Monday, January 31, 2011


Well, peeps, I feel as though I may as well let you in on a big change that's coming for my family and me.  It will, in some ways (and has started to already) affect my blog, I'm sure.

My family and I are making a move.  Its only about forty-five minutes from where we live now, but none-the-less, it will be life changing.  New city, new house, new people... new church.  My husband and I will be "planting" a new church in Berkeley. We've been on our knees in prayer for almost a year and the time has finally come to begin preparations for actually moving to the city.  We're hoping to move in two short months, but these plans have been submitted to the Lord and we still need a lot of direction and provision.

Currently, we have been in Orange County for two weeks, speaking at various churches and meeting with various individuals--spreading the word!  We will be away from home for at least another week, tying up loose ends.  This accounts for my absence in this space. 

There have not been many creative projects or endeavors as of late.  All of our energy and time has been thrown into this business of church planting (on hubby's side) and holding our family together.  Its a big job!

Be expecting some changes in scenery in my photos and such as Berkeley will be quite different from beautiful Santa Rosa!

Much love to you all.  We covet your prayers and love that you come here to share in our lives and moments. 

Cryn and fam.

{Berkeley, CA} Photo credit: David Escalante

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coffee + Tea Set = Party

There are not a lot of toys that I really appreciate, but this little plastic tea set has wiggled onto my "approved" list.  For one, Caiden actually plays with it.  But also, it all packs up into a giant teapot so I don't have to stress out about finding all the parts everywhere (because I totally would, otherwise).  I love to watch Caiden pretending and the tea set is a great catalyst for that.  Sometimes we even make the imaginery tea parties come to life, but with coffee instead.  Yesterday we shared a little cup of Joe together.  It was so nice.

Cheap plastic tea set: APPROVED.

"A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Times Are 'A Changin'

{Some black and whites by David in Sausalito}

Things are in upheaval right now and times can be tough.  Sometimes I feel discouraged, sometimes I am dismayed.  But the Lord is faithful still.  My friend, Bethany, offered to sit on my children (like she so graciously does periodically) and her offer couldn't have come at a more opportune moment in time.  She gave us three options and Dave and I weren't free until Saturday, but as it turned out, Bethany and our family were both invited to the same little girl's birthday party at the Discovery Museum on the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge (tucked just underneath it).  So after the party, she took the kids and we hopped the bridge over into San Francisco for a much needed date night.  We hunted down the Creme Brulee Cart and got some yummy dessert and a couple of cups of coffee.  The Lord provided time and rest for us.  The Lord has also provided his Word and its promises and comforts, some of which are...

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever,
For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength."
Isaiah 26:3,4
{A discipline of the heart and mind to put into practice.}

"The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer is from the LORD.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the spirits.
Commit your works to the LORD,
And your thoughts will be established."
Proverbs 16:1-3

The Lord loves you dearly.  He humbled himself to come and save you while you were still a sinner and an enemy of God.  He loves you, not because of how great you are, but because of how great He is.  He teaches us what love is all about.  Be encouraged.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


The thing I have dreaded since childhood has finally happened--and I've lived to tell the tale!  On Friday night, minutes before friends were to arrive at our house for a prayer meeting for Berkeley, I sliced my finger open very, very deep with a very sharp pair of scissors and I found myself driving to the Emergency Room alone--apparently with my face as pale as a ghost.  If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you know that I cut or peel myself accidentally all the time, but this was different.  This was not going to stay together on its own.

So there I was checking in at the same ER where, in times past, I checked in (alone) while in labor with my daughter, Caiden; I was in their system.  Thankfully, the ER was practically empty and everyone there was extraordinarily nice.  I felt like an idiot explaining my stupidity over and over again to each assistant, nurse, and doctor who interviewed me.  "I was trying to pry this piece off of our soap container, because it had yucky stuff underneath it, but my nails are weak, so I looked around for something to get under it and I stupidly grabbed a pair of hair cutting scissors to pry it off and once it did, it slipped and sliced into my finger."

Nurse types out, "Lacerated index finger on left hand by using scissors to open a jar."  AKA "You are so dumb."

Apparently my blood pressure was really high and the assistant couldn't decide why. "Are you nervous to be here?"


"Hhhmmm... Why is your blood pressure so high?"

"Maybe because I'm worried about how much this will cost? Or maybe because I know how my husband hates it when I cut myself.  He gets so frustrated because he wants me to be safe and I was worried how he would react when he saw me all maimed and bloody?" I thought.

I was eventually taken back to a room that was filled with moaning people separated by curtains (all of my previous visits to the ER have rendered me in my own room).  The guy next to me was freaking me out with his complaints of, "Dude! This is ridiculous. Ugh!" over and over again.  I thought he was going to get up and get violent.

I bided my time until an attendant came and offered me the special hospital service of a warm blanket (probably one of my favorite things) and tucked me in.  I felt a little weird since it was only my finger that was hurt, but still she shook out the blanket and covered me all up--legs and everything--and tucked me all in.  I then proceeded to read my Bible, check Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and eavesdrop on the other patients prognosis'. I would then look up all the fancy words the nurses used to describe their patients' various diseases and maladies and "Googled" them to find out what was wrong with my co-inhabitants.  (I feel like my good friend, Liz, would have done the same thing had she been in my shoes...)

I passed the time, using all of these various endeavors and entertainments, quite nicely until the doctor was ready to have a go at fixing my finger (which by the way, kept throbbing and bleeding mercilessly).  Turns out, the doctor is from LA and usually does a five by five shift by flying up to Santa Rosa for five days, then flying back to LAX for five days, continually.  Crazy, huh? 

I have two main observations or ponderings to share with you concerning this recent stint at the big white house.  The first one is that I was extremely surprised to realize that I am now old enough to encounter doctors my own age when I visit the hospital.  Shocking indeed!  It is actually becoming quite common in my experience now; they are no longer all the age of my Dad or Grandpa.
The second observation brings me right back to what I eluded to in the first paragraph.  Things have finally come full circle for me.   As I sat on my hospital bed this Friday evening, I was suddenly flooded with long forgotten memories from childhood of always being worried I would need stitches (I got hurt a lot).  All of a sudden, grown-up me wondered, "OH YAH! I forgot I was scared of that! Should I be scared now?  Am I nervous?"

Well, it happened.  I got three stitches, and I probably could've used four, but I think it was too close to a nerve, so I only received three.  And you know what?  It wasn't bad at all.  But it was very strange to have finally needed and received stitches after all this time (stitches that weren't because of surgery, that is).  Sitting there in the hospital bed, it felt like I was a different person from that girl who feared stitches all those years ago.  I guess I have changed a bit from the unkempt, scraggly haired, tomboy I used to be when I was seven.  Maybe a bit, but not too much.

{the injury}

{the legendary stitches}

(Thanks for listening to my story, I so appreciate and am encouraged by all of you faithful readers!)

Christmas Recap

I debated posting about our Christmas, because after all, you all had your own Christmas' celebrations to enjoy and I don't want to bore you.  But then I noticed these "Polaroids" and thought that they warranted viewing with a little narration on the side.  Indulge me?

For starters, Dave gifted me with the Fujifilm Instax mini camera for Christmas--which by the way, came in the mail a few days before Christmas with the exact labeling of what it was all over the outside of the box, so I inadvertently discovered my gift prior to the official reveal--so these are the photos take from Christmas and the week after.

Starting at the top left and working our way across each row as you would reading English, we have:

Elliott in his sweet new Batman pajamas (with detachable cape) which he has since worn constantly either alone or underneath his regular clothes; my Dad and Step-Mom who came all the way out from Connecticut to spend Christmas with us!; me and Dave using the Instax for the first time; me and the kids FaceTiming (video-chatting) on the iPhone with their other grandma and grandpa from Orange County (missed being with them this year); my little sis, Heather, who endured a 10 hour drive up to my house from where she lives in San Diego so she could be with us for Christmas, it was awesome to be with her; Elliott and Caiden snuggling; me and my friend, Christina, who invited a jillion of us ladies and children to her tiny home for a coffee afternoon; (above middle picture) Elliott and his buddy, Savi (Christina's son) in their rainboots; me and my kids with Ingrid and her kids who came all the way from Washington for Christmas; Caiden with her new headphones.

Caiden got everything on her wishlist this year which was as follows: cell phone, laptop, headphones, and a ring.  I think we're in for some trouble in coming years.

Elliott was overwhelmed with all the love and generosity he received from so many people on Christmas, as were Dave and I for everyone giving our kids tons of blessings and toys that we would never have been able to give them.

We got to spend our holiday celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world by fellowship and enjoyment of our family and lots of friends. It was rad.  I hope yours was, too!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cryn-tip: Time for a Plan

Got a meal plan for the week?  I find it much more beneficial to budgeting to have a meal plan before buying groceries than just winging it. Here's my list for the week:

*Salmon, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
*Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetable Bowls
*Arroz Con Pollo and Salad
*Chicken Enchiladas with Spanish Rice, Beans, and Broccoli (Gotta have a vegetable, right?  And what goes with enchiladas?...the age old question...)
*Chicken Tortilla Soup (That recipe, but with slight alterations and additions like corn, zucchini, etc.)
*Bean Burritos

Plus, my meal planning just got a whole lot cuter with this free printable download found here.

Here's a peek at mine... (I printed it on both sides, hence the faint graphics underneath.  It also came with me to the store, so its a little crumpled--still cute, though, right?)

Monday, January 3, 2011

I Am Back!

I suppose I should have warned you of my holiday sabbatical, but I didn't really realize I would be taking one!  We have had friends and family in abundance, so the natural thing to neglect was the blog...

I hope to be back soon with more cryn-content, but for now, here's to hoping you had a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year!

{Photo credit: David Escalante}