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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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  • Tiffany says:

    What an exciting time for you and your family! My husband and I moved from Memphis to Louisville on March 1st. We began praying for God to open doors that led us out of Memphis if it wasn’t meant to be our long term home. In February the doors were opened and I didn’t know how a move was going to work so unexpectedly, but God worked every last detail out for us.

    • Isn’t it exciting how God can work things out in amazing ways — sometimes at the last minute?!?

      • Lisa says:

        We moved to Tennessee two months ago from Cananda, also away from family and friends but about a year ago we felt that God had something big for us coming and then around Christmas time my husband job closed over in Canada and moved to Lawrenceburg Tennessee. So they asked if we would move along we did a lot of praing and thinking it through and felt it was Time for us also to make a change and we are just loving it so far!! We live about an hour away from Nashville and would love to meet you sometime;)

    • Rachel says:

      Welcome to Louisville!

  • Amy says:

    Thank you! I recently moved myself and my kids to do just that… start over. Yes finding love again was involved but most of all it just felt right. I was in exactly the same spot as you say about finding all green lights and open arms! My heart now feels complete and my kids are blossoming! God bless and best wishes!

  • Nicole says:

    It is so wonderful to see your faith in God to help guide you. Wishing you and your family the best :-).

  • Christina says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m a part-time reader and am always playing catch-up. The three things I took away from your reasons are:
    1. You are brave.
    2. You are smart.
    3. You are showing your kids to always follow their hearts, which will help them develop their own bravery and intelligence to work on their dreams.

    One more – You are inspiring. Thank you.

  • Crystal says:

    Crystal, it is so good to have you back!!! I met you a few years ago at Starbucks in Indianapolis and have really missed the more personal side of MSM that made me a reader years ago. Enjoy this new chapter of your lives!

    • Thank you so much for your kind encouragement and for sticking around here for so long… And I have fond memories of that Starbucks meet-up!

    • Another reader from the Indianapolis Starbucks meetup! So much has changed since then, both in my personal life and with the deal scene (no more double coupons at Meijer or Kroger!) that I don’t spend nearly as much time reading Money Saving Mom as I used to, but I still love reading the more personal posts and look forward to seeing more of those. I’m so happy that this has been such a positive change for you and your family!

  • Amanda says:

    I know I speak for so many readers when I say that I am thankful for you and your family! God’s hand is in your lives and it is wonderful to see this transition has been a smooth one! I look forward to “getting to know” all of you even more!

  • Erica says:

    Thank you for keeping it real. I had nearly decided to quit following MSM because it felt like every other “coupon” website, but I am glad to see you back. I also appreciate that you use your huge platform to discuss how the Lord has guided you and your faith!

    Enjoy your family in TN!

  • Erinn says:

    Wow! just what I needed to hear tonight. Hubby and I are considering a move as well.. away from my family, closer to his. More due to financial issues than anything. We know it will be a huge adjustment for us as well as my family, whom I’m VERY close to. But things in our state aren’t getting any better, in fact they continue to deteriorate financially and it puts us in a very bad place. Your post gave me hope that a move could be a way to put us back in a good place. Thank you!

  • Billene says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us, I hope that all works out well for you and your family and you will make Nashville your permanent home. So happy to have you here in the mid-south.

  • Mackenzie says:

    Blessings to you and your family, Crystal! The Lord continues to amaze 🙂

  • jenny says:

    So happy for you! I love the return to simplicity, as I frequently recommended your blog because of how real you are in your posts. Looking forward to more inspirational ideas.

  • Cris says:

    I’m so happy you have found so much joy in Nashville. I’ve been a reader from about the time my son was born (needed to figure out how to buy diapers for less than retail prices!). Everything I learned here has helped us so much in such horrible financial times and also made me realize so many more out there need your encouragement to keep going every day when all seems hopeless. You got me to try out making bread for the first time ever and now I absolutely love it. I could go on about how much your site has changed our lives. Can’t wait to hear all the new adventures you and your family are going to have discovering a new town!!

    (ps. I personally recommend going to the zoo as I work in one! Heard great things about the one there).

  • I kept thinking I’d missed this news along the way as our last six months has been so similar (with different careers of course) and it’s kept me from reading the blog consistently. My husband is retiring from the Air Force after 20 years (9 months earlier than we thought he would), my business is growing and we are actually about to move BACK to the area we’ve been away from since high school. We didn’t want to move back at all and we weren’t even looking for jobs for him there, but God seems to have had other plans. Love that you all have such peace about it, may God continue to bless you. Thank you for sharing your lives and business skills with us!

  • Jessica Renn says:

    Crystal you are such an inspiration to me. I admire your Faith and obedience to God. I am so thankful for the blessing that MSM is to me.

  • alicia says:

    Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you are making the right choices for your family and I am excited to share your life ‘adventures’ through MSM.

  • Julia says:

    I’ve read your blog for years and years, but have become much more consistent again as you have begun to write personal posts once more! Thank you so much for offering insight into the move. Excited to see what God has in store!

  • Shauna Read says:

    I have been reading your blog for a few years now and when I started you shared personal information but when you stopped the blog was just posts of deals but it didn’t really mean much. I LOVE hearing about what is going on and it gives me soooo much encouragement to hang in there another day on those rough days in this mommy world.

  • Denise says:

    It has been a month? Wow time flies huh? Thanks for sharing. I’m so so glad that you moved to better your personal lives as well as the business.

    My husband and I just moved to Indy at the beginning of 2014 and a lot of what you said about how your husband was feeling was the way mine was feeling. I have LOVED seeing my husband start over in a new job that he LOVES. It means so much to me.

    Can’t wait to see all the exciting new things that will come for you guys! And thanks again for blogging more personal life stuff now!!!

  • Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing. It’s good to know the reasons behind the move.

    I also loved this, “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.”

    My husband and I are planning to move halfway across the country for 3 to 5 years. My natural tendency would be not to get too involved in the new area because we’ll only be there a short while, but that quote puts it all in perspective!

  • Beth says:

    Blessings to you! My husband and I experienced a similar thing beginning in July of last year. Doors kept opening and we feel God was leading us to where he wants us to be. It has been a whirlwind, but we both quit good long term jobs, sold our home South of Nashville, and moved to Northeast Iowa in late December. We left behind precious family and people who we loved and loved us and a a church family we miss daily. It hasn’t been easy but we feel we are following where we are being led. We have so much more time together as a family!

  • Janine Solley says:

    Thanks for sharing your story… what a wonderful opportunity for your family. So many wonderful opportunities in your future. God bless..!!!

  • Kate Marie says:

    Our family just moved for very similar reasons. It’s so nice to have a fresh start in a new place. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing. I feel that we are going to do a big move in the next few years but have no idea where God will plant us! You are an inspiration to jump in and plant roots immediately!

  • Tara G. says:

    I’ve really begun to know it in the depths of my soul the past few years that living any Christian life other than “alert” will be sub-par and just lifeless. Rejoicing with you as the Spirit confirms and affirms your steps of obedience- excited to see how He manifests glory through this season in your lives!

    • Yes. THIS!

      Have you read In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson? That book has been *exactly* what I needed to read the past few months. Such an inspiration!

  • Helene says:

    Thanks for this post. I too have been pondering a move out of state, not easy as a grandma with custody of a special needs child and to sell the house I’ve lived in 22 years. I too have been getting green lights. I have yet to pick up the phone to the realtor to begin the chain of events and have been praying big time for quite some time.
    Your story is what I needed to hear/read.
    Been with you since my couponing days in 2008.

  • Thanks so much for sharing!! I’ve been curious but I know it’s not really my business! I have enjoyed your personal posts (along with the money -saving ones) – it reminds me that you are a real mom trying to do what’s best for your family!! So glad you like Nashville. My husband and I always say how we think we’d love it if we ever felt prompted to move!! 🙂

  • VeVe Davis says:

    I understand the changes that happen. For someone who is not used to being out the comfort zone area like me. My husband and I took a leap of faith by moving to a smaller town. Unexpectedly, see I had legal obligations I had to finish. Change is hard than it is for my husband. I can tell you that it is the best decision. I love when God just shows us the confirmation that come with being out.of your comfort zone. It is awesome to just to see your husband have that spark once again.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Being now in my 6th decade of life…the long journey can hardly be remembered in its entirety…but even just the last decade has been a whirlwind of change. Our life is nothing like we would have thought it would be at this point. But it is good and we see GOD’s hand in it and where we are. Knowing probably where we are will be temporary…for a year anyway and beyond that, we simply do not know. But HE is with us and it will be ok. I wonder at some things, and maybe always will…as to the whys…but that is ok too. Blessings on your journey…it is always a good thing to find a way to live slower and less stressful on the husband especially. I so wish we could have done so for my hubby years ago.

  • Aubree says:

    What a blessing that you guys had no debt keeping you chained anywhere so you could leap into this new adventure! My husband is a partner at his law firm and so it hit me hard when you said the light had gone out of his eyes. There’s so much stress that comes with that profession. May Heavenly Father continue to bless you and your family through this new exciting time!!

  • Marcy says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Crystal! We, too, have moved across the country, in faith, twice and we have seen God orchestrating all of it. Blessings to you and your family as you adjust to living in a new area.

  • Michelle says:

    I love this post – thank you for sharing all that has been happening! I knew you would do it in your own time, but I am so happy to finally hear your plan! Congratulations!!

  • Montana Maia says:

    Crystal-It is brave for you to share your personal life. There will

  • Montana Maia says:

    Many ((((hugs)))) to you and your family!

  • Lety says:

    Thank you, Crystal, for sharing such a personal decision with us. Doing so has blessed us all in more ways than you can imagine. For me it’s a lesson on having the courage, and faith in God’s guidance to leap out of our comfort zone. Something I need to work on. May your family continue to be blessed. <3

  • AL says:

    Congrats on the new opportunities and fresh start!

    This post is amazing, timing-wise, for me. I actually thought about e-mailing and asking about your decision-making process about the move, because we’re in a similar situation but can’t really ask for advice from those closest to us! Well, almost EXACTLY the same situation, except the type of business(es) we’re in. Now we’re waiting for God to pull some details together before we make our own giant leap!

    Thanks for sharing. MSM makes a difference in the lives of many, including mine. 🙂

  • Kari says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. It was encouragement to me as my family faces the possibility of a 2000 mile move.

  • Anna says:

    Thanks as usual for the lovely post. So glad to hear you all are doing well. This was a great encouragement to me to press on in seeking God for some life decisions we have to make, very different from yours, but it’s always such a blessing to hear such stories. Thank you! God bless you and your family!

  • Katie says:

    Good for you, Crystal! I love hearing your stories that are so full of faith, and I am so glad Heavenly Father has blessed you and your family for doing your best to follow Him. 😀

  • I’m really happy for you! It’s awesome to see faith in action! Enjoy your new adventure!

  • Shu says:

    Thank you for such an open and personal update!

  • Michelle Sassa says:

    Congratulations to you and your family. My son turned me on to MSM website to help me learn how to save better. My son is 26. While I have no small children anymore and don’t really need a lot of the wonderful info you give to young moms I have learned alot from your blog and spiritual outlook on life. I think that God has a plan for us all and I’m so glad you made the right choice for you and your family. Thank you for giving so freely of yourself and for all the selfless things you do for others. You are an inspiration

    Thanks Michelle Sassa

  • Mary says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this, Crystal! I needed the encouragement so badly right now. We moved from Wisconsin to Washington in February, and God completely orchestrated the entire thing. Overall, I love where we are now, but we have been getting so discouraged lately with house hunting. We have been very blessed to be in a very nice rental, but we so badly want to be settled after 4 years of living our lives in limbo. It’s not easy finding a home for 7 people! Our lease is up at the end of July, and we are just praying and praying. Reading your moving story reminded that God has gotten us this far, and He has gone before us. Thank you.

  • Tracie Wright says:

    I think it was meant for me to read this tonight! I am a homeschooling mom of three and I also work nights as an RN in a busy pediatric ED. My husband runs a busy law firm and I, too, have seen the light in his eyes go out recently. We know we don’t want our current city to be our forever home and talk almost daily of making a change but it seems overwhelming. Reading your story has really encouraged me that we might really be able to make it happen. Thank you!

  • karen says:

    Starting over is where it’s at!!

    I’m not the least bit religious and don’t pray over decisions. Instead, I believe people have great instincts about when it’s time to move on…the rest of the animal world trusts this feeling so much more than we humans usually do…survival sometimes means “we need to migrate” and
    I also think every young couple with young kids SHOULD put physical distance between themselves and extended family. Until you get away from parents and sibs you don’t really develop your own ways of doing things. Away from scrutiny (no matter how loving) you can live in ways that are RIGHT FOR YOUR UNIT, as opposed to what’s expected.
    I’m so EXCITED for you and this step toward independence and growth. Whether instinct or the gods got you there really doesn’t matter! Enjoy every second of it!

  • Thank you so much for sharing Crystal! We’re only a week into our move to Columbus and it has been HARD. Lots of tears shed, and I think plain old exhaustion has just about done us in, but thanks for reminding me that that’s normal 🙂 and that hopefully in a month we’ll gain some different perspective.

    So glad to hear you’re loving Nashville, and thanks so much for your transparency through your move!

  • Rachel says:

    Crystal, thanks for sharing! You are an encouragement and an inspiration to me more than you know. I am going to be looking for you at the Teach Them Diligently conference in Dallas.

  • Hannah says:

    Love, love, love having you “back”! I miss the old blogging days and I am loving your posts about life recently! I am also all about keeping life a bit more simple, which for us means foregoing so many of the activities kids have opportunities for but that separate the family all week. Thanks for your openness and honesty.

  • Julie says:

    Very happy for all the positive changes in your lives. I wish more people would realize that the most important thing is having time to spend with and enjoy their children when they are small. My husband grew up right outside of Nashville. Nice area to raise your family. And I too look forward to reading more about your family life. I liked the “old” blog better too!

  • Heather says:

    Crystal- We just did the same thing in December. We moved from Buffalo to Tampa, Florida. It was a long time dream. We left everyone and everything we knew. It has been a huge adjustment, but the right one. The other day I thought “all of you have done so much in the past six months. Be gentle with yourself.” I would say the same to you. Enjoy it. Take it in. And be gentle with yourself. Congrats!

  • Sarah Hacker says:

    Bless you for opening your heart and encouraging so many of us to seek God’s will for our homes and families. Whether it be saving $$$ or building relationships with those closest to us, God is using your testimonies to strengthen mothers. Thank you! I truly regret not being able to give you a big hug before you left, but we are praying God’s very best for your family on this new adventure.

  • tina says:

    Can I just say I am so excited about this!! This is going to be awesome!

    I have missed your more personal posts(especially the ones on parenting as I now have a young child of my own and love any tips!). I have been reading since early 2009 when I got married. You have literally opened up a world of financial savvy to us that we never knew existed! Thanks for all you do!

  • Delynda says:

    Thank you for sharing your personal journey. Our family is about to take a very similar “big move.” It is scary, but reading this today gave me more peace. I like your thoughts on NOT living in regret for chances you didn’t take. I’ve always loved your site. Thank you for the motivation today. Change can bring the light back in our eyes 😉

  • CJ says:

    You and your husband had a tough decision to make but definitely made the right decision. When things feel overwhelming, for any family, it is always good to take a step back and reevaluate everything going on in your lives to make changes for the better for everyone. That sounds like that is exactly what you and your husband did – putting the needs of your family first as a whole will benefit your lives greatly going forward. Getting back to your roots as a blogger is also a wise decision. I know I personally enjoy your personal posts (life, recipes, blogging, etc…) and I am sure that many other readers enjoy that more personal connection with you as well. I wish you and your family continued success with your new journey and I look forward and welcome any new changes that will come to MSM.

  • Michele R. says:

    I love hearing about your daily lives and how you make things work for your family. In fact, I like the personal stories more than anything else in your blog. Thank you!

  • Dana says:

    Thanks so sharing so openly. We are all rooting for your continued success!

  • Nancy says:

    I moved from upstate NY to North Jersey last year. If it makes you feel any better, I still haven’t hung anything on my walls. First it was because of not making the time for it, but I’ve come to really enjoy the simplicity of just plain walls. It works well with my furniture and other decorative pieces. So take your time 🙂

  • wanda says:

    Congrats to all of you! My hubby & I moved at Christmas to the Indy area and while it was a huge leap of faith….we know it was the right decision for us.

    Not every move is rainbows & butterflies though. Every little change has been a challenge. New place, loss of loved one, all 3 kids moved out for college, left friends & co-workers behind…. Not knowing anyone in the new area!
    Those things can be tough! Plus throw in the hardest winter ever in the Indy area….and you get a lot of emotion.

    Now, 6 months later….I’m finally starting to feel somewhat normal again. I know that God wants to stretch me, grow me and refine me….and moving has definitely done that.
    Looking forward to your posts/adventures!!

    • {Hugs!} I’m so sorry you’ve been through all that — it sounds like it’s been a TOUGH year. But I’m grateful to hear that things are starting to feel a little more normal. And you have such an inspiring attitude in the midst of it all!

  • Ah, how exciting! It’s good to hear more of the backstory and I’m so happy that the stars aligned for this move, which sounds wonderful on so many levels. Wishing all the good things for you as you continue to settle in to your new town.

  • susie says:

    I like your personal stories the best too! I almost quit checking your blog because you did not put as many personal stories.

  • Thanks for sharing when you felt it would be right for your family to do so.

    I think it is great how even as public and successful a blogger you are, you still guard your family’s best interests over everything else. And I’m sure many, many people are happy to know more about the reasons behind your move now that you felt comfortable sharing.

    Hope that everything continues to go well for you in your new town.

  • Lori says:

    Glad that you and your family are happy with your move. I am, however, still depressed over our move. We moved from TN to VT 1 1/2 years ago and we do not feel settled at all. I do not feel this is where I want to settle down. We want to move back down south. Enjoy your new life!.

    • BethC. says:

      Hang in there, Lori. it can sometimes take a couple of years in a new community to make good connections. We moved 65 miles some years back, and I knew not a soul here. I found that school volunteering, joining the local Newcomer’s club or other local activities really helped. I used to cry about the fact that I had no local friends-now I have many! You may also want to check out the Meetup website, which has activity groups for people with similar interests.

    • {Hugs!} I’m so sorry you’re feeling discouraged, Lori! 🙁

      In the past when we’ve moved, it’s seemed like it’s taken about a year to 18 months to really feel “settled”. This move was different because we already have great friends and community here. It’s really, really hard when you don’t have that. Beth has some great advice above. I hope you’re able to find some good local friends soon!

  • Charissa says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post!! Thanks for sharing! So excited for you and your family, Crystal!

  • Tara says:

    Thank you for this post! I have been a reader for YEARS, and love the direction you are moving back to being “back!”

  • Meredith says:

    Good for you guys! Doesn’t it feel so good when you and your husband are in complete agreement about something so big?
    I love your website again and I’m loving the more personal posts. Welcome back;)

  • Bethany F says:

    Thank you Crystal, for being willing to share your heart! So thankful the Lord is leading your family on a new adventure. Growth never happens without change! 🙂 Been reading your blog since before I was married (5 years ago) and I can honestly say you helped me learn principles that have been such blessing to my marriage! Thank you. And I’m ecstatic about the increase in “content” posts. Love hearing how the Lord is working in your life. 🙂

  • I am really looking forward to reading more of your everyday moments, and it sounds like God has had your family on quite an adventure over the last few months!

  • Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing, I love your “blogging”.. free deals are good… but reading about another family following God’s leading everyday, incredible. Thank you for letting us share in your walk. 🙂

  • Julie says:

    It’s good to have you “back”. I like the more personal posts. I know it opens you up for more criticism…you are very brave. I noticed a more “corporate” (for lack of better word) look to your page awhile back and the new management company could be the explanation. I am happy for you and all that things are working out for you and wish you continued success.

  • April says:

    I love that you said your relationships are more important than productivity and to-do lists. Awesome, awesome, awesome. And your personal posts are the only ones I enjoy reading b/c I’m just too busy to chase the everyday sales, you know? You are amazing!

  • Lynn says:

    It sounds like you are on an amazing path! Good for you both for being able to take a “leap of faith”! I know it is hard when you are contemplating something for so long and want so badly to make the right decisions for your family, but it sounds like you are right where you should be right now. Thank you for sharing so openly and believe me when I say there are many times when I have read something you have written and thought, well those are the right words at the right time for me! You clearly have a gift and you are wonderful to share it with all of us!

  • Alexa says:

    Your personal stories are what draws me into this blog and I am so glad that you’re back.

    I’m also happy that you and your family took that leap outside of your comfort zone and did what was right for you. Wishing you nothing but the best!

  • Glad to hear you are loving Nashville! We miss it terribly.

    We ended up in Fort Wayne because we thought God wanted us here to help with some family issues (i.e. niece, nephew, and some health related stuff with Tara’s mom and dad). But the funny thing is…as much as I have hated (and complained about) the cold, the lack of beautiful scenery like there is in Franklin/Spring Hill, and the terrible roads and less fun stuff to do around here, I’ve grown here.

    I thought He had us here for others and that still might be true, but it’s I who have benefited the most.

    (I still miss Nashville, though…enjoy it!)

  • Crystal, I couldn’t be happier for you and your family! I love that God clearly showed your family the direction you needed to go.

    I’m sure I miss out on opportunities because I’m too scared to step out in faith. Definitely a lesson to be learned, and thanks for the reminder.

    I’m totally loving your personal posts. It’s always fun to see what goes on the scenes in the life of a blogger! Keep up the fabulous work!

  • SK Bell says:

    I completely understand this. We have moved or traveled to free our hearts and souls a few times already and probably have another move coming up. We never know where God is leading us but we always listen! =D

  • Jaime says:

    I don’t usually comment on blogs but I wanted to say that it takes a lot of courage to make such a huge life altering decision that you and your family have made. I made such a decision over a decade ago and I am happy I took the chance. It made me a stronger person and I needed the change at that point in my life. I made new friends, had a great career and met my future husband. Good luck and wish you and your family the best!

  • Ahnah says:

    We’ve lived in Nashville the last 6 years and LOVE it! Your post was such a blessing to me as we’ve moved several times since we’ve been married the past almost 9 years. We are getting ready for a possible new “stepping out in faith” in a direction we have been praying earnestly about and asking other faithful believers to pray about with us. It’s such a thrill to go wherever God leads us! It’s also scary, sometimes disappointing, exhausting, etc. I was given a book when we first moved to TN that was such a blessing! I would definitely recommend this book! Thank you for all of your posts which are always such a blessing to me! Praying for you, and WELCOME to Nashville 🙂

  • Diana says:

    Thank you for sharing from your heart! I was so excited when you announced you’d be back to blogging and family adventures. You have a wealth of knowledge that inspires and encourages all of us. Your articles are why I follow MSM 🙂

  • Aww Crystal, you’re making me cry! Go girl! You’re awesome. Way to step out into the great unknown and be lionhearted about it too. Woot! SO glad it’s going well. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for being a cheerleader! I’ve been reading In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day and it’s inspired me so much at this season of our lives!

  • Karen says:

    Your story sounds very similar to ours. My husband quit a very high stress but well-paying job to go to Bible School. It also involved a move away from family and friends. It has been wonderful to have my husband home and a part of our everyday lives! Truthfully, it has taken the two years since we moved for us to fully slow down and relax, but it has been soooo worth it. I am excited for you and your family!

  • Liz says:

    Congrats – I lived in the Nashville area for a bit and it is a wonderful city. Enjoy!

  • Kris says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this – I was wondering what prompted the move, but felt you were entitled to some privacy, so didn’t want to ask. So happy that everything has lined up and worked out for you & your family! So happy that you are back to sharing your life on your blog, it is what made me (and probably many others) start to follow so many years ago. I have sooooo missed the freezer cooking in an hour (or more) and glad to see that you will be back to reporting the mundane!!

  • Melanie says:

    That is wonderful news, Crystal. I wish you, and your family, all the best. It sounds like a wonderful change for your family. God bless you!

  • Ashley says:

    Welcome to the Nashville area!

  • Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing this and opening yourself up. It must be hard having your private life be public, but your private life inspires so many of your readers. I had wondered if Jesse had taken over part of your business which had already developed into a family business with all your siblings’ participation.

    My sister left being a stay at home mom to work in her husband’s business (she was a lawyer pre-children) and it has blessed their marriage abundantly!

  • Thank you for sharing a little of your behind-the-scenes story….I’m so glad you’re family is settling in well and enjoying a new city. It’s been so fun to watch Money Saving Mom grow – you have a tremendous ministry and it’s wonderful that your husband will now be able to help out more on the business side of things!

  • Robyn says:

    I love all your personnally stories. I will agree with alot of the others, they are my favorite posts. Thank you for sharing so much with us. I must say I have noticed a differnce since your move, a good differance. Blessings to you and your family!

  • Gina says:

    Awesome!!! I’m so glad for you and your family!!! and I applaud your remarkable faith…it is not easy to take a leap of faith, when it involves so may variables (marriage, family, business…)
    The Lord will continue to bless you and your family, for your commitment to follow the path He has for you, and your obedience!!!
    God bless

  • Tiffany says:

    So glad you are back! This is the part of your website I’ve been missing. I’ve been following/reading since 2007 when I first started learning the couponing system at CVS! Thank you so much for all you do!

  • Thanks for sharing your heart! I love to hear encouraging stories of when people step out in the faith. The results are always amazing.
    So happy for you and all that God has in store for you, your family and your business in the future in Tennessee. May God bless you!

  • Florence says:

    You know you might not have been able to do this is Jesse was saddled with huge student loan debt from law school. Congratulations on your move!

  • Stephanie says:

    I’ve been patiently waiting to read about why you decided to make the big move. I knew you’d share eventually. 🙂

    I’m so happy to hear how well things are working out and that you are feeling so much love and support! This sounds like a wonderful change for your family!

    My husband graduated from law school two years ago and is working at a small firm earning commission. He is responsible for finding his own clients and bringing in his own work, so it is similar to having his own firm (except with less risk and overhead costs). I cannot imagine completely running your own law firm! And on top of that, YOU have accomplished so much in the past couple years! I can totally see how that would take a toll on everyone.

    I’m so happy that you lives can calm down a bit so you can enjoy your family even more! How fun that you can work together!!

  • Ann says:

    I love that you are keeping your family first!! We are all passing on a legacy to our children , grandchildren, great grandchildren & on & on!
    Bless you for passing on a BEAUTIFUL legacy!

  • Your openness and transparency is so inspiring, Crystal. And getting peeks into your life – especially the homeschooling posts – are always fun. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    How blessed to have those confirmations that you made the right decision. Family time IS so much more important than any job. I have been following MSM for years. Always the first blog I talk about when someone asks what my favorite coupon/money saving blog is. Mostly, I have always love MSM b/c you share your family, faith and frugality. So happy things have worked out for you in moving.

  • I am so proud of you! We made a similar decision this past year and had my husband step away from his career as an actuary to come on board with me and my blog. We feel the same way, not a day goes by that we aren’t thankful of the decision that God led us too! There is blessing behind that decision!

  • MarAyala says:

    What an amazing, uplifting story of this move. Amazing how through the whole entry all I can see clearly was Pray, prayed and praying?
    It was exactly what I needed today!

    I’m very excited for this change, may the Lord keep giving you green lights and stay with you on this new adventure!

  • All wonderful news. Thank you for being so open and sharing these details. I am grateful for all God is doing in your life – it is obvious that you feel a sense of purpose in all of this and it is so encouraging to me.

  • Laura McDaniel says:

    I love that you were so obedient and stepped out in faith! Listening to God and doing something that big is awesome. Many blessings of abundance to your family and much prayers and success to you!

  • Brandy says:

    Congrats! I for one missed the more personal side of the blog (I’ve been reading since 2008), and I look forward to following your family again! I have really learned lots of things from you and have shared many of those with friends. You are an insiration for me as a mother and a businesswoman!

  • Yvonne says:

    I’m inspired, Crystal. Truly. God has been working on me to step out in faith myself. You’ve encouraged me to do just that. 😉

  • Cora says:

    I love reading faith testimonies. I am so excited for you and your family. TN is a beautiful State and I am sure yall love living there. Your story made me to trust my Savior even more, pray more, and be obedient to God’s will especially in time of life’s uncertainty. Thank you for sharing! May God bless you more abundantly!

  • Tara says:

    I am so glad to hear you will be “back”!!! I have been a long time reader and have really missed the personal stories. Your posts had always been an encouragement to me. The Lord even used you so many years ago to begin stearing me toward the MFW curriculum that we still love so much today! So thankful for the Lord’s leading in your life! He is always good!

  • HaydenRossi says:

    Good for you! We’re in the same boat. My hubby just joined the Army right before his 35th birthday. It seemed sudden to some people, but it’s something we have thought about and prayed over many times in our 12 years of marriage. I look back and see how God used the previous years to prepare us for this new journey. I wish God’s best for you and your family as you follow God’s leading for you. Thanks for sharing!

  • Misty says:

    So happy for you and your new adventure! I have been reading your blog(s) since 2006 and appreciate all the wisdom and encouragement I have received. I have bought your books and passed them off to friends to read as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Tiffany says:

    Crystal, welcome back!!! I will be honest, I haven’t frequented MSM as much the past few months because it wasn’t the same blog I fell in love with 7 years ago. YES, I started reading your blog 7 years ago! I’m SO excited you’ll be back to your blogging roots. I LOVE reading the personal posts. The how-to’s. The encouragement and the real life stuff. By far, my absolute favorite posts have been those where you set a financial goal and go for it and bring us along for the ride. Actually, I revisit those posts alot just to gain encouragement on our own financial journey! SO glad you’ll be back at it!

  • Donna Downey says:

    Congrats to your family. Showing your kids that change can be a great thing is wonderful to share with them. God bless!

  • Meagan says:

    Thank you for putting a piece of yourself into your blog. It seems like all of the blogs are turning into the same perfect projects and the same beautiful foods. Everyone’s Pinterest boards look the same and it is getting terribly boring. The truth is that life is hard and messy and it is so refreshing to be reminded of that every so often. You have some very useful posts on here, but the ones I really find inspiring are the real ones that require a step of faith. Thanks for your courage to post.

  • kellie says:

    My husband and I moved to Nashville April 1, 2008. As much as we miss friends and family back in Michigan, it has allowed my husband to get into a career that he loves and flourishes in. Nashville has brought great things to us, and I hope the same for your family. Welcome to this awesome city!

  • Courtney says:

    God’s blessings to you and your family in this next chapter of your lives!

  • Kelly says:

    We live an hour east of the Nashville area. The middle TN area is a great place to live. I always enjoy reading your blog. And a few weeks ago I bought the book and love it. Thanks for all you do.

  • Kristin says:

    Thank you for this post!!! Right time and just what I need to hear at this moment! We are moving out of state, away from family, and away from everything we have ever known in order to “start fresh”. Out family needs to find ourselves together. My husband while not unhappy with his job wasn’t happy either. I however was miserable in mine. Like don’t know how I will get through miserable. We also had the mind set of if it’s supposed to be then it will. Well we have had nothing but green lights. Everything we thought we would have issues with worked out quickly and is moving fast forward! I pray that this is the right decision for our family as it has been for yours

  • Shannon says:

    I just wanted you to know your post is a blessing to me. We too have been praying about a decision to move for a long while now and in February put our house up for sale and just sold it a couple weeks ago. We are moving to East TN the end of July. We felt the same way…stepping out of our comfort zone and leaping out on faith. We have always lived with in 15 mins of in law and my parents. I never even went away to college! That will be the hardest part for us. But I also feel peace and that’s the important. I just wanted you to keep up the post because it will help me with the transition of moving my family of 5! It means a lot to hear other people going through the same thing!

  • Ashley Nix says:

    I have read your blog since the days of Biblical Womanhood!! I missed the personal posts SO much! I love the money saving/time management tips, but I know you are a wonderful, Godly lady, and I would love to read more about your walk in the Lord, the ups/downs of your normal life, and parenting tips! I have always admired you from afar, and it has truly been a blessing to see the Lord grow you from a small blog, just trying to help your husband make it through law school, to a now huge business, using the gifts and talents He gave you in the midst of those difficulties. What a story of God’s faithfulness and provision! Enjoy your blog so much, and looking forward to what is coming! 😀

  • Jessica says:

    Loved this. We went through the same thing about two years ago. Moved away from all of our family and friends and started over. I too prayed for red lights and closed doors, but God continued to open doors we never imagined. I had to let go and let God. It’s been the biggest blessing! Praying for abundance for you guys!

  • Rachel says:

    Thank you for posting this! Feeling like God is leading us to a big change, but have been scared to take the leap. This gives me encouragement! I don’t want to live in the “what ifs” and wonder what would’ve happened if I had let go of the fear and gone forward. Thanks for sharing! I’m a newer reader. Glad I can learn about your journey and find inspiration.

  • Brittney says:

    I commend you for taking that leap! We want to move to Nashville so bad. It felt like “home” when we were there for a job opportunity for my husband but it didn’t work out at that time. We are hoping that the opportunity arises again in the future. My husband is in the line of work where it is not easy to get a job in another state as there is rigorous testing and many applicants but god will put us where we belong. Congratulations on your move and prayers as you continue to settle in your new city! You are an inspiration!

  • Thanks for sharing this new chapter in your life with us! When I first heard Nashville I thought maybe you were going to work at Lampo or some other big company there, but now I see how it all comes together for MSM.

    As always, looking forward to following along!

  • Crissy says:

    God bless you! My family and I also moved cross country for the same reason – WE NEEDED A CHANGE! Every day, God has blessed our family and decision to be in our new home. We know we made the right decision every day and we were meant to be here. I wish the same happiness for you!!!

  • Aline says:

    Congrats on the move. Obedience to Him takes us far. Thanks for sharing!

  • Maggie says:

    Thank you for your post today. Our family is in the very middle of a big move for us. We are pursuing a job that my husband loves, but it is in a different town from where we’ve been living. So, the moving is happening the day after school gets out for summer. We, along with our 4 kids, are excited, scared, sad, and nervous about the change. Saying goodbye to a thriving youth ministry, numerous volunteer positions in our community, and good friends has been the most difficult thing to swallow. Your reminder that putting down roots in a new place is important, because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring is a perfectly timed reminder for me. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Donna says:

    I love that you continue to get confirmations that this move was right. I agree that nothing is more important than family. It is wonderful that you both can use this opportunity to support your family while having more time to spend together as a family. What a blessing!

  • So encouraging to read your blog post! My wife shared it with me as we’re currently in a similar transition ourselves and trying to make the move to Nashville work quickly. Best of luck to you and perhaps our paths will cross sometime in the city. You can read about our journey here

  • Dawn says:

    Be blessed!

  • Kyle says:

    Thx Crystal…I truly admire your family’s courage and faith. It’s inspiring.

  • Crista says:

    I have really started reading your blog all over again with more interest. I used to love reading all your personal stries mixed in with couponing deals. But, when all your posts seemed to be about sales and deals, I felt like I couldn’t keep up with all your posts and would only check the blog every now and then. Also, I got bored with the lack of personal stories like you used to share. Then, on FB, I saw you post about a move to Nashville and that caught my eye. When I read that post and you shared how you were going to be doing more personal posts, I decided to start reading your blog more regularly again. So fun to read about your family and be inspired by the steps in faith you are taking!

  • Erin says:

    I’ve followed your blog/website for over 5 years. Best wishes to you and your family on your change. I accepted a new job a little over 8 months ago. I completely relate to your “red lights/closed doors” analogy vs. “green lights”. There are times I still wonder if I did the right thing, but I trust in Him that the green light and open door was put in front of me for a reason. Blessings and peace to you and yours in the coming months.

  • Danielle Spears says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. I understand how scary it can be to move from everything and almost everyone you know. I love that you realize what was best for your family and had the faith to believe God would be with you during that time.
    My husband and I are also contemplating a cross country move as well. Your success leaves us with hope.
    I would also like to thank you for going back to a more personal blog. I have to admit that I was venturing to your site as often as I had before. But now after your announcement I visit daily. Your such a welcome site and individual in a world so focused on owning everything and being self centered. Thank you for your wonderful blog and site.

  • Renee says:

    I’m very excited for you. I am moving to Nashville soon from Michigan and exited about starting a new chapter in life. Lots of great opportunities out there!!

  • Leah M says:

    I have learned that we can either live with regrets or live with failures, and that between the two, I’d rather live with failure. My husband and I moved to San Francisco 7 years ago to pursue a dream. It has been crazy hard, but the right decision. A mentor gave us great advice… he said to write down all those early affirmations you get, so that you can look back and remember them when times are harder. I’ve found that you have to keep fighting for your dreams, when it’s easy and the affirmation that it was the right thing comes flowing in.. … and when it seems like nothing is going right. Both sides happen eventually. So happy for your new season… and keep a list of all those moments where you know it was right!

  • Gary Armour says:

    You probably don’t have a lot of men reading your blog, Crystal, but I have enjoyed reading your posts about your move, your family, your faith and trust in God’s plan for you, and of course the many tips which your daily blog provides. I, too, am a native of Kansas and lived there, went to college there, and taught school there for the first 26 years of my life. Then in 1965 my wife and I moved to Colorado where I have lived since. It has been an interesting journey through these many years and I know this is where God wanted me to be!

    I know Nashville (at least I knew a little about it back in the 1950″s) because my sister and her family lived there. I love the South, and know you will find God opening more and more new doors for you down there. You are in our prayers, and keep up the posts about your new life in the South!

  • Jen says:


    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful testimony of your faith in God. When we trust Him, and live for Him, He catches us when we jump off the cliff of the unknown. If we say no to God, I often think of the lives that wouldn’t be changed as well as failing to bless God. I started following your stories three years ago at which time I had experienced an involuntary job loss. God used you to teach me about frugality and simple living. He used you to push me to embrace my passions. Without your assistance, we may not be where we are today – on a path to being debt free and embracing a minimalist lifestyle. My husband and I have been called to ministry, and in doing so, we are “giving up our life and selling our possessions” to follow Jesus. I’ve left my career as a nurse to homeschool my daughter and write. I praise God for His work in you! Thank you for your obedience to God, and for your humble, servant’s heart! I was hoping to tell you this in person at the Teach Them Diligently conference in D.C. 2 weeks ago, but each time I went to your booth, you weren’t there. Next time! 🙂 May the peace of God be with you and your family in this next chapter of your journey. God Bless +

  • Katrina says:

    You go girl! You are very inspiring and I love that there are other moms out there boldly willing to take a stand for Jesus! So happy for your family!

  • Lynn says:

    Nashville is happy to have you! I’ve lived here since I was 10 and can’t imagine raising my family anywhere else! You will LOVE it!! Check out Crockett Park – great playground and free concerts on Sunday nights in the summer!

  • Melissa says:

    Welcome to my corner of the world! I can’t imagine living anywhere else!

  • Lori says:

    Thank you for this post, Crystal. It really hit home because for a while now I have been feeling restless and dissatisfied at my job, but have been too afraid to do anything about it. Anytime I start to get those feelings, I push them down and try not to think about them but they are always there.

    As much as I don’t enjoy what I am doing, and know that I am overqualified for the position, it is safe and comfortable in an odd way. It takes a lot of guts to step out and take a chance and I am afraid.

    I am the head of household and the responsibility of finding a job that provides for my family is overwhelming. I am terrified of leaving a guaranteed position for the unknown, but know that it may be time to move on, not just from my job, but to another location. This place no longer feels like home, and I can’t explain why.

    This post reminded me that I am not alone and that I need to start praying and opening my heart to God so he will show me the way. Thank you so much for the inspiration. And, may he continue to bless you and your family in every way.

  • Kim says:

    When my husband approached me to move to Arizona from California I was so nervous. I know now 9 years later that it was the best decision I have ever made! I had never lived more than 30 miles outside of my hometown in Cali, so moving out of state was a huge transition! I was also leaving my mother that had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but I knew it was my turn to take the time to be my kids’ parent for the first time! I love where I live, I love my house, I have lots of friends & I’m not working 50 hours a week just to make ends meet! Congrats to you & your family to make a scary but “right” decision! I wish you the best!!

  • Catrina says:

    Thank you for sharing! You have no idea what an inspiration you’ve been over the years. I look forward to more of your personal posts! Praying for your family!

  • Katie G says:

    Good for you for following the Lord’s leading & loving your family more than anything else! Blessings on your marriage, your family & your business together. I am so happy for you & have a higher regard for you for doing all that. You go girl!!

  • Lisa says:

    God is Good! Whilst reading your testimony of His faithfulness to you and your family it has confirmed what He has being saying to me. Thank you so much for your honesty x May the Lord truly bless you all abundantly more than you could ever imagine! x

  • I’m happy for you all and wish you the best with your move and new business endeavors!

  • Joanil says:

    Thank you sharing your story. My husband and I are in the middle of planning our move from Atlanta GA to San Antonio TX. It was a hard decision to make but we are looking forward to the change. If you don’t mind me asking what movers did you use and were you satisfied with them?

  • Crystal says:

    Nashville is so beautiful and is a perfect mix of big city and country living, and all of the wonderful churches make it hard NOT to find the perfect one. I live about two hours west of there and have always said that if I was ever going to move, I would go to Nashville.
    Welcome to beautiful Tennessee. We’re glad to have you. 🙂

  • Kristin S says:

    You didn’t have to share but thank you! It’s really fun to see how the Lord led you to “next”. Welcome to the South!

  • Bobbie L. says:

    Thank you so much for opening yourself up to share with us. May God continue to bless your family in your new home and new city. By the way, I love Nashville. My brother lives in Smyrna.

  • Cara says:

    Nashville is a WONDERFUL city and you will absolutely love it here! Everyone is SO friendly, and there is always something to do…and often times free! I love MSM and have followed you forever. Glad to hear of a new direction for your business and excited to see what the future brings for you here in Nash. Welcome!!

  • Claire says:

    This sounds like the perfect change for your entire family! I’m so glad that everything has fallen into place for you.

  • Heather says:

    Thanks for sharing. I know this had to be hard for you and your family. I understand about moving away from family and friends. I did this twice, we moved from Michigan to Oregon then from Oregon to South Carolina. It’s been hard. When we moved to South Carolina we didn’t know anyone. It’s been 6 months and I know God has my family and I to be here but it’s lonely at times. For us we had to give or sale all are stuff when we moved Oregon to South Carolina so ” starting over” is really something we understand. You guys are blessed to be able to move from home to home and have some friends where your living now. Sounds like things are moving along for you so happy for you! Blessings

  • Rebecca Dugas says:

    Wow. I really needed to read this right now. My family and I just did the same thing. Every word you wrote, told my story. Thank you for sharing your decision and journey. Blessings to you and your family.

  • Kathy says:

    Wow, amazing… to hear faithful stories….love how God works….

  • 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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