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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another year behind me...

As I approach my 25th (again) birthday, I look back on my life and I am very happy with where I am.

As you may have noticed in that opening line I said I am celebrating my 25th birthday AGAIN. A lot of my friends ask why I don't celebrate my "real" age. It's because I don't feel my real age. 25 was the best year of my life. It was the year my daughter was born, the year I found myself. So I celebrate that year every year.

As I age, let's not use words like old or older, I learn more and more about myself. In the past year I have fallen even more in love with my husband and learned to love myself more. I am doing more for myself and it's not at the sake of my family.

There are so many people in my life that don't enjoy where they are. They don't take each day like it's their last. They live everyday with regret or fear. I used to be one of those people. I don't ever want to be there again. This year I plan to better myself even more. I am down 11 (yes 11!) lbs since Christmas. I want to go back to school. I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to enjoy every day like it's my last. I want to live like I'm dying. I want to love my husband and daughter each day even more than the day before.

I hope you live every day like it's your last. Hug you kids tighter, love your other better and do things for you.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What I was going to say was...


I was going to write a brief history of why I don't like my brother's wife. I was going to write and tell the readers that I got into a fight with her on Christmas Eve which lead to a screaming match between my sister and I and me leaving and refusing to be happy the rest of the night. I was going to write and tell you how Thomas' sister and brother in law and nieces are here from Florida and celebrated Christmas with us. I was going to tell you how my brother in law ruined my carpet with his complete disregard for anyone but himself. I was going to tell you how they left for a cabin in the mountains right before I was about to explode on him. I was going to tell you how Madison and I are now watching the Disney Parks Christmas Parade and I am crying because Madison is so happy watching Disney World on TV. Instead of all of that I will just say I love my family no matter how mad or annoyed they make me and I hope all had a wonderful Christmas!

~Cristal

P.S. I was also going to tell you how we had a White Christmas for the 1st time in 17 years and we currently have 6 inches of snow and it's still snowing, too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time


Christmas has and always will be my favorite time of the year. The decorations, the cheer, the food, the presents and the birth of our Savior! There isn't one single thing I don't like about this time of year.

Growing up my parents struggled to make ends meet. My mom worked part time and my dad took early retirement because of his heart condition. We didn't have a lot but what we did have was well earned. My sister and I pretty much got everything we asked for from New Kids on the Block tickets to 3 wheelers to new clothes anytime we asked for them because we were good kids and my parents lived for us. My mom always made sure our birthdays and Christmas were very special. The one thing she did encourage and make sure we were fully aware of was that Christmas was(is) not about the gifts we recieve from others but the greatest gift of all: The birth of Jesus.

The one thing I don't talk about a lot is my religion. I have very deep rooted beliefs in God and the Holy Trinity. I don't hide my faith, but I don't openly discuss it either. Growing up I almost lost my Dad countless times to heart attacks. When I was 16, away on a school trip, I called home to find out my Mom, too, had been admitted to the hospital and almost died with a heart attack.That is around the time I stopped going to church and stopped believing in a higher faith.

In 1999, at the age of 18, I meet my now husband Thomas. I immediatly fell in love with him and his 9 year old daughter, Victoria. Thomas and I went on our first date for his birthday on Decemeber 10th. We were married 4 months and 1 day later. That first year of our marriage was hard but blissful! I was head over heels for this man and his daughter. The following Feburary, the 7th...my birthday, we got a phone call we will never forget. Victoria had been sick over the summer with what we were told was everything from pubertity to a stomach condition. Her mom finally had her refered to a brain specialist and they discovered Victoria had a terminal brain tumor. The next 3 years were a blurr of rushed weekend visits, doctors and hosptials and chemo and radiation and arguements with her mother. On September 17th, 2003 we got the phone call we had all been dreading. Victoria had a seizure and was not going to recover from it. 2 months later, on November 14th, just 1 month shy of her 13th birthday, Victoria passed away.

I was angry. I was angry with her mother for not taking her to the brain doctor sooner. I was angry with her doctors for not fixing her. I was angry with Thomas for not fighting with his ex over Victoria's care. But most of all I was angry with God for taking her from us. I was convinced on 11/14/2003 that there was not a God. If there was, why would He make Victoria go through so much pain and suffering and then take her from us? Why would He put all of us through the pain of watching her waste away and then die?

As time went on, the pain dulled but it was always there. Like a missing piece of my heart fell out and the hole ached. I know Victoria was my child, but I loved her just the same.

In 2004, Thomas and I decided it was time to expand our family. We had never tried to have a baby, but we had never tried not to have one. After a few months of trying without success we decided to talk to our doctor. I had always had to work hard to keep my weight under control, but the older I got the harder it was. I always chalked it up stress and working all the time instead of working out. After a few months of tests, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom. This causes me to be insulin resistant, gain and loose weight rapidly, makes me tired all the time and mood swings like a crazy person.I was refered to an endocrinologist. After seeing Dr Harris for a few months and a lot of hormone shots and tests, I was pregnant.

I woke up one morning about 4 months into my pregnancy feeling what felt like air bubbles in my side. I relized that was my baby kicking! It was that exact moment that I was overcome with emotion and I relized that God, though we may not like or understand Him, was real. Some people call it awakening, some call it being saved. I call it the day I began living my life. Everything from that moment on I would thank Him for.

Now back to Christmas. My mom always decorated every inch of the house, made cookies with us and hide presents and made my brother stand on the roof with bells to sound like Santa had arrived! These were the best memories of my childhood. I want Madison to grow up the way I did. But the one thing I don't want for her is that hopeless, lost feeling I had for so very long.

We emphasize the Christ in Christmas in our home. In our house it isn't about the amount of gifts you recieved on Christmas morning, and while Santa is celebrated, he is not the focus of our days celebration.

My wish for each of you this Christmas is peace, joy and happiness. Parents, hug your kids a little tighter and kids, listen to your parents. They are always right.

Peace~
Cristal

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5 years seems so long ago...


My good friend Lance has inspired me to start blogging again. I used to do it all the time over on that MyFacepage I used to have but since Twitter (follow me! @The_Cristal) came into my life, I have chosen to catalog my life in 140 characters or less.

Today is not just a normal day. It is the first day of winter and my baby girl's 5th birthday. 5 years ago at 9:38 pm I laid on a table at the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!) Medical Center and allowed Dr. Mary Kidd carve a smiley face into my bikini line and give me the greatest gift anyone could have. 8lbs, 1 oz and 21 3/4's inches long, with a lot of jet black hair and amazing blue eyes, Madison Leigh was gifted to me straight from the Big Guy in the Sky.


Those first few days are foggy as I was taking a major painkiller for my c-section surgery and it was 4 days before Christmas and my in-law's were visiting and I was trying to breast feed this little angel all while she had colic and no one slept. Our "no baby in the bed" rule was quickly broken when we realized our little angel would sleep on a pillow between us.

While most newborns enjoy being wrapped and swaddled in warm clothing and blankets, ours did not. She wanted to be naked and slept or laid with her arms and legs wide open to the world. Looking back, that was her first step into grasping all the knowledge she could at that time. Today she prefers educational games and shows like Dino Dan on PBS KIDS to goofy ones like Sponge Bob. Every time she wanted to sleep I would rub her feet and sing her Beatles songs like "Hey Jude" or "Blackbird" or John Lennon's "Imagine". "You Are My Sunshine" was also a favorite in our home. As the days passed our little 8lb wonder grew and discovered things everyday. Her first word was Dada...this was said on Mother's Day....she's still a Daddy's girl. She's nerdy like her daddy and awesome like her mommy.

I cannot believe my baby is 5 today. Time has flown by and with each passing day, she becomes more independent, smarter (like her daddy), and bolder (like her mommy). Today, I took have a day off work to have lunch and shop with my blossoming little lady. After a lunch with Nana and Poppy, she and I hit up the local mall, spent almost $60 on a Build-A-Bear reindeer named Clarice and then ended or adventure with hot chocolate from Starbucks.

Tonight as I tucked her in bed, I thought back to that first night I held her in my arms and teared up a little. I miss that little baby that needed me for everything, but I still hold on to the little girl who wants to fly...

Here's to hoping time slows down and the next 5 years don't fly by like the last 5.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thank you J. Holiday!

I will never listen to this song again without the thought of D-Dub slamming me up against the washer and "love me til my eyes roll back" ! WOOOOOOO!

Yes, I realize it isn't natural...

Everyone, well most everyone, that is close to me makes me feel like a moron for my love of all things New Kids on the Block. I guess it may be silly that a 30 year old woman, who has been married for 10 years with a 3 year old daughter still sleeps with a New Kids blanket and has her DVR set to record anything with "Wahlberg" in the description. But, I don't think it is!

In 1990 I saw my first NKOTB show and fell head over heels! It was shortly before my 10th birthday and that was my birthday present. My mom camped out in the torrential rain for 2 days to get tickets for me! My bedroom was wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor wallpapered with pics of the 5 hardest working men in showbusiness. I had countless VHS tapes with them on shows like Arseno Hall and Regis and Kathy Lee! I had NKOTB lunch boxes, shoe strings, bracelets, necklaces w/ matching earrings, t-shirts, night gowns, pillows, blankets, dolls (street wear and stage sets), videos and pay-per-views, cassette tapes, ponytail holders, chap stick, trading cards, buttons, stationary, socks, cups, stickers...you name it, I had it!

The highpoint of my life was the summer of 1991, it was a Magic Summer! NKOTB was coming back to Knoxville for the 2nd time and I was there. Mom and I both camped out and got tickets....ROW 1 to be exact! At the time, Ticketmaster failed to tell us Row 1 was Row 1...behind the stage! I didn't care though. I was still close enough to see every move and hear Jordan hit every high note! He was my favorite back in the day...until Face the Music and the infamous arrest in KY, that's when Donnie stole my heart! There was something about that mullet, those ripped jeans, and that pierced nose that drove my 11 yr old hormones INSANE!!!

When they announced their break-up in 1994, I was devastated! I remember not going to school and crying for 2 straight days! I was miserable! It was like my best friend had died! It was my freshman year in high school and I had to find something/someone to replace the hole in my heart! I tried for 4 straight years and to no avail! N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, 98 degrees, LFO and O'town could not fill the void!

After I graduated, I was searching the CD shelves and came across Jordan's solo cd!!! FINALLY! Something to help! I found him on the Internet and followed his every move! He even came to concert one time near me and I was so there! I also discovered Joe and Donnie were acting! I had to see every movie and show they were on.

That was the same year I met my husband and fell in love! When he and I were moving in together, he discovered my treasure trove of NKOTB memorabilia and laughed! I was never more insulted in my life!!

Fast forward 9 years...Jan 2008 I am surfing the net and come across TMZ.com and find a link to nkotb.com. Like any true Blockhead, I had been to the site several times when it was a fan site...This time, when I clicked the link, it said "ARE YOU READY?" and was playing CLICK CLICK CLICK! I stood up, screamed like I was dying and started crying!! I called everyone I know and posted it on Myspace that MY LIFE WAS COMPLETE! NKOTB IS COMING BACK!!!

I took off from work the day they were on the Today show and that was the day my husband discovered I was a 12 year old trapped in a 29 year old body! I jumped on the couch a-la Jerry McGuire when that curtain dropped and I re-discovered my love!

During this time I met my best friend Carrie when we discovered we both were closeted Blockheads! She and I waited patiently for the tour announcement and when they announced they were coming to Nashville, we were there! March 2009! Then they announced they were coming to Memphis in July 09 and WE WERE THERE!

Today, I am sitting patiently hoping for a new tour, album and did I mention I will be on the NKOTB Cruise to the Bahama's in May 2010??

I love NKOTB and I am not afraid to admit it!