{Friday Five // Dentist, Diesel and Karate}

Happy Friday!! If you read my last Friday's post you know that we have had a lot going on around here lately. Well, as if that wasn't enough we learned on Tuesday that there had been over $500 bucks in fraudulent charges to our account. The devil has been working really hard to attack our family, but we are rebuking him in the name of Jesus. He will never rob us of our joy. Anyhow, I think things are finally on the upswing. I mean, it can only get better from here. Monday and Tuesday were pretty eventful days, but other than that we have just been hanging out and taking it easy. I am so glad it's the weekend, though. Here is a bit of what we have been up to this week...

{O N E} // Posts from this week

Monday // He said what?  
Tuesday // The Dog Days of Summer
Wednesday // Vacation Recap // New Orleans Day Two
Thursday // Currently

{T W O} // My sweet, best friend Brittany posted this on Facebook & Instagram Tuesday morning and it was just what I needed to see/hear. Isn't it amazing how much better scripture can make you feel?

{T H R E E} // Monday was Mason's dental appointment where he had a few kind of major things done. We learned that despite our best efforts Mason has porous teeth. Poor child! At this appointment he got a filling, a pulpotomy & crown and a tooth extracted. The plan was to pull the baby tooth and put in a spacer to allow room for the big tooth to come in, but we didn't make it to the spacer part. He kind of freaked a bit after the extraction and the dentist didn't want to bother him anymore. So we will go back in 2 weeks for the spacer. Let me tell you how hard it was for Mason to sit still and not talk for almost an hour and a half! And the laughing gas made him quite loopy and he wanted to dance while laying in the dentist chair! Mason did so good, though and I am so proud of him. He is such a little trooper and braver than I could ever think about being! And of Daddy suggested that I take him to the store afterwards for a prize since he was so good and brave! He picked out a humongous Lego set.

His Nana gave him this little tooth fairy pillow the day before his appointment. He thought it was so cool. And he was pretty excited to wake up and see that the tooth fairy had left him $6 bucks!! He had to call his Nana to let her know that the pillow worked and that the tooth fairy really came! (Even though the night before he broke a little piece of my heart and said that he didn't believe in the tooth fairy and that he knew mom and dad left the money. Sometimes he's too smart for his own good. I think he believes in the tooth fairy a little more today.)

{F O U R} // Last Friday Diesel had a grooming appointment. On the way there Mason asked if we could get Diesel a mohawk and Nathan and I obliged. I mean, why not? When we were checking him in Mason asked our groomer and she said of course. We kind of forgot about it when we went to pick him up. When I saw him I couldn't help but giggle. He was so stinkin' cute! Mason loved it.

{F I V E} // Mason started Karate this week!! We went to two sessions this week and he did so incredibly good. We were impressed and so proud of him. Today he told me that he wants to keep going there even after he has his black belt and that he wants to work there some day.

And a little bonus for ya! Ever since we got the GoPro Mason has talked about making YouTube videos. Well, our pond is lined with bamboo and Mason has started making 'batons' out of branches. He wanted to make a "How to make a bamboo baton" video! How cute is he?!

How to make a bamboo baton by Mason Hall from Crystal Hall on Vimeo.

How was your week? What was the best part?


Life. My boys. Everything. I am in one of those places where I am just so content lately. Even more than just being content...I'm overly happy and so much in love with life and those in my life. Even though we have been dealt some tough cards lately I am feeling so joyful instead of feeling defeated. That's a God thing. Praise Him. 

Also loving that our most recent vacation has re-ignited my sweet man's passion for fishing. I love to see him get so excited about it. 

Ugh, I really wish I had time to read! I still haven't finished Wild and Free (which I was reading in my last currently post way back in May, here.) One day I will have time to read again. One day. 

Either All Sons and Daughters or the Chris Tomlin with Matt Redman stations on Pandora. Those two are my favorites. And of course, Mason. The boy never stops talking. Ever. Oh and the new Miranda Lambert song, Vice. Miranda is my girl forever and always.

Everything. Ugh. We are still living out those vacation vibes, I suppose. And we've just had so much going on that it's just been easier to grab food lately. Shamefully, I've only cooked a couple of times since we got back from vacation. I am ready to get back on a healthy kick. My body is ready, too. 

Water and Diet Dr. Pepper. I was doing so good and only drinking water for the longest. And then vacation happened. What's better than an ice cold diet soda after a day in the sun?! 

Not much. I finally caught up on Pretty Little Liars and I'm only two episodes behind on the Bachelorette. 

Friends that live too far away! Sigh. Distance is such a pain.

Motivation to get all the things done. My blog email is back up to 107, I have a ton of blogs I need to catch up on, and there are still hundreds upon hundreds of vacation photos that need to be edited. I'm just happy that my house is finally starting too resemble more of a home than a pigsty lately. 

I also need to start school shopping, but I don't want to. Every time I hear the word school I just want to cry. I am not ready for summer to be over and to give my sweet boy back over to those long school days. I want to keep him home with me forever.

And I need to get my booty back into the gym. Like whoa.

Possibly a trip to Houston to visit the aforementioned friend that I miss so much. Brittany, we are going to make this work. 

Mason started karate last night and it was so, so fun to watch. And so freakin' cute.
 (more about this tomorrow)

My sweet Mason Lane. He is the toughest and most brave little guy that I know. He amazes me daily and makes me so dang happy. I am blessed that I get to be his mama.

And that's about all that's currently going on in our little world. What's currently going on with you?

{Vacation Recap // New Orleans Day Two}

I'm back with the 2nd installment of our vacation recap! I am having to break it up by day because I took so many pictures! If you missed day one in New Orleans you can catch up here. Warning, another picture heavy post comin' at ya!

We decided to spend our 2nd day in New Orleans walking around the French Quarter and the Garden District. We didn't really have any set plans, just a few general things we hoped to see and do. We used Uber for the first time, ever. There were seven of us and we had two cars and the thought of having to find parking was daunting, so Uber it was. And it was perfect! She dropped us off right in the heart of the French Quarter, which was gorgeous. We didn't really know where we were, so we just started walking (and snapping photos).


We popped in and out of little shops soaking in all things Nola. Mason found some fun beads and a crazy mask which made him the ultimate tourist. I found a Nola shirt that I have been obsessed  in love with. It says "Joy of Life" but in french and has the cutest arrows on it.


We came out of one shop to find the YouTube famous Grandpa Elliot singing his heart out. We stopped and listened to him for a while and then let Mason give him some cash.

We then made our way over to Bourbon street since we were so close to it. I mean, you can't go to New Orleans and not see Bourbon Street. I don't have much to say about Bourbon street because we stayed approximately 2 minutes. But I will say this, as soon as we stepped foot onto Bourbon it got 50 shades dirtier. And I would be lying if I said I didn't pull Mason in closer to me. It reeked of urine and it was not the cleanest place. It was lined with mostly bars and just didn't feel like a safe place to drag Mason through. We snapped a couple of photos and then left to find some lunch.

I started following an Instagram account called Eating Nola before we left for our trip in hopes of finding some amazing places to eat in Nola. After seeing some photos on this IG account we really wanted to try The Company Burger.

But sadly it was no where near us at that time. We were close to Gumbo Shop, though! It had been recommended to us by a friend and also kept popping up any time we searched where to eat in Nola. So we decided on that! It was amazing. Since I am not much of a seafood fan I played it safe and got the sausage red beans and rice. Oh my word, so delicious. It was a tad too crowded in there, but I think that's every where in the French Quarter. I can't believe I don't have any pictures of our meals.

Shortly after lunch (as in they basically had to run) Ty and Michelle wanted to do a Graveyard tour. They raced to make it on time and we trailed shortly behind. We just hung out and waited while they did the tour. It eventually started raining, so we camped out under some trees.

When the tour was over we called another Uber to pick us up and carry us to the Garden District. It started raining cats and dogs on our way over. We were all kind of wondering what we were going to do in the pouring down rain. Thankfully, our Uber driver drove us right up to a Starbucks. We decided to hang out there and let the rain pass. Once we felt that the rain was letting up we stepped out on to Magazine Street. But, wouldn't you know it started pouring again. We found some awnings and hid out for a while. An employee of a place called Brick and Spoon was across the street trying her best to get us to come over for free Mimosas. It was pouring and the street was a foot deep in water so it took some major convincing for her to get us over. But, she was adorable and so sweet and we were tired of standing out in the rain so we went over. She gave us a card for a free appetizer as well. We weren't starving so we just ordered our first beignets of the trip! Nathan, Mason and I shared some cinnamon sugar beignets and the rest of the family shared some bananas fosters beignets. We enjoyed those and our free mimosas! They were delicious. Jennifer, the sweet lady that got us to come over was so kind and wrote down some addresses to houses owned by famous people in the area.


The rain stopped so we carried on down Magazine street. We went into a few more shops before the guys found a cigar shop. They spent a bit of time in there while we just took in the sights around the shop. The humongous trees out front had beads hanging from them...so typical Nola, right?

By this time we were pretty much at the end of the street so we searched the list of famous houses to see if any were near us. Jay-Z and Beyonce's house was fairly close so we set off to find it. It was about 5 blocks over and it was huge in comparison to other houses in the area. Our waitress had told us it used to be a house where nuns and brothers (?) both lived. It sounded crazy to me, but it was New Orleans after all.

At this point we were all so hot, sticky and tired and quite frankly just over it. So we called another Uber. While waiting we watched the street cars go by! We went back to our resort for a little swimming and then some fishing. We caught an amazing sunset that night!


Stay tuned for day three in New Orleans which involves the aquarium, Barcadia and a Children's Museum.

Have you ever been to Nola? What was your favorite thing about it? Least favorite? I will be sharing ours soon.