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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week

Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

What I Read This Week

Kaitlynn and I finished reading this book this week as part of her Sonlight curriculum in homeschool and really enjoyed it! Have you read it before? I’d never heard of it but it was such a fun read-aloud — especially since we’re studying ancient Egypt history right now.

{See my Reading Goals for 2017. Also, see the 62 books I’ve read so far in 2017 here.}

What We Did This Past Week

On the way to school one morning this past week, I asked the question I try to ask daily: “What are you excited about today?”

“We get to paint our salt dough maps today!” Was his eager reply.

You guys. This boy! I just love how much he loves learning!

He has been studying about ancient Egypt in school the past few weeks. They made salt dough maps last week in Humanities and then painted them today to practically demonstrate their understanding of what they had learned.

My mama heart may have just swelled to bursting when he went over it in great detail with me all about the flood zones, the crops, the Sphinx, the pyramids, the Nile river, and the Delta.

Since Kaitlynn and I are studying the same thing in our curriculum (which I chose to coincide with what Silas would be doing at school), we’re having so much fun comparing notes and sharing fun facts and tidbits with each other!

I love that we are doing this hybrid educational thing this year based upon what we felt would be best for each child. They each seem to be thriving where they are at and I’m so very grateful!

We also enjoyed watching the solar eclipse on Monday. It was incredible — even though we didn’t have complete totality (it was about 99% where we live).

Had I known how cool it was going to be and how awestruck my kids (and I!) were going to be with it, we totally would have driven a little ways to see totality. Now we know for 2024!

While it didn’t get completely dark, we did get to see the sunset for about a minute — which was incredible!

What I’m Learning as a Parent

Lean in. Listen. Love.

These have become my guiding words in my parenting — especially as my kids are getting older, spreading their wings, and attempting to fly a little.

A few days ago, one child failed to follow through and do something they were asked to do. As a result, they lost a privilege of getting to do another thing they were really looking forward to.

This child was very upset and angry. And honestly? I wanted to be all, “I told you if you didn’t do X, you wouldn’t get Y. It’s your own stinkin’ fault.” Which would just anger and shame the child.

But instead, I stopped and resolved to lean in, listen, and love.

So, I sat with them while they cried about losing this privilege. I told them gently how I knew it was hard for them and how I was sad, too. I asked what was the hardest thing about it and let them express their frustration.

Once they stopped crying, I shared with them quietly about why we had made the decision we had. I told them how much we loved them and how much we wanted to spare them pain in the future by teaching them now that following through and doing the right thing is so important.

I then asked, “Do you want me to tell you about a time when I didn’t do the right thing and the consequences that came from that?”

They sat up and excitedly said, “Yes!”

So we snuggled together while I told them the story of a time when I had made a very bad choice and how I’d experienced *six months* of hard consequences as a result of that one choice.

When I got done with my story, this child had a look of deep understanding on their face. I could tell that they felt seen, heard, and loved.

It turned into such a beautiful time together. And it was all because instead of reacting or shaming or being frustrated, I leaned in, listened, and loved.

What I’ve Been Pondering + An Exciting Announcement

I’ve spent the last two years of my life untethering myself from being chained to a worth based on productivity…

I’ve shut out a lot of noise. I’ve said “no” probably a few hundred times every single month.

I’ve slept more. I’ve laughed more. I’ve developed a few new deep friendships.

I’ve stopped obsessing so much over things I can’t change.

I’ve tried new foods, new styles, new drinks, and new experiences.

I’ve started volunteering at church in the children’s ministry. I signed up to co-lead a women’s small group.

I’ve even given myself freedom to spend money on things “just because” — like discounted flowers and new shoes.

I’ve become a lot more spontaneous. I’ve stopped waking up so early. I’ve started getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

I loved deeper. I’ve trusted more wholeheartedly.

I’ve given myself space to feel instead of stuffing things. I’ve ugly cried.

I’ve let other people see the under-belly of who I really am without pretending. I’ve welcomed people into my messy.

And I’m happier and healthier and braver and more confident and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been in my life.

Many of you have asked me to share more about this journey and the specifics of how I’ve actually walked it. I wasn’t ready until now. Because I needed to quietly live it first.

But the past two months, I’ve been working on a course where I open up and share really vulnerably about my journey.

It’s called Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: A 7-Day Journey to Break Free from Burnout & it launches this coming week!

Instead of doing a big launch promotion, this time around, I’m offering a free webinar where I’ll share more about my journey, share some of the most important lessons I learned, do a live Q&A, and offer a special discount on the course for those who sign up.

I’m offering the webinar LIVE 3 times this coming week and I’d love for you to join me for it. Go sign up for it here (and look for more details on the webinar tomorrow!)

Links You Should Check Out

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  • Cherilyn says:

    Crystal, what became of your new blogs you spoke of a while back? Would love an update and to check them out if you have links. Thank you!

    • You can check out — it’s been live for a number of months!

      And we put starting a blog on on the back burner for now because I realized that running two blogs was enough for me and my team this year (especially because I had some courses I wanted to launch in the next 12 months), but I’m sharing snippets of what I’d planned to share there over on my Instagram account every week:

      I’m trying to really be careful to continue to live out the lessons I learned in my Year of Rest and pace myself, have breathing room in my life, and not over-commit. After launching, I realized that starting more than two blogs was over-committing myself and my team right now and wouldn’t allow us to have a healthy pace of life, so I just gave myself permission to stick with two blogs + social media for now! 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Enjoy hearing about your week always. We love using Sonlight for homeschooling but haven’t read The Golden Goblet yet. Nice to look forward to that! So glad your kids are thriving where they are and especially love the inspiration to lean in and empathize rather than shame. So true and what a gift to our children! We got to see the eclipse in totality this time and it was awe-inspiring. My 8-year-old kept saying “I will remember this day forever!” Ha 🙂

  • Victoria says:

    Our family drove down as far as the Kentucky border to 99% totality. We wanted to make it to a place that had 100% but hit heavy traffic and ran out of time. IT WAS AWESOME. So excited that in 2024 it will be 100% right where we live -no need to travel.

  • KEB says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the experience and the approach you took with one of your kids. It really hit home and made me realize that I haven’t been as patient / loving / caring as I need to be within our family. I really took this to heart and wanted to thank you for sharing.

  • Linda says:

    I’m really surprised you didn’t make the effort to drive a short distance to an area of totality. (I thought Nashville was in totality) I live in an area that had 100 % and I have to tell you that there is no comparison between 99% and 100 %! Totality was absolutely amazing!! Indescribable! Maybe in 7 years you can drive there. It is worth it. Also, I’m disappointed your webinar does not have convenient times for those of us living in the Pacific time zone. 5:00 pm is not good for people with jobs. Can we sign up and see it recorded?

    • We *thought* our area was going to be in the area of totality but I guess we were just less than 10 miles away. 🙁 We had heard that traffic might be terrible and areas might be packed and I didn’t really understand what totality was honestly, so I didn’t make the effort to figure out whether or not we were in an area of totality or whether we’d need to go drive somewhere to be in an area of totality. Now I know that there is a huge difference between 99% totality and full totality!

      And yes, I’m so sorry that I couldn’t pick better times for those in all time zones. I tried to do my best, but since a lot more of our readers are in CT and EST time zones and I’m in CT and have to work around my family’s schedule, I just picked the best times I could! Thanks so much for your patience with that! I considered doing a weekend webinar, but I wasn’t sure if people would be interested in that or not.

      But yes, if you sign up, you’ll definitely get a replay link!

  • Jaime says:

    I’m, unfortunately, one of those parents that would and does say, “That’s what happens when you do X!”. My daughter’s almost 4, and I’m still learning how to best discipline her and still show her that I love her. I have a feeling that it’s an on-going learning process!

  • I love that you truly know your kids individually and aren’t scared to tailor their education to their individual needs!

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