last time i was here, i was 25.


so, do i look older?

it’s cool, you can be honest. (not really).

technically, i was 25 years, 364 days, 20 hours in this picture, but you get the idea. (i’d take a fresh one now, but i worked all day and im not wearing any silver clothing or pretty eye makeup and nobody wants to see that).

i don’t see any wrinkles. and i think the hair dye effectively covers the grays.

i could totally pass for a solid 24. right guys?


so far, this whole 26 thing pretty much feels exactly like the whole 25 thing, except for that nagging, “you should have your life together a bit more by this point” crap i keep hearing in the back of my mind, but im getting pretty used to ignoring that.

no new privileges come with 26. no exciting milestones, or fabulous parties or instant wisdom.

it’s just one of those birthdays in my 20s that gets me a step closer to the big 3-0.

it’s the kind of age people forget when you tell them. the kind of age that just gets classified as “20s.” how old are you? oh. me? im twenty-blah-blah, is all anyone hears. to them 26, 27, 28. eh. it’s all the same.

my grandma told me yesterday, that for many years she was “26.” you know, until her kids got old enough that people started questioning when exactly she got knocked up and how she’d gotten through puberty so early.

if it’s a good enough age for her to lie about though, it’s good enough for me to actually BE i guess – for a couple years anyway.

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My last day as a 25-year-old

holy crap.  26 doesn’t count as “late 20s” right??


im pretty sure im still in my “mid 20s.” RIGHT?!

birthday sigh.

life is hard.

tomorrow i’ll officially be just 24 years away from 50.

plans include church and then lunch at olive garden with the family and then maybe some Mad Men after that. im telling you thisbecause it seems to be everyone’s favorite question when i tell them Sunday is my birthday. i say “ya, my birthday is sunday” and they say “oh. what are you doing for the big day?” and then i watch the look of disappointment come over their faces when they realize  i consider going to the olive garden to be exciting enough to do on my birthday.

have you people never tried their breadsticks?! i mean, for salad’s sake they’re FREE!

so anyway. ya. im not sure if i’ve turned into the 26-year-old i saw in my head back when i was picturing those sorts of things as though 26 was SO OLD.

i mean, i’ve got a job in the thing i (mostly) love, and it’s in the chicagoland area to boot – a dream that seemed impossible just a few short years ago.

on the other hand, im not like “financially stable” or anything.

i live in a great place with jill (who writes the nicest things about me that you can read here) and it comes with a garage, and a laundry room and a dog.

but, well, if for some reason jill ever decides to move, my butt would be living in a tent before i could say “black jack.”

i have an awesome phone and a (mostly) running car and even a fantastic blog (if i do say so myself).

but my mom pays my phone bill (thanks mom), my car sometimes sounds like a spaceship, and well. ya. actually my blog is pretty fantastic, isn’t  it? 🙂

over the last year ive lost a gall bladder, gained some earrings and learned how to be a youth group leader at my church. i’ve been blond, brunette and somewhere in between. i’ve stayed in the same house for almost 12 straight some months (you owe me $10 steve). and i’ve met my hero. (dooce).

i’ve managed to not get laid off in the worst recession EVER. (knock on wood). (no. seriously. please knock on some wood). (thanks). ive worked johnny depp into about 5,826 conversations. and ive created a pretty great vegan chocolate chip cookie recipie despite the fact that i’ve also decided i love cheese way too much to be vegan.

there was good and there was bad, but if you measure success by whether or not i made it to the other side, then id have to say year 25 was a success.

here’s looking to you 26. hope you don’t suck.

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a letter to that one guy.

dear cute boy i have a crush on,

hey, it’s me crystal. what’s up? not much going on here.

so umm, ya. i was just kinda wondering if you could please stop wearing that shirt that makes you look really good.

you know, that black one. the one that makes me giddy a bit when i see you in it.

that’d be great, because what with us not being realistic in any kinda way ever, it’d help if you didn’t look so freaking amazing every time i see you.

it seems to me that you have plenty of other perfectly nice shirts you could be wearing. like that blue one. or even the white one you wear sometimes.

just thought i’d run it past you.

thanks in advance,


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