Some Current Favorites

Well, since it’s fall, and since I’m not eating gluten, and since I haven’t done one of these lists in a while, I thought I’d feature a few of my most recent favorite things.


Or minimal fun, at least?

Snapea Crisps


So you know how I’m not eating gluten and it’s the weirdest thing but I feel so much better even though I didn’t realize I didn’t necessarily feel great? Well, the one thing I have REALLY missed during this whole gluten-free process is my frenemy the potato chip. And yes, I know that some potato chips are gluten-free, but I DON’T LIKE ANY OF THOSE. I prefer Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream OR Lay’s Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ, but we have had to part ways. However, these Snapea Crisps are so tasty and totally fulfill crunchy cravings. I buy them at Publix, and for some reason they’re on the edge of the produce section with all the dried fruits and nuts. DELICIOUS.

Redken Wax Blast 10 Finishing Spray


A few weeks ago I decided to get my hair chopped off because why not. I was so tired of blowdrying it to the point that I was burning up hot, and I felt like I had some damaged ends that I could happily live without. My sweet stylist cut my hair for an hour and a half; my hair is super fine, but since I have a ton of it, it requires a lot of layering. After she finished blowdrying it, she sprayed this Wax Blast on it, and I LOVE IT. It’s so good for short hair – perfect for adding some texture and volume but not so heavy that my hair feels sticky or looks like I’ve joined A Flock of Seagulls.


I also use the Aerate 08 mousse before I dry my hair, and it is equally delightful.

– Chapter 3 of Home is Where My People Are

The caption underneath the picture tells the whole story, and I am forever grateful to Pearl and Rose Designs for this treasure. Thanks so much, Shelby!

(And don’t miss Shelby’s hand-illustrated maps; they are awesome.)

Urban Southern Tote Bag


The folks at Urban Southern sent me this bag a couple of weeks ago, and while I thought it was great-looking when I saw it in pictures, nothing could have prepared me for its real-life gorgeousness. This is sturdy, beautiful leather that will only get prettier with age, and y’all, IT. SMELLS. FANTASTIC. The inside of the bag has a big pocket for a phone or a passport or whatever you like to keep handy when you shop or travel.


The inside is perfect for a few magazines, a couple of books, and an iPad; I even used the tote as a laptop bag earlier this week. This bag is expandable, too; there are little rivet-type things (official term) on each side that you can unhook if you really need the tote to hold a bunch of stuff. For me this bag is the perfect size to carry on an airplane. It’s big enough to hold everything I need and small enough to easily tuck under the seat.

More than anything, though, this bag is BEAUTIFUL, and it is timeless. It will never, ever go out of style.

Ben Moon & Britney Shakespeares

You know how something can strike you as super funny and you don’t really know why it’s so funny but you need to watch it about 14 times just to wring out every single bit of the funny?

That is this for me.

A video posted by Ben Moon (@captainahmazing) on

– Andrew Peterson’s “Be Kind to Yourself”

Well. This made me cry an embarrassing amount of tears. I don’t know of a sweeter love song for older kids. So much tenderness and compassion in the lyrics.



Every once in a while someone will ask me if I have a favorite app. It’s not something I think about a whole bunch because I use my laptop way more than I use my phone. But over the last couple of years, I’ve grown super attached to one app in particular: Notability. I use it mainly on my iPad, though I’ve used it on my phone, too, and I love it because it’s a handy spot for me to keep all my notes from church, notes for speaking, notes from work, etc. I typically write out my talks in Word, and once I feel good about what I’m working with, I’ll move it to Notability (via Google Drive – or I’ll just email myself the Word document and then open it in Notability). After it’s in Notability, I can write additional notes on it, I can file it, I can highlight / star sections, I can cut out sections…it’s really, really handy. Plus, all my notations are saved / updated in a PDF that backs up to my Google Drive, so I can search for my Notability documents in my Gmail, of all things, and that is very handy if I need to send someone a copy of my notes.

All that to say: I AM A FAN.

And also: I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email

Airport Delays, Gum Crackers, & My Ongoing Need For Sanctification

Early Friday afternoon I hopped on a plane for Oklahoma City. Well, really I hopped on a plane for Atlanta, and then I got on another plane for Oklahoma City, but I guess the point is that I utilized air travel in order to get to Oklahoma City for a Ministry Wives’ Conference.

I had the best time at the conference, by the way. The women were so kind and warm and welcoming. I spoke Friday night and Saturday morning, and then I went back to the airport as soon as the conference was over. Now that I think about it I wasn’t even in Oklahoma City for 24 hours, but I managed to laugh a lot AND consume two large drinks from Sonic in that short period of time. So I’d call that a win.

Also, at the conference they kept a beverage station up and running the whole time, and here is what they offered: iced tea, lemonade, lemon water, lime water, and coffee. This is pretty much the best idea in the history of the world and I have since decided that wherever two are more are gathered, we need to do this for each other. I mean, I’m not planning on setting up an actual beverage station in my house or anything, but I do think the third shelf of my refrigerator can serve in a more practical and intentional way with the inclusion of some lemon water and some tea. The water was so cold that it almost hurt to drink it, and I drank approximately 8 glasses of it. Give or take. It was so enjoyable.

Saturday was my birthday (I’m 32!) (Thanks so much for asking!) (I just lied!), so David and I decided before I left for OKC that the three of us were going to have a birthday / dip party when I got home Saturday night. We actually went out for a really nice dinner one night last week when Alex was at a camp with his whole 6th grade class, so the low-key dip idea totally appealed to me. Plus, I haven’t said anything on the blog, but I haven’t been eating gluten for the last couple of months (I know – I feel like such a cliche’ – but it has been a necessary and super-helpful change for me), so birthday cake was out of the question. There’s actually a gluten-free bakery not far from our house, but I don’t really want to get a taste for that kind of stuff because not eating gluten has helped me cut way back on sugar. And I really didn’t mean to discuss this particular dietary tangent so I guess this is what I get for overexplaining.

I had a little time to kill when I got to the OKC airport for my return flight, so I watched a little OU football and then played a significant amount of Candy Crush. After a pretty hectic week it felt like a luxury to just sit at my gate while crushing some candies, and before I knew it my flight was boarding. I had checked my bag because I didn’t want to have to fool with my suitcase during what was sure to be a sprint through the Atlanta airport, so I was feeling pretty light and breezy considering that I only had a purse and an iPad. I found my seat on the plane, opened my iPad so that I could crush lo, even more candies, and prepared myself for a relaxing flight.

And then I heard it.

The person behind me was cracking her gum.

Not chewing. Not smacking. CRACKING.

And of all the peeves that could possibly become my pets, this one is at the top of the list.

It’s fingernails on a chalkboard for me, the gum cracking.

Also, it makes me want to throw things.

And furthermore, it makes me want to scream.

Fortunately, I remembered that I had headphones (real live headphones – not earbuds) in my purse, so I plugged them in my phone and cranked up some music. Every time a song would end, though, I’d hear the gentle gum cracking of my neighbor behind me, and I’d ponder the irony that I had traveled all the Oklahoma City to ENCOURAGE WOMEN WITH SCRIPTURE and yet I was on the verge of damaging my personal testimony OVER SOME GUM.

I got a little tickled about that.

When we finally got to Atlanta, I had to switch terminals, and when I finally made it to the gate (which, of course, was at the very end of the new terminal), I plopped down in one of two remaining seats and pulled out my phone to check football scores.

(This was before the Aggies put the hurt on my Bulldogs.)

(I was mainly checking to see what was happening in the Florida / Ole Miss game.)

And y’all, I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I tell you that the guy who was sitting beside me at the gate? He let out a big ole belch just like he was at home in his recliner.

He didn’t say he was sorry or beg anyone’s pardon or anything like that, so I just figured maybe he got a little too comfortable, but then a few minutes later it happened again, and he wasn’t even a little bit fazed by it.

And a few minutes later? Big ole belch #3 – still with no acknowledgment on his part.

Well at that point I had no choice but to text my sister.

I mean, I hope he doesn’t have any sort of medical condition that causes that, and I certainly hope he isn’t dealing with anything serious, but I thought, Well, this is where we are, America. The once-glamorous world of air travel has degenerated into a herding process where we openly share all of our worst habits with our fellow passengers and basically expect them to just deal with it.

Don’t even get me started about how it’s like Lord of the Flies trying to get off of a plane. There used to be a little bit of decorum about men letting women out of the rows first, people helping each other with carry-ons, folks stopping to let the rows ahead of them exit – but now it’s like survival of the fittest. You snooze, you lose. You expect that the people behind you will be patient as you remove your bag from the overhead bin, but you turn around and realize that everyone has painted their faces and someone has stolen Piggy’s glasses and the parachute on the mountain looks like a monster.

You can blow that conch shell all you want to, sister. Nobody gives a rip.

It turned out to be another hour or so before my flight left Atlanta; something was wrong with the first plane and they had to bring in another one from the hangar (?!?!) and naturally, of course, we had to change gates. Finally, though, I made it to home sweet home. Alex told me all about his camp trip, and David had made several varieties of dip even though he does not really enjoy dip, and we cheered on the ‘Dogs to no avail. It only took about ten minutes before I reminded myself that basically any form of transportation is a-okay as long as it gets me home again.

No matter where I go, home is always my favorite place to be.

Hope y’all had a great weekend!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 54

On this episode Melanie is live from Sacramento, so this is pretty much our fanciest podcast ever. We talk about our road trips across the US, our theories about air travel, the relaxing properties of Candy Crush, our 40-something eyesight and its … [Continue reading]

dotMOM, dotMAMAW, & dotNOCKELS

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 8.10.01 PM

Well, if you ask me - and to be clear, no one has, but I figure I'll talk about it anyway - the 6th dotMOM conference was just a ton of fun. It was so good to be in Nashville again, and Brentwood Baptist was such a great host church. Plus, it is … [Continue reading]

Laughter & Also A Significant Portion Of Joy

Book #3 has pretty much become an all-consuming mission at this point. That's partly because it's due in just a few months so TIME'S A WASTIN', and it's also because I really love what I'm writing about. So whenever I find a little window-o-time, I … [Continue reading]

What’s Going On

1. Hazel is out of dog food. 2. We are practically out of people food - except that we do have some pickle relish, some oatmeal, and half a bag of gluten-free crackers. So YUM, YUM supper. 3. I have been trying to go to the grocery store for … [Continue reading]