Sunday, January 31, 2010

Resolution Rewind

Today is the last day in January.  I say that just in case you missed it and didn’t realize that it’s the 31st which means that my January Resolution is up!  And it was successful.  I challenged myself to blog for 5 days a week this month and I survived.  Granted, I won’t be winning any literary awards any time soon, but I had a lot of fun doing it which was the whole point.

And since most people do a year in review I’ve decided to be completely self-indulgent and start slowly with just a month in review.  Here were a few of my favorite January moments (in case you missed it the first time):

5.  My Mom surprised me with a gift that keeps on giving.

4. I shared this sad reality.

3. This picture surfaced on the blog.

2. I had a (rare) moment of seriousness and shared my failure when it comes to perfection.

1. Do you ever forget the mid to late 90’s?  This little post brought the memories SCREAMING back to me.

Before this all began I knew that at the end of the month I would want to write a post about how it had all changed my life and the way I look at my days.  Instead, it mainly exhausted me and made me realize that I don’t do anything.  Upon realizing this, most people would stop writing a blog.  But, luckily for my reader, my own personal combination of ego and denial refuses to let me quit.  In other words:

Good News Internets, I’m here to STAY!

(Unless I change my mind in the next week)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Coffee Shop Flashback

Many Thursday nights in college you could find me shirking responsibility and procrastinating reality in the DBU Coffee Shop.  Because everything at DBU came with accompanying name and Bible verse the actual full name was the “Fill My Cup Coffee House”.  Luckily, we didn’t let the cheesy name deter us from the fun that the coffee shop had to offer.

These Thursday nights (and some Wednesday and Friday nights) had a few fixtures:

1. Lots of Laughter

2. A big cup of Caramel Macchiato (oh, to be 20 again and able to drink coffee after 8:00 without spending the rest of the night awake)

3. David Ramirez playing some tunes

Well, Thursday night I had a little taste of my old coffee shop days.  My friend, David was in my town playing a gig at a local coffee shop and so, naturally (being the groupie that I am), I was there.  A few things had changed from my DBU days. 

Namely my age and coolness quotient.

But other than that it was basically the same.  There were a few other old DBU-ers there and we got a chance to visit which was fun.  In all seriousness, David’s music has never been better, he’s truly gifted and you should definitely check him out if you haven’t yet.

The day after the coffee shop redux, I was filling in my friend Miranda and she asked who I went with to the coffee shop.  I told Mir that I went by myself and I’m not exaggerating when I say she gasped and said “that’s so cool.  I wish I could be like you”.  I’m guessing she meant that she’d like to be able to walk into a room alone like I did (another drastic change from my college days- I no longer travel in a pack- much to my sadness).

But maybe she meant she wishes she could be able to relive her past too.  Or maybe she meant she wishes she could be a 26-year old groupie who’s able to walk into a room filled with college kids wearing her sweater set and pearls- all in the name of music, of course.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This Post Brought to You By Exhaustion and Rain

So, I have tons of posts that are in the rough draft stage, but unfortunately the inclimate weather has made me unable to finish them.  Why?  Because I say so, that’s why.  Plus, I’ve driven about 250 miles in the last two days and I’m exhausted.  Also, the tires on my car are acting crazy and blah, blah, blah blah blah.  Boring.  I’m trying to reign in the posts about my sore hip, trick knee and 9:30 bedtime. 

Anyway, here are a few things I’m currently intrigued by:

1. This Mascara.  Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the folks over at the makeup companies have gone a little crazy on this one.  Last time I checked the shape of the eye hasn’t changed.  I’m all for great inventions that make my face look better, but I’m not sure about this one.  However, I will absolutely have to try it.

2. Ok.  Maybe that’s the only thing I’m currently intrigued by.

Love y’all.  Happy Weekend!  And (maybe) expect some weekend posts to keep you all entertained through the long cold weekend.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Letter To My Mattress

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming so that I can talk to an inanimate object that I’m pretty sure doesn’t read my blog.

Dear Mattress,

I realize I put you under a lot of undue stress by watching movies, checking me email and reading books while on you, but if you could please stop being so uncomfortable at night as I try to settle in and find my sweet spot I’d really appreciate it.  M’kay?

Also, if you could please stop being so blissfully comfortable at 6:00 in the morning, making me want to snuggle up under my blankets and stay warm, that would be really helpful.

Thank you.

Your friend, Crystal

Aren’t mornings the absolute worst?  (Unless, of course, there are donuts or cinnamon rolls or breakfast taquitos or pigs in a blanket involved.  Or unless sunrises in your pj’s, reading in your pj’s or laying under the covers in your pj’s are involved.  In which case morning’s are perfectly lovely.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


As I may have mentioned one or five hundred times before that I am a former poor grad student who just finished grad school and now has seven million dollars worth of student loans to repay.  Seven million might possibly be over estimating my debt by a million or three, but still.  Due to my current desire to not die of hypothermia I have had to make the ultimate sacrifice and give up cable television as well as basic television in exchange for heat.  I’m stuck with an antenna for all my television needs, and thanks to DTV that means that when the wind blows out of the north, south, east or west I can only get about two channels at a time.  I’ve been known to actually hold the antenna in my hand in order to receive a tv channel (but only for very special occasions- i.e. the Jim/Pam wedding on The Office).

So, all that to say- I swore off watching The Bachelor after the last one with Jason, followed quickly by my decision to swear off watching The Bachelorette because of Gillian’s somewhat risqué season.  And since both those seasons were FILLED with completely wrong decisions, it seemed like an easy task.  That is, until I couldn’t watch it do to my Poor/DTV/Antenna problems.  I began to drive myself crazy because the only thing worse than watching it was not watching it.  Finally, last night I was able to rig up my antenna so that I could watch ABC.  And the heavens rejoiced.

I’d like to pretend that having missed three episodes made it difficult to catch up but au contraire, my friend… sometimes you can just plunk down right in the middle of a good drama and instantly understand the players and their motives (ask any girl who’s ever lived in a college dorm).  Since I promised myself never to watch the show again I can’t bring myself to talk about it too much, but there are some things that MUST be said:

1. Hide and Seek.  I’ve been on some pretty sad dates but I’ve never been asked to play hide and seek on one.  I reserve Hide and Seek for the truly special people in my life- seven year olds.

2. BUT, if I were going to play Hide and Seek on my date you better believe I would play it a lot better than they did.  I mean he could totally just check under the trees and see her feet.  Duh.

3. Don’t even get me STARTED on the fact that Jake picked that girl up and carried her to nowhere for all of three minutes.  And don’t EVEN get me started on the way he was carrying her.

4. Spin The Bottle- there are two of you.  Unless you’re willing to make out with a tree, we all know how this is gonna end.

5. My favorite line of the night was something to the effect of: “I’m going to throw my heart out there and just see where it lands” (he’s a pilot…. where it lands….. greatness).

That’s about as in depth as I’m able to go, because have I mentioned the absence of the DVR in my life?  Also, I think it’s for the best that I never talk or think about the fact that I’ve completely turned my back on my own principles by returning to the show I’d promised to forget.  Oh Bachelor, I wish I could quit you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Who’s With Me??

Who else has started to cleaning out their pantry fueled with energy and high hopes?  You get about one shelf done…..



And then you realize you’re exhausted and don’t have the energy to finish the other four shelves.

So you have to make a choice.  Live like this for a few days:

SANY0726 Or finish your shelf.

Tough decision.  What would you do?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


In August of 2002 I packed up my car and drove with my parents to DBU where I was starting my freshman year of college.  There aren’t enough words or time to explain how much I loved that first year of college.  Part of the reason that year was so exciting was my incredible roommate Alison.

Freshmen Our VERY first day in our DBU dorm room in 2002.  (This picture is hilarious for many reasons: 1. our dorm room. 2. the fact that Alison is obviously bending down and I am on my tippy toes so I’ll look tall. 3. Alison’s bed is made and perfect while mine still has junk all over it.  An indicator of many days to come…)

We had so much fun living together and she is, to this day, one of the most thoughtful friends I have.  We were roommates for the next four years, until she graduated and left me. 

One of the first things Alison and I talked about when we met was the fact that our birthdays were not very far apart.  First my birthday, then Christmas/Winter Break and then Alison’s birthday. 

So, today is Alison’s birthday and I’ve compiled a Top 26 list in honor of her 26th birthday. 

Here it goes:

1. Even though her name is Alison, her nickname has been “Cal” since very early on freshman year, and she doesn’t seem to mind it.  Even when people think we’re calling her “cow”.

2. Her nickname is “Cal” because she was flirting with this guy in the coffee shop and he asked what her name was and she replied “Caliente” (Spanish for “hot”).  So we called her Caliente for a while and eventually shortened it to Cal.  I just love this story.  It’s so very Alison.

3. We have stayed friends for a long time, through some truly crazy things.

4. The time we decided on Wednesday that we needed to get away for the weekend so we left Thursday night for Nashville.  Obviously.

5. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (Alison understands).

6. Alison has an endless supply of costumes, which has always made life very interesting.

n61800553_30775817_6446 She wore this TO WORK last Valentine’s Day….

n61800553_30097391_5451 Jennifer, Me, Cal and Katy (All dressed up for the DBU Lip-Synch)

7.  She is a huge encouragement in my life.  Always believing in me.

8. Cal loves her family and they have been a huge blessing to my life too.  Her mom, Patty has been a huge prayer warrior for me and many of Alison’s other friends.  The bond that the Lord has given our friends with our families has been truly incredible.

9. Alison is an amazing teacher and she loves her students very much.

10. Our freshman year of college we had the party room and it was the best!

11. Alison LOVES coffee.  I mean she LOVES it.  I don’t think I know anyone else who gets as much enjoyment from coffee as she does.

12. Alison loves God with all her heart, mind and soul (in other words, more than coffee).

13. One time I had to go to a music performance for a class, and I, of course, put it off till the very last minute.  So, I asked Cal if she would come with me at 5:30 that night- it started at 8:00, luckily, she agreed to come with me and so we headed off to the Symphony together.  It was a really fun night, that I always remember as being one of my favorite roomie things we did.

14. Alison’s ALWAYS up for an adventure (see #13).

15. She is beautiful.  Inside and out!



16. She worked in the coffee shop at school for a while and she would always make us the best drinks!  It was so much fun to go to the coffee shop and play music- it was like our own little party place, only with a few extra party-goers.

17. Alison is always willing to take on the leadership role.  Definitely important when you are friends with someone as indecisive as me.

18. She’s never met a stranger.

19. In addition to number 18, if Alison ever needs a place to stay in Timbuktu she will invariably know someone’s cousin’s uncles best friend that lives there.  She never burns a bridge.

20. I don’t really know why I decided to do this, but one time I called Alison on the phone and asked if she would be willing to host a Pimps and Hoes (or P and H) party in our dorm room if I promised to invite only girls.  She agreed and we had, maybe the weirdest party ever, on our little Baptist campus.

21.  We never were troublemakers, but we did get up to a bunch of crazy antics together (see #20). 

22. When we get together we laugh.  A LOT!


23. We have now celebrated 8 birthdays as friends.  Crazy!  When did we get that old?

24. We ALWAYS have fun together!

25. When we lived together Alison would always write me little notes of encouragement that meant so much to me.  I’m telling you people, you haven’t lived until you’ve lived with Alison.

26. I love you, Alison.  You are a dear, sweet friend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Totally Tapped

The title of this post has nothin’ to do with nothin’ except the fact that I am totally tapped on writing material.  So, I guess you’re stuck with listening to my day. 

Yesterday was weird.  My students had testing in the morning which meant that I got to show up late.  But, showing up late put my internal calculator totally out of whack.  My morning students came in the afternoon and I was seriously confused about where I was and what was going on.

Since I was going to have to stay at school later than usual I decided to go to the teacher’s lounge and grab a little caffeine.  I put my dollar into the machine and pressed the button for Coke Zero, my current vending machine drink of choice.  Coke Zero?  Sold out.  So, I tried for a Diet Coke- sold out.  Coke? Out.  Sprite? Out.  Water? Out. 

Finally, Mr. Pibb.  Success.   Except not at all a success.  This was the first time I’ve had a Mr. Pibb in years and the first time I’ve had a non-diet drink in a while.  Ever since I drank that Mr. Pibb I’ve had a serious headache.

Also, yesterday I heard that National Pie Day was coming up so I decided to get all domestic and make a pie.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really plan ahead and so my ingredients were very limited.  I had a graham cracker crust, some chocolate chips, and some heavy cream.  So I finally found a good recipe, and I was only missing one ingredient- marshmallows.  Not a big deal, right?  Well, I was supposed to fix up the pie and then let it set in the fridge for about three hours.  I realized about four hours in that this pie desperately needed the marshmallows.  So, I put the pie in the freezer instead and I tried a piece tonight.  It was ok, but a little bit of a disgrace in the light of National Pie Day.

So, in summary, Pie and Pibb.  Sad. 

I’m officially tapped.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Miracle Man

Last night a miracle occurred at my place!

My brother called me.  On the phone.

My brother, Colin, is an elusive man, not given to long phone conversations…. or long conversations.

But that’s not the only miracle that happened last night.  Oh, no.  My brother and I talked on the phone for 7 MINUTES.  Actually, we spoke for 7 minutes AND 47 seconds.  So that’s practically like 8 minutes.  During those 8 minutes we talked about a bunch of different stuff, his new job and living arrangements and my job. 

I know this was a miracle because when I mentioned it to my Mother she was shocked!  She just kept repeating “Colin called you?  HE called YOU?”  If anybody understands my brothers’ hesitancy towards all things talking, it’s my Mom.

The only other thing my brother is hesitant about is taking pictures, but here are a few old school delights that I dug up for you.  These reveal more about my childhood than I care to admit.

Childhood 001 (21)In the back of our big brown van.

Colin 001

Once again, in the Brown Beast.  We spent MANY a family vacation in this thing.

Childhood 001 (14)

Rollercoaster Ride.


And my personal favorite:

Reservation 001We look so little and the teepee that we were visiting looks so big.  And, why were we visiting a teepee???

The teepee didn’t come up in our conversation last night, but we packed a lot of other stuff into our seven minute chat.  Or, what I am now referring to as “the seven minute miracle”.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Temptation…… Thy Name Is Target

By now I should know better.  Target is not a place you should visit when you are just bored and don’t have a specific mission or goal.

DANGER, Big Spender!!

I won’t give you the full total because I’d like to walk away from this blog with my pride intact, and let’s face it, my pride is already hanging by a string due to Monday’s fashion confessions.

In my defense, I had been wanting to own “When Harry Met Sally” ever since I watched it the last time at Miranda’s.  And I had wanted that blingin’ ring for the whole two minutes it took for me to put it on my finger and decide to buy it.

I guess the whole point of this post is to give you this newsflash:

I have no self control.  And, as I explained to the cashier as I checked out: Target is my drug of choice.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bad Hair Day

I went to baby-sit yesterday morning and this is what was waiting for me:

IMG00084-20100118-0942Omar’s hair had revolted in his sleep.  I have nothing but sympathy for him since my hair does this ALL the time. 

Some days straight hair is a curse.

In the mean time….

Aren’t these the cutest kids ever?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Bad Decisions Make For Good Blog Posts

I spent my weekend at home, but I didn’t mention it here on The Crib because everyone who reads this blog already knew that and in case someone else stumbled across my blog I didn’t want them to rob my apartment blind while I was gone like I’ve been hearing so much about (maybe I only heard that one time but it has stuck with me and scared me ever since then).

Anyway, on Saturday, Chelsea and I went out to lunch and we were discussing all of the various style mistakes we had made in our past.  It seemed that the most painful and embarrassing were from our Junior High years.  It makes sense that those would be the years you work harder to fit in, so you force your parents to buy you completely ridiculous stuff in order to be cool.  It doesn’t make sense why it’s the most embarrassing.  I mean, somewhere there is a picture of me wearing a tie-dyed shirt with a t-shirt tie at the bottom, hot pink shorts and my hair is in a bow that I’m pretty sure was made from those curly-cue gift-wrap ribbons and I think I look super cute and in it.  But the fashions from 6th-8th grade?  Not so much.

Here were a few of my favorites:

1. Starter Jackets.

cowboysjkt1I had a big ole maroon and white Texas A&M Starter Jacket (Chelsea’s was a purple K State starter- only because it was purple).  As a point of interest, Chels reminded me of how awesome that front pocket was.  She used to store her Trapper Keeper in there so she could walk to the school bus with free hands.  I used it to store my pencils and pens for school.

I have to say that when I was researching the Starter Jacket for my blog, all the sites said that it was a trend in the early 1990’s.  This made me very sad because I didn’t get my jacket until at least 1996.  I’ve always been behind the fashion times.

2. Doc Marten’s

13377201 I begged for these for quite some time- promising my Mother I would wear them daily (a whole other fashion offense for a whole other post).  These were all the rage in my little hometown when I was in 7th grade.  Why I felt the need to join the crowd on this particular trend is beyond me- I didn’t even own the boots which might have been cooler, I just had the super-thick-soled shoes.

What is particularly upsetting about this is that they are still making these.  And if the price today is anything CLOSE to what they were when I had to have them, then I’d like to issue an apology to my parents for making them pay that much.

3. Flannel

There’s no picture necessary.  It’s shocking to think that the Grunge trend managed to find its way to my small Texas town but, unfortunately, it did.  Shocking and embarrassing, but I loved my flannel shirts.  Last week when it was –4 degrees here I briefly considered buying a new flannel shirt but then decided that this is a situation in which two wrongs don’t make a right.

4. Overalls

305px-Bib-braceI have an incredibly clear memory of going with my Mom to the Gap in Plano (because we didn’t have one then) to shop for a pair of overalls.  I was 13.  I found a super cute pair of overalls that I wore quite a bit that year.  Also, I think I stored pens and pencils in the pockets of those too.  Why was I so concerned about my clothing having storage?

More than one friend has recently mentioned to me that they were on the lookout for a pair of rockin’ overalls.  Let me just stop you there and say: no.  Not a good idea.  I tell you this in love- fashion love.  And I reserve the right to change my mind the next time I take up carpentry and need the extra pockets for my hammers and pencils… or for the next time I can imagine looking cute in a pair of overalls.

5. Scrunchie’s

403190473010-2 Scary, but true.  Who didn’t love to pull their hair back with the perfect accessory?  A scrunchie in a coordinating color to complete your ensemble.  The scariest thing of all is how long these stayed cool.  Or maybe the scary part is that I ever thought they were cool.

So, I hope you enjoyed the longest blog post in history, but that’s about all of the 90’s I can take for now.  I’m sure you all will be waiting anxiously for my next post dedicated to Lisa Frank, pogs, Beanie Babies and Furby.

What middle school fashion was your favorite?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bring Your Bonnet

God has blessed me beyond imagination with my parents.  They are generous, gracious and kind.  That said….  all of those wonderful attributes occasionally combine into a ‘perfect storm’ of sorts.

You see, my folks- my Mother in particular, love to give gifts.  In fact, I’m pretty sure their love language is gift giving.  Most of the time I am the happy benefactor of their love, but every once in a while Mom seems to feel like NOT getting me something would be so rude that it simply isn’t an option.

A lot of the gifts I’ve gotten over the years have been offerings from my parents’ vacations.  My parents recently returned from a trip to Branson, Missouri (if you’re hoping to vacation soon Branson is a hotspot for all you crazy partiers).  When I went to visit them after they returned my mom told me that there was a gift waiting for me in my room. 

This is what I saw:

IMG00071-20100114-2147 (2) What is this, you ask?

I thought for a second she had gotten me a really cute blouse or maybe some sort of scarf.  It took me a while and then it came to me (after my Mom told me).

SANY0646 A bonnet.

That’s a bonnet folks.

SANY0645 She went on vacation and bought me a bonnet.

And if you are thinking I had recently begged my Mom for a bonnet you’re wrong.  I’m pretty sure I hadn’t even said the WORD bonnet for years and years.  Ever since I finished my Laura Ingles Wilder / Little House on the Prairie phase (and by the way, if you’re looking for a HILARIOUS Laura Ingles Wilder anecdote please read this story from Katy).

SANY0647 What I love about this bonnet is that it really puts all of those tourist t-shirts that people usually get from vacations to shame.  It says “my-family-went-to-Branson-and-somehow-managed-to-find-a-store-that-sells-completely-random-paraphernalia-and-all-I-got-was-this-bonnet”.  It’s not so much the gift as it is the fact that someone was selling this in their gift shop.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out the correlation between Branson and bonnets.  I’m sure it’s ignorance on my part but I certainly hope that they aren’t all the rage in Branson now and I’ve spent the better part of this blog making fun of them.

So, just to be safe, the next time you head to Branson you better not forget your bonnet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I tried to think of something else to write about because I feel others can and have spoken to this subject better than I am able to, but this is the event that is most on my heart and mind today, so….

I can’t begin to fathom the massive undertaking of this search and rescue mission.  Since the quake destroyed Port-au-Prince the capitol of Haiti and 2 million souls live there it’s reasonable to imagine that 2 million people have been effected.  Many are still stuck inside buildings.  I learned yesterday that Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.  The devastation is simply unbelievable and I think if I concentrate on it for too long then my heart may break.

It’s difficult to be able to identify with a tragedy so far away, but I just keep thinking that some of the victims were sons, some mothers, others were uncles and some were sweet, innocent babies.  All were children of God. 

Text ‘Haiti’ to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross or text ‘disaster’ to 90999 to donate the same amount to Compassion International.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Recital Recap

Some might say it’s completely inappropriate and a totally self-indulgent to post photos of yourself from months ago on your blog.  To those people  I say: clearly, you have never made a stupid new year’s resolution that you have to follow through with.  And also, isn’t the whole point of having a blog that you can say all the inappropriate things you want to in your every day life and have all the self-indulgence in the world to believe you’re right?

Anyway, as a part of my graduate studies I had to complete a recital last October and here are some of the pictures. 

DSC00012 My name on the schedule.





Blurry!  With my grad school friends Hope and Yumi.


My parents and I.


My professor and I.  Bathed in a seriously golden light.

DSCF0134 My sweet friends Miranda and Jennifer who came all the way to hear me sing.  (Have I mentioned lately that I have the best friends in the world.)

DSCF0135This picture is VERY funny to me.  Because even though it was taken last October, it could be from high school.  These two girls (Ashley and Chelsea) went to high school with me and we were best inseparable friends.  What is sad to me is that they both look exactly the same, if not better, than when we were in high school.  Not fair.


This picture was taken at the end of the night because my Mother insisted on having a photo of me next to the piano.  So, you’ll have to pardon the fact that I look tired, staged, and my hair has gone completely flat (of all the moments to be without a Bump-It).

I know that my reader had been wanting to see photos so, here they are!  Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go check in with the latest news on the Tonight Show/ Conan O’Brien / Jay Leno feud.  I am CAPTIVATED.  This drama rivals an episode of ‘The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love’ (I kid.  Nothing can compare to that drama).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Locked Down, Locked Out

On Saturday night my friend Yumi and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things she was needing.  It was freezing cold that night so we rushed to the car after we were finished and stuffed all our purchases in the back seat before hopping in to take off.  I put my key in the ignition and quickly discovered something was seriously wrong.  All off a sudden a bunch of lights were flashing on my dashboard and the car wouldn’t even pretend to TRY to turn over.

I immediately go into panic mode.  I tried to make something happen a few more times before giving up.  So, I called the person that everyone calls in a panic situation- my dad.  I told him I thought my car needed a jump and he did the best he could from such a long distance.  He calmed me down and reminded me that I have roadside assistance, since I drive a new car that shouldn’t need a jump.

I called and the man managed to make it there in under an hour (and I’m not even being sarcastic when I tell you that it is the absolute FASTEST anyone has ever come to help me when I needed help, and I was truly very thankful).  The auto rescue man tried jumping my car four times before he finally told me the news: “I don’t think you need a jump.” 

So, while visions of dollar and cent signs danced in my head, he explained that my car had somehow enabled its anti-theft system and was no longer recognizing my key.  He said it needed to be taken to the dealership so it could be “coded” (whatever that means).  The temporary solution was to go back to my apartment, get my other key and pray it hadn’t been locked out of my car (it wasn’t- thankfully).

Basically, a thief could get INTO my car but just couldn’t drive away.  I’m sure that the next time my car gets broken into I’ll be incredibly thankful that the thief left my car where they found it… I’m sure I’ll barely notice the missing wheels, motor and stereo.  Thanks a lot technology.  You’re the best!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Perfect Failure

Well, we are officially eleven days into the new year and eleven days into my January resolution and I am officially exhausted from blogging.

Blogxhausted, if you will.

I think it has less to do with my actual blog, than it does with life.  Something about the new year is exhausting.  I think it has a lot to do with the pressure we put on ourselves.  We think ‘this is it, this is the year’.  The year we get organized, get in shape, get in touch with God, get happy, get perfect. 

It’s difficult to live like that.  Trust me.  I know.

I have spent most of my life trying to be perfect.  As a child and teen I was a ‘good girl’.  I could regale you with stories of my goodness, of how involved I was in church, in service, et cetera.  But it would be pointless, because it was very, very wrong.  Unfortunately, somewhere along the road I had decided that what God required of me was my good behavior.  As a young adult it seemed to me that this was what separated Christians from non-Christians.  Christians didn’t cuss, we didn’t drink and we didn’t go to see R-rated movies.  I began to believe that if I simply didn’t do these things and did go to church and have a quiet time each day then God and I were in good standing with one another.

I’m ashamed to say that I was a senior in college before I realized this made no sense.  I had spent most of my life trying my very hardest, with all of my abilities, to be perfect, to be good, to do what was right and I simply couldn’t do it anymore.  I knew I could never be enough.  Then I heard a pastor speak who said, quite plainly,  that there was nothing that I could do good enough to buy my way into heaven.  He also said that everything that could be done, was already done- on the Cross.  At the Cross, all my failures were paid for.

He went on to say that God was not interested in my begrudging submission, in other words- dragging myself to church every Sunday and not cussing, drinking or movie-watching out of fear.  But that God was interested in my heart and in having an intimate relationship with me.

It’s difficult for me to explain how much this has changed my life, because it’s given me a freedom I didn’t know existed.  I haven’t gone crazy watching every R-Rated movie or drinking any alcoholic beverage I could get my hands on, because it’s a different kind of freedom.  For all of those years I was playing God- trying to make myself worthy through my own good behavior, as if I had control.  When all along there was a much better God who had already done all the work at Calvary.

I robbed myself of so much joy through the years because I honestly believed that if I could just… do more, be more, act better, love harder than He would find it within Himself to love and accept me.  But the thing is, God didn’t come to save some future / perfect version of me- He came to save me.  As I am. 

In other words, GRACE.

My prayer for us all in the new year is that we stop setting ourselves up for disaster.  Stop trying to be better, be more, do more and realize God has already done it for us.  Maybe this is the year we allow God to make us more and more like Him and less like us.

I can assure you we won’t be perfect, but maybe that’s for the best.


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2: 8-10)

Friday, January 8, 2010

It’s A RAP!

My freshman year of college I lived down the hall from a girl named Tabi Ekvall.  I had occasionally seen Tabi in the hallway, but my social awkwardness had kept me from introducing myself.  Then one day Tabi’s roommate asked us to come to their room to pray over Tabi since she was having surgery the next day.  Tabi had come to DBU on a soccer scholarship and somehow managed to seriously injure her knee during her first week of practice.  We prayed over her that day and from then on we were friends.

There are so many reasons to love Tabi: for one, she’s incredibly smart and has an incredible knowledge of people and cultures.  She’s also a movie lover- and I’m not talking about the latest ‘Squeakquel’ (although she probably knows all about that as well) she’s probably seen every independent film known to man.  She’s also an incredibly gifted artist and in college we would often paint together (unlike my very scary and sad attempts, Tabi is actually good). 

In addition to all these things she is hilarious and a loyal friend.  Tabi has been in Japan teaching English for (what feels like) a very long time and I miss getting to see her.

For my birthday last month Tabi sent me a message with a special celebratory rap inside.  All of it is hysterical but I’ve included my favorite verses here.

Concerning the fact that her rap arrived a few days after my bday:
I know, I know, I know, I can see,
I gots my calend`r in front o` me.
This may be late,
This ain`t da date,
But for perfection you`s gosta wait.

A final birthday wish:
But the time has now arrive.
Get jiggy, jump, and jive.
Bust a cap
Get out yo world map.
In Japan you`s gots a motha f`n chap!

I can’t put my finger on exactly what I love so much about this rap, but I CAN tell you that I love it.  And that’s a rap.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words……….

My family (minus my bro, Colin) after my graduation:

Crystal's Graduation 011(I know you thought that I wasn’t going to comment but, in the interest of honesty, I should mention that my Dad wasn’t mad to be there- just freezing cold.  I’m pretty sure the windchill was negative four that day.)  

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Denial. It Ain’t Just a River in Egypt.


Christmas Decorations.  They’ve been packed up and waiting patiently since Saturday.  In the middle of my living room floor.


013 Cardboard boxes.  Sitting right next to the door, all ready to head to their final resting place.


And the piece de resistance…..

014 Laundry Basket.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  Did I mention I have two laundry baskets and only posted a picture of the tidier one?

I imagine there are plenty of excuses I could give for why none of this has been taken care of.  But, I get tired of hearing them since I tell them to myself hourly.

Honestly, I’m just waiting for some kind soul to drop by and offer to do it all for me. 

Any takers?

Monday, January 4, 2010

She Works Hard For The Money

I can think of a lot of reasons why I didn’t want to go back to work today.  And even though I shouldn’t complain about two weeks’ worth of vacation (more like one week this year, but whatever) I am used to getting a month off from school.  College is amazing for a lot of reasons and the one month break between semesters is HIGH up on my list of reasons why I never wanted to leave.  But, I digress…

This morning the temperature hovered around a balmy 27 degrees and it was a Monday morning.  A perfect storm for making me want to sleep in.  However, I’d like to be able to pay my electricity bill and not freeze to death.  So I had to go to work.

When I got to work it was fine and I love my students and blah, blah, blah.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about how snuggly my bed was. 

Days like today I wish, more than ever, that I could be a stay-at-home-single.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shout Out

I need to send a big time shout out to my friend Meredith Mondoy.  She is the genius behind my new blog design.  Meredith swooped in and saved the blog from my own shoddy workmanship (and she did it in about an hour).  Meredith is Katy’s sister and I got the chance to know her when Katy and I were roommates in college. 

mere katy and i(Meredith, Katy and I)

I knew we were meant to be good friends because we shared a mutual love for musicals, laughing and figure skating.  I seriously love the Mondoy family and I consider myself an honorary sister (even if it’s only in my mind). 

One of my favorite vacations ever was the time Jennifer and I went to visit Katy and Dan and we ended up crashing the Mondoy’s vacation as well.  I had the best time and I hope they invite me on their next family vacation!

beach vacation

Mere, Jen, Katy, Me and Melanie


Mere- you are a miracle worker and I owe you BIG TIME.  You will always be my BFF……AEAE!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New You

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m not sure if it’s because I never keep them or because it seems silly to write them out.  As I get older, it makes more and more sense to make goals for yourself.  In school, there are always deadlines and an objective.  You have things to accomplish.  Since I’m no longer in school and I work for myself it seemed important to give myself some short and long-term goals for the year.

I won’t bore you with all of them, but here are a few things I’m looking forward to in 2010:

1. Blogging- I know that my loyal reader is sad when she checks here every other week to see that I have made no new posts.  So, my goal for the month of January is to blog 5 days a week.  This is a serious goal for me, and please don’t expect each day to be like you’re reading an excerpt from “War and Peace”.  There’s a good chance all I’ll come up with on January 17th is a link to the ‘All the Single Babies’ video on YouTube.  But, I’m gonna try.

2. Friends and Family- I’m hoping to be better about writing, emailing, calling and seeing my people this year.  I am really blessed to have such an incredible group of loved ones and I don’t want to take them for granted.

3. Gratitude and Giving- I am very lucky to live with a roof over my head and food on my table.  In February I am going on a spending fast and I won’t buy anything that isn’t a necessity.  I want to be grateful for the many blessings I do have instead of focusing on the the things I don’t.  I want to live life open-handed this year and give openly and happily to others.

4. Teaching- Be a better teacher.  Keep my students’ needs in mind as my first priority.  Think big picture.

5. Faith- Loving God, trusting Him, believing in Him.  With all that I have and all that I am.  He is my great reward.  I plan to read through the Bible in a year and spend more time in prayer. 

I have no doubt that I will fail miserably at this, but the good news is that I will be blogging five days a week in January to tell you all about it!  So sit back and relax- it’s gonna be awesome.