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Tag Archive: 5 Things I’m Loving This Week

5 Things I’m Loving This Week (+ a few thoughts on marriage)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1) #TogetherWeLetter Handlettering Challenge

I’m just loving the #TogetherWeLetter Handlettering challenge! I’m posting my handlettering for each day’s prompt on my Instagram account.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2) Tulips & “Just Because” Gifts

We aren’t big on celebrating Hallmark holidays. Instead, we like to show our love in little and big ways on the everyday days. I much prefer gifts and notes and flowers that are given “just because” instead of “because it’s what’s expected”.

This week, I came home to these tulips — a “just because” purchase from Jesse who knows I adore tulips. And they make me smile so much — not only because they are so bright and cheery, but because they remind me how blessed I am to be married to a man who loves me well, in spite of our hard days, disagreements, and differences.

Marriage isn’t just a one-time commitment at the altar. It’s a daily living out of that commitment. A daily choice to say and show through my words and actions that “I still do.”

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3) A Stack of Good Books

I’m loving the books I’m reading this week. I’m finding that only reading 3 books at a time is the perfect number for me right now. It feels like it allows me to savor the books while providing enough variety to keep me really engaged with them. (See what I’m reading right now here.)

Slow Cooker Meatballs

4) A Yummy Crockpot Meatball Recipe

We were SO impressed with how this recipe for Slow Cooker Meatballs turned out and it was so delicious and easy that I put it back on our menu again this coming week!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5) A Funny Quote

Isn’t that the truth?! Anyone else feel this way, too?

What are YOU loving this week?

5 Things I’m Loving This Week (+ one really big bonus!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1) Time Around the Table Every Morning

Every morning, we start out with a cleared off table. By the end of our homeschool Morning Time, it looks like this — or worse!

But it’s worth it for the discussions we have, the creativity it encourages, and the different worlds and periods or history we are transported to through story. (I think kids listen better when their hands are busy, so I always encourage the kids to draw, color, sew, or build while I read aloud.)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2) Going to the Ninja Warrior-like Trampoline Park

Things I learned:

  • I will not be trying out for American Ninja Warrior. It might look cool on TV, but um, looks can be deceiving.
  • I do not like taking risks. At all. One attempt at the warped wall was more than enough for me.
  • My post-kid bladder does not mix well with trampolines.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3) This Adorable Coloring Page

Did you see this adult coloring page printable that CreativLEI made? I just love it… Even though it feels a little weird to have colored my own quote and then have it displayed on my fridge!

(You can print your own at

5 Things I'm Loving THis Week

4) A Mommy-Daughter Date to the Mall

Kathrynne and I went on a Mommy-Daughter Date last week for her birthday. We went to the LEGO store, of course. Because this girl can never have too many LEGOs. And as long as she keeps them neat and organized and uses them to build cool Puzzle Boxes and other contraptions, I’m all about supporting this hobby of hers.

She decided to hit up the Pick a Brick section because that’s “the best use of your money” at the LEGO store, she tells me. You fill up a canister for $15, and I totally cracked up while watching her carefully fill each and every nook and cranny of her canister to make the money go as far as possible. She’s so like me in so many ways!!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

We also went to the candy store where I found this. It gives a whole new meaning to, “I only ate one.”

Now I will always feel cheated out when I eat a regular-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

(You may be surprised to know I used incredible self-control and put this baby back on the shelf… Only because it was $19.99 and I’m cheap and practical like that.)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5) Our New Creative Writing Program

One of my goals for 2016 was to go through a creative writing course with the kids this year. Many of you asked which one I’d chosen and, after some research and looking at a lot of different options, I chose Story Starters by Karen Andreola.

We’re two weeks in and we are just loving this book. It’s not only a great way to teach creative writing and practice handwriting skills, but the we’re having a lot of fun with it.

(It’s written from a very Charlotte Mason-style approach, so if that’s that your thing/style, it’s probably not a good fit for you. Me? I’m all over Charlotte Mason — which is why we adore so many, many aspects of the Sonlight curriculum.)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

Bonus: A Girls’ Weekend with MacKenzie

I had a very, very fun gift of getting to spend the weekend in Washington State with MacKenzie from Bold Turquoise. It was such a treat, such a refreshing time, and such a reminder of why it’s important to make friendships a priority. (You can watch the Periscope broadcast we recorded while we were together here.)

5 things you should know about this picture:

1) We were standing by this gold rhino… Only we could not, for the life of us, get a selfie that showed our faces and the rhino at the same time. You’d think two bloggers could possibly do better than that, but nope.

2) We are like two peas in a pod. We like so much of the same stuff, we think so much the same way, and we even seem to pick out similar clothes! Except MacKenzie drinks DECAF coffee. I mean, seriously. I don’t even know how to deal with that sort of travesty.

3) We thought we both looked similar in age (we’re only three years different in age!), but when we went to get manis and pedis, the lady asked if it was a Mother-Daughter outing. We both instantly replied in a very appalled manner, “Which one of us looks like the MOM?!?!?”

4) We had planned to take more pictures of our weekend, but we were so preoccupied with sharing our hearts and getting to know one another on a deeper level that we kept forgetting! #fail

5) We are so grateful to both of our husbands for the many sacrifices they made for this Girls’ Weekend to be possible for the two of us. We both came away feeling so refreshed and renewed and re-energized.

What are YOU loving this week?

5 Things I’m Loving This Week (the “EPIC” snowstorm edition!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

I didn’t get a 5 Things I’m Loving post up last week because I chose to go to bed early instead of stay up and write a post (priorities, eh?). That means I have lots of things to share this week! In fact, I had trouble narrowing the list down to just five things!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

After some thought, here’s my list of some of my favorite things right now — what I’m thankful for, stuff I’m loving, things that are making me happy, etc.:

1. Our New Fire Pit

I’ve long wanted one for our patio and was SO excited when Jess surprised me with it. It may be a little cold to roast marshmallows right now, but that didn’t deter us from using it before the freezing temperatures and snow came.

Sitting out by the fire is a the perfect end to a quiet and relaxing day of rest. I think it’s especially appropriate for this Year of Rest as it will encourage me to slow down and savor time with the family more.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2. An Amazing Grocery Deal

This is for sure our best grocery deal scored so far in 2016! I thought maybe the zero was supposed to be another number, but they had a whole stack of them at this price!!

I love me some Kroger markdowns!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3. My Book is in Target & Costco!!!

I never, ever thought I’d have a book in Target. In fact, just a few months ago, someone asked me if my new book would be in Target and I said, “No, I doubt I’ll ever have a book in Target. I just don’t sell the thousands and thousands of copies required for them to consider it.”

And I was content with that. Truly content. I’m just honored to actually have 3 published books — something I would have never dreamed would be the case 10 years ago!

But then, not a week after that conversation, I got an email from my publisher saying that TARGET HAD PICKED UP MY BOOK and would carry it in January!!!!!

So yes, Silas’ face here is pretty much how I feel about this. Surprised. Thrilled. Humbled. Overwhelmed. Overjoyed.

And mostly just grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to write words. Grateful for the privilege of getting to share those words with the world. Grateful for the faith my publisher has placed in me. Grateful for my loyal and amazing readers who have believed in me and in this book.

Grateful that God does abundantly above all we could ever dream or hope or imagine. Grateful that He uses broken vessels for His glory.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

Then, this week, Costco started carrying my book. And all week long, people have been posting and emailing me to tell me they saw my book in Costco. A number of people even sent me pictures to prove it, as shown above! 🙂

I’m reminded once again how blessed I am. How amazingly blessed I am. That people take the time to care about me, to cheerlead for me, and to celebrate with me.

In a world filled with so much competition and comparison, this is a gift I don’t take lightly. And it inspires me over and over again to look for ways to care more, cheerlead more, and celebrate others more.

Life is so much more meaningful and rich when we choose celebrating and cheering with others instead of competing and comparing ourselves with others.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

4. SNOW!!!

Color me surprised… We woke up to this on Saturday. Yes, even though we weren’t so sure of it ever since moving here from Kansas, it is really possible for the Nashville area to get more than a dusting of snow!

However, they are saying that this is the worst snowstorm they’ve had in 13 years… So this is pretty EPIC for this area!

5 Things I'm Loving THis Week

Apparently, everyone in our area decided that stocking up on meat was more important than stocking up on bread and milk before the snowstorm, as evidenced by this picture my husband took at the grocery store on Saturday evening!! 😉

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5. Our New Morning Routine

At the beginning of this year, one of the big commitments Jesse and I made together was to put forth a lot of effort and intention into getting on a great morning routine. We came up with a simple routine, we made some changes in what we did before bed and when we got up to set ourselves up for success, and then we just dove in.

Even though the first few days were hard, I’m so glad we stuck with it as it’s made such a difference in our days. One of the best times has been starting our mornings by sitting down to breakfast as a family and studying God’s Word together after everyone is dressed and ready for the day. This has been such a sweet time and such a great beginning to our homeschool day!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

Bonus: This quote — I read this on an “off” day this past week and it made me laugh. It was just what I needed that day. And I thought maybe some of you might need the laugh, too.

What are YOU loving right now? Tell us in the comments.

5 Things I’m Loving This Week (we’re finally home edition!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

After my brother’s wedding last week, we headed to Colorado to spend a week with most of Jesse’s extended family. It was our first time to go on a Ski Trip and we had no idea if we would like it or if it wouldn’t be our thing at all.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1. Silas & Kathrynne Loving Skiing/Snowboarding

Kathrynne and Silas absolutely fell in love with snow sports. Kathrynne was a natural on the snowboard — which was no big surprise since she loves her ripstick.

But we were surprised how Silas took to skiiing. We had him go to Ski School the first day because he really, really wanted to go. And by the time we picked him up, he was 100% hooked. (You can see a video of him skiing here.)

2. Being Able to Laugh At Myself

And I may have lost my ever-lovin’ mind but I tried snowboarding one day. No, I’ve never done any snow sports before except building a snowman. 😉 No, I do not like cold. No, I am not athletic or coordinated.

But this year, I’m committed to embracing life more, making fun a priority, and being more adventurous. So I went out and gave it my all. And here’s what I posted on Instagram…

Y'all. I don't want to make anyone feel badly or anything, but I think we may have found my hidden talent today. I mean, I was almost embarrassed at how quickly I picked up snowboarding. I think that's why I kept falling and spent most of the time sliding around on my rear end. Because I didn't want any of the other beginners to feel like they just couldn't measure up. In other news, I think I will keep my blogging day job. ? (And I did have some runs that were better than this, but this was a great representation of what much of my time on the bunny slopes today looked like. So instead of sharing the highlight reel, I thought I'd share this awful video… Cuz I'm all about keeping it real!) #sarcasm #Keystone #Colorado #TheYearofRest

A post shared by Crystal Paine ?Choose Joy (@themoneysavingmom) on

Yes, I don’t think I’m going to be scouted for the Olympics or anything, but it was so good to go out and do something different and hard… and to tackle it head-on and to laugh at just how downright awful I was at it much of the time. 🙂 I was pretty sure that snow sports were not among my core competencies and we certainly confirmed that suspicion! 🙂

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3. Kaitlynn Learning How to Crochet

While we were in Colorado, Aunt Lisa taught how to crochet. Kaitlynn picked it up like nobody’s business and is now working on crocheting a beautiful blanket!

I’ve always wanted to know how to do more than a basic crochet stitch, so I can’t wait for her to teach me!! It’s so fun when your kids are old enough that they are the ones teaching you!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

I loved the fact that she was so happy to be inside crafting while her siblings wear out tearing up the slopes on skis and a snowboard. She’s a girl after my own heart… Well minus the ninja crafting abilities.

But the staying inside and enjoying the cabin and fire and quiet, risk-free activities? I’m so there!!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

4. Home Sweet Home

We got home last night and I can’t even begin to describe to you how happy I am to be home. I also forgot how much I missed sleeping in my own bed!

We’ve had a lot of adventures the past month or so, but I am completely and fully ready for the Year of Rest to commence!

To celebrate, I slept in, stayed in my PJs, and just had a leisurely day of unpacking and decluttering. It felt SO good!
Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 9.49.44 PM

5. 13 Years of Marriage

Jesse and I celebrate our 13th anniversary tomorrow. I couldn’t imagine loving this man any more than I did on our wedding day, but 13 years later, I totally do.

I love how this man constantly encourages me and cheerleads me, but also challenges me to not play it safe. I would never leave the comfortable and do things like attempt to snowboard if it wasn’t for him and his love of adventure.

Here’s to a year of jumping out of those ruts I get stuck in, making memories, taking time for fun, and embracing life fully.

What are you loving this week? Tell us in the comments.

5 Things I’m Loving This Week + how we kept Christmas simple

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#1. A Relaxed Christmas

Like last year, we kept Christmas really simple this year. We focused on the few things that we decided as a family were priorities: we all wanted to go to Kansas to celebrate Christmas, the kids wanted to put up the tree and decorate the house all by themselves (they were so, so excited to do it themselves and ended up doing a great job!), Jesse and I wanted to go to New York City for a special trip just the two of us, the kids wanted to decorate Gingerbread Houses and drink hot cocoa, the kids wanted to decorate Christmas cookies, and Kaitlynn wanted to be in the Christmas ice-skating show.

We only did a few gifts for extended family members and a few other people in our lives, Jesse and I gifted each other the She Reads Truth/He Reads Truth Auto Ship Program for the year, and we gave the kids each one expensive Experience Gift. We’d never done just Experience Gifts before, so we weren’t sure how that would go over… but it ended up being a HUGE hit!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

{In case you’re curious, we gifted Kathrynne a special one-day training class on swimming strokes with two olympians (she was over-the-moon excited about this!), we gifted Kaitlynn new ice skates (we’ve been renting her skates ever since she grew out of her last pair — this isn’t exactly an Experience Gift, but it’s something that will contribute to many Experiences and something she could really use and would be excited about, so we decided it counted!), and we gifted Silas Swimming Lessons — something he’s been begging for!}

Keeping Christmas simple this year allowed us to really get to enjoy a lot of relaxed time hanging out as a family and with our extended family. It ended up being one of the least stressful and most enjoyable Christmases in a long time.

We feel like clearing some of the commitments and schedule clutter gave our souls space to breathe — and it was such a good thing!

5 Things I'm Loving

#2. Milano Cookies

What a fun surprise!! These Milano cookies randomly showed up in our mailbox this past week from Paige Yelle! She’s a reader and the designer of these adorable Gratitude Journals.

Milano cookies are pretty much hands down my favorite store bought cookie — and my kids agree, too!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#3. Quotes That Made Me Laugh

I love looking for quotes and cartoons online that make me smile, laugh, and nod my head. And then I love nothing more than to share these quotes with others so that they can relate or smile and laugh with me.

This one on introverts and this one on motherhood were two of my favorites this week.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#4. Phase 10

Have you played this game before? It’s a very simple card game and it’s something that almost all ages can play, but it’s one we’re loving as a family right now. We played multiple games of it while traveling this week and it was a great way to pass the time!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#5. Handlettering

I am setting very few goals in 2016, but one of them is that I will spend 5 minutes every day practicing handlettering. I have discovered that I not only love this art, but it’s a fun way to challenge myself to learn and grow. Plus, if I improve at it, it’s a skill that I can use to create quote graphics to share on social media and my blog.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

I plan to stay accountable by sharing some of the fruits from my practice on my Instagram feed and Facebook Page. You can see a few of my first attempts here. I have so much to learn, a few more supplies to get, and a LOT more practice to put in, but I’m excited to see what a year of practice brings!

If you follow along, I hope you’ll be inspired as you watch me exercise a new area of creativity, challenge myself to develop a new skill, and have a whole lot of imperfect along the way.

What are you loving this week? Let us know in the comments.

5 Things I’m Loving This Week (the head cold edition)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#1) My New Cultivate the Lovely Mug

I had a radio taping in Colorado Springs on Thursday, and I barely made it through the interview before the slight head cold I had turned into full-blown nose-can’t-stop-running, head-is-going-to-explode head cold status.

(By the time I landed back in Nashville, the only thing I wanted to do was crawl into bed… And I’ve mostly stayed there ever since! I guess God decided that I needed to get a jumpstart on my planned word for 2016 — REST!)

At any rate, I’ve been drinking Zarbee’s Throat Relief drink in my brand-new Cultivate the Lovely mug that I bought from MacKenzie over at Bold Turquoise makes me feel a little more classy while rocking bed head and PJs.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#2) My Last Business Trip of 2015

As mentioned above, I flew to Colorado Springs on Wednesday and Thursday for a radio taping. It was my last business trip of 2015 and I couldn’t be happier to finally be at the finish line after a long, very full, and very stretching year. 

It’s weird to not have any huge and pressing projects ahead of me and very little travel planned for 2016. But it feels SO good! While I’m grateful for the growth and the opportunities this past year, I’m also grateful to be entering a much quieter season!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#3) Our Monday Group

These are all the adults in our Monday Group (taken at our Christmas Party this past week). And every single person here means so much to us.

We’ve laughed, teased, cried, prayed, ate, and played together almost every Monday night over this past year. These people have listened to us, loved us well, cared for us, and modeled what authentic community looks like. And it’s been one of the greatest gifts to us since moving here to TN.

Can’t wait for all our 2016 Mondays!! (Also, I have no idea why I was the only person who missed the memo on where we were supposed to be looking in this photo!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#4) A Funny Laundry Image

I found this image from and just had to share it… because maybe you needed the laugh, too?

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#5) A Thought-Provoking Quote

I’m attacking this head cold with gusto… Taking all sorts of vitamins, downing the liquids, slathering myself with oils, chugging the tinctures, and resting like it’s my job! ?

I don’t mess around when it comes to sickness! Ain’t nobody got time for head colds!

It appears to be working because I was able to sleep well last night (okay, I confess: I did take Robitussin Nighttime) and feel more human today.

This is the perfect day to be reading Choose Joy. My favorite quote so far: “Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.” -Maurice Setters

What are you loving this week? Tell us in the comments!