Okay, so let’s talk about this emotional milestone.
I just got home from an informational meeting at the Junior High because Caroline is going to be in Junior High next year. Of all the things happening in my life right now, this might be the one that is the most surreal and has caused me to be a little bit of a wreck.
Junior High. As in, MIDDLE SCHOOL. As in, she’ll have a locker and everything.
Oh, and also. I have a book that’s officially out today. Maybe you’ve heard about it since I have been talking about it for the last week or so non-stop.
It’s called The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life.
Spoiler alert: It’s about marriage. Specifically, it’s about my marriage. But I expect that it’s probably about your marriage, too. Because there are things and moments and frustrations and joys that we all experience as we spend our lives with another person that we’ve pledged to be with until one or both of us die.
(You’re welcome for that cheery thought.)
I’m going to be honest with you and admit that I hope you buy this book. And I hope you spread the word to your friends and that they read it. Because as I’ve really spent time thinking about what my hopes and dreams are for The Antelope in the Living Room (the book, not the real antelope because my hope for it is that it mysteriously disappears) something has become clear. I want it to fill you with the realization that you’re normal.
I realize that may be a lofty goal for some of you.
Here’s the thing. Marriage can be hard. We all know that. And there are millions, or at least hundreds, of books out there with all manner of advice telling us how we can be better wives or speak each other’s love languages or pray for our husbands. And that’s good. Sometimes that’s what we need.
But in a world where Fifty Shades of Gray spent time on the bestseller list, maybe we need a book about a real relationship. A real, messy, beautiful, normal marriage and what an incredible thing it can be and what a gift it is to spend your life with a man who can drive you crazy and make you fall in love all over again in the midst of the mundane and the routine and the what’s for dinner tonight and the soccer carpools.
Maybe instead of reading more statistics about divorce and hearing all the gloom and doom, we need a little hope that marriage, with all its ups and downs, can bring us joy.
Because it’s often in those hard moments that we are becoming the person God created us to be. We’re dying to self and learning what it means to forgive and sharing all the triumphs and struggles that life can bring with another human being. It’s in the simple chaos and absurdities of everyday life that you and your husband are weaving a legacy for your family.
And if we can’t find the laughter and the humor and the security in that? Then I think we’re missing the whole point.
That’s my prayer as this book goes out into the world. That for a few hours or days or however long it takes you to finish it, that you will laugh and cry and feel normal. That you’ll know you’re not the only one whose husband buys peppermint bark in bulk or lectures you on how to turn the closet doorknob the right way or didn’t buy you a Lexus wrapped in a big red bow this past Christmas.
I want it to be a reminder that marriage is funny and fragile and hard and wonderful all at the same time. It’s God’s gift to us and sometimes I think we can all use to remember that it is worth fighting for.
Over the last few months, I have been so thankful for your kind words and your prayers and your support. You have blessed me and cheered me on more than I can ever convey. You’re a part of this book and I would love for you to be a part of it again this week as it goes out in the world.
So today I have a really fun giveaway planned just to say thank you for all your support.
One of you has the chance to win a pair of my very favorite Frye boots. The Jackie Tall Button boots. I talk about them in a chapter of the book.
I happen to own them in the cognac color, but you can choose whatever color and size you prefer. All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment on this post. I’ll close comments on Friday, February 7th at noon and choose a winner using Random.org. One comment per person please. Duplicates will be deleted.
In the meantime, here are some ways you can help make the launch of The Antelope in the Living Room a success. You can do all of these or none of them. I mean that with almost total sincerity. Well, maybe 65% sincerity.
1. Buy the book
It’s officially out today.
Here’s a handy widget if you’d like to purchase it from one of the following places online.
Or you can be like a pioneer and trek to your local real live bookstore and buy it there. It should be on the shelves at all your local book stores and even your Sam’s Club.
2. ONLINE REVIEWS
You can start leaving reviews for the book today and it would be great if you would take the time to leave a review after you read the book. Apparently, that’s important.
You can just briefly write your thoughts and please know that if you leave a one star review that I won’t read it because I learned last time that it causes me to go in the fetal position.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
Feel free to post about it or tweet about it or Facebook it or Instagram yourself holding a copy of it at your bookstore or on your couch or whatever.
And if you feel like it, you can hashtag it (Dad, that’s this #) like this #antelopeinthelivingroom. That will make it easy for me to go find your pictures on Instagram or read your tweets.
Plus, Gulley and my friend Debbi have made it their mission to take pictures of the book all day long in various locations and they’ll be using #antelopeinthelivingroom as their hashtag. I have a feeling it’s going to be entertaining.
You can also find easy ways to share the book or tweet or pin or whatever the kids are doing these days on the official book page. Just click here.
4. SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS
You know, everyone you know and maybe even some people you don’t. Word of mouth is such a huge help.
My prayer for this book is that it gets in the hands of every woman who may need the encouragement or the laughs. I hope it helps us all take some time to find the joy in our marriage and breathe a sigh of relief that it doesn’t all need to feel so heavy all the time.
I cannot thank you enough for all the love you have shown me. I don’t take it lightly that you show up here and read what I write and buy my books. In fact, I don’t know that I’ll ever get over it. And I’ve determined that I will forever spend book release days crying like a baby intermittently throughout the day as I am overwhelmed with all the kindness. And maybe also that my baby is going to Junior High next year.
Thank you isn’t enough.
But maybe a chance at a pair of Frye boots helps.
**Also, one last reminder that I’ll be signing books at the Barnes and Noble San Pedro location in San Antonio tonight from 6-8 p.m.**
****Comments on this post are now closed. The winner has been chosen and notified by email! Thank you all so much!****