Archives for September 2012

Will Blog For Bacon*

So apparently it is Thursday.

I’m not entirely sure what happened to the first three days of the week, but they have been speedy little devils. I had lots of working and cooking and errand-running to do after being away from home at the end of last week, and judging by the times that I’ve fallen asleep the last few nights, I have also been trying to set some personal sleep records. I haven’t hit my personal best sleep time yet – that would’ve been when I was a senior in high school and once slept for fourteen hours – but let’s just say that rest has been high on my priority list this week.

(She says, as she types a blog post at 6:13 in the PM while wearing her favorite pajamas.)

(#mamawstyle)

One of my favorite parts of this week was Tuesday night when I watched an installment of SEC Storied that focuses on the life and career of former Mississippi State football coach Sylvester Croom, and oh my word did it ever make me teary-eyed. It was really inspirational, and if you get a chance to sit down and watch it with your family, you totally should. I enjoyed it so much. D still hasn’t seen it, so I’m going to watch it all over again when he does.

And in other riveting news, I also picked up some new pillows for our couches on Tuesday. I realize that this isn’t at all interesting to anyone besides me, but I am just as tickled as I can be to have the new pillows because the sofas needed a little pick-me-up. Sister and I picked out fabric a couple of months ago, and my friend Barbara worked her magic with the sewing machine. I love the way the pillows turned out.

Here. You should meet them.

I know that the whole chevron thing is trendy, but since I tend to run a solid two to three years behind the trends and then hang on to them way too long (hello, trouser jeans) (and hello to you, too, sixteen different toile patterns in my last house), I figure that the chevrons and I will have a long and happy life together.

As far as the bird fabrics go, I realize that we’re having a bit of a “put a bird on it” moment in this country, but the birds have a special meaning to me (no, seriously – they really do have a special meaning), and I would tell you the whole entire bird-related story if I weren’t just a wee bit afraid that you’d think I was WAY OFF THE DEEP END CUCKOO.

CUCKOO LIKE A BIRD.

Anyway. I like the new pillows. Yay, pillows!

Wednesday was BU-SY (or BIZZY, if you prefer) – work, laundry, supper, Bible study, etc. and so on and so forth – but when I got home from Bible study and started to straighten up the kitchen a little bit, I turned on the TV to see if there was a show on the DVR to keep me company.

LO AND BEHOLD.

Now listen. I get that it wasn’t the season premiere. It was more like a highlights show. But it was new (NEW!), and that means that the season premiere is on its way. I can’t even tell you how much I’ve missed seeing Victoria Grayson stand on that fake balcony and stare out at the fake ocean while Emily Thorne / Amanda Clarke stands on her fake front porch and watches the footage from a Grayson Manor hidden camera on her phone.

It is beyond delightful.

This morning I got to do something that I have never, ever done before: I picked out a book cover for my book. Sweet Lisa Jackson (who works at Tyndale and takes such good care of Melanie and me) brought me the cover proofs at dotMOM last Friday, and of the three options she showed me, I loved every single one of them. By yesterday, though, I was really starting to favor one of them over the other two, so today I emailed Lisa and made it official. They’re going to do a little more tweaking and whathaveyou, but I am excited. Except for the part where people might read it and I will feel very vulnerable and want to hide and block out the world and watch all five seasons of Friday Night Lights again.

Sometimes I struggle with courage. I’m not sure if you’ve picked up on that or not.

All righty. I have bored you for long enough. And now I need to get the little guy in bed and watch The Dan Mullen Show and then read the October issue of Southern Living because it has pumpkins and mums on the cover, and if I need anything in my life right now, it’s pumpkins and mums.

And 65 degree temperatures.

And a little bit more sleep wouldn’t hurt.

*I heard that there might be a bacon shortage next year.

*Granted, the article I read was about Europe.

*But still, I panicked.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that I wrote a post about Designing Women over at Ree’s blog. I know that some of you were barely born when it was on in the late 80s / early 90s, but I thought I’d pass along the link just in case you feel inclined to read it. Happy weekend, y’all!

dotMOM Birmingham 2012

It was so fun, y’all.

dotMom 2012 from David Lowe on Vimeo.

Many thanks to the talented David Lowe for the wonderful pictures!

And All God’s People Said “Amen”

I posted this on Instagram Sunday night, and it tickles me so much that I thought I’d share it here, too.

For the record, I’m really trying not to over think a certain third grader’s sermon notes.

But clearly he was wading into some deep theological waters.

Covering All Manner Of Ground

Well, last week I spent so much time trying to get work and home and my people ready for me to be at dotMOM that I never mentioned the fact that we’d spent the previous Saturday at the Mississippi State / Troy U. football game. Since our husbands were out of town, Sister and I cooked up a road trip to the southern part of Alabama, and the little man went along for the ride (well, and for the football, too).

This is Sister and A when we were waiting for Dawg Walk – which turned out to be more of a Wave-At-The-Team-As-The-Bus-Passes Walk as much as anything else.

Away games are weird sometimes.

And this is when A had reached the end of his picture-taking rope and decided that he was no longer content to post for pictures with his mama.

He’s getting so big. And he’s still so much fun.

(By the way, here’s what that little punkin’ looked like when I started this blog.)

(I seriously could bawl my eyes out.)

One thing we didn’t anticipate about the Troy game is that it would turn out to be a lot warmer than the weather forecast indicated. So far a thick blanket of humidity has been the theme of the 2012 football season (at least for me), and by the time we made our way up to our seats and settled in for the game, we were pretty much begging the Lord for a breeze. That air had no intention of moving, though.

The game itself nearly killed us, and we were beyond fortunate to get out of there with a win. I actually attribute the win to Sister, who had the good sense to change seats after Troy scored their last touchdown and went up 24-23. Sister high-tailed it way down the row and kept her distance from A and me, and that, THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING. State scored about ten minutes later, and we basically held our collective breath until the end of the game. I’ve never been happier to see a game clock hit 00:00.

However, it’s not officially college football season until you have to close your eyes during some fourth down plays, so I guess from that perspective, the MSU / Troy game was an important milestone for Bulldog fans.

I spent last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in sort of an endless to-do list-related fog, but by Thursday morning, I was ready for some big dotMOM fun. I spent part of my morning with my friend Keely, who was kind enough to look past the fact that I am the most awkward person alive when it comes to having my picture made (I don’t know where to look, and I don’t know what to do with my hands, and I never know what to wear) and take some pictures for book stuff. Hopefully there’s something in that batch of photographs that Keely can salvage, but based solely on my MACH 5 level of discomfort, I am skeptical. You might want to keep Keely and her copy of Photoshop in your prayers.

After the picture fun I drove to the airport and picked up Melanie, Amanda, and Kelly. I was so happy to see them, and even though I’ve known all of them for a while now, it still just tickles me to no end that we met ON THE INTERNET. Love ’em to pieces, I do.

Thursday night we went to dinner with a whole bunch of sweet women, and one of the highlights was getting to visit with Korie Robertson from Duck Dynasty. She is cute as a button – so kind and sincere and darlin’. She’s one of those people who talks about her husband and her children in such a warm, loving way that she reminds you to treasure your people just a little bit more. I was so impressed by that.

Another highlight from the dinner was an appetizer platter that contained some fried cheese, but that’s neither here nor there, really.

dotMOM started Friday afternoon, and while I know I’m a little biased because I love the LifeWay folks so much, it really is such a great conference. There’s a lot of flexibility within the structure, but at the same time everything is oh-so-organized. The main speakers / teachers were Jen Hatmaker, Vicki Courtney, Sissy Goff and David Thomas, and Esther Burroughs. I walked away from every session with conviction and encouragement. Good, good stuff – especially in terms of remembering that our homes should be God-centered, not kid-centered. That theme came up over and over and over again.

There were two big (BIG!) highlights to the weekend for me. One was getting to interview John Croyle, the founder of Big Oak Ranch here in Alabama. I’ve heard wonderful things about him for years, and Mel and I both got such a kick out of him. He’s going to be one of the speakers at dotMOM Dallas (February 2013) and at dotMOM Chattanooga (September 2013), and I cannot wait. We only got to interview him for about 15 minutes, but I’ll remember four or five things that he said for the rest of my life.

The second highlight was getting to hear the story of a woman named Olive. Olive was a Compassion child in Uganda when she was a little girl, and now she’s a Compassion sponsor who lives here in the US. It’s been almost five years since I went to Uganda with Compassion (that is so hard for me to believe), and Olive’s story was a fresh reminder that Compassion’s ministry doesn’t just change the life of one child in a family – it can change that child’s family for generations.

Anyway. I’m close to 1000 words and don’t want to wear out my welcome, but it was a wonderful weekend, and I’m mighty grateful. Melanie and I actually got to debrief with a trip to Chuy’s after the conference was over, and then we drove to my house and put on pajamas and visited with my people for the rest of the night. Even now I think that I could sit on this couch for the next four days, but real life awaits tomorrow.

And I have to say: it’s good to be able to jump back into real life with such a full heart.

Have a great Monday, y’all.

dotMOM Giveaway

dotMOM is coming up this weekend here in Birmingham. Melanie and I are emceeing again, and I am alternately excited and terrified about that. Last year I was about 90% terrified, 10% excited. This year I’m only 75% terrified. So clearly I have put the smack down on my fear.

I loved the first dotMOM so much, mainly because it was a real shot in the arm for me in terms of being a wife and a mama. Considering that I am a little BROKE DOWN in those two areas of my life right now (nothing serious – just feeling a smidge overwhelmed and like there’s not enough time in the day), I am looking forward to sitting under some great teaching and just listening to whatever the Lord wants to say to me.

I’m also looking forward to meeting Korie Robertson from Duck Dynasty. But that’s not really a spiritual thing as much as it’s an OH MY WORD YOU ARE DARLIN’ thing.

All that to say: I have two dotMOM tickets to give away, so if it’s at all possible for you to get a hotel room or stay with friends and hang out in the ‘Ham this weekend, we would absolutely love to see you there. Or if you live here in Birmingham and have been thinking about buying tickets but just never got around to doing it, this could very well be your lucky day. After all, I tend to think that there are approximately four people in Birmingham who read my blog, so GUESS WHAT, FOUR PEOPLE? YOU HAVE A GREAT CHANCE OF WINNING.

All you have to do is just leave a comment on this post if you’re interested in winning the tickets. I’ll draw for a winner Wednesday night and notify the winner by email.

By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, that makes three giveaways in the last four posts. I do believe I’ve checked the last giveaway off my list.

Which means there’s going to be some seriously excessive rambling and random next week.

I feel that it’s best to warn you in advance.

This giveaway is now closed.

Linky Dinky Dink, Linky Dinky Doo

It just occurred to me that this is a fairly serious, grown-up list of links.

Please rest in the peace of knowing that I’ll be back to my regular silliness very, very soon.

After all, it’s football season. We have so much to discuss.

1) Sweet Annie Downs has done it again. In addition to her fantastic new book, Perfectly Unique, she has also written an e-book of devotions for young women. It’s called The Word Revolution: 30 Days to Speaking Life. I can’t even begin to tell you how great, how relatable, and how grounded in Truth it is. Best of all, it’s FREE. I downloaded it today, in fact. This particular series of devotions is so needed in this age of cynicism and mean-spirited criticism and a whole host of other destructive -isms. Be sure to check it out.

2) When I was a newlywed and far from home (okay. I was four hours from home. but it felt like forever.), I had a standing appointment with TRL in the afternoons. I’m super-nostalgic about the music from that time in my life, and I wrote all about it over at Ree’s blog.

3) Lisa-Jo has written a letter to her daughter. And it is beautiful.

4) A few weeks ago I heard about a short film called Be Still. It was created by Lisa Chan (wife of Francis), and this afternoon I finally settled into my favorite chair and watched a preview of it. I was expecting something like a Bible study, but it’s actually a very convicting reminder about why studying the Bible and making time to “Be still and know” is so critical in the midst of our over-scheduled, over-committed lives. To say that it was timely for me would be a big ole understatement. Even better, it’s a very affordable resource (only 7 American dollars for the video download), and it would be an excellent way to kick off some discussion – and maybe even some accountability – with a few of your friends.

5) My friend Nicole’s husband recommended Tim Keller’s The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness to me back in August. It’s been about a week since I finished it, and I don’t think I’ve ever highlighted a book more in my life. It’s only 48 pages (and the Kindle version is only 99 cents), but MY GOODNESS those 48 pages pack a punch. So wise and so good.

6) This seems like a mighty fine way to celebrate Advent.

If your church needs a guest speaker / worship leader in November or December, Shaun Groves is your man.

7) Hope y’all have had a great Tuesday!