Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dear Bloggy! (Final Wrap-Up)

It's been a wonderful blogoversary week here at Classical Quest. Many of you have stopped by to show your support and wish me well. Thank you all so much. Today I'm wrapping up my reminiscences with the final post of highlights from this past year.

No blogoversary would be complete without chocolate!
Changed my tagline from, "a self education journal" to "My journey through the classics (and life)."

Started reading Anna Karenina. Began to fall head-over-heels for the first time while reading through the Great Books -- for Tolstoy's writing.

Took a trip to the mountains with my husband. 

While he did some rappelling, I made a desk for myself out of a boulder at the bottom of a cliff.

Classical Quest joined Facebook.

Posted the first guest post here, "Madame Bovary: What If?", by Sandy Bramhill

Weaned my baby... possibly my last baby! [heavy sigh] To think that I may never nurse a baby again for the rest of eternity makes me tear up right now!

I spent a long weekend alone at home with Baby Girl and my books while the rest of my family was away having adventures of their own. It was during this time that I introduced the series, "Classics and the Bible Sundays", which has turned into a weekly devotional touchstone for me.

Classical Quest joined Pinterest.

I was still reading Anna Karenina at this time. (It's a rather long novel.)

Classical Quest joined Twitter.

Finished Anna Karenina. (Did some back-flips!)

Made some of my first cyber-samplers. (I believe I may have coined this term.) These are quotes that I've discovered in my reading paired with pictures I've taken. I store my creations alongside other great quotes I've pinned on one of my Pinterest boards which is labeled, "Cyber-Samplers".

Hosted my first synchro-read on Facebook with The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy.

Experimented with some posts I called "Quest Notes". These posts were popular as well as fun to put together. I'll most likely post more in the future.

When I started Classical Quest it was a niche within a niche. Only a handful of people were blogging about my specific means of pursuing an education. But after the soul searching I did in August, I started reaching out with more personal posts. I've found that by drawing from the Great Books, as well as from my own life experience, I have a platform for encouraging many people through their own life-quest.

After Christmas I read a wonderful book that Tim Fall recommended to me -- Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me, by Karen Swallow Prior. It was a such treat to read something which closely aligned with my reasons for turning to the classics at this season of my life. I plan to write more about my impression of this book soon.

January 2013
The second guest post was published here, a poem entitled, "The Choice", by Jeannie Prinsen.

Started a separate blog called Classics and the Bible to better organize my "Classics and the Bible Sundays" posts, which debut each Sunday here at Classical Quest.

Began hosting my second synchro-read, The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James.

Entertained over 50 people in my home twice this month. (Woo-hoo! Somebody needs to alert Fly Lady! She's got a valid competitor here!  . . . OK, not really.)

I feel like I'm making some progress with structuring my life so that I can care for my family, reach out to my community and still have enough time left over to work on my quest. Keeping the ball rolling is tricky! I have to constantly exercise temperance -- lest I dive in too far and come up empty handed when someone asks for clean socks!

my kitchen clock

I'm also learning to be more disciplined in general -- to fully engage in whatever I'm doing at the time -- be it loading the dishwasher, or playing with my kids, or writing a post.

For the past year I have not felt an old nagging ache I used to feel all the time. Maybe you've felt it too -- it's the thought that there is something you should be doing that you are not doing. That's how I know in my heart of hearts that every step I take on this journey is worth every bit of the effort. I have a deep-seated peace that I'm precisely where I'm supposed to be.

If you've read this post as well as the previous two, then you are pretty much caught up to date on the big events here at Classical Quest. For a complete list of titles I've read this past year (including modern titles), visit my Reading by Month page.

Thank you again for sharing this special first blogoversary with me. See you Sunday for "Classics and the Bible Sundays"! 


  1. Happy blogiversary! I've loved reading your birthday series--I think you're very brave to put yourself out there so much. Also I am deep into CHAOS sydrome, sigh. :)

    1. Thank you Jean!

      As for CHAOS -- there is hope! I am living proof! (Though honestly, NOT at the moment. We're having a snow day and my five are in party mode.)

      I like to quote a friend of my mine: "If you want to see ME, you are welcome ANY time. If you want to see MY HOUSE, please give me 24hrs advance notice!" :D

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Adriana! Reading this blogoverssary series has been a kick. So glad to be along on your quest.


    1. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun with out you! The shout- out was my pleasure. :)

  3. Love this post, the pictures, the reference to me ... :-D

    Seriously though, is there any greater joy than being able to say "I don't have that feeling that there's something I should be doing that I'm not"? Your quest is a calling, no doubt about it, and I'm thrilled to have joined your community.

    1. Your insights are a blessing!

      As in your poem, I want to be that "questing heart" who "plunges forth with joy" and says:

      "I'll go, brave-souled and glad,
      not turn and say, 'Another day will do.'"

      (Now you see why "The Choice" struck a chord with me!)

  4. This is a lovely series. Happy Bloggy Birthday1


Comments make my day! I read each one and try to respond within 24 hrs. If you choose to comment anonymously, please leave your first name, pen name, or nickname in the comment box along with your comment. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!