(thirty)one for the Books

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photo credit: Hannah Westphall Blanton @ http://hannahelaine.com/

It’s hard to imagine that today is already my birthday.  Last year, when I turned thirty, it was all about accomplishing things.  Checking things off my list.  What could I DO before I hit the big 3-Oh.  What tasks could I claim I’d completed prior to the anniversary of my birth.  And it was lots and lots of fun.  But this year’s been different.  Maybe because it’s not an “important” birthday like 18 or 21 or anything ending in a zero or a five.  Granted, Switchfoot and Taylor Swift have done their best to put a new spark in random year birthdays with their respective odes to “24” and “22,” but to be honest, 31 is sort of the ho-hum of ages.  It’s not a milestone.  No one says, “oh!  31!  wow….that’s such a great age.  I couldn’t WAIT to turn 31!”  They just kind of say, “yup.  that’s the birthday that comes after 30,” and go on with their day.

But I don’t want you to think I’m down on 31, because I’m not at all.  I’m totally up for it and whatever it brings with it, but as I was thinking about how this year feels different from the giddy project-oriented fervor of turning 30, I realized that maybe this year is less about what I can accomplish, and more about reflecting on who I am.  Am I the type of person I want to be?  Am I kind, patient and loving?  Do I value others?  Do I value myself? If I wasn’t me, would I want me as a friend? (That last one is always a tricky one!)  I’ve learned alot about myself in this past year.  Or maybe “learned” isn’t the best word, as I think a good chunk of it are things I already knew but wasn’t ready to acknowledge or embrace, change or come to terms with.

I think in the end what matters most isn’t what we did, but how we lived and loved and who we were.  I want to be personally fulfilled, but also extend grace and hope and friendship to others and build them up as I have been built up by those family and friends who have invested so deeply in me.  A tall order for a nondescript year like thirty-one.

But.  Today’s birthday blog isn’t all introspection and heart searching.  Here’s the fun part.  Since it’s my birthday, and with birthdays come presents, we’re actually going to give one lucky reader a present.  Yup.  It’s my birthday, but you get the gift.  Pretty sweet, huh?  My awesome friend Annie Downs is an amazing author (you may remember my review of her first book, From Head to Foot, a few years ago) and she’s about to release her second book Speak Love this Tuesday, August 20th!  And because Annie is generous, and because I frankly can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than giving away books (if you don’t know about my love affair with the written word, you can check that out here) by one of my favorite people/authors, on our blog….we’re giving away an autographed combo pack to celebrate: that’s right, an autographed copy of her book Perfectly Unique, AND a copy of the new Speak Love.  Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not a teenage girl so this isn’t really for you.  But I’m going to stop you right there and tell you to enter anyway.  Because surely you have a daughter, niece, girlfriend, neighbor, sister, friend, auntie, granddaughter, coach, or babysitter who IS a teenage girl, and well….I bet she has a birthday coming up sometime in the next year and would LOVE this as a gift.  Or, even if you’re not a TEEN girl, if you’re a girl of any sort, I bet you’ll be encouraged like crazy by reading these.  I know I was.  And who doesn’t need a little encouragement every now and then?  (Especially free, autographed encouragement shipped right to your doorstep.)

These two excellent reads could be yours.

This is a TwoGirlsBlog first, as we’ve never done a give-away before, and frankly, we’re not quite sure how it should all work.  But here’s the ground rules that we’re going to roll with.

1. Anyone can enter.  We have a spam filter that we monitor so we promise to choose a real person and not a bot.

2. To enter, just leave a comment below telling us your favorite age and the title of your favorite book, or a book you’ve read recently…and your first name only.

3. We’ll pick a winner by putting the comments in a hat and drawing one.  seriously.  (sorry, no bonus points for creative writing.)

4. We’ll announce the winner Saturday, August 17th on the blog. (Any comments posted before Friday, August 16th @ 11:59 PM Central Time will be entered to win.)  So you totally have a few days to comment and tell all your friends to enter as well.

5. We’ll email the winner at whatever email address you entered to comment and find out what name and address you’d like your autographed books sent to, and ship ’em your way the last week of August.  (please note…we will never sell, trade, barter, post, share, give-away or otherwise release your email address or personal information.)

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About bethanybordeaux

I fiddle around a bit.

23 responses to “(thirty)one for the Books”

  1. pbrowder says :

    My favorite age is 12 when I first learned someone loved me named Jesus. My favorite book is the Ragamuffin gospel because I learned that His love was unconditional. My name is Pat and I am thinking Emily and Abigail would love this book.

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Pat – I love Ragamuffin Gospel as well. For sure one of my favorites. And yes! Emily would love this book. If you don’t win the give-away, we’ll have to let Santa know to get it for Christmas. 🙂

  2. Mark Bordeaux says :

    Great blog!

    My favorite age is 38. Favorite book is “Man in Full” by Tom Wolfe, because it’s the longest book I’ve ever read, and I thought it would impress other commenters. My name is Mark, and I’m an Aquarius.

  3. Sally says :

    My favorite age (other than the present) was probably 24ish. I felt independent for the first time in my life. I was making choices in a search to figure out who I was – and wrong or right, it felt exciting. My favorite book as of late, “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. It really helped me sort through the noise in my life and focus on the things that really make me happy. Mi nombre is Sally and I have a gaggle of preteen and teenage nieces I could pass this on to. 😉 Love the blog – congrats on the abundance of chicken eggs.

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Sally – I’ve not read “The Happiness Project” but I’ll have to check it out if you love it. I too have a gaggle of preteen/teenage/postteen nieces. I kind of want to buy them all a copy of these. And thanks on the chicken eggs! It has been a blast!

  4. Katelyn Bartlett says :

    My name is Katelyn and I don’t know about my favorite age, but I think the age that was the most fun was 17. It was the year that I really began to be independent because I had a car and started working. Plus, 17 is the year that you can still be care-free before having to make decisions about college and where to go in life. It’s hard to pick a favorite book, but I think I will go with The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It’s such an amazing story of faith and praising God in all situations. I’d love to have these books to read and pass onto other girls!

    Katelyn

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Katelyn – Yes! 17 independence without responsibility! It seems like a terrifying thought to me now at 31, but it was lovely back then. I LOVE the Hiding Place. That, Number The Stars and The Diary of Anne Frank were favorites of mine in highschool and still now.

  5. Mary-Hall says :

    WELL, my name is Mary-Hall, my favorite age was probably about 3 years old because at that age, your mom does all the hard stuff for you, you just run around doing whatever strikes your fancy.. and people give you candy at the checkout register, like, fairly regularly. One of my most favorite books is the Count of Monte Cristo. AND, I’m not actually eligible for this giveaway since I am a co-blogger her. Oh well.

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Mar – for the record, yes, I totally disqualified you from the give-away. But, your commentary on being 3 years old is hilarious. I love it. Isn’t Ransom almost there?

  6. Bethany says :

    Clearly 31 is the best age ever. Favorite book? Seriously, Harry Potter 1-7. Shall I name them all?

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Bethany – I like how you think. Haha. I remember your Harry Potter obsession. They are so lovely though. Good choices. Here’s to 31-not-ho-hum.

  7. Anonymous says :

    My name is Barbara and my favorite age – hmm, there have been several – but I’ll say 20 – which was a year in which I achieved several life desires – and of course 30, when my sweet daughter was born. One of my favorite books was John Grisham’ THE TESTAMENT. I believe if I won this drawing, I’d save the books for granddaughter Ashlynn (and read them myself to learn what I might have missed as a teenager!)

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Awww shucks. I’m glad that I was important. 🙂 I love The Testament too. Grisham for sure has a way with words. It was the kind of book I couldn’t put down!

  8. Jessica says :

    My favorite age was 7th grade! I was addicted to nancy drew books growing up! Favorite recent book is one thousand gifts.

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Jessica – whew. 7th grade. I wouldn’t go back there if you paid me! haha. But I shared your Nancy Drew addiction. I read those like they were going out of style….the original series, and the recent “case files.” ahhhh. so good. and I totally had a crush on Ned.

  9. Anonymous says :

    I’ve been thirty-one, fifty times/so for you, here comes some rhymes:

    Thirty-one is not so ho-hum/Especially when shared with a Chum/
    I’d up some happiness drum/ If only I was thirty-one!
    The times you lifted for musical fun/ The fiddle, has weighed over a ton/
    The last word. How much Praise to the SON?
    From another in HIS Service,
    Lawrence

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Lawrence – Thank you for your sweet poem. You have such a beautiful gift of words. This comment made me smile so big. 🙂 Blessings on you.

  10. brandi says :

    My favorite age was probably around 8… Books like “number the stars”, “summer of the monkeys”, and “a little princess” were the best! My name is Brandi! 🙂

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Brandi – ah. “A Little Princess” I have an awesome hardback copy of that! Such a great tale, although it totally made me sob the first time I read it.

  11. Leslie says :

    34 🙂 “Stengthen Yourself in The Lord”

    • bethanybordeaux says :

      Leslie – I’m not quite to 34, but if it’s your favorite, then I’ll be excited to get there! I’ve not read “Strengthen Yourself in the Lord,” but if it’s Bill Johnson, I’m assuming it’s amazing. I have a few to-reads in my stack right now, but I’ll have to add it to the list.

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