Saturday, August 27, 2016

Get to Know Crystal Moody

year of creative habits

Hello there, friends,

I'm so excited about today's guest post. Crystal's commitment to do the work and show up daily has often inspired me in my own creative path. After hearing her talk about her year of creative habits on a podcast, I immediately went to follow Crystal on Instagram. Since then, we've formed a friendship on social media, as this things often happen. Every day I look forward to her post and each week I eagerly await her newsletter in my inbox (it's pretty awesome). She's an inspiration and we're so glad to have her guest posting today!

L (+ b)


Crystal is a mama, nerd, and artist living a year of creative habits in Springfield, MO. About three years ago she began doing a drawing a day, sharing it alongside her breakfast. The following year she painted each day, sharing her progress with her lunch. Since then her creative habits have varied and she now teaches others how to cultivate their own creative habits. She shares her art and words at and leads a community for others living a year of creative habits at You can follow her on Instagram at @crystalmoody.

year of creative habits

What does a typical day look like for you?

I try to get up about an hour before the kids. I’m not really a morning person but an hour to myself in the quiet is the best way to start the day. Soon the house is in motion with my husband Thad leaving early and the kids getting up and ready for school. Most days I walk them to school and then the walk back home is all mine to think things over.

Once home I start some laundry and dishes and then sit down in my studio to work. I love working from home. I usually check in with email and administrative stuff first, and then work on a painting or other current project. I try to have something accomplished by lunchtime because it’s become my thing to take a photo of my creative work with my lunch and post it on Instagram. It’s a good routine for me because it gives me a daily deadline for my creative habit. After lunch I go back to work in the studio or run errands. Shortly after 3 o'clock, I walk to get the kids from school.

I’ve figured out that the walk home from school is about the only time that the kids willingly talk about their day so it’s my job to focus and listen. At home, we get snacks and they wind down. We try to do homework soon after. Thad comes home from work and we usually make dinner together.
If we don’t have any activities in the evening like soccer, parkour, or horseback riding, then we’ll walk the dogs. Our evening walks change over time. A few weeks ago they were all about catching Pokemon together but now the kids have been playing while walking ahead of us and that’s given Thad and I a little time to talk to each other. (Most days I think the majority of our conversations are via texts.) Back at home we start the bedtime routine for the kids. We might play a board game or watch a show together. I often think of this Gretchen Rubin quote “the days are long but the years short.”

What does gratitude mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your everyday life?

For me, gratitude is about slowing down. It’s noticing, appreciating, not rushing to the next thing, or thinking about the future because that’s where I often live. I’m a worrier. I look for the things that help me be in the moment–our dogs, horses, the neighborhood cats, being around and in the water, kayaking, swimming, playing, fishing, collecting, and photographing nature. Photography is often a gratitude practice for me, that is until I take it too seriously. When I’m more focused on my camera settings or getting just the right shot, then it’s time to put the camera down and return to the moment before I miss it.

How do you stay connected to those you love?

I know that with social media I am more “connected” than ever but it doesn’t make me feel connected to those I love. It’s not at all like seeing and talking in person – noticing changes, attitude, body language, tone of voice, and sharing an experience together. I feel most connected when I make time to be together whether it’s a weekend at my parents’, camping with my family, or coffee with a friend. And for all the in-between moments we text. A quick photo or even an emoji makes me feel connected during the times that we can’t be together.

What’s inspiring you right now?

  • Mary Oliver
  • cooler weather and a few hints of fall
  • routine/back to school
  • a new friendship
  • book club
  • thinking about a new year and new goals

year of creative habits

What is on your bedside table?

In our tiny bedroom we don’t have bedside tables. Each night I carry a little stack of books, a book light, and my phone charger upstairs and put them beside the bed. I usually have at least two or sometimes more books going at the same time. I’m currently reading Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Are You My Mother by Alison Bechtold, and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I just finished Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings and I wanted to share one of my favorites:

Today by Mary Oliver
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors

into the temple.


Crystal will be taking over the hello there, friend instagram feed on Monday to share more with us and respond to your comments. We hope you take the opportunity to check in and say hello to her!

Thanks so much, Crystal, for sharing with us today! We're so grateful for you! xo.


  1. crystal!! what a pleasure to have you here!! you are so inspiring!! i love your newsletter, too, and find myself looking forward to mondays when you post! and, we must be kindreds... mary oliver is just the best.

    1. thanks so much Beth! Happy to be here and to get the chance to share about some of my other interests. :)

  2. hello crystal! i was sure i had left a comment for you, but . . . i guess not. so, here i am. :)

    i love that you make something every day. i think your kiddos are adorable. :) i love the photos you shared. and mary oliver - i am a fellow fan. the first time i read her work, i immediately knew that i had found a kindred spirit. i had not read the poem that you shared here. i think it's time to purchase another of her books.

    it so good to meet others who share the ritual of recognizing things and moments and thoughts and actions to be grateful for!

    have an amazing weekend!

    1. thanks Elizabeth! Have you listened to Mary Oliver on the On Being podcast? When I heard her read her poems it made me wish I could hear her read all her poems aloud. I love her voice! Kindred spirits for sure.