Monday, April 25, 2011

Meeting Money Saving Mom

My husband accuses me of acting like a teenage girl about meeting Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom.  But can you blame me?  She has been one of my biggest inspirations in blogging, couponing, living frugally, and "making my home a haven".  She challenges me to grow, and even though she was only an online acquaintence up until a week ago, her thoughts, via blogging, were a part of every weekday for me for the past 4 years!  I learned couponing and working the Walgreens deals from her!  Her "Big, Huge, Audacious Goal" of paying cash for a house inspired me to do a BHAG too and save for a really nice camera!  I'm a better wife, mother, homeschool mom, manager of my money, and blogger because of her influence, so I was unbelievably stoked to be able to meet her!  When we made plans to visit our friends who live in her state and only 40 minutes away from her, my hubby told me I should write to her and ask her to meet me for coffee.  I did, and held my breath wondering if she'd have the time as she is busy completing a huge book project.  She did want to meet!  I tried not to get my hopes up and only told a few friends about my plans in case they fell through.  Up until the day I walked into that coffee shop I was afraid our plans would be cancelled and I would be royally disappointed.  But they weren't!  And as I sat down in the crowded little Starbucks, reading a newspaper, juggling my baby, pinching myself to see if I was dreaming, and watching the clock, she walked through the door, holding her darling little son, right on time! 

My friends whom we were visiting can attest to the fact that I was goofy, nervous, and over-analytical about the visit.  I worried that I'd say something really stupid or not have anything to talk about with her, and I made sure to have cash on hand because I felt like I was buying coffee for Dave Ramsey.  I didn't dare buy her coffee on my debit card, because my debit card goes through as a credit card and you don't want to buy someone who's anti-credit card something on credit!   I brought her a gift of a few groceries (aren't groceries the perfect gift for a couponer?) I knew she liked from reading her weekly menus, hoping she didn't think I was a stalker because I knew her preferences so well!

From the minute she sat down at my table, we hit it off and talked nonstop for over 2 hours!  In fact, my friend Shiloh came to pick me up and I wasn't ready so she had to come back a half an hour later after taking a picture for me, bless her heart!  Thanks Shiloh!  We had gazillions of things to talk about and we probably could have gone on talking for several days if time had allowed!  I was blown away by how authentic and "real" Crystal truly is.  And though I had anticipated her being very nice, she's far more sweet and soft-spoken than I had pictured!  It's clear that Crystal loves the Lord and wants to glorify Him, but not in a preachy or holier-than-thou way.  She is humble, and she is patient, and God has clearly chosen to use her as a vessel to reach many.  She's a real woman and real mom with real struggles and challenges just like you and me. 

 Crystal and Silas, who joined us for part of the time until his daddy picked him up
 Katrielle was a bit fussy but Crystal offered to hold her for me and got her to sleep for me!  A Frugalista and a Baby Whisperer!
My parents asked me if Crystal was standing up in this pic.  She is!  =)  I'm only 5'6" but she does make me look tall!  

What a special blessing from the Lord it was to be able to spend some "in real life" time with someone who has had such a big impact on me!


Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook said...

So happy for you! I was able to meet a blogging friend who is now a dear friend after discovering she only lives a half hour from me - I understand your excitement! What a blessing :)

Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook

Sarah @ Frugal Fun for Boys said...

That's so fun! Money Saving Mom was one of the first blogs that I started reading, and I learned so much about budgeting and grocery shopping from her. That's great that you got to meet her in person!

Kristin said...

If this were Facebook, I would definitely "like" it! :-)

That's so awesome that you got to meet such a huge inspiration in your life!

Tina said...

Reading some blogs for the first time in a month and saw this. How wonderful! I say online friends that can become "real" are the best kind. I have a dream of meeting several one day - Crystal, Amy (Humble Musings), Ann Voskamp and you! Call me if you are ever in NC, ok? And if I make my way to Wyoming, I will call you :)

I felt very much like this after meeting Sally Clarkson - though we didn't talk over coffee.

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