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I’m SO Happy to Be “Back” & Why We Moved to Nashville

Why We Moved to Nashville

There have been so many thoughts swirling in my head this past week… and so much I want to share with you all. This is a long post, but I hope it helps to answer many of the questions I’ve been asked over and over again the past few months. Thank you for your patience as I waited to share these details until the time was right.

The Post I Was Scared to Publish

Four weeks ago, I came out and told you all that my heart was to get back to my blogging roots. I was scared to push publish on that post.

Scared because I had no idea what the response would be like. Scared because I’ve been pretty quiet when it comes to personal life stuff as a blogger the past few years. Scared because I knew that it was opening myself up and putting myself out there.

But I was also very settled about it. I knew it was the right move for me. I knew that’s where my heart was. So I was okay if some of my readers were disappointed by the decision.

Your overwhelmingly positive response has BLOWN. ME. AWAY.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Your kind comments and cheering me on have blessed me more than words can say.

It’s Good to Be “Back”

It’s felt so good to be “back” to blogging. Back to sharing about my everyday life — the highs, the lows, the triumphs, the failures… the excitement and the mundane stuff. Thanks for joining me in the journey.

Also? Thank you for how you have supported our family in our move to Nashville. It was a BIG step for us and the way that you all have surrounded us with prayers and encouragement along the way means more than words can express.

There was a lot of sadness, grieving, and processing that went along with moving away from our family, friends, and the state we’ve always lived in. Many days, in the midst of all of that, I’d get an email or a comment from one of you that would be exactly what I needed to hear right then.

Why We Moved to Nashville

We Are So Grateful to Be in Nashville

It’s been a month since we moved and we are so very grateful to be here. Over and over, God has confirmed to us that this is exactly where we’re supposed to be.

We’ve been so blessed by our welcoming neighborhood. We’ve found a church that we feel our family is going to really grow and thrive in. We are loving getting to spend a lot more time with dear friends here we already knew before we moved. And we have also met other wonderful people who are fast becoming dear friends.

Yes, we miss our family and friends in Kansas. Yes, there have been adjustments being in this new city, new house, and new state. Yes, we don’t have everything completely organized and I have yet to get anything hung on the walls.

But we are happy and content. And deep in the core of our souls, we know that this is home.

Whether it’s home for forever or just a season, we don’t know. But we are throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into developing roots and relationships here because no one is guaranteed tomorrow. So we want to live today to the fullest.

Having a much more flexible schedule since Jesse is working from home instead of running a busy law firm has been a very welcome change for us. We are loving being home as a family more, loving having Jesse more involved in our every day lives, and loving a simpler pace of life where community and relationships are much more important than productivity and to-do lists.

Why We Moved to Nashville

Why We Moved to Nashville

Many of you have asked why we moved and/or what our long-term plans are. I’ve held off sharing details publicly because we were still processing them ourselves. But now that we’ve been here for a month, Jesse and I wanted you all to know where our decision to move came from.

It was much prayed over, thought over, talked over, mulled over, cried over, and counseled over. In fact, it’s a decision that’s been about three years in the making.

While there is a LONG list of reasons why we decided to move, here are three of the biggest reasons:

1. My husband needed a change.

In the past year, the light had gone out in my husband’s eyes. The passion from his heart. The spring in his step. Running his own demanding law firm had taken its toll and he was ready for something different.

He’s learned so much and grown so much in the past five years. It’s been exciting to see him take a dream and turn it into a successful reality. He’s gotten to help many, many people. And he’s grateful to have had the past five years. But the time had come to move on.

2. Our family needed a change.

We loved being close to family in Kansas. We loved being able to see them often, spend time with them, and build close relationships with them. And we miss them dearly. But we also felt like Jesse and I both having separate businesses was taking its toll on our family’s health.

We longed for a slower pace of life and more community — for our family’s growth and health — and after much prayer and thought, we ultimately felt that a sort of “starting over” of sorts in a new city would be a much more effective way to accomplish this. So far, it truly has been.

3. Our business needed a change. has grown a LOT in the past few years. We’ve been grateful for the growth and excited at the possibilities and open doors, but it’s become much more than I could handle on my own.

Jesse and I (along with some of our team) felt like restructuring things internally to take some of the load off of my plate would be a wise move. We also wanted to free Jesse up to come on the team in a managerial role and help oversee all the legal/financial details of running MSM. He also had some legal/business ideas he wanted to pursue outside of MSM that have been on the back burner because he was too busy running his law firm.

Why We Moved to Nashville

The more we discussed these possibilities, the more we realized what a great fit this would be for everyone. And the more we prayed about it, the more excited we got about it.

But it was still a BIG, BIG leap for our family. In November of last year, Jesse and I came to Nashville to meet with people, talk in-depth to our friends here, check out the area, and pray hard for clear direction.

Truthfully, we prayed most of all for red lights and closed doors. We did not want to make this big move if we weren’t absolutely, 150% sure it was the right thing.

All we got were more green lights and open doors.

So we sat at the airport on the way home and both looked at each other and unanimously agreed, “We’re supposed to do this. And if we don’t jump out in faith, we’ll always wonder what we would have missed out on because we weren’t willing to step out of our comfort zone.”

We moved May 1 and not a day goes by that we don’t experience yet another confirmation that this is where we’re supposed to be. We don’t know what all the future holds, but we are grateful for how God has led us so far and we continue to trust Him to lead us in the future… one step at a time!

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  • Kris says:

    Crystal, what a brave step and wonderful leap for your family! Best wishes with every new day.

  • Ashley says:

    Moving away from the friends and family you grew up with is hard. But I completely agree with you that the distance is better to focus on your husband, your kids, and you! I am in the same boat with my family, and living farther away can be uncomfortable but it is also a blessing. God’s plan is always paramount and holds many blessings “in disguise”. Thank you for sharing, thank you for working hard to make your reader’s lives more cost-effective and aware. Your site has been a blessing in my life 🙂

  • Meg says:

    Welcome! We live in Franklin, are part of a great, supportive group of mamas, and I love welcoming new people. PLEASE feel free to email me if you need any help transitioning. I have a 2, 6, and 8yo and a list of fun activities at the ready. Good luck settling here!!

    • Brie says:

      Hi! We might be relocating to the area in a couple of months and I have an 8, 6 & 5 year old. We are looking for a safe, family oriented city that is affordable (we will be renting in the beginning). I have been also homeschooling the last couple of years. I would love your feedback!

    • Emily says:


      Would you mind emailing me? My husband, daughter, child-to-be and myself are looking to move this fall! Visiting soon… would love to chat!


  • Meg says:

    PS – I’m also a part time home schooler. Depending on the tone this summer, we might all be at home this fall…I predict at least 2 of my littles will be home schooling.

  • Maria says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  • BetsyD says:

    Just read Proverbs 16:9 and thought of this post– Sounds like God has directed your path and you are walking in it. Excited to see how He uses you there. Congrats on the move and hope your adjustment will be smooth!

  • debb says:

    Oh my goodness! I have been a follower since 2009 and honestly as my kids have grown and are almost all in college I have not visited as much (I used to every day a few times a day). Anyway, I came on today and when I saw the posts were about things that didn’t catch my attention I decided to search “why the move” and got sent here! I just have to comment that it is so refreshing to hear from the depths of your heart and how you want to come back to blogging! I agree with many of your readers that your personal posts are the best ones. I’m sure we all feel like we know you and your precious kids! I am looking forward to all that God is going to do through you and your family. Thank you for this post. You are an inspiration!!

    • Thanks for your sweet encouragement! Be sure to click on “Skip the Deals” in the header if you want to read all my recent personal posts. 🙂

    • Amber says:

      I agree with ‘debb’ in that there are probably thousands of women like me who feel like they know you… and its a funny one-way thing. I sometimes think about how much I just want to mail you a gift (and what should I choose? a candle? a cute shirt you would never buy for yourself? 😉 because of how much I have gained from you. I’m always telling my mom or husband about these great ideas that Crystal has, and I’m always amazed at how the messages and inspiration that I get from MSM are meeting me right where I am at with learning about real life and being a parent and a wife. I mean, I guess that is obviously what you wish to communicate, but, its SO important and foundational and far-reaching and it can change families. I just thank God for you. What a testament to how He can use us if we are willing to do the work! Thank you with all my heart.

  • Joyce umstead says:

    Bless your heart. It is hard to move from family. My family and I have moved 21 times in our 48 years of marriage, it’s never been easy but the friends that we’ve made are priceless. The Lord never takes anything away but that He gives you better!
    I don’t know you, but a friend has shared some of your writings and they’re great. I look forward to reading more ( I am just a beginner in this iPhone world)!

  • Stephanie Downing says:

    Thank-you for this post, Crystal! It was so timely for me. My husband’s company, which he has been with for nearly 10 years, announced a few weeks ago that they are relocating his office to Nashville, and he will be offered a position there. We are in central IL, where we have been our whole lives, with all of our family and the same church family that we’ve always had (and I actually work for the church from home). We don’t know what we’re going to do. We’re praying about it. We’ve actually never even been to Nashville! Moving away from my parents and my community is overwhelming to me. But I’m trying to see how it could be a positive thing too, if it happens. I’ve been reading your blog for about 5 years and have always felt just a step behind you in life, so I really enjoy “reading ahead.” My kids are 5, 3, and 7 weeks old, two girls and a boy. I love reading your personal posts and consider you a role mode in many ways. I was really excited to get to hear you speak at Hearts at Home in Bloomington, IL in March. I was REALLY pregnant and having pre-term labor so I didn’t get a chance to say hi, but who knows, maybe we’ll meet up in Nashville one day 🙂 I’m praying that God continues to give you peace and affirmation in your decision. I look forward to hearing how God works through you in this new city!

  • Stace says:

    I feel like I have confirmation to move and start over and know we need a change and HE needs a change. My husband has “no answer” as of right now. I wish I was in your shoes as husband and wife. thanks for sharing.

  • Rhonda says:

    I am thrilled that you are back to blogging. I really missed it.
    Its good to get tips and ideas about money-saving, but its more important to me to hear about the reasons and feelings behind it.
    Your stories about your life in the basement apartment were encouraging.
    Your life has changed so much, God has blessed your hard work and effort.

  • Theresa says:

    Amazing! I have to admit that I was slowly getting away from your blog because of all of the deal posts and less of the personal posts. So I am really glad to hear that your posts are going to be more personal again (along with the deals). Real life of other women is what sometimes really keeps me going in my own “mundane.” And you are such an encourager with your life….successess, failures, and everything in between. All the while following God in what you are supposed to be doing! So glad to have “searched” for your moving posts to see what you are up to now! 🙂 Blessings on you as you and your family continue in Nashville! What a thrill!

  • I can relate to so much of this! Moving is so hard and we have had to make the decision more than once. We had to get used to the grocery stores in TN, but now that we have we LOVE it! Coming from Arkansas it was a big change. We live in Mt. Juliet and LOVE the Nashville area. We have a huge homeschool community and you can be as active, or inactive, as you want. There are so many options! I have a 9 yr old, a 5 and a 1/2 year old (starting Kindergarten at home this year) and an 8 month old…so we fall somewhere in the middle with how on the go we are as far as field trips, co-ops, play groups and such. Maybe we will run in to each other! So excited for you and your family. I have been reading MSM for 5 years or more and am amazed what God had done through you, your family, and your business.

  • Liz says:

    Crystal, first of all. Congratulations on the move! I am so glad God has lead you and your husband and family to have more time together. What a great blessing! I am definitely so glad to hear you are returning to your “roots” as a blogger – I have follows MSM from the very beginning and had really missed hearing from you, how your life and family have been. Welcome back!! May God bless you in your new endeavors!

  • Elizabeth says:

    This is awesome! My husband and I were in a similar situation when we decided to move from NY, where we were raised and where all our family was, to KY. That was 6 years ago and God has been so faithful and we have grown so much as individuals and a family. I love your comment at the end about stepping out in faith and out of your comfort zone. It is scary but it is so worth it! We didn’t want to get to the end of our life and have regrets and dreams left unfulfilled. I am also so excited that you are blogging again! Yours was the very first blog I ever started reading, many years ago when I didn’t even know what a blog was! God bless you and your family in this new, exciting adventure!

  • Sarah says:

    I’ve been following you for almost 4 years. One of the things I missed was you blogging about your family! It made your page feel more “homey” somehow. So glad you are back to giving us a little peak into your life. Thanks so much for an awesome encouraging blog!

  • Autumn says:

    Crystal, I’m so happy for your family! I feel so lucky to have found MSM years ago and I’m blown away by all that I have learned from you and still do. Your positivity and encouragement are such a breath of fresh air. I continue to thrive and stay motivated from you and at the same time saving money with all your hot deals and money saving ideas. I feel so blessed to be able to learn from you and your family. Thank you!!!

  • Tracy says:

    Hi all you Nashville fans! Our family is visiting your city in mid-July and I am looking for your ideas on what to do! We are Christians and my daughters are 13 and 16. We would like to mix some Civil war history with pure fun and some music. Is it easy to find Christian concerts? Thanks for reading. Any good areas to stay?

  • So happy to hear that all is turning out well for you and that you will be blogging more. I have missed that from you over the past year or so. You are an inspiration and happy to finally hear the back story on your move – I was curious! 🙂

  • Joan says:

    I’m born in Nashville, but currently living in Kentucky. It’s my dream to come back and I completely understand your decision!

  • Jeffrey says:

    Hi Crystal-

    I clearly don’t fit the demographic being a musician/writer and not a money saving mom, ha… But, I watch your periscopes for great tips, always enjoy.

    I live in Nashville too and my wife and I made the leap a few years ago. I was wondering if you ever do sessions with local entrepreneurs? I’m almost through one year in my biz.. Highs and lows and learning as I go.. and when the money is available would love to chat with mentors to help me get to next level. Thanks.

  • Mary says:

    Thank you for this! We will be moving to the Nashville area soon from Minnesota. My husband too needed a change. I know exactly what you mean when you say “the light had gone out in my husband’s eyes”. After much praying, discussing, and planning, my husband took a job in Nashville area. I came across this part of your blog while searching for what areas are good for young families to relocate to. I am excited to embrace our new adventure! Congratulations on your move!

  • Hi Crystal,

    We have a similar situation we’re just two years behind you. And we’re doing the same thing – looking for red lights and green lights from God. I consider my stumbling upon this post a green light! Isn’t it cool that your life can be used without you even knowing it!

    I pray that things are still going well for you and your family in that area.

    Thanks for the inspiring post.
    Denise @ Mom 4 a Difference

  • Anna says:

    Congrats! We did something similar about 18 months ago, so know just how you feel! God bless you all in your new home and ventures xxxx

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