Sunday, March 31, 2013

Birthdays and St. Patrick's Day

I'm a month behind on pictures, which is very unusual for me but I've been so super busy these days! I'll get better....I promise!  

One of the perks to living back home is that I see FAMILY pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY and I love it!  Spending every holiday and birthday with them is AMAZING!  I will never take this for granted again.  I took total advantage of it before I ever moved to Arkansas and being away for so many years and losing family members along the way has made me realize how special family is!  Sure we fight and get on one another's nerves from time to time but I love 'em!!!!  I'm pretty sure I have the best family ever! 

So, my birthday was a little odd this year because it was busy, stressful, yet awesome!  Regina and I moved into our apartment that day and Daisy also had surgery.  However, we were still able to enjoy the day and my family made it very special for me even though we were busy with moving and all. 

Here is Daisy's little wound....she was so pathetic after getting heart ached for her!

Momma started my birthday off with her amazing hot chocolate and yummy breakfast!


And our moving day began!

A couple of weeks later we celebrated my uncle's birthday by taking him out to eat!  I am pretty sure he had the time of his life!

St Patrick's weekend came upon us and my mommy and I drove to Oklahoma to visit and help take care of my sister who had just had surgery.  We spent St. Patrick's Day with her and laid around all day in our pajamas and matching St. Patty's Day socks! :)
We had a chance to meet a couple of her sweet friends there and one of them sang beautiful praise and worship music.  Even Daisy was in love with her music and couldn't take her eyes off of her....
We spent a few days with sissy and on our way back to Lubbock made a stop at the convent to see my Tia Ofelia.  My Tia Ofelia is also known as Sister Celine and who just so happens to be the most amazing woman I know!  Sharing her blood is an HONOR and nobody will ever understand how much this woman means to me!  I love her and always enjoy our time together!  She fell in love with Daisy and asked me to bring her back to visit soon!
I love being back home!  Dorothy hit the nail on the head when she said, "there's no place like home...."  All is good in Crysal's world! 
God Bless.... 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Release and Trust

"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
If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I quote this scripture often.  It's my favorite scripture and always the scripture I revert to in times of "self-pity" and doubt.  It is a scripture that reminds me of how much He loves us and how He only wants the very best for us! 
Here lately I have struggled with relationships and the need to discern the people that God wants in my life.  I have always gone through life wanting to please others.  Therefore, I mold myself to be somebody I am really not.  I stretch myself too thin trying to please everybody and then getting frustrated with myself when I let somebody down.  I have come to realize that the enemy has used this weakness against keep me in friendships that are not healthy or of Him.  To keep me in strongholds with people that I need to let go of. 
For the longest time, I couldn't fathom letting a friendship go for any reason.  I have been known to hold on to people and relationships for as long and as tight as I can, even when that gut feeling in me is telling me to let go.  That gut feeling is also known as the Holy Spirit tugging. I often pray for God to totally empty me of all that is not of Him; bitterness, anger, criticism, lack of love, unforgiveness, temptations; etc.  However, I never have really prayed for Him to totally empty me from all relationships and people that are not of Him in my life.  I obeyed him about a month and a half ago when He tugged at my heart to quit talking to an ex-boyfriend.  It was hard, it was tough, it broke my heart but I obeyed and in that obedience He revealed so much to me.  So much about myself, the ex, and the unhealthy relationship we had.  Obeying Him allowed me that time and opportunity to see the whole picture and to really grasp why the relationship failed.
Letting go of an old flame is one thing but when He asks us to let go of important friendships in our life, well that's a different story.  Especially when you can't find any rhyme or reason besides the fact that He is guiding you to do it.  I released some people in my life this week and it was bitter sweet.  It was hard and it hurt but it was also peaceful and liberating.  I was listening to Joel Olsteen Thursday and one of the things he stated was, "if you don't let go of the wrong people in your life, He cannot make room for the right people to come into your life."  I felt that freedom, that space made for the right people to come into my life. 
If we are in relationships that do not bring the best out of us or vice versa, we do not bring the best out of them, then it is time to move on.  Some people are meant to be in our life for only a season, and that's ok.  We might upset others or disappoint them when we finally follow God's lead and let go but that's ok.  We are not placed on this earth to please man, but to please God and God alone.  We have to trust Him and if He is guiding us to let something or somebody go, do it!  There is a reason and any Christian knows that He uses everything for good and for His will, so we have to put that trust in Him and Him alone! 
If for some reason, you ever find yourself on the other side of this coin.  If you are ever the one being released from somebody's life, just remember that God knows all.  You might not understand it at the time and you might even think it's unfair but just remember to keep trusting Him.  Being released from somebody's life does not make the person being released a "bad person".  It just means that for God's own reason, we are not to be in that person's life.  Be careful in your assumptions and do not judge too quickly because only God knows all the details of every situation at hand.  He has His reasons for everything and whether we are letting go or being let go, we have to trust Him!!!   
"Depend on the Lord; trust Him and He will take care of you."  Psalm 37:5

Monday, March 25, 2013

30 Day Photography Challenge ~ Childhood Memory

Valentine's In Texas

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

So this year, I was able to spend Valentine's and my step-dad's birthday in Texas with the family!  Daisy and I had a wonderful time!

She was also able to wear her cute little tutu for her grandpa's birthday and believe it or not....she loves wearing that thing. 

To top my Valentine's day off, I got to spend time with my sweet friend Kevin.  We had our favorite from the Pie Bar..... PIEWICH and a good old fashion Coca Cola!!! YUM!!!!

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Over 2 million children around the world each year lose their innocence when they are kidnapped, sold or tricked into a rapidly growing commercial sex industry. While the issue of human trafficking spans the globe, the problem is also happening in our own back yard as 200,000 children are trafficked each year in the United States, with the average age of victims being 12 years old.
Although the problem is immense, a number of organizations are dedicated to fighting the evil of human trafficking, and restoring the victims that endure it.
  • End It Movement combines different organizations with the ultimate goal to bring awareness to the evils of human trafficking. Learn more and find out how to spread the word at
  • The A21 Campaignprevents human trafficking through education of potential victims, protects those who have been trafficked by providing shelter and transition homes, prosecute perpetrators, and partner with law enforcement agencies and other organizations to end slavery.
  • Abolition International, originally founded by K-LOVE artist Natalie Grant, seeks to end sex trafficking and exploitation through advocacy, education, aftercare accreditation and restoration.
  • International Justice Missionrescues victims of slavery, sex exploitation and other types of oppression across the world.
  • Not For Salestrives to end human trafficking by targeting the root causes of slavery and creating awareness to help abolish it permanently
This January, help create awareness to the “least of these” during Human Trafficking Awareness Month and get the world out to help end this injustice.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I Want To Feel God Again

So, confession lately I haven't been feeling that close to God. I've been praying and doing Bible Study on my own still but I really do think this not connecting with a Church is really effecting my spiritual walk. Obviously God is still my rock, my Father, my best friend....but I have to admit, I do feel a sense of emptiness by not being connected with other Christians the way I was back in Arkansas. When I first moved back home, I thought I KNEW where I needed to be as far as Church goes but recently....I just feel so lost! It really does make a difference in my spiritual walk and I think I finally really realized the impact it is having on me to not be fully engaged in a Church or feel that connection.  I am engaged with my missions group but I want a Church home. 

A part of me is starting to feel numb and feeling like I am just going through the motions. I don't want to feel that way. I want to feel God totally and utterly in my life and in my spirit again. Something has been lacking lately and I'm pretty sure it's this disconnect with other followers lately.  So, with that being said, I am really really going to be on the Church hunt and stop "church hopping". My goal is to have a Church home by April. I've been church hopping since I moved back to Texas so surely I will have one by then.   I miss small groups and connecting and having accountability partners. It's a big part of my Christian walk that I miss, so keep me in your prayers everybody!!!  I was invited to a young professionals Church Group on Wed and to help out with a Women's Conference in April, so I think I'll check all of this out and see how it goes! This group of people seem super welcoming and excited for me to join them and that makes a HUGE difference!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'll Take One Of Him, Please

Yes, please!!!

I'm pretty sure my obsession with Justin Timberlake is unhealthy.... ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Crystal's Dill Pickles


* 8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
* 4 cups white vinegar
* 12 cups water
* 2/3 cup pickling salt
* 16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
* 8 sprigs fresh dill weed
* 8 heads fresh dill weed


1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink (I use the bathtub!) with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just 'Cause.... it's TRUE! :)

Weekend Shenanigans ~ Friday Night Board Game Night and JT

Friday night I had sushi with a friend then went to Friday Night Board game night at Margo's.  Every Friday night, we try and get together for boardgames and laughs.  It's always a good time when you get a bunch of high school buddies together! Pretty sure I love them to pieces!  

Below is Craigy and me, one of the besties!

Saturday, I spent the day with Craigy then spent my Saturday evening in watching JT on SNL!!!  I'm pretty sure I fell in love with him.....every second.he.was.on.  He makes a suit and tie look damn good....just sayin'!

Sunday, Church then brunch at the parentals! We were two weeks behind on the Bachelor, so we caught up on that too.  Spent the rest of Sunday evening doing laundry at my place!  Just a nice relaxing weekend with friends and family! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Social ~ Movies, TV, And Excitement

1. What is one movie you are terrified to watch?
Hell Raiser always freaked me out!!!!!!

2. What is one TV show you have always wanted to get into but haven’t yet? The Walking Dead....but just to see what all the hype is!

3. What is one daring activity on your bucket list? flying in a hot air balloon! :)

4. Would you ever travel alone? INDEED!

5. What activities do you like to do alone?  edit pictures/work :)

Saturday, March 9, 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

Friday, March 8, 2013


We all like compliments, right? This is by far the best compliment I have ever received from another brother in Christ. So beautiful that I had to share..... thank you Matt for making my day!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Update - It's My Birthday!!

Today has been a busy busy day but a blessed one. Worked at the clinic til noon, back and forth with moving, birthday lunch with the fam, and now my step-dad is taking me to pick up the Daisers from surgery. After that, birthday dinner with the fam. Whoa, what a day but I must say, being in Texas with my family on my birthday is amazing!!! God is so good to me and I will never understand why, guess He loves me lots!  I am so super excited about life! It's pretty sweet right now! :)