Stitch Fix #5

I got a new Stitch Fix box! It is has been awhile but I decided it was time for another update to my wardrobe. As always, I love hearing your feedback on what I should keep!

The first pieces are a purple knit dress and a pendant necklace. I paired the dress with some boots and denim jacket I already own in the second picture. I really like the color and the fabric.


I also received some skinny jeans with cargo pockets that are so comfy.  I paired it with a grey sweater they sent me. I am not so sure about the outside seams and elbow pads.





The final piece is a green button up blouse with embroidery on the back. My family is split on whether they like the embroidery or not. What do you think? 

Stitch Fix is an online store that sets you up with a stylist to find clothes for you. You answer questions and they work to match things with your size and style. Each time (you decide how often you get the boxes) you get a box with 5 items in it. You try them on and then have 3 days to decide if you want to keep them. If you don’t like any of them you pay $20 for the stylist fee. You send back the items you don’t want (in a pre-labeled bag they send in the box for free) and pay for the items you keep. If you buy all 5 items you get a reduced price. If you decide you want to try it for yourself please click on my link and I will get a referral credit.

I can’t wait to hear what you think!


Happiness Project – My Rules for Life

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she documented her Twelve Commandments that she tries to live by. I was inspired to do the same, although I came up with more than twelve. (It also reminded me of Gibbs’s Rules from NCIS.)

Here is my list that I am constantly adding to:

  1. Be Krystal
  2. Give to God first
  3. Write it Down!
  4. People are More Important Than Things
  5. Don’t go to bed (or leave) angry
  6. Be Intentional
  7. Just Do It!
  8. Be Faithful
  9. Choose Present over Perfect
  10. Connect Meaningfully with Others
  11. I am only responsible for my own feelings
  12. Don’t Call the Game at Halftime
  13. Be the Gift
  14. Be a Flamethrower
  15. Watch her Dance
  16. I was Made to Worship
  17. Bring My Basket, Let Jesus Multiply it
  18. Jesus is my perfection, so I don’t have to


Do you have rules for your life? I would love to hear them!

Happiness Project Update – February

February is already well under way. Doesn’t it seem like January lasts forever and February is over in the blink of an eye? Well, it does to me.

I am continuing my Happiness Project this month. In January, I decided to focus on building my morning and evening routines, hygge and no spending (besides the bills and groceries). I was fairly consistent following through on my morning and evening routines. I got up on time and spent time with the Lord every morning. I added yoga to my evening routine and did a pretty good job of reviewing my day each evening and looking at the day to come before bed. Although I did cozy up under blankets and read during the month of January, I would have liked to spend more time just enjoying coziness instead of pushing so hard on everything. I hit February pretty exhausted. I definitely could have done better on the no spending. It was less in some ways but could have been better.

For February, I am going to continue practicing my morning and evening routines, I am going to focus on writing something every day, and I am going to invest energy in loving the individuals in my family according to their love languages. I am a sucker for personality quizzes and tests and this one is great for discovering your own love language and those of you family!

What are your plans? Did you start your own happiness project? I would love to hear about it!

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13


What is Saving My Life – February 2018

Modern Mrs Darcy has encouraged us here in the middle of winter to stop and reflect on What is Saving My Life. I love doing this exercise. So here are a few things from my list:

Yoga – I have been hesitant to do yoga for several years because I thought it was all about Eastern religions. But after hearing many people I respect say that it helped them, I decided to give it a try and I absolutely love it! I attend a class weekly at our local gym and follow a couple of people on YouTube at home. (My favorites are Yoga with Adriene and Brett Larkin Yoga). During the month of January I actually did yoga every single day! I have never been this consistent at any exercise before. I did yoga before bed and chose a video based on my energy levels and what time it was. They ranged from 7 to 30 minutes.

Reading – Last year I reclaimed my love of reading and read more than I have in years and I have continued that trend through this winter. I am trying to read 2 fiction books and 1+ non-fiction every month. I think I will write a separate post on the books I am reading.

She Reads Truth Bible Studies – I am currently working on the Letters of Encouragement: 1 & 2 Thessalonians. I just love the beauty of these books and the encouragement to be in the Word daily. I have been getting up nearly every morning around 6 am so I can spend some time in the Word before the kids get up.

Twinkly Lights – We put up lights at Christmas and we loved them so much we’ve kept them up for the foreseeable future.  The days are so short this time of year that they help brighten up our days

PowerSheets from Cultivate What Matters – I worked hard to fill out these sheets to start the new year and I have never been as successful at keeping my goals as I have so far this year. I love the thoughtfulness and grace that is contained in this workbook. They are sold out but I highly recommend you consider getting them when they are available again if you need help figuring out what you want your life to look like and how to actually make that happen!

Felt Letter Board – I bought myself this for Christmas and I absolutely love it! Words are my jam and this makes it easy to create inspiration and change it whenever I want to.

Echo Dot – I also splurged the end of last year and got an Echo Dot. It is so fun to be able to use. I mostly use it for listening to music and setting timers plus asking random questions. The kids love having her tell them jokes and asking for the weather forecast.

Amazon Music Unlimited (Family edition) – In conjunction with my Echo Dot, I love my Amazon Music! With the unlimited subscription I have found almost every song I ever want to hear is included. I have so many playlists as I enjoy a wide range of music and now it is easy to listen to whatever I am in the mood for. We did upgrade to the family plan so people would quit kicking me off!

Lemon Honey Tea – My in-laws live in Arizona and sent me a box of lemons. I love squeezing half a lemon, mixing it with a tablespoon of honey and then filling my cup with warm water. It is the perfect drink to start the day with!

Podcasts – I am not really an audio learner but I have found that podcasts have improved certain times of my day by giving me something to think about while I am doing my least favorite tasks like washing dishes (Do you know that’s the one time when everyone will leave you alone?) or driving to pick people up.

Wednesday Kitchen Days – I have given myself permission to have a slow day on Wednesday. The kids do their independent work for school and I spend extra time in the kitchen, cleaning and baking and not stressing about the day.

What is saving your life right now? I would love to hear!


*some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I will get a small commission if you purchase something using the link that helps pay for this website. Thank you for your support!

January Reflections

How are you doing? Have you done all of the things you set out to do this month? Are you claiming the mantra: February is the new January? It’s true you know! There is nothing magical about January 1st. February 1st is just as good of a starting day. As is any Monday. Not so sure about Friday but thanks be to God his mercies are new every morning. We can have a fresh start anytime! We just have to claim it.

I have been amazed! This has been my best January ever! Did I accomplish everything? By no means! But I have established some good habits and accomplished many things that I wanted to accomplish. There are a couple reasons why I think I have done better this time around. One is PowerSheets! I know I keep raving about them but they really helped me to process what is important to me and why and that has motivated me to keep practicing. Another thing is that I have come to realize that during this season of life my goals need to be more of a crafting of my daily life and habits than big projects. The final key to my success the last couple years is tracking! I have made habit trackers in my bullet journal and also used the Tending List in the PowerSheets. It really helps me stay on track and/or realize that I may need to re-evaluate what I am trying to accomplish if I am consistently not following through on particular items on my list. It just may not be the season for that thing.

So what have I been successful at? I have gotten up at 6 am almost every weekday this month. I have done yoga every single day this month!! (Guys this is amazing! I have never done something every single day without missing, ever!) I have read my Bible almost everyday. I’ve also read a book nearly everyday. Most evenings I have sat down and reflected on my day and checked my schedule and created my to-do list for the next day. I’ve worked on building community and spent special time with my family.

What have I missed? I have not been getting nearly enough steps in. (But it is January and there is a sheet of ice covering the ground outside.) I have not drank enough water. And my kitchen is still dirty almost everyday when I call it quits for the day. I am still a work in progress and I am ok with that. At least I am making progress!

I hope you are finding your groove and building a life for yourself that provides happiness and meaning.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13


Music – Sowing Seeds

Ah, music. It moves us, strengthens us, entertains us, makes us feel connected. In this day and age it is so easy to access so many different kinds of music. I love almost every kind of music there is! I probably have created at least 100 different playlists for different seasons, parts of my day, different activities and individuals in our family. I love hearing about a new to me artist and discovering that I am not the only who feels they way I do. It is such an important part of the atmosphere of our home.

Some friends and I were discussing how quickly our children pick up lyrics to the songs they hear in their day and how important it is to make sure that the seeds that are sown in their minds will reap benefits in years to come. It is amazing how songs can link you to specific times in your life and how they can effect your mood and the focus of your mind. People with Alzheimer’s can hear a hymn from their youth and be pulled in and sing with perfect clarity.

Over the years we have tried to plant songs with Biblical lyrics into the hearts of our children (and us too!) in an effort to provide strong ties.

These are our favorites:

Steve Green, Hide ‘Em in Your Heart

Seeds Family Worship has so many great albums. Here are a few of our favorites:

Seeds of Courage

Seeds of Faith

The Word of God

I also have created multiple playlists that include our favorite hymns.

I love using Amazon Music (Try Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial) to get all of my music now! I don’t have to worry about CDs getting lost, scratched or broken and we can listen to the songs on any of our devices.

My hope is that as my children go through their lives God’s Word will come back to them time and time again through the lyrics they heard growing up. I cling to the scripture in Isaiah 55: 10-11:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

I challenge you to use music to sow seeds of faith in your children. And if you already do, I would love to hear about your favorite musicians and albums!


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My Happiness Project & Hygge

I hope this finds you enjoying a happy new year. That all those ideas you had for the new year are finding ways into your actual life. More so than any other year (so far) that is the case for me. I think I set things into action last year that have served me well heading into this new year. In fact, last year I accomplished more of my goals than I think I ever have in my life! One of the best things I did was to invest in Power Sheets. (I talked about them here: They have really helped me take vague notions and turn them actionable plans that I can make happen.

Last year I wanted to read 30 books for myself and to read more fiction. (I have a habit of reading so many books on how to do things better that it just becomes too overwhelming.) I broke that down into reading 2-3 books per month. Modern Mrs. Darcy’s website and book club helped me find books I normally would not have read and gave me incentive to actually read them. I was an English Literature major and reading has always been important to me but over the last several years I found myself mostly just reading to the kids. Yes, we read good books but, I needed to fuel my own spirit. I actually ended up reading 32 books!

One of the last books I read last year was Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In it she details how she spent a year focusing on different habits and goals to build a happier life. She broke down her ideas into monthly focuses and then built on the previous month’s efforts going forward. I absolutely loved this idea and so I decided 2018 I will do the same thing. I will chronicle this journey here on my blog, on Instagram (follow me @mamakayb and Facebook (

For January, I have decided to focus on building my morning and evening routines, hygge and no spending (besides the bills and groceries).

Have you heard of hygge (pronounced hu-gah)? It is a Danish term. It means something like cozy and enjoying simple pleasures such as candle light, warm drinks, sitting by the fire, or reading a book snuggled up under a blanket.  (I was inspired by a book I read last January called A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell.)

January is a cold, snowy month here in Montana and I drive a 12 passenger van (not a winter vehicle)! So as much as I am able (which isn’t as much as I would like) we stay home in January. It is the perfect time of year to curl up with a book in front of the fire with a warm blanket and a hot drink and settle in. The craziness of the holidays is over and it is a perfect time to rest and recharge. I loved this idea so much that for Christmas I have the kids all Hygge Kits. They each received a personal teapot & cup, their favorite tea, a book, a candle, warm socks, a journal and a pen. The kids all love them!

What are your plans for the new year? Are you building things into your life that bring you happiness? I would love to hear about it!

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Let’s live in that abundance this year!


Advent 2017

I am soaking in and thoroughly embracing advent this year and I am finishing this post even though I wanted to publish it 2 weeks ago. Life has this funny way of going in ways that we didn’t anticipate and throw 10 people into one house and everyone’s ideas of what needs to be done make for different timelines.

I hope and pray that you are taking time this season to settle your heart and make room for Jesus. Maybe these ideas can help you this year or you can tuck them away for next year but know without a doubt that it is NEVER too late to look for meaning and to find Jesus as we approach Christmas.


The word “advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means coming or arrival. When we celebrate advent we are preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate not only Christ’s first arrival but to prepare ourselves in anticipation of his second coming. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This year Advent started on Sunday, December 3.

Advent Celebrations vary from family to family. Most commonly they include reading of selected passages from the Bible, the singing of Christmas carols, prayer and an Advent Wreath with 5 candles (3 purple, 1 rose and 1 white one or 4 white ones with 1 red one in the middle). Each candle represents an important part of Jesus’ story leading up to his birth. The scriptures focus on that theme for the week. The first purple candle is for prophecy. The second purple candle is for Bethlehem. The third candle is pink and represents the shepherds and God’s love. The fourth candle is purple and represents the angels. Then, finally, the white candle is lit on Christmas Eve and represents Christ.

Another tradition that we have adopted is the Jesse Tree. I first heard of it on Ann Voskamp’s blog and now she has a lovely book about it called The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas. We use this children’s book, The Jesse Tree to follow the Bible story from Creation through Jesus’ birth and hang corresponding ornaments on our Christmas tree as we read each story. The idea comes from Isaiah 11:1 “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” This passage is referring to Jesus coming from the line of Jesse. It is such a wonderful way to show God’s plan all along for the salvation of mankind.

We try to “do Advent” every evening after dinner but life is busy this time of year so it doesn’t always happen. Usually on the weekend we will take extra time and catch up on our readings. Some years are better than others but each year we strive to do our best and it is now a firm part of our family tradition and believe God blesses our efforts to focus more on him and less on the materialism and craziness of the season.

During our school day we are working through Cindy Rollins’ book Hallelujah: A Journey through Advent with Handel’s Messiah. It includes scripture reading, guided listening to Handel’s Messiah, carols, poems and verses to memorize. It has made our group time so easy to pull together. We are also reading (& coloring) Through Ann Voskamp’s beautifully illustrated book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas. Her website has a free link to coloring pages I downloaded for the kids to color as they listen.

For read alouds we are reading Tabitha’s Travels this year as well as a few other books such as The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! and lots of picture books like The Story of Holly & Ivy, An Orange for Frankie, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, The Legend of the Candy Cane, The Crippled Lamb, Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Christmas in the Barn.


I pray this Christmas season will find you curled up with your children reading good books that will draw you closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas,



What I Learned this Fall

I’ve been following Emily P. Freeman (especially her podcast: The Next Right Thing) and she encouraged us to reflect on a season instead of waiting until the end of the year. I found it very helpful this summer so I’m back for the fall edition. Go to : to see her post.

  1. I learned that personal retreats are a wonderful and needful thing for me. I wrote about it here.
  2. Loss although painful can bring healing and a closeness to God and to others that just doesn’t seem to happen when all is well.
  3. I learned that it is time to let go of the idol having more children. It would seem that eight is enough for us. I love my family and I adore little babies but at 43 the time has come to be done with that phase of my life.
  4. I love candles! For so many years I have hesitated to use them because I have so many little ones around but no more! I found some cute unscented candles on Amazon that I can use on the mantel and for entertaining.
  5. I like to start groups! I sat in the background feeling sad that I didn’t have ways to have meaningful connections with others. This year I have made great efforts to start groups: an IF:Table group for ladies, a women’s Bible study and most recently a Supper Club for couples (so the men could participate too). It has been so worth it to invest in these groups of people and move beyond surface conversations through intentional questions.
  6. I love decorating my mantel! I needed a place of beauty instead of a collecting spot for all the stuff people didn’t want the toddler to get, so I reclaimed it! I intend to decorate it seasonally and preserve it as a place of beauty in our home.
  7. Setting up a special bullet journal for the holidays is so helpful! Last year I had a separate journal but I used a small one. This year I got the idea from Aimee Kollmansberger to create a bullet journal to use for years to come to collect all the ideas and lists instead of recreating everything every year.
  8. Gratitude really is my lifeline. I never stay very consistent at journaling my lists but I find that when I do it really grounds me and it is so wonderful to be able to read back through my lists from the last several years.
  9. Spotify is actually pretty cool! I’ve put off using it for several years now but after several recommendations from my eldest daughter I gave it a try. I love my music on Amazon but it is such a nice way to be able to share music with others and to hear new music.
  10. “Being a mom is a lot like being a life coach,” my 10 year old daughter told me as we were taking a walk. I’ve been pondering this ever since. I think she is right and it is such a perspective change for me.

How about you? What have you learned this fall? I’d love to hear from you!



It’s the week of Thanksgiving! One of my favorite times of the year.  It feels like each year the world wants us to rush past this week. Halloween gives way straight to Christmas. But I find myself wanting to hold back the rush and just savor this week. To me it is a time of reflection of the blessings God has bestowed on me. It is a time to gather family together and enjoy good food and good conversations. To connect. To be present. No need to rush around. Just time to engage right where we are. Yes there is lots of cooking to do but we can do it together and sing and talk as we go along. We keep the menu the same every year. We know what to expect and we know it will all turn out okay.

I have been pondering the question, “Do you consider yourself a grateful person?”

I want the answer to be “yes!” But is it true? Am I grateful for this life that I am living filled with complexity and uncertainty and pain? Can I find the blessings that come through all of this? I am trying to. My relationship with God has grown so much the past two years! And really isn’t that what is most important? I’m learning to connect with others on a much deeper level and I am starting to find the beginnings of community that I have been longing for.


I have returned to my Gratitude Journal and am determining to write in it each night before going to bed. I thought I would look back over the 1000 Gifts challenge that I documented here over the years and am floored by the fact that its been 11 years since I began working on this from Ann Voskamp’s challenge. Here is a link to my first post on it!

I encourage you to hit pause on the anticipation of Christmas and all the lists of things that need to be done to prepare for it. There will be time enough. For now reflect on God’s blessings and those around you and love them well.

Resources for Thanksgiving:

We put up our Thanksgiving Tree and have been adding leaves to it.

Here is a link to our traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalms 100:4


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