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Getting to Know You

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

with Crystal

Photo by pixbyrobyn

Name and any story behind how you got it…

My dad named me Crystal because he wanted me to be pure. My mom wanted Kimberly or Benjamin. I was very upset about Benjamin when we had a dog named Benji. I didn’t exactly understand the birth order nuance between me and the dog eight years later. Boy did I love that dog though!


April 2nd

Your family…

My husband is Chad and our sons are Clint, Caleb and Clay, all grown and flown now.

Art and Soul Member since…


A favorite Art & Soul memory?

The funniest one was mixing paint colors at a Wide Circle Weekend when we were still on 12South. I knew so little about art or paint that I tried to blend the colors after they dried. I decided to go with chalk pastels for the project because they blended better. Jenni never said a word about maybe tempera paint would blend better if combined when wet!

Recent work

Explanation below in the funny memory

Mixing dried tempera is hard work!

Last TV show you binge-watched?

The Midnight Sky on Netflix was the most recent binge, but I watch a ton of shows weekly!

Most recent read…

Currently finally reading a self-published novel called Nightmare by my late grandmother Elaine Neel on my dad’s side. Trying to figure out what she is saying by naming a main character Chad.

Movie you love…

No password hints for me! I see you! 🤣

Guilty pleasure…

Route 44 Cherry Limeade Slushes from Sonic

Favorite vacation…

Probably our teardrop-camper trip for a month across as far as Montana.

Favorite holiday…

My birthday! I got to skip school for my birthday growing up. And I always was a rule follower so this was huge.

Favorite food…

Food is purely functional to me! But I could say Rachel’s crack chicken comes to mind first.

“Your” song…

Oh that’s a hard one. Anything from ’80s Bon Jovi gets me wanting to ride off in the car and sing off-key really loudly. Right now I am going to be corny and say I love love love “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Something you’d like to learn in the next year…

A zillion things. Chad always laughs when he comes home and I have read a book or watched something on Youtube and am off on a whole new idea.

Craziest thing you believed as a kid…

That meritocracy was real and unbiased...

Here are the keys to a time machine. When are you going to first?

1999, the start of my career, my babies were young, my dad hadn’t died yet and I still believed I had everything figured out! I would go with the wisdom that only comes from age and try to convince my younger self to listen. My younger self wouldn’t of course but I would try to save her from learning a few things the hard way.

What makes you laugh?

My dog, bossing me around.

What superpower would you like to have?


How old were you when you had your first celebrity crush and who was it?

Oh this is really embarrassing. Michael J Fox. It was 6th grade and my big cousin loved Rick Springfield so I felt like I had to pick someone. No earthly idea why Alex P Keaton was the dude for me?! What? I traded in those posters for Mickey Mouse posters after that.

Photo by Jeremy Cowart

You can follow Crystal at her new blog:, which is part memoir and part advice column by her mini-goldendoodle, Chief.

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