twenty-five {gifts + coffee for you}

Today I turn twenty-five.

And I’m just going to be honest, that feels weird to type… much less speak out loud.

Maybe because, for an entire year, every time someone has asked my age (which shockingly happens more often than one would think), I’ve immediately answered “twenty-three.”

I mean, I don’t lie on purpose. Somehow my brain just can’t keep up with the fact that, for literally 365 days, year twenty-four was a real thing.

You become what you behold... (free print from kaitlynbouchillon.com)

For reasons I haven’t been able to put my finger on just yet, twenty-five feels important. It sounds like change and feels like worn-in jeans, like maybe I’ll continue to learn to live fully where I am and be settled inside, even while things shift around me. It feels both comfortable and new, and I like the sound of that.

Twenty-four held beauty and joy, laughter and answered prayers. It also held sorrow and confusion, laps around hospital floors and more unknowns that I could count on two hands. Twenty-five will hold much of the same, I would imagine. Halfway through year twenty-four, I hung up the phone after receiving terribly scary news and I wrote a post titled When You Need to Know the Story Isn’t Over. And look how it isn’t, how we’re all still here, how the pages keep on turning.

And so I’ll choose to be present in the moment, thanking God for the present, the gift that it is.

all is well (free print from kaitlynbouchillon.com)

And also, I will drink all the iced coffee, have dessert before dinner (chocolate chip cookies with sea salt on top, bless it), and I’ll end the day toasting to twenty-five in “best day ever” glasses with one of my favorite people.

All is well and all will be well and my gosh, I’m thankful for another year. Here’s to the next chapter.

++++

Gifts and coffee for you…

So listen, here’s the thing: I really wish you and I could get coffee. I’m pretty sure we’d hit it off, don’t you think?

But since we likely don’t live in the same city, I’ve been dreaming up a way to send you coffee.

And at the same time, I’ve been trying to find a way to send a physical gift to everyone who left a review for my book, Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between.

Even If Not by Kaitlyn Bouchillon

Because I’ve worked as a launch team manager for nearly a dozen book releases, I know how vital book reviews are. And, to put it simply, I want to say thank you to those who took the time to write words about my words.

(That’s almost as weird a sentence to write as “Today I turn twenty-five.”)

(Publishing fun fact: 50 and 100 are really important benchmarks for Amazon. When you hit 50 reviews, Amazon begins promoting your book in book slideshows. For example, if you scroll down when viewing a book, you’ll see dozens of other book recommendations. Amazon selects those books based on similar purchases + the number of book reviews.)

All of this got me thinking, and I figured… why not combine the two ideas? Why not thank those who have left reviews and, also, send coffee to people?

And so that’s what I want to do to celebrate my birthday. Send you gifts and coffee!

Here’s how it will work…

The first step to receiving an answer... (free print from kaitlynbouchillon.com)

See all the images in this post, the prints that several talented artists designed with quotes from Even If Not? If you’ve read the book, you know each chapter begins with beautiful artwork. And if you’re an email subscriber here, you received all 9 prints as a PDF when you subscribed.

But if you’ve left a review of Even If Not on Amazon, I want to send you four of the prints. In the mail. Like the good ol’ days when you opened your mailbox to more than a pile of bills.

And if you left a review on both Amazon and GoodReads, I’ll send six prints your way. (Yep, you can totally copy and paste your review from one site to the other.)

And, because coffee absolutely must be involved, I’ll randomly pick a couple people who leave reviews both places and let’s just say there might be a Starbucks gift card tucked between the prints. Because if we can’t have coffee together in person, the next best thing is treating you to coffee from far away.

Too often we compare our beginning to someone else's middle... (free print from kaitlynbouchillon.com)

Simply email me, before December 1st, at evenifnotbook@gmail.com and include your mailing address as well as a link to your review(s). You’ll hear back from me within 48 hours…and then a package will be on the way to you! Please, please know that I do not read reviews for my book (pinky-promise)… I just need to be able to click the link(s) and see that you aren’t spam. :)

Right now, Even If Not has 37 reviews (I only know this because I just looked it up) so we aren’t too far from 50. I say “we” because, in so many ways, you’ve been with me from the book announcement to the book release and have continued to cheer this white & gold & silver book on.

But listen, y’all.

Jesus is good and gracious... (free print from kaitlynbouchillon.com)

It would truly be wonderful to reach 50 reviews on both sites because it means Even If Not will find its way into the hands of those who need it, those who are broken but hopeful, desperate to find God in the middle of a storyline they wouldn’t have chosen. At the end of the day, that’s why book slideshows, and therefore reviews, matter to me.

Honestly, it feels more than a little bit awkward to even mention reviews, but I know how much they matter and I know that you keep on showing up here and you’ve cheered for this book from the get-go, so I trust you’ll hear my heart behind these words.

Even if only those who have already left a review see this thank you gift, I am 100% okay with that.

It’s no small thing to take a minute to write a review, and I’m incredibly grateful to those 37. So if I mail exactly 37 gifts? It’s worth the cost 37 times over.

When we let God do the mending... (free print from kaitlynbouchillon.com)

(If you aren’t sure what to say in a book review, a good tip is to pretend your best friend asked what you thought about the book. What would you honestly say? What did you love or learn? What stood out to you? Etc.)

Many, many thanks to you for being here, for reading all these many words, and for being a community of people I consider my friends. Year twenty-five is better for having you in it.

P.S. If you aren’t an email subscriber and want to join the fun + receive all 9 prints as a PDF, just click here to learn more.

9 totally free printables from the book Even If Not by Kaitlyn Bouchillon

Additional posts…

4 Free (Spring) iPhone Lock Screens

One of my favorite things to do is create free gifts for you that encourage, inspire you to share your story, and are beautiful reminders of truth. In fact, that's one of the reasons I wanted art and printables to be included throughout the pages of my book! {Those...

read more

The Writing on the Wall

A note, before I open the story I've held close. I drafted most of these words last week, while still in Alabama. I had to put this post on hold due to unforeseen circumstances. It's now March 20th and I'm in Florida, home for tests and to be with family while we...

read more

amaryllis.

I'm pretty sure I had never heard of an amaryllis, the flower that blooms in Winter, until I listened to Christy Nockel's podcast this past Fall. I was instantly captivated, struck by the ordinary extraordinary of being planted in a small space, growing slowly and...

read more

What I Learned This Winter

To be honest, I'm not sure Winter actually existed in Alabama this year. It's currently February and the high is 78 so, I mean, is February the new May? The Florida-girl in me loves flip-flop weather but it legitimately makes me sad to pack away all the baggy sweaters...

read more

Do It Again.

When I don't have the words to pray, I often find myself saying "do it again." Those three words somehow manage to sum up my emotions and racing thoughts, hopes and beliefs. "You've done it before. I believe You are more than capable to do it again, but I will choose...

read more

stories on the shelf

We're thirty-six days into 2017 and I've read eight books. Yep, eight. I've told you this before, so you probably aren't surprised. But the thing is, I just really love books. At any given point, I have five or six books piled on my nightstand. If you take into...

read more

My Word for 2017: Planted.

Thanks a million for your patience as I finished this post! You may have seen on Instagram that all my writing energy has recently been going toward a project with LifeWay. But as of two hours ago that is turned in (woohoo!) so here we go...   In retrospect, it seems...

read more

A book for the broken hopefuls… Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between

Even If Not: Living, Loving and Learning in the in Between

SaveSave