Anna Whiston-Donaldson lives with her family in her hometown of Vienna, Virginia. A former high school English teacher, Anna stayed home for nine years with the kids before going back to work part-time as the manager of a small Christian bookstore. She started blogging at AnInchofGray.blogspot.com over four years ago as a way to keep her sister in the loop with her comings and goings, and to muse about topics as varied as wayward pantiliners, the diarrhea song, and refinishing furniture with spray paint. In blogging, she has found a wealth of real friendship and support, which has been essential following the death of her 12 year old son in an accident last fall.
Want to know more? Here is a little Q&A about motherhood and writing:
LTYM: Who is ANNA?
Anna: Wife, mother, sister, friend, lazy root toucher-upper, and champion of the underdog. I notice everything and think I would have made a great private eye because I can tell you what all my friends wore to school on the first day of 5th grade. That is what PI’s do, right? I try to be completely real which is why my blog has never been about my “perfect” children or my “hawt best-friend” of a husband (although he is pretty cute). Instead, I strive to connect with others through our imperfections and the messiness of life. My motto is “The best things in life aren’t things,” although I do enjoy getting new pillows and towels from HomeGoods.
LTYM: When did you first start writing?
Anna: I’ve always been a terrible diarist and journal writer (shelf after shelf of empty notebooks), so I’d say I really started writing in earnest when I discovered I could write personal essays for an audience such as a women’s group at church or on my blog. I also wrote a five minute stand-up comedy routine which, mercifully, is not documented anywhere.
LTYM: What surprised you most about motherhood?
Anna: Although I’ve always, always, always wanted to be a mom, I did get some surprises. Primarily, I don’t think I was ready for the self-doubt and fear that came with motherhood. I’ve spent a lot of the past 13 years worrying about everything from asbestos to bullying to shark attacks. I was pleasantly surprised by how I instantly felt like the RIGHT mother for the two terrific kids I’d been given and was able to—for the most part—enjoy the various stages they encountered.
LTYM: What do you want for your children?
Anna: I want my daughter to be her positive, strong and spunky self despite the hardship she is encountering. I want her to use that smart, firecracker personality of hers to make the world better, whether for the masses, or for the few lucky people God puts in her life. I want her to know that what sees in the media, whether it’s the latest stunts pulled by the Kardashians or just Disney Channel drivel, is not “reality.” I want her to know there is much more to life than what is on the surface and on the outside, and that God has big plans for her life.
For my son Jack in heaven, I want him to know we love him, we miss him, and we will never forget him. I want him to continue to impact the world by making people think about how they are living their lives, by drawing people closer to God, and by helping them realize that this is not the end. Love does not die.
Check back tomorrow for another DC cast member spotlight…
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