Let me start by saying that I don’t claim to be an expert on all things “mommy”. I’m not one of those women who is going to tell you how easy it is to be a stay at home mom and have “learning” time and “crafts” time and outside playtime and make all of your meals from scratch. In fact, the only reason I feel capable of writing this blog is because I have struggled SO much with all of this. I used to feel horrible about myself when I’d hear other moms say things like “my child completely potty trained himself!” or “we transitioned to a toddler bed and he’s slept through the night ever since!” or “my child colors quietly while I get my workout done”. Not so much in my case. My son is entering month 8 of potty training (he just keeps going back and forth on whether or not he WANTS to), after transitioning to a toddler bed (which we only did when he could climb out of the crib) it took us locking him in his room to get him to stay in bed (chill out, he never cried and we unlocked it as soon as he fell asleep which we could see in the video monitor), and my 3 year old has never sat and colored for longer than 3 minutes. I’ve timed it. Another one of my favorites that is a line older women like to give us new moms as unsolicited advice: “You have to MAKE him mind you.” Really? Care to elaborate on that? Id love to know how exactly they would MAKE my 3 year old son sit quietly in the restaurant or play outside without getting dirty. I used to have this idea in my head of becoming this perfect pinterest mom who would have the smartest kids and the cleanest house and the best home-cooked meals. In fact, a lot of the brilliant ideas people have wanted me to share (hence finally creating a blog) were inspired by pinterest moms- just tweaked to be more realistic for me. Maybe my house isn’t perfect and maybe my kids have eaten McDonalds a time or two but one thing I have learned to do is not forget ME. I used to wear nothing but sweats and shower once a week after my first was born. My life was HIS! I didn’t matter anymore. Its taken me a long journey to realize that I don’t have to lose the make-up artist in me in order to be a good mom. If fact, I think my kids respect me more for taking care of myself. You see, reality has finally set in that my kids have learned more from the Bubble Guppies than I care to admit, my house is in a constant state of chaos no matter what I do, and there’s not any way to change that (unless we win the lottery in the near future and can afford a housekeeper). Over the past 3 years, I have learned to be OK with it. And honestly, the more I slow down and stop TRYING to be perfect, the more perfect moments we have. Those are some of what I want to share with you in this blog. But first, let me tell you a little about myself:
I’m Crystal and I grew up in a small suburb of Detroit, MI. I know, I must be totally ghetto, right? FYI that’s a total misconception. Our town was a pretty typical suburban town, with the neighborhoods with houses that all look alike and the community center where everyone had their graduation parties and any other special event. The community center (or Annex, as we called it) is attached to the ice rink, which is where I spent my entire childhood.
I grew up figure skating. Its all I ever wanted to do! I loved skating with my entire heart. I loved the feel of my skates, the cold on my face, the feel of the ice under me, the sound of the music… everything. As I got older, I became more serious about my skating and trained under ex-Olympian Christopher Bowman and his wife, Annette. Christopher was known in the skating world for being a bit of a clown and always had us laughing at the rink. He opened up my eyes to the world of ice shows. My parents had taken me to ice shows when they came to town for as far back as I could remember and I always really enjoyed them. When I was little, I used to tell my mom I wanted to be in the Ice Capades when I grew up. But as I actually did grow up, I assumed that joining an ice show would be next to impossible for a small town girl like me. I was 14 years old at the time but I decided that I was going to devote my training to learning “show skating”. Christopher was hesitant at first because he wanted me to compete but I’m stubborn and he finally gave in. His teachings were amazing and he really helped me connect with the audience and then, at the end of my senior year of high school, I auditioned. I’ll never forget the day that the casting director called me and told me the Wizard of Oz on Ice had an opening for me if I wanted it! There was no hesitation- no indecision. I screamed YES into the phone and 3 weeks later, at barely 18 years old, I was off to see the world!
I spent 5 wonderful years with Disney on Ice. I skated with the Wizard of Oz and then moved on to a show called Disney’s Jungle Adventures. I played some pretty cool parts and even got to understudy the lead roles which was really awesome! I traveled and partied and had a blast! You know how people talk about young kids going off to college and how it can be a total party scene? Well, try approximately 50 young adults from all over the world living in hotels and getting to be tourists in a new city every week! It got a little out of control sometimes! You know what I loved about it though? I loved that we became a family. We lived AND worked together and got to know each other in such an intimate way that we were truly like brothers and sisters. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my friends from tour. I thank God for social media as a way to keep in touch!
I thought my days on the road would be the best of my life.
When I quit touring, I started working in a local salon as a receptionist and, having learned some neat tricks with the show, I developed my love of makeup artistry. The salon owners talked me into going to school for esthiology- the study of esthetics (aka skincare and makeup). I absolutely LOVE doing makeup! I got a job right away doing facials, body treatments, and makeup. It was a blast! I loved the people I worked with and I loved my clients! I had met and was dating someone new (my now husband) and couldn’t be happier!
I thought those days at the salon would be the best of my life.
In September of 2009, I got engaged and started planning my dream destination wedding in Florida. I didn’t want a big ordeal, just a small, intimate gathering to witness our love. Then, in the beginning of December, my husband (well, fiance) got transferred to… wait for it… Florida!!! At that, he was transferred only an hour away from where we were planning our February wedding! So we packed up and I left the salon and my family and headed to a brand new place to start fresh. Talk about scary!
In February of 2010, my husband and I were married and I thought those newlywed days would be the best of my life.
I found a job at the Body Shop in the local mall and worked my way up to shop manager as well as being the district’s makeup coach. I got to travel to different shops and teach the employees tips and tricks and I loved it!
I thought those days would be the best of my life.
Right after our marriage, my husband and I had started trying to get pregnant. I had dreamed of being a mommy for as long as I could remember. It wasn’t so easy for us though. I had severe endometriosis and after multiple tests and multiple doctors, we were told that we would not be able to conceive. I was devastated. My husband did everything he could think of to cheer me up. He planned vacations for the 2 of us, he took me shopping, he even bought two groupons for scuba diving lessons so we could do that together! You know… all the things you can’t do with kids!
After overcoming the grief, I became determined that I would make those days early in our marriage with my husband the best of my life.
Then, in December of 2011, I started not feeling well. On a whim, I bought a pregnancy test and BAM!!!! I was pregnant! My crazy little boy, Preston Gerald, that I love with all of my heart was born in August of 2012 and, after attempting to go back to work, we realized that for the sanity of all of us (especially me) and for the financial aspect, I would become a stay-at-home mommy.
I thought those days at home with my little baby boy would be the best of my life.
Then, in August 2014, the day before my little man turned 2, we got another surprise. I was pregnant again!!! WAIT… WHAT???? Yep… turns out that the doctors were all wrong and it WAS God’s plan for me to have children! Even better, my endometriosis is GONE! In March of 2015, I gave birth to my little princess, Trinity Rose.
These have been the best days of my life so far!!!
So… I look forward to what the future has to offer and sharing it all with you! As you can tell, I’ve been there, done that A LOT! There are a lot of chapters I left out of this introduction that I’m sure I’ll touch on over time in my posts. I’ve got a lot to say and now have a place to say it! One thing I can tell you is that this blog with be primarily positive. I will NOT be writing any posts on things I deem negative. I am a very open minded person and if I think something has a negative tone, I simply won’t write about it. I’m really looking forward to meeting and interacting with all of you! Thank you so much for stopping by!
Is there something in particular YOU would like me to write about? What would be interesting to you? I’d love to hear your ideas! Comment below, introduce yourself and tell me what you think!