Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Do You Love Your Mother? & IWSG

You have a mom. I have a mom. Everyone has a mom.


Not all mothers are created equal, but generally speaking, no matter who she is, she wants what's best for you. Before I was a mom, I was a driven, multi-talented individual who was going to take the world by storm. For 10 years after I became a mother, I clung to those aspirations.

Hollow aspirations?
But things happen--moving to NYC and having no option but to home school (I was NEVER going to home school), chronic sicknesses (being down and out for 3+ years really takes a toll), being far from extended family and forced to rely on my individual family alone...

I found the joy in nurturing and raising children. I was pouring all my creativity into home schooling and mothering.

My books were part of my young girls aspirations, and finally getting a few of them out there felt amazing...for a moment. Being published blew my mind. Literally. It contributed to the stress that kept me down during my chronic illness. I was already juggling so much to keep a household and 3 separate grade curriculums going, and to those who haven't experienced it, publication has the potential to take over your entire life. Forever. Because it never ends.

Ah, the lessons we can't learn except in doing...

For the time being, I'm on a publishing hiatus. I admit, occasionally there is a twinge of jealousy when I read about other people's successes, but these are the best years of my life, and I plan to enjoy them to the fullest.


After all, when I get to the end of this life, my greatest successes won't be my abundance of novels. It will be my children.

Even the bad moments.
This mother's day, be sure to say thank you to your mother. You never know what she gave up on your behalf. If she's not around, pass on stories of her goodness to the next generation. And if you're like me, stuck in the middle,


Keep at it.

On a related note, how about the IWSG question for the month:  It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

So when you have wicked allergies, spring is not the most productive season. (But it's awesome for sinus infections.) =P

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose,
C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

Last month, Michelle R. Reid shared ALICE GAMES along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win a print copy or eBook.

The game:

1. I'm a certified falconer.
2. I was seriously studying to be a Manga artist when I was 18 years old.
3. The first time I saw Jurassic Park, I was eight, in a dark basement, alone, at Crystal's house! 

The lie: #1. She specialized in raptures in zoology for a time while at college, but never did actually become a falcon pro.

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Tyrean!

Moms, and all of you who read YA, I've discovered a fabulous author whose works are mom approved (aka clean), and fun to boot. Check it out:

A dark Chemistry lab. A fake British accent. It's all fun and games until somebody falls in love.

When sixteen-year-old, Ashlyn Brooks, runs into a sweet British guy in the dark Chemistry lab, she has no idea she's actually sitting in the pitch black room with her longtime rival, Luke Davenport. She also doesn't know that she's stepped into another one of the football captain's pranks. It isn't long before she's sharing things she's never told anyone, and starting to fall for the mysterious guy with a sexy accent who seems to understand her in a way no one ever has before.

When Luke's mom dies the summer before his senior year, he turns to pranking Ashlyn to keep his mind off his loss. But the more he gets to know her, the more he regrets using his fake British accent in the first place. Soon Luke is walking the thin line of keeping his lies a secret and wishing he could tell her that the boy she's falling for is really him.

Meet Me There is a standalone novel in The Ridgewater High series, a collection of simmering YA contemporary romances. If you like sweet romance with ballad-worthy chemistry, swoony kisses and endearing characters then you'll love Judy Corry's latest book.

Buy your copy on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?


Judy Corry has been addicted to love stories for as long as she can remember. She reads and writes YA & Clean Contemporary Romance because she can't get enough of the feeling of falling in love. She graduated from Southern Utah University in an area that has nothing to do with writing. Some of her favorite things are chick flicks, singing, and playing the piano. She believes in swoon-worthy kisses and happily ever afters.

Judy met her soul mate while in high school, and married him a few years later. She and her husband are raising four beautiful and crazy children in Southern Utah.

You might run across her snacking on cream cheese and Triscuits, or laughing cow swiss cheeses--especially while she's writing! 

Judy gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win a signed PRINT copy of MEET ME THERE. (US only.) DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT WITH AN EMAIL ON THE PROFILE? No problem. LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL crystal@crystal-collier.com to enter.

You have until Tuesday, June 5th at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on June 6th, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I broke my toe doing a cartwheel into my friend's back.
2. I lived in 4 different houses on the same street.
3. I speak fluent Italian.

So sleuths, which is the lie? Have you thanked your mother recently? What's one life dream you've given up for a different one? Do you like contemporary stories?

87 comments:

  1. I thank my mom every day—and constantly apologize for being such a pain-in-the-butt kid. Moms can be some seriously amazing people, and I salute you for taking on that challenge! You're seriously amazing, too.

    Congrats on your latest release, Judy! I'm going to guess that #3 is the lie because I really like to think that the other two are true.

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  2. Your children should come first. There will be time to write again when they are gone.
    I'm going for the third one as the lie.

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  3. Enjoy your publishing hiatus and your family! :)

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  4. I love that you devoted this post to mothers! I have a complicated relationship with mine, and I deeply appreciate all of the sacrifices she made for me. I can't believe you managed to find time to write while home-schooling and battling a chronic illness. I'm also taking a break from writing/publishing so let's support each other. :-)

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  5. He-he. I hear you on the sinus infections ;-) Enjoy your family.

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Autumn Decisions

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  6. Publication is so time-consuming. Honestly, I knew it would take a lot of time, but it's taking A LOT of time. Oh well, it will be easier the next time around, or so I hope.

    Yay for moms! I bet you're an amazing mom to your kids.

    I'm going to go with #2 as Judy's lie.

    Cheers - Ellen

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  7. Oh Crystal, I literally want to plunge my arms through my laptop screen and hug you. This. Right here. I completely get. I understand your words to the core of my essence. We have such a similar life/writing story, all excluding the home schooling bit; I never had to do that. Our close knit group of lady writers will always need you and each other. I'm going to try much harder to stay in touch better. I'm hear if you ever want to chat via email or even the phone.<3 Always remember that you are a hero - both mom and writer.

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  8. I love all genres! This book sounds amazing. I love books about secrets and lies!! The lie is #3

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  9. I can't imagine writing anything with four kids in home school. I can't even write now! LOL

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  10. Enjoy your family and focus on your kids now... they grow so fast!
    My mom is 89 years young, what a blessing.
    The lie is no#2.
    Happy IWSG Day, Crystal!

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  11. Crystal, you're a wonderful mom and you have your priorities in order. Writing does take over your life. Thanks for sharing and reminding us of what is really important.
    Meet ME There sounds like a delicious read.
    Okay I'm going with 3 for the lie.

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  12. "After all, when I get to the end of this life, my greatest successes won't be my abundance of novels. It will be my children." That is a beautiful thought. I may never have children, though, so...for me...being an auntie, a good daughter, and yes, my books are my greatest successes. :)

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  13. Definitely your family and health come first. I never thought I'd have kids, and when I decided to have my son, I found the greatest joy. :) I think the lie is #3.

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  14. In my opinion, being a mom is the most important job ever!
    You've echoed some of the reasons I haven't self-pubbed or queried any of my novels yet

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  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE your post so much Crystal. As a mom, babies always come first. I wish I had more time for everything. Sigh. What a great spotlight book! I love clean YA stories. I am guessing #2 is the lie. I can picture the cartwheel as being something I would have done so vividly :)

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  16. An excellent reminder. Thank you. Who knew mothers would have a life before their children were born... I don't think the kids suspect a thing. ;-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  17. Real life can really trip our aspirations to the curb, can't they? *hugs* To everything there is a season.

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  18. Wow! Really! I didn't see that coming. Thanks!
    I loved your Mom gifs! It's definitely worth slowing down and enjoying the mom moments. Write little story ideas down in a journal or in a special file. That's what I did for many years and it helped me keep my writing life alive in small doses.
    Enjoy life and know that a fully lived life gives the best experiences for stories later. :)

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  19. Real life and the writing life are often at odds with each other. Sometimes it seems as if every day is a balancing act. I cannot imagine even trying to write with five kids at home. I barely make it with two toddler-like dogs, who are both very smart herding breeds.

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  20. Balancing anything with motherhood is a challenge. Take your time. Enjoy your kiddos. Books are never going away. :-) And Happy (early) Mother's Day.

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  21. Yup on spring. I sneezed three times while reading this post! Writing and creativity slow down this season for me. I do get envious when other publish--yet another book, while I'm whittling away on the first. But I know my whittling is making it better and me better as a writer. It will be work the wait. (I hope.)

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  22. Hi Crystal - being Mom is the most important thing for you at the moment ... enjoy it ... but keep writing ... jotting things down - it'll all come together anon.

    I think #2 is the lie ... but I'll wait and see ... have a very good Mother's Day to one and all ... cheers Hilary

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  23. Your children are young but for a fleeting moment. Family is always first, because without them, the rest really doesn't matter. Enjoy your journey.

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  24. Being mom and a good one, um, helps rule the world.

    #2 is a lie??

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  25. Everything is different for everyone, I guess. For people like my parents, having children doesn't change much. My dad is a work-a-holic, but he was in a situation where he could take us with him. So either though they both worked all the time, I grew up seeing them all the time. And they had the option to take us a few hours away to our grandparents when they needed to. I guess we were all lucky that way.

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  26. It's so great that you recognize right now that you want to prioritize mommyhood rather than look back later and regret it. You'll never, never regret this choice.

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  27. P.S. I'll guess fluent Italian for the lie.

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  28. Here's to MOMs everywhere. We really need a MOM month to do them justice. As to the lie, I'm going with the fluent Italian.

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  29. You are an absolute rock star homeschooling three kids! Enjoy your time with them. Happy IWSG day and have a fabulous Mother’s Day!

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  30. Oh my gosh, Crystal, this just pulled at my heart strings. You are so right! Your children need you right now. Trust me, this time will fly by before you know it. I look back in wonder at how fast it went. I used to laugh when people told me the same thing I just said. I'm so grateful you have the knowledge I lacked. Good for you!! Happy Mother's Day! Hope your allergies clear up soon!

    Elsie

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  31. Happy Mother's Day (in a couple weeks). I hope your family plans to pamper you.

    I'll guess the lie is #2.

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  32. Not only are you an AMAZING mother. You are pretty much the best wife ever!!!!! And in case anyone is wondering NO, CRYSTAL HAS NOT STOPPED WRITING. (I don't even think that is possible lol). She has just stopped publishing and marketing for now. One Day... It will be EPIC!!!

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  33. Gosh, you're right. Family is way more important than, well everything else. I admire your focus and determination.

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  34. I have zero doubt that once you're ready to focus on writing, you will take the publishing world by storm. But you're right, the kids come first. I have never regretted the things I've given up to focus on my kids. I always tell myself that I will have all the time in the world to work when they are grown and gone, but only once chance to raise my kids. You won't regret it either.

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  35. You're right, there's no getting that time back once it's gone. And I admire anyone who homeschools. I can't imagine doing it. Your books also inspire your kids to achieve their dreams - I'm sure you'll get back to it.

    I'll go for #3 as the lie.

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  36. KUDOS to you for homeschooling. As a mother I know my limits, and that is one. I struggle with the summer work I have them do so they don't lose it all in those months. LOL And I agree publishing does take over your life. With summer break in a matter of weeks, my attention will have to shift. Gone are my 8hrs to focus on writing stuff, replaced with riding bikes, going to parks, and generally spending time with the boys who are growing up too fast.

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  37. Right now you are focusing on the most important thing, Crystal! Kudos to you! I was never able to combine teaching and writing, so I put aside writing until I retired. Not that I ever truly put it aside. I couldn't have children of my own, but I put so much into my students that there was little left over for writing. I loved them all and had to give them the best I could. There are many phases in life, including one where you can focus on writing. Enjoy this precious time!

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  38. Happy Mother's Day!
    Spring? Feels more like extreme summer here in Central Europe!

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  39. Moms are awesome. Children are only young for such a short amount of time, so publishing more can come later.

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  40. Family is everything. Hey for me that is one of the elements that gets me to read books. Happy Mother's Day and IWSG Day too.

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  41. I miss my mom. She was a good mom and I loved her so. It's hard being a mom at times. Life deals you a hand and sometimes the cards aren't all that great.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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  42. Moms are special. I love mine. I also love my children.

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  43. I've missed my mom for twenty years, going for unbearable to tolerable over time. And I make a habit of sharing with friends that they may want to take a look at their relationship with their parents, ensuring that they get their family houses in order before doing so isn't possible.

    I was blessed that when that time came, my relationship with my mother was something tangible that I could embrace. I enjoy sharing that with my daughter.

    About publishing: I can't agree enough how much publishing can take over your life, whether it creeps up on you or collides head on with life.

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  44. An early Happy Mother's Day to you, Crystal. Kudos for being an amazing mom and persevering through your illness. (I was chronically ill for a decade so I know how difficult it can be to endure.)
    Remember to celebrate your successes: having three books published and several anthologies, raising three(+) kids, providing your children an education, and giving them an enduring role model. You already are taking the world by storm.

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  45. So true. You never know what she gave up -- and you never know when she will be taken away from you, with or without notice, but always too soon.

    Thanks for coming over to see me at Marmelade Gypsy!

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  46. For everything there is a season... We do what we must at certain times of our lives. Spending time with our Moms means so much to her and you. My mom has been gone for over 10 years, but Alzheimer's stole her mind years before that. I don't regret the time I spent with her, even when she didn't know who I was.

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  47. Inspiring post:) Power to you for raising your kids, teaching them, and continuing to write:)

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  48. I have to say that when my kids were little I got essentially no writing done (I had a novel I worked on all through graduate school, which didn't work well, either. Then I tried to write one when they started school. I didn't get one done and edited until they were in Jr. High). Parenting is a full-time job and takes all the imagination and creativity you can muster. Enjoy these years (as best you can ;D) and the writing will still be there when the kids are more independent.

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  49. I didn't start to write until my daughter went to college. So well done, you! I think you're doing awesome :)

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  50. I get you. Don't miss out on those years. I didn't start to write until my youngest was in high school. I'm a grandmother now and I watch my one year granddaughter most days and am back to writing at night. I feel like I have two full time jobs.

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  51. Happy Mother's Day, kiddo, and I agree with you. Additional publication can wait. Your children will be grown before you know it, and I don't think anything is more important than raising those lovable little people. I never regretted being a stay-at-home mom.

    Yes, I do like contemporary stories. (Even though my latest book takes place in the fifties... well, that's kinda MY contemporary...)

    Judy Corry's book sounds really sweet. I'll guess #3 is the fib.

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  52. Really insightful thoughts about balancing motherhood with your writing, Crystal. It feels like you have a handle on what you feel your priorities should be, and if you find time for writing and publishing in snippets, that's amazing, too.

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  53. I think #2 is a lie and Meet Me There sounds sweet and fun :)

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  54. Can totally relate to your post. My writing career has always had to take a back seat to working to support my family, caring for my sick husband, and being a good mom. My daughter just turned 21 and we're good friends. I don't regret my choices a bit and don't think you will either.

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  55. My writing certainly took a back seat in my mummy years. But i think the best writers have experience behind them which shows in their writing. So when you can go for it again, Crystal, your writing should have even more depth.

    And, no, we don't all have mothers. Mine is no longer in this world.

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  56. Enjoy your hiatus, but yeah, I get the jealousy thing. :)

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  57. Motherhood and the professional success are almost impossible to have together. One always takes precedence over the other, and you certainly made the right choice in choosing your kids.
    I had it easier. I didn't start writing until my youngest was in high school. Not by design, mind you, I wasn't that clever. It was just a confluence of events and influences that brought me to writing at the right moment.

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  58. "these are the best years of my life, and I plan to enjoy them to the fullest."
    You go girl!!! Life happens. Don't let it pass you by. Enjoy it to its fullest no matter what it throws at you.

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  59. Beautiful words, Crystal. children are your most beautiful and valued works of art. Enjoy them.

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  60. Your choice of concentrating on child rearing for the time being will be surely paid off soon. Children grow fast. I’m not talented with writing skills but childrearing was one of the most creative and productive tasks I’ve ever done. Now I simply enjoy being a grandmother. Have happy and healthy days ahead with your family.

    Yoko

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  61. The intensity of motherhood lightens up. My babies are graduating from high school this year. I've added more of my own thing as they've grown, always keeping their needs in mind. I think they'll be proud of their mom once they're older, and have kids of their own.

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  62. From someone whose mum isn't around any more - just give your mum the biggest hug & apologise for anything & everything - just in case :)

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  63. You're so right. Family is more important than anything. Your children grow up and leave for their own lives. Hopefully, they're still nearby, but not always. Writing can wait. That's one reason this writer is a great grandma. I taught school when
    my boys were little. Now is my time, I'm writing, and I'm having fun.

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  64. At the rate I write, my kids will probably be grown and gone before I finish my story.
    I've always enjoyed your writing, so I look forward to when your hiatus is over. Have fun being a mom.

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  65. You're a rock star for homeschooling. I don't have the patience at all. But I do give my kids extra work whenever I think their grade is lacking. I love using activities like snap sets and complex puzzles to get their minds working.

    But again, homeschooling... that's a whole other beast. I might have failed both my kids for just not listening to me! :-D

    Have a happy mother's day!!!

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  66. I agree, everyone should say Happy Mother's Day to their mom. My mom passed away 7 years ago. But I'll still say it to her.

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  67. You are truly amazing, Crystal, in all that you do for your family. Happy Mother's Day, my dear. You deserve it, and so do all the mothers who struggle to do what's right for their families. All best to you, Crystal!

    I think #2 is the lie.

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  68. Mother's are so special ...
    Family is the most important thing ...

    Give family members a hug everyday and tell them you love them.

    Great post - have a Happy Mother's Day

    All the best Jan

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  69. What an amazing outlook on life, Crystal. Sounds like you have a firm grip on priorities!

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  70. You can go back to the writing – you can't bring back your children's childhood.

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  71. I think THIS is my Favorite Post . . . Thank you for sharing from your heart. AND - thank you for a cheese wave . . . thanks for taking time to visit and smile. love & love, -g-

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  72. Lovely post. So sweet. I hope you have a fantastic mother's day, Crystal! :)

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  73. You have right-thinking. Your children are your #1 priority. Home-schooling? Bless you!
    JQ Rose

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  74. Sounds like you are making the right choice for you- which is so important. You know what makes you happy and what stresses you can eliminate in your life to make things a little easier. I can only imagine how hard it is being a mom (and how wonderful too). I love my mom and appreciate her so much. I am off to visit her on Monday and I can't wait. :)
    ~Jess

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  75. Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy your children! Such a beautiful post! Big Hugs!

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  76. Usually i never comment on blogs but your articles is so convincing that i never stop my self to say something about it you're doing a great article keep it up

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  77. There's nothing wrong with shifting your priorities and taking time out to do what really matters. I kind of blogged on that today! I love that you see your time off as a GOOD thing, spending time with your children. Happy Mother's Day and take care! Those chronic illnesses are such a drag. Literally...I've been battling a relapse the past week and a half and all this beautiful, pollen filled weather is just calling me outside! *Ah-CHOO!*

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  78. The mom job isn't easy! I bet you're a great mom, though. Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  79. I feel ya! It's like, after my second kid was born, I lost all time to do my stuff. But I wouldn't trade them for the world. Here's to Moms!

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  80. Hi Crystal,

    I can RELATE with the Allergies. Orlando has been horrible. Ive been living on allergy pills for two months now. Ugh. But we have had some lovely days once the meds kick in.

    What a wonderful post, Crystal. IT is amazing and beautiful how good a mother you are. You kids will flourish from all the love and attention you give them!

    And as you said, all mother's are not the same. And sadly, many don't look out for their kid's best interests. The new memoir I am writing is about a mother who was an amazing person for what she accomplished, but was one of the worst mother's I have ever heard about, putting her own needs in front of her children's.

    Have a LOVELY Mother's Day because YOU DESERVE IT!!!!!!

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  81. I am not a mom by choice, and I know my own mother did the best she could all things considered.

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  82. Good for you, Crystal. I'm sure this wasn't an easy decision, but I don't think you'll regret it. The writing will always be there.

    Too often, people try to cram more and more into their days, and something always has to give. You've decided family comes first, and that's amazing. Hope your allergies stop plaguing you soon.

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  83. I can understand your exhaustion, and I only deal with a fraction of what you're trying to juggle. Enjoy the kiddos and these moments!

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  84. Crystal, enjoy your hiatus! These are the best years of your life!!! I didn't start my writing career until a couple of my kids were in college. Raising a family is hard work, yet I was completely devoted and I can honestly say, I'd like those years back. I loved every minute!

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  85. Writing is fun and all, but I agree, it's best to live life and enjoy your family.

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  86. Judy's book sounds super fun! I'm guessing the lie is that she speaks fluent Italian.

    My mom passed away five years ago, way too young. I miss her every day, and I'm so grateful to be her daughter.

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Hit me with your cheese!