For all the things my hands have held the best by far is you

Welcome to the World Sweet Kennedy

On May 1st, 2019, ( my regularly scheduled post day) my sweet Grand Niece( is that a thing?) was born. Welcome to the world Kennedy Lewis. My eldest niece and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. I planned on writing just about Kennedy and about the birth, but then we got home from the hospital so late and well, a lot of life has been happening my way regarding my own family and here it is, Mother’s day weekend. So there you have it, a mother’s day post.

I know that every mother and father when asked can remember the day that they brought a new life into this world. My niece Adriana and her husband Josh, newlyweds themselves eagerly awaited the life of their sweet girl to be born on that day. I’ve never seen someone so ready to be a mommy than Adriana. She didn’t even seem a bit nervous or scared, only ready to welcome Kennedy into life. Almost our entire family plus some of her closest friends and her mother – in – law crammed into her delivery room. It was typical us, a room filled with jokes, food, coffee, flowers, kids all over the floor, and anticipation.

Adriana’s labor had to be induced, due to some risks, and she was in labor for quite some time. We were in and out of the room, and at one point while in the waiting room, I had an opportunity to chat with Josh. I asked him, are you nervous? Are you scared? and he replied, ” a little” so wanting to relive those eager feelings, I asked, what are you most nervous or anxious about? To which he replied, “I’m nervous about the unknown.” I actually was a bit taken back by his oh so perfect response. I was expecting silly answers I guess, What’s she gonna look like, will I be a good dad, Will I know how to carry her, will her mom be ok? So, I really got to thinking about the unknown.

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Unknown. How could have he know that the unknown is the scary stuff? Most first time parents have all the information they need. It comes from that book, what to expect something? Or these days doesn’t the internet tell you everything you need to know. If you are a first-time parent, don’t go searching, please.. I was only kidding. It really got me thinking over the course of this last week as I mentioned going through quite a bit with my own family.

If you’ve been following my journey, you might know we experienced some things within our home last year and I’m not ready to fully disclose, but it’s been rigorously trialing and filled with peaks and valleys. The hope that we have is found in our faith, and God’s promises. Plus, I mean, C’mon, I am raising two teenagers at once!

“My brethren, count it all joy, when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. ”

James 1:2-3 NKJV The Holy Bible

This past week, and I suppose Motherhood period has been filled with fear of the unknown, but we press on. We move forward, we forward march in full faith, with patience, trust, and HOPE. Then when we walk into the unknown, not with fear but that faith, we are usually surprised moments of joy, strength, knowledge, laughter, pain, healing, LOVE, moments of beauty, tenderness, silliness, arguments, compromise, brokenness, comfort, bonding, trust, companionship, friendships, relationship, togetherness, and this list could go on forever. Moments that had I chose not to walk into the unknown I could have never known, moments that the what to expect books weren’t ever capable of describing. Moments of bliss, heart bursting delight, that I could have never ever fathomed. So, Josh, I get it, the unknown is scary the unknown is unknown until we get there, and what we discover is that life hands us what we need when we need it. Life hands us more than we can handle bringing the need for God, family, and friends and support, and we never dreamed of the precious moments that have been tossed our way.

Adriana and Josh, now that Kennedy is almost two weeks old, I am confident that you both have experienced feelings you never knew existed. I am overjoyed for you both, I love seeing you light up with your precious baby, and Kennedy is a beautiful addition to our beautiful family and to the world. Protect her, love her, hold her tight, and do not be afraid. Make Jesus the head of your household and hold onto God’s word and promises, they are true and you mustn’t lose sight of your faith. Adriana, welcome to motherhood, the most sacred club I know.

To my children, I love you all so much and am blessed to be your momma. To my mother, Thank you, mommy, thank you for raising me the best you could, and thank you for all of the love you poured into and continue to pour into me, to my sister Anita, Congratulations on your new Grandbaby. Elijah and Kennedy are blessings from God, your family is incredible and a true testimony of God’s faith in you. To Daniella, you are an incredible mother to Lijah, we are so blessed to have you in our lives. To all of my extended family in-laws, friends, and mothers out there. Happy Mother’s day to you. I pray that this post finds you with Joy, love, and laughter. I pray that your hearts are light because I know for so many mothers day can be hard. My heart is with you all.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV Holy Bible

Kennedy, welcome to our crazy little tribe, I cannot wait to love on you and watch you radiate our lives. We love you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my mother’s day post, please drop a comment and show some love! Until next time – Stay up and Stay in Faith!

I Love Us

Happy Valentine’s Day to my Family

I Love Us

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! So typical right a Valentine’s Day post, well, I will have you know I have a very serious post in my drafts about my children and how they are growing up on me and asking where has the time gone. That was scheduled to go out last week, but such is life, and I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to be cliche and write a Vday post. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Or if you are reading this post-Vday, what did you do?

I will say this, my husband and I always celebrate big in one way or another, sometimes on the day and sometimes on the weekend. Sometimes, with just a glass of wine sitting outside, sometimes the best dinner you could think of spending lot’s of $$ and sometimes, we just have pizza and chocolate, after about 18 years of Valentine’s days, yes we’ve done a little bit of here and there. We’ve traveled a little, nothing crazy yet, we went to New Orleans, Fredericksburg, and Galveston, stuff like that. You see our anniversary is next week too, so it’s always kinda been a big deal to us. Earlier this week, I told my hubby, it’s no biggie and we didn’t have to do anything special, the truth is I meant it. There are just some times where you are content with chilling at home. His response was ~ “Crystal, I can’t accept that, it’s important that we take the time to honor each other and we are celebrating .” Imagine that.., I didn’t fuss, or argue, let it go and decided we would do what we do when the day came.

We looked into a few spots for reservations, but currently, my husband is on a fast, and his diet is very limited and with most restaurants having a selective menu tonight, that was a bit of a challenge. So, we have opted to go to a restaurant that we know will have plenty of choices for him. I mentioned how I have a post on draft about my kids, and how they are growing up on us. I love my children so much, and it’s such a fun adventure watching them grow into little adults and into adults. I reflect and love the memories that we have of when they were little, but I also appreciate the stage they are in now. We have a lifetime of Love to look forward too.

Earlier today, I contemplated between, getting my kiddos a heart-shaped pizza and hitting the town with my man, and what I really desired which was to take them out with us. There is a fun spot that I have wanted to take them to for a family night out. ( Spoiler alert, that will be a blog post soon depending on how quickly i can get them there.) My oldest works tonight and i really wanted to take all three with us. So It seems that it will be just the two of us. I was talking to my friend earlier telling her, I love my alone time with my man, but realize these moments with my kids are passing us by so quickly. She agreed with me. I pray they have a lifetime of great memories we have shared together and I look forward to creating many more.

I mean seriously, How cute is this?

That year pictured above was 8 years ago, we were working parents, I’m sure Valentines Day was on a school night, and I wanted to make it special for them too, I always have, they love it too. I got me and the hubs some wine, a little red stripe, I picked up a cherry or strawberry cheesecake? Chocolate covered strawberries, sparkling grape juice for the kids, and of course KFC as you can see. I even served it all on the fancy platter. I remember it feeling so incredibly special to me, mainly because it was us. I love us.

We have dinner plans but otherwise, it is still a little in the air what we actually do tonight, I’m sure whatever it is will be fantastic.


We’ve seen a small shift at home, Matt is growing up on us, he’s a great kid, but a kid that is yearning to spread his wings. He will be a Senior next year and is turning 17 soon. He at times is overwhelmed with all the growing up too. I don’t blame him. Matt, we love you and are so proud of you son. Life is filled with ups and downs, and for the most part, the ups are worth is all, love is worth it all, and you are worth it all to us too. The sweetest thing occurred with this kid; I had him download the Bible app a while back so he said to us yesterday, I get a sprinkle of Jesus every day. We didn’t know what he was talking about. So he went on to explain that every morning he gets the Bible verse of the day, and we said ohhhh, yes that sprinkle. <3 SO this morning, he shared his sprinkle with me on the way to school. (Thank you God that they miss the bus sometimes because we have moments like this. ) He shared.” And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three but the greatest is charity.” 1 Corinthians 13: 13, apparently he reads the KJV just like his daddy. I asked him to translate for me into the NJKV and here’s what it said. And now abide faith, hope and Love, these three, but the greatest of these is Love. (NKJV) Amen. Thank you, son, and yes the sprinkle was right. Love is the greatest of all these, yet how great are the others. I have so much hope and faith in you son. Imagine how Great Love is.

Isacc and Amanda

If God wills it, Isacc will be moving out this year, again. I’m very grateful that he lived on his own a while back while attending college, and that he was able to come home for more growth opportunity. I can see a shift in him too. I see he’s growing into a man, learning to be more responsible, and I can see a deep love for his longtime girlfriend is his eyes. He’s always cared and loved for her, but you know a deeper love, the kind that makes a momma proud, the kind of love like he wants to take care of her, and I can see his desire to do so. Son, we are proud of you too. I pray that the good Lord blesses you with all the desires of your beautiful kind heart. Amanda, his girlfriend, we love her too. I am looking forward to a lifetime of joy and memories with you God willing. He spent his Valentine’s yesterday with her and I’m thankful for that. Happy Valentine’s Day you two.


And Lina, my Little Love. She is strong as ever. We went through so much last year, One thing I can share with you about God’s love is this; Genesis 50:20 NKJV “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” God is good y’all, and I see so much good in my little girl’s eyes and in her spirit. She’s been busy singing, playing her instruments, and recording social media. Her confidence is amazing, and she is growing into a FIERCE young lady with a heart of gold, honesty, and Love. Lina We love you so much and not only are you beautiful outside but down to your core momma. Don’t ever change. You are my best friend, and I am honored to be your mother.

Harvey and I

Happy Valentine’s Day my love, here’s to looking at you kid.

To My husband, whom I love very much. Thank you for always celebrating us. You help me to realize our time is precious, and you make me want to be the best version of me, for me. Thank you for always making me feel important, and for honoring me as your wife and mother of your children. I love growing older with you. It’s a pleasure and pure joy.

Well, it is getting late, and I have a date to prepare for. I hope that you have a wonderful evening regardless of what you do tonight. Please remember that God is Love and we can know true love because he loved us first. You are never alone, and you are more precious than you know. Have a blessed evening, Until next time.


Here we go 2019!

Welcome back to the blog! I’m super excited to be back on the grind and writing again. So yes, here we are a new year, and if you’re like me, things are just now settling into their own. The Goals are not only in place but now actually in motion.

The holidays were totally great but can feel like a cluster of events with one event onto the next.

Many new opportunities and happenings have arrived for me, so as always I’m taking you along with me.

My goal for this page is to create fun new content in different areas of interests. Starting afresh with the new year, and all the new adventures that are coming with it.

I am back in school, taking a few classes and this is my second semester back in college. College is different for this 40-year-old mother of 3. Last semester was pretty good, I only took 2 classes to get back into the swing of things. This semester I am taking 3 classes and hope to take extras over summer and winter breaks to speed up a bit. As a more mature student, things are a little different, and my memory is not as photographic as it used to be, making it a little different for me, and I do find I have to work a little harder at remembering info for tests, and classwork. I think at this point in life, once I apply it more it seems to soak in best. Last semester I squeaked out with 2 A’s and I am working on that same 4.0 GPA this semester. It’s fun for the most part, and most days keeps me thinking and keeps me sharp. I am addicted to learning so school has overall been very good for me and has kept me on my toes.

And she loves it!


So, I did set some goals for the year, but they were mostly a continuation of the direction I wanted to take my life. Obviously, I have goals that I want to achieve and wrote them down, but I think I focused more on what I wanted from myself mentally, spiritually, financially, physically and am hoisting myself into that direction. I decided to nurture myself to just be BETTER than I had been. Better is my word for the year and Better than I was is what I am aiming for.

With that being said, here’s what I am currently focused on. I am still leading a weekly calendar planning group. We are called Coffee, Calendars, and Conversation. So in our group and my philosophy currently is embedding the habits or activities i am focused on right now, and nothing else. So I write these things down weekly and everything else that comes my way is on the back burner or getting turned down. It is all about focus right now. For example my focuses are :

Spirituality, Work, My weekly Planning Group ( which is my organizational time), Health and Fitness, Family ( includes date night, kiddo time and activities), I am focused on 1 personal social activity a week to keep me from reclusiveness, school which i already mentioned, My Blog ( my goal is to blog weekly) and this deserves my time and attention because I love it!, and my side hustle for extra money which is my One Hope Wine Tasting Business.

I figure this is plenty for me to focus on, build some great time-based habits, a schedule, and then we can add more or take away as needed. I will also revisit this structure quarterly for tweaking.

I just started a new job as well, which I’m very happy with and looking to stay put right now through school God willing. Like i mentioned new things, i had been praying for are now in motion.

So that’s it in a nutshell for the New Year in motion. It may seem like a lot or not a lot, but for me it works right now, and at the end of the day, you have to find and do what works best for you. In my group we had a vision board creating session and if you peek below here is mine. It motivates, makes me want to do better in all things, and just all around makes me happy. I highly suggest you creating one to keep in your dreams and vision in sight. Well, that’s all for now and i will be writing more and of course dive into lot’s of life weekly with you. I appreciate any feedback insight or comments below! Thank you and God Bless your day!

Continually Crystal

My name is Crystal Ybarra ~

I am a wife, mother of 3 and a God fearing woman who is embracing life one step at a time. I began blogging as a means of coping with depression, and anxiety. What I found was a need for God and to share with others every step of my personal journey. You never know who’s listening to your story and who’s life you are impacting. Welcome to my blog and thank you for being a part of our community.

Continually, Crystal