Skipping work and Herding Cattle

18342616_10213271225878652_4796085983945255617_nI called into work and told them I had to watch the fog rise, I couldn’t imagine being behind my computer.
They laugh, tell me to have fun and be careful….I promise to send some pictures, and I’m off.
Today I am particularly grateful to be able to work at a company that understands my need to enjoy The Greenbrier Valley and surrounding counties.
On beautiful mornings like this, they automatically expect the text or call saying “I will be in later, the fog on the mountains are too beautiful to miss.”
Real Estate is a fast paced business and we work very hard to make sure each and every one of our clients are taken care of.
Our goal is to help you sell and find your perfect home in a timely manner.
As a Marketing Director, I am not always the one that you see or talk to, and if I do answer the phone, I have probably accidentally hung up on you because transferring a call is nearly impossible!
I’m the calm behind this business, the one driving around in my car at 5:30am because the sunrise is too beautiful and I can’t sleep in.
I’m the one who gets a text message from Jill asking me if I am out getting pics of the Greenbrier Valley Sunset!
We at Greenbrier Real Estate Service don’t just want to Market your home or show you the perfect piece of property, we actually care about this sublime part of West Virginia.
We can tell you where to find the perfect sunsets, the best hiking trails, or give you directions to the nearest restaurant.
We will always be there to answer any question you have about this beautiful piece of Almost Heaven. 18402636_10213271226718673_876128545750808326_n
It’s funny what can happen when you sit on top of a quiet mountain by yourself;
I could quite possibly have the best job in the world, even when you have to perform an impromptu cattle herd.

I Don’t Know Her But I Love  Her 


I firmly believe in Matthew 6:4…so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

And this is something I have always taught my children,  but I can’t help and share this. 

Yesterday was a mad rush all day long. From sick dogs to losing Adam’s basketball jersey….and having to be at the gym by 4:30. We almost skipped dinner (Well, I was screaming that we were skipping dinner) when the jersey magically appeared on the floor in the backseat of the car!  

With very little time left, we agreed to eat Chinese. The waitress seats us next to a tiny frail elderly woman, she immediately smiled and greeted all the kids. My niece Sophia said, “I don’t know her but I already love her” as we got settled in to our booth. 

We all were eating, when the lady said, “Excuse me, can you tell me how much the buffet is?” (She had been sipping on a drink, I assumed she had already eaten)

I told her how much it was, when I glance at my own table. The kids stopped eating. They would not touch another bite of their food. Sophia started whispering for me to pay for her dinner, but I didn’t know how to do it without the possibility of offending or making her uncomfortable. We decided that if she was still there after we ate that I would pay for her dinner. With the decision made, the kids immediately wanted to leave!!

Kids all made a point to give her their biggest smiles and tell her to have a good day as they were leaving. 

I told the waitress to add a meal on the ticket for her, I paid the bill of $70 and we quietly left not mentioning it again.  

I spent all of my cash and needed to run by an ATM to get more before we went to the basketball game. But decided to go home and change my clothes first. I put my coat on and walked out the door in a panic because (shocker) we were late. Put my hand in my pocket, and pulled out $50. (Seriously God?)

After games, grocery shopping and Dairy Queen…the money, well, was once again gone and I didn’t have any cash.  

Adam decided he was going to Roanoke at 5:30 this morning with Kerri to watch Sophia’s volleyball tournament. I texted Kerri (my sis)  and told her I had no cash, of course she didn’t care. I told Adam that Kerri would take  care of everything today then he puts his hands in his pockets and pulled out $25!! 

DINNER WAS ON GOD with $5 to spare!

With everything that is going on in the world, I felt led to share this story.  What if we all treated each other with kindness?  Without asking for anything in return?  

Something to think about, I guess. 

I AM

My girlfriends and I started a private group on Facebook a few months ago, mainly to encourage each other and let each other know that we have each other’s backs.    A very good friend of mine posted this yesterday:

21 day challenge starts tomorrow and here is your goal! I am reading The Power of I am by Joel Osteen and its powerful. I want to challenge all of us to post a status to Facebook and repeat it in the group every morning that says I am… Beautiful, strong, valuable, healthy… You get the idea. I am not going to stop there, I am going to write the sentiment on my hand so I look down and I remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Who is with me? They say it takes 21 days to start a new habit. Lets start a new journey! If you write it on your hand it’s a great way to start a conversation and encourage others!

The beautiful posts and pictures started pouring in……

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I read their stories.  As tears started filling my eyes, my mind drifted back to 4 years ago.

This is what I wrote:

I am up for the 21 Day Challenge……But man, did it get me thinking.
I AM Crystal Adams Faulkiner. You are probably thinking, ok? Yes, that is your name. Well, to me, it is more than that. Let me explain.
Yesterday someone introduced me (twice) as Dr. Faulkiners ex wife. Unfortunately, this is a common theme for me.

4 years ago next month, the man I vowed to love For Better or Worse left me.  It was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I remember thinking, “What am I going to do?” “How will I ever survive ALONE?” This fear of NOT being Dr. Faulkiner’s wife anymore terrified me so much that I agreed to go to therapy. I was ready to go in and tell the Therapist all the things I was willing to do to get my family back.
I walked in (tissue box in hand) and sat down. The first thing she asked me was, “Who are you?”
My response, “I am Caty and Adam’s mom….Kelby’s wife……….”
“NO, I didn’t ask that!” She quickly cut me off. “I said WHO ARE YOU?
“I am a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter……”
“Crystal, WHO ARE YOU?” This time she raised her voice.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not understand what she was trying to get me to say. I never wanted to be anyone else since the day I met him, I knew that I wanted to be Caty and Adam’s Mom and I was so proud to be Dr. Faulkiner’s wife. She made me so incredibly angry, I vowed to never see her again. Yet that question, WHO ARE YOU? still haunts me 4 years later.
So this morning, I get on Facebook and all of you lovely ladies are all beginning this challenge together….thank you for allowing me to be a part of it….but as I was looking at all of your “I AM’s”, I found myself in the same predicament again 4 years later.
I am still trying to be a Mom, Aunt, Sister, Daughter, and sometimes I even try to be a Girlfriend. (which is nauseating to me!! haha)
Somewhere along the way I lost myself.

So today, I have decided that……

I am ready to find who I am to let go of who I used to be.

I AM Crystal Adams Faulkiner!!

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no ordinary life

To be continued……..

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Seasons Change 

  

Every Spring, I am reminded of this beautiful passage of scripture.  

Ecclesiastes 3King James Version (KJV)

3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

  

 

Little Brother/Big Sis

When you have two completely opposite children, one “mainstream” the other on the “spectrum”, some days can get rough.  Her brother gets frustrated pretty quickly and lashes out at her.  She is 14, so the drama, well can be pretty dramatic! This is the one thing she loves to do for her brother….she gives him a piggy back ride to the bathroom and fixes his hair for him every morning.    He (reluctantly) does it because he knows that it makes her happy and makes her feel special and like a big sis!!  

I say it all the time….but man, I love these guys!!

Silent Night…an open letter to single divorced parents

‘Tis the Season to compete on who is going to buy the biggest and best present.   To spend countless hours complaining that you hate being divorced.  To talk about depression.   To remind everyone around you why life just isn’t fair.   To complain that you don’t get to spend quality time with your kids……..

BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!!

All my life I wanted a man like Clark Griswold.   So loving and kind.  Heck, he was even going to use his Christmas Bonus to put in a pool!!    He went to great lengths to make sure his family was happy even if it meant holding security guards up at gunpoint at WallyWorld…..And that man sure knows how to decorate a house for Christmas!!   (without his wife asking!!)   Yes, Clark, you are the perfect man!!

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So now let’s snap back into reality…….Most of us married Cousin Eddie!

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pardon the language…but it really is fitting!

Now, to be serious.

To all divorced parents, I have an important Christmas message for you!!

I know you may be sad that you have to share your kids for Christmas.   But guess what…Let them be kids!  Let them enjoy their 2 Christmases.    Enjoy the time you have with them and then be grateful that your ex spouse can equally enjoy  their time.

Now is the time to make new traditions….with the kids and without the kids!

So, single parents UNITE!!   Let’s make this the best Christmas ever for our little ones!    Let’s put all anger aside for one holiday and make some good memories!

There is plenty of time to be bitter….Valentines Day is just around the corner!!!

6e5f2a286c5fed0d4d6659a9f1a9eae1Merry Christmas to all….and enjoy your Silent Night!!!!

 

Thanksgiving

 Ok….so here are just a few things I am thankful for!!
My mom has been seriously ill the last few months.    I am very thankful for her Health and how much she loves my kids!   I don’t know what I would do without her.  She is the best Grandma EVER!!  making memories and always smiling.    This is what a Grandma is!!!  (Take notes if you must) 

I’m so thankful for this guy!!   He’s been my best friend since Kindergarten!!  He’s my therapist, my shoulder to cry on, my late night texting buddy and the lover of Emojis and GIFs.        
This handsome fella is my Daddy!!   He is the best Grandpa anyone could ever ask for. A wonderful role model for my son and the great protector of my daughter.    The lover of “stealthies” (selfies).    YouTube addict.  And Smart Phone illiterate.     This kid just makes my heart melt!    Every time I look at him my heart skips a beat.   Watch out world….you are looking at a future preacher.     Love just can’t even begin to describe the way I feel about this little man.    Sigh….isn’t she beautiful?     God must have not wanted me to be bored so he gave this chick to me!!     She’s smart, beautiful and a TEENAGER!    Lord, help us all!!  My second Momma!!!    This is one amazing lady.     She has a heart of gold and the strongest opinion and personality I’ve ever seen.        She never had kids of her own, until I was born.    Now she has two “grandchildren” to spoil.     Ok….I am thankful for sugar!!!!  Enough said! I’m counting my BFF twice!!     He cleans too!   And ladies, he’s SINGLE!!!She’s my travel buddy, partner in crime, music lover, Ben Rector obsessed, smartest and most determined kid I know!! Has the singing voice of an angel.      And future Trauma Surgeon!   (And also single young men!)   These two…..beauties with an attitude!      Already spreading the gospel!!!😍  I am grateful for my church family.   And the amazing role model Mrs. Sandra is to me.    She made me “homeless packs” to take to our trip to NY.    She overheard us talking one evening about making little bags for homeless people and spreading some love while we visit NY.   she packed 5 gallon bags with:   Socks, gloves, hats, scarves, peanuts, pop tarts, tuna, Vienna sausages, carmex…..I’ve never seen anyone pack so much into a 5 gallon Baggie         This is Church Husband!!!      He’s kinda goofy and makes me smile all the time.  The entire church is rooting us on to date.    We both know we’d kill each other the first week!!    So ladies….he’s also single!!!   Thankful she has my sweet tooth and is learning to cook!!!     Also thankful for this adorable neighbor kid and one of my daughter’s best buds!! They are hard workers!  And always willing to lend a hand!  Ok….that is the VERY condensed short list.   There is my sisters, nieces and nephew, friends and extended family.   I am thankful for the people that have made my life easier and even for the ones that made it difficult.        

Ok….the pies aren’t going to bake themselves so I better get busy!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Random.  Very Random!

  
Quotes from the weekend.  

I swallowed a jingle bell….then I googled “what happens when you swallow a jingle bell!”

I have salt in my cleavage!!

I’m going to need a hammer and some Advil!!

Has anyone seen the plunger?   Oh yeah, and we need more milk!!

I need someone to take me to the doctor…I have my first zit!!

These kids keep me on my toes!!

Happy Birthday Momma!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Momma. The best friend I have ever had.

She nags, she gives lectures, she preaches the best sermons…..we all roll our eyes and say “Oh Grandma, you don’t know what you’re talking about! Times have changed, you need to understand that the world isn’t like the way it was when you were a kid.”

We were right! Yet, so is she.

Let me tell you some interesting facts about my Momma.

  1. She actually played outside.    So, when she is loudly telling the Grandkids to go outside and enjoy themselves….then she breaks into her “when I was a kid speech” watch out ’cause Gma means business!!   You better go out and play!!
  2.  When I was a kid…..instead of watching endless hours of television,  we sat on the front porch and sang hymns.     (If you haven’t heard my moms beautiful Alto voice, you’ve missed out.)
  3. There was no cell phones, iPads, iPods, Xbox, Nooks, Kindles, or any other contraption that I may have missed.  But guess what!!  She survived!   Even to this day she refuses to conform to the world and carry a cell phone.   Which sometimes  irritatates us girls when she takes  off and doesn’t tell us where she is going!  (The nerve!!)
  4. She can actually hold a conversation.   While she sits at the table after dinner, we are all on our cell phones checking our Facebook, or Dad runs off to the recliner to watch his new YouTube obsession and the Younger kids are jumping in the trampoline,  It is my favorite time of the day, I do my very best to put down my own cell phone and spend some quiet and much needed time with my Momma.     It is on those evenings we have done our best to solve world problems, vote for the new President, talk about how much we love and miss people who are still so near and dear to our hearts, we talk about God, our families, friends, and she gives me some great advice.  Some of which I take and some we still have our differences on.  Nevertheless, sitting at the table after dinner will always be my favorite times with my Mom.
  5. She loves God.    Oh the sermons we have heard, The scripture she can quote, the hymns she can sing.    There is nothing more beautiful than to hear Grandma’s house full of music.   Her oldest granddaughter, not your typical 15 yr old) loves to turn on music while we cook dinner.  The three part harmony fills the air as we sing songs like What A Friend We Have In Jesus, or I Surrender All, Amazing Grace and Be thou My Vision.    I remember as a kid going on our Saturday afternoon drives with my Grandma.  Grandma sat in the front seat with Mom as we drove down every country road in WV.  There was no radio, Grandma only wanted to hear her daughter and Granddaughters sing.  She twiddled her thumbs (something she always did) and spent the day soaking in the sun through the car windshield as she asked us over and over again to sing Holy Holy Holy, And her personal favorites Angel Band and How Great Thou Art.    My mom learned how to love God from her mom, I can only hope to pass down that same love of God to my own children.
  6. She loves her family.  She loves us so much.    She is the first to tell us the she thinks this is a really bad idea!!  Yet, she still lets us do it anyway…..but never fear, she always has a good way of telling you “I told you so, and giving her lengthy sermon she had already prepared because she knew it was a really bad idea!!     She’s been my shoulder to cry on, my very best friend as long as I can remember and the best Grandma/MeeMaw/Gma anyone could ever ask for.
  7. She taught me how to love unconditionally.  (This is when I may start crying).    My Parents not only loved each other, they showed us every day what unconditional love is all about.   When they took their vows, they took them very seriously.     I’ve seen “in sickness and in health”, “For richer or poorer” and I guarantee you I will some day see “Till death do us part”.     You see, they were fortunate enough to grow up in a time where if it’s broken, they fix it and don’t throw it away.
  8. She taught me how to forgive.  She was the master of “the silent treatment”. You could always tell when she was mad, at dad anyway, she wouldn’t talk!!  Now us on the other hand, she always had her sermons pre-planned.      But she always forgave.   I don’t know one person in this entire world that my mom doesn’t love.   She may not agree with what they have done, but those are the ones she prays for the most!!    And to the one reading this blog right now, she’s probably prayed for you too…she’s never stopped and never will.
  9. She adores her grandchildren!!  Anyone that knows my mom knows that her Grandkids are her entire life.   She has 7 grandkids,  5 girls and two boys.   Each are spoiled in their own different way, but let me tell you what she does for my two kids. (Sit back and relax this one could take a while).       I remember a few years ago when my mom was seriously ill, they had actually told us to get to the hospital as soon as we could, possibly to say our last goodbyes.   They were on vacation near Nashville at the time and we hurriedly made arrangements for a babysitter for the kids and made the longest drive of my entire life to go see our Momma.   We flooded our facebooks and texted and called everyone we knew to pray for her. When she was finally able to come home after almost a month of being in the hospital and recuperating in Tennessee, we were sitting on the porch one day (ok I am  officially crying) she looked at me and said “Do you know what I was thinking about while I was so sick in the hospital?  Caty. ( that’s my daughter, with special needs in case you didn’t know).  She continued to say, “I just kept telling God that I could t leave Caty.  She needs me!  She is the very one that kept me alive and made me fight so hard to get better.”    Now that is a grandma!!  The one who fought so hard to make sure she could help take care of her precious granddaughter.      Oh my goodness, I can’t forget to tell you about her Grandson….(my son).  The love they have for each other is nauseating.   He can’t get enough of Grandma!    She spoils him with French toast every morning for breakfast, she tucks him in the recliner with a bowl of cereal and then makes me come and look at how cute he is!! (I somehow don’t think it’s as cute as she does.)  They are two peas in a pod and no one messes with Gma when Adam is around.        Yep, she adores her grandchildren. 
  10. She’s not going to be around forever….so cherish every second of her life, listen to every sermon she wants to preach, every “I told you so” she can’t wait to tell you, every hymn she sings in her Alto voice, every piece of French toast, every bowl of cereal…..listen to her stories about “when I was a kid…..”   You may actually learn something!

Tonight, as I celebrate my Mom and her 73 years on this earth,  I’m going to listen.  Listen to her stories and her sermons.  Listen to her sing.  Listen to her the to teach her grandkids right from wrong.  Probably listen to an argument or two.  After all, every family has an argument every now and then, but I will also remember the lesson of forgiveness she always taught me.

What have you learned from your Momma?  I can only hope she was as amazing as mine!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA!!