THE DREAMER

Hi! Welcome to Dreams, etc.!

At Dreams, etc., we’re all about intentional living for a joyful and creative life.

The Storyteller

I’m Crystal and I’m so excited to meet you! Seriously, some people put down “online friendships,” but I’ve met some of my best friends through the online journals I had before I took the leap and started Dreams, etc.

If I were to describe myself in one word it would be: storyteller. I’ve been telling stories all my life and finally started putting pen-to-paper to write them down when I was in 7th grade. I haven’t stopped! (Although now pen-to-paper has turned into fingers-to-keyboard.) I have a degree in English from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis on creative writing.

I believe stories are important. Fictional stories can take us to new places and teach us valuable lessons from the comfort of our own home. They can provide an escape when we need it the most. And real life stories? We all have one! And I believe our stories are meant to be shared. They help us connect and grow. They help us become better versions of ourselves.

So, here’s my story: I was born and raised in Wisconsin, where I lived an idyllic life in a beautiful college town until I was ripped away at the age of 9 and my parents forced me to move to Minnesota. #pastorskidlife I was determined not to move again, so I let them know I was a tad displeased and refused to go to school. After a lot of yelling and kicking in a parking lot, Jesse Ventura eventually got me through the rest of the school. (I haven’t told that story, yet? Hmm… maybe one day.) I also discovered (years later, when I was finally free to move wherever I wanted) that Minneapolis isn’t so bad. It’s a vibrant, artsy city perfect for storytellers of any kind, so I decided to stay put for awhile. I still live in Minneapolis, with my sweet pup Mina (aka Little One). After college I did a number of things before landing on doing what I do best: telling stories. I work in communications for churches and non-profits to help them tell their stories.

As I started to navigate post-college life I realized how easy it is for the things I love the most–telling stories–to get lost in the shuffle, particularly when it comes to my first loves: fiction and poetry. I never felt like I had enough time, energy, or inspiration, like I did back when I was a high schooler, constantly filling up notebooks with new stories.

That’s when I realized I’d have to be intentional about creating a life that filled with me time and inspiration I needed to sit down and write.

That’s what Dreams, etc. is all about.

It’s a place to discuss our attempt to live intentionally for a joyful and creative life.

For me, this looks like:

  • going out on adventures (whether it’s my own city or someplace new)
  • filling up by taking in other people’s stories (reading, plays, TV or movies) “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”  Stephen King
  • taking time for myself (that extra 20 minutes in the morning to express myself through make-up or an extra 10 minutes before bed for my skincare routine)
  • creating healthy habits (like dancing or stretching or… still working on it… going to bed at a decent time)

It’s my hope that we can come together and form long-lasting friendships as we share our own stories and encourage each other to live intentionally so that we can be joyful (even in the dark times) and pursue our heart’s desires.

I would love to get to know YOU more!

Let me know what living intentionally means for you and what you’re pursuing each day! Send me an email ( bonjour [at] crystalbrutlag.com ), or a DM on Instagram or Twitter to say hi!

Instagram

  • I wasn’t particularly close to my aunts and uncles growing up. I was born when my parents were a little older and I always felt like my aunts and uncles had done the aunt and uncle thing and didn’t need more of it by the time I was born.

But my Uncle H and Aunt J were different. When my uncle was dying I was asked what some of my biggest memories were. This question came up again over the weekend. And there were so many to choose from. The biggest was, of course, sticky buns on Sunday morning. (And usually going to the store with him to get them.) There was also ✨ “driving” the tractor through the fields on the farm
✨ fishing during the summer
✨ trips to the store and getting a candy bar that I didn’t have to tell my parents about (but always did)
✨ talking about his Spanish classes
✨ “scaring the fish away” by talking, but he was fine with me talking anyway
✨ driving the boat...and starting to fill the boat with water when I went too fast, but he wasn’t upset
✨driving the golf cart around the golf course
✨ listening to his stories about his time in the army

He wasn’t a perfect man and I saw that once I was an adult. But for someone who was only close to one uncle growing up, he’s part of some of my best childhood memories. 💙
  • ”I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” [Anne Lamott]

The last time I was here it was cold and the ground was covered in snow. I said goodbye to my uncle. (That sentence still brings tears to my eyes.) Now it’s (slightly) warmer and the world is waking up after winter. This weekend I was thankful for 🌻 the chance to enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Michigan with my dog in my lap
🌻 a family brunch
🌻 followed by a family dinner the same day
🌻 fresh WI cheese curds
🌻 long talks with my cousin

What were you thankful for this weekend?
  • Lake Michigan was barely visible when we left this morning. It was fun to see how the view of lake changed each day—and throughout the day!—this weekend.
  • I guess I didn’t have to worry about whether or not the dogs would get along. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
  • Hello, Lake Michigan. 👋🏼
  • When you think they finally placed an order for you...and then they make you get off the chair. 😒 Swipe to see other photos from my day: 🐾 Met my human’s aunt and I was cute.
🐾 Asked my grandhuman for tummy rubs.
🐾 Realized my tummy rubs weren’t his priority. 🙄
🐾 Met two Doodles and my human pet one of them... so if you’d like a human, I’m getting rid of mine. No time for that kind of betrayal.
  • We’re headed on an adventure! Mina’s handling the longest road trip she’s been on like a champ. While at a rest stop we met a man wearing a “Dogs are my favorite people” shirt (👏🏼👏🏼) and his German Shepherd, who fell in love with Miss Mina. Can you blame him? Who wouldn’t fall in love with her? #littleonesadventures
  • Goodnight moon. 🌙

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