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.