Sparing You The Inconvenience Of Connected Paragraphs

Well, I think the first thing I need to say is that the book stuff has been an absolute blast and also I am real sick of myself right now. I mean, on one hand it has been the biggest relief and the most fun to see Home is Where My People Are get in the hands of real-live readers, and people has been so kind and encouraging and whatnot, but on the other hand I’ve heard myself answering questions about the book the last few days and I’ve thought, Just. stop. talking. You’ve done so much talking. Nobody needs to hear any more of your talking.

So day before yesterday, when I was getting out of my car to run into work for about 30 minutes before I left to do a promotional thingie and I spilled the entire contents of a grande Pike Place (two Equals with half and half) all over my pants and boots, I wondered if that very moment might not be my own personal tipping point.

The fact that I needed to fix my hair and had left home without my hairspray was insult to injury. And I reacted a little bit like this.

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But I mean, come on. NO HAIRSPRAY? I JUST FORGOT IT? WAS I RAISED IN A BARN?

Anyway, everything ended up working out just fine (it usually does), and now I’m gearing up for February, which promises to be chock-full-o-activity. And I’m good with chock-full-o-activity as long as there’s ample down time to have a few days that are chock-full-o-TV.

Priorities are important in life.

So today I’m gonna tell you about some stuff that I’ve wanted to share / pass along, and I am gonna take a little break from Book Talk 2015. DOESN’T THIS SOUND DELIGHTFUL?

– I saw these coffee mugs the other day on the Junk Gypsy Instagram, and I immediately ordered two for myself. They are so fun and sturdy and the perfect way to enjoy your morning coffee. Little things like this make me so happy.

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– Last week I read Emily Freeman’s post called “The Spiritual Discipline of Wearing Better Pants,” and I immediately bookmarked it so I wouldn’t forget to share it. Such a good word about being kind to ourselves.

– It wasn’t funny that one of Melanie’s dogs scratched her cornea, but it surely was funny when Melanie told the story.

– Every single day – at work and at home – I’m surrounded by prints from Naptime Diaires. I am crazy about their work and their commitment to giving us creative ways to display Scripture in the places where we live and work. Last year I discovered (or it was new to me, at least) that they make beautiful Lenten devotional books, and I was so happy when I saw that this year’s is now available. Lent is one of my favorite times on the Christian calendar (old Methodist habits die hard, I reckon), so I wanted to pass along the link for those of you who love a good, meaningful journal.

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– Lots of y’all have mentioned that you like listening to podcasts, and since Melanie and I aren’t always the most predictable in terms of when we record them (we seriously plan them a couple of hours ahead of time, if that, and it always depends on whether or not our schedules cooperate), I thought I’d pass along some links of other podcasts you might enjoy. Because in my humble opinion, all of these women are awesome.

God-Centered Mom with Heather McFadyen
Grace Talks with Edie Wadsworth
Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Hope*ologie with Myquillyn Smith (Nester), Emily Freeman, & their dad, Gary Morland
Inspired to Action with Kat Lee
That Sounds Fun with Annie Downs
The Art of Simple with Tsh Oxenrider
The Be Cast with Sara Goede, Monica Steely, and Amber Miller

– Finally, if you listened to the last BigBoo Cast, you may have wondered what in the world we were talking about when we wandered down the “Another Time, Another Place” rabbit trail. Well, here you have it: the absolute finest contemporary Christian song of 1990.

I ADORED IT.

And I still do.

Be Still, Be Free Podcast (And A Giveaway)

Hey y’all –

Back in October I got to meet Monica Steeley and Sarah Goede at Allume, and I was immediately drawn to them because of their sweet friendship. Back before Christmas they were kind enough to ask me to be a guest on their Be Still, Be Free podcast, and I had the best time with them and their friend Amber. We talked about all kinds of things – Chuy’s, mimes, writing, and marriage, among other topics – and we laughed a ton.

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They also have fancy graphics. Clearly.

The girls at Be Still, Be Free are also giving away a copy of Home is Where My People Are, so if you’d like to enter to win, just head on over to their website.

And if you enjoy listening to podcasts, you should absolutely subscribe to Be Still, Be Free. You’ll be encouraged, you’ll laugh, and you’ll love getting to know these sweet women!

Finally, Melanie and I have a new podcast that we’ll post tomorrow, and that’ll be the final piece in the podcast triumvirate of the last few days.

Hope y’all are having a great Monday!

A Little Salty… Is Free!

I love free stuff. I especially love free books (and also free coffee). So when my publisher, Tyndale, told me that they were going to offer my first book, A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, as a FREE eBook this week, I thought that was just about the most fun thing ever.

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Because it’s FREE. Free on Kindle, free on Nook, free on ChristianBook.com – FREE.

And now I’m sitting here laughing at myself because I kind of want to download it and I wrote the thing. But the allure of free is strong, my friends.

Anyway, I won’t waste your time with all my thoughts about free things, but I will pass along some links. The eBook will be free until Saturday, January 31st at midnight (I have no idea what time zone will apply).

Free eBook of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet at Amazon (for Kindle)

Free eBook of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet at Barnes & Noble (for Nook)

Free eBook of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet at ChristianBook.com

And if you don’t have an eReader, remember that both Kindle and Nook have apps you can download to your computer or phone or the tablet of your choosing.

I love that Tyndale is doing this the week after Home is Where My People Are released, mainly because it feels like the perfect way to say THANK YOU for making this past week so much fun. I certainly didn’t expect for the new book to come out three weeks early, but now I’m so glad that it did (it cut three weeks off of my pre-release nerves / sleeplessness, and that is a gift that will keep on giving).

Hope you or someone you love will enjoy the free book – and Happy Sunday, y’all!

An Afternoon Visit With Edie

I feel like I’ve been reading Edie’s blog forever. And from the first day that I read it, I thought, Well, she is pretty much exactly who I want to be when I grow up. Even though I’m pretty sure that we’re same age. I love her humor, her vulnerability, her style (OH, HAVE MERCY, HER STYLE), and her deep affection for people and place.

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Edie and I finally got to meet in person this past year, and she, Melanie, I laughed non-stop for approximately three hours. Actually, we hooted for three hours. And clapped our hands. And talked REAL loud.

Earlier this week Edie was oh-so-gracious to invite me to be a guest on her podcast, and I immediately said yes. And even though I apparently activated some sort of echo setting on my microphone (you can always count on me to jack up some audio) and sound a little bit like Wolfman Jack (there’s a 70’s reference for you), I don’t even care. Edie asked the best questions and was such a gracious host and I had the best time talking to her.

I also wouldn’t mind it if she would come over and accessorize my house, but that’s probably another discussion for another time.

So. You can find the podcast over at Edie’s blog, and I hope y’all enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed being a part of the conversation.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

p.s. I still want to be Edie when I grow up.

p.p.s. I’ll let you know how that works out.

For You And For One Of Your People – A Giveaway

Here are the giveaway winners; we matched a random number drawing with the comment number. I’ll be in touch about how to claim your prizes! Thanks, y’all!

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Today has been one of those days when, for a whole host of reasons, I have been super nostalgic about my college friends. It’s probably because I found myself in the middle of a big ole group text at 6 o’clock in the AM, and by 9 my friend Katy had sent me the following picture of her at a Chi O Valentine’s dance, sporting an outfit that she wore with great intention and also pride.

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It makes me so happy on so many different levels. There’s the bow, the polka dots, the lacy ankle socks, the red shoes with what looks to be just the slightest hint of a heel – it’s just too good. And then, if you look at her date / lifelong friend Charlie’s ankle area, it appears that he might have tight rolled those acid washed jeansĀ in order to showcase his lace-up boots.

So the bottom line is that there is nothing about this picture that does not delight me.

Inevitably, though, this morning’s text convo with Katy turned sort of reflective and serious, and that is maybe the biggest blessing of deep friendships that span a whole lot of years: you can go from silly to serious in about four seconds flat, and then, if need be, you can go right back to silly without missing a beat.

All day long I thought about the girls that shaped so much of what I believe about friendship and kindness and sincerity and being FOR EACH OTHER (as opposed to being mired down in some silent, endless, pointless competition that no one will ever win). Maybe this is why I found myself a little more sentimental than usual on the Instagram tonight.

I’ve been thinking all day about my college friends. They have checked on me and texted me and looked out for me in a hundred ways the last couple of weeks. I don’t have old pictures of all of them on my phone – this is just an impromptu sampler :-) – but oh my word I cannot imagine the last 25 years without these people. They have made me laugh until I wheezed, they have hugged me when I cried, and they have said “What can I do to help?” more times than I can count. They were the first people to read my pitiful attempts at personal essays when I was 19, the first people to read my blog, and the first people to say “YES” when I asked if I could tell some of our stories in a book I wanted to write. I can’t imagine what life would look like without them because they have been God’s grace in my life over and over again. They’re mighty sweet (as my mama would say), and I sure do love them. #homeiswheremypeopleare #tbt #unfortunatepermsofinstagram

A photo posted by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

(You may have to click through to see the IG post if you’re reading this via email.)

(But you do whatever you feel is best. I am certainly not the boss of you.)

So, in the interest of celebrating friendship and the first week of Home is Where My People Are, I’m doing a little giveaway. I’m giving away 10 books, but here’s the twist. I’ll draw for five winners who will get a signed copy of the book, and then each of those winners can pick one of their people – whether that person is a friend or a family member or both – and that special person will get a signed copy, too.

I’m only leaving this giveaway open until noon central time on Friday, January 23rd, and then I’ll draw for winners ASAP. I’ll mail the books just as soon as I have everyone’s addresses – hopefully by the first of next week.

By the way, if you’d like to earn a second entry in this giveaway, just follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and then come back here and leave an additional comment that says “social media entry.” And if you’re already plugged in on one of the social media outlets, you can absolutely still use the additional social media entry. Fair is fair, after all.

Finally. If you’re not sure if you’d want to win the book because you’re not sure if you’d want to read it, you can download the first 20 pages for free American dollars. It’s like a little sampler platter, only unfortunately it will arrive on your computer without any queso or Buffalo wings.

Happy Giveaway, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed. I’ll notify winners via email later this afternoon!

An Unknown Area Of Non-Existent Expertise

When the first book came out, I thought the categories that Amazon assigned it to made pretty good sense. Family & relationships. Christian living. Parenting didn’t even seem like too much of a stretch.

But with the new book, the Amazon categories are a little bit of a mystery to me. Because if you look up the book, you’ll find it listed in the following areas.

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I mean, where else would you expect to find a book about the life of a Mississippi girl who shares stories about her family and friends?

CHURCH HISTORY, OF COURSE.

Apparently Amazon puts some books under not-so-obvious categories so that the book has the opportunity to do well in a specific sub-category, and that is the only way to explain what I saw when I clicked over to Amazon earlier tonight.

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WELL SURE.

That is exactly where a book that discusses stirrup pants should be.

And really, I wouldn’t care if Amazon put the book in the How-To category under Assembling Small Appliances. I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to write it. And I really appreciate how y’all have ordered the book and sent encouraging emails and basically not grown weary with all the book-related talk. I promise it won’t last forever.

(By the way, if you have ordered the book, don’t forget to claim your prize(s) – pre-orders and orders apply through January 31st.)

Also.

My friend Tracey sent me this picture earlier tonight, and I’m excited to share it so that you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I write about wearing bows in college, it is NO JOKE.

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Where to start?

The mint green ensemble?

The slightly askew bow?

THE PERM?

And if all that weren’t enough, I’m almost certain that I was wearing some white bucks and ankle socks with that sassy outfit.

So it’s made me wonder: what’s your greatest fashion regret? What trend were you ALL ABOUT during a certain period of time – even though it may make you cringe (more than) a little bit in retrospect?

Since my preoccupation with hairbows was somewhat unfortunate, I’m secretly hoping that at least one of you had a deep affinity for Units or a bubble suit.

But if acid washed jeans and denim rompers are the best we can do, so be it.

We’ll take our joy wherever we can find it.

Amen.