The Power of Story, or the Day My Journal Heart Died.

I had a Hello Kitty Diary when I was 10.  I wrote in it on and off until I graduated from high school.  When I got to college, I was a little better about writing stuff down because I think I began to realize that I was at an age where all the little details of my relationships and activities had possible implications for my future. Once I started getting ready for my mission, my journal became more important.  I had excitement and fear and lots of fun going on in my life, and I wanted to capture it.  I was a meticulous journal-writer during my 18 months in Argentina.  I was having the time of my life, and I didn’t want to forget.  When I got home, I was involved in so many things, and my life felt so busy, but the mission habit was still there, and I kept a detailed record of the ups and downs of friendships, college living, school and work responsibilities, but especially dating.  There was much drama to behold.  I met Matt (almost 5 years later) and my journal was a place to capture all the magic of the miracle called falling in love.

I love– really, really love– these journals.  I pull them out and reread them on occasion, and sometimes that results in several nights of marathon reading my life, chapter by chapter.  I started a new journal when Matt and I got married, and it included our life as newlyweds, my first real job, his graduation followed by job offers, our move across country, our first house, and a couple years later, the news we were expecting our first child, Grant.  I wrote about my transition into motherhood and all the adventures and adjustments, and tried to capture the essence of our little family’s life.  18 months later we welcomed baby #2, Clark.  I was really busy now, the kind of busy that rarely allows you to sit down and write it all out, but I tried. Almost 2 years later, I was expecting again, this time with our little girl, Natalie, and we moved from North Carolina to Minnesota.  Amidst all the boxes and unpacking, I put my journal and my scriptures on the bed in our new master bedroom, thinking it would help me remember where they were and find a special place for them.  I do not know what happened, and I still don’t until this day, but my journal disappeared.  I can only imagine that it somehow got tossed out with some packing materials.  I just don’t know, but, oh, how I mourned it.  It had my entire married life up to that point.  My journey to motherhood– lost.  The story of my boys’ births– gone.  I was sooooo sad.  And bitter.  And my journal heart died.

I didn’t even try to write anything down any more.  It was spite.  Natalie was born.  She sat up.  She crawled.  Almost a year had passed, and still no record-keeping.  Then I went to a sacrament meeting where the speaker was talking about Elder Ballard’s mandate to use technology for good, and I got stabbed with a message for me.  I could do that.  I should.  So I called up my brother-in-law, who is a graphic designer, and he walked me through the step-by-step of creating a blog and how to interact in an online blogging kind of world.  I was very, very green.  And on August 17, 2008, I wrote my first blog post, and by default, my first journal entry in over a year.

   So my oldest child, Grant, just lost his first tooth and I’m thinking to myself, “It wasn’t that long ago that he got his first tooth!  And he’s already losing them?!”  Other moms (the ones who had toddlers and preschoolers a long time ago and actually lived to talk about it) always say, “they grow so fast.  Enjoy it while you can,” and you know how inside you say stuff like “yah, whatever…  I’ve already planned in detail the first 3 weeks of activities once my youngest gets into school, and don’t even get me started on retirement…”?
Well, this tooth thing has made me think that maybe I do want time to slow down a little.  I mean, come on, kids are just never as cute once those big ol’ crooked horse teeth start growing in.  And now he’s starting kindergarten in a few weeks, and even though I’m thrilled about the tiny dose of “freedom” it might offer me, I dread the influence of “bad kids” and elementary school Darwinism once he’s out of my watchful eye.
I find comfort in the scripture in Ecclesiastes that says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  Then it talks about things like dancing, crying, etc., but I think that it really does mean every thing, like losing teeth, going to kindergarten, and retiring.  I can’t help but think that God wants me to take in each season and actually live it through, the same way I must live each season of the year . . . I can’t just skip ahead or pause or rewind the calendar.  So, I’ll just start to enjoy the toothless years in one child and the teething years in another and just take the moments as they come.  (But, seriously, don’t you think God must laugh a little when he puts those ugly big adult teeth in little kids’ mouths?)

So Diapers and Divinity was born, and the rest is history…. actually herstory, or MY story.  It is a record of my family, my feelings, my testimony, and the things that matter most to me.  My blog is the continuation of my Story, and it made my journal heart live again.  In the last general conference, Elder Bednar testified of the wonderful marriage of technology and family history.  I like to imagine that someday, my children’s children and theirs, too, will click through the pages of my blog and meet me… hopefully even like me, and learn what makes them who they are.  I hope something I’ve said or written will help them understand their own testimony and challenges even better, and give them courage to fight the good fight.  I’m a little ambitious, perhaps, but I want to be a piece of family “scripture” someday.

So, with all this in mind, I want to personally invite you to what should be a fantastic, meaningful event: The Story @ Home Conference.  It is an event to help all of us create stories in the spirit of family history in our own way– whether it’s a high-tech blog with ads and polls, or a pile of family group sheets and name extraction cards.  All of it creates a story about who we are and where we came from.  Here’s some more info:

  • The dates are March 8-10, 2012.  I think you can do the whole thing or pick and choose the dates and times that work for you.
  • The event will be held at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building  and the LDS Conference center, both in Salt Lake City on Temple Square.
  • This is hosted by FamilySearch, but this is not a strictly LDS event.
  • Presented by Cherish Bound, a company that helps people create stories.
  • Tickets are just $79– quite reasonable, folks.
  • Go “Like” their page on Facebook so you can stay apprised of developments and enthusiasm.
  • FamilySearch has pre-reserved some tickets specifically for bloggers, because we are, after all, a very special kind of story makers.  There’s even a special conference track for bloggers.  Go grab your tickets soon, before they get released to the general public.  How fun would it be to have a little army of us mommy bloggers there, just giggling together on the back 10 rows?  :)

Above all, keep writing your story somewhere.  And don’t leave it sitting on your bed while you’re moving.  Just sayin’.

General Conference Meme

This is a fun idea to let us all share our personal highlights from General Conference.  A meme is a questionnaire of sorts that is a little bit “viral”– it gets passed around among several people online.  I teamed up with Lesa from Notes about Music to create eleven questions that might help you pay more attention and learn more from both the music and the spoken words at conference.

UPDATE:  The meme is now up and running, go here to participate.

Okay, so… Instructions.  Look for answers during conference (obviously, there are no “right” answers– this is all about your personal experience and thoughts.).  When conference is over, post all your questions and answers on your own blog, at your leisure.  Anytime after Sunday afternoon/evening, either go to Lesa’s blogor come right here at Diapers and Divinity (there will be a new post up just for this purpose), and you will find some fancy-linky-collector-thing where you can share the link to your blog post.  Then we can all read what you had to say and just have a big post-conference testimony-and-goals fest.  I really hope that made sense.  Without further ado, here is the meme:

General Conference Highlights, October 2011

1.  Who were your three favorite speakers?

2.  Which talk spoke to you the most?

3.  What was your favorite Hymn and why did it move you? Continue reading

Announcements. (Good stuff.)

Some exciting business, folks. Three exciting items of business.  I know, this place is just a party.

First of all, there’s still time to enter the contest for the free, autographed copy of Melanie’s book, Not My Type.  All you have to do is send anyone a thank-you note, and you’re in the drawing.  Go to this post to enter.  The drawing for the winner will be Wednesday night and I’ll pick up the book at the release party on Thursday.

Second, there are only TEN MORE DAYS until General Conference.  It’s no secret how I feel about conference.  (It’s my second favorite holiday after Christmas. Truly.)  Anyway, I’ll be teaming up with Lesa from Notes about Music to create some kind of General Conference meme that you can all participate in on your own blogs.  It will be a questionnaire about your experience with both the “music and the spoken word” that is conference. You’ll have it ahead of time so you can watch for answers during conference. Then we’ll have a big link-up thing where we can read all about everyone’s favorite moments and lessons.  So, basically, just get ready for that– it’s coming soon.  And as a personal side note, I can’t emphasize enough how much more you’ll get out of conference if you start now to think about questions you’d like answers to and pray about them in anticipation of hearing the Lord’s servants speak.  You’ll be amazed how many personalized answers you will receive.  Need something to get you in the mood?  Watch this video.  It’s fantastic.  And amen to its message.

Finally, I’m thinking it’s time for another Girls’ Night Out.  Mostly because I saw this and wanted some girlfriends to go with me.

LITTLE WOMEN: The Musical SCERA Showhouse II Friday, 10/7/11 7:30PM MDT

So it’s at the Scera theater in Orem, and I thought we could all meet there for the show, then go across the street (kind of) to The Chocolate, eat desserts and visit the night away.  Tickets would be just under $15 (a little cheaper if you have student I.D.). What do you think?  I’d love to have you come whether you’re a longtime blog friend or a quiet blog stalker.  It’s a great way to take a break, make new friendships, and well, you know, eat chocolate.  If it sounds fun to you and you’re available on 10/7, let me know in the comments, and I’ll send you more details.  Feel free to invite a wing[woman], daughter, girlfriend, whatever.  P.S. This invitation is null and void if you are a strange, predatory creep.  Just to be clear.  (Insert passive-aggressive smile here.)

What kind of blog is this anyway?

I get a fair amount of spam comments on this blog.  In fact, I probably get more spam than I get real comments.  Let me check. Yep, totally.   28,956 vs. 6,872.  Wow.  (WordPress has an awesome spam filter.) A couple have jumped out at me lately.  Besides the fact that most of them are ridiculously-translated, nonsensical comments trying to redirect me and my readers to their trashy website, sometimes I wonder how they ever expected anyone to click on their link anyway.  Check out a couple of my favorite recent spam comments:

Yeast infection for you! it the best thing that can happen to you

asinine hazy idea, grace! thanks. i look out for number one.

In the beginning just remember it was darked and then someone smiled! try this:You’re just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you! :)

Um, wow.  What inviting comments.  Can’t wait to “meet” those folks. <—sarcasm

Then there are things that “regular” people are looking for.  These are things that actual people have typed into Google or other search engines that have somehow landed them on my blog.  While it’s sometimes hilarious to see what people are looking for, it’s slightly unnerving to realize that something about my blog and its content has selected it as an answer to their search.  And they clicked on it.  I can only wonder how helpful or disappointing their visit was.  I mean, seriously, look at this list.  What does this say about me?

angry mom

example of urology limerick poem

weird monkey transformation

boogers bedroom

baby terrorist

an angel measuring something

old lady diapers

kidney leisure ultrasound

what do ships, railways, mines, cars, and government exist

you lover her not me quotes

self help books internet addiction

my husband wears the worst jeans

Apparently, I’m not nearly as classy as I thought I was.

What are some of the funniest comments or searches you’ve seen come across your blog?

And p.s…. Any volunteers for Find-A-Friend Friday this week?  I haven’t heard back from my randomly selected guest, so I need a back up.  First come first, first serve.  Thanks!

Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Monique

Today on  Find-A-Friend Friday we’re meeting a friend who’s even new to me, which is why I’m loving this feature. I also wanted to point you to a few of my favorite posts I’ve read this past month across the blogosphere, you know, just to spread the love.  :)

week 1: word snapshots. from just so long and long enough by teachergirl

The Dangerous Book for Moms: Chapter 2 from We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice In Christ by Jocelyn Christensen

Bothered with Love from Mommy Snark by Jenny P.

Pray for me; heal my heart from Blog Segullah by Michelle L.

The Prayers and Tears of One Stepper R McCrery from stepper was here by Stepper the Mighty

Somebody or Nobody? from Away From It All by LisAway

I can’t answer the phone. I’m “busy” from Classy Chaos by OHmommy

And now, let’s meet Monique, shall we?  Isn’t she pretty?

Hi! I was so surprised to be asked to do this, but I’m super happy and excited to share a bit about my life with all of you! My name is Monique and I’m 24 years old. I’ve been married to my sweet husband since December 2007 and our handsome baby boy was born February 2010. We live in Provo right now, but we’re moving to Boston in June!
I grew up in southwest Missouri/northwest Arkansas — but from 4th grade through high school graduation I lived in Branson, MO. My parents divorced when I was just over a year old. My father remarried shortly after and had another daughter with his new wife, then they divorced when I was about 13. My mom has remarried twice, but I’m her only child. My sister and I didn’t get along well growing up, but she’s one of my best friends now. I joined the Church when I was 15 and I moved to Utah in 2004 to go to BYU. I graduated in 2008 with an English degree and worked as a paralegal for a while, first at a family law practice and then in a bankruptcy office, but now I stay home with our son full-time. My husband is double-majoring in math and economics at BYU and graduates this year, then we’re off to MIT for a Master’s in Finance in June!

What’s your favorite part of motherhood?

I love being overwhelmed by how much I can love. I love hearing my baby boy laugh. I love watching him experience new things. I love mornings when he crawls all over us and snuggles. I love when he wakes up from naps and just wants to be held. I love knowing that he’s mine forever.

Name 2 or 3 items on your “bucket list.”  (Some things you’d like to do before you die.)

I want to travel EVERYWHERE. So far I’ve been to Canada, England, France, Germany, Ethiopia, and Zambia, and next on the list are another trip to Africa, South Korea, and Australia. And then wherever else I can manage to go! I want to run a marathon. I’ve recently started running more and while I’m currently only getting in about 2-3 miles 3 days per week, I’d love to be able to have a full 26.2 miles under my belt someday. And, while this is probably the most improbable of the three, I’d love to write a book. Something on nutrition, or motherhood, or a combination of the two: childhood nutrition! I don’t know … I have a lot of other ideas swirling around in my head, but we’ll see if anything ever comes of it. :)

Brag for a minute.  Do it.  What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?

I’m really good at making homemade bread, Indian food, crepes, and salads. I love to cook! I’m not a big recipe person, though. If I want to make something, I’ll usually do a little research to see basically how it’s done, but then I like to just throw stuff in until it tastes right.

I’m a good teacher. I’ve held callings as gospel doctrine teacher and relief society instructor, and although I’m nervous at every lesson, I love how much I learn in the process and how uplifting it is when people participate. My patriarchal blessing talks about how I have the gift of being a “gifted teacher and speaker” and knowing that has made it easier for me to put effort into developing these talents.

I’m good at learning how to do things. When I wanted to design my own blog, BAM, figured out HTML. When I wanted to learn how to alter some of my clothes, BAM, figured it out. When I wanted to train for a triathlon, BAM, did it. And, when I’m not good at teaching myself, I’m good at asking lots of questions and getting help. :)

What are you loving lately?

Running! Our gym membership ended last month and I’ve had to give up my favorite exercise — spin class. I love yoga more, but it just doesn’t get my heart pumping like a hard cardio workout. But running? I can do it anywhere, no equipment or membership required. I love being able to get outside and enjoy 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted ‘me’ time. It’s hard, to be sure, but I love that feeling of accomplishment and the complete de-stressing that I feel after a good run. I’ve signed up for a 5k next month (my first since my son was born) and it’s a great motivator to keep me going on days when I’d rather curl up with a book.

Do you have a favorite scripture or quote?  Why?

Proverbs 3:5, Matthew 11:28-29;  Alma 37:37
All three of these just remind me to have faith in the Lord and that he is there for me through everything. I have the Matthew scripture framed in my house and the Alma scripture taped to the fridge. The Proverbs I have memorized and repeat to myself often.
One of my favorite quotes right now is

“Each mother and father should lay aside selfish interests and avoid any thought of hypocrisy, physical force, or evil speaking. Parents soon learn that each child has an inborn yearning to be free. Each individual wants to make his or her own way. No one wants to be restrained, even by a well-intentioned parent. But all of us can cling to the Lord.” –Russell M. Nelson

I remind this to myself nearly every single day lately. My 14 1/2 month old son is SO independent, and I have to remember that he isn’t trying to overwhelm me, he’s just trying to figure out who he is, even at so young an age. That’s probably one of the biggest surprises to me as a mother, that children express their desires and independence so early. I love how much my son has taught me already. :)

What do you gravitate toward during your unscheduled time? 

Definitely reading. I love to read anything — children’s books, young adult lit, novels, nonfiction (about health, politics, history, biographies, on and on). I’m not really into romance novels or mysteries or anything like that, though. I like to read fashion & health blogs in my free time, too.  And I love to sit at Barnes & Noble and read magazines.

What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?

I know that when I’m living the Gospel, I’m a more loving wife, a more patient mom, a kinder friend, and a happier woman. I feel confident that I am pursuing a course of life that is pleasing to God, although I know I’m not perfect and I need His help every step of the way. I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that through the Atonement I can be made whole and achieve my divine potential. I am so grateful that I was given the blessing of receiving a testimony in high school and that my life has taken the course that it has. I am very, very blessed and I am thankful every day for all that I have been given.

Desert Island Question.  If you were stranded on a desert island (most moms would actually crave this) and could only take 3 items with you, what would they be?

I would want my Kindle (with Internet access, of course) so that I could read any book I wanted, peacefully, for hours on end; the most comfortable bed on earth so that I could sleep blissfully to my heart’s content; and a notebook, so that I could record my thoughts and ideas — I’m sure I’d be pure genius if I had extended amounts of time to meditate and ponder without interruption.

Let’s say you’re dying in your sleep tonight.  What would you eat for your last meal?

An enormous fruit salad — blueberries, pineapple, peaches, grapes, bananas, strawberries, mangoes, kiwis, and cherries. Then probably a vegan cheese quesadilla with avocado and salsa on top. And I’d chase it down with some coconut milk cookie dough ice cream.

What homemaking job/task gives you the most satisfaction?

I love baking homemade bread. It’s so rewarding. The feeling that I’m feeding my family pure love in the form of whole-wheat goodness just makes me so happy. I also love having a clean kitchen sink and counter, a freshly mopped floor, and all the laundry in its place. If all of these things happen in one day, you can be sure I’m experiencing total domestic bliss.

Give your best advice to a newlywed or expectant mom.

Expect that there will be ups and downs. One moment you’ll be totally in love, the next you’ll wonder why you ever married him. But no matter what is happening, it will pass and new happiness and challenges will come. Just remember that you love each other and that no matter what, you’re committed for eternity. For the new mom, I’d say that it’ll be amazingly better than you could ever imagine. Expect the worst and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. (I suppose these bits could be applied to newlyweds, too). Most of all, remember that you are not the first person ever to go through what you’re going through. If they could do it, you can too. Reach out for support and encouragement. And don’t forget to pray for strength and for the Spirit to be with you!

If you could make a pie chart (graph) of your thoughts during the last week or so, what would take up most of the space?

50% when-are-we-moving?!/when-am-i-having-our-yard-sale? (My husband is trying to sell our lease early to save on rent and things keep coming up, then falling through. It’s definitely been a bit stressful around here).
25% preparing for my talk on ‘the resurrection’ this Sunday
15% focusing on making sure I get my scheduled strength training & runs in, making sure my meals are healthy, and avoiding sugar
5% trying to help a friend get a slide show prepared for his wedding on Saturday
5% reading :)

Tell us about your blog.

I actually have two blogs. The first is a family blog that I started in 2008, simply titled “The Kamosi Family.” I mostly write about things that happen in our lives, but occasionally I use it as a way to share thoughts I have about motherhood, health, the gospel, or whatever else strikes me. My favorite part of this blog is something I do every week called “Friday Favorites,” where I write all the best things that happened during the previous week. It’s been a great way for me to keep track and remember all the things I have to be grateful for in my life.
My other blog — “Yoga and Pencil Skirts” — is silly, and I’ve hardly told anyone in my real life about it because it’s a little embarrassing. It’s a hybrid fitness/wanna-be fashion blog. I’ve lost a lot of weight in the last couple of years, and I decided I wanted to have an outlet to experiment with fashion and learning how to dress myself (since I’ve never been especially fashionable). I’ve only been writing on it for about four months, but I feel like it’s given me a new confidence that I’ve never had before, and I’m loving it.

Thanks Monique.  It’s been fun to get to know you.

Dear cool people, I like you. Love, Stephanie

Sometimes when I do dumb things like read the news or people watch too much, I start to lose my faith in humanity.  I want to create this little vacuum for me and my children to live in so that they don’t grow up and become idiots.  However, then I get the chance to interact with wonderful people and it restores my hope in mankind.  Actually, it’s usually womankind, but we all know that’s what makes the world go around anyway.  (Note to suspicious readers:  there is no secret agenda in that previous comment.  I’m just feeling a tiny bit snarky.)  That is what happened this last weekend when I got to go on my long-awaited girls night out.  I loved it.  It made me happy.  And, of course, I will tell you why.

This was such a modge-podge of good people:  some I’ve known for years, some I’ve just met since I moved here, some I’ve met through blogging, and some I had never even met before in my life.  And guess what they all had in common?  Awesomeness.  They are just straight up good women.  See, look at them:

Oh, gee.  It looks like even though I took two cameras with me, I TOTALLY FORGOT to take a single picture.  I’m not sure I can forgive myself.  Just trust me.  They are all VERY lovely.  Here’s a list of the remarkable ladies that came and I tried to make a link to their blogs (if I know it) so that they can visit each other now too.  Because, of course, we all made new friends.  If I didn’t add your blog link and you want to share it, leave it in the comments and I’ll add the link.

Cheryl , Heidi, Maria, Lisa and Madison, Kim, Amber (and a friend), Cathy, Amy, Julie, Sidnie, Ashley (and her two sisters.), Karen (private blog, right?) , Chelley, and Gentrey.   There were others slated to come who didn’t make it, and we just want to let you know we REALLY missed you and hope you can come next time.  I’m pretty sure there will be a next time because it was some much-needed fun.

We met up for dinner and had some lovely chats about stuff down in our hearts like family, adoption, goals, challenges, etc., and you’d think we’d all known each other for decades.  Let it be noted that I ordered a piece of cake that was bigger than my head.  Even with the help of several generous volunteers, I was not able to finish it.  Then we went and saw the play Persuasion at BYU, which was really, really fun to watch, despite the awkward man seated behind us who laughed way too often and way too loud.

Overall, it was a very charming night.  There are some people who I didn’t get to talk to and visit with as much as I would have liked, so I hope we can get together again and “catch up.”

Anyway, this is a big thanks for being great people and reminding me how much good there is out there in the world.  And that’s true too for those of you who did not come, but still drop in occasionally on this little ol’ blog.  I’m amazed by the extraordinary power of a collection of ordinary people out there who just do good and live life the best they can.  We rock.  What can I say?

Famous by association.

I’m feeling kind of glamorous lately.  Know why?  Because I know her:

Isn’t she lovely? And by “know her,” what I really mean is I’ve read her blog for a while and we’ve exchanged a few emails and stuff, so that totally makes us soul-sisters or something, right?  Right? . . . . Whatever, you’re just jealous.

Her name is Melanie Jacobson.  She is a wife, mom, shoe connoisseur, humorist, and AUTHOR.  And she’s a Mormon. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)  Her first novel was just published, and I was so lucky that Melanie sent me a copy of it.  Look how cute it is:

Seriously, it’s almost as cute as she is.  I know I said that I was going to take a break from blogging to work on a book of my own, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to be a part of Melanie’s blog tour for this new book.  I’ll tell you why.

Melanie writes what she likes to call “LDS chick lit.”  I dated for a full a decade before I met and married my husband, so I consider myself quite an expert in the LDS dating scene.  Frankly, I felt like my life during those years was LDS chick lit, and perhaps that’s why I don’t read much of it now.  Kind of like post-traumatic stress disorder.  Despite my normal aversion to the genre, I was really excited to read Melanie’s book because I really like her.  Surprisingly, I found myself enjoying the read and the ride down memory lane.

During that delightful dating decade of mine, I made a list.  I really did.  I listed the things I was going to do with my life since I was probably never going to get married.  Somehow having a checklist of fun and fulfilling things to do made that possibility seem much less tragic.  It included things like travel, and getting a Ph.D., and foster parenting, and kissing one boy from every continent.  (I totally made that last one up right now, but why didn’t I think of that before?)  Anyway, Ashley, the main character in The List, did the same thing, only she wasn’t quite as pathetic as I was.  She wrote the list when she was 16 years old as a must-do collection of tasks to be completed before she got married.  And as a free-spirited young adult, she is still committed to that list.  I found myself quite attached to Ashley by the end of the book, and I decided that we could have totally been college roommates and friends.  It would have been one of those friendships where I rolled my eyes at her a lot, but still stayed up late talking and laughing.  I even would have shared my Pringles (a college dietary staple) with her.  I loved watching her learn the lessons that I painfully learned myself during those dating years, not the least of which is this:  Things don’t always go according to YOUR plan.

Melanie has a gift for writing fun dialogue full of clever, sarcastic banter that so genuinely embodies the nervous and flirtatious and awkward and exciting reality that I remember about that stage in my life.  The way she wrote about Huntington Beach and the ocean made me really want to be on a lawn chair on the warm, sunshiney sand.  As it was, I read the book from a lawn chair on the side of an indoor swimming pool while my children splashed and played.  I read for a couple of hours, went home and read for a few more hours, and finished the book.  In one day.  ONE day, people.  I read a whole chick lit book in one day, and I liked it.

Those of you who frequent my blog at all know that I am a bit of a self-proclaimed prude.  Having said that, if you’re looking for a fun, light read that takes you back to the days of an open-canvas future and blossoming romance, and you want it to be totally clean and enjoyable, you ought to give The List a shot.  I think it’s a perfect vacation book– either to take with you on vacation, or to sit down in the middle of your laundry pile at home and take a vacation of your own.

Since you’re almost as lucky as I am (though not nearly as famous since I “know” Melanie), here’s a chance for you to win your very own copy of The List:

Go here and just leave a comment.  That’s it.

Melanie’s also doing a giveaway of cool beach-related items on her own blog, so go leave a little comment over there, too.

I hope you win. I really do, because you’ll like the book.  If you don’t win it, go buy it (I think it’s on Amazon and even Kindle), then tuck your kids into bed, stay up late and read it until it’s done, roll over and kiss your hubby good night, thank your lucky stars that you survived your single years, and go to sleep.  That’s what I did, and it made me happy.  I like happy.  Thanks, Melanie.  :)