Friday, December 24, 2010

The Merriest Of Christmases

I’ve been thinking a lot this season about the manger birth of Christ all those years ago.  Obviously, I think about it every year, but some years the sweetness and truth of the story pierces my heart in a new way.  What I can’t get out of my head this year is that the King of Kings was born in a manger.  It is so precious to me that God chose to come into the world in such a lowly manner.  He could have been born in a golden throne room (this, clearly, would have been my choice), but instead He came into the world surrounded by livestock.

Recently, on the news, I heard one of those stories about a baby whose mother gave birth and then left her child in a dumpster.  I think about that sweet innocent baby and wonder how it will ever know how cherished it is- how special and important he or she is in the eyes of God.  This season, it seems to me that Christ came as He did so that none of us can look at Him and think He’s unreachable.  He didn’t come to save someone “better than” or “richer than” you.  He came to save you and me.  And he was born in the lowest imaginable location so even that baby, brought into the world under the saddest of conditions, can know that Christ understands us.  Our fears and sorrows, our joys and weaknesses.  He understands.  One of my favorite lines in the hymn ‘O Holy Night’ says “the King of Kings lay in a lowly manger, in all our trials born to be our friend.  He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.”  It’s sometimes mind blowing, but I still believe it’s true.

The lowly infant born in the manger truly is the King of Kings.  I hope He’s the King of your life. 


And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for ALL the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:10-12 ESV (emphasis- mine)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shocking AND Embarrassing

That title should be my new nickname.

I absolutely cannot believe I’ve gone almost two whole months without posting.  The problem is I went one week without posting and got really overwhelmed with all of the important things I should have written about and didn’t.  Then one week turned into two and my embarrassment doubled and then it had been a month and then it was December 13th.  Yikes. 

The above paragraph gives you a sad little look into my life.  Being a procrastinator and a perfectionist is really hard on me.  And, apparently, on you my reader(s).

So, I’d now like to very quickly update you on the past two months of my life in a very short list.

1. I took a little trip to visit my friends Sarah and Justin in Longview and got to enjoy some beautiful weather and fun times with friends.  Our friend Miranda also came over and we built a fire, made a craft project and ate some bruschetta that, I think it’s safe to say, changed my life.

3 Amigos

I think it’s also safe to say we had ourselves a mighty good time.


2. I helped with our children’s choir’s Stomp performance.  If I never have to hear another bucket being thumped on with a wooden stick it’ll be too soon for my sanity’s sake.  I also sang with the adult choir in a Christmas performance.  It’s been fun to sing in a choir again after all these years.

3. My BFF Chelsea and I and our families attended our alma mater’s playoff football game.  It was fascinating.  Our team lost but it was really fun to have a family outing.

4. I got my craft on.  Hard core.  I made three wreaths this year for Christmas and a “Gratitude Tree” for Thanksgiving.  My poor little fingers have never recovered from all the hot glue.  I made an ornament wreath, a coffee filter wreath and a lima bean wreath.  And I got to lose all the feeling in my index fingers.


The Lima Bean Wreath in the middle of production

5. I had a birthday.  It was actually a pretty fun day.  A bunch of my students sang happy birthday to me and I had a great dinner with my family, plus we got to drive around and look at the Christmas lights.  Not a bad way to spend a birthday.

chels and crys

I probably would have included even more anecdotes if I had remembered to write for the past few months.  I’m feeling like I need to have a goal for my next post, so I’ve decided that I’m taking requests.  Let me know if you have any questions or would like to hear a retelling of a specific story and I’ll get right on top of that.  And I promise that by “right on top of it” I don’t mean two months later.


I’ve missed you, internets.  -C

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Fairest Of Them All

Last Saturday Chelsea and I went to the State Fair of Texas.  I am only slightly embarrassed to reveal to you that it was my second time to visit the fair.  That week.  I don’t really know how to defend myself, other than to say that when you love something with your whole heart, as I love the Texas State Fair, you make it a priority in your life.  Anyway, Chels and I had a great day.  We managed to check all of our “Must-Do” items off of our list.

We visited the petting zoo:

hog heaven

And discovered that alpacas may just be the cutest animal I ever did see:

alpaca stretch













I caught up with Big Tex:

big tex

We tried some Texan delicacies (and by ‘delicacies’ I mean anything that would stay still long enough to be deep fried):

deep fried fun Deep Fried Frozen Margarita

fried arteries 

Fried Bacon

And, since I know the questions are inevitable, I will give you my opinion on all the fried foods I partook of.  In my personal experience fried foods are exciting and delicious.  IN THEORY.  In reality?  The first three bites are usually pretty good… but then you start to think about what exactly it is your eating and it’s all downhill from there.  But, I continue to eat them because fried food hope springs eternal.  The fried margarita could have been good, except they poured strait margarita juice (or whatever that would be called) over the fried part, which made it pretty gross.  The bacon was ok, except every time you took a bite all the fried stuff would fall off, so in the end you were just eating bacon.  And I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to pay $8 for my bacon.

After eating our way across the fair Chels and I headed to visit my friend Cortnee.  While there we watched a little MLB Smackdown:

tx rangers

I may be momentarily obsessed with the Rangers.  And I’m ok with that.  Especially when they’re winning.

After we left Cortnee’s Chelsea needed to run by her office (at 8:00. On a Saturday night. Nerd Alert!) so she headed over to do that and I went home.  After I’d been home for a few minutes Chels called and asked if my Dad and I could come jump her car since it was dead.  When we got there I realized that Chelsea had been holding out on me:

be prepared I had no idea she was this prepared.  She has her own traffic emergency sign.  We’ve been best friends for over 10 years and I would never have expected her to have a spare tire, much less a traffic sign.  In my defense, she did have a flashlight, but no batteries.

All said and done the Fair definitely lived up to its hype this year, and now I am counting down the days until next year.  Just 365 days left to prepare my arteries for the deep fried butter.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Blame ‘Twilight’

Last week at school all the kids wrote out their dreams and some goals for how they could achieve their dreams.

Lots of children wrote about wanting to become a football player or a veterinarian and some wanted to work at their parents’ car shops or become rock stars.

As they were writing out their dreams I was walking around the room and one young man stopped me and asked me how to spell “ologist”.

I said, “like biologist?”

He said “yes, but just the ologist part”

I told him how to spell it and said “Do you want to be a biologist when you grow up?”

“No.” he said, “I want to be a werewolfologist.”

Behold, the youth of tomorrow.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Have Some Thoughts About Some Things

I’ll write my thoughts in list form, so that I am not required to think too hard and so that you read this post with the lowest possible expectations.

1.  This weekend I watched Dirty Dancing for the first time in a long, long while.  I love that movie.  All summer long I wanted to bring a watermelon to a party just so I could say “I carried a watermelon”.  I never did it.  But I know it would have been cool if I did.

2.  I attended a Fall Festival on Saturday and enjoyed a funnel cake.  Funnel cake may not scream fall, but it does scream my name any time I see it.

3.  I am LIVING for the State Fair of Texas.  LIVING.  Living.  The fair has always been a big deal to my family.  We would always go and work our way from the car show, across to the craft pavilion, take in a show and spend a few hours gawking at whatever farm animal has been immortalized in butter that year.  Not to mention the food.  Oh, the food.  There is something oh so magical about fair food.

4.  I really have to hold myself back from spending my whole paycheck on buying new clothes.  Boots and sweaters are my friends.

5.  I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this before now, but I recently became involved in a relationship.  I’m in a love affair with a little TV show called Friday Night Lights.  And it’s serious.  I am so embarrassed that it took me 4 years to jump on board (you can count on me to be on the cutting edge of the trends) but now I am all in.  I just wanna have a “Matt Chat” and be Tim Riggins’ AA sponsor and go to church with Smash Williams and hang out with Eric and Tammy Taylor (or, as I like to call her: Mrs. Coach).  You can see that I’m in love.  Mainly in love with Matt Saracen but also in love with Friday Night Lights.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bad Blogger


I am OFFICIALLY a bad blogger. 

And it’s only taken me a year and a half of writing lackluster posts to realize it!

At least I’m not slow.


More soon (And by soon, I mean in three weeks).

P.S. I miss you guys.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

1. Happy 90210.  I cannot tell you how delighted I was to tune into The Today Show and watch them repeatedly report on the interesting coincidence of today’s date (9-02-10) with photos of Brendon, Donna, Brenda, Kelly, Steve, Dylan and the gang from the early 90’s.  It felt like some strange holiday that I was totally unprepared for.  Although, it did make me crave a nice long Beverly Hills 90210 marathon.

2. Today I decided to tackle cleaning out and organizing my closet.  I began this afternoon and this was the scene in my room around 10:00 tonight:


I thought maybe Hurricane Earl had swept through and someone forgot to tell me.  Then I remembered that around 4:00 I decided I should go ahead and clean out all my drawers too so I could optimize my cleaning / purging.  Obviously, this plan was well thought out and reasoned. 

I’m dreading sleeping on the couch tonight.

3.  Speaking of dread.  This weekend I will be visiting my storage unit in order to get a few of the fall clothes I have packed there.  That’s right.  I’m bringing MORE clothes into the mix.  Just to give you a peek into the reality of my life:


This was my storage unit when I last left it.  I understand it’s dark in there and I understand it may look like my audition photo for “Hoarders: Buried Alive”, but it’s bad.  Really bad.  Just to further stress my point:


4. I am currently having a love affair with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  If you haven’t ever tried it you should run- don’t walk- to your local grocery store and try some.

5. Since the weather has been so nice this week I’ve been taking long walks in the evening and each night I’ve ended up at my grandparents house across the pasture.  I’ve been missing them a lot.  They were really special people.

paul and faye 001 (17) My Mammaw and Grandaddy- Paul and Faye.


I hope you guys are having a great day!  And for my reader(s) on the East Coast stay safe and keep outta Earl’s way. 

Because, honestly?  The last thing you wanna rumble with is a Hurricane named Earl.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Month Before September

Well, August is finally over.  And, in celebration of this, I have made an important decision:  from this year forward August shall forever be referred to as: “the-month-that-is-dead-to-me”.

No, I’m not more dramatic in the month of September, why do you ask?

So, clearly ‘the-month-that-shall-not-be-named’ was a rough one, but some fun things happened too. 

Here’s a list:

1. Shark Week!  Shark Week was extra incredible this year.  I got a ton of it on the DVR (unfortunately the DVR has since bit the dust since my parents got HD which means they get a new DVR which means Shark Week is, once again, merely a fond memory) and particularly enjoyed the newest version of “Air Jaws”.  On July 31st I got a tweet or a text or a comment or a wall post from Katy (sometimes I think I am overly committed to all my social networking) saying she hoped Shark Week didn’t disappoint me, which I thought was really funny and sweet.  Clearly, I have worn my Shark Week heart on my sleeve and she didn’t want to see me hurt, but I am happy to report that I was not disappointed in the least.

2. I got to see plenty of my favorite people!  Including meeting the Evans girls for some coffee and some talk (ideally there would be an adorable photo of Ginger posted right here, but I forgot to dig my camera out that day, so you’ll just have to take my word for just how remarkably beautiful she is). 

I also got to hang out at a birthday party for Miranda along with Jennifer, Alison and Sarah and Justin.  The birthday party was a fun combination of games, birthday cake and porch swings.  That’s like the Pythagorean theorem for the perfect party in my mind.

3. The WEATHER!  Oh, my heavenly days, the weather.  At some point last week God smiled upon Texas and our temperatures dropped from about 112 degrees to 87 degrees daily.  It was a summer miracle.

4. My friend Cortnee came to my parents house in the country for the weekend.  I took her to see all sorts of things, including my neighbors’ farm of exotic animals, which deserves a post all of its own.  But, most importantly, my parents took both of us on a little driving tour of the country.  We even drove up to the lake.  It was beautiful and bizarre all at the same time.  I felt like I was back in junior high sitting in the back of my Mom’s car with my friend while we drove on the county back roads.

5. I accepted a couple of job offers.  Then today I accepted a new one and will be working full time for a school in the area.  The only explanation for it all is that my life is weird.  Every time I give up hope I am surprised by God’s provision again. 

I think that last bullet point explains why I am not going to continue looking back on the dark days of ‘the-month-that-is-dead-to-me’.  Not that I didn’t have some fun times, but from here on out, I’m all about September.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Life Under Construction

I don’t know if you do much driving, but this summer has been “The Summer of The Car” in my little world.  It explains a lot about why I haven’t written anything on my blog in about a month… I was too busy driving in my car.  All summer long I had been leaving my parents house on Monday morning and driving about an hour and a half to work, then I would drive about 20 minutes to a friends apartment and spend the week with her- driving back and forth to work everyday.  On Fridays I would make the trip home again and the whole process would begin anew Monday morning.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Towards the middle of July the friend whose house I was staying at moved (out of the country) and I was sent into a tailspin.  I stayed with a friend one week who lived about 40 minutes from work, one week I drove from my parents home (an hour and a half BOTH WAYS.  I was seriously questioning my sanity) every day and in the midst of all that I’ve been driving to interviews all over creation.  I’m not positive about the exact number, but I think it’s safe to say I put something like 200,000 miles on my car.

All that time in the car this summer put me in the way of some serious construction zones.  Here’s the thing about construction zones: they’re annoying.  Incredibly annoying.  I think all of us can agree that (for the most part) we realize the necessity of highway construction and we appreciate that, in the end, it’s gonna be a wonderful thing for us.  But DURING the construction?  Miserable, awful and annoying. 

What I’ve noticed lately though is that my life is sitting in the middle of a construction zone.  I’ve been searching for a job all summer and I’ve been waiting to find a new place to live until after I have a job.  And all the waiting has felt like gridlock.  Annoying, headache-inducing gridlock.  It seems that God has decided to take every comfort I never knew I was clinging onto and strip them away until the only comfort is Him.  From financial security to pride God has decided to light fire to things that are not eternal and while I see that the end product will probably bring me greater joy, right now?  I’m stuck in traffic and the car is starting to overheat.

I can’t help but think that one day (in the not-so-distant future) I’m going to really regret having written this post.  I’ll look back and laugh and say to myself: “you were such a drama queen!  Of course you had to learn that lesson, but why did you have to share it on the public domain?”.  Oh, the mid-twenties.  They are a veritable smorgasbord of insecurities.  But, I don’t have a diary that I write in every day and the whole purpose of writing a blog is to record my life and share it with others.  Whether it be about life’s big questions or about my inability to spell the word rhythm.  I mean I’d love to be able to come on my blog and write another post about how much I truly loved Shark Week (because I truly did), but the truth of the matter is, life isn’t really that pretty right now and writing about my gruesome fascination with shark attacks isn’t going to change that.  So, I’ve decided instead to just be honest and tell you my life is under construction and some days I don’t know what it all means or what it’s all about, but sooner or later the traffic will ease up and I’ll be moving ahead again.  Until then, I’m living life in a construction zone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Obsession That Just Won’t Quit

I may have mentioned once or five hundred times my obsession with the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.  Specifically my fascination with a little show called Air Jaws which takes place off the coast of South Africa.  So, you can imagine my delight, terror and awe at the following story and accompanying pictures (please, please, please click over!  I promise you it’s worth it!):

Beware of jumping whales if you’re sailing off South Africa - Yahoo! News

Yes.  That is a 40 TON WHALE jumping onto a boat.  (Not to be confused with pictures of me from my last sailing excursion.  I kid, I kid.)

All I can figure is that the whales in South Africa got wind of all the fame that those sharks were getting and this little guy decided to take matters into his own hands and win back some of the limelight.

One thing I know for sure: I will not be riding on ANY boats off the coast of South Africa anytime soon.  Because, honestly?  Sharks, Whales- it doesn’t matter to me.  I’m equal opportunity terrified.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Unrelated Doesn’t Mean Unimportant

I have so much to share with you all, and so few brain cells to string together a sentence.

1. Y’all I SERIOUSLY need a job.  Seriously.  The job hunt is an emotional rollercoaster that puts the rides over at Six Flags to shame.  I keep thinking to myself “you have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in your field of study, surely the people should be beating down my door begging me to take their jobs.”  Then I think to myself: “you are so conceited… and that’s why you don’t have a job” (because, in my mind, potential employers can read my thoughts).  All I know for certain is that the summer’s bound to end sooner or later, thus ending my summer employment.  In other words: I’m a short month away from resorting to moving into my parents’ house and becoming a field hand on my Dad’s farm.  And let’s all face the facts- that’s not gonna end well.

2. I spent last weekend in Corpus Christi, Texas.  I have pictures that I’m sure I’ll post sometime before 2011 rolls in.  I went for the wedding of my dear college friend Mari.  In a weird twist of fate she married the brother (Frank) of one of my other dear college friend’s Brent.  Anyway, it was a gorgeous ceremony and wedding.  I think I may have even got half a photo of Mari’s face.  I’m not so great at taking pictures and since my camera seems to have a 9 second delay before it takes a photo I usually decide to forgo the embarrassment of whispering “wait, just wait, just hold it” in hushed tones out of the corner of my mouth to the person standing next to me.  Moral of the story?  Some pictures.  Not many.

3. As a result of my trip (see #2) my obsession with Shark Week has reached a premature fever pitch.  I’m telling you- I don’t quite know what the deal is with me and (as I like to call it) The Deep Blue, but I know I’m obsessed.

4. I watched Steel Magnolias tonight.  I bought it for $5 at Target yesterday and I’m willing to go out on a limb and say it’s the best darn $5 I’ve spent this month.  It gets me every time.

5. Is anyone else done with this 5,000 degree humidity we’re suffering in Texas?  I know I am.  I get so upset with the weather man when he says “The high today is 93, but with the heat index it’s gonna feel like 118 out there”.  Just say it’s gonna be a 118.  Don’t get my hopes up.

There you have it.  It makes no sense, but when have I ever made sense?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Can’t Handle The Truth

I don’t know if you’ve ever spent a great deal of time around kids who aren’t yours, but the same thing seems to happen every time.  They start out sweet and kind and flattering… then they get confused.  The kids start to believe that you’re one of the family and so they believe it’s ok to abuse you and misuse you any way they want.  Since I baby sit the twins everyday and have for the past two summers, and since I’ve known them for three years they have begun to think of me as family.  Part of me loves that.  The other part of me is busy nursing my bruised leg (from when Omar thought I was a jungle gym and accidentally kicked me doing a somersault off my body) and ego.  And the hits to my ego have been especially hard lately.

To prove my case, here’s a little conversation we had today:

Iman said, “Ms. Crystal?  There’s something wrong with my eye!”

“Oh No!  We should have my friend Sarah look at it.  She’s a doctor.  An EYE doctor.”  I replied.

“Wow.  We should introduce her to my Mom and Dad” (their parents are both doctors).

I said, “That’s a good idea, we could introduce Sarah to your parents and we should introduce her husband Justin to them too, because he’s also a doctor.”

“How old is your friend, Ms. Crystal?  40?”

“No, Iman.  She’s my age.”

“Oh, I know why she’s a doctor and you’re not.” Iman said.

“You do?  Why?”

Iman said, “Because she’s smarter than you.  She’s your age and she’s already got a husband so she must be A LOT smarter than you are.”

And there you have it.  Not only am I not a doctor, I’m also not married.  And apparently, stupid.

I know she’s 7, and her reasoning may not be totally based in logic, but I’m not going to lie to you: part of me thinks she might be on to something.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Came Just Shy Of Promising

So, remember yesterday, when I promised I had a big post planned for today?  That was absolutely NOT a lie.  However, I failed to mention that I’d have to finish that post yesterday and then I failed to remember that I am a lazy bum who had yesterday off and consequently forgot how to do anything that didn’t involve a “Real Housewives of New Jersey” marathon.  And then I failed to remember how to compose a sentence without running on for lines at a time.  What’s interesting is that even as I wrote yesterday’s post I nearly threw an “I Promise” in and then I thought-  “No.  You don’t promise, because that’s the most surefire way to fail.”  So, I didn’t promise, but I still sorta failed.

In order to tide you over between now and whenever I get around to finishing the post that I began on May 29th I’d just like to tell you all that I saw “Eclipse” tonight.  Finally.  And after viewing it all I could think about was how badly I wish I was 17 again.  Because maybe then I would feel less oogey about how extremely good looking I find Taylor Lautner.  And Robert Pattinson.  And basically every other underage werewolf or vampire in the movie.  But, unless I miraculously turn 17 again sometime soon I guess I’ll have to entertain myself with normal non-shape shifting men.  But, honestly, would a night out with a Cullen really be too much to ask? 

If I promise to avoid red meat on our date?

Monday, July 5, 2010


Lately, all I’ve been writing have been this birthday posts, so maybe you should be thankful that my friend’s have summer birthdays.  Or maybe you’re sad that all I’m getting around to writing about are other people’s lives.  I have seen the error of my ways and I already have a post planned for tomorrow that’s all about me!  But, for today, let’s talk about my friend Sarah.

Giggly Sarah You all know the drill, yesterday was Sarah’s 26th birthday and so, here’s a list of 26 reasons to love Sarah!

1. I met Sarah on my second day at DBU.  My roommate Alison and I were returning to our room and she and her roommate Miranda were returning to theirs and we lived down the hall from each other so we introduced ourselves and became FAST friends.  We ended up hanging out at dinner that night, then hanging out after dinner, then hanging out late into the night that night.  Indicative of many days to come.

2. Sarah is a Doctor!  Doctor Sarah!  How cool is it that I have a friend who is a Doctor and can check out my eyes if I need it?

3. When we lived in the dorms together Sarah would often wake me up and keep me up until 2 a.m.- she was never ready for the party to end.  We had some of the CRAZIEST times together at around 1:45 in the morning.

4. In college we often talked about taking a big road trip to Vegas and San Francisco.  We were going to name it the “Hit That Ho Up Tour”.  I have no idea WHY we were going to call it that and I’m a little disturbed by it, but it’s mainly just funny.

5. Sarah is married to Justin, who has quickly become one of my favorite people.  It’s almost scary how perfect they are for each other.  They are fun and easy to be around, I’m very glad that they agree to hang out with me from time to time.

To The Rescue 

6. One time, for a college organization, Sarah and I had to sing a duet at an initiation ceremony.  We sang “Faith Of Our Fathers”.  It was hilarious.

7. Sarah’s an amazing musician and worship leader.

8. For a long time Sarah embraced the popped collar so wholeheartedly you would have thought she was a frat boy.  But, she made it work… and even made it look cool.

Popped Collar

9. Sarah and I share a healthy fear of anything to do with horror movies.  And when I say “healthy fear” I mean we are easily terrified and may never recover if we get scared by something or someone.  I appreciate that I have someone to NOT go see scary movies with.

10. Sarah can make any place feel homey and comfortable.  When we were in Africa we lived in rooms which were a far cry from home, but Sarah took some of her old coke bottles, washed them out and put flowers in them on her windowsill.  It made her room feel very welcoming.  It’s the kind of thing she does now, in her new house (which is beautiful and welcoming).

11. She has great style!  Both in fashion and decorating (see #10).

12. The LEMON SHAKER.  Sarah has a collection of rhythm shakers and one of them is a lemon.  Freshmen year of college I stole the lemon and wrote a ransom note.  She retaliated by papering my door and begging for the lemon’s return.  I still have the decorated papers from my door and Sarah still has the lemon.  It is an iconic story from our friendship.

13. THIS PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Decapitated Head Picture

14. We share a mutual love for the old SNL skit “Brian Fellows”.  Brian Fellows is the world’s worst zoologist / TV host.  “That shaggy rat needs a haircut!”

15. There was a time when Sarah and I kept accidentally dressing alike.  We would get ready in different cities and show up wearing the almost exact same pink polo and jeans or blue t-shirt and khaki skirt.

16. One time we organized (and starred) in a musical for DBU’s spring sing.  It was our own take on Mary Poppins and it was genius.

17. Sarah is a person who does what she loves.  She loves being around and interacting with people and she loves eyes.  Plus, she’s really good at both of those things.  Whatever Sarah does she does it with 110%- something I’m sure her patients appreciate.

18. About 12 days after I met her Sarah took me to visit her family and I fell in love with her parents!  They are amazing and it’s been a joy to get to know the Mercer clan as I got to know Sarah.

19. We both love to go out and be adventurous, but we are equally happy to stay home, do an art project and watch “You’ve Got Mail”.  That’s not something you can say about many friends.

20. She’s beautiful!  Inside and out!

Smiley Sarah

Sarah and Friend

21. She is wickedly funny and has some of the best one-liners.  She makes me giggle and when we spend a lot of time laughing when we’re together.

22. Sarah has a deep and steady faith.  She loves our Lord with great passion.

23. She’s cool.  I mean it.  She’s just plain cool.

24. Sarah is one of the smartest people I know.  She’s also one of the hardest working people I know.  But, she’s never arrogant.  If she wasn’t one of my best friends it would be sickening.

25. I don’t really know how we’re still friends or even really how we became friends to begin with.  All I can figure is, God, in His infinite wisdom, knew something we didn’t and has continued to renew our friendship and grow our bonds.  We met 8 years ago and our friendship continues to grow sweeter. 

26. I love you Sarah, you are such a wonderful friend!  Thanks for being YOU.

S and C

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day!


Happy Fourth of July!

From Your Favorite Yankee Doodle Dandee

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The First Post Of Many Where I Blame Everything On The Heat

So, I’ve been a bit out of the blog loop here lately.  I don’t really know how to explain it except to say, it’s been 1,000 degrees here and I’m homeless and I have nothing exciting to write about (unless you consider being homeless an exciting thing to blog about).  One week off quickly became two and then, here we are, three weeks later and I have fallen so far off the blogging band wagon that I can’t even see the wagon anymore.

I have a few posts “in production” that I never finished and I was starting to wonder if they would still be relevant and interesting all these weeks after I wrote them, but then I checked Katy’s blog and was deeply inspired.  She did a whopping 7 posts in one day and put me to shame.  So, get excited, because I’m sure you have all been wondering what precisely I was doing on May 29th and now you get to find out.

What do you think it is about the summer that makes blogging so hard?  I’m inclined to blame the 1,000 degree heat, but since the heat is my perpetual whipping boy this time of year, maybe it’s unkind to blame it for my procrastination too.  All I know is that I’m planning on spending the next two months in an ice bath and I’ll be sure to blog all about it.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Because I am nothing, if not a prompt and timely person, I am only one day late in getting this post up.  So, technically, imagine that this is all happening yesterday which is my dear friend Katy’s 26th birthday.  Here they are: 26 reasons that you should all love and adore her as much as I do.


1.  My second day at DBU I went to a welcome party and was sitting next to a girl who was kind of shy and wasn’t talking very much.  When I went back to my room later the girl was walking down the hall towards me, it was Katy.  Turns out we lived on the same hall and would continue to life on the same hall or in the same apartment for the next 3 1/2 years. 

2. For 3 years Katy and I also worked together.  Every Sunday night we would go and baby-sit at a local house church.  The fun was endless, although it was occasionally difficult to tell who the kids were: us or them.

3. Katy and I share a mutual love for the finer things in life.  Things such as: Pringles, Velveeta Shells and Cheese, Frozen Pizza, a plethora of fast food establishments- preferably Sonic or Chic-Fil-A, and, above all else, we love Queso.

4. If I’m ever in a store and I can’t decide on a dress or a purse, Katy is my go-to phone call or text message buddy.  She always helps me make the right decision.

5. This past year Katy became a Mama and she is so sweet, patient and loving to her little girl.  Ginger is a really lucky to have such an amazing Mom and it’s been so fun to see Katy become a Mother.

katy and ginger

6. Katy is beautiful- inside and out.

7. Katy is a really loyal friend and she just gets me.  It almost goes without saying, but it’s really rare to find someone who “gets me” without me having to explain myself in circles.

8. She got me hooked on Twilight.  I owe her big time for exposing me to Edward’s sparkly skin and ray-bans.

9. One day she and I are going to go on vacation and visit Charleston, South Carolina.  We decided to visit Charleston because one time, in our book club (our book club only included the two of us), we read Gone With The Wind and then decided to visit the old south.  Until we actually get to go on our vacation, we plan for it.  We are constantly on the lookout for cool things to do in Charleston.

10. Katy brought this little bunny into my life. 

Ginger Girl I’ll forever love her for that!

11. Katy and I are pen pals.  We talk a lot on the phone, text, twitter, email, and comment on one another's’ blogs but we also write each other letters, send cards and notes the old fashioned snail mail way.  There is nothing better than actually having something good in the mail box.  Especially when it’s from a sweet, sweet friend.  I don’t do this with many people, and I think it’s just something really special about Katy.  (Which reminds me, I need your new address Kates!)

12. We’ve been friends for a long time, and it just keeps getting better!

13. I really love Katy’s family.  If they would have me, I would spend tons of my free time hanging out with them, or going on vacation with them like we did a few summers ago.


14. In addition to number 13., Katy is married to Daniel, who is the kind of guy everyone should know and have in their life.  Not only has he brought lots of love and happiness into Katy’s life, he also taught me all about Bernoulli’s Principle of Aerodynamics, for which I am eternally grateful. 

15. One time I dyed Katy’s hair and it ACCIDENTALLY turned bright orange-red.  We’re talking Little Mermaid Orange-Red!  And we’re still friends.  She even let me dye it back the next day.  Forgiveness is important in friendship. (Although, for the life of me, I’ll never, ever, ever forget the hat she had to wear on her Ariel day before we could get her hair back to looking normal.)

16. Any sort of Law and Order: SVU marathon will make us both incredibly happy.  And if an episode of Arrested Development somehow found its way into the mix, we would die of bliss.

17. Since Katy grew up with sisters, she understands and appreciates the art of sharing.  Accessories, jewelry, shoes, clothes… you name I have been the benefactor of her generous spirit and adorable fashion sense!

18. This picture:

French Fry Fool

19. Katy is the best listener!  She doesn’t judge.  She just listens. And then she gently speaks truth into my life.

20. Sing-Alongs.  There’s nothing better than belting out some Kelly Clarkson, Selah, Amy Grant or show tunes in the car with Katy.  She’s amazing!

21. Katy loves the Lord, so much and has always had such a deep relationship with the Father.  She also has one of the sweetest Salvation stories.  Her walk is an inspiration to me.

22. Katy spent a summer in Shanghai, China and worked as a missionary- teaching children English.  If that wasn’t reason enough to love her, she also taught her little Chinese children all about Mary Poppins and they even put on a Mary Poppins play at the end of her time there.

23. Since Daniel’s job requires he and Katy to move quite a bit, I have gotten to visit them in several locations.  This may not be one of Katy’s favorite things, because I know she’d love to be closer to home, but it’s always fun to visit her- she’s the best hostess.

24. Katy always encourages me, and she ALWAYS makes me laugh!  Her humor is definitely one of my favorite things about her.

katy dress up 25. One time, in college, Katy scored free tickets for us to visit Six Flags and so she and I headed over to amuse ourselves for an afternoon.  However, we forgot that just because you have free tickets does not mean you have free parking.  We literally paid the $8 parking ticket with $4 in ones, $1 in quarters, $1.50 in nickels and dimes and (I kid you not) $1.50 in pennies.  It would have been embarrassing but we were too excited about all the roller coasters.

26. I love you dearly, Katy.  You are beyond words, and no list (even a 26 item-long-list) could ever describe how glad I am that we are friends and that we are getting to “grow up” together. 

Happy Birthday, sweet friend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Note From Me To You:

Dear Reader(s),

      Sometimes blogging is hard.  Thinking of words to say, then placing those words in sequential order to form a clear sentence with a beginning, middle, end and making some sort of point is difficult.  Doing it in the midst of a ton of life changes when you don’t know whether you’re coming or going?  Extra hard.

    But, starting next week I plan on having a better handle on myself, my emotions and my ability to place words in a sequential order and form understandable sentences.  (Just a completely pointless note, today, I was playing “school'” with the kids I baby-sit and I totally misspelled the word “sentence” and I kept staring at it trying to figure out what was wrong and I knew that I shouldn’t have spelled it “sentance” but then I didn’t want to let a couple of 3rd graders know that they’re smarter than me, so I didn’t mention it.)

Thanks for sticking with me.  It’s beyond me why anyone would continue to stop here and read for a few minutes, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

Love!  Crystal

Monday, May 31, 2010


For those who serve our country so I may live in peace; and in the memory of those brave men and women who gave their lives:

Thank you.



    O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defense, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Heavenly Father, we commend to thy gracious care and keeping all the men and women in our Armed Forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with thy heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils that beset them; and help them to know that none can pluck out of thy hand those who put their trust in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    O Eternal God, we commend to thy fatherly care all those who are enlisted in the Armed Forces. In time of preparation grant that discipline and training may fit them worthily to serve our country, and in the day of strife guide and sustain them in upholding the cause of justice and freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From The Book Of Common Prayer (Armed Forces Prayer Book)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where I’m Comin’ From


Here’s the deal.  I am moving this weekend and my apartment currently looks like it is where boxes come to find eternal life.  Not to be confused with my mind, which is where thoughts go to die.  Clearly, I am navigating quite the obstacle course at the moment.

All this to say: I’m sorry.  I’m not much for witty blog posts at the moment.  Although, my friend Alison did tell me I should write an article called “My Life In Boxes” describing my current state in life.  When she told me that I had two thoughts:

1. How sweet is it that she thinks I could write an article?  That’s just precious.  If she only knew how scary a place the inside of my head is at the moment.

2. I am totally stealing that idea.

So, there’s something to look forward to.  Life really is put into perspective when you realize that you’ve just packed an entire box full of purses.

Until next time, here’s hoping I work up enough energy to actually get a picture of all the boxes…  Let’s not hold our breath on that one though, ok?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Man Cannot Live on Coupons Alone

I have an endless supply of hilarious stories from my college days.  Let’s face the facts, you get enough teenagers around one another and you are sure to find a plethora of funny stories due to the impaired judgment caused by youthful ignorance.  Case and point:

oompa loompa (Yes. That is my friend Sarah. 

And, yes. She is dressed like an Oompa Loompa.

And, yes.  She is a Doctor now.

And, yes.  Clearly I am a master photographer.)

Anyway, back to the story at hand.  At some point during our sophomore year there was some event that the university was sponsoring, and being the upstanding students that we were, Katy was left in charge of a HUGE stack of coupons to hand out to the events attendees.  The coupons were to our favorite Mexican restaurant- Don Pablo’s.

Don Pablo’s (or as we called it, Donny P’s) was our favorite for 3 very important reasons:

1. Location (it was absolutely the closest we could get to food that was not cafeteria food.  Very important… or as my friend Donny P would say “mui importante”)

2. The chips and queso.

3. The chips and salsa.

So, the stack of coupons Katy was supposed to hand out never seemed to make it into the hands of our fellow students.  All of the coupons were for FREE Chips, Queso and Salsa.  Imagine, if you will, a stack of over 200 coupons for free food.  Then imagine, you were a poor, hungry college student, with poor, hungry college student friends. 

Two words: Perfect Storm.

It would have been embarrassing, if we had any pride to begin with.  But did I mention the poor and hungry part?  We would often go to Don Pablo’s and use 2 or 3 coupons per meal.  But, our favorite thing was to call in an order of chips and queso then when we showed up we would hand over a trusty coupon and take our meal home with us.  When we got to our dorm, and people saw the Donny P’s bag being carried in, our room would turn into the college equivalent of a shark’s feeding frenzy.  People went crazy for the chips and queso.

We began to notice a problem when we realized that we were using our coupons 2 or 3 times a week.  It was getting more and more humiliating to order up some chips and queso that many times a week and never pay any money.  Not for a coke or for an enchilada or anything.

Eventually, the day came when our coupons were all used up and it was a sad, sad moment in time.  Like the end of an era…

(Also known as the beginning of being an adult and paying for stuff.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So, Cleopatra and a Pirate Walk Into A Costume Party…

When you’ve been friends for as long as Chelsea and I have you tend to have some of the same conversations over and over again.  Of course, they never start the same, but we typically end up discussing about the same old subjects in almost verbatim conversations.  If you get us talking long enough we are sure to fall into a routine.  Whether talking about our favorite foods or sharing our opinions on the Real Housewives of New Jersey we just can’t seem to think of anything new to say, so we stick to what’s familiar.

There is one bizarre conversation that has been repeated so many times over the course of our friendship, and it is the oddest of all of our running diatribes.  Chels and I often talk about our need to clean out our closets, and our mutual fear of losing something important if we ever actually do clean out our closets. 

The conversation is always the same and ends with Chelsea saying “I mean, what if I get invited to a Halloween party and I want to be a pirate and I’ve already given away the perfect pirate shirt?”  And then I add, “I know, I mean what if I want to be Cleopatra and I’ve given away all the right clothes and accessories?”

Obviously the conversation always ends the same.  I mean, clearly, you never know when you will need to be dressed up as a pirate or Cleopatra so the only solution is to NEVER clean out your closet.  And, it goes without saying that, this Halloween Cleopatra and a pirate are coming to a costume party near you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Mother of All Holidays

So, I fully recognize that I am days behind on this post, but you’ll just have to grin and bear it (or maybe just click away from my blog). 

This weekend I headed home for Mother’s Day and enjoyed some quality time with the best Mama in the whole wide world:


On Saturday, Mom and I headed out to shop a little (bearing in mind that by “little” I mean “ton”).  We had a great time and I bought some shorts.  Officially becoming the first time I’ve bought shorts I plan on wearing out of the house in about 5 years (What can I say? My pasty white legs and I have issues).  After the shopping we dropped by the church so Mom and Dad could get their church directory photo taken then headed home to cook out.

Late Saturday night my brother came home and so, on Sunday morning I cooked breakfast then we all headed to church.  It was really fun to all be together, something that hasn’t happened too often lately since Colin has been working so hard at his new job.

018 - Copy (2) Colin and I.

It’s a MIRACLE that I managed to get a picture of him without his hand over his face, so please understand that his weird almost-smile is a huge success in the grand scheme of things.  So much so, that this picture will probably surpass any of my Mom’s other gifts as her favorite part of this whole Mother’s Day.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I were cropped out of this photo sometime soon since my Mom is always saying she just wishes she had a recent picture of Colin.  Granted, that would require my Mom to know how to crop someone out of a picture- or to at least know what cropping is.

On a serious note: My brother is four years older than me and during those four years my Mom suffered some painful miscarriages.  I am eternally grateful that my Mom refused to quit trying for another baby and held out hope for me.  She seemed to know I would come along (in my own time- as usual).  Beyond the gift of life, one of the  greatest gifts my Mom gave to me was love, and she gave it to me long before she even knew me.  I’ve always known that my parents wanted and loved me before they met me, and I have always been a cherished daughter.  It breaks my heart to think of children who never know what it is to feel a parents love.

Beyond all these things Mom has taught me to be kind, to stand up for myself and to laugh at myself.  Most of all she’s shown me what unswerving devotion to Christ looks like and has been a solid rock of faith all my life.  The point is: I love you, Mom!

I’m done bragging now, I promise.  At least until tomorrow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Miracle Worker

Last night, my friend Meredith took matters into her own hands and made something beautiful happen.  She (once again) fixed my blog.  It amazes that Meredith always knows exactly what my blog needs even when I don’t.  It’s a good thing Mere did the redesign for me, because anytime I try to design a new blog header, I end up cursing the day computers were invented and taking my anger to Twitter to bore anyone there who’ll listen.  And quite frankly, I don’t need all the drama in my life (especially when said drama is coming from an inanimate object).  Anyway, thanks Meredith! I love it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back to the Internet Land of the Living

I’m alive.  I promise.

It’s been an extra crazy week this week, so the crib has kind of fallen by the wayside.  I’m sure you were all waiting on baited breath for an update, but what can I say?  Sometimes life’s tough and you have to sacrifice things- like getting to daily read a blog filled with mediocrity.

So, I can’t really advertise what’s coming up, because I don’t really know what’s coming up.  I’m living life one day at a time.  But stick around, because that’s the beauty of this whole blog thing- you just never know what might be coming.

And, just to tide you over: as many of you know, I am a voice teacher and I mainly work with middle schoolers.  Apparently, the hottest current trend in middle school fashion are these rubber band bracelets called “Silly Bandz” (I don’t know if that’s ‘bandz’ spelled with a ‘z’ or not, but it just feels right, so I’m goin’ with it).  Silly Bandz come in a ton of different colors and when you take them off your arm they form shapes.  Last week I was talking to one of my students who was wearing about a hundred of the bracelets, and I shared about how, back when I was in school- aka “The Land Before Time”, we all were gaga over Slap Bracelets, and I told her how they were the coolest things ever back in the day.  My student said she knew what those were (I think she might have seen one in a museum, or even worse, I’m old enough that the trend has already come around a second time).  Anyway, this week, at the end of her lesson, my sweet student said “here, this is for you” and handed me a neon yellow Silly Band from her own collection.  I was so touched!  Then she told me “It’s in the shape of a singing dragon.”

A singing dragon…

A singing DRAGON…

I sing… and… ouch.

Am I reading too much into this or did I just get slammed by a 12 year old and her neon bracelet?  If only I had a slap bracelet handy, I could show her who’s the boss.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend of Weird

On Saturday morning I agreed to attend a party for the students who I teach voice lessons too.  At Main Event.  Just for clarification that’s yours truly, Main Event (bowling, video games, laser tag and glow in the dark putt-putt), and 25 seventh and eighth grade boys and girls.  And I had to be there at 8:45.  And I volunteered to do it.  Let’s let that all sink in for a moment of silence.

I’m gonna need two moments.


At some point, between getting slaughtered at bowling by a 14 year old girl and chasing a 13 year old around a pillar carrying a laser gun while in a dark room filled with fog I realized that this wasn’t my typical Saturday morning.  I mean, the dark room filled with fog is normal, but the rest is definitely unusual.

Let’s just say, that after a morning of being terrorized by teenagers I was exhausted.  So, I left around noon, made a few phone calls and decided to take a little Saturday afternoon nap.  It was perfect napping weather, overcast and gloomy, so I settled in and ended up sleeping for 4 and a half hours.  I don’t think I’ve taken a nap that long since college or maybe even high school.  When I woke up at 6:30 I felt a more than a little out of it.  And if I hadn’t needed to sleep so badly then I would have felt like the day was ruined, but I choose to look on the bright side and think about all the sleep I’d caught up on.

So, after the weirdest Saturday on record at casa de Crystal, I am kind of ready for the work week to begin.  And that is going to be the first and last time you’ll ever hear me say that.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Checkout Cheat

Yesterday I was standing in line at the grocery store checkout patiently waiting my turn when the manager came over and said, “M'a’am, we can get you over on Aisle 1 right now, if you’re ready.”

Aisle 1.

This has happened to me on more than one occasion and it upsets me.  Now I realize that it may sound like the height of stupidity to be upset about someone getting me out of the checkout line in a timely manner, BUT…  The problem is that, Aisle 1? That’s 15 items or less.  And I had about 35 items.  So, I come out looking like the checkout cheat who is trying to ignore the rules and believes that her milk and Pringles are more important than everyone else’s 15 items.  Not the case.

Once again my irrational need to please people is pitted against my irrational need to obey the rules.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weekend, Part 2

If you missed the first two days of my weekend scroll on down and check it out.  On Sunday I invited some friends to join me at the Denton Jazz and Arts Festival.  I love a festival, I love fun music and I especially love people watching, so I knew that I was in for a good time.

On with the pictures:

020 Chelsea, Cortnee and Dara

021 Ready to Go!



Dara and I were both ROCKIN’ our Sperry’s, while Chelsea opted for a 1996 throw-back courtesy of some Jellies.


Chelsea and I preparing for the walk to the fest.


When we got to the festival, the first thing we saw was this woman, on stage with her band, rockin’ out on the keyboard with both legs stretched WIIIIDE apart in her short little dress.  She had a voice that kind of sounded like a character from Sesame Street only she was singing about magic and dragons.  In retrospect, I’m kind of disturbed on behalf of those poor girls standing in front of the stage to have their picture made.  But, at the time, all I could think was “THIS is what I want to see at a festival”.

Next, we headed over to grab some lemonade, and thus, begin our trip through the festival via awesome/terrible foods.  Prepare yourself for a montage of our favorites.




Cotton Candy (making all my dreams come true).


Iced Tea.


Funnel Cake (making all Chelsea’s festival dreams come true, and doubling the festival blessings for me)


Finally, after eating our way across about 20 acres of festival we sat down and enjoyed some tunes.


I didn’t get a picture of the belly dancers (you can thank me later) or the Vigilante Band (a favorite band of ours that only played 16 measures at a time) or the man walking around on stilts (because, obviously…).  But, I think you get the overall impression of how awesome the Jazz Fest was.  Maybe next year you can bring your Jellies (or Sperry’s) and eat your way across town with us!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Recap Part 1 (AKA The Baby Days)

I had a JAM-PACKED weekend and so I will be splitting it up because it really deserves two separate posts.  It was so full that for today, and today only, I’m going to lay off the comedy (if that’s even possible) and go straight to the photographic evidence.

On Friday I got to have lunch with this cute girl:

005 And her cute Mama:

006 A few side notes about this picture.  1. I feel like Katy and I look like the Double Mint twins with our toothy grins and 2. I really enjoy that you can see my ‘Stretch Armstrong’ arm reflected in both mine and Katy’s sunglasses.

I’m going to miss these two an awful lot when they head back to their real lives in North Carolina this week.  I was so glad to get a little more time in with them.

ging and crys She is the cutest, most accessorized baby!  I can’t believe how much she’s grown in the last month and a half.  And I can’t wait for many  more lunch dates to come.

After lunch, I had to pick up my friend Yumi so we could go find a gift for our friend Rachel’s shower.  And Yumi brought a snack for us to have on the road…

007 Fish Snacks.  Or, as the label on the package calls them “Fishnacks”

And these smelled extra fishy.  Yum.

We got our gifts and got them wrapped.



On Saturday we headed to Rachel’s baby shower.  Rachel is a friend from grad school and there is NEVER a dull moment when she’s around.  Case and point:


Her middle name is Drama.

The shower was at a really cool tea house and we had “grand tea”:


DSCF0287 They brought each of us our own tea pot and we got to choose our tea.  I was all about this (I was also all about the scones- yum!).

Best of all we got to celebrate Rachel and baby Aria.

DSCF0273 I lived a lot of life over the past three years alongside these women and it was really good to be with them.  I still can’t believe Rachel’s going to be a Mother.  It’s going to take some time to get used to that.

So, that was the first two days of fun in my weekend, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow when you will get to enjoy several photos of me partaking in festival food.  Sorry.  I know you’re crushed to have to wait.

I hope your weekends were as glorious as mine.  Happy Monday!