worst situations (with a little lipstick and determination)! Looking forward to Lipstick and Laces 2.0!! Love you K!

  2. It was the greatest day honoring your mom! So glad you shared this story!! Can't wait to run alongside you again!

  3. This is SO amazing! What an inspiration you are! I will definitely check out Lipstick and Laces team. Thank you for sharing your story! God bless.

    xoxo, Vanessa

  4. Madison Motley6/12/15, 11:53 AM

    You never cease to amaze me Kara! While I will be out of town for this year's run, I will happily join the team and help you reach your goal. Love you!!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this personal story! You are doing amazing things to honor your mother and help others facing lung cancer!!!


  6. I love this post Kara! You are such an inspiration and a true blessing to all you come in contact with. Love all you are doing to honor her! Can't wait to run again this year!! Love this post and you, friend! Xoxo