Friday, January 9, 2015

Finding My Yes

Last year was filled with incredible highs and incredible lows, moments that were stressful beyond comprehension and moments of quiet zen. However, one unexpected, incredible joy I found last year was being invited to participate in a Kohl's Yes2You Rewards Group. As part of this private group, I have had the opportunity to bond with other women over all of life's issues. Towards the end of the year, we did this exercise where we shared moments of Yes! For twelve days, the members of this group checked in to share one moment of Yes! with the group. What was so rewarding about this exercise was being reminded that there are infinite moments of joy peppered throughout the mundane. It is nice to let the light of each day shine on your face instead of focusing on those dark moments (darkness like getting stuck in traffic because a water main bursts and it takes you over an hour and a half to get to work). 

And so as the new year starts fresh, I feel compelled to share a few of my favorite moments of Yes! from last year in no particular order:

10. Having this adorable illustration custom made for me by a friend's dad. Isn't it lovely? I just adore it. This picture has made my book blog feel like a home to me.
9. Receiving these amazing baking supplies in the mail from Kohl's to make Christmas cookies was a total Yes! moment. You have to understand that the spatulas I had were broken, cut, and the tops would always fall off the handle when you mixed anything. I also was thrilled to throw about my endless miss matched measuring cups and spoons and replace them with these lovely Bobby Flay measuring utensils that stack so nicely. 
However, hands down what I loved the most about the package I received was the custom cookbook they printed using the recipes we shared on the Kohl's Facebook page. I felt like I was cooking with newly found friends.

And my children loved using copious amounts of icing to decorate the cookies.

   8. Finding a moment of Yes! also included reconnecting with friends from college. I started this Sisterhood of the Traveling book club with three dear friends of mine. With time and many miles separating us, we have found a way to bond over books. We are each reading a book of our choice and then mailing it along, making notes in the books to share the experience as we go along. I was inspired to do this after reading a blog post from Annie, owner of The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA. I have just finished my second book. For my first book, I read The Tilted World: A Novel . See, I do actually read books for grown-ups.

7. My husband and I went to see Jim Gaffigan live and received a signed copy of his book Food: A Love Story. It is still sitting in my to-read pile. However, I have read a few pages, and those few pages had me in stitches.

6. I was brave and learned to knit so I could make a Bad Kitty costume for my oldest. She has read the Bad Kitty's Very Bad Boxed Set (#1) by Nick Bruel until the covers have fallen off. 

5. A librarian friend of mine completely surprised me by sending a signed copy of The Giver (Giver Quartet) by Lois Lowry. This is the kind of book you stay up all night to read. I cannot wait until Miss M is old enough to read it with her. The conversations we will have about this book will be amazing some day.

4. We fell in love with the magnetic personality of Michelle Nelson-Schmidt when we met her at the Decatur Book Festival. Just tonight, Little J came running into my bedroom because she found the Whatif Monster ears Michelle had given her. Check out her website and the fabulous books she has created. She inspires my daughter to write. Seeing her inspired is most certainly a Yes moment for me.

3. I had this amazing moment of Yes when I gathered the courage and purchased the 2015 Writer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone. I am not sure what to do with this yet, but I am excited to learn more about the publishing industry and how the books I review end up in my mailbox.

2. I can't even. Really. I can't even tell you how all I did was just smile when I met Kate DiCamillo. I had all of these great things that I wanted to tell her inside my head. My mouth didn't work. Instead, I just stood there and smiled. Thankfully, my daughter insisted to take this snapshot. Meeting her really is what prompted my Yes moment number 3. If you ever get the chance, go and listen to her speak. She is inspiring. She is courageous. And she has grit. Right now we are reading The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread. It just begs to be read aloud. 

1. And for my final moment of Yes, I wanted to share this amazingly thoughtful gift a dear friend made for me to celebrate the journey writing this blog has become in self-discovery, in discovery about my relationship with my girls, and in discovery of the world that surrounds us all. Thank-you dear friend. And thank-you dear readers for being here along with me on my journey. I value each and every person who takes the time to read my blog.

FTC Required Disclosure:
This site is an affiliate, if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Books, Babies, and Bows (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support!

I received the cooking products as a gift as part of a Kohl's Yes2You Preview Group. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 


  1. Ooh! I love the ornament your friend made you. And the traveling book club is such a neat idea!

    1. Thanks E.S....I will be honest, I started to cry when I got the ornament!

      The book club has been fun. We have our own little Facebook group to discuss the books.

  2. What a fabulous post Jenny! Everybody should do something like this to reflect back. My theme for this year is "joy" - focusing on joy, finding joy, appreciating joy, doing joyful things, sharing joy and bringing joy to others. Joy!! Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop and have a wonderful year! :-)

    1. Thanks Renee. I adore that you will be focusing of Joy this year. What a great word to choose. I have never thought to choose a theme for a year. Here's to joy!

      “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
      ― Mark Twain

      May you divide that joy and make joy plentiful!

  3. Wow Jenny, this was such a Yes post for me. You have really inspired me in your life and writing journey. I love your blog banner too. Thank you so much for joining our blog hop, I hope that we see more Yes posts this year.

    1. You are too kind. I hardly think I would inspire. ;-)

      And thanks for the compliments about my blog banner. I was lucky enough to have someone who is fantastically talented that took my idea and made it possible.
      I am just a reader, but I have always enjoyed stopping by to read your journey as a writer.

  4. This is a wonderful list...definitely one worth celebrating! I love the darling illustration for your website. Here's to a fabulous 2015!


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