Sometimes Weeks Go By

Y’all, I don’t even know.

Fall is always busy. Every single year. But this year it’s been a whole different deal. For a while there we weren’t getting home until around 6 every evening, and then there was supper, and then there was homework, and then there was some writing stuff I’ve been working on when I should really be sleeping or at the very least dedicating my energies to a TV show. But now we’re at the end of 7th grade football (which is bittersweet for sure – it was such a great season), and it feels like fall outside (nothing to do with time, I know, but always a plus), and I’m hopeful that there’s a wee bit of margin on the horizon. Or maybe it just means that I’ll have a few more hours to actually fold the laundry after I dry it. No promises on putting it away, though.

And now I’m going to backtrack and see if I can remember what all has been going on here.

7th Grade Football – I may have mentioned it. What a great group of kids and parents and coaches. Really, I don’t know when we’ve enjoyed a team more. The 7th grade team actually went undefeated, which was all manner of awesomeness. Big thumbs up for the 2016 season.

Mississippi State Football – Oh, mercy. It has not been our finest year. I want to hug all of the players and tell them that it’ll all be okay. Also, please beat Samford.

Dallas Cowboys Football – Y’all know that I have never in my whole life cheered for a pro football team, but I have two words for you: DAK PRESCOTT. It has been the biggest blast to watch him play on Sunday afternoons. In fact, one reason I am writing this post is because the Cowboys have a bye week and what in the world did I used to do on Sunday afternoons? I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION. I’m hoping that Sister and I can make a pilgrimage to Frisco later this year / early next year and see Dak play in person, but we’ve got to find a weekend that works for both of us first. Also, I’m still enjoying my Cowboys t-shirt. LET’S GO #4.

dotMOM 2016 – This year’s dotMOM weekend was lots of fun. It was also the first year that Melanie and I didn’t emcee together, so I missed her a bunch, but fortunately I saw her the day before I went to Nashville. As always I loved being with the LifeWay team and so enjoyed getting to learn from some incredible speakers. What caught me off-guard was that all the talk of mamas and motherhood and etc. very much made the loss of my own mama rise to the surface of my head and my heart. It made me very grateful for Mama’s legacy, for sure, but the emotional ka-pow of all that required a few days of recovery.

Blogging – Obviously the blogging has been a struggle. Several of y’all have been kind enough to email and check on me, and that really is the sweetest thing. I’ve been working to finish up a writing project, and since the only time I have to work on it is at night (and on the weekends), that’s pretty much cut into all of my blogging time. If I had about four more hours in a day, the blog would be spinning like a top, I tell you. But as it stands, the writing stuff is gonna be my priority for a few more weeks.

Stomach Virus – I know. Weird thing to talk about, right? But last weekend I came down with a stomach virus, and y’all, I think it was the best thing that’s happened to me in a couple of months. I was so tired the week before it hit – like the kind of tired where I was driving back to Birmingham from Starkville and had to pull over at a gas station and lock my doors and take a nap – and that stomach virus forced me to sleep for about three days. IT WAS GLORIOUS. I mean, it was horrible, but I slept like a champion. My FitBit pretty much patted me on the back for all the hours I slept over those three days (it really did give me stars). AND SPEAKING OF…

FitBit – So David and Alex gave me a FitBit for my birthday. I’d mentioned several times that I thought I might enjoy one, and they gave me the Charge 2. I LOVE IT.


I haven’t worn a watch in years, but this is so much more. Plus, I am surprisingly geeky about checking up on my sleeping and my daily average heart rate. Also, I really enjoy being able to read texts on the FitBit (if I’m near my phone) and see how many steps I’ve traveled in a given day. And yes, I know, the fact that I’m just now jumping on the FitBit train is sort of like WELCOME TO 2013, but my goodness it is a handy little gadget.

Amy Grant’s New Christmas Album – I know. It’s just October.


But it’s Amy. And there’s actually a new version of “Tennessee Christmas” on this album, so that alone is worth the download. Everything else is new and as wonderful as you’d expect.

Cows See Grass for the First Time in Six Months – This video showed up on my FB or Twitter feed this past week, and it made me smile so big.

And I don’t know? Maybe it’s not the grass? Maybe they’re just happy to be outside? Ultimately it doesn’t matter, I guess; I just like to watch them prance.

Hamilton Documentary on PBS – I think I’ve mentioned that I was supposed to fly to NYC to see Hamilton the day Mama died. Obviously we cancelled my flight, and a friend of ours bought my ticket to the show. But the weird thing was that after months of listening to the cast recording every single day, I couldn’t listen to Hamilton after Mama died. It lost all appeal, probably because there were just way too many emotions mixed up with it.

Well, over the last month or so I’ve been really excited about the Hamilton documentary on PBS, and Friday night after we got home from a high school football game, I decided I was going to watch. I’ll have you know that I made it five whole minutes before I bawled my eyes out. Just cried and cried. I was a little fascinated by my reaction, honestly, because grief is so weird. I mean, why should that be the thing that makes me cry? Anyway, I turned off the TV, and a couple of hours later I tried again. The second go-’round was much more successful.

I finally finished watching late this afternoon, and y’all, it’s so good. It does a beautiful job of synthesizing the story of Alexander Hamilton’s life with the behind-the-scenes of the play, and I think everyone should watch it.

Hazel – Hazel is as co-dependent as she’s ever been. She was super happy about my stomach virus last week because it meant that she got to stay glued to my side for several days in a row. She is actually a little extra anxious right now because FALLING LEAVES, so we spend lots of time assuring her that she is safe and that we wouldn’t mind it if she managed to stop it with the barking. She is a character.


Real Life – Just to shoot really straight: the last four months have been the strangest of my adult life. I told David the other day that normally the summers are when I hit “reset” for my brain, but things didn’t work out that way this past summer. Giddy Up, Eunice came out at the first of June, and then 2 1/2 weeks later, we were in ICU with Mama. She died three days later, and some days I don’t feel like my brain has stopped spinning since. It was such a gift to be able to be home for a month or so after Mama died – I just wanted to be quiet, and being at home enabled me to do that – but since school started, we’ve had a lot of non-negotiables on the calendar: school, work, football practice, writing deadline, speaking stuff, family commitments. I think I’ve let the blog slide off the to-do list because it is one of the few things that could slide off the to-do list pretty easily. But no joke: my brain is so tired, y’all. I tend to err on the side of super practical and get ‘er done and just keep swimming and all that. But if I could press “pause” right now and run away (with my people, of course) to a large body of water for an extended period of time? YES, PLEASE. THAT WOULD BE SO DELIGHTFUL.

So all that to say: in the middle of all this very real (sometimes weird), very hectic life, things really are good in this neck of the woods. Thanks for bearing with me during the blogging drought. Thanks for your emails (speaking of things I’ve let slide off the to-do list – let’s talk for a second about all the emails I’ve saved so I could respond later and now I’m so behind I’ll never catch up). Thanks for your prayers. I should be wrapping up the writing stuff I’m working on pretty soon, and then we’ll be gearing up for Thanksgiving. I hope y’all are doing great – and I promise that Mel and I are going to record a podcast soon. We just have to convince our schedules to cooperate.

Hope your Sunday has been delightful.


The Big Boo Cast, Episode 65


So Melanie and I were on the Skype a little earlier than normal for this particular episode, and before we started recording I was somewhat concerned because Melanie could not stop yawning (to be fair, she was completely un-caffeinated at the time). However, I have to say that she pulled through like a non-yawning champ, so KUDOS TO HER.

For the first 30-ish minutes it’s podcast business as usual; we answer a few questions from y’all and talk about ribs and SEC Nation and why I love my hair dryer. And then, in the last half hour, Beth Moore joins us, and if that doesn’t put a little pep in your podcasting step, then I don’t know what will. But I think hearing Beth’s story about wearing plastic pants to a Living Proof Live will help.

It was seriously one of our all-time favorite mornings – a total blast. We hope you get a kick out of it, too.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

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

Just FYI – here’s where you can get more info on the products / places we mention (these aren’t affiliate links – just regular ole links):

SEC Nation

Rodan & Fields AMP roller (this is what Mel mentioned, but she hasn’t tried it yet)

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer

– Hummingbird Farms lavender body lotion and lavender heavy cream

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus – Beth’s new book


Breaking Free by Beth Moore

Living Proof Live

Enjoy, y’all!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 64


Well, let’s see.

Melanie is cooking ribs during this podcast, and a couple of times she has to take a podcast break to flip her ribs.

I don’t know what more any of us could ask, really.

But we also talk about college football, pro football, the color of the Cowboys’ football pants, pop-up ads, an allergy I recently discovered (it’s an allergy I have – not an actual medical discovery), and cotton pants (good job, GAP).

This episode is a little shorter than usual, but we were in a time crunch. We’re going to try to do a repeat podcast next week, so if you have any questions for us, just leave them in the comments.

Did I mention that Melanie cooked ribs?

We’re talking staggering new levels of excitement.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

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

Just FYI – here’s where you can get more info on the products / places we mention (these aren’t affiliate links – just regular ole links):

Carlsbad Caverns Barbecue Ribs

The most beautiful fall container planting I’ve ever seen

Dak Prescott – QB1 for the Dallas Cowboys

The icy blue/green/silver Dallas Cowboys football pants

LSU’s retro uniforms for the Mississippi State game

Trevor Knight’s leadership

GAP wide-leg utility pants

“How the Sugar Industry Shifted the Blame to Fat”

Enjoy, y’all!

And So It Is Tuesday

Listen. I am the worst blogger.

I’m not even sure where the time goes every day. Well, that’s not true. I kind of am sure where the time goes. We are up early for school, then at school all day, then Alex has football practice until 5:30, then we have supper and homework and try to carve out some time to, you know, TALK to one another and then it’s bedtime and we go to sleep and start all over again.

I know. I just described the lives of 80% of the people reading this post. Only most of y’all are handling practices and games and meals for more people than I am. KUDOS TO YOU, I say.

So since I don’t really have anything to report (well, I mean, there are stories – but teenagers don’t really love to be fodder for blog posts, and you can probably live happily without hearing about the saga of me finding some new running shoes) (I finally settled on the Brooks Ghost 9) (I use them for walking, not running) (and they are so comfortable) (just FYI if you’re a high-arch person), how about I share some things that I have enjoyed on the interwebs?

Oh, and also – there’s a deal on Amazon where my first two books are an eBook bundle, and it’s only $3.99 for the bundle. PRACTICALLY FREE. In case you’re interested.

All righty. Laughs and hijinks coming up.

– For some reason this video always cracks me up. I probably watch it once a week just because it tickles me.

– Also, this one is called “When Your Dad Tries to Keep Up with the Trends”:

Have I been around high school kids too long? :-)

– As you can imagine, I have a lot of happy feelings about this.


I have never followed NFL football – we have always been college football people.

But last week I ordered a Cowboys t-shirt, and I wore it last night. I’M NOT PLAYING AROUND.

So proud of Dak Prescott.

– And as you can imagine, I also have a lot of happy feelings that college football starts this weekend.

I’m going to try not to ring my cowbell in the house. I make no promises.

– NEEDTOBREATHE fans, this interview with the band is pretty awesome.

– It’s not out for a few more weeks, but I love Edie’s book so much. I actually wrote an endorsement for it, and part of that endorsement says that the book is “part Southern gothic, part C.S. Lewis, part pure poetry, and 100% gut-level-honest Edie Wadsworth.” It is really beautiful – one of my favorites this year for sure.

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All righty – it’s time for me to pick up the boy from football practice. But I hope y’all are having a great week, and I hope your team wins this weekend. Unless you’re playing Mississippi State, of course. (YAY, FOOTBALL!)

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 63


Well, we have us some new theme music, and it’s pretty sassy if I do say so myself. Apparently at least one of us (me!) is destined to like loud saxophones for the rest of her life, and if they have a hint of a disco groove, then all the better.

We cover a whole bunch of conversational ground in this episode: the Rio Olympics, our summertime entertainment favorites, our fitness goals / struggles, the fact that Melanie draws the line at kale, and why she will never go deep sea fishing ever again.

It’s an assortment of fun, you might say.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

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

Just FYI – here’s where you can get more info on the products / places we mention (these aren’t affiliate links – just regular ole links):

41 year-old gymnast

Last Chance U


Hillary Scott & the Scott Family – Love Remains

Miranda Lambert “Vice”

Beatriz Williams’ A Hundred Summers

Beatriz Williams’ The Secret Life of Violet Grant

Giddy Up, Eunice (fall 2016, y’all!) (it really was summer 2016) (but our conversation about non-fiction books in the fall made me laugh) :-)

fancy dorm rooms

Saucony Ride 8

Kate Middleton’s Adidas

Barefoot Dreams robe

flounder gigging (I had no idea this was even a thing)

Melanie’s ceviche recipe

burgundy / maroon men’s pants

Seychelles Lucky Penny booties that Sophie loves

Junk Gypsy boots that Melanie loves

Enjoy, everybody!

Well Hey You Cute Thing

Hi. It’s 412 degrees here. How are you?

We’ve been busy soaking up the home stretch of summer around here. Daddy spent the first part of last week with us, which was great. Now he’s home in Mississippi, and that means I’ve spent a considerable amount of time this week wondering if it’ll ever seem normal to me that he’s living by himself. We had some sweet talks while he was visiting, though, and he’s doing pretty well; so many of you have been so kind to email and check on him. And that reminds me: I am so behind on email that it’s laughable – I can’t seem to hold onto a train of thought long enough to make much forward progress – but I am hoping to be caught up soon.

That last sentence is pretty much the story of my life, by the way.

This week has been all about trying to finish the last of the summer to-do list. Alex started football practice on Monday, so in between that and having some work done around the house, we’ve gotten haircuts and bought school supplies and been to the doctor and basically just lived it up doing all manner of errands. I’ve been walking a lot (trying to get this broken foot back into shape) (also trying to find a productive way to dial down my anxiety level, which has been cranked up since Mama died), so that means I’ve also been sweating a lot because FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE DEGREES. However, all that sweating has a silver lining because let me show y’all a picture of the best thing that has happened to me all summer. It’s at the fitness place we go to (I do not know correct gym and fitness terminology, hence “fitness place”).

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It’s a pellet ice machine. LORD BE PRAISED.

Needless to say, the daily access to the complimentary pellet ice has changed my whole life.


I know that it’s been more quiet than usual in this neck of the bloggy woods, but one thing I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt after Mama died was that I needed to give myself some space and some time. There is a lot about those last few days with Mama that I’m not ready to write about; I just want all of those sacred moments and conversations and prayers to sink way down deep in my heart so I can live with them a while before they become sentences (I hope that makes sense).

All that to say: we are okay. We are good, even. I have been using Mama’s Bible when I have my quiet time in the mornings, and that has been the sweetest gift and the most unexpected comfort. I’ve been reading through Paul David Tripp’s New Morning Mercies (it is EXCELLENT, by the way – one of the very best devotional books I’ve ever used), and the Scripture passage one day last week was Philippians 3. So when I opened Mama’s Bible and saw this –

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– well, it pretty much made my day to see how she had underlined those words.

So. I’m gonna ease my way back into the blog (or, as I pronounce it, the blawg). There are some new books I want to tell you about, not to mention that I haven’t raved about NEEDTOBREATHE’s new album near enough.

Hope y’all have the best weekend. If you need me, I’ll just be refilling my cup with pellet ice.


(It really is the little things, isn’t it?)