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

  • Met this handsome fella today. His name is Chauncey. When he blooms he’ll smell like eau de rotting meat and will make everyone swoon. 😍🥴😷 (If you live in the Twin Cities and visit him on Tuesday you might be able to see/smell him in all his glory.)
  • “Spread love wherever you go.” [Mother Theresa]
  • Whether you had a case of the Mondays or you had a great Monday, a photo of a cute dog is always in order.

PS - There’s a new post on the blog featuring this guy and a few other cute dogs. 🐶
  • If you’re looking for me, I am probably buried in the snow someplace, waiting for mail that never gets delivered and wondering if the only greenery I’ll ever see again are the plants that fill my room. What colors do you see when you look outside?
  • Just booked tickets to head back to a city that captured my heart last year. And I’ll be there a little longer this time! Tell me your NYC faves! What should I do? Where should I eat? Where should I get coffee? And any tips for being social while at @vox_con? I can be an awkward one sometimes. 😂
  • Happy #nationalloveyourpetday to my sweet little sidekick. She was a little bewildered by all the snow we got today, but by the end of the day she was frolicking through it. I so appreciate this little girl and all the joy, laughter, and comfort she brings. Tell me about your pet.
  • Let’s see if I can make it through this without crying. If you’ve been following my Stories, you’ll know that I left town on Wednesday. I mentioned that this isn’t a fun trip, but I followed that up with images of cute dogs and a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. What I didn’t show was a day spent at the hospital as I visit people I love dearly, one of whom is in ICU and may not get better. This would actually be a great segue into “Instagram is curated,” but not today.

Yesterday was a hard day. It was filled with this view, that brought some peace. It was filled with cute dogs, who brought some comfort. It was also filled with a lot of anxiety and tension and sadness. We ended the day in a group and our conversation was filled with tears as we talked about what’s happening right now and how we feel.

And then the tears turned to laughter as we reminisced about the past and talked about dogs.

It brought to mind that quote by the wise Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” The day I left, a friend and I were chatting and he said, “Your heart must be aching.” And it is. I wouldn’t necessarily describe anything I’ve felt as happiness, but yesterday I was reminded (because I’ve always known this, sometimes it’s just harder to remember) that the heartache and sadness can coexist with easier moments, too.

I can enjoy this view and accept the peace that it brings as I wonder what the outcome of this will be. I can feel the heaviness that I might not see this person again and accept the comfort that these dogs bring me. I can band together with people that I love to live through a rough day, but also enjoy the good moments that we share in the midst of it.

Laughter can accompany tears.

And when I live through days like today, I wonder if it’s exactly what we need in order to get through them.
  • Happy birthday, Valentino! You have the ability to make me roll my eyes, then melt my heart, all within a matter of seconds. You’re such a delight of a Canine Nephew and the best reason for celebration on Valentine’s Day. 😘

Follow Me!