Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hump Day Evening Update

Let the packing begin....moving into my new place on Friday and I am so super excited! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

30 Day Photography Challenge ~ A picture of somebody I love

My mommy and my sister are the most important people in my life!!! Love them both more than anything! 


Monday, February 25, 2013

The Local Church And The Neighborhood Bar

Have you ever thought of the similarities of the local church and the neighborhood bar?

In both places:

...people come looking for fellowship;
...people want to go where others know their name;
...people want to go where they are accepted;
...people want to go where their spirits will be lifted;
...people are united around one theme;
...people go where they like the music.

Like a priest, the bartender serves by listening to people's troubles. But the differences are profound. The bar is centered on booze and the church is centered on Jesus Christ. The bar offers a way to escape problems. The church offers a way to face them, get through them, and overcome them.The spirit inside the bar lowers one's guard when it comes to temptation and sin. The spirit of the true church encourages people to turn from sin and turn to God.

The bar may be a substitute for the environment of the church, but it never comes close to providing the meaning and purpose found in a Christ-centered church.

30 Day Photography Challenge ~ A Bad Habit

I eat these WAY too much!!!!!

Crazy Blizzard

Lubbock Blizzard 2013

Sit by the fireplace with Daisy kinda day....! Hellooooo blizzard!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Night Date Night

I love him.

Character Traits To Live By ~ Faith

2 Peter 1:5-7 tells us we should live by exemplifying faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, service for God, kindness, and love.  In order to fully live out any of these things, we must have faith in each of them.  We must have faith in God.  I know that without God, I cannot possibly be all of these things.  On my own, I am nothing.  Each day, I must have Faith that God uses everything in my life to transform my character into His image and into who He designed me to be. 
Sometimes we will never know if a decision is right or wrong unless we step out and try something.  We must have faith that God will catch us if we fall and trust that if we totally miss what He was guiding us to do, that with the right intentions, He will take us and place us right back in His perfect will.  It is so easy to step out of that will.  We get sidetracked by life around us, the enemy tempts us to go a different direction and we take it, or we simply misread what He was telling us.  However, we should never allow fear of any of these things keep us from always stepping out in faith! 
"Be strong and courageous.  The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9
When I moved back home to Lubbock, I was so unsure of a lot.  I had no idea what I would really be doing here.  Questions of going on a long-term missions trip, finding a job, going back to school...."what would I be doing" totally clouded my head.  It wasn't until I sat still, spent some time with God, and just prayed that I received the answers to the questions I had.  Even after I felt Him answer me, I still felt uneasy.  This was going to be a move that I would have NO control of.  Everything would be relying on God, everything!  However, I knew that if I truly felt He was guiding me, then I had NO choice than to obey Him and have faith.  I knew that even if for some small reason, I was wrong and the move was  not in His will for me, that He would still take care of me.  Faith was what moved me to make the big decision that was in front of me and God has not let me down once, not even a hair in this decision.  He has shown me so much favor over the last few months that taking this giant step back into His perfect will for my life has totally changed me.  I have seen Him in ways, I cannot even explain.  His love for me has exuded all of my expectations!!
Faith, is where it starts! 
"I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
We must remember that when we seek His will in everything we do, He will never lead us to do something without fully equipping us for the task at hand.  Have Faith in this and life will be AMAZING!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge ~ Low Angle

It's Ok Thursdays ~ This Working Girl Does Not Have A Date To The Ball

It's ok that I'm totally exhausted from being back to work but I TOTALLY love it!!!! Being a working girl again ROCKS!!!!

It's ok that I'm stressed out over some decisions I need to make.....GREAT decisions but none-the-less.....stressful! Thank God, I have an amazing God who will guide me....juuuussstttt as soon as I let it go to Him! ;)

It's ok that I do not have a date for the ball on Saturday because now that I don't have a date for the actual ball, I get to have a stay at home date with one amazing man....

That's right folks, I will be babysitting a sweet Andrew while his mommy and daddy go to the ball! See, being single has it's privileges!

It's ok that I'm totally over American Idol..... bored with it and this makes me very sad!

Thursday Morning Quick Update

Started my new job this week and it has been great! Meeting lots of amazing people!!! Loving life!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Crystal's Dilled Cucumber, Tomato, and Celery Salad


* 1/3 cup water
* 1 tablespoon dill seed
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1/3 cup buttermilk salad dressing and seasoning mix
* 2 cups mayonnaise
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 1/3 cups milk
* 1 cup white vinegar
* 2 large cucumbers, quartered and thinly sliced
* 3 tomatoes, cubed
* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 1/2 onion, sliced and quartered
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon salt


1. Place water and dill seed in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Whisk in honey and salad dressing mix, then pour mixture into a large bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise, buttermilk, milk, and vinegar until smooth.
2. Place cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, onion, garlic, and salt into a separate bowl, and pour half of the dressing onto the vegetables; toss well. Cover, and refrigerate salad for at least 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate remaining dressing for future use.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

High Five For Friday ~ Valentine's Week

HIGH FIVE FOR FRIDAY!!!! Woot woot!!!!

High Five Number one:

This little diva in her Valentine's tutu.....nuff said.... adorbs!

High Five Number Two:

Valentine's week was pretty amazing!  It was my step-dad's birthday as well, so spending lots of time with the parentals is always a good thing!

High Five Number Three:

Getting my FAVORITE dessert eVer and seeing this sweet guy on Valentine's!

High Five Number Four:
Finding this sweet picture of my Aunt on her big trip!  She's so precious! I love her with every ounce of love I could possibly ever have!!!!

High Five Number Five:

The BIGGEST high five of the week..... FULLY letting go of the past and realizing how much God has worked in my heart over the last few months.  Realizing that He allowed heartaches to happen and disappointments to break my heart so that I could be in His perfect will!  Finally grasping that His best for me is yet to come and what I thought was the best was certainly not (FAR from it).  Finally waking up to eyes wide opened and realizing so much that I was blind to, things literally clicked for me in one moment and that one moment changed EVERYTHING for me! God is so AMAZING!!!!!  I have never been happier in my life than where I am now!  Being with my family is so amazing, my Church is phenomenal, my childhood friends ROCK, I start my new job on Monday, I was asked to be in another commercial for Fox 34, my photography business is growing, and I have adored the single life so much!!!!  It's really been amazing to see how much I have grown in every aspect of my life and I owe it all to Him!!!!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!!!  Life is the most amazing it has ever been!!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge ~ From A High Angle



Photo by Amelia Grace Photography


By Lori Kennedy

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
You know how you can sometimes read a scripture that you’ve read 100 times but it still seems like this is the first time you’ve ever read it and it brings new meaning and understanding into your heart? I love it when God does that in my life. I find that it usually concurs with other things He’s trying to show me at that time.

I read this scripture today and as goose bumps ran up and down my arms, He brought new and special meaning to it as He revealed its in application to my life. What this scripture did NOT say, but God placed in my heart is that the purpose of His Spirit inside of me is to tap into His love – a love that’s way too vast for me to understand in my own flesh – in order for me to send that same love out to others in His name. I have power through that same Spirit to love those with His love that may not be so lovable in their own right.

Maybe there is someone that has hurt you. Maybe there is someone that is just plain mean. Maybe someone is living in a way that you don’t agree with. Whatever the case, His love can cover what we perceive as anothers flaws when we become selfless enough to put the cross in front of whatever is standing in the way of our love for that person.

I think I'm going to practice using that Spirit of love that He’s placed inside of me today. Just like training your muscles will make you stronger, you must practice anything you want to get better at doing.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Crystal's Fried Chicken

* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
* 1 egg
* seasoning salt to taste
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cornstarch
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* salt and pepper to taste
* oil for frying


1. In a shallow dish or bowl combine the soup, egg and seasoning salt (be careful, as soup is already salted); mix together. Dip chicken in mixture and turn to coat completely. Set aside.
2. In a resealable plastic bag mix together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. One at a time, place chicken pieces in bag, seal and shake to coat. Add more flour and/or cornstarch as necessary, but add them in equal parts (there should be an equal amount of each in the mixture).
3. Place coated chicken on a platter and allow to sit until it becomes doughy (this is critical, to ensure crispiness when fried). Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat; be sure to use enough oil to cover chicken pieces. Once chicken is doughy, test oil by dropping a piece of the 'dough' into it; the oil is ready when it starts to fry immediately.
4. Fry chicken pieces in oil for about 7 to 10 minutes each, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels and serve

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Heart Led Me Home

"The Lord takes care of His people." Psalm 1:6
I spent most of yesterday and all of today sick in bed with the flu.  This was discouraging to me as it seems like I have caught every cold and virus since I moved back home to Texas and not to mention my allergies have been off the hook cray cray!  I am no stranger to my health being attacked by the enemy but I also started to feel my spirit and finances being attacked this week.  I have been waiting for the hospital to call me back for a start date to start working and the wait has been frustrating as I'm ready to start work and to stop dipping into my savings.
I laid in bed this afternoon and prayed.  As I laid in His Presence I kept feeling Him telling me to look for the beauty in the chaos....that the answers to my questions and doubts were surrounding me.  This just confused me more because all I saw around me was the bottle of NyQuil my mother brought me, used tissue surrounding my bed from blowing my nose every ten minutes, an overweight Daisy staring at me wondering why I had not walked her, and a thermometer that I just took out of my mouth showing I had a fever.  At this point, I wasn't sure what could possibly be surrounding me that could answer my questions.  Soon after, the NyQuil kicked in and I passed out for the rest of the afternoon.
Lord Your Blessings pour out and overflow me!
Waking up from my NyQuil slumber, I felt so lost and confused.  I pleaded with God to show me what His plan for me was and why did He want me back home in Texas if things weren't going to be falling into place.  I wanted answers and more than anything, I wanted the ache in my heart to go away.  I got out of bed and had my Momma's amazing chicken and rice.  Then something amazing happened.... something small but I knew when it happened, THIS was the answer to my prayer..... my step-dad was listening to the radio and our song came on (Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison).  My Mom and I were in their bedroom and could hear him singing at the top of his lungs.  My Mom and I busted out laughing and the next thing I knew we were both singing and dancing with the dogs in each of our hands with my step-dad singing backup.  THAT moment put it all into perspective. 
"When you take that first step into the unknown, He won't let you go...."
I needed to be reminded of WHY He called me to move back home and I needed to be given that comfort and confirmation that I am in His perfect will for me and that He does have a plan and reason for me, HERE in Texas with my family.  It was a simple song but it made a world of difference.  It was just a couple of minutes of the night but it totally turned my thoughts around and got me back on track.  It reminded that an unseen God hears us and loves nothing more than to answer us. I am really not sure what is in store for me here in Texas but I do know that it must be pretty darn amazing for the enemy to keep attacking me and fighting to keep me from it and I also know it must be pretty darn amazing to have such an awesome God make sure to give me such a sweet confirmation like He did tonight.  I grow more and more amazed by Him.  His Love never fails and His Glory can be seen in everything when we seek it!  So, as you go through your day, make sure to look for Him and if you are having a hard time seeing Him, just ask Him to show Himself to you and I promise He will! He's pretty amazing like that!

30 Day Photography Challlenge ~ Something Green

My something green isn't totally green but has green in it! :)

This is my prayer book.  I keep all of my prayers for my family and friends in this book.  I pray over all of my family and friends and use this book to keep track of specific prayers they need. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Crystal's Strawberry Lemonade


* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
* 4 1/2 cups water
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen strawberries, partially thawed


1. In a large pitcher, mix together lemonade concentrate and water. Stir in strawberries

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Crystal's Citrus Lemonade


* 1 cup white sugar, or to taste
* 4 lemons, juiced
* 4 limes, juiced
* 4 oranges, juiced
* 3 quarts cold water
* 1 lime, sliced into rounds (optional)
* 12 cups ice cubes


1. Pour the sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, and orange juice into a gallon-sized container; stir until the sugar has dissolved. Serve over ice with a slice of lime if desired.

Friday, February 8, 2013

30 Day Photography Challenge ~ Day 2 And 3

I missed yesterday so today I took a picture of what I wore and a picture of the clouds for Day 2 and Day 3!

Today, I wasn't feeling very "fashionable" as I have been sick with a cold and allergies.  So, I just threw on a shirt and a scarf and put the hair in a bun.  I also wore my "Hope For Dylan Redwine" bracelet to show my support for him and his dear family and his friends!!!  We're praying for you Dylan!

The picture of my clouds turned out pretty awesome!  I think I caught them at the perfect timing.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

30 Day Photography Challenge ~ Self Portrait

In honor of Valentine's coming up, I thought I would post my "Love" self-portrait!

What I'm Loving Wednesday ~ Short But Sweet

I am loving the Godly friends God is bringing into my life.  I am meeting some amazing Godly friends to fellowship with and I couldn't be happier!

I am loving that I finally got to talk to my sissy for longer than just five minutes today!!!!  We've both been so busy that having a long conversation has not happened in a while!  I love my sissy!

I am loving that I can't write much more 'cause I need to get back to editing....have LOTS of shoots I need to finish up and THAT is a GREAT THING!!!!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Social ~ Everything 2s

It’s Sunday again! Y’all know what that means on the blog- Sunday Social! This week’s questions are all about 2′s.

1. If you were stuck on an island what are the two material items you would want to have?
If I was stuck on an island I’d take my phone  and a one very sexy Bradley Cooper..... ;)

2. What are two TV shows you’d watch over and over?

Big Bang Theory....duh


Beverly Hills 90210

3. If your house was on fire what two things aside from family, pets, etc would you grab?
my cell phone and camera
4. What are your two most favorite articles of clothing?
My yellow tutu.....DUH!
My Texas Tech t-shirt for obvious reasons!  WRECK EM!
5. What two movies that you saw in the past year would you recommend to us?
Wreck Em Ralph and Django

6. What are your two biggest guilty pleasures?
Starbucks Hot Chocolate
anything Bradley Cooper. Just sayin'..... he is one beautiful man.

Friday, February 1, 2013

High Five For Friday~ First Day of Love Bug Month, Yes Please!

This week has been a very busy one and AMAZING one so picking my top High Five is tough!

High Five Number One:

I am so thankful that my photography business is BOOMING!  I've been so busy this week!  God is AWESOME!  Thank you Jesus for your favor!

High Five Number Two:

The parentals are pretty awesome!  I have really enjoyed being home!  I'm pretty sure moving back home has been the BEST decision I have ever made in my life!  I'm so happy and God has done so much for my life!  His Favor is upon me and it's all because I obeyed Him!

High Five Number Three:

It is the FIRST day of Love Bug Month!!!!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!

High Five Number Four:

I spent lots of GIRLFRIEND time with amazing friends this week!  BAM!

High Five Number Five:

Baby Andrew is feeling so much better!  Still in the hospital but he is WAY better!!!! THANK YOU GOD!