Weekend Links, 6.20.15

Weekend Links at Giving Up on Perfect

It’s been a long time since I shared my favorite posts of the week here. I’ve tried to share on Facebook when I remember, but thanks to tricky algorithms and the mystery that is social media, many of you don’t get to see those posts. Since I personally value weekly roundups like this myself (because really, ain’t nobody got TIME to read ALL THE THINGS on the internet, and sometimes I just want someone to tell me what to read), I thought I’d get back to it here on my own blog.

Annalyn is currently lounging in our $17 baby pool in the front yard, yelling every 90 seconds or so, “Mommy! Mom! MOM! Are you almost done? When are you coming out here? Moooooom!” So I’m going to keep this short and sweet and get straight to the links. Ready?

Lastly, my friend Kayse Pratt is starting an online devotional/book club/Bible study sort of thing next week on the 24th. If I know Kayse, it will be no pressure and super encouraging. After all, she said in her post about this project: “From blog posts to books, I’m just weary of all the things everyone is telling me I “should” be doing to be a better wife or mom or me, for goodness sake.” You and me both, friend. Details here.

Happy weekend, friends! May your days include cool drinks and loud laughter and absolutely no mosquitoes.


It’s a Blog Birthday – and a Big Giveaway!

Blog Birthday Giveaway

On second thought maybe it wasn’t a great idea to search for birthday cake photos on Day 5 of my return to Weight Watchers…


A little over seven years ago I decided to start a blog. And after choosing to follow Jesus and agreeing to marry my husband, it is the decision that has made the largest impact on my life. I had no idea what I was doing back then, no idea the difference that one little choice would make! {Special thanks to Chelley for inspiring me with her blog and being the reason I thought about starting mine in the first place!}

But I don’t want to talk about me, me, me today. I’m a blogger because of YOU. I’ve heard some people say that they love to write so much they’d write even if nobody read it. That’s not me. I am here because you are here. I write because you read and because you respond. Our community is what keeps me going.

So thank you. THANK YOU. Thank you for visiting or subscribing, for giving me permission to share my deepest desires and fears, my biggest and highest dreams, and my shallowest thoughts and tendencies with you. Thank you for commenting and liking and retweeting and sharing. Thank you for coming back when I take on too many sponsored posts or ramble on about something boring or say something you just don’t agree with. Thank you for being my friends.

To celebrate you, I’m holding a Big Blog Birthday Giveaway! Woohoo!!

You can enter for a chance to win by leaving a comment, following me on Twitter or visiting my Facebook page (I’d love you to follow it, but *SIGH* legally I can’t make you.). I’m using Rafflecopter, so winners will be selected randomly by the computer when the giveaway closes next Sunday. We’ll have three winners, and here’s what those lucky readers will win:

Third prize = $25 gift card to Amazon
Second prize = 5 books from DaySpring: Surprised by Motherhood, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, Love Idol, The Best Yes, and Let’s All Be Brave

{drum roll…}

Grand prize = Kindle Fire HD (6″, 8GB)

Edited to add: This giveaway is now closed. Winners were selected randomly and contacted via email.

Are you as excited about this as I am?!? (Okay, maybe not. But I love my Kindle and, well, books in general, and I am so excited to share that with some of you!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo source

2015 State of the Blog Address

2015 State of the Blog - Giving Up on Perfect

This April I will have been blogging for seven years. Seven years! That’s considerably longer than I’ve held any one job, which is interesting. (To me. It’s interesting to me.) For the bloggers who began this journey around the same time as me, I think many of us have gone through similar stages:

Beginning blogger: *whispers* I’m, um, a blogger? I guess?
Blogger with some experience: *shouts* I love being a blogger! Here’s my card!
Seasoned blogger: *says with confidence* I’m a writer/artist, and I have a blog!
Veteran blogger: *says with resignation* Yeah…I’m a blogger. HEAVY SIGH.

Many of us seem to be gathering in corners of the internet, grumbling about this trend and that, railing against the forces of evil (Fine. I mean Facebook.), and generally telling those pesky kids to get off our lawns.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But as we begin this new year and I head into my seventh year of blogging, I’m feeling something different. I’m feeling hopeful and even peaceful. Contentment may even be close behind.


Over the weekend I was holding Adrienne and feeding her some dry breakfast cereal. If you must know, I was alternating cheerios with Reese’s Puffs because they are delicious, because she is adorable, and because I am weak.

But that’s not the point.

I held my hand out to her with one puff on it, and she gave me five. Not five puffs, but “gimme five!” five. It’s a new trick and an understandable mistake, since my hand was held out like I wanted her to give me five. However, it meant that puff went flying and landed on the floor.

You may find this shocking, but my floors aren’t the cleanest thing in the world, so I quickly grabbed a handful of new puffs to offer her.

But no. Oh no. That determined (as we’re calling her, because “obstinate” and “bull-headed” seem a bit premature and, well, not nice to call a one-year-old) little girl insisted on dive-bombing herself to the floor to get the not-so-clean puff.

As I wrangled her in an attempt to keep her head from banging into our hardwoods, I thought, “Good grief, kid! Why on earth would you want THAT ONE when you could have something so much better [aka, cleaner] up here?!”

And then I thought of all the times I’ve done the very same thing.


This year of blogging, for me, will be about getting back to the reasons I began blogging in the first place. I started this blog to write and to find community. And while that’s remained the most important in my heart, I’ve gotten distracted by the new, the shiny, the bigger and the better too many times.

In short, I’ve dive-bombed off the couch for the dusty cereal when the fresh, clean snack is right in front of me.

So, my plan is to get back to basics. What does that look like for this blog?
More and less, I hope.

More posting to encourage and inspire (and entertain).
Less posting to meet deadlines. Less posting that requires disclosures.
More posting after giving my words time to simmer and take shape.
Less posting just because I haven’t posted anything in a while.
Regular (weekly? maybe.) posts where we simply chat about life.
Hosting Works for Me Wednesday and sharing tips for a real, imperfect life.
More talking about books and TV, because you seem to like that. (And so do I.)
More honesty, more humor, more heart. (And always, always, more alliteration.)

And I hope we’ll have more conversation. Let’s talk, huh? I love hearing about your life – or favorite books or recipe ideas or feelings about our favorite TV shows – more than I love telling you about mine. I love learning about you and getting to know you and sharing life with you.

That’s the state of this blog, this year. Will I do all this perfectly? No. Of course not. After all, we’re not about perfect here. But these are my goals for this blog, and I’m looking forward to Year Seven being a little bit different than the last few.

A few of my friends have written wise, well-researched and well-thought-out posts about the state of the blog in general and the state of their individual blogs. Good reads, all.

State of the Blog Address, 2015 – The Art of Simple
How to Stay Sane on the Internet – Chatting at the Sky
What You Can Expect to Find at This Corner of the Internet – Chasing Blue Skies

Let’s have some of that conversation now.

What would you like to see more and less of here?
And if you blog, what’s the state of your blog?

{Photos by Kristina Servant and Stacy Spensley }

Subscribers Win DaySpring Pitchers!!

dayspring pitcher

Good morning, happy Monday and a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who subscribe to Giving Up on Perfect. Knowing that you all will join me in this place is one of the biggest blessings of blogging. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do this on my own!

Last month I partnered with DaySpring to give away five Daily Grace pitchers to subscribers (one each week). I drew names using Random.org, and was excited to contact the winners this morning. I’d hoped to announce the winners here, but as it turns out, I have email addresses for most of you but not names.

So, an email has been sent. If you subscribe, check your email for a bonus message! :)

Have a great day, friends!

Looking for Lemonade Stories

31 Days of Making Lemonade

October is just around the corner, and you know what that means!

No, I’m not referring to pumpkin everything, Annalyn’s birthday, Halloween or the anniversary of my first date with Mark. Those things are coming, but today I’m talking about 31 Days.

Every fall, hundreds of bloggers take the challenge to write (and post) about one topic every day in the month of October. It’s Nester’s idea, and I fully anticipate cursing her “brilliance” by about the third week of this insanity. But not for long, because writing daily on one topic for a full month has benefits that last way longer than 31 days of blogging stress and chaos!

In 2012, I wrote 31 Days of Giving Up on Perfect.
In 2013, I wrote 31 Days of Giving Up on Fairy Tales.
In 2014, I’ll write 31 Days of Making Lemonade.

As in, when life gives you lemons… And I need your help. Do you have a story about a time in your life when life handed you lemons but you turned it around (made lemonade) into a positive situation? I’d love to hear it and possibly share it with everyone here as a guest post.

If you’d like to submit a guest post for my 31 Days series, please email it to me by Friday, September 26.

Will you participate in 31 Days this year?