Hello there, darlings! Another 30 days have come and nearly gone, and that means it’s a good time to ponder what we learned this month. If you think a lot of my month centered on the release of my first book Girl Meets Change, then you would be right. It has certainly been a time of much learning and much celebrating. However, I managed to discover a few other things this month as well. And as usual, these discoveries range from ridiculous to more reflective. So, here we go!
What I Learned in September:
1. The beauty that is Bouqs Flowers. One of my favorite gifts to give is flowers. For family and friends who are out-of-town, I usually send FTD flowers, and I haven’t had complaints about their quality.
At the beginning of September, I was introduced to Bouqs Flowers after reading this post by the Nester. The bouquets in Nester’s post looked beyond gorgeous and more unique than any I’d ever seen. Since she offered a coupon code *and* shipping was free, I ordered the “Campfire blooms” you see above as a present to myself in honor of my book release. They arrived in wonderful condition and lasted almost two full weeks. It was a lovely gift to myself worth the $32 cost. (Note: I usually pay about $10 more to send flowers via FTD.) (Also, if twitter engagement is any indication, the folks behind Bouqs are super kind people. It’s a joy to support kind people!)
2. Periscope is the odd but smart cousin in the family of social media. At least, it appears that way to me. On the one hand, periscope is rather awkward to maneuver. But on the other, it’s a really brilliant social media tool. Man, was it tricky for me to figure out though. But then I studied Crystal Stine’s marvelous periscope post like it was my job, and I managed to get a working knowledge of it. Speaking of periscope, I will be doing one tomorrow (Thursday) around noonish MST to make a little announcement. If you’re interested in tuning in, find me @kristen_strong. I’ll be the awkward one with sweaty armpits and an Okie accent akin to Blake Shelton.
3. You can get just about anything copied and turned into frosting for a cake. My husband bought me a darling cake from Safeway for a little book launch surprise party, and our local Safeway made an exact replica of my book cover on it. From what I understand, they have a printer that can take any image and print it using edible “ink” on edible “paper.” *Mind blown*. Maybe I’m the only one in awe of this? But then again, y’all know the love affair I have with cake.
4. I am officially the second shortest person in my family. Time will tell if my daughter will sprout up enough to make make me the shortest.
5. Seeing my actual book in an actual store will inspire cartwheels up and down the Barnes & Noble aisle. I’m just cool and professional that way.
6. Pentatonix wins everything. I love this group, and this video makes me love them all the more.
7. Making an interactive quiz is a fun way to get the word out about something–as well as a fun way to find out a bit about yourself. In lieu of a book trailer, Girl Meets Change has an interactive quiz to help folks determine if change is their friend or enemy. This is the first time I’ve made one (or rather, the first time I’ve been a part of a team of people who made one), and I love it! Even if you’re not curious about your relationship with change, take it just to see the gorgeous graphics on the “results page” created by Jennifer Tucker of Little House Studios. So incredibly beautiful.
8. Saying what you mourn out loud to our Father is essential to healing. Yes, I’ve learned this before. But as a new change creeps up the doorstep of my heart and home, I am re-learning the importance of saying out loud to God what is in my heart. And I don’t have to use my Sunday school voice to do so, either.
Lisa-Jo Baker addresses this in a magnificent blog post about the longing and sadness that accompanies a move, especially as that sadness pertain to missing friends. And in that post, she writes:
“And I told my Father how much I missed them – all the women who used to show up at the back door of the school for pick up, at the playgrounds, on the stands at the little league fields. I told Him how much I missed their laughter and their familiar routines and how they would bump into us at the grocery store with their own littles in tow.
Sometimes just saying it out loud is a kind of gentleness with yourself, giving yourself time to mourn.
Distance, new jobs, new houses, new classrooms, new pews.
These things can chafe as much as we might have wanted them. Even worse if we never asked for them.”
Great day, can I ever relate to her words here–about missing friends and about difficult change in general. They ministered to me greatly, and if you are undergoing your own hard change, I believe they’ll do the same for you too.
That’s what I learned this month, friends. Please share with me what you learned? And head over to Emily’s for more “What I Learned” stories. Much love to each of you.