Archives for September 2011

Feeling The Burn

So I’m trying to be diligent and dedicated and determined about setting aside some time in the afternoons to use the new-to-us elliptical machine. And I don’t even know if the term “elliptical machine” is correct – maybe you’re supposed to say “elliptical motion machine” – but seeing as how I don’t really run in fitness circles (nor do I really, you know, RUN AT ALL), I’m going with “elliptical machine” until someone tells me it’s wrong.

And even then I might not stop. Because I’m totally a rebel like that.

Anyway, the elliptical (sidenote: my mama would probably call it the “ellip” because she holds a special place in her heart for abbreviations, especially “fridge” and “mayo”) and I have been getting along pretty well so far. I mean, even though I have a love/hate relationship with exercise, I do find the elliptical machine to be the least offensive of all the many offensive exercise options that can fill me with dread and/or resentment on a daily basis.

And quite frankly I can’t think of a more ringing endorsement than that.

Earlier this week I decided that my afternoon elliptical time would be an excellent opportunity to catch up on Survivor and The Amazing Race, and that is exactly what I’ve done. I have reacquainted myself with Ozzie and Coach, with Ethan and Jenna. I’ve rolled my eyes while watching tribal councils and marveled that someone could lose a passport before she ever made it to an airport for the first flight of the race. Needless to say, it has been a precious reality TV time.

However, I’ve apparently been so intent on checking off my reality TV objectives that I haven’t spent enough time paying attention to my form on the elliptical motion machine / ellipitical machine / ellip. Because while I have no idea WHAT IN THE SAM HILL I’ve done, I can tell you with a great degree of certainty that all signs and symptoms seem to indicate that my right hip will NEVER, EVER BE THE SAME. It hurts when I sit down; it hurts when I stand up. It hurts when I walk; it hurts when I drive. And I’m tempted to tell you that it hurts when I seek my wool and flax and when I bring in food from afar, but I don’t want to push my luck. Even though I’m still totally tempted to tell you that my hip also hurts when I provide portions for my maidens and when I plant my vineyards.

I KNOW. I KNOW. I’LL STOP NOW.

The bottom line, I reckon, is that MAMAW’S HIP IS A-SMARTIN’. And I have no idea why. However, the good news is that there’s a certain way I can stretch that provides such blessed relief that it makes me want to sing Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life, so maybe if I just hold that position for the next 48 hours or so I’ll be good as new. I’m always a fan of a practical solution, you know.

Given all that, I reckon it’s time for me to go slather on the Icy Hot and watch an episode or four of Hee Haw. That Roy Clark is a STITCH, isn’t he? Not to mention that Grandpa Jones. Oh, he just tickles me to no end.

So if you need to find me, just follow the scent of menthol and methyl salicylate until you find me sitting on the heating pad and watching the Bulldogs play Georgia. Odds are that I won’t be doing much jumping up and down since MAMAW CAN’T TAKE THE PAIN, but I’ll still be forty-nine kinds of happy. College football cures a world of hurts, my friends.

Have a great weekend, everybody!
______________________________________________________

p.s. If you’ve been on some sort of internet fast and haven’t seen Melanie’s big book news yet, please join the rest of us as we squeal and clap our hands. I’m so proud of her.

p.p.s. Today’s the last day of the OnStar FMV Mirror campaign; here’s my review if you’re interested.

p.p.p.s. Your comments on my last post are absolutely delightful. Well played, bloggy people!

Because I Luv Memory Lane

Earlier this afternoon on the Twitter, Ree posed a question that stopped me in my tracks and then propelled me RIGHT BACK to 1979:

“Does anyone in this universe remember Luv-It jeans?”

Because, um, YEAH.

I actually had a couple of different pairs of Luv-Its. One pair had some sah-weet satin hearts on the back pockets, and another featured some satin roller skates. And if you weren’t a child of the late 70s/early 80s and are therefore trying to figure out what made Luv-It jeans so special and memorable, you may have picked up on the fact that it was THOSE SASSY SATIN APPLIQUES.

After I read Ree’s tweet, I spent some quality time reflecting on the days when I thought my Luv-It jeans were the absolute pinnacle of elementary school fashion. The only thing that made them better, of course, was when I accessorized my Luv-Its with a gigantor comb in my pocket (thanks, Holly, for that reminder), but obviously I tried to change up my fashion routine a little bit when I’d make a trip to the skating rink on the weekends.

I mean, if I was gonna break it down and backwards skate to some Donna Summer “On The Radio,” then obviously I wanted to look as much like Tootie on The Facts of Life as I possibly could.

Because Tootie? SHE WORKED IT OUT.

Anyway, all the thoughts about the Luv-Its jeans and whatnot prompted a stroll down my fashion memory lane (late 70s/early 80s edition). And these were a few of my favorite things:

1) Luv-It jeans. Obviously.

2) Mork & Mindy suspenders. Nanu-nanu.

3) Green corduroy Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. Mama bought them at McRae’s, and I thought they were very fancy.

4) Old-school Nike tennis shoes. White with a blue swoosh.

5) Wooden handle purse with reversible monogrammed covers.

6) Add-a-bead necklace.

7) Yellow t-shirt with “How To Roller Skate” instructions on it. It looked fab with my Mork & Mindy suspenders.

8) Painters’ pants. I thought they were FANTASTIC with a ruffled plaid blouse.

9) Reversible down puffy vest. If I close my eyes and think really hard, I can still smell the feathers.

10) Pink fake-silk shirt with a maroon ribbon around the neck. It was awful and wonderful all at the same time.

11) Yo-Yo sandals. They were perfection with a pair of culottes.

All righty. Your turn. You have no idea how happy it will make me to read about your best elementary school / middle school clothes-related moments.

I AM BESIDE MYSELF WITH ANTICIPATION.

The .MOM Report

Listen. I’m just as happy as I can be to report that the emceeing/hosting/interpretative dancing duties at .MOM ended up being surprisingly easy and breezy and DARE I SAY comfortable. Maybe it was because the women who were there were just as sweet and supportive as they could be. Maybe it was because the LifeWay folks totally set us up to succeed (Seth Worley and Jeff Venable were the brains behind the opening video, and Lydia Campbell made sure that we always understood what we were supposed to be doing during the event). Maybe it was because Mel and I have gotten to know the event team pretty well over the last three years and the built-in comfort factor was HUGE. Maybe it was a combination of all those things.

Because do you know what?

It was really, really FUN.

TAKE THAT, ALAMODOME.

I wish I had all the right words to sum up what made .MOM so special. I know I’ll fall way short if I try to explain it, but I definitely think that the solid teaching combined with God-honoring worship combined with good, old-fashioned fellowship made for a mighty encouraging two days. What I love most of all is that I came home with some real, practical, much-needed wisdom (along with some fresh perspective) about how I can better serve my people. So good.

.MOM is going to be in Birmingham again next year, and we would love to see you there (you can actually register now if you’re interested). Melanie and I are going to emcee again (WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE), and now that we know what to expect, I have a feeling that both of us will look forward to next September LIKE CRAZY.

There are several things that I am dying to talk about but don’t have time right now (a certain eight year-old said all 66 books of the Bible to his Sunday School teacher yesterday, and we have a date for celebratory frozen yogurt just as soon as he finishes school today). Chief among those things is the fact that the Duggars showed up for an impromptu .MOM visit Friday night, and Jim Bob and I had a bit of an awkward exchange over a microphone. It was one of those situations that struck me as so funny but I couldn’t act like it was funny and the more I tried not to get tickled the more I wanted to get REALLLLY tickled and finally I just backed up and stood behind the Duggars and tried to behave.

Just FYI: I don’t think I behaved nearly as well as those 18 kids (the littlest wasn’t there) and 2 grandkids.

I also want to discuss what happens when Melanie and I get to watch college football together. OH, IT IS LIVELY. But more about that later.

Okay. I’m off to get some yogurt. But I hope y’all are having a great day. And I hope that if you were at .MOM that you’re catching up on your rest. And I hope that if you weren’t at .MOM that you had a great weekend with your people. And I hope that somebody shows up at my house tonight with some fried chicken and mashed potatoes, but something tells me that it’s not gonna happen unless I decide to run through the drive-thru at the Popeye’s.

Which, now that I think of it, SORT OF SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN.

See y’all later!

A Break Will Also Provide Plenty Of Time For All The Anxiety

About three years ago I flew out to San Antonio to meet Melanie at a Living Proof Live event at the Alamodome. The plan was that Melanie and I would blog about the event like we normally do (over at AllAccess), and then afterwards we were going to help out at a Q&A session featuring Beth Moore and her daughters. If memory serves, the idea was that Mel and I would be responsible for some “witty banter” with the women who were waiting to attend the Q&A. In┬áretrospect I think we were probably supposed to be like those warm-up people at talk shows – the people who try to keep the audience from getting too bored while they’re waiting on the people they really want to see.

And let me just tell you: that day in San Antonio, there were a bunch of women who reallllly wanted to see Beth, Amanda and Melissa. Which is understandable because, well, they’re darlin’.

In the weeks prior to the Q&A, Melanie and I talked about some possibilities for our “witty banter.” We figured there would be about 200 people there (in a small-ish conference room of some sort), and of those 200, we sort of (naively) assumed that maybe half of them would have read our blogs because we’d met and hung out with several of the women who were going to the Q&A. So, since Mel and I both enjoy procrastination and since we both felt like everything would go pretty smoothly if we were “bantering” in a room among friends, we decided on a very general approach and figured we’d come up with some specifics once I arrived in San Antonio.

Oh, our plan was flawed.

Our plan was very, very flawed.

For so many, many reasons.

First of all, my flight from Houston to San Antonio was cancelled, so I ended up pulling up to our hotel on two wheels about 45 minutes before we had to be at the Alamodome on Friday night. We ended up going to a late supper after the event, and we rolled back into the hotel at approximately 12:00 in the AM. Which makes perfect sense when you consider that we needed to wake up at 6:00 the next morning and then be responsible for witty banter later in the day.

(I can’t quit using the phrase “witty banter.”)

(I recognize that it might be annoying.)

(But still: “WITTY BANTER.”)

And then, once we got settled in at the hotel, the insomnia hit. OH MY WORD DID IT EVER.

Melanie and I are both what you might call High-Maintenance Sleepers, and have mercy did our collective sleeping crazy ever kick in that night in San Antonio. Both of us enjoy a sound machine when we sleep, but unfortunately both of us had left our sound machines at home. As a result, our room was so quiet that we could hear EVERYTHING going on in the hallway of the hotel. At one point we got so desperate that we turned on the water in the bathroom sink to see if that would mimic a sound machine and therefore SOOTHE OUR INCREASINGLY FRAYED NERVES, but it didn’t work at all. I finally drifted off around 3, only to wake up at 5 and find a wide-eyed Melanie sitting on the bathroom floor with her laptop.

She was typing a blog post. I don’t know why this would surprise you.

All that to say: we were exhausted when we got back to the Alamodome Saturday morning. The looming banter took a backseat to the fact that we were both a little desperate for sleep. And then, before we were even remotely prepared, the event was over and it was time for us to take our witty banter in front of the 200 women. Only – TRUE STORY – there were actually about 1,000 women LINED UP ACROSS THE FLOOR OF THE ALAMODOME, and I would venture to say that approximately 993 of those women were wondering who in the world we were and WHY IN THE SAM HILL they were being forced to listen to us.

To their credit, nobody actually screamed “WHERE’S BETH?!?!” when we walked out to the middle of the floor, but I guarantee you that most of those women were thinking it.

There are so many things I could tell you about those fifteen minutes of my life – those fifteen minutes THAT STRETCHED OUT FOR ALL ETERNITY – but I really don’t think there’s anything I could say to make you understand just how deeply, completely, filled-to-overflowing-with-awkward it all was. I mean, I’ve watched TV shows where someone stepped up to a microphone and froze, but I’d never experienced it firsthand until that fateful August afternoon. Melanie and I just, I don’t know, STOOD THERE, and all those women just, I don’t know, STARED AT US, and Melanie and I kept looking at each other and then looking at the women and then looking at each other and then looking at the women and IT NEVER GOT ANY BETTER, OH NO, it just became increasingly more painful and cringe-worthy with every passing second.

So Melanie decided to break the ice first, and here, HERE WAS HER OPENER:

“Hey. How’d y’all sleep last night?”

And then I looked at her and laughed nervously and launched into a seemingly endless description of our sound machine woes and how we turned on the water and then I found Melanie in the bathroom at 5 and OH MY LANDS IT’S LIKE I’M SPEAKING TO A FIELD OF CRICKETS AND BY THE WAY THE CRICKETS AREN’T EVEN SMILING.

After about five minutes we had the good sense to ask Travis to join us, and he totally saved the day (because, you see, the people there knew who he was, and they seemed to appreciate seeing a face that was infinitely more familiar to them than the faces of the two blogger people who couldn’t seem to do much more than stammer). Travis actually created some interaction and some fun (which, of course, was supposed to be our job, but we’d fired ourselves by that point), and somehow we made it to the end of our little segment.

I’ve never in my life been so happy for something to be over. And even though it was pretty epic in its terribleness (no kidding: I think the term “EPIC FAIL” was coined as a direct result of what happened on the floor of the Alamodome that afternoon), I like to think that the 993 women/crickets forgot all about Mel and me as soon as Beth and her girls came out on the floor for pictures and the Q&A.

Anyway, I’m sharing this NEVER ENDING TALE with y’all today because it adds an element of SWEET, SWEET IRONY to the fact that this weekend Melanie and I are the emcees for the .MOM Conference here in Birmingham. Once again Mel and I will be like the warm-up people on talk shows – only this time we are going to be PREPARED, yes ma’am we are. There are some real-live people who have worked like crazy to help us get ready for our emcee-related responsibilities, and we’re really excited about it. And also terrified. But still: really excited.

So, given all of that, I’m going to take a little bloggy break for the next few days. Tomorrow Melanie and I will hit the ground running just as soon as I pick her up from the airport, and you’d better believe we’ll be rehearsing for our emcee duties this time around. Several times, in fact.

LESSON LEARNED, ALAMODOME. YOU TAUGHT US WELL.

I hope that some of y’all will be at .MOM, and I also hope that you’ll come say hey if you’re there. Mainly because Mel and I will probably need a hug. And a pep talk. And then another hug.

Hope y’all have a great rest of the week!

Remembering the Alamodome,
Me

Linky Listy

– I keep meaning to mention that I finally – FINALLY – read Leif Enger’s Peace Like A River over the summer. I think some of y’all first recommended it to me four or five years ago, but, you know, I’m a little slow with the follow-through.

It’s rare that a book really grabs me by the heart and refuses to let go, but Peace Like A River totally did that. It’s no exaggeration to say that I loved everything about it. EVERYTHING. It’s one of those books where, at the end, I felt like I was better for having read it, and that’s mighty rare these days. So if you haven’t read it yet – if you’re like I was and figure that you’ll get to it at some point down the road – don’t waste another day. It’s stunning.

Seriously. Stunning.

– One of my favorite sportswriters went to the State/LSU game, and his recap of his time in Starkville is pretty much brilliant. So good.

– I’ve had a couple of new posts up at Ree’s blog this past week: one is all about classic TV theme songs and one is about my fall TV plans. Both are as deep and philosophical as you might imagine.

– The whole A&M/SEC/Baylor/who’s-going-where conference soap opera has been all over sports radio for the last few weeks (at least it has in this neck of the woods), so I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw this picture of a new billboard in Waco. (via)

That’s all in good fun, Big 12 fans. All in good fun.

– Beth and the folks at Living Proof Ministries are doing a really awesome, encouraging, wonderful thing for 1,000 young women who have never been to a Passion conference. So if you’re between 18-25 and interested in going to Passion 2012 (or if you know someone who’s interested), check out Beth’s post for info – you might be eligible for a scholarship.

Have a great Tuesday, y’all!

Nations Outfitters Giveaway

So one of my favorite bloggy things I’ve gotten to do over the last couple of years is to host giveaways for Nations Outfitters. Nations is a clothing company that’s owned by a family here in Birmingham, and I absolutely love that the clothes are stylish, modest, and age-appropriate for teenagers (and mamas, too). Plus, Nations encourages the people who wear their clothes to serve their communities, and over the last two years that’s played out in all sorts of wonderful ways.

Like, for instance, a Habitat project this past summer.

(These are some GREAT kids, y’all.)

(Seriously. They would restore your faith in the American teenager.)

(In fact, if you were around me pretty much any day of the week, you would hear me talk about at least one of these kids with all sorts of complimentary adjectives.)

(I ADORE THEM.)

Given all of that, when Lisa and Genie at Nations asked if I’d like to do another giveaway for a $75 Nations gift certificate, I said yes within about two seconds. Because, well, LOOK.

If you’d like to enter to win a $75 gift certificate from Nations Outfitters, just take a look at the Nations Outfitters website, then come back here and leave a comment with the name of the item(s) that you like the most.

And if you’d like up to two additional entries, you can like Nations on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each Facebook like or Twitter follow (all you have to do is say “I liked them on FB” or “I followed on Twitter”).

This giveaway will close Friday, September 23. I’ll use random.org to choose a winner.

Enjoy, y’all!

p.s. Just FYI: Nobody gave me anything, offered me anything, paid me anything or fried me anything in exchange for this post. I just love what Nations stands for, and I think their clothes are adorable. Hallelujah and the end.