31 Days of Reading Well: Day 13

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I am going old-school today with a book meme I’ve done twice: once in 2006 and once in 2008. I thought while I have a bunch of bibliophiles gathered for this series, I would do it again. And maybe you’ll do it, too, and share it with me? Or at least give me your response to one in the comments?

One book that changed your life: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I’m forever amused that this first came into my hands via my editor at The Religious Herald, the Southern Baptist newspaper in Virginia. Because, well, it’s Anne Lamott. There is cursing and she can teeter on the sacrilegious. But the advice in this book is so spot on when it comes to writing, and I love her way with words.

One book you have read more than once: Oh, a lot. Most recently, I reread Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman.

One book you would want on a desert island: The longest book I could find so it would take up the most time. The Passage? Outlander? (I haven’t read that one, but I know it’s long.)

One book that made you laugh: I remember giggling reading The Help.

One book you wish had never been written: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is this year’s winner for Worst Read category. I wish I had that time back … plus it is SO weird it haunts me a little. 

One book that made you cry: Well, besides The Saving Graces and Owen Meany? There are a lot of books that have made me cry. Heaven is For Real, this year.

One book you are currently reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – I am reading the epilogue!

One book you have been meaning to read: How long do you have? I’ve actually done of lot of reading “what I’ve been meaning to read” the last few months: The Help, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Kitchen House, The Paris Wife. One book I think I would really love is The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma.

One book you wish everyone would read: Heaven is for Real. I’m pretty sure I even wrote a post about that …

Your turn! Answer one or all in the comments or in your own post. Looking forward to reading them.

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The Pieces That Make Me

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I am from 70s yellow tupperware, from Captain Crunch and Bob Evans.
I am from the blue house with blue shutters, painted with friendly hand, wooded, with fluffy purple carpet.
I am from the dogwood tree, the oak that fell during Hurricane Isabel.

I am from jingle bells and jiggly thighs, from Hunt and Wasson and long last name music teachers love.
I am from stomach pains and green thumbs,
From are you sure you want to wear that? and no waking up until 7 on Christmas morning.

I am from Jesus is the answer, and unBaptist Baptists, and falling under water while the words of Isaiah hang in the humid air.

I’m from Germany and Dayton, lima bean casserole and sauerkraut,
From the soldier who swiped Nazi flags, the ones who ran the oil company, he who detested the mean town boys on their fancy bicycles.

I am from cloth-covered albums, ones labeled with the names of 15 grandchildren, from an old violin and a beloved trumpet, from the treasured only son perished in a hospital room, from Silent Night tears.

I am from loss and love, little and plenty, and it carries me to where I go.

Apparently this was a long-forgotten meme that has been resurrected (I found it via Mary on Jennifer and Stephanie‘s blogs). It’s based on a poem, and you can find the template here. If you decide to post one, please leave me the link in the comments!

#7Links Challenge: A Good Linky Round-Up

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Recalling past events–or past writings–can be fun, scary, or just plain painful.

Today for Top Ten Tuesday, Amanda shared this 7 Link Challenge from ProBlogger.  I couldn’t resist checking it out and filling it out myself. It’s always a wake-up call, however, to read old posts. I know not all mine are formatted correctly. I am sure some of my links are broken and pictures are gone.

And my writing? Well, obviously the blog matured from “just me rambling” to “oh, people read this?” to “perhaps semi-useful to others.”

Here are some good backlinks you might like to visit, especially if you’re new to Vanderbilt Wife.

 Since I hate posts without a picture … here’s a gratuitous picture of me. (My new Twitter profile pic, so you can recognize me!)

Your first post: Accidents Happen, But Accidents Like This Only Happen to Me.

To be fair, this wasn’t really my first post. I am pretty sure I had one or two preceding posts that were about my weight. After a few months, I decided I really didn’t want to share that with the world. (Although now, I do talk about it a little more freely.) It makes me laugh that this, my very first post that still exists, outlines what was basically the most embarrassing moment of my life.

A post you enjoyed writing the most: Books are the quietest and most constant of friends.

I always, always enjoy writing about books. It is my nature to talk about books and recommend them to, well, nearly anyone I meet. I believe my great passion for reading makes me a much better writer.

A post which had a great discussion: Helpful Grammar Hints for Bloggers.

Pre-Before You Hit Publish, this was my first foray into teaching a little grammar. I was thrilled to see it resonated with many, some offered objections, and some learned a thing or two!

A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written: Legalism vs. Authenticity at ScottCrews.com.

I wish I were a little braver, sometimes, and a little more intellectual. I still remember this awesome post.

Your most helpful post: I Think This Officially Makes Me a Mommy Blogger.

I truly consider my blog as a place where you can discover that NOT EVERYONE HAS IT ALL TOGETHER. In fact, I think very few people do; I am just ready and willing to admit that I DO NOT. This post was not easy for me to write, but I feel like it resonated with many women.

A post with a title that you are proud of: Trash Bag Dresses and Drama Queens.

What can I say? I’m not the most inventive titler.

A post that you wish more people had read: Family for a Purpose

Sometimes I try not to just talk about Libbie’s whining and how to make muffins.

If you decide to do this blog write-up, please leave the link in the comment so I can read it and visit some of your past treasures.

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Getting to Know You Sunday

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Ran across this blog through the Ultimate Blog Party and thought it would be fun to do a little “about you” thing since it’s been awhile! So here, for your pleasure or for you to ignore, are 8 random questions and the answers.

1. What color do you wear the most?  Hmm. Probably black or blue. I think I wear a lot of different colors–mostly bolder colors, I’m not much of a pastel person.

2. Would you rather have $10,000 dollars or a dream vacation?  Usually I would say a dream vacation but with our whole lovely house situation, I would probably take $10,000 right now. Anyone offering it up?

3. Do you have a weird, quirky or unusual habit? I really want to put a comma in that sentence, is that unusual? I am sort of a grammar freak.

4. I really need to start……….? … keeping on some sort of cleaning schedule.

5. What was the first blog you ever read? I think it was probably Jen’s at Photo Grove, although I didn’t read it regularly at first. I think I had read hers and my friend Sam‘s before I started mine.

6. Do you collect anything? Pigs, antique books, table linens, more books, cookbooks, and ideas for writing. And perhaps clothes for my daughter (mostly acquired through hand-me-downs, consignment sales, and Goodwill.)

7. How old were you when you had your first kiss? 17. I guess I could be embarrassed about that, but I’m not, really. I wish it had been with my husband. I’ve only kissed one other boy besides him.

8. Do you text/twitter while driving? No–it’s illegal in Tennessee first of all, plus I don’t really text much in the first place. And I can’t Twitter from my phone.


Blogging about Bloggers

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Saw this nice meme over at Heather’s blog and thought I would chime in as I don’t have anything important to say today (after posting three times last night!).

A blogger who makes me think (and I love it): Adventures in Babywearing

A blogger who makes me laugh (A LOT): Ministry So Fabulous

A blogger who has been known to make me cry (in a good way): Bring the Rain

A blogger who says things exactly the way I would (totally gets me): Giving Up on Perfect

A blogger who makes me think about the big wide world outside of my comfort zone and inspires me to action: Pensieve

A blogger who should really hurry up and write a book already: BooMama

A blogger who makes me want to move in with her (because I know she’d understand me AND make me laugh): OhAmanda

A blogger with photography skills that knock my socks off: Evie

A blogger who I must check out daily: I stay pretty up-to-date on my Google Reader, but I always click over right away when Like Merchant Ships has a new post

A blogger who makes me want to eat her food: The MawMaw

A blogger who could pretty much convince me of anything: Kelly’s Korner

A blogger who should win one of those big fancy blog awards for being one of the best: Love Well

Blogs I quietly stalk: PostSecret, My Charming Kids

A blogger who’s a faithful commenter and genuine encourager all around the blogosphere: Like Merchant Ships, Will Blog for Shoes

A blogger I MUST one day meet: Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect!!

A blogger I want to take parenting classes from: The Secret Life of Kat

Bloggers who are real life friends: The MawMaw, Steph, Megs, Bring the Rain, misKELLany, Photogrove

A blogger who has become a true friend: OhAmanda

A blogger who got me hooked on blogging & challenged me to be better: Pioneer Woman, Mrs. Fussypants

Is There Anything You Don’t Know about Me?

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I worry that sometimes I am too much of an open book on this blog. It’s funny how in the blog world I feel freer to be my true self, confess real things, things I might not even tell my real-life girlfriends. (Although they might read it here. And somehow that’s OK!)

Things have been a little heavy here recently, so I thought you might enjoy a break from me ranting about being a working mom and take five minutes to read some random things about me.

A – Age:
I’ll be 27 next month. For some reason, 27 sounds a whole lot more like 30 than 26, and that scares me!

B – Bed Size: Queen. I love our bed. Mmm, sleep …
C – Chore You Hate: All of them? Mostly I hate vacuuming/sweeping/anything that involves trying to keep the floor clean and devoid of crud. Although now without dog hair it looks a little better than it did.
D – Dad’s Name: Christopher. I wonder if he was named for someone. I don’t know. Dad?
E – Essential Start Your Day Item: E-mail? Yes, I have a sickness.
F – Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother…although I also love The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Project Runway, and Top Chef. And Jeopardy.
G – Gold or Silver: I’m more of a silver jewelry person, although I insist on wearing gold jewelry with brown clothes. My wedding rings are white gold.
H – Height: 5’3″
I – Instruments You Play(ed): I can plunk out stuff on the piano due to two years of piano lessons.
J – Job Title: Production Editor
K – Kid(s): Our darling Libbie, five months old and sweet as can be.
L – Living Arrangement: 1200 square foot condo outside Nashville. Small, but just right for now. And it has a big kitchen and pantry!
M – Mom’s Name: Donna
N – Nicknames: Jessie is my nickname (for Jessica). I always wanted a better nickname but no one ever gave me one.
O – Overnight Hospital Stays Other Than Birth: Not that I remember. I may have stayed overnight when the dog tried to rip my ear off, but I don’t know.
P – Pet Peeve: simple grammar and spelling errors, people who giggle continually
Q – Quotes You Like: the quote on my work email is: “Every human being has value. This is the basis of all healthy relationships.” –Mr. Rogers
R – Right or Left-Handed: Right.
S – Siblings: One younger sister, Auntie Roo aka Ashley. (See?? She had a nickname! How come I didn’t?)
T – Time You Wake Up: The alarm goes off at 5:30 on the weekdays. I’m usually up around 6…maybe. And on the weekends, whenever Mr. V makes me get up. And of course, this doesn’t count the baby’s night wakings for sticking the paci back in or a nursing session.
U – Ultimate Dessert: funnel cake with ice cream and cherry pie filling. Oh, King’s Dominion, I do miss you.
V – Vegetable You Dislike: raw tomatoes (although yes, I know those are really a fruit.) Do olives count as a vegetable? I don’t really know where they fall.
W – Ways You Run Late: Not getting out of bed early enough.
X – X-rays You’ve Had: spine x-rays for scoliosis; arm/shoulder when I was in the car accident; hip when I passed out at the Y in the shower (um, have I ever told y’all that story? It’s really not much of a story. Just the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me.)
Y – Yummy Food You Make: I love making yummy things! Some favorites are beef stew, crockpot BBQ pork, pasta, oh, anything. I like to bake too. Check out the recipes I’ve posted here.

Z – Zoo Animal: elephants, goats, sea lions…love cute animals!

If you fill this out, leave a link here and let me know so I can see it!