Friday, January 25, 2013

My book list of 2012

The True Measure of a Woman: You Are More Than What You See (Inner Beauty Series)Unglued Participant's GuideThe Meaning of Marriage: Finding Happiness in Your Most Profound RelationshipLioness Arising: Awaken the Power of the Untamed Life

here is a list of some of the books that I read this year that really have impacted my head and heart.
The last one Lioness Arising is one I am still reading through right now, but I know its a good one!

1. The Reason for God-I finished this one recently. Its one of those books that I will read a few time more, as its a deep philosophical book. In other uses lots of big words:) *grin* Why I loved this book is that I am the type of person who goes off of her emotions more than logic. Most of the time anyways. So for me to explain to people why I believe what I do is sometimes hard because its something that I have felt. I know God is real because I have experienced him, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that I haven't doubted him and his existence in my life. What this book is explain to people why God has to exist. It answers all the hot button questions that people ask when seeking out Christianity. For example, why would a loving God send people to hell? The second part of this book goes beyond that. It goes from saying ok, so now I have proven to you why there has to be a God, but now I am going to tell you why you should believe in him and follow him. Needless to say, I loved it. I have never knows how to fully explain to an athiest or agnostic why God does exist if the situation arises. But now I understand their point of view, and now I have words to explain mine. Make sense? Anyways, I loved this book, and I am loving this author right now!!

2.The Meaning of Marriage-This is the fist book I read from Tim Keller, and I can say it changed my life. I highly highly recommend it. It will change your whole outlook on marriage. I am not saying it will solve all your problems and change everything overnight but it will give you an amazing new perspective on marriage. I was so fired up and teary eyed reading this book. I felt like for the first time I finally get it!!

3. The Wheat Belly-This was a really interesting read for me. I have struggled with food issues, and stomach problems for years. I spent A LOT of money years ago going through the whole naturpathic route to get better, but i found the diet was way to constrictive for me to stick with it. What this book did was help me understand the question I had. How can something that people in biblical times ate be so bad for us?? When i started to understand its not the same thing it started to make sense. So back in the summer we went of wheat. Modern day wheat. And I right away could tell the difference. I tried dairy too but it was to hard to get enough fat and protein in me, and again through elimination process I found that wheat was my worst culprit. So here's what do in our family. We eat some gluten free stuff. I found this great mix from a bakery in new west called cloud 9, and its fantastic. I was so excited when they started selling the mix at our local farmers market. My dad bought me a bread machine to make fresh bread for my whole family, and so I am:) Its great! I have made pizza dough as well, which I am still trying to perfect! We eat ancient grain pasta. So Kamut pasta from superstore. I love to bake with spelt flour, its delish!! And then once in awhile we have the regular modern day wheat. I have yet to find a tortilla shell that I like, and we LOVE mexican around here, so again everything in moderation:) I find this way, its a lifestyle change that we will stick with! and not just a temporary fad!

4. Unglued-My mom got this book for me for christmas. I think she was trying to hint something?:) anyways, such a good book. I flew through it in two days! It really helped me understand some things about getting a hold of my emotions. I can be real and say I struggle with patience with my children. I loose my cool and raise my voice, and am not proud of it. I can give all the excuses, of how tired I have been, and how much has been going on in my life, and having young children can be hard, but its no excuse. So its an area that I am working on. It also really helped me in learning how to deal with conflict in my relationships as well. I recently had someone be "short" and "cold" with me in a message. And my first reaction was, well I will show you..not that I ever would as I am a classic conflict avoider..but instead I prayed and asked God to give me the words to be the bigger person and extend grace,.,,so hard,...but I know so important for me and shaping my character. Again, this is a book I will probably read five more times.

5. The Measure of a Woman-I didn't realize till my dad gave me this book how much I struggled with this. I know i have been struggling in certain areas, but when they ask you the question at the beginning of the book what are you measured by. I realized I had no clue. I mean, I could probably list off a bunch of random things, but to break it down into a few core statements; I didn't have the answer. Now I do:) And I am starting to get it and process it and work towards this. Again, always a process and a marathon. Not a sprint! Such a good book!

6. Lioness-Now that I figured out what I am measured by, and the tools I have. Its now time to learn how to use them:) its time to step out of my fears and insecurities and be the woman God designed me to be. So I am reading and learning right now:)

So there is my list!! Hope you read some of these gems, they will change you, I can guarantee that..if your heart is open:)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inside Out

We are just around the corner from change. My baby boy turns one..sigh, and I head back to work. There is always so many mixed feelings around this change. Leaving my kids is so hard..painfully hard. Trusting other people to nurture, care and love for your kids the way you do, is not fun. So far we have been lucky in the sense that we have had family to help us out. And for the time being this will continue, as I will be working mostly evenings and weekends, so the babes are with their daddy:) But this also brings other challenges, as Dave and I have to work extra hard at finding time for each other. We know this is the new day and age though. That being a stay at home mom is really a gift that most don't get to experience. Dont get me wrong, no matter what our financial situation was I would probably always work as I do go a little stir crazy in the house so much and wiping boogers, and food off the floor all day, but one day it would be nice to get to the point where I get to choose what I do:) Something for me, and to give us a few extra fun things in day.

With the little boy of mine reaching his first birth milestone; I take this time to reflect. To reflect on a year that we say, phew, we survived! My boy is a treasure. No words can describe how he has melted my heart and changed me forever, but this year has been rough. Really rough. We have faced many challenges and obstacles. We continue to face a lot of uncertainty in these unstable times in our world. I know we are not alone in this place, as a lot of people have faced hardship in the last couple of years, and in comparison to others, ours is nothing. But sometimes the walk is lonely.
We have always faced a LOT of illness this year. It was like a dump truck of germs that never ended:)
Throw in a very long year of sleep deprivation...I. am. tired.
I write all this down with one purpose though. To move forward. I need to move forward, I have lots to do, and staying in the past only prohibits me from fulfilling Gods plans for my life.
So I write this year down, and I close the book. I want to come back and reflect in the future, so I can say..see Crystal..see Gods promises fulfilled. And I know when this season of our life closes and we move onto the next one, I will look back with gratitude because everything we have gone through the last couple of years, everything I have gone through, has brought SO much growth in my life.

I have read, and read, and read this year; and I continue to do so. I crave knowledge and wisdom, I crave peace and simplicity. I crave realism and authenticity. I crave love. I want to be surrounded by it, and give it freely. I don't want to hold back, but I am also learning boundaries; huge boundaries. I am learning to love myself  better, and my ever changing post baby body. I am learning where my worth lies, and how I am measured. And its not with a measuring tape:) PTL,
My spirit is calmer, and getting stronger daily. I have set backs, and melt downs and lots of questions why..but I am human, made in his image.
I have been humbled, shook to the core, brought to my knees and daily renewed by his spirit in me. I am learning what it means to say he is in me. Its a knowledge that has lived in my head for years, and from time to time experienced in my heart, but not a daily drawing on. A constant reminder and reflection of the power that is in me because he is in me.
I am learning how destructive self talk can be, and learning how to renew my mind..its hard..really hard.
I want to be more than myself. I want to be more than the daily list the world tells me to be. I want to be used for his glory instead of my own. My way doesn't work very well. I am learning to let go of the control. Its hard; Im trying. I am learning to forgive myself as I know how to so graciously to others. My own worst critic I will no longer be. When I love myself better I love others better.

I am discovering faith in action. I want more of it. I want to see miracles in my life and in those around me. I am learning to believe in the power of them in our day in age, I have seen them before, I have experienced them before, I will see them again. I want to open my eyes to be able to see them.

I am learning to pray; really pray. I want to do more. I will always want to do more, because that is living and breathing as it is.

I want to continue to be humbled so He can be great. I want people to see his greatness through me.

I want my kids to know his light. I know they already see it, but I want them to encounter it to its fullest!

This is my continuous prayer for this year. I will be back with the breakdown how each of these things have been transforming in my life.  

Praying for you...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Addyson turns three-continued

I saw this idea on pintrest and hope I remember to do it every year. We asked Addy some questions; Here are her responses!

1. who's your favorite person-Avery(her new bestie from dance class)

2. Whats your favorite movie to watch-Dora...ugh...hoping that one changes soon:)

3. Whats your favorite color-purple

4. Whats your favorite food-Strawberries (that one I am sure would change daily:)

5. How old are you-Three

6. Favorite toy-Ariel

7. Whats your favorite treat-Cupcakes

8. Whats your favorite pair of shoes- pink shoes. (She wears them every day:))

9. Favorite Song-jesus loves me (I hope this one NEVER changes:))

10. Whats baby Alex's favorite toy- Snow white (its the one princess doll she lets him have. I am guessing her least favorite!)

11. Whats your favorite animal-Kitten

12. Whats mommy's favorite animal- A moose! haha I have no idea, but it was cute:)

13. Addy do you have a boyfriend?-NOO, I don't have a boyfriend. It was in this tone of are you kidding me mom:) haha

So there you have it! We asked a few others, but they were too hard for her to understand quite yet, so maybe we will expand the list next year!!

What I love about you at three:

you are so kind, sweet, loving, gentle, funny, compassionate, and such a beautiful spirit! I don't look back at your two's with, thank God they are really are a great kid! I know three will bring more independence and challenges as you find your place in this world, but i also know that I am so looking forward to you exploring who you are in christ! I love you so much my girl. you truly are my heart walking around in this world!

Addyson Turns three!

We had a great weekend celebrating our girl! Her actual birthday was on Friday, and we started the day with a play date at the park with friends:) We got blessed with sun in a very rainy week! For dinner i made her macaroni and cheese(homemade), and then we gave her, her present:) Yeh for dollar store stuff:)*grin*
Then headed over to friends of ours that just moved into their new place! After that we headed to DQ for some late night ice cream and french fries:)
Sat we spent way too long in the car and drove to the aquarium. I am realizing more and more how much I hate driving into the city:( I love it once I am there, but its so much work. And well to be honest, for the city that I grew up in, and later lived in, it just doesn't feel the same to me anymore:( but that's a whole other post!
Anyways, once we got there we had a great time at the aquarium with addy's favorite cousin!

Sunday was filled with fathers day and birthday celebration with my side of the family. All in all a lovely weekend! Busy, but lovely:)!

Monday, June 11, 2012


I read I thing once that said that life wasn't about days, but instead moments in the day...or something like that:) well, this weekend I had one of those moments! A moment I will never forget, and a moment that makes it all worth while. Addy had her first dance recital this weekend. The year started out horribly with my girl in tears after her first class and me wondering what have I done to my 2 year old!! but in the end, it was so worth it! She has blossomed, and become more confident! She loves to dance, loves her teacher and has even made a bff in the process;) There were three performances in two days; it was insane. But when i sat down for the third performance with my family, and the tears started pouring out the moment her beautiful little self stepped on the stage..I knew it was all worth it!! you are such a beautiful girl addyson inside and out, and as even your teacher told me, you have such an amazing spirit about you. I promise I will do everything to protect that and help it to shine!! this is one proud mama!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Here's my rant

Well, I am sure many of you have heard of or seen the times cover from last month all over the news or tv. and if not, well good for you; you are probably doing more productive things with your time than me!haha

Anyways, it was a picture of a mom breastfeeding her three year old son. Let me just say this..that poor boy when he is thirteen:)

So here is my rant. I am not going to judge and say when someone should breastfeed till or not. But what this whole thing has stirred up in me is a sickness for the bombarding of parenting information, tips, trends, what you should do or not, ect ect, You should breastfeed, you shouldn't breastfeed, crying it out vs attachment parenting, co sleeping vs no bumper pads in the crib, it never ends! and I am so tired of it.

Sometimes I think I would be such a better parent if I was just able to tune out everything around me and go with my gut. Because i trust my gut. I don't like the 5 extra pounds hanging on it right now, but overall I trust it. Why? because I have been raised by loving christian parents who have instilled in me a deep relationship with christ, and God the father the ultimate parent, and he is guiding me. So why shouldn't I trust that over some book, or google article or what someone is telling me on facebook. When did we become parenting experts? Aren't we all just trying to figure this out together??

To me, enough is enough. Its got to be about doing whats right for your family.

There are times when I am all about attachment parenting, and then there are times when if I don't walk away for five minutes and let the baby cry I will whats better?

I live with the constant guilt that I have to go back to work in the new year, and am I going to be damaging my kids by putting them in the care of others. And this isn't so that we can have the extras in life, this is so we can pay our basic bills and buy groceries. But what if it wasn't, what if i was going back to work to get some me time to make me a better mom?? Who's to say??

I think us as parents have it so tough now a days. And i think we make it even harder on each other. Personally i think a lot of it stems from insecurity, so if I can secretly judge you for the fact that your child is 4 and not potty trained, or still has a soother well than that makes me a better parent than you because i was able to pull my kids soother away a long time, Addy still has hers at night time and i don't care:) I will take it away when we are both ready;)

So I can spend my days worrying about what I am doing wrong, which sometimes I feel like I do, or I can focus on the fact that God blessed me and entrusted me with these beautiful children who so far seem very well adjusted, are polite, loving, beautiful, and kind. I must be doing ok, right?:)

So, here i am preaching to the choir, by saying this..just do what you know how to do best! tune out the world, everyone has their opinions and its exhausting. If you want advice well than ask, but be prepared if you do so on facebook you are opening up a huge can of worms! ask someone who's been doing this more than five minutes as well:) 

As moms we need to be encouraged, uplifted and affirmed because we spend enough time beating ourselves up. So I encourage you to encourage someone around you! Make it genuine but do it! We all need some affirmation to fill up our mom tank to keep us going, because lets face it, its hard out there.

And when all else fails, go the ultimate father, who wrote the book on parenting, and let him guide your way. And even if you fail, there is a bountiful of grace coming your way, so don't forget to extend it to your babies next time they dump something all over your house:)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Life updates

Blog land seems so quiet lately..which makes me feel like everyone is in the same boat as right now...BUSY!
It has been a crazy season with the main theme being birthdays;) lots and lots of birthdays! Its always fun to celebrate life with our friends and family, but at the same time we are continually reminded that its about balance. And with all this craziness and running around all over town and out of town..its time to slow down and focus on what matters most, our little family. So we are working on it. The plan is to sit down and make some house rules so that we can come to a happy medium of balance in all areas of our lives.
I think especially for me, who can go and go..but than I crash, and usually when I crash its a hard crash. So a constant learning curve, but that's life!

Alexander is 3 months old now which is so hard to believe. It really does go by so fast with the second! I love this stage we are entering though. I love when they start to interact and discover the world. And I love the facial recognition and the big smiles I get when he sees me. Makes me feel so loved! And man, do I ever love this little guy! Words can't describe!

Miss Addy is quickly approaching three..another thing that is so hard to believe! I am not sure how I feel about the 3"s yet. Looking back I can honestly say my two's really weren't that bad at all:) They had their moments, but really not so bad. Where I have a feeling, from things already seen that the threes are going to bring more of  a challenge. So I am humbled every day in my parenting and call on God for lots of grace and patience as I am still sleep deprived as well. And I also try to remind myself what a gift she is and really what an amazing, smart, funny, beautiful, and unique little girl she is! And those moments that aren't so pleasant; well they are a stage;)

And I don't know about you but with being constantly bombarded with parenting tips, social media, and news articles..anyone read or see that times article??:) its hard. Its hard to trust your instinct and to know whats right. But like my mom reminded me today, was that whats most important is trusting relationship with God, and going from there..So we truck along:)

Hope everyone is enjoying the sun!!