Because Spring Is About To, Well, Spring

Now I know full well that winter weather is not all the way behind us – there is even talk of ice and whatnot later this week in Alabama – but seeing as how it is March 1 and that means NO MORE FEBRUARY (hallelujah), I think it makes perfect sense to turn our attention to one of spring / summer’s most wondrous creations.

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The Linen Blend Pull-on Pant from Old Navy.

Oh, y’all. I love these pants. I had four colors until I snagged my gray pair on a nail. So I now I only have three except I just ordered two more which means I’ll be up to 5 for spring ’15. And lest you think I’m crazy for having 5 different colors of the same style pants, let me just stress to you that THESE PANTS ARE A DELIGHT AND A JOY. I actually put mine in the dryer, and since they’re not 100% linen, they don’t need to be ironed (unless you’re a little obsessive about ironing, in which case you can iron to your heart’s content). I wear mine to work, to church, to coffee, to the grocery store, to baseball games, to hang out at home – you name it.

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So. I don’t know if you like a wide-legged pant or not, but if you do, I can’t recommend these enough. I had a 30% off coupon from Old Navy when I ordered mine, so even if you don’t have a coupon right this second, you know that Old Navy will email you one within about the next five minutes. Or maybe it’ll take a couple of days. But still. Old Navy loves a coupon.

I ordered the chambray (which I’ve wanted forever but they were out of stock) and the black, by the way. I’m beside myself with kicky wide-legged excitement.

Who knew that the return of the Linen-Blend Pull-on Pants would make March 1st so much fun?

(I might be slightly overexcited about this wide-legged development.)

(However, I make no apologies considering that skinny jeans / pants make my legs look like tree trunks.)

(It’s good to be clear about skinny jean limitations.)

Happy Pants, everybody!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 44

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I don’t mind saying that I’m a little punchy in this podcast. In fact, I had to sort of dial myself back a few notches about midway through. Please pardon all my very strong opinions about and objections to things that are really not important at all.

(I like to think that my absence of charm is connected at least in part to the antibiotic I’ve been taking this last week.)

(Apparently it’s turned me into FEISTY MCGEE.)

Also, Melanie has a bit of a cough this time around. For some reason it entertains me to no end.

Anyway, we talk about sandals, musicals, Melanie’s debut as a clue on Let’s Make a Deal, my misguided experimentation with hairspray, our mutual love for crackers, Mel’s cough syrup preferences, Noonday jewelry, and Talenti gelato (which is UNBELIEVABLE).

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here.

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

Hope y’all enjoy it!

p.s. The crackers we mention are John Wm. Macy’s Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps. :-)

Let It Maybe / Possibly / Hopefully Snow

I have failed at all the internet things this week. I haven’t blogged, I haven’t answered email, and I’ve just barely read anything. Work was super full on Monday and Tuesday, so I’ve pretty much driven home every afternoon in a too-much-to-process stupor, then tried to cook some supper and hang out with my people and stay awake long enough to watch this past Sunday’s episode of Downtown Abbey.

It took me two nights to get through one episode, by the way.

(This seems like a good time to mention that I was really hoping Rose’s wedding would have been more elaborate, but oh my goodness I always enjoy it when the Grantham clan goes on a road trip. Highly entertaining.)

Today, though, we’re home. The forecast says that we have some snow in our future, though 40-plus years of living in the Deep South tells me that we need not get our hopes up. Alex was up at 6:50 this morning and READY TO SLED – but if the snow comes, it won’t be here until afternoon.

I can’t even imagine how riveting it must be to read about our weather, by the way. Stick around a little longer and I’ll tell you all about what’s in our pantry.

Anyway, here are a few things I’ve wanted to mention over the course of the last few days.

– My friend Karla takes care of all the behind-the-scenes stuff on this blog – stuff like layout and code and other technological details that threaten to make my head explode if I think about them for longer than about five minutes. Well, she read through all of your comments about the podcast graphics, and yesterday she sent me four new options (she’s a professional designer, so I trust her with design stuff more than I trust myself with Word Swag). Melanie and I both loved this one, so HERE YOU HAVE IT.

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I think it’s a great combo of the ones we liked most from Word Swag – just the right mix of simple and fun. So from here on out, it’s what you’ll see on the podcasts. And just FYI – we do in fact have a glitter option if we’re feeling particularly sparkly.

– This Sunday night I’ll be at North Monroe Baptist Church in Monroe, Louisiana.

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I would love to see some of y’all there!

– This has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that it always makes me laugh.

– This morning Dave Barnes posted this video by The Bros. Landreth on Twitter. I think it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in a long time.

– Hazel, by the way, thinks this (maybe) Snow Day is the best thing ever.

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She’s been snuggled right up next to me all morning.

Next thing you know I’ll be putting mittens on her paws and making her some sort of puffy vest.

Hope y’all are having a great day!

Let’s Just Call This Thursday Thoughts Because I Am Fresh Out Of Titles

Well, I’m not a doctor, but apparently – at least this time around – I did a pretty decent job diagnosing myself with a sinus infection. Because sweet fancy Moses do I ever have one.

I also now have an antibiotic, a 10-day supply of a steroid, and a brand new bottle of Flonase. And as much as I don’t enjoy taking medicine, I am very much enjoying my increased ability to breathe through my nose and also read things without feeling like my eyes are on fire. Hooray for progress.

Also, can I just say that y’all have offered a wealth of podcast graphics feedback? Thank you so much! I may have to make a spreadsheet to keep up with all the preferences in fonts and colors (or I may just turn over all the info to an actual, real-live designer), but y’all are so kind to look and think and evaluate and share your thoughts. Melanie and I can’t thank you enough.

As for events outside the realm of sinuses and graphic design, there’s really not much going on around here (well, I can’t really say that about work since there is ALWAYS something going on when you spend most of the day with teenagers, but most of those stories aren’t mine to tell). Last night I actually decided to catch up on American Idol since it’s been hard for me to stay up-to-speed on the audition rounds this year. Honestly, I may have walked through a little bit of an AI valley last year becasue after being so excited about the new judges (who were and are delightful, by the way), I felt like the season was a disappointment in terms of the actual competition. For there to be so much talent, there weren’t a whole lot of entertainers when it was all said and done, and MY, don’t I have some opinions considering that the height of my personal singing career was that time I got to sing a solo of “I’m A Lost Little Valentine” in the first grade play.

These were just my FEELINGS, though. My very personal FEELINGS.

So last night I got all caught up on the show, and as is ALWAYS my pattern, I have pledged my total and complete devotion to a couple of the contestants already. I don’t know why I always do the thing where I get totally attached to someone (only to be disappointed when they get voted off – please see Melinda Doolittle, Elliott Yamin, Casey James, and Casey Abrams, to name a few), but I do. So while yes, I should know better, clearly I don’t, because TYANNA JONES.

And SWEET MERCY, CLARK BECKHAM.

There are other folks in the top 24 who I really like a lot, but these two – THESE TWO – they are just pure joy when they sing (and play, in Clark’s case). I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for them.

Are any of y’all watching this year? Any early predictions or favorites?

I’m all ears.

(Get it?)

(I made a music pun.)

(That’s just a free service I like to provide.)

(The end.)

This Is Where We Are (And Also: VOTING!)

I typically head into a long weekend with a very ambitious mental to-do list. In fact, as I was driving back from Nashville this past Saturday, I thought about all the things I wanted to accomplish after I got home: washing four or nine loads of clothes, making a big pantry re-stocking trip to the grocery store, finishing up with hanging stuff in the office (we turned our 4th bedroom into an office over the Christmas holidays, and it has been about 80% finished ever since), working on the outline for a new book (I have an idea and a title – but that’s about it), catching up on Bible study homework, and ordering some sandals because I am so tired of wearing boots and I BELIEVE IN SPRING.

So. Here’s what really happened. I did make it to the grocery store but only for the bare necessities. I also managed to catch up on Bible study homework because I had the luxury of two lazy mornings. But as far as the list was concerned, that was about it. I did manage to take not one, not two, but THREE different naps on Monday, and I also watched five episodes of Downton Abbey and am now completely caught up. So while I didn’t get a single letter typed on the new book outline, I can most certainly say that I achieved exceedingly and abundantly more than all I could ask or imagine as far as the Grantham family is concerned.

(And oh, Edith.)

(This season she has done some of her very finest Edith-ing.)

If finally dawned on me today that three naps in one day is NOT AT ALL NORMAL for me, so I made a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow afternoon in the event that I have the plague or a rare sleeping virus or maybe even a sinus infection (my bet is on that last thing). For some reason I sleep a lot when I have a sinus infection – maybe because my eyes burn and get pressure-y and whatnot – but I was so busy napping yesterday that I didn’t really put all the clues together. Anyway, I have a sneaking suspicion that by this time tomorrow I will be enjoying a lovely antibiotic and perhaps even a Z-pack.

Oh! But wait! There’s been one other thing going on around here.

Last week, when I was in the throes of my Word Swag discovery, I started trying to make a new logo for Melanie’s and my podcast. We’ve had our same logo since 2007, and as much as we’ve loved it, we’ve known for a couple of years that we needed a little refresher. Here’s our faithful friend of eight years, by the way.

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I know that’s tiny. But somewhere along the way I deleted the bigger version of it, so we’re rolling sort of lo-res these days.

So I started messing around on Word Swag, and here was my first attempt at a redo.

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I think it’s fun but maybe a little girly in a I-still-like-Barbies sort of way.

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I like the colors in this one, but the background sort of reminds me of an 80s movie about breakdancing.

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Love the colors in this one. Don’t know if a dark gray background is cheerful enough for two people who talk about mascara and Amy Grant so much.

I kept trying different stuff, and eventually I wound up with a color palette that I liked the most (the kelly green and navy at the end). Some of these are really sad, but I’m gonna post them all because I have some questions for you fine people who read the weblogs and listen to the podcasts and whatnot.

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Why am I so drawn to sparkles? I have no idea.

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This one is so boring and blah it makes me want to cry, but I was going for plain after my experiment with sparkly.

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Now please understand: I know that I’m not a graphic designer. I know that I’m not even a pretend graphic designer. I don’t have any idea how to put colors together and when sparkly backgrounds or useful or anything like that. But I am interested to know what (if anything) you like about these as far as potential podcast logo-type things are concerned. Please remember that Melanie and I don’t really get into that whole idea of “building a brand,” so it doesn’t matter to me at all if the logo colors “family” with our blog colors or anything like that. We’re a couple of mamas who like to talk about TV, not some sort of media conglomerate. CLEARLY.

So, if you have an opinion about which one of these you like the most, let me know in the comments. You can say, “type from 2, colors from 10″ or “please no not number 8″ or “I want to marry 7.” WHATEVER. There’s no need for fancy design critique because I won’t understand it. I’m just trying to get an idea if there’s even one of these we could use as a baseline – or if we should just stick with our old standby because it’s been faithful and true and loyal for eight years and if it ain’t broke, etc.

And why did I stop including our names about halfway through? Because I forgot, that’s why. And now that I look back on them, I’m not so sure that our names are necessary.

All righty. Offer feedback / opinions / a list of your top 3 in the comments. And feel free to chime in on whether you like our full names being there or not. I’ll edit based on your comments. Or maybe I’ll just turn the proceedings over to the professionals. Regardless, though, this will more than likely be a short-term solution, so please don’t feel like I’ve placed the eternal fate of our podcast graphics into the hands of a $1.99 app. NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Thanks in advance, y’all!

Sunday Afternoon Catch-Up

Well, I’m home this afternoon with a 5th grader who sounds like a frog and can’t seem to stop coughing, and as soon as I hit “publish” on this post, I’m going to make it my business to eradicate some of the PILES-O-STUFF in this house. There are piles everywhere: on the kitchen table, on the kitchen desk, on the dining room table – it is a piles extravaganza.

And I may or may not have realized that I still have a Christmas throw rug on display next to the back door.

This last month has not been my finest housekeeping hour. To say the least.

Anyway, there were a few things that I wanted to mention late last week, but I was in Nashville and got sidetracked doing all the Nashville-y things.

That doesn’t mean I recorded a country song or anything like that.

But I did get to see some friends, and hang out with my sister and brother-in-law, and sleep for a few more hours than what I’ve been averaging so far this year. I also had a book signing on Saturday, so in addition to getting to meet some really nice people, I got to do some last-minute Valentine shopping right there in the bookstore.

That’s what you call a WIN-WIN.

Okay. The things I wanted to mention.

– Last week I wrote a guest post for Ann Voskamp’s blog. It’s called “What Mama Said, What Mama Did: Five Ways My Mama Taught Me The Blessing of Healthy Friendships,” and it’s my little thank you to my mama and my friends’ mamas for teaching and encouraging us to love each other really well.

The folks at Allume are about to start a new book club, and the book they’re gonna read is called Home is Where My People Are. (I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.) (I may have mentioned it before.) Anyway, I am so honored that they picked my little book, and you can keep up with book club news by following Allume on Instagram or subscribing to their blog posts via email. They haven’t announced the start date yet, so stay tuned.

– Margaret Feinberg has written a new Bible study called Fight Back with Joy, and I wanted to mention it because I know we’re approaching that place in the Bible study road where churches and small groups and whatnot start deciding what they’d like to study in the spring and summer. I haven’t actually done the study yet, but it’s next on my list – so I wanted to be sure to mention it.

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Jessica Turner‘s new book comes out this week, and I think women are going to LOVE IT. It’s called The Fringe Hours, and it’s all about how to carve out time – especially in the midst of a whole lot of busy-ness – for the stuff that feeds your soul. I’d hadn’t thought about it much until I saw Jessica’s book, but this blog has mostly been a “fringe hours” activity for me. I actually started it because I was craving a little creativity in the midst of being a mama to a two year-old, so I would write late at night when it was quiet enough for me to “download” the day. So yay, Jessica. I really do think she’s on to something.

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– Friday night I was trying to wind down before I went to sleep, and I remembered that my friend Annie had put up a link to a talk she gave at Buckhead Church. I thought I’d watch 10 or 15 minutes before bed, but then I wound up watching the whole 40+ minutes and sending Annie about 92 texts. Y’all, it is so good. SO GOOD. The topic at hand is dating / singleness, but I am here to tell you that it applies to all seasons and stations of life. It will also make you laugh really hard – and there is a ton of Truth, too. Good stuff.

– I am admittedly behind the curve as far as contemporary Christian music is concerned, mainly because we mostly listen to my iTunes or a throwback station when we’re in the car. The other day, though, I happened to switch over to the Message station on Sirius, and this song was playing. I think it’s just beautiful.

Hope y’all are having a great weekend!