Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The BIG Fat FAIL Post: IWSG & Being Human

Have you ever had to make a REALLY hard choice?


That's where I'm at. It's been coming for a long time, but it is finally time for me to step away from the blog.


And no, I don't mean for a month, or two, or three... This is an extended farewell.



I know, I know. We've all seen people desert us here on the blogosphere for the continued reason that, "I need to focus on my writing." Basically, when I read those words I think:


I've been doing this for over ten years, and the relationships...oh the relationships! I love this place. Seriously, I do. Watching each person disappear has been painful--like spooning out a peice of my heart and stomping on it. (Sorry, that was graphic.)

But it's time.

And it's killing me.

This won't come as a surprise to some of you, as many have marveled at how I juggle the writing, home schooling, and babies around not just blogging, but leading choirs, writing music, vocal performances, and visiting hundreds of blogging friends each month. The truth is, we could make it work, until now. My oldest is leaving, my baby is walking and getting into everything, and my toddler is in preschool full time (which we teach her). My older middle children are on the cusp of high school. My writing is almost non-existent, and I find that my creative juices really do need to be focused on my children for the short time that I have them. It flies.

I've even cut down (or dropped out of) Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter. And reading. *gasp* (So you know it's desperate.)

And that's it. I'm not leaving to write. (And yes, I'm sorry, the writing thing is a lame excuse. Even if I've used it before...)


So give me a virtual hug, and perhaps if the stars align, I'll be back one day.


In the meantime...



This has been an answer to the IWSG blog hop: How do major life events affect your writing?

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
Dolorah @ Book Lover, Christopher D. Votey,
Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken!

Last month Sherry Ellis shared BUBBA AND SQUIRT'S BIG DIG TO CHINA along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win a signed print copy.

The game:

1. Sherry once played her viola at night in the middle of the Black Forest in hopes of scaring away the wild boars. 
2. Sherry enjoys parasailing and hopes to do it in Australia some day.
3.Sherry once crawled through a window of a locked hotel in Europe to get inside because she was out past curfew.

The lie: #2. From Sherry: I have never para-sailed. I do want to go to Australia, but I don't care about parasailing there. SCUBA diving? Yes. 

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Shannon!

WAIT, WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO--!!!


What kind of lame-o friend would I be without a parting gift? Exclusively for you, my blogging buddies, pick any one of these books, shoot me an email (crystal@crystal-collier.com), and your inbox will fill up with cheese and joy:





99 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to read this, Crystal, as I will miss you here, but it's certainly not a surprise. I'm one who has marveled at how you managed to do all you do. I'm glad I got to know you here - it's been a pleasure. Hope I still see you around on Instagram or FB, although I've kind of dropped out there. Take care and all the best to you and your family. *hugs*

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  2. Bummer! We will certainly miss you. When life is less crazy, pop back in again, even if just for this once a month.

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  3. That's so sad to read that, although I've been there. I came back though and I hope you do so, too.

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  4. I'm sad!!! I love your blog!! You're so upbeat and make me chuckle. Yet, I totally understand. I always wondered how young mothers with children can juggle it all. You will be sorely missed. Wishing you a time of relief, joy, happiness, and much love! I'm hopeful that one day, when life slows down, you might return....

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  5. We'll miss you! But I totally get it. Completely. For real. Considering the very same with my blog. Have fun with your family and projects and life. Time goes too quickly not to savor it. ☺

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  6. So sorry to hear this, Crystal! It's totally understandable though. (I'm with Julie - I never had a clue how you managed it all!) Please take care, and enjoy your busy, wonderful life! :)

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  7. Sorry to hear all this. I will miss your blog. I understand, though.

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  8. I'm so sorry to see you go. I think your book was one of the first ones I read when I joined IWSG. But you do what you have to do. Take care, and take care of your family.

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  9. I hear ya! Life is crazy chaos most of the time here as well. You have to do what is best for you and your family - wishing you all the very best!! Hugs :)

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  10. Big hugs! You amaze me how much you get done with all your adorable kiddos. I sympathize with you. I've been wrestling with the same decision. I love blogging and the people, and that's what makes it so difficult. Hope you see you around online. Take care of yourself and your family. :)

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  11. I'm sorry to hear that you're so overwhelmed. I hope that by cutting back on the social media that you will find spaces in your life to still be creative, and not just for the kids. I raised four boys. I know it's full and rewarding and exhausting. Hang in there! I'll miss your presence in the blogosphere, but I believe we'll stay connected.

    Mary at Play off the Page

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  12. Way to make a tough decision to do what's right for you! I appreciate getting to know you a little bit through blogging and I wish you the best.

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  13. I wish you the very best. I know you're doing the right thing because I feel through reading your post a certain satisfaction with the path you've chosen. You've set your priorities and I'm sure you're not going to regret it.

    Take care of yourself and all the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  14. I haven't been able to pull completely away. That's why I still do IWSG. I'll still see you around social media, so maybe it won't be too bad.

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  15. Hi Crystal - I quite understand and admire your tenacity for hanging on and writing up the blog for so long ... but as others have said - I'm sure we'll see you around occasionally. Family come first and life ... let alone writing! Take care and all the very best - cheers Hilary

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  16. Please keep in touch. Be a guest on my blog if you find 10 minutes... or someone else's. I don't want to see you go. And if you must, know this: you will be missed!

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  17. I've made some tough decisions like this recently too. It's never fun, but often is required. I hope to see you back one day, but until then good luck with your life and I hope you have lots of love and happiness.

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  18. What you said here is exactly me from three years ago, from all the things, and am now making my way back to being regular. Not to say your leave will be as long as mine, but I understand you fully. Do the things and rest up. We'll be here for you. :)

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear you're leaving the blogging world but completely understand. You'll be missed terribly, but family is what's important in the end and putting your energy into that is the right thing to do. Hope to see you back here one day.

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  20. We're going to miss you, Crystal! So understandable, though. I hope we meet again. :)

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  21. Sorry to say farewell but I totally understand, the children grow so quickly it is important to be there for them. I tend to only have time to blog once a month now due to other commitments. Maybe we will catch up again but in the meantime I wish you and the family well and send hugs and cheese your way.

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  22. Oh Crystal. Selfishly, I will miss you--the woman who could do it all! It's almost disturbing to find out you're human. Let me back up. That didn't come out right. When I read that list of activities you are still part of, and all those kids, you are still supermom in my book. I wish I had been more like you when my (two) kids were young.

    Good luck! You won't be forgotten.

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  23. Honestly, I think one of the best things we can do is have the strength to off-load some things when we're overstretched. It's the first rule of time management. Prioritize. I've felt like you been stretching yourself all over the place. So, while everyone will miss you - especially the gifs! - something has to give so your entire life doesn't collapse in on itself. And little kids are a lot of work. My niece started crawling recently, and she's already getting into everything. She's had to be constantly watched since she started rolling over. Wishing the best for you! And if you do come back, I'll be here. Sending you a giant basket of cheese! ^_^

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  24. I'm sooooo proud of you. Sure, like everybody else, I'll miss seeing you in the blogosphere, but I applaud your decision. Your family comes first. Those little ones grow up waaaaay too fast. Take good care of yourself, and I hope I'm around long enough to see you return some day.

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  25. I'm so sorry to hear this, Crystal. While I totally understand--blogging is a huge time commitment, especially visiting so many other blogs, and I've considered doing the same myself--I will miss you.

    It's been a joy to get to know you, and I hope you keep in touch in other ways. Wishing you all the best, and all the cheese, of course. When you return, look me up. xo

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  26. You will be missed. I have to limit myself to get writing done, so I get it. You are amazing in what you have been doing. Wishing you much success and happiness in all your endeavors and lots of love an fun in life. I will miss you. Happy IWSG Day.

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  27. It won't be the same without you around, but I completely understand. It's so hard to keep everything going, especially with all the other aspects of life needing attention too. Poke me whenever you need anything!

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  28. I understand. I've already stepped way back, and I'll probably follow you later with a complete farewell. There's just so much time and I want to spend it where I feel it serves me best. Good luck to you. It has been fun being connected over these years.

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  30. Awww.... I will miss you. So many of my favourite bloggers seem to be leaving. I guess maybe the time for this type of communication may be over. I wish you all the best and hope we'll cross paths somewhere again.

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  31. I'll miss you, Crystal, but I understand. You need to do what's best for you and your family. We can't do it all. Good luck. I hope we'll hear from you now & then.

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  32. Crystal, I don't have nearly the load you have and I have been such a Lane flake when it comes to blogging. So I understand your need to do what you must.

    Sending virtual hugs and cheese your way!!!

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  33. I understand. I often wonder how people with kids make time for blogging or anything else. Good luck and hope to see you back some day.

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  34. Oh. My. Gosh! You will be missed. I totally get it though. Life. It's there to be lived in the real world. So enjoy and know that you'll be thought of (after we've all stopped cursing under our breath haha). I do like Alex's idea though. Best of luck until we meet again, my friend!


    Elsie

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  35. So sorry to read this, Crystal. It always makes me sad to see blogger friends go. But you have to do what's right for your family and you. Hope you decide to come back to your loving friends here if you can.

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  36. I'm sorry to see you bow out of the blogosphere, but you have to take care of yourself first. Best of luck with everything in the next chapter of your life!

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  37. Aww Crystal, you will be missed! It is hard to juggle it all and boy do you have your hands full. I'm always in awe of the parents that can handle the homeschooling. I wish you the best of luck with your family and your writing whenever you get back to it!

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  38. I was sorry to read this, but completely understand.
    Family must always come first and you need to do what's best for you and your family.

    Sending a virtual hug and lots of good wishes to you.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

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  39. You and your cheese will be missed.

    Love,
    Janie

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  40. We'll miss you, Crystal!!! Sending virtual hugs and cheese!

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  41. What a tough decision. But you're not gone forever. Nope, you know those kids will grow up and leave the nest and you can pick right up from there. So gather all the stories now so you can tell them later! Yes, you'll be back and better and wiser than ever. Take it from one who knows. JQ Rose

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  42. I will miss you and hope you will be back in the future.
    Big virtual hugs and lots of cheese.
    You are SO right those little ones grow so fast.

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  43. I'm happy I got to meet you and get to know you a little bit here. Enjoy your life and take good care of all your bundles of joy. Anytime you want to reach out, you know where to find me. Just to say hi or whatever. Family always comes first. Followed by cheese :)

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  44. I know exactly where you're coming from! I'm taking a break and I'm considering whether it's temporary or permanent. Don't know yet.

    Many hugs as you move forward on your journey! I'm so glad to have gotten to know you here, and you will be missed. But . . . the Universe calls! I wish you every success.

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  45. I've been writing for that long as well. It is hard at times, for sure!

    Peace to you. You could always choose to come back if you'd like. Family first!

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  46. Ahhh!!! I did not see this coming. Bless you for hanging on so long. Full time family and writing life is a ton of work. You will be greatly missed. Sniff sniff. Keep us posted (somehow) on your life and writing!

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  47. Aw, I'm going to miss you, your humour, and your cheese. You're making the right decision though.
    Massive hugs. And mountains of cheese.

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  48. I'm sad that you're leaving the blogosphere, especially because I've always enjoyed reading your blog; I've also always appreciated the kind, thoughtful comments you've left on my blog. But I can understand how other aspects of your life can take precedence. Sometimes it's just not possible to do everything that you want to do, especially if there are other things that you want to focus on more; at the very least, you could still leave your blog up and then come back to it if and when you want to. But either way, I'm glad to have "met" you through the blogosphere, and I wish you best of luck in everything.

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  49. I understand. My blogging has become next to non-existent. As you pointed out, life moves at a rapid pace. We have to do the things that are important. Take care of you and yours. I hope you've be able to drop a post now and then.

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  50. I'll miss you Crystal but I totally understand. I know how hard it is to juggle life and my lifestyle no where near as busy as yours is. Take care of you and your family... Launna

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  51. Crystal,

    I'm sorry to hear you're leaving Blogosphere but all good things must come to an end. At least you have your priorities in a row and you know what's important. I marvel at all you've accomplished raising a family, homeschooling, writing, ... I wish you the best in all that you do and it's been a joy getting know you. Thanks for the offer of on one of your books. Have a blessed life!

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  52. Oh Crystal, no one can format the cheese like you. I will miss you. Sigh. I understand though. Family comes first. Always. I admire you and all you do. I wish you and yours a wonderful future. :)

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  53. Hugs and prayers, Crystal. I will miss your wonderful posts, but understand. I've wondered how you do all that you do. Enjoy your precious children. They grow up way too fast. I'll be thinking of you and smiling, dear friend.

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  54. I'll miss you here in the blog-o-sphere, but sometimes life just pulls you in different directions for a while. I hope you enjoy these phase of your family life so you can miss it when it's over all too soon! @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  55. That is a pity that you're leaving the blog, but everything in life has its time and place. Maybe it's your time to step away. Good luck in whatever you wish to do next.

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  56. Blogging is time consuming. That’s why I only do it once a month. But your family comes first! The time will fly and you don’t want to miss it. I’d do the same thing in your place. I’m sure we’ll see you around though! (((Hugs)))

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  57. Your plate is certainly full, Crystal, but your priorities are in order! Enjoy your family - and yes, they grow up and leave the nest incredibly fast. You'll be sorely missed here, but I wish you all the best.

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  58. I'm sorry to see you go but it's understandable and we'll see you again. Those kids will grow up! LOL
    PS: I love those cakes!

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  59. Good luck. I'm surprised you've managed to maintain this blog as long as you have. Family comes first. Take care.

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  60. Your children are the most important reason you have to do what you're doing. You aren't a failure, or failing, you are putting what is the most important thing to do first, and that is wonderful! I do hope you'll come back someday, but that is for you to decide later. Good luck!!! Your first book would be the one I'd like to read! celticadlx@gmail.com and Thank you!

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  61. Well this is just SAD, Crystal. I just found your blog and you tell me you are quitting it. However, I can understand how important other things are in your life, including family and making a living by writing. I wish you loads of luck and hope you will come back and join the blogging community again some day.

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  62. Sad to hear this, Crystal. I've seen so many bloggers drop off the blogoshpere, sometimes with an announcement, sometimes just fading away. It's sad each time, but in the end each one of us has to choose how to balance our own lives. I'll miss you ... and the copious cheese :)

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  63. I'll miss you, Crystal, but I can understand how life gets in the way. (TBH, my blog views have fallen off a lot this year; I blame the loss of net neutrality.) Good luck, and hope you make your way back someday!

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  64. Life is a harsh mistress. I've lost so many blog friends over the years. The French say that to say Goodbye is to die a little. But you must choose your children, of course. You might consider audio books rather than give up reading entirely. While you are about your home duties, you might listen to a book. Just saying. I will keep your spirit warm in my memory.

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  65. So sad to hear this. You'll be missed. But when life calls, we have to answer. I agree with Roland above about audiobooks -- something to listen to while taking care of the laundry, cleaning the house, etc. as part of taking care of yourself, too. Hugs (and cheese!).

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  66. I'm so sorry to hear that, Crystal. However, I TOTALLY understand :)

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  67. Ah Crystal... so sad to read this. But totally understandable. Family and kids is top priority! Please don't disappear completely.
    Pop in now and again, if/when you have some time.
    Take care. I will miss you!
    Love, hugs and loads of cheese!

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  68. well, at least you announced it and said goodbye, we all know there were some who just left us leaving tracks from burning tires behind them :) We boo and hiss on those!
    Ta-ta and have fun in real life, God knows we should all ditch blogosphere and live some real days :) See you on bestseller charts!

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  69. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. It meant a lot before but now it's monumental. I'm so sad to see you go, but I totally understand why you have to. Family and life come first. Still, hope to see you around from time to time as a guest or leaving comments when you can. I truly wish you all the best. You will be missed.
    Oh, and happy writing.

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  70. Well, gosh darn it. We're going to miss you here. It isn't going to be the same without your cheese and awesomeness. I understand where you're at though! Family is most important. Thank you for all of your support. It's a heck of an honor to have been featured on your last two posts! Big hug for that!!!! You have my email address. If you ever want to say hi, please do. It would be cool to meet you in person. Maybe we will if I ever get out your way to do one of my library visits. You are awesome, and I wish you the very best in everything. Cheese and hugs!!!!

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  71. Oh no! Wishing you much love and cheese for the journey. I never knew how you stayed caught up with everything you did + blogging. And you are totally right, your children do need you. Now. Not tomorrow or the next day. They need your help finding their place in the world now.

    Thank you for your friendship and kind words of encouragement. I have truly enjoyed interacting with you, and i have learned so much from you! ❤️

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  72. Nooooo!!! Not even just a monthly check-in?

    Okay, if I put aside my own selfish desire to keep you in the blogosphere, if even just for visits, I totally understand. When my kids were little, I barely had time to shower and brush my teeth. The kids come first. You'll never regret the time you invest in them. Hugs.

    (But do consider the monthly check in...hehe)

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  73. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

    Also understandable given how much you do and juggle. May your life and family be triple blessed.

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  74. I was going to argue, but you've obviously put a lot of thought into this.

    So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu.

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  75. We'll leave the light on for you.
    Big hug,

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  76. PS. Nothing is more important than family...though writing comes a real close second. Heh.

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  77. Thank you for this Brilliant Post!
    Thank you for all you do.
    Most of all - Thank You For Taking Care of Yourself.
    Hope there's Lots of Wonderful Cheese in your future.
    love & love,
    -g-

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  78. Oh no, another one bites the dust. I often have this conversation with my closest blogging friends. Once we posted 3 times a week, then once a week, then every fortnight...and now it's once a month! We want to leave but a little magic string keeps us connected. If I cut out blogging, it would be to write more. I don't have dependent kids any more, but I have a chocker-block life and I'd like to get something published before I die, LOL.

    Ah well, just not quite ready to pop off. Will miss you and your cheesesoooo much. I'm going to try a new French cheese tonight, so I'll raise my cheese knife to you!

    I've read Moonless and Soulless and they were awesome and yes, I'm bad at leaving reviews so if you are still feeling generous I'd love to read Timeless and will be shamed into leaving a review ;-))

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  79. I don't visit as often as I used to, but I'm not a writer so often you're a bit off topic for me, but I've always enjoyed your wonderful willingness to help other authors. You will be missed.

    Have a wonderful time wherever life leads you. ♥

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  80. Its sad, but if its necessary, its necessary. I'm here with ya, more because I'm losing interest in writing, publishing, and I rarely post on the blog any more. I would like to get back into reading again. For fun, not for reviews.

    Good luck Crystal.

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  81. It's a tough decision, but I applaud you for making it.

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  82. I'm sorry to see you go, Crystal. I wish you a great and wonderful adventure in your offline pursuits!

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  83. Living a happy life is all about the choices you make and the priorities you take. I'm sure this was a tough decision, but I think it's the right one for all the reasons you mention. And, maybe you do get some extra time to write as well.

    Good luck in your pursuits and spending more quality time with your children. Home schooling is not for the faint of heart. I do hope that you can create a new schedule that will fit in all the things that make you most happy.

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  84. You will be missed! Sending you lots of blessings! Big Hugs!

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  85. I love the toddlers hugging each other, Crystal. That's my favorite. I will miss your smiling face, but truly understand your reasoning. There's only so much time in a day. Enjoy your family. They grow up entirely too fast. And know that we still love you! All best!

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  86. I get it. I've had to make the choice too. It's hard, but kids come first, Always. Good luck with everything.

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  87. Sooooo sorry to read this, Crystal. You WILL BE MISSED. Your smiling face and offerings of CHEESE make you the special person you are. Of course, we all understand and I myself, have left for months and did return. I know that won't happen with you that soon, BUT I bet we see you smiling face in the years to come, when you life settles more and your kids won't need you as much.

    HOPEFULLY we get that cup of coffee when I return to Orlando soon. I know you schedule Is INSANE, but you may need a coffee break at some point...

    TONS of HUGS and cheese!

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  88. We'll miss you, but sometimes you just have to realize when to cut back. Take care, Crystal!

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  89. That's very understandable. You and your blog will be missed. A lot.

    I don't think the writing excuse is lame, though. Next year, I'll be only blogging on IWSG Day because I have so much going on and I really do need to find time to write. A little less blogging time should help me getting a little big more writing time.

    I've read and reviewed all three of your books. :)

    Much love and cheese!

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  90. You gotta do what's right, especially by your family. May goodness and love follow you all the days of your life:) Hope to see you around:)

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  91. I'm sorry to hear this, but I completely understand. I hope you gain the time and mental energy you need.

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  92. Oh..........so sad. Your other blog too? Who's going to hand out cheese. Best of luck. If you change your mind I hope you'll sing out to each of us with the links here in your comments.
    Traveling Suitcase

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  93. I totally get it. I HATE it....but totally get it. :(

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  94. So sorry to hear you will be leaving the blogging world- you will be missed. Sounds like you are making the right decision for you and your family. You are certainly one busy person! Plus, time flies as they say- and spending time with your kiddos is important (especially when you are also their teacher). Wishing you all the best. Hope to see you around sometimes or maybe our paths will cross again in the future.
    Hugs!
    ~Jess

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  95. Well. I'm very said to see you go but I totally get it. Stay well :)

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  96. Awe. Family is always first. It’s just the way it is. And the time flies oh so quickly, the world keeps spinning even if you don’t want it to. Enjoy the kiddos, big and small. Good luck, and I know we’ll see you again.

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  97. We will miss you, but I get it. It's sooo important to spend time with our kids when they're around. I wish you the best!

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Hit me with your cheese!