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A Peek Into the Month of January at Our House (photo overload!)

Every month in 2019, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into the previous month. I thought this would be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our month and recap some of the highs and lows and special memories of the month.

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I started January 1, 2019 with my commitment this year to begin every day with 30 minutes of time in God’s Word (I’m reading through the New Testament using the She Reads Truth Bible plans at the beginning of each book of the Bible.)

We then hosted friends for New Year’s Day Brunch and games. The guys made breakfast for us while the moms sat and drank tea and coffee. It was the best!

After Brunch, we spent the rest of the day hanging out and playing games — including learning how to play Unstable Unicorns.

I’ve been loving using the Organize in 5 system for doing different organizational projects this year — including cleaning out my cookbooks.

I love tea and in January, I shared some of my very favorite teas.

This checklist system has been working SO well for me and is really helping to keep me on track with my daily habits!

We spent a lot of time in the bleachers at Kathrynne’s basketball games this past month. It was so fun to see the progress her team made and how well they did. And we often stayed and cheered on her friends in their games, too. (And I loved seeing Kaitlynn and Silas hang out with her and her friends while we cheered on the other teams from her school!)

(On the other hand, I’ll admit that it’s going to be nice that her season is over in a week so that we can have more dinners at home and evenings where we’re not out late!)

I read Deep Work as the first book I read in 2019. It was a fantastic read and I’ll be sharing more about it in my book update post in the next few days.

I wrote a post in January sharing the Top 4 Books I Read in 2018. In case you missed it, you can read it here.

I bought these NYX Lip Glosses in January and love them!

I heard from so many of you who say that you love this brand, too.

Well, after 5 weeks of pain after my car accident, many chiropractic visits, many x-rays, and an MRI, we finally found at that my hand/wrist was indeed fractured.

While I wasn’t excited that meant I’d need to wear a cast for 4 weeks, I was so grateful for a diagnosis that explained all the pain! A big thank you to my chiropractor who pushed me to go to the specialist and was sure that there was something fractured that all the x-rays weren’t showing.

Y’all, I have such new compassion for people who deal with chronic pain! I honestly cannot imagine what it would be like to deal with incessant pain like this for years and years — as I know many people do.

Also, I am grateful for modern technology and cool FastForm casts that are waterproof and can be taken off so I can wash my hair. How times have changed since I broke my wrist as a young girl!

In other happy news, we also bought a new-to-use car to replace the car that was totaled in the accident. We were so grateful to get everything taken care of with the insurance!

The car accident was about three seconds total, but those three seconds have meant hours and hours and hours of doctor’s visits and insurance phone calls and research and car shopping, incessant and sometimes excruciating pain, sleepless nights, working through a lot of anxiety that resurfaced as a result of this accident, and juggling one car for the past few weeks.

And yet, I keep thinking how much I have to be thankful for. How much worse it could have been. How so many of these things are just a small inconvenience compared to what so many others are going through.

This has been such a good opportunity for me to practice what I preach — that you can’t always choose your circumstances, but you can always choose your attitude!

I had so much fun shopping and getting great deals in January!

I wore this outfit so many times in January. I just love it!

I bought a Fitbit for myself for Christmas and I absolutely love how it is motivating me to move more and take better care of myself!

I shared this on Instagram in January:

Instead of trying to squeeze in and fit in, let’s build new tables in 2019… where we welcome those who are lonely and hurting and misunderstood. Those who might be sort of on the outside, the fringes. Those who might not be seen as the “cool kids”. But those who just may be desperately longing for friendship and might be some of the best community we’ve ever experienced.

Thank you for sharing this #truthbomb from Dana Vivian White, @momadvice!

I’ve been waking up earlier in the mornings to read my Bible and write and it’s been so beautiful to get to watch the sun rise!

I hosted another very successful Eat at Home Challenge again in January where I make our dinner in the crockpot on live video every morning for a week.

If you missed out on the fun, you can sign up here and I’ll send you grocery list, a quick and easy crockpot recipe every day, plus lots of money-saving and time-saving tips. Go sign up here.

I loved this jewelry that I am borrowing for free from Rocksbox! It was PERFECT to go with my dress for a Ball we attended in January. (Find out how to get your free month of Rocksbox here.)

Our friends invited us to go with them to a Ball in January. It was so fun to get all dressed up! My dress was this one from Amazon.

I shared how Silas fell in love with reading this month. If you missed this post, be sure to read it here.

I’ve been sharing my salads every week day on Instagram to inspire you. It’s inspired me to get a little more creative and to make my salads a little prettier.

Silas’ class performed Black Ships Before Troy this month… which was so fun to get to watch!

This girl. Man how we love her!! And it’s hard to believe she turns 14 this week!

She has the most caring, compassionate heart. She’s deeply loyal. She has such a heart for Jesus and others and she’s always looking out for the underdog.

She’s also full of spunk and life and sarcasm… and if you need a meme or gif to make you laugh, she’s your girl!

She’s grown up so much the last two years — both literally and figuratively — and yet, she still thinks I’m cool (except when I wear those one shoes) and loves to hang out and talk with me!
Also, she’s a girl after my own heart — all on her own, she decided to sign up for a bunch of birthday freebies that different stores and restaurants offer. We ALL got to benefit when one of those freebies was a coupon for a completely free dozen doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

I love our movie nights and late-night talks (even if it means I don’t get as much sleep these days!) and one of my favorite parts of the week is our Sunday morning coffee dates.

I don’t know what the future holds for this girl, but I can’t wait to keep standing on the sidelines and cheering her on… and I might wear those ugly shoes, just to embarrass her!

Kathrynne celebrated her birthday by a little family birthday party, lunch out with Jesse, and going to a movie with me. She also had a fun night with a few close friends. I love this picture that I got of them all making themselves at home in our house. It makes me so happy when people are comfortable enough at our house to just climb up and sit on our countertops!

One of Kaitlynn’s school projects this month was to create a diorama of a dream world. This was part of it in the making. I didn’t get a picture of the finished project but it was so adorable!

I finally went through my books and picked out the 40 books I plan to read in 2019.

I also organized underneath the bathroom sink and my purse. And I’m happy to tell you that I have kept them organized for 5 days!

One of my favorite Instagram posts from January:

Last night, she asked me who my best friends were. I listed off a few and then she said, “What about me? Am I one of your best friends? Because you are totally one of my best friends.”

Y’all. THIS. This is what it’s all about.

I know some parenting experts would say you shouldn’t be friends with your child. And my kids aren’t grown and gone so I still have plenty of parenting to do and things to learn and ways I’ll fail — and you probably should listen to the experts and not to me.

BUT, after years of changing diapers and midnight nursing and waking up every two hours and potty training and cleaning up spills and working on teaching the same thing over and over again, I can tell you that it’s pretty downright amazing to now have kids who love to hang out with me, who need very little help from me, and who ask for my counsel and advice (they don’t always follow it, but they do ask for it!)

Oh yes, we have rough days and hormones are a real beast at times, but we have so many beautiful, hilarious, and ridiculous moments and memories to make up for it.

Also, my kids love to take selfies with me where I’m being a dork. They laugh and laugh and I’m happy to oblige.

All you mamas of littles: your day with backseat corny selfies and laughing with your very self-sufficient older kids is coming. And it’s AMAZING!

What were some of YOUR highlights from January? I’d love to hear!

P.S. In case you missed it, How I Did On My Goals in January.

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  • Jennifer says:

    Ok, that picture of the girls sitting on the counter is my favorite. I just love that togetherness and pure “teenager-ness”.

    • Yes! It made me so happy and they were kind to say I could take the picture and post it. I just loved it. They sat like this for at least an hour and half!

    • Rachel says:

      Seriously!! I agree. It must be such a comfort to know that kids WANT to hang out there. It’s a dream of mine (my oldest is 5). Because if they aren’t at your house-they are somewhere else-and it’s hard to control what another parent/family might be teaching them.

  • Kristyn says:

    Can you say more about how you squeeze in that much individual time with each child, time for a life-giving thing, plus dinner, clean up, etc in those hours you have offline each day? That seems like a lot to squeeze in to me, good for you!

    • The life-giving thing often happens earlier in the day or it IS time with my kids. And we usually keep dinner super simple so clean up is usually simple, too!

      And know that I don’t always hit 40 minutes with each child every day. My goal is at least 3-5 times per week. So some nights, I just spend time with one child. Also, on other days, I’ll spend time with 1 or 2 kids before dinner because that works better. Each day is really different at our house right now, which is why my time blocked to do list has become my lifesaver!

  • Kathy says:

    Love all of your posts, Crystal. Thank you for shining your light for Jesus. You’re an inspiration

  • M says:

    Were you happy with the quality of your dress from Amazon? It would be perfect for my daughter’s school formal where they can’t wear strapless, low cut, etc.

    • Yes, I was. The waist and top part is a little on the small side — but I’m also pretty broad-shouldered and have a larger rib cage than many people who are the size I am. Weird, but true. I also got 4 inches taken off the hem. I’m 5′ 3″ and that made it the perfect length when wearing heels.

  • Dianna says:

    The part about building a new table really spoke to me. I went through a lot of friend drama in the last year and when it talks about pulling up a chair and not fitting in – wow!! Thank you so much for sharing that.

  • Wendi Bollinger says:

    I love love posts like this! I don’t have Instagram so I miss the family posts. So interesting to read about other people’s lives and daily schedule! You always inspire me to be a better mom! God bless you abundantly in the coming year!

  • Sheila says:

    I totally think you should show us the shoes your daughter doesn’t like. ?

    • I shared them on IG the other day and people were surprised that they were “hip shoes”. The reason the girls said they don’t like them is because they “look like something someone younger should wear” and that “I’m trying too hard to be young.” 😉 But I think they are cute, so I keep wearing them!

  • Lisa Rose says:

    Your eyelashes look amazing! Are you using a serum or particular brand of mascara?

  • Sarah C says:

    I just had to let you know that you’ve really inspired me in the last year with your parenting posts to not be afraid to parent “my way”. I also grew up super conservative homeschool family and even to this day, it feels like there are a lot of rules and expectations. I love how relaxed you are about your daughter sitting on the counter! Very encouraging to me esp as I’m feeling pretty down with our family going on a week of stomach flu nastiness…as I wipe another butt…looking forward to those self sufficient years…

  • Kristy C says:

    Crystal, I had to click back to read about your car accident because I totally missed it! The same day you posted about it (Dec 7), I was in the emergency room. I too had an accident – a bad fall resulting in a badly broken leg (tibial plateau fracture) two ambulance rides to two different hospitals, surgery with metal plates and screws, and a week in the hospital.

    But I’ve been able to see the bright side of God taking care of me in several ways. The fall happened on a day when I would typically be home alone with my 2-year-old, but on this particular day we had family from out of town so I had 5 adults there who heard me scream and came running to help. Also we had just converted my daughter’s crib to a toddler bed a few days prior, so now while I’m recovering in a wheelchair I can still tuck her in at night! And it happened in December when we had already met all our out-of-pocket insurance expenses — if it happened in January it would have cost us $8000 of the $125k+ bill. Finally, my parents are living here in Florida for the winter. I don’t have a close-knit community since moving here, so having them here is something I can’t imagine living without right now. By the time they leave, I’m expected to be walking again.

    So, I appreciate your ability to to find the good in the situation. When someone said “yeah but why did God let this happen in the first place?” I can be a witness. I believe this was my wake-up call to make me slow down and take better care of myself. I can see now that I had ignored what was likely a previous prodding, with a lesser injury (stitches near my eye) a few months prior. I believe God was trying to get my attention and had to resort to this when I wasn’t listening. Overall, it could have been much worse. And to be honest, as much as I hate not being able to take care of my family properly, I really did need the downtime to refocus and re-evaluate some things. This is turning out to be my year of “rest.”

    Thank you for continuing to inspire and encourage me, and so many others, with your honesty and introspection. I appreciate you.

  • Emily says:

    I love this. I was in a very different season of life this time last year (my kids were finally gaining lots of independence), and life seemed ‘easier.’ Then we got our surprise blessing, who is now 10 weeks old. It’s taken a lot of adjusting, but quality time with our older two has remained a priority. Side note: your eyebrows looks especially amazing in the last picture!

  • This was so much fun to read, Crystal! And I added your dress from the ball to my Amazon wish-list for a future military ball! Very classy and feminine!

  • Lori says:

    Hi Crystal! Can you share exactly which Fitbit you purchased and why? I’m in the market but so many options! I always like to hear from someone who has actually bougha product rather than just read random reviews.

    Thank you!

  • Thanks so much for sharing yourself like this, Crystal. I picked up some amazing tips, and I’m absolutely copying your simple checklist of daily habits for this year. I had something like that in mind, but I like the simplicity of yours much better. I’m always super motivated by your emails and posts!
    P.S. I’m launching my personal blog very soon and you and others from the Ultimate Bundles have inspired and helped me so much!

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