Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another. 

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This time of year is all about “best of” lists. Most of them come out before the year is over, but not making the deadline isn’t stopping me.

To get started, here are my top ten Jacob photos from this year. I tried for five, but that was pretty much impossible. Notice the theme of baby bellies or John.

And a runner-up. Check out that drool. Classic. Or should I say, classy.

Next up, the top five books I enjoyed this year. These weren’t published in 2011, but my to-read list is just too long to devote a whole twelve months to one publication year.

  1. The Friday Night Knitting Club – Just predictable enough, yet still threw me for a loop at the end. I felt like I knew these girls and I wanted to spend time with them. This is the kind of book I want to write.
  2. My Life in France – I loved this book so much I wrote a whole post about it. Julia Child’s autobiography/memoir is filled with simple wisdom that starts in the kitchen and extends to every area of your life. Just like good food, I guess. Again, a lady I just wanted to spend time with.
  3. The Help – Phe. Nom. Inal. That looks weird, right? But such an incredible book—well crafted, suspenseful. I only wish two things: 1) I had been alive during the time period this takes place, because I think it would be very cool to compare this experience to my own, and 2) That I had had the opportunity to hear the author speak, as my friend Alex did. The book went through myriad revisions, and just knowing that inspires me as a writer. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so no spoilers, please.
  4. Rome Sweet Home – Scott Hahn and his wife were Protestant and not at all inclined to turn to Catholicism. While studying the Bible and its application in liturgy, first Scott and then Kimberly converted. Told chronologically from both their perspectives, this book taught me a lot about Catholicism and helped me to appreciate some aspects of my faith that I’d unwittingly taken for granted.
  5. The Five Love Languages – I think John and I border on obsessive when we talk about this book these days. It’s not that we talk about it all the time; it’s just that so much of it is spot on. I was very skeptical before I read it, but now I can honestly say this book was the most pleasant surprise in all my reading this year.

And finally, here’s where you come in, reader friends. These are the posts with the top five page views in 2011.

Read to Me!

Ash Wednesday

Dear Jacob V

Housewarming

The Best Thing About Being a Mom . . . Just One?

Thank you so much for reading! Here’s to another great year!

  1. Love love love The Five Love Languages…. such and accurate book. And I loved My Life in France.
    Also amazing.

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