What’s Going On

In no particular order:

1. I finished writing the book, OH HALLELUJAH.

2. Now I’m editing the book – and about four chapters from the end.

3. The editing process is my favorite part – I LOVE IT SO.

4. This time around, though, I have been a little emotional during editing.

5. And by “a little,” I mean, “CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GET ME SOME TISSUES?”

6. Alex is playing football this year.

7. In the past I kind of decided that I just wasn’t much of a sports mama, that I wasn’t nearly as obsessed with whatever he was playing as I thought I would be.

8. Make no mistake: FOOTBALL HAS CHANGED ALL OF THAT.

9. What makes it the most fun, though, is how much our little guy loves his team. There’s kind of a neat story about all of that, but I think I’ll wait until the end of the season and maybe let Alex tell it. David and I have been so proud of him.

10. Friday afternoon I drove to Memphis and went to Living Proof Live with Emma Kate.

11. I can’t even write about it yet. But it was a special time.

12. We also got to have lunch yesterday with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews, and it was hysterical.

13. I went to sleep at 10 last night and then slept for two hours this afternoon, so I think I’ve recovered from my quick little trip.

14. It’s the Green Chile Festival at Chuy’s right now, and I would just like to wholeheartedly recommend the Beef Fajita Flautas if you happen to go to a Chuy’s before the festival thingie is over.

15. They are seriously delicious.

16. SEC football starts this week, so obviously my days will have renewed zeal and purpose.

17. I haven’t gotten to watch the SEC Network nearly as much as I’d like, but as soon as I finish these edits, I will be ALL OVER IT.

18. Travis released a new worship CD, and I have listened to “Take Me To The King” about 492 times in the last three days.

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Oh, it is so good.

19. Back-to-school has been great. I am loving my “new” job (same place – just a different role), and the fifth grader is happy as can be. David will probably be glad when I figure out how to plan a week’s worth of meals again, but between work and writing, the culinary side of things has suffered.

20. Hazel is adjusting to the school routine. She is still the longest dog I have ever seen. And while I was in Memphis Friday night, she somehow grabbed a blue pen off my nightstand and painted her toenails. David sent me this picture.

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Bless her.

21. My friend Lindsay posted this video on Facebook earlier tonight, and it’s still just as delightful as it was back in the 80s.

22. I’ll be back in a couple of days – hopefully to say that edits are finished and I am about to watch so much college football, OH MY WORD.

Thanks for being so patient, y’all!

Love,
Me

So Many Things

Well, it’s 3:47 in the AM. I’m not awake by choice, mind you, but I fell asleep watching TV, and then I woke up around 2, and my body is convinced that it’s time to get up even though THREE FORTY SEVEN. My 40s hate me.

So, since I have been such a wayward blogger lately (I’m still working on the book – and while I hoped that I’d finish this week, my schedule didn’t have much wiggle room for writing, so tomorrow is a BIG DAY O’ WRITING provided that I get some sleep between now and then), I thought I’d link to some stuff and some things.

This is really just an attempt to bore myself back to sleep, but we’ll see where it goes.

And here’s the book cover. I love it a lot.

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This book is much more of my story than the first book. I didn’t plan it that way, but that’s just how it started to turn and move, and I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to write it. I feel like it’s been 85% thinking/praying and 15% writing, and that has been a completely different experience than the first one.

Nobody cares about this kind of stuff, I know. But I feel like I need to explain because I’ve missed blogging a lot and I just want you to know that I really haven’t been just sitting around and watching Bravo.

NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

All righty. The things.

- “Only Jesus”

I watched this video for the first time tonight (last night, whatever), and it was the perfect song at the perfect time. I needed it. Still do.

- Audiotree Live Session – The Oh Hellos

Around the 24 minute-mark they sing a new song called “Dear Wormwood,” and I nearly came up out of my seat at the Panera when I heard it. Somebody preach one time.

- Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter

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I adore this book. It is beautifully written, it is inspiring, and it is thought-provoking. You will not finish reading it and feel like there are 44 Gospel-driven initiatives that you need to start. However, you will finish reading it and look around your neighborhood and your workplace and your family and your community and think, “Who have I missed?” Can’t recommend it enough.

- The other day my friend Nicole reminded me of this video (opening credits of Music & Lyrics), and it has made me laugh so hard. And here’s the even bigger thing, FNL fans: THAT IS JASON STREET, Y’ALL.

Okay. I’m a little drowsy now. I’m gonna run with it.

Please know that I miss you terribly and I’ll be back soon. :-)

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Just A Late July Update

I’m still not finished.

But I’m close.

I actually hit my word count goal last week; the new book is going to be a little longer than the first one, and I thought I would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER meet my word count. But I did – and now the problem is that I can’t seem to WRAP ‘ER UP. There are two more chapters that I want to write after I finish the one I’m working on right now, and then that’ll be it.

I think.

Maybe.

Regardless, it’s been so nice to feel a little more focused.

I’m trying to think about what else has been going on, but I guess the answer is everything and nothing. I’m trying to prepare myself for the fact that school starts in less than three weeks (SUMMER, WHERE DID YOU GO?), and when I glance at my August calendar, I have to shield my eyes so that I don’t see all the stuff on all the days at one time.

I believe this is what you call “denial.”

But oh! That reminds me. It dawned on me earlier this week that I have fully transitioned to keeping my calendar on my computer. I’ve resisted it FOREVER, because here are two things I really like: 1) glossy paper and 2) writing with an extra fine-tip Sharpie on the aforementioned glossy paper. But I’ve discovered something in lo, this very tech-y year of our Lord 2014: a digital calendar is like an expression of eternal love and devotion to my husband. He is super organized and likes to plan ahead, so it delights him to be able to look at, say, the month of November and know what’s on the horizon.

I, on the other hand, like to fly by the seat of my pants on sort of a day-by-day, need-to-know basis. But that’s not practical for us right now. And I am much more consistent with putting travel dates and game dates and all that stuff in the computer than I ever was with writing them in my calendar and then – this is key - consistently leaving the calendar in the same place so D could check it.

So. We are sync’d and app’d and considerably less frustrated by scheduling surprises. It’s like we’re grown-ups or something.

A few other random things:

- About once a week somebody emails me and tells me that I need to try the YouNique fiber lash mascara. Well, a few weeks ago I spoke in Mississippi, and they gave me a beautiful gift basket with YouNique mascara inside. I haven’t used it because I’ve been intimidated, but today I watched an instructional video, and I think I’m going to try it tomorrow. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I wonder if this just may be the elusive mascara unicorn? I am FILLED WITH HOPE.

- Alex got back from camp last night, and as he’s told me stories today, I have been so tickled. All I can figure is that the Lord loves irony, because Alex’s very favorite parts of camp are all things that I have sworn I will never do. He went rappelling and loved it, and his very favorite activity was a two-hour hike where they went through some caves or something. I really do adore his sense of adventure, and he has made me promise that I will go with him and D on a camping trip this fall. Needless to say, I have already asked D if a cabin can count as “camping.” I am praying that he will play fast and loose with the definition.

- Tomorrow (Thursday) is my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. SIXTY YEARS. I have been thinking about it all day today. I’m the youngest in our family – 14 and 10 years behind my siblings - so I was still in elementary school when Mama and Daddy celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. I really didn’t understand why that silver anniversary was such a big deal. Now, though, I totally get it. And I am so incredibly grateful for my parents’ example and their commitment to each other. This afternoon Mama laughed and said, “You know, there aren’t many people who can live with the same person for 60 years.” That is the truth, isn’t it?

- Consider this my public confession that I have been watching The Bachelorette this season. I can’t decide if Andi will pick Nick or Josh, but I’m leaning toward Nick. Mainly because she has mentioned their “mental connection” about 400 times.

- I have pulled a muscle in my lower back. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, though I suspect it may have been when I made a quick move to pick up Hazel when she would not stop barking at a heron in our back yard (there’s a little lake back there, and about twice a year, a heron shows up, hangs out for the better part of a morning, then leaves). Last night I couldn’t get comfortable, so I slathered Icy Hot on the affected area before I fired up the DVR and watched an episode of House Hunters while I contorted myself and tried to stretch out my back muscles.

I’m not gonna lie. It felt like a low point.

- This post by sweet Holly Mathis made me smile like crazy.

- I mentioned this on Twitter earlier today, but when Alex got home last night and Hazel looked up and saw him, it totally reminded me of this. Sweetest thing ever. They are such good buddies.

- Last thing. This November Melanie and I are doing an event together at First Baptist in Charlotte, North Carolina.  They have an early registration price that’s in effect until July 31st, and I just wanted to mention it in case any of y’all are in the Charlotte area and think you might be able to join us. We really think it’s going to be a great time to dig deep in the book of Leviticus.

Oh, I am totally kidding. We’re planning to laugh like crazy and hopefully learn a few things, too; here’s all the information. We would love to see you there!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 37

Well, I know that I’m in the middle of a big ole bloggy break, but Melanie and I have been wanting to record a podcast, and the day before our friend Annie’s new book comes out seemed like a fine and wonderful time (Annie book releases July 15th; Mel and I are super excited for her).

Here’s the cover of Annie’s book. I love it a lot.

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Annie and I have a delightful chat about 10 minutes into the podcast. Melanie was supposed to be part of that, but unfortunately we (and by “we,” I mean “I”) could not figure out how to record the three of us at once now that I’m using different software than I did back in the days of FryDaddy.

SO – Mel and I talked a little, then Annie and I talked, then Mel and I talked a bunch more. We extensively examined the beach house vs. lake house debate, our favorite summertime foods, the perils of trying to have grown-up conversations when kids are listening, and, of course, our dogs.

Also, please excuse the awkward sound effect transition that I used at the beginning and the end of the part with Annie. Just know that I did the best I could with an impromptu back-up plan and very limited technical skills.

If I can ever finish this book, I may need to consider signing up to take some sort of online podcasting seminar. I feel like that would be good for all of us.

Bless.

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!

Miss Mississippi 2014 Viewing Party

Before we get started, here’s my standard viewing party call to order:

We’ll share our thoughts / observations / reactions in the comments. This is all in good fun, so let’s please be mindful that somebody’s mama or cousin or great-aunt Ethel could stop by and read what we say (every single year that we’ve done this – and this is the 5th – at least one contestant’s relative has emailed after the pageant to say how much fun they had following y’all’s comments). In other words: let’s do our level best not to say anything hurtful. These girls are young and singing / dancing / performing their hearts out. And I think it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that we dare not criticize during the swimsuit competition. If any one of them showed up at a pool or beach where I happened to be spending the day, I would cover myself with a blanket and run screaming for the indoors. These girls are darlin’.

As far as watching the pageant goes, there are a few options. If you’re in Mississippi, you can watch on WLBT. If you’re like me and in another state, you can watch on the Miss Mississippi pro app, or you can watch the WLBT live feed on your computer or iPad. Here’s the link to the WLBT live feed.

At the end of the pageant, I’ll draw from all the comments for 2 special pageant prizes. One commenter will win seasons 1 and 2 of Designing Women on DVD (just because a little Suzanne Sugarbaker makes any day a good day). The second winner will get a copy of Mississippi author Julia Reed’s Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties.

So. With all that being said, let’s enjoy the show. I’ll update this post throughout the pageant (you’ll have to refresh the page a lot), and we’ll visit in the comments. It’ll be big fun. See y’all at 8 central!

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All righty – quick roll call – who’s here (in addition to Molly)? The live feed is working on my end, and I am so excited!

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STOP IT. A POEM ABOUT MISSISSIPPI? I am on the floor dead. So happy.

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This might be the best opening number ever. The denim shirts and turquoise jewelry are a nice touch.

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I have heard great things about Caroline Conerly from a friend of mine. And I am always happy to see Shelby Corn.

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This is the first year when I have watched the pageant and felt like they’re young enough to be my daughters.

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Anybody know how many years Jasmine Murray has been in the pageant?

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Top 10:

Miss Riverland
Miss Turtle Creek
Miss Dixie
Miss University
Miss Rankin County
Miss North Central Mississippi
Miss Mississippi State University (#HailState) (#GoDogs)
(don’t know title)
Miss Historic South

I’m having trouble with the feed…can anyone fill in the blanks?

I’m moving to the comments! :-)

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That was so fun, y’all!

I used random.org to select comment numbers for prizes.

Molly – you won the Designing Women DVDs
Karoletha – you won the Julia Reed book
I’ll email y’all to get shipping info.

Can’t wait for Miss America!

Keeping The Tradition Alive

Well, I’m still not finished with the book (getting close, though), but the Miss Mississippi pageant is this Saturday night. And quite frankly I don’t see how I can possibly call myself a native Mississippian if I don’t take a wee little break from writing and continue our tradition of having a viewing party here on the blog.

This will actually be our 5th annual viewing party – even if we’ve only gotten to see the pageant four times because year before last the live feed didn’t work. Still, though – we showed up even if technology did not, and it seems only right and fitting to show up again this Saturday night.

So. The pageants comes on Saturday night (July 12th) at 8:00pm central. You can watch the pageant on the Miss Mississippi website or on the pro version of the fancy new Miss Mississippi app (links for the app are on the home page of the website).

I’ll put up a post Saturday night about 7:50 central – and we’ll use that post to comment as we watch (provided that the live stream cooperates). This will all be in good-natured, friendly fun, and we’ll be ever-mindful not to say anything mean or hurtful. Mainly we just like to have a safe and happy place to talk about the pretty dresses and share our gratitude for contestants who tap dance or clog.

I am praying that the Lord will show favor on us and allow a baton twirler to make Top 10.

(This is from Miss America, not Miss Mississippi. But I could still watch it 900 times because it’s the pageant equivalent of a pep rally for me.)

The viewing party should be a delightful way to spend a Saturday night. Hope some of y’all can join us for the festivities!