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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week

Welcome to my weekly Sunday 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’m Celebrating

You guys. Something clicked this past week and — after years of trying — this boy learned how to ride his bike without training wheels!!!

He was beaming and laughing and I stood out in the street squealing and screaming like a fool because I was so proud. And I could care less what the neighbors might have thought because MY BOY LEARNED HOW TO RIDE HIS BIKE!!!

(Read more about this journey & why it’s such a big milestone for Silas here.)

What I’m Laughing About

I came downstairs to find these two girls doing this after breakfast on Monday. I was like, “What are you doing?”

“Oh, we’re just studying the Periodic Table and making up funny phrases with it.”

“Is that a school assignment?” I inquired.

“No, we’re just doing it for fun,” they said.

I responded positively — because, hello, I’m all about supporting this type of fun. (It’s quiet. It’s studious. It doesn’t result in paint spilled all over the kitchen table. No one is fighting. You get my drift.)

But inwardly I’m thinking, “Studying the Periodic Table for FUN?!?! Whose children are you anyway?!?!”

What I’m Loving

I got to go to an overnight retreat with my Discipleship Group on Friday night and Saturday morning (I was so engaged in out time together that I failed to take one single picture!!) Jesse picked me up from the retreat early and dropped me and Silas off at the airport to fly to Kansas for the weekend.

And, because apparently no one flies to Wichita on a Saturday, we both got upgraded to first class on one of our flights!! Silas maybe have been just a wee bit excited, ya think??

He took such good care of me on the flights — making sure we got to the correct gate, making sure we boarded on time and in the right group, making sure we got to the right seats, making sure we had what we needed before we got on the flight… I could basically chill and just let him tell me where we needed to be and when we needed to be there!

What I’m Reading This Week

I mentioned last week that I was looking for a new fiction book to read. I ended up posting a stack of books on Instagram and asking for input on which one I should read.

A LOT of you said I had to read Wonder. And oh my word! You guys weren’t kidding. This book is such a worthwhile read!

I read it in two days and can’t recommend it highly enough — especially if you have kids around ages 9-12 like mine are. I think it’s a book that can really impact your thinking on what compassion and empathy look like and the importance of being a true friend.

I’m having my girls read it now and I’m excited about getting to discuss it with them!

I also finished No More Faking Fine this week and found it to be a very good read and one that deeply impacted me in this season of life I’m in.

What I’m Trying

I’m so excited because my friend, Stacy, from Humorous Homemaking just launched a brand-new course called Home Management How To.

Here’s what you need to know about Stacy: she’s basically a home management rockstar to me. Also, she’s funny and real and incredibly down-to-earth.

I’ve long admired how she has such great systems in place for running her home and family. I also love how she keeps things so simple and manageable.

I had the opportunity to start going through her course early, and I have to tell you, it’s fantastic! Stacy is funny and real in her videos, but she also inspires you that you can do this. She gives you tools, strategies, practical step-by-step help, AND cheerleading.

She shows you how having a clean and organized home and life is really and truly possible — if you’re willing to put in the effort and set up systems that work for you and your family!

As I was going through her course, I found myself saying, “I really want to set up better systems instead of my current fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and take-one-day-at-a-time method. But the only way that is going to happen is if I have some accountability to actually follow through with it!”

So that’s when I came up with the idea of setting up a private Facebook Group and inviting you all to join me in going through this course together. Because not only would that make it more fun, it would also mean there’s a much better chance I’d actually follow through with creating and implementing good systems in our home.

I’m so excited that over 400 of you have signed up to join me over in the Homemaking Course Participants Facebook Group. We are going to have a GREAT time encouraging one another, sharing what we are learning together, and inspiring one another with ideas and input.


We will be starting going through the course together on Tuesday, March 7th, and I’d LOVE for you to join us! Here’s how to participate:

1. Go sign up for Stacy’s course here.

2. Then, ask to join my private Facebook Group here.

We’re going to be checking in every day on Facebook (beginning on Tuesday), and I’ll be sharing what I’m learning from the course, how it’s challenging me to try new things, the systems I’m setting up and trying in my home, and how I’m tailoring what Stacy shares to what I think will work in our home.

What I’m Pondering

This is my life. These are my people.

It’s often messy.

It’s sometimes exhausting.

It’s rarely quiet.

But it’s my life. And I love it and would choose it all over again.

I envisioned I would have a bunch of kids. Instead, God gave us three beautiful babies to love and raise.

I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Instead, I own my own business, work (mostly) full-time hours, and am our family’s breadwinner.

I pictured that I would always live in Kansas. Instead, we live in Tennessee.

I thought I’d always live close to family. Instead, we are about 12 hours away from family.

I always wanted to homeschool. Instead, God made it clear we were supposed to send our kids to a little classical school this year.

In so many ways, this isn’t the life I ever pictured for myself. But it’s the life I’ve been called to and I love it, embrace it, and choose it. Because why waste time pining over what you thought would be, could be, or should be?

I want to choose this life, today. It’s a beautifully messy, lovely, loud, exhausting, exhilarating, amazing life. And I choose it!

What are you celebrating, laughing about, reading, loving, trying, and/or pondering this week?

(I’m skipping posting a giveaway winner + another book stack giveaway because I’m in Kansas this weekend and running short on time to get this post done. But look for the winner + another giveaway next Sunday!)

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  • Courtney says:

    Please tell Silas congratulations on the bike riding! My oldest son didn’t learn to ride until he was 9 and one of my daughters still can’t ride (age 13). Sometimes it just takes awhile for our bodies and brains to figure out how to work together. Awesome job at being persistent, Silas!!

  • Megan says:

    I am celebrating my youngest son’s 1st birthday. He is my fifth child and he truly his brought joy to this family. I am laughing my two year old’s comments about how much he loves me at the moment. He is so funny. I am currently reading a lenten devotional with my family every day, the kids and I are reading Little House on the Prairie and I am reading The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Sharkle. I am trying and pondering on getting a new teaching position a big private school. Lots of prayers and thinking are going into this new adventure.

  • MommaL says:

    I sent my daughter the link to the course. I wish I’d had something like that when I was raising children. Thank you for sharing, Crystal!

  • Adrienne says:

    Thank you for being real. I’ve been enjoying reading these weekly posts and seeing your instagram.

  • Nicole says:

    Hello! My little boy (oldest boy…but still little :)) is almost 7 (in may) and he does not know how to ride a bike without training wheels. We have not the greatest yard for bikes and a dirt and gravel driveway…so not much opportunity to ride. I figure he will figure it out eventually..grandma and grandpa have a cement pad. He just learned how to tie his shoes. Don’t worry!!
    On a different note..I am pregnant with number 5, stay at home mom, homeschool. I am thinking that my random homemaking “schedule” (not) is coming to the end of working. We are often late to things because no one is ready. The laundry is getting crazy. I DREAM of a “clothing closet”. No room right now. Anyway there is also no schedule. We have sort of a routine but I have been sick and tired so it is basically just…try to get everything done in a day..sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt. My husband was out of a job for a really long it felt like a day off all the time and we got a little relaxed. Now hes back to work which is great but he has a weird schedule..its like 330-1130…so…its hard to schedule anything. We sleep in because…well…by the time my husband gets home its like midnight and I try to see him for a little bit before we go to bed. But hes home for the morning and some of the afternoon which would usually be school time and sometimes it would be but I really dont want to make a strict scheudle where we always do school just when hes home and then relax after he leaves because I want to be able to spend time as a family. Soon hes going to days and then nights and then days..its going to be all over the place. I am really not sure how to make more of a plan with his schedule and I dont know where to start. I also dont think we can afford this homemaking course right now. I’m just wondering if you have any tips or posts or anything to help me out. Most of the time I’m just spending my days wishing I did more and doubting myself. Its really been a struggle..especially when I read different blogs…and I tend to put those people on a pedestal….i know…thats bad. I do try to get housework done after the kids sleep..but Ive been really tired with the pregnancy.
    Sorry for the huge post…just hoping for some tips or wisdom if you have it!!!
    Thank you..God bless

    • Nicole – we have all been there and most of us are still there 🙂 You’re not alone! Also, you cannot do it all alone. You can’t do it all in general, none of us can. I’m not sure what advice Crystal would give you, but what I would do if I were in your shoes is to set your priorities. Somehow find some quiet time, sit down and think really hard about what your priorities are in the day. What’s more important to you and your family? What HAS to get done in order to be prepared for the day? I would just build off of that.

      One of the things that helped me greatly was spending an entire week tracking my time and what I did. It was painful and tedious, but I tracked what I did and for how long. I then sat down and evaluated it. It’s a lot like tracking your spending…you don’t realize how much time you’re devoting to something that is not important whatsoever. It’s the reason I got rid of ALL social media.

      I hope this helps – I will be thinking about you! And congratulations on the new bundle of joy!!! 🙂

      • Nicole says:

        Thank you for your advice!!
        (I also have no social media :))

        • I loved Mrs. Daisy’s advice above! It’s spot-on!

          {Hugs!} to you Nicole. I just stopped and prayed for wisdom and grace for you to know how to better approach your days so you can feel less frazzled and more calm and joyful.

  • Laura says:

    We read Wonder last year and followed it by “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper. We loved it as much as Wonder. If you or your kids haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

  • Christine says:

    I’m trying to teach the “live for today” to my 14 year old and failing. He’s caught up in what he perceives as what he’s lost and what he’ll never have because we homeschool him. He’s desperate to go to public school. In my heart, I don’t feel it is what God wants. He’s making himself so sad by not accepting what we feel God wants for him. We’ve offered to send him to a private Christian school but he said no. It’s public school or nothing as far as he’s concerned. His heart does not belong to God so we do not feel secure in sending him to public school. None of the parents we’ve spoken to say anything nice about our public school system. If anyone has advice and/or prayers on wisdom, I would appreciate it.

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for the book recommendations. No kids at my house, but I’ve found that when I’m busy I only have the energy for youth and teen literature. Looking forward to a couple of the books mentioned here by you and others!

  • It’s so nice to see the real Crystal in these posts.

    My house is messier than ever. I’m trying not to care about it and focus on my 2 little pumpkins. I just had a baby and I have a 3 years old. It’s hard to do everything and still stay sane. So, I decided to focus on my kids and care a little less about organizing the house

  • Rosanna says:

    This week I started reading “Abundance Now” by Lisa Nicols. I’ve been a part of an online group of ladies reading books together for over a year now and this our newest book. It has been wonderful! I’m also reading “Lioness Arising” by Lisa Bevere and loving it like crazy!

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