Look at these wonderful pictures! (Also: We have contest winners!)

May 27, 2014 | 29 comments

I’ve spent the past week going through the entries to the Something Other than God release party contest, and, along with my esteemed contest review board (read: Joe, Hallie, and the occasional neighbor who wandered by when we were looking at entries while the kids played outside), we have chosen winners!

Thank you all so much for joining me in this party. I waited for the release of this book for five long years, and you all made it even more amazing than I could have imagined.

Below is the list of winners. Also, scroll down past the winners’ list to see the wonderful, fabulous, sometimes-hilarious, and always-epic pictures people took!


Buy the Book: Jessica, whom many of you know from her great blog, Housewife Spice

Buy More than Two Copies of the Book: Fr. Jeff Walker of St. Rose Catholic Church in Perrysburg, OH

Review the Book: Pianomom, who wrote this review

Write a Blog Post About the Book: Jam, who wrote this post about SOTG at her blog,  Contractually Obligated to Like Books (introduction forthcoming!)

Recommend the Book to Friends: Edward C.

Create a Book Club to Discuss SOTG: Jenn H.’s book club in Atlanta, GA


Tori Greene had the fantastic idea to make a drink whose color matches the cover of the book. This cocktail is easy to make, refreshing, delicious, and I just love the idea of giving it the signature SOTG blue color. Here’s the recipe!


Image from Tori Greene on Instagram

Tori’s SOTG Cocktail:

Fill a fancy party glass halfway with ice.

Add the following:
– 1 shot of vodka
– the juice of half a medium grapefruit
– half a shot of triple sec (or blue curacao, though I can’t speak to the accuracy of the color)
– tonic water to fill the glass

Using a toothpick, add blue food coloring a little bit at a time until it reaches the desired shade of SOTG blue. Refreshing and satisfying and great for some down time by the pool, just like the book. Enjoy!


The Taj Mahal isn’t weird, but I thought of this category as encompassing any unusual / surprising / exotic locations. And so when I opened Rosemary’s picture to see her holding her copy of Something Other than God in front of THE FREAKING TAJ MAHAL, I knew we had a winner. How great is this shot?



This was an extremely difficult decision. If I told you the extent to which I agonized about this contest, it would trouble you. If I told you about how I asked for everyone’s opinions, then ignored them, then asked for their opinions again, it would make you wonder why anyone still speaks to me.

But at long last, I am delighted to announce that the winner is this picture, by Jenna:


A picture of me wearing a t-shirt bearing this image is forthcoming.

Actually, lots of pictures of me wearing t-shirts of crazy images are probably forthcoming.

If I had the budget for it, I would get a t-shirt for every single picture below and just make that my new wardrobe. In the morning I’d be like, “Is it a Kelly Mantoan doing Devo kind of day, or am I more in the mood for Jamie’s kids writing on the wall with toilet paper on their heads?” I could break out a Bedazzler to dress them up for black tie events, and add a blazer for business functions.

I’m not even kidding. I love these pictures so much I want to wear them every day.

NOTE: The pictures below are just a small sample of the awesomeness that hit my inbox over the past few weeks. Many of my favorites aren’t in there — I had to pull the first few I could find because I’ve already spent a gazillion hours on this contest and my family has begun to distinguish between which types of cereal are their favorites for dinner. If you sent me something amazing and don’t see it on the list, I promise I loved it, and at this very moment I am probably shaking my fist at the heavens, crying, “Why, oh why, didn’t I include that one?!”



This is one of my all-time favorite photos. I don’t mean for this contest; I mean since the camera was invented. See Jamie’s blog for details about the shot.



Would getting a tattoo of this image be overkill? What if it wasn’t on my neck, as I imagined it to be, but just on an arm or something? Picture from Instagram by Rakhi McCormick of the Pitter Patter Diaries.



This is a photo from right before a colonoscopy!!!! It was a strong contender for Weirdest Place.



That’s SOTG being read by Becky Castle Miller, while at a bike-pedal-self-powered kiosk at a Brussels train depot while waiting for a train to Paris. Photo from Instagram.



You’ve already seen this one, but I had to post it again. Our friend Fr. Dan Lorimer, reading the book in a military helicopter over Afghanistan.



One word: DWIJA!!!!!



Few things say EPIC SELFIE like a picture next to a rocket at NASA. See more photos in Ann-Marie Ulczynski’s post!



Lauren Sullivan, who is evidently a very brave woman, got this shot at Knowsley Safari park, Liverpool, England!



Not only did Kelly take this shot for the ages, but she took others that are equally amazing, and made a video too. See them all here.



 A beautiful shot from Jeanette, who was reading during her last round of chemotherapy. Please join me in praying for Jeanette!



This and the other shots that Bobbi posted on her blog, Revolution of Love, are MADE OF PRECIOUS.



Ana Hahn shows what happens when you read the book while a gazillion weeks pregnant. (Pregnancy dating based on the estimates I use for my own pregnancies.)



This is part of a hilarious series of photos that demonstrate that Ignatius might want to target the elusive bovine demographic for this title. See all of the shots in this post at Kirsten’s blog.



Casey didn’t want to do a selfie, so look what her talented husband James drew for her! (Now you know why I said I’m going to need dozens of t-shirts.)



Every time I see this photo I start laughing so hard I have to look away so that I can compose myself. Read the story of the “epic epic-selfie fail” at Julia’s blog and you will see why it is one of the most wonderfully hilarious photographs of all time (and SO straight from the pages of my own life). Now I’m laughing and wiping tears out of my eyes because I looked at it again.



Katie Prejean pulls off a miracle and manages to get a group selfie where everyone looks fantastic, and in the process takes one of my favorite pictures ever.

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Oh my gosh, guys. That was so much fun.


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  1. drustee

    Wow! So much fun.
    I have a big smile on my face now.
    Well done.

  2. Tammy

    Ohemgee… The brain in a jar drawing is fantastic! I laughed, I snorted, I wheezed and wept! It’s the best thing ever.
    Please make that into a repeative wallpaper pattern for your bathroom, or some such! Maybe backtoschool notebooks and trapper keepers! The world needs that drawing!

    • Julia

      I couldn’t agree more! I know I’d wear that as a shirt…

  3. Mira

    All the photos, selfies, drinks etc. are simply amazing and I am truly in awe of people’s creativity.

    But to see your book in front of the Taj Mahal? You’re right – mind-blowing.

    Congratulations to the winners! 🙂

  4. Mary

    Speaking of book clubs, do you have a list of recommended discussion questions? My book club meets this Sunday- June 1st.

  5. Angela


  6. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany

    Those photos are awesome. What a wonderful and hilarious way to kick off the release of your book. So fitting!

  7. Lynne

    The Taj MAJAL?? The take-away from these is “mind=blown”. How proud and humbled you must feel! The whole release party thing was such a neat idea, and seeing the many inspired ways in which people responded is cool. Maybe you could share one or two pics a week for the next year. The one with the kids writing on the wall…that is gallery quality. I must say I’m partial to the one with cows though, and had planned to pose with our cows except at that point the temps were still in the 40’s and after this long winter I was in revolt against the slightest chill. But cows are very curious and I know they’d be uber-interested in your book. They’d probably even lick it.

  8. TheresaEH

    these photos were just to much fun!!!!!!

  9. Julia

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love your blog and book any more… I see my triceratops-sportin’ self on your website. HA!!! Seriously though, thanks for the plug, Jen. Glad you appreciate the craziness of little ones as much as you do. If we couldn’t laugh at ourselves and the chaos, all we’d do is cry.

    So, when you come to NYC, I’m thinking you bring the banana suit, I’ll bring the dinosaur head, and we’ll be the talk of the town 🙂

  10. Jamie

    I am speechless. These are AMAZING. YOU MUST get the scorpion tattoo. DO IT!!!!!

    And the triceratops…I’m cry laughing!!!!

  11. Victoria

    How awesome! I must try that drink after baby comes. Congrats to all the winners. And AnnMarie at my favorite Space park! Love it!

  12. Kate

    Lovely to see Jeanette’s smiling face here. 🙂 She’s an amazing woman. And the rest of these are just so much fun!

  13. ann

    Am I the only person who complained about the punctuation?

  14. Kirsten

    Thank you for the shout out Jennifer!! My blog which usually only gets about 20 page views per day is already at 150 and we haven’t even had lunch!! These were all great and so fun!
    God Bless!

  15. Paige

    Love it! This contest is too much fun. 🙂

    I stayed up until 2 o’clock this morning finishing SOTG (despite having to get up for work a few hours later)–I just couldn’t put it down! I have been experiencing many of the same questions and frustrations regarding religion and Christianity that you wrestled with in the book, and like you, the more I learn about Catholicism, the closer I feel I’m getting to resolving these issues and finally finding peace. Thank you for sharing your story in such an honest and insightful way!

  16. Mary Dagostino

    How fun and interesting. These photos are inspirational!

  17. Mary Bresnahan

    Some time ago I had a website and FB page called Learn to be Good With Money where I taught the basics of family budgeting. I loved it but as a small business, it was a tough sell. Due to these frugalish spending habits of mine, I made a request that our local library purchase SOTG – and they did! But I love the book so much that I have to buy it now. Is there a contest category called Inadvertantly Purchased Two Books Award? Congratulations, Jen! I’m so happy for you and your family. And I love it that Mama Knows calls you J Ful. How cool is that?

  18. Gina

    Oh my gosh, the scorpion! Perfect!!

  19. Elizabeth

    Please post more of the submissions!! :o)

  20. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I’m not sure which of these I love most – I think you need to post every single photo in an album or something.

    The cow one, Ana’s weep fest, colonoscopy…so good. I’m pretty much honored to be a part of such a weird group of people.

    Also, your next ebook: SOTG Cocktail Guide

  21. Ann-Marie

    These pictures are amazing! The brain in the jar cracked me up, and the tattoo is legend, wait for it, dary. I am glad that so many people had so much fun taking pictures, and I enjoyed getting to be a part of it all. I’ve never felt so connected to people I’ve never met just by reading a common book. (Common, as in, in common, not as in common boring, because it is anything but.). (In common, in communion . . . Beautiful). Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  22. Casey@MyLoveIsTooLittle

    Yay! I’m glad you like the brain in a jar drawing. Thanks for posting it on your site also; I love that my talented hubby’s work is being shared with the world! I agree with the other commenters who suggested that you should totally post the other submitted pics so we can all share in all the awesomeness.

    I’m really thinking the brain in a jar would make a great t-shirt. 🙂 I kinda want one for myself to wear!

  23. jeni

    This is one of my favorite blog posts in forever. Everyone is just so awesome.

    I just *finally* finished your book (with a new part time job in addition to the full time 3 small kids that is REALLY saying something for me — that I not only stuck to but finished a book).

    Anyway I agree with everyone else–t’was completely delightful. I was so sad when I got to the epilogue that the story stopped there, but then I remembered I can stalk you anytime I want 24/7 via blog, and here I am enjoying your lovely writing voice again.

    Really loved SOTG. Kudos and well done!!

    • dweej

      Jeni, I was so sad/crushed/in denial when the book was over that I read every word on the back of the jacket AND everything on both inside flappy things (technical term). I feel your pain!

  24. Rosemary

    Yes, it is me – of the Taj Mahal fame :). Thank you so much Jennifer for doing this! As Ann-Marie said, I really do feel part of a community with this book.

    And Wow to all the other pictures! I LOVED the cow one :). More pics! More pics! More pics!


  25. Monica

    All of these are great! I would have had just as hard a hard time choosing the gold stars. Though I must say Dweej’s picture is PRETTY funny! I crack up every time I see it. It’s hilarious!

  26. Hevel

    Great pictures!

    Congratulations to all the winnder, and thank you, Jen, for your email! I read it in the Vatican!

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