2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge | March

Anne of the Island

Good evening! Real quick post to kick off our reading of book #3, Anne of the Island.

Okay, this is the book where things between Anne and Gil start picking up. I won’t give away too many details incase we’ve got first-time readers but this book definitely gets into the good stuff 😉 By now we’re totally aware of the differences between the books and the TV series, but let’s focus in a little more this month and do some comparisons in regard to the developments in Anne & Gil’s relationship.

  1. There are some great conversations between Anne and Gil in this book. As much as I love the TV series, some of the real essence of their friendship is lost in the film adaptation. They were such buddies! Is there a scene in the book that you wish hadn’t been left out of the film adaptation?  
  2. The proposal. Ah! The proposal! Tell me, which do you like better? The film version or the book version? Mind you, I see Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie when I read the books so I’m not talking about the acting but rather the the scenes for their own sake.
  3. Let’s talk about Roy Gardener, the man straight out of Anne’s dreams. Give three reasons why he’s so not the guy for her. And if you’d like, talk a bit about having an ‘dream man’ and whether or not we should hold out for them or eventually let them go.

BONUS QUESTION!

Christine Stewart. I get that TV has to be written so that the plot moves along smoothly and all, and I can respect that, but really? What do you think about what Sullivan did in the movie as opposed to how Montgomery wrote Gil’s relationship with her?

I could come up with so many more great questions but I’ll stick to my three. I hope ya’ll enjoy reading this book! It’s super delightful, very heartwarming, and might even make you cry! I can’t wait to hear what ya’ll have to say!!

Happy Reading!

2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge | February Round Up

 

ANNE SLIDER (3)

Hello everyone! February has ended and which means it’s time for our second round up of the year!

Let’s talk Avonlea. How did you enjoy the second book? This is one of my favorites in the series and it was a pleasure revisiting it 🙂 How ’bout those questions I asked at the beginning of the month?

Anne of Avonlea introduces a cast of new characters including Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavender, Davy & Dora, Paul Irving, and Charlotta the Fourth. Which new character(s) was the most endearing to you? What do you like about them? 

This is a hard one but I’d definitely have to say Davy Keith is the most endearing to me. He’s such a messy little boy but he’s sooo lovable and sweet and he totally adores Anne which is even all the more precious. Paul Irving comes in at a close second. He’s a precious kiddo too and also equally adores Anne. Both boys are such kindred spirits 😉

Anne has such high hopes and ideals when she sets out to teach Avonlea school. However, she’s in for a few surprises. What do you think about expectations and ideals when approaching a new situation? What do you think Anne discovered in this season as a school teacher?

Anne, like I’m sure many of us sometimes do with new, exciting situations, approached teaching with her ideals and assumptions about how things would work out. I think this first season of teaching taught her that sometimes it’s the unexpected things, the situations you couldn’t have anticipated, that make the difference. And it’s okay to have a bad day as long as you pick up and continue to do your best.

What do you think of Miss Lavender’s romance? Do you agree with Gilbert’s comment on what could have been? 😉

This comment of Gil’s after Miss Lavender’s wedding gives us a glimpse of his romantic side which is so *sigh*-worthy (<– I don’t know if that’s even a term or if it’s written correctly but it looks good to me!). But in answer to the question, even after years of reading the book, I’m not sure how I feel about it. If Miss Lavender and Mr. Irving had stayed together, Paul would never have been born. I love what Gilbert says about how they could have walked through life together but on the other hand, the point is they ended up together and along the way, there was still beauty in the lives they lived apart from each other.

I’m probably thinking more into this than maybe what Gilbert was driving at (cause he was totally hinting to Anne about how he felt about her) but while a lifelong romance between Miss Lavender and Mr. Irving would have been nice, Miss Lavender wouldn’t be the same Miss Lavender, there wouldn’t have been Charlottas 1 through 4, Paul Irving wouldn’t have been born, and Anne and Diana never would have found Echo Lodge. Life & beauty happen even when things don’t go the way maybe they should have and it’s still a wonderful thing if we make the most of it!

Now it’s your turn! Let me know your thoughts! If you’re blogging your way through this reading challenge, leave a link to your post for Book Two in the widget below so I can visit! Or just leave me a comment at the end of the post :).

I know I’m a day behind but I’ll have the post for Anne of the Island up tomorrow. You ready for March? Anne and Gil are off to college! I’m reeeeally excited to talk about this chapter of their lives 😀

Have a great evening, y’all!

2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge | February

Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge February

It’s February!! And that means we’re reading Anne of Avonlea! 🙂 🙂 I’m so excited for this book, it’s one of my favorites in the series. There’s so much to love about this chapter in Anne’s life that you miss from the movie. But I’ll leave my comments for book review, for now, here are my discussion questions for this month:

  1. Anne of Avonlea introduces a cast of new characters including Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavender, Davy & Dora, Paul Irving, and Charlotta the Fourth. Which new character(s) was the most endearing to you? What do you like about them? 
  2. Anne has such high hopes and ideals when she sets out to teach Avonlea school. However, she’s in for a few surprises. What do you think about expectations and ideals when approaching a new situation? What do you think Anne discovered in this season as a school teacher?
  3. What do you think of Miss Lavender’s romance? Do you agree with Gilbert’s comment on what could have been? 😉

These questions are, of course, optional but I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’re inclined to share! And remember, if you’re posting on social media, use the hastag #ayearinavonlea so I can follow what y’all are up too :D.

Happy Reading!

2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge | January Round Up

ANNE JAN 2

Good evening everyone! Oh my goodness, it feels like forever since I’ve posted!! January has been a whirlwind for me and I’m just now beginning to catch my breath. To be completely honest, I haven’t quite finished the book but I’m coming along. When I tell you my life has completely changed in the past month, I mean I’ve just entered a whole different season of life that I’m still adjusting to! But that’s a post for another day 😉

Let’s talk Green Gables!

How was the first book? Have you completed it? Not yet? No worries! Me either, right? Lol. I’m about to switch to audiobook to speed up.

However, I did promise a post on the last day of the month and I want to keep my word! So let’s take a look at those questions I posed at the beginning of the month.

This first installment of Anne Shirley’s story is about her finding a home after years of displacement. While we often consider ‘home’ to be synonymous with ‘house’, it’s also a state of being. What does home mean for you and what makes it special?

My Answer: Home for me is family. Home is where I feel safe with the people I love. Home is where I can let my hair down, relax, rejuvenate, experiment, play, create, escape, pray, sing, read, and not worry what others are going to think about me because the people in my home accept me as I am.

Friendship is such a huge theme in this book. There are many elements that make up a great bosom friendship like Anne and Diana’s but if you had to pick three of those elements, what would they be?

My Answer: Only three? Lol that’s hard and made up this question! Okay, I’d say love, trust, and forgiveness. Those are loaded and come with sub-divisions but that’s the short answer ;).

Of course, we love Gilbert Blythe but the real sweetheart in the first book is Matthew Cuthbert. What makes Matthew such a great father figure in Anne’s life? And (if you’ve read the books before) what effect do you think his love and influence has in the rest of Anne’s life? 

My Answer: Oh Matthew is suuuuuuuuuch a sweetheart and I think what makes him so is the combination of his desire to love and his natural disposition to quiet, simple sweet temperedness. He’s just a real sweet guy, not out to prove anything, just work hard and be a credit to his sister. He and Anne are a perfect father-daughter pair cause she does all the talking and he’s a patient listener. He gives her the necessary room to be herself and I think that that was the perfect bookend to Marilla’s more strict version of love that gave her the structure she never had.

Let me know your thoughts! If you’re blogging your way through this reading challenge, leave a link to your post for Book One in the widget below so I can visit! Or just leave me a comment at the end of the post :).

Are y’all ready for February? Ready or not, here it comes! And that means we’re reading Anne of Avonlea! I love this book, it might be my favorite….might. It’s so hard to choose! My February intro post will be up tomorrow and we’ll talk Book Two! Be patient with me, dear Reader, it might not be up till the evening.

I’d love to know how y’all are getting along! I hope your January has been as wonderful and, dare I say, as challenging as mine as been ;).

Have a wonderful evening!

2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge | January

Anne January
Good afternoon! Happy New Year dear Readers! It is January 1, 2016 and that means, among other things, that the Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge begins!
 
I’ve been waiting for this since my initial challenge announcement and I’m so excited to be reading some of my favorite books with y’all!!
 
Okay, so first, a bit of housekeeping.
 
I said before that there is no set schedule for this challenge and there isn’t—you can read as fast or as slow as you’d like. However, you should know what to expect from me as host so I do have a schedule for myself.  I’m going to be reading a book a month and will do an intro post on the first of the month and my review and discussion question answers on the last of the month.
 
So, my calendar will look like this:
 
  • January – Anne of Green Gables
  • February – Anne of Avonlea
  • March – Anne of the Island
  • April – Anne of Windy Poplars
  • May – Anne’s House of Dreams
  • June – Anne of Ingleside
  • July – Rainbow Valley
  • August – Rilla of Ingleside
  • September – Catch Up
  • October – The Blythes are Quoted
  • November – The Road to Yesterday
  • December – Catch Up/Round Up/Giveaway
September  thru December, you can read as many extra titles as you’d like. Since this isn’t my only reading challenge for the year, I’ll just be reading two extras with September and December as catch up months. Aaaaand since December is the Christmas season and time of giving, I’ll be doing a giveaway ^.^
 
Again, read at your own pace but this is what you can expect of me ^.^
 
Also, at the end of every month, I’ll have a link up where you can post your reviews if you’re blogging your way through the challenge.

Alrighty, on to the discussion Q’s for the month. I initially said that I would post a discussion question but I couldn’t choose between these three so here they all are:
 
  1. This first installment of Anne Shirley’s story is about her finding a home after years of displacement. While we often consider ‘home’ to be synonymous with ‘house’, it’s also a state of being. What does home mean for you and what makes it special?
  2. Friendship is such a huge theme in this book. There are many elements that make up a great bosom friendship like Anne and Diana’s but if you had to pick three of those elements, what would they be?
  3. Of course, we love Gilbert Blythe but the real sweetheart in the first book is Matthew Cuthbert. What makes Matthew such a great father figure in Anne’s life? And (if you’ve read the books before) what effect do you think his love and influence has in the rest of Anne’s life? 
I’ll have my answers to these questions up at the end of the month!

Before I leave you to your reading, I have a gift for you. I’m a lister and best able to keep track of things when they are on paper in front of me, soooooooooo for those of you who are like me and like writing things down with old fashioned pen and paper, I’ve got a simple, free printable sheet to keep you on track during this reading challenge.
2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge Printable
And don’t forget, if you’re sharing your reading on social media, be sure and use the hashtag #ayearinavonlea 🙂
Well, that should do it for now! I wish you all well as you start this challenge and any other challenge you may be participating in this year! Have a great new year’s day and a fabulous weekend!
 
Happy Reading!

2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge

Earlier this year, I wrote Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe and Why Guys Should Pay AttentionIt’s probably the most widely read thing I’ve ever written in my life. It struck a chord with many Green Gables fans and I was so happy to share some great Anne and Gil moments with everyone in memory of Jonathan Crombie.

Of course, with all the hype about Anne and Gil, I craved the books. So next year, I’m going to read through all 8 books. If you love the books as much as I do and it’s time for some re-reading, I invite you to join! And if you’ve always been a fan of the films but have never read the books, then you, my dear, are so missing out and should really consider reading them next year!

(this post contains affiliate links)

The Anne series includes the follow titles:

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne’s House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside

I soooo cannot wait to begin, these are some of my favorite books from my teen years and re-reading them is always such a treat! 

Guidelines:

  • I’m going to keep it really simple. All you have to do is complete books 1-8 between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. I’m not setting a schedule, just read at your own pace. Easy, peasy, lemon squeasy!
  • Any format is acceptable (hard copy, e-book, audiobook)
  • Crossovers to other challenges are allowed encouraged, and totally expected 😉

Extras: (Updated)

  • Since there are 12 months and only 8 books, I decided to add two more titles to my list. If you want to do a book a month, that would leave room for 4 additional titles. Here are some more Avonlea reads you may want to consider: (some of these were suggested in the comments below)
The Emily books:

3. Emily’s Quest

Again, these additional reads are they are totally optional. So far, I’ve chosen these two:


TheBlythesAreQuotedBookThe Blythes are Quoted – Montgomery wrote this book as the final chapter in Anne series but was never published in it’s entirety until much later. I had no idea it existed until today and am looking forward to getting my own copy!


roadtoyesterdaylucymaudmontgomerybookThe Road to Yesterday – This is an extremely abridged version of the The Blythes are Quoted. So abridged that a reviewer on Goodreads said they are two completely different books. I’ve had it on my list to read for awhile so I’m going to add it to this challenge.

Blog Schedule (Updated):

Now, while there is no set reading schedule, you should know what to expect from me as host so I do have a schedule for myself on the blog.  I’m going to be reading a book a month and will do an intro post on the first of the month and my review and discussion question answers on the last of the month.
 
So, my calendar will look like this:
 
  • January – Anne of Green Gables
  • February – Anne of Avonlea
  • March – Anne of the Island
  • April – Anne of Windy Poplars
  • May – Anne’s House of Dreams
  • June – Anne of Ingleside
  • July – Rainbow Valley
  • August – Rilla of Ingleside
  • September – Catch Up
  • October – The Blythes are Quoted
  • November – The Road to Yesterday
  • December – Catch Up/Round Up/Giveaway
September thru December, you can read as many extra titles as you’d like. Since this isn’t my only reading challenge for the year, I’ll just be reading two extras with September and December as catch up months. Aaaaand since December is the Christmas season and time of giving, I’ll be doing a giveaway ^.^
Again, read at your own pace but this is what you can expect of me ^.^
 
Also, at the end of every month, I’ll have a link up where you can post your reviews if you’re blogging your way through the challenge.

So, Green Gables fans, it’s time to take a trip to back to good ol’ Prince Edward Island for a yearlong visit with our favorite Anne (spelled with an ‘E’).  

You don’t need a blog to join but if you are a blogger, sign up below with your link. Either way, leave me a comment and let me know that you’re joining the fun!

And if you’d like, here are a couple of smaller versions you can copy and paste to your blog 🙂

If you’re sharing the challenge on social media, use the hashtag #ayearinavonlea.

Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge 2016

Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge 2016

Happy Reading!


One or more titles in the series will also go towards these other reading challenges:


The blogger at Purple Ink Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe and Why Guys Should Pay Attention

Gilbert Blythe.  The name alone is enough to make hearts swoon!

When I heard that Jonathan Crombie died two weeks ago, I cried. Call me sappy or too sentimental but I did, for real. Not only was he just too young, he brought to life literature’s most beloved boy-next-door and I felt like a tornado swept through my childhood and the memory of those sweet, sweet years will never be the same.

jonathan crombie IMDB
photo credit – IMDB

So, what’s the big deal about this guy, Gilbert Blythe? Why do girls fall for him so easily? While women everywhere have swooned over any number of literature’s leading men over the years, from Darcy to Rochester, it is my humble opinion that L.M. Montgomery’s dear Gil is the best.

So, if you’ll allow me, I’m going to indulge in a bit of sentimental fan-girling. I write this for Green Gables fans, of course, but I write it first for the little girl who grew up with Anne & Gil and will always cherish the memories of movie marathons and worn paperbacks.

That is to say, this post is for me.

But, you will have, of course, noticed the second half of my title: Why Guys Need to Pay Attention. Yeah, this one is for the guys too – if they can sit through it. Ladies, pass this on to the gentlemen in your life and see what kind of conversations it’ll start. If you’re a gentleman and you’re reading this, I have five things to say to you:

  1. Excuse the profuse sentiment.
  2. You’ll notice a Guy Tip at the end of each item – that’s for you. If you want to just cut to the chase and read those bits first, go for it!
  3. If your girlfriend or wife made you read this, suck it up, read it and then give her a hug and ask her why she thought you should and really listen to what she has to say. Be open to a new conversation.  
  4. You’re about to find out why, if you didn’t yet know, the lady in your life had has such a huge crush on a fictional character. 
  5. You’re welcome.

NOTE: If you haven’t read the books, you won’t recognize some of the references. If you’ve never watched the movies or read the books…well, you decide how you feel about spoilers!

So, here’s my list in memory of Jonathan Crombie.

Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe and Why Guys Should Pay Attention

(This post contains affiliate links)

1. He lets Anne be Anne.

Oh, Anne Shirley!  She’s a wonderful mess of imagination, goof-ups, temper, drive, and dreams – and Gilbert loves all of that about her. He never tries to make her something she isn’t. He lets her be herself and admires her for it.

This most definitely does not mean that he’s a pushover! If he has a differing opinion, he’ll state it and stand by it. (You may recall their discussion about Leslie’s husband in Anne’s House of Dreams). These two chums-turned-lovers don’t always agree, and their lives aren’t free of struggle – they’ve got issues just like everyone else. Gilbert doesn’t think she’s perfect but he loves her for the person she is and the person she’s becoming.

Guy Tip: If you really like a girl, let her be herself! Great relationships aren’t about what you’re going to get out of the other person, they’re about how you bring out the best in that other person. Bring out the best in your lady and if you’ve got a keeper, not only will she shine, she’ll do the same for you too!

Gentleman, if you’re married, this is even more crucial. We all change over time and I’m sure that if you’ve been married long enough, both of you can say that, in some ways, you’re not married to the same person you stood next to at the alter. And that’s okay!! That’s the way life is and it’s a good thing as long as we’re growing and learning and progressing. Let her grow and learn. Let her mature and change. Let her thrive. Again, if you’ve got a good girl, she’ll do the same for you and the two of you will have a good thing going.

2. He works hard.

Gilbert works hard for what he has and isn’t showy about his successes. He simply shows up, does his best, and lets his work speak for itself. You see this all through his years in school and later as a doctor. He doesn’t let obstacles throw him and he pursues excellence. And Anne knows this. Even before she falls in love with Gilbert, she knows her best guy friend is somebody who chases dreams and does the hard work. She knows that he’s not flakey and she can trust him cause he’s proven to be dependable. 

Guy Tip: If you haven’t already, figure out what you want to do in life and then work hard to make it happen. It’s not about having all your ducks in a row right this very minute but rather doing the best with what you’ve got and always pursuing excellence. That may mean sacrificing stuff you used to enjoy when you were a kid. If you find yourself having to decide whether or not to study or work longer on an assignment for your job rather than hang out? Congrats, you’ve entered adulthood. If you have to start at the bottom again even though you know you’re worth more? Congrats, you’re entering a new season of life.

Working hard means paying your dues in the pursuit of what you’ve deemed important. We’re all old enough to know that we don’t realize success overnight – it takes work. Life is a cumulative journey; we learn by and build on experience. Embrace it, work with it, and then let your successes speak for themselves. And, I assure you, the good girls will pay attention and they will applaud you because that kind of work ethic is attractive. I promise.  

3. He’s patient.

This is evidenced in the TV series but so much more, I think, in the books. How incredibly patient this guy is! He fell in love with Anne long before the thought ever occurred to her that he could. And he waited. And waited.

The second book in the series, Anne of Avonlea, ends with Anne and Gil walking home from the wedding of a dear friend, Miss Lavender, who had married her sweetheart from years ago. Anne comments on how sweet their story was and how happy she was that the bride and groom came “together again after all the years of separation and misunderstanding.”

“Yes, it’s beautiful,” said Gilbert, looking steadily down into Anne’s uplifted face, “but wouldn’t it have been more beautiful still, Anne, if there had been no separation or misunderstanding…if they had come hand in hand all the way through life, with no memories behind them but those which belonged to each other?”

Get’s me every time. Here’s what happens next.

“For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways…perhaps…perhaps…love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.

Gilbert wisely said nothing more; but in his silence he read the history of the next four years in the light of Anne’s remembered blush. Four years of earnest, happy work…and then the guerdon of a useful knowledge gained and a sweet heart one.

Anne of Avonlea, Chapter 30

In our culture of hook-ups, shack-ups, and split-ups, it’s all the more satisfying to read about a patient guy. Gilbert decided to bide his time and work hard so that he could offer Anne a future. So the two set off for Redmond College to pursue their academic dreams. 

Enter Roy Gardner. You book readers will remember Roy from Anne of the Island. Anne fell for him because he was the epitome of perfection she had conjured up in her dreams. Poor Gil!! But he still held out. Oh, it hurt him to see is best girl going around with another guy but he waited. He knew he couldn’t ever love anyone the way he loved Anne but he never pressured her even when it seemed like he was going to lose out all together. That my friends, is not just patience, but good, ol’ fashioned, long-suffering love.

Guy Tip: You can’t force someone to love you or be with you. The whole time Gilbert was waiting for Anne to come to her senses, he went on with his life, pursuing his goals and working hard. He didn’t pine, he didn’t stalk, and he didn’t guilt-trip, tease, gossip, or gripe. By the time she came around, he was a whole individual with a full life to offer her. Yeah, it was incredibly tough because he didn’t know if she’d ever accept him. And what would have happened if she never chose him? His heart would’ve taken an unbearable hit, yes, but he would have still been a whole person with a full life to offer whoever his Mrs. Right would turn out to be. That’s called quiet strength and gentlemen, I promise you, it speaks volumes! Be patient, let things happen naturally, and don’t put your life on hold in the meantime.

4. He’s a class act.

Roy Gardner may have been Anne’s ‘perfect man’ but Gil more than outshines him as a class act! He’s sensible, grounded, and not silly or self-absorbed. Think young Gregory Peck or Jimmy Stewart. I consider a person to be a class act when they just go about their business responsibly, graciously, and unselfishly. They’re humbled when you compliment them, they don’t make a lot of fuss about themselves and they’re not out to toot their own horn. That’s Gil. He knows how to have a good time with his friends but he’s not all that concerned with the latest fads and trends. He doesn’t get involved in things he knows he shouldn’t. He’s not perfect but he’s prudent. I know, it’s not a sexy word but it’s an invaluable trait. As he grows up, he tucks into the pocket of his adulthood those things that make a real man – integrity, honesty, loyalty, and real love.

Guy Tip: Yeah, yeah, girls want a guy who’s good looking but she also wants one with a stand-up character. A sensible girl doesn’t want an immature airhead, a clingy boy, or a self-absorbed workaholic. Seriously consider those things you know you need to work on and, that’s right, work on them. If you don’t know what your character flaws are, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook – ask someone you trust and who will tell you the truth! You want a good girl, gentlemen, you gotta be a good guy. You gotta be a class act.  

5. He’s secure.

Remember when Anne and Diana beat Gilbert and Moody Spurgeon at the three-legged race? And remember when Anne beat Gilbert during the spelling bee by correctly spelling ‘chrysanthemum’ (and best better believe that, to this day, I spell that word with Anne’s voice in my head)? The beginning of Anne and Gil’s relationship was purely competitive. They worked hard to outdo one another in school. When they became friends, they helped each other in their studies and when they became professionals, they supported each other in their respective fields. All the while, Gilbert was never threatened when Anne succeeded. He didn’t have to prove himself and he didn’t always have to be right. He worked hard and was secure in who he was. That security allowed him to genuinely rejoice in others’ successes even if he was the one who lost.

One more thing worth pointing out – remember, in the third movie, when Anne was busy ‘co-writing’ her book with Jack Garrison and didn’t have as much time for her dear, fiancé? Gilbert knew she was working on something that mattered a lot to her and gave her the space to do so. He was also secure enough in their relationship that he wasn’t threatened by her professional relationship with Jack.

Guy Tip: Develop your talents and celebrate hers. If you’ve got a keeper, she’ll support you and push you to be the best you can be but you have to do the same for her. Both Anne and Gil are dreamers and doers, that is, they both figured out what they wanted to do and they worked hard at pursuing their passions. Have fun, throw in a little friendly competition to keep you both on your toes. Hold each other accountable when appropriate. Ask her about her latest project, be interested in what she’s doing. Give advice and ask for her opinion on whatever you’re working on.  And if she beats you at your favorite game, just give her a wink, congratulate her and say you’ll get her next time!

6. He’s a romantic

Okay, so we know that Gil pulled Anne’s hair in school and called her ‘Carrots’ but we find out later that he really was a super sweet guy and just as romantically inclined as Anne. You movie watchers will remember when Mr. Phillips made Anne sit by her nemesis, Gilbert, in school one afternoon, but it’s the book readers who may recall that Gilbert, who was truly sorry for teasing her “took from his desk a little pink candy heart with a gold motto on it, “You are sweet,” and slipped it under the curve of Anne’s arm.” (Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 15). Anne promptly crushed the candy with her shoe without glancing at the gift-giver but years later, she was reminded of that incident. One Christmas during college, Gilbert sent her “a thread-like gold chain with a tiny pink enamel heart as a pendant. On the accompanying card was written, “With all good wishes from your old chum, Gilbert.”” (Anne of the Island, Chapter 37). Sweet, yeah? But get this: she was already going steady with Roy Gardner.

Yeah.

It gets better. In the midst of finals and graduation preparation, Redmond was buzzing with the gossip of Roy’s impending proposal to Anne. And then Gilbert sends her flowers for Convocation. But not just any flowers, these were lilies-of-the-valley like the ones that blossomed at Green Gables. Gilbert knew that even though Roy Gardner was her chosen man, he still had something that Roy didn’t have: the history of a beautiful friendship. So he capitalized on it and sent her flowers on the day the two of them had dreamt about for years. The sentiment touched Anne’s heart and whose flowers do you think she carried that day?

Guy Tip: Romance has less to do with flowers, chocolate, and expensive dates on special occasions and more to do with remembering shared moments and making much out of the small, simple things in life. And romance isn’t just about how to talk sweet to a girl either. When we say a guy is a sweet talker, we’re usually referring to a guy who knows how to use his words to get what he wants from a girl. That’s not a man, that’s just a boy with a decent vocabulary. A real man can treat a woman with love & respect regardless of whether or not she reciprocates it. Gilbert didn’t give Anne flowers in an attempt to win her back. He was being a friend and saying, “Hey, we made it! Congratulations and good luck!” No shooting stars, no candlelight, no touch, but oh, how very romantic. Why? Because he cared. 

Girls want to know you truly care and it’s your job to figure out how to best show that you do. For some girls it’s flowers, for some it’s good morning texts or a handwritten note, for others it’s a copy of her favorite book or a well-planned date. Actually, I can almost guarantee you it’s a combination of many different things and those may change over the years! Find out what’s important to your girl and do those things even if you don’t get it. Why does it have to be that brand of chocolate? It doesn’t matter. If she means that much to you, you’ll take note and buy her that brand of chocolate. She can open a door and she can hold her own in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter, hold that door open and ask if you can help out whenever possible. Yeah, it takes effort, but if you’ve got a keeper, guess what? That’s right, she’ll take the time to do the same for you. And if she forgets or is going through a particularly busy season, that’s okay, hang in there. You’re going to want her to understand when you’re going through a crazy phase and forget the anniversary of your first date!

And gentleman, if you are already married, this is even more important! Just because you said “I do” doesn’t mean you don’t continue to put your best foot forward. You have to work twice as hard keep her happy now because the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever but romance must always stay alive. There’s no magical age where we stop developing and changing. Like I said before, we change as the years go by. If you’re married, you’ve committed yourself to a lifetime of studying your wife. Be a romantic by doing your absolute best to making her happy and bringing out the best in her.   

7. He loves her

I would be completely remiss if I didn’t highlight Gil’s simple love for Anne. Yes, this whole list has demonstrated how much he cares about her but I have to spell it out just a bit more. 

You can see it on the screen when he looks at her. Jonathan Crombie did that look so well. It wasn’t anything creepy, seductive or even particularly charming, it was just pure love and adoration. He was completely smitten. It started out with a boy’s fascination with the new girl in school. 

“Gilbert Blythe was trying to make Anne Shirley look at him and failing utterly, because Anne was at that moment totally oblivious not only to the very existence of Gilbert Blythe, but of every other scholar in Avonlea school itself….

[He] wasn’t used to putting himself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. She SHOULD look at him, that red-haired Shirley girl with the little pointed chin and the big eyes that weren’t like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school.”

Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 15

And then, finally, after years of her implacable hostility, their fierce academic competition turned comradeship, and lots of hard work, and sacrifice on his part, Gilbert finally won.

“[It] was a happy and beautiful bride who came down the old, homespun-carpeted stairs that September noon–the first bride of Green Gables, slender and shining-eyed, in the mist of her maiden veil, with her arms full of roses. Gilbert, waiting for her in the hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won after years of patient waiting. It was to him she was coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was he worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as he hoped? If he failed her–if he could not measure up to her standard of manhood–then, as she held out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other’s keeping and both were unafraid.”

Anne’s House of Dreams, Chapter 5

 *insert happy sigh*

Guy Tip: If you’re a guy and you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I’m writing this not knowing if any guy is going to take the time to wade through this fan-girling but I couldn’t write this any other way – it flowed so naturally. Here’s my last guy tip:

I’ve been talking about how Gil was patient and waited for Anne for years but I need to add a very necessary caveat. This is a made up story and I get it. Gilbert Blythe isn’t perfect and I get that too. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all Gilbert Blythe Formula and I’m not trying to say that there is. However, the traits that make women swoon over him are very real and you would do well to consider them if you’ve never done so before. BUT! That doesn’t always mean you’re going to get the girl you’ve got your eyes on right now. Montgomery knew how to spin a good story but as we all know, the guy doesn’t always get the girl no matter how much he may ‘deserve her’ or how ‘good he was to her’ or how ‘patient he was’. Sometimes, she’s just not the one. 

‘Getting the girl’ may mean wading through some heartbreak, some loneliness, and some frustration before it all works out. I don’t believe in soul mates but I do think that you should wait for someone who loves you for who you are, and is willing to spend the rest of their life with the good, the bad, and the ugly both people will most definitely bring to the table. 

There’s always talk about girls saving themselves physically and emotionally for Mr. Right, but guys have hearts too. So don’t be in such a rush when you see a pretty face. I think that a lot of times, guys really mean well but y’all don’t give it enough time. Sometimes, even if she is the girl for you, you’ve just gotta wait. But a good woman is always worth waiting for, guys, I promise. 

Be a hard working, patient, class act dude who’s making himself a whole person with a full life and you’ll be worthy of a keeper. And when you get her, take the time to be romantic and love your sweetheart for who she is and I guarantee you, she’ll be one lucky gal!    


I went on longer than I originally intended. I was even considering a Part 2. But here it is and while I don’t know if Marilla Cuthbert or Rachel Lynde would have altogether approved of such fan-girling, I’ve throughly enjoyed it!

If you’re a die-hard Green Gables fan, leave me a comment and add to my list. Why else do women love about Gilbert and what other guy tips can the gentlemen in your life benefit from our favorite boy-next-door?

If you’re a guy and you finished this post, I have two more things to say to you:

  1. I hope you’ve gained some insight into the female sentiment.
  2. Thank you.

Y’all have a great day 🙂

P.S. For all y’all movie watchers:

“Christine was engaged to somebody in her home town. I knew it and she knew I knew it…I knew college gossip credited us with being in love with each other. I didn’t care…There was nobody else–there could never be anybody else for me but you.”

Gilbert, Anne of the Island, Chapter 41

And that is how the line is supposed to go!


 

If you’ve never read the books and you love the movies, I highly recommend reading the whole series! They’re beautiful stories and you won’t regret it! You can purchase the entire 8-book series HERE

Aaaand if you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read 4 Things Girls Need to Understand (Why You Don’t Deserve the Guy You Want)  which is my bookend post for the ladies!

What Life Has Taught Me So Far in 2015

Once upon a time when I was an adolescent, I was under the vague impression that there would come a time when I’d have it pretty much figured out.  You ever think that when you were younger?  You feel like there’s got to be a time in life when you’ve got the answers to your most important questions and you’ve reached a sort of life groove?

Yeah, hasn’t happened yet and I’ve since come to the conclusion that it never will.  Life isn’t meant to be fully understood because it’s constantly changing.  While sometimes this is quite frustrating, overall, I’m glad that this is the case.  As the first quarter of the 2015 comes to a close, I think about the things I’ve learned in the past three months.  I’ve come to terms with a thing or two about my life and what I want it to be and what I don’t ever want it to be.  These are lessons that I want to carry with me through the rest of the year  my life.  They’re not new concepts by any means but I’ve consciously tucked them away into my adulthood for safekeeping.  Sometimes, you have to learn a thing more than once before it sticks.  As I embark on this new blogging chapter, here’s what I’ve got so far.

2015 Has Taught Me

You should never, ever, ever stop chasing what you feel called to do.

If there is something that your very being longs to do, something you feel God has placed a passion in your heart for, chase it.  Chase it with everything you’ve got.  God put each one of us here for a reason. Period.

I’ve learned that as long as your life purpose is to glorify God in all you do and seek after His heart, He’ll show you for what purpose your passions and talents were given to you.  Don’t ever lose sight of that. Ever.


There are too many things to explore in this life to be satisfied with the mundane.

This is something I struggle with because there are Mondays and gloomy skies and lethargic mornings where all I want to do is stay under the covers for just 15 more minutes, please.  I don’t want to drag my feet; I want to hit the ground running.  And even though there are a lot of awful things going on in this world – some of it we see and much more that we’ll never know of this side of heaven – Earth is still in the hands of her Creator and He’s still in control.  There are so many things to learn and explore and try and create and think about and discover and pursue.

I’ve learned that life is much too short and too precious not to embrace with your whole entire heart and if you don’t make a conscious effort everyday to not be satisfied with normal and mundane, life will pass you by and you’ll wake up one day wondering what happened!  I’ve learned that as challenging as embracing life fully can sometimes be, I know what the results would look like if I just treat every moment as an opportunity to learn, give, and move forward.


Chances, risks, & mistakes shouldn’t paralyze you.

I’m not a risk taker.  Most of the time, I like staying within visible parameters.  If there is a chance that I’m going to fail, I’d rather stick to where I’m comfortable.  What I’ve come to terms with seriously for the first time in my short life is the fact that IT’S OKAY TO TAKE CHANCES!!!  It’s okay to jump without a safety net sometimes.  It’s okay to make a mistake.  It’s okay to get your hands dirty, to speak when you don’t exactly know what to say, to walk through a door when you have no idea where it’ll lead to.  Take a deep breath and give it a shot.

I’ve learned that I need to chill out and let myself take a chance every now and again.


You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Just keep moving forward with what you do know. 

This is just a continuation of the last one.  I like having everything lined up in front of me.  Perhaps this is why I’m particular about the books in my bookcases and why I color code the hangers in my closet.  Perhaps this is also why I have a hard time when it comes to making something work from a mess.  I like to have certain things just so before I dive in and tackle a project or task. However, there are times when it is chaotic and you just have to run with it.  There are times when you have to step forward even when all the bullet points are not there.  There are times when there isn’t a map and you have to figure it out as you go along.  While I’ve proven myself capable of this in some areas, there are other areas where I can’t seem to get it together.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to not know exactly what you’re doing yet.  Forward motion of any kind is much better than standing still and just waiting for the right conditions.  Granted, sometimes waiting is prudent – God sometimes asks us to wait – but sometimes you can’t afford to wait for ‘right conditions’, you have to do something in the interim.


Just because it didn’t work out, doesn’t mean you failed.

This is the hardest one for me to be okay with.  I’ve failed so many times at this blogging thing.  I’ve started so many projects that didn’t sail or didn’t work the way I wanted them to.  And yeah, I know that it took Edison a zillion tries before he got the lightbulb to work right and I know that L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was rejected numerous times before it was finally published but there are days when failure and the fear of failure have been overwhelming and I feel like stuff isn’t worth pursuing anymore.  I mean, wouldn’t it be better to just content myself with those things that will ensure as much stability as one can have in this life?  Why try again at something that you’ve proven you’re not good at?

I’ve learned that Edison was right when he said that his failures were only the ways in which the lightbulb would not work which brought him that much closer to figuring out how it would work.  I’ve learned that trying again and again and again is part of the growing process.  Anything worthwhile takes hard work – sometimes that means picking yourself up where you failed and starting over again.


As you can tell, there’s an underlying theme of fearlessness and perseverance and embracing life.  That’s because these are things I failed to focus on last year.  Yes, I worked hard at my day job and school but I didn’t push as hard for excellence as I definitely could have.  This year, I’m determined to change that.  Three months into the year and I feel so much better about life than I did last year at this time.  I don’t have everything figured out but that’s fine.  It’s a work in progress!

What has 2015 taught you so far?

Stay blessed 🙂

Elyssa