Archives for May 2014

An Impromptu Friday Morning Giveaway: Beth Moore’s Children of the Day

One of the big things on my summer to-do list is to complete Beth Moore’s new Bible study, Children of the Day: 1 & 2 Thessalonians. I’ve been excited about it ever since I first read that she was writing it, and this morning – when a sweet puppy dog woke me up a couple of hours earlier than I’d planned – seemed like the perfect time to get started.

Well.

I’m going to use the individual video sessions since I’m working through the study by myself, but I remembered this AM that I have have a whole set of DVDs that LifeWay sent me a couple of months ago (and yes, I know that the DVDs are good for individual use, too, but it seems to me that if they can be used for a group of people instead of just one person, then all the better).

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SO. If you are in a group Bible study that would like to have the DVDs and the Leader Guide for Children of the Day, just leave a comment on this post. I’ll leave the giveaway open until Monday morning, and then I’ll select a winner and notify her ASAP.

Happy Weekend, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed.

A Few Little Bits Of Interweb Funtimes

The wide-leg pants from Old Navy have been a high point this past year (I believe I’ve raved about them several times). It makes me so happy when I see friends here in town and they say something along the lines of, “THOSE PANTS – YOU WERE NOT KIDDING.” For the last month or so they’ve been out of stock, but THEY’RE BACK (and I’m just as envious as I can be of you people who wear a size small because you get to order the turquoise). Anyway, you can use the coupon code ONSAVENOW until the end of day today (May 28th) and get 25% off.

– If you’re a Mad Men fan, don’t miss Alan Sepinwall’s review of the mid-season finale. And after you finish reading that, you’ll get a huge kick out of his interview with series creator Matthew Weiner. Oh-so-insightful.

– My friend Robin linked to this article – 19 Brands You Didn’t Know Were Owned By Giant Corporations – on Facebook today, and I thought it was fascinating. Power of marketing, I reckon. But even though my mental image of Mrs. Meyer’s products being made in a tiny little warehouse is now shattered, I will remain loyal to the end. It’s forever my favorite.

– Another Facebook find: my friend Joy linked to an article that I have been thinking about all day. It’s called “Too Scared To Cry: Social Media Outrage and the Gospel,” and it addresses some of the pitfalls that come with having an “open mic” for our anger (even when it’s righteous anger) via social media. Lots of wisdom.

– Alex will attest to the fact that this is my favorite song in a really long time. It feels like a classic love song to me, but it’s still oh-so-modern. Makes me happy.

Nester mentioned a print at gracelaced earlier today, and I am a little bit in love with it (especially since it’s my favorite of all the Bible verses). Gorgeous.

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The 8×10 is only $16 and an 11×14 is $24 – such a great gift for a wedding or graduation.

– This tickled me.

Hope y’all have had a wonderful Wednesday!

A Gift From The 80s Just Keeps On Giving

Last week was our last week of school and the SEC baseball tournament, so we were chock-full-o-nostalgia about leaving 4th grade (Alex), getting to see our favorite team play (Bulldogs) and finishing the final semester as a high school English teacher (me – and this is a long story, but I’ve been teaching English for a real long time, only this past year I had to face the reality that my writing and teaching schedules weren’t really doing each other any favors, so while I’m still going to work next school year, my role is going to shift a bit – and I am very grateful for that but WAH, NO MORE TEACHING LITERATURE, WAH).

So the bottom line is that there were a whole lot of feelings in our house last week. We coped by watching a whole lot of college baseball. And while our Bulldogs didn’t win the tournament, we still had a blast. I got to see lots of former students (I will get to write more about this part of my life now that I will not be anybody’s 11th grade English teacher, so I feel totally free to say that my relationships with the kids that I’ve taught over the years mean the absolute world to me, and I tell my real-life people all the time that there just aren’t many privileges as sweet as a 16 or 17 year-olds who invite you into their lives for just a little while), and based on the number of friends that A. and his buddies saw walking around the ballpark, I think it’s safe to say that there’s a young person in this house who has a far more exciting social life than his parents can even begin to claim at this point.

Also, when I wasn’t mourning the fact that I’ll never teach The Great Gatsby again or yelling my head off when Wes Rea stole 2nd base during the Georgia game (Wes Rea was a highly recruited offensive lineman in high school) (I do not believe that his body type is necessarily designed for sliding into 2nd) (that made the base stealing all the more festive), I continued to fight some lingering plague-like symptoms, chief amongst them being a hacking cough that might leave you concerned that I was choking.

Friday afternoon Sister and her hubby came to town; Sister and I have never gotten to go to the SEC tourney together, so this year seemed like a fine time to start. We had a great time even though we lost to Florida, and we also have a story that we will tell for the rest of our lives about the man who sat behind us and assumed we didn’t know anything about sports because we’re women. It’s way too much to try to explain in a couple of paragraphs, but I knew we were in trouble at the very beginning of the game when the man tried to tell us what a double-play is. After he continued to offer instruction for the next three innings, Sister and I were finally able to convince him that the game was not in fact our first sports-related rodeo, but that wasn’t before my hackles got ALL THE WAY UP and I silently considered all of my pride-related issues when it comes to sports in general and the Bulldogs in particular.

I also silently considered the possibility of designing an impromptu Bulldog sports trivia contest to see if that man really knew his stuff, but then he admitted that he hadn’t been to an Egg Bowl since 1983 and suddenly I felt plenty secure in the fact that I would’ve totally smoked him.

Clearly I am a grown-up and very mature.

Sister and I did some shopping over the weekend, and I am happy to announce that I found a lamp replacement (Hazel broke my favorite yellow lamp a couple of weeks ago) at Home Goods. The shape is almost identical, and even though it wasn’t $10 like my yellow one, I was tickled to find something that looks similar – and I think we’re going to be able to paint it yellow, so WIN. The other exciting development is that Sister has fully embraced the resurgence of the palazzo pants (we were completely smitten with the Coco Bianco palazzos at SteinMart), so we had all kinds of fun trying on pretty much every pair we could find. THEY ARE A DELIGHT.

Today I decided to clean out my closet, mainly because my closet has started to make me feel claustrophobic and maybe a little bit ashamed. It’s one of those chores that I put off and put off and put off, and then the prospect of digging through everything feels so overwhelming that I just sort of shield my eyes and grab whatever I need and walk out. The last couple of days, though, I’ve felt like I was ready to tackle it, so this afternoon I started dragging everything off of the shelves before I could chicken out and decide to start a marathon of a TV show instead.

I’m not anywhere near finished, but I think I’m doing a good job of being ruthless in terms of what gets to stay and what has to leave. I spent most of the afternoon going through old purses and duffel bags, and apparently I haven’t gotten rid of any purses since Alex was born. Add to that the fact that there were a couple of small bags in the mix that I apparently never unpacked after we moved SEVEN AND ONE HALF YEARS AGO, and you can understand why I felt like I spent the better part of my day in a time machine.

I mean, it’s not every day when you’re confronted with the reality that there was a time in your life when you actually thought a picture like this one was a good idea.

Oh. Bless it.

And listen. I certainly don’t mean to cause sensory overload. It’s a lot to take in all at once, so if you need to focus on one element at a time, take a break, then come back for the next element, that is so understandable. Because first of all, there’s the hair (I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Paul Mitchell’s Freeze and Shine – as well as my Clairol curl sticks – for making that hair possible). Then there’s the lace collar (courtesy of Jessica McClintock, BUT OF COURSE). Then there’s the pose (I have no explanation) and the SINGLE ROSE. If memory serves I had this picture made for Mother’s Day either my senior year in high school or my freshman year in college, and I remember seeing the proofs and feeling sad that my hair didn’t look bigger on the sides because SURE. And what you cannot see is that I topped off the whole look by going barefoot in the picture, a clear indication that I had recently watched a very emotional Whitney Houston / Sheena Easton / Anita Baker / Phil Collins video where the female main character opted to not wear shoes.

I was very young and impressionable.

So. I may not be finished with my closet yet, but I can say for sure that I am finished with 1) lace collars 2) single roses 3) bangs that curl under. I would like to be able to say that I am finished with big hair, but I’m just not ready to make that kind of bold proclamation. You just never known what trends the future might hold, and I’d really like a redemptive shot to make the sides of my hair a little bigger the next time around.

I mean, palazzo pants are back, after all. Maybe curl rods and some econo-sized cans of Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine aren’t all that far behind, you know?

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 35

Well, I’d planned to get this podcast up last night, but State’s baseball game with Georgia went to 10 innings, and by the time it was over (after 11pm, mind you), my nerves were far too frazzled to do any sort of editing and uploading and etc. I had to start a new book just to wind down and have any hope of falling asleep, and yes, I’m all too aware that I have some co-dependency issues when it comes to the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

This is not exactly a new development.

ANYHOODLE.

This podcast is hodgepodge (well, let’s be honest – all of them are), and we cover a big ole variety of unrelated topics: my incessant cough, Melanie’s home improvement goals, the end of the school year, and my new job as a personal assistant to an 11 year-old. It was all good times and big fun.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here (I just realized that we could do this a couple of months ago, and I think it’s a convenient listening option).

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Hope y’all enjoy it!

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1. Last week Melanie and I recorded a podcast that, I’m sad to say, was nearly unlistenable.

2. I’m not sure if “unlistenable” is a word. But I’m running with it.

3. And make no mistake. For us to decide that one of our podcasts is unlistenable* should be a sign of how bad it was. Because, as our friend Carol has said before, it’s not like the podcasts are really about anything in particular. We just sort of talk about some things for an undetermined period of time, and then we eventually stop talking, and I don’t really edit anything out unless I say “I mean” six times in a row or one of our doorbells rings (and sometimes I don’t even take that stuff out) or we say “I don’t know” too often when we’re talking about a topic where, well, WE JUST DON’T KNOW.

4. But the podcast was blah as all get out. So I didn’t post it. And I figured I’d write some stuff later in the week.

5. But then that last thing didn’t happen because work was still super lively and there were a couple of nights where I talked to my husband for a long time, and then one night I went to dinner with two darlin’ young friends who just finished their first year of college, and then suddenly it was Friday and I started reading a book and I figured I could always blog this week.

6. So Saturday morning I went to Panera to do some writing (book stuff and blog stuff), and after about an hour I realized that I didn’t really feel very well.

7. I kept telling myself that I could just push through, but then I realized that it might be odd to put my head down on a table in Panera, so I packed up and headed home.

8. Well, technically I stopped at Chick-fil-A first and picked up some chicken nuggets for my people. I also got some ice cream for myself because it sounded like it would feel really good to the sore throat.

9. Seriously. HOW ARE YOU EVEN READING THIS? I AM NEARLY ASLEEP JUST WRITING IT.

10. Once I got home, I delivered the nuggets and ate a couple of bites of ice cream and then I got in the bed and fell asleep and woke up about three hours later.

11. That is when I realized that I probably had some sort of virus.

12. So I went back to bed.

13. Short story long, I did some of my all-time finest sleeping over the next 36 hours.

14. Sunday morning, in fact, David said, “You’ve slept so much that you probably won’t be able to sleep at all tonight.”

15. However, not only did I take another nap after his prediction, I also managed to fall sound asleep by 11 o’clock last night.

16. Certainly I don’t mean to brag.

17. Somewhere in the middle of all the sleeping I managed to watch Saving Mr. Banks. I really liked it, but it was different than what I expected.

18. I didn’t really know that I had expectations, mind you. It just wasn’t what I thought it would be. But I enjoyed it.

19. And today I have felt so much better, though I have a cough that might win some contests.

20. However, at this time I don’t really have any plans to take my cough on the competitive coughing circuit.

21. We’ll have to save that dream for another day.

22. But, even though I sound like a cross between Lindsay Lohan and Carol Channing, Melanie and I are going to record another podcast again tomorrow, and our hope is that it will be utterly listenable.

23. FINGERS CROSSED.

24. Thanks for being so patient with me these last few weeks, y’all!

* – looked it up, and it’s totally a word, so naturally I am delighted

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I didn’t have any intention of taking what turned into a week-long bloggy break. But work was very, um, lively last week, and I couldn’t seem to stay up later than about 9:30 at night, and I went out of town for most of this weekend, and then I came home and celebrated Mother’s Day with my fellas, and then I was going to write a really long blog post, but a little while ago Hazel got tangled up in some cords next our sofa and started to run and knocked a bunch of things off the end table and in the process broke my favorite yellow lamp.

Seriously. MY FAVORITE. It cost $10 at the thrift store and always made my den feel like sunshine.

This was the day I brought it home. I have to say that we had a mighty good seven years together.

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RIP, Yellow Lamp. You will be sorely missed. And the yellow ottoman in the den isn’t going to know what in the world to do without you.

So. I’m going to grieve my lamp and watch Mad Men and try again with the blogging thing tomorrow. I think that Yellow Lamp would want it that way.

Hope y’all had a great weekend!

(And you should be relieved because there was a point a few minutes ago when I was considering making an Instagram collage with pictures I’ve taken of Yellow Lamp through the years.)

(I decided that might be pushing things a little too far.)

(I can’t completely rule out the possibility, though.)