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A Peek Into Last Week

We started the week off by celebrating Kathrynne’s birthday. She picked to have friends over for two different playdates and go out on special outings with Jesse and me. I took her to her favorite toy store and she had fun picking out some things.

And no birthday is complete without a trip to Coldstone Creamery!

I headed to Florida early Thursday morning for the BEECH Retreat. This was on the drive to Captiva Island. It was breath-taking!

I met so many amazing people and had so many incredible experiences on this trip. I hope to blog more about things I learned in the future, but in the mean time, here are a few pictures from the weekend…

The view from our first night’s dinner on the lawn. It was cold and windy but oh-so-beautiful!

Two gals I got to meet and know: Jill from Blessed Beyond a Doubt and Tabitha from Meet Penny.

This is me with Victoria — a sweet and spunky friend of mine who I’ve been inspired by for a very long time. It was wonderful to finally meet her in person. Check out her blog at Snail Pace Transformations.

We had a luau on the beach on Friday evening. It was warmer that night, so it was truly beautiful.

One of the highlights of the weekend was meeting John G. Miller. My husband and I have both been blessed by his books and his encouragement to be personally accountable instead of looking for someone else to blame. His keynote on Saturday morning was extremely inspiring!

And in real life, he’s amazingly generous, gracious, and warm-hearted. You can follow him on Twitter at @QBQGuy and if you’ve not read QBQ, it’s a must read!

It was fun to get to meet and hang out with Ashley from Ambient Promotions. She does my ebook marketing and oversees the daily running of my other site, eReader Girl. She’s hilarious in real-life — just like I expected her to be! — and we stayed up too late laughing over all sorts of funny stories.

This was the view from my room balcony. I couldn’t believe how loud the ocean was lapping up against the shore at night!

Brianne was Compassion’s representative and she and I just hit it off. She’s spunky and full of life, and she and I both bonded over our love for giving. She blogs at Our Savory Life.

A second big highlight of the retreat was getting to meet and spend a little time with Michael Hyatt. He’s everything I expected him to be: engaging, humble, energetic, a good listener, and full of wisdom. If you’re not following his blog, you should be.

When I arrived home, Kathrynne was very excited to show me her new moves on her rip stick. She’s becoming quite a pro at it!

And Kaitlynn was so excited because she learned how to ride her bike without training wheels this week!

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  • Crystal – It was such a pleasure meeting you at BEECH Retreat! And had so much fun hanging out with you and the gals (sugar overload!) on Fri. eve. Your opening keynote on Thurs. was very inspirational for me and my own blog – I am looking forward to following along and hope our paths will cross again some day! 🙂

  • Crystal! It was such an incredible delight to meet you. You inspired me so much at Beech. On my plane ride home I was reviewing notes from your talk. God has given you such wisdom and I am grateful you blessed us with what He has taught you! You are a gem!

  • Victoria says:

    It was so great to meet you! Love the pictures of you daughter on the rip stick. She looks like she is very excited about her new found abilities. And yes no birthday would be complete without ice-cream from Coldstone Creamery! My children’s favorite is bubblegum with gummy bears in it.

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    What a full week! And happy birthday to Kathrynne!

    It just cracks me up how very differently your two girls are dressed in those last pictures! 🙂 It’s looking to us as if our two daughters (youngest just 18 months, so we’re still seeing…) are very different from each other as well; I’m excited about that, to tell you the truth. I think it will be easier for them to be friends rather than competitors.

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, I know! It cracked me up too! Those pictures pretty well capture the essence of their personalities and I love it that they are both so unique and fun!

  • Our time together really enhanced my experience at BEECH. Thank you so much for the investment you made (and are making) in me. I appreciate you so much and I promise that next time we meet, I will not be such a blubbering mess. 😉

  • Angie D says:

    AHHH! Kathrynne got a ripstick! Welcome to the club! My kids will be excited. What an amazing week–so thrilled for you for your time away to beautiful places with beautiful people!

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, thanks to you all, that was the one and only thing she wanted for Christmas. And it’s provided hours and hours of fun for her since she got it. Thanks for introducing us to them. 🙂

      Oh and I miss you!

  • It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Such a beautiful place!

  • Jill says:

    You are too sweet for mentioning me. You are truly an inspiration and encouragement to me. I am honored to be your friend.

    Continue serving our Lord with your graciousness and generosity.

  • Oh how sweet of you to share these special blessings with us. Looks like the scenery was fabulous too, and I SO love these getaways with girlfriends!! And getting to meet other bloggers!? The tops!! Meet Penny is a precious blogging friend that I hope to meet one day too. Sweet Blessings on all you do!

  • Martha says:

    You are so busy! How do you keep up with homeschooling? My kids are 4, 3, and 17 months old and I’m still debating on homeschooling them. Any suggestions on how you keep up with your business, personal life and schooling your kids?

    • Crystal says:

      I am blessed to have an amazing team who shoulders much of the load in my life so that I can focus on my main priorities — my husband, my children/homeschooling, and the business responsibilities. In addition, my husband is very involved with our homeschooling and very committed to what God has called our family to in this season (me traveling and speaking and writing, etc.). Since we both have our own businesses, we’re able to have much more flexibility in our schedules than many families do.

  • Danielle says:

    Thank you for sharing your pictures of your trip and your beautiful children. It warms my heart when I see their happy faces. God Bless.

  • Crystal,
    You are such a blessing. I value the time we were able to spend together at BEECH. Your words, your encouragement, and your love of life is contagious. Thank you for sharing your heart with BEECH and with me personally. I am blessed by your friendship, my dear friend.
    Looking forward to the year to come.
    With love and joy.

  • I just love Jill from Blessed Beyond a Doubt! She was at BEECH representing We Choose Virtues and told me that she was so blessed by you!

  • Sarah says:

    I Love the solutions for the Birthday ! When we were growing up there was never money for parties so we had zero Birthday celebration. Even taking one child out for ice cream is a celebration in itself. Making a cake at home to have with siblings is a celebration. Ignoring a child’s Birthday because money is tight in my personal opinion is wrong. Times are tough but find a way to celebrate life !!!

  • Lynette says:

    I think you should post a tutorial on how to tie your scarf as shown in your pics. Love that! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      As is pretty obvious, it’s my favorite way. 😉 And maybe I’ll work up the courage to do a piece on that — or a video blog. Though I kind of avoid giving fashion advice since I have no clue about it!

  • I was so bad, I didn’t take a SINGLE picture with ANYONE that whole trip. But I so enjoyed meeting you and your post about the Beech Retreat. I learned so much and had so many positive conversations. It was a blessing!

  • Crystal, you are such a precious gift! I’m so glad we got a chance to talk. Your heart for your children is so beautiful to see and hear, it always blesses my mom-heart to spend time with a mother who knows and loves the hearts of her children the way you do. Their big and generous hearts are rare gifts in this world, and it’s because of you and your intentional parenting. They’re so blessed to call you mom!

  • Nicole says:

    Always love these posts…it is so fun to see what your weeks and days are like!

    I still hope that one day I can go to one of these conferences and meet up with you/hear you speak…oh, that would be so fun!!

  • Jennifer Kaiser says:

    I think it’s hilarious how different your girls look and dress! One appears to be such a tomboy and the other such a princess 🙂 I love it!

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