Sometimes Shame Is An Excellent Motivator

Well, Alex just walked in my office and saw me on the computer and said, “Mama, you haven’t written a real blog post since April.” So then I said, “DON’T YOU SASS ME, ALEX HUDSON” except that 1) I really didn’t say that at all and 2) he’s exactly right. The end of spring has swept us up in a cloud of schoolwork and lacrosse playing and gym going and baseball watching and family time and speaking stuff, and we are so happy – DELIGHTED, I SAY UNTO YOU – that we are only two days away from being able to turn that 5:30AM alarm to the “off” position. It is totally understandable if you’d like to say “amen” at this juncture.

I was actually planning to be at the SEC Baseball Tournament tonight – my Mississippi State Bulldogs are scheduled to play the Georgia Bulldogs in the last game of the first round – but there was a big rain delay this afternoon, which means that the games are running behind. Since I have to be at work early tomorrow morning, I can’t swing the later-than-normal late game even though I like to think that I’m 27 and sleep is optional. Because the reality is that sleep is critical. Essential. BLESSED PRECIOUS, if you will.

(HOLD ON. AN UPDATE. It looks like our game has been moved to tomorrow morning at 9:30, which means that a certain 7th grader and I will be making a beeline for the Hoover Met as soon as his exam is over, oh hallelujah.)

(I can only assume that these college baseball tournament plans are SUPER interesting to read about, by the way.)

(Now I will transition.)

So. Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on.

1. A couple of weeks ago my mama’s sister, Choxie, passed away. I’ve said this to family and friends over and over, but it really never occurred to me that there would come a time when we’d be without Mama and Chox. Maybe one. Maybe the other. But not both. Chox was actually in the hospital when Mama died, and the first place Sister and I went when we left ICU for the last time was up the elevator to Chox’s hospital room. It never occurred to us to go anywhere else. Over the course of my life I feel I’ve probably said the phrase “Mama and Chox” more than just about any other, and that’s because from the time I was born, Mama and Chox were a unit. We all lived within a few miles of each other, we spent what I now recognize as an inordinate amount of time together (here’s something I didn’t appreciate when I was growing up: living so close to most of Mama’s extended family), and we cultivated our love for “visiting” from sitting around Mama’s and Chox’s breakfast room tables. When I think about the fact that we’ve lost both of them in the last year, all I can do is shake my head. It would feel like too much if we didn’t know that they’re together again. Whole and free.

2. Y’all. This sermon. We had a guest pastor at our church a month or so ago, and LET ME TELL YOU WHAT. I try to stay out of the sermon-ranking business, but this one was one of the top five I have ever heard. Enormously encouraging, packed with Truth, and beautifully taught.

Victory in the Valley

3. Alex and I are leaving next week for a trip with Compassion. If you’ve been reading here for a while, you may remember that I’ve traveled with Compassion to Uganda and Ecuador, and when I initially decided to go on next week’s trip, I sort of assumed I’d be going by myself. Around the end of January, though, David and I started talking about the possibility of Alex going with me, and now that the trip is almost here, we are so excited. I will be blogging A WHOLE LOT while we’re gone, and my hope is that Alex will blog a little bit, too. It will be his first trip out of the country, and it will definitely be our longest trip together. Stay tuned.

4. I haven’t had a whole lot of time for TV lately, but there is one show I’ve been making a point to watch. A couple of months ago my friend Kasey told me about a show on Netflix called Great Designs. I assumed that it was standard HGTV-ish before & after fare (which I happen to like). I have to say, though, that this show is so much more; there’s a narrative that runs through every episode, and that narrative usually makes me teary-eyed at some point. The before & after part is inspiring, for sure, but the stories are what make each episode special. Highly recommend.

5. All righty. Now it’s bedtime, and if I don’t publish this post before I go to bed, it’ll still be sitting in my drafts folder in 2024. So I wouldn’t say that I’m finished, but I guess I’m stopping. To be continued. And, by all means, Go ‘Dogs.

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 75

bigboographic

Let’s just get this out of the way: there are times when Melanie’s internet is dicey on this episode. KEEP DOING YOU, AT&T.

But if you can stick with us during our internet troubles, then you’ll hear our thoughts on Pippa Middleton’s wedding (Melanie is our resident royals expert), the madness that is May, and my upcoming trip to Kenya.

We also discuss shoe options for summertime, Southern Charm Savannah, and the challenges of writing a devotional book (which, by the way, were surprising to both of us).

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


You can also listen on Stitcher.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy. We’d be honored if you’d leave us a review.

And if you’re on the Facebook, well, we are, too.

Here’s where you can get more info on the stuff / products / places we mention:

Pippa Middleton’s wedding

Vans slip-ons

Vans Old Skool

Superga sneakers

Kiernan Shipka’s Five-Minute Beauty Routine (that’s really just two minutes)

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter

Becca First Light Filter Face Primer

– Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

Chin Up, America t-shirts

Neil and Whitney

Enjoy, y’all!

Assorted & Various Interests & Obsessions

True story: I’ve decided that quiet just might be my favorite antidote to grief / processing / working through stuff. However, I still think about blogging all the time, even if I don’t actually follow through with it. So, in the interest of leaving no inconsequential stone unturned, I thought I’d make a quick list of various interests / obsessions / delights that have provided some happiness and dare I say wonder during this quiet-y phase (and, to be clear, that continue to be rays of light and sunshine).

I’d hate if we weren’t caught up on these things, you understand.

All righty. In no particular order.

– I am a certified, bonafide convert to Walmart’s grocery pick-up service, which is basically genius and life-changing (still getting my meat from Fresh Market, though…can’t beat their $2.99 Tuesdays). It’s a free service ($35 minimum order, though) and there is zero mark-up on grocery items. You just make an appointment, select all your groceries online or on the app, then show up at your scheduled time for pick-up. Basically all you do at pick-up is pop open your trunk, and a very kind Walmart team member will load your groceries in your car. THIS IS ALL I HAVE EVER WANTED IN LIFE.

– Mississippi State baseball – This is no different than any spring, really. Weekend before last Brent Rooker hit three home runs in one game and I talked about it for two days. As you do.

– And speaking of Mississippi State…

…our women’s basketball team’s defeat of UConn and the national championship game against South Carolina? BE STILL, MY BULLDOG HEART. So proud. I’ll never get over it.

Brooks Ghost 9 running shoes

To be clear, I do not run.

But I’ve been walking a lot. And these shoes are the best I’ve ever had. They’ve been in heavy rotation for almost a year, so it’s time to replace them – and do you know what I ordered? Some more Brooks Ghost 9s. Identical to my old ones. They’re fantastic. I’ve always had trouble with running shoes making my feet feel really confined, so with these Brooks I finally ordered a wide width, and LO, THE HEAVENS OPENED AND BLESSINGS POURED FORTH. What I love about these particular Brooks is that they’re really supportive – my feet NEVER hurt – but they’re also bouncy. I like some spring in my step.

– I’ve been catching up on all sorts of podcasts. One of my most recent favorites is Up and Vanished, which (after listening to about six episodes in a row) left me so scared in my Hopkinsville, Kentucky hotel room that I thought about sleeping with the lights on. I was seconds away from stepping around a corner in a full-on Charlie’s Angels circa-2000 pose.

Also, if you enjoy pop culture and you’re not listening to The Popcast with Knox & Jamie, you should be. For starters, try Episode 188; it is so stinkin’ clever.

– On my last birthday David gave me a Fitbit Charge 2, and at first I was like, OH LOOK, A WATCH. I mean, I’d wanted a Fitbit, but after I got one I didn’t really know what to do with it. However, it seemed to tell time beautifully. Now, though, it has basically become my personal, grown-up version of a pre-schooler’s star chart (I LIVE for the confetti pop when my active minutes reach a certain level). I like for it to beep at me and remind me to get up from my desk and then celebrate with me when I reach 10,000 steps.

How sad is this, by the way?

A post shared by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

It was last week. If I’d only checked my steps before I got in the bed, I could have avoided this particular brand of heartbreak.

– Coffee – Basically I’ve never loved it more. Basically I crave it all the time. Basically I want to drink some right now even though it’s 9 o’clock at night and I try not to drink anything with caffeine after 3-ish. And yes, I know there’s decaf, but I’m not a fan. Mainly because I miss that thing you call flavor. (If there’s a decaf K-cup you really love, please let me know!)

LuLaRoe Irma tops – They are LIKE BUTTER, I tell you. I also love that they’re longer in the back than in the front, and, as my mama would say, they launder beautifully (I wash mine in cold and then hang to dry). Highly recommend.

Sakura Pigma Graphic 1 pen – Y’all know that I love a good pen. The Pentel Sign Pen is still my all-time favorite, but there’s a new 2nd place contender. If you like a good felt-tip pen, I think you’ll be a fan. STRONG WORDS, I know.

Hope y’all are having a great week so far!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 74

bigboographic

Well, we start off recounting some difficult times we’ve experienced in excruciatingly hot conditions. Our passion about this topic will surprise approximately no one. But then, in an unlikely turn, we discuss exercise: power walking, Melanie’s first yoga class, and a new fitness class that involves a mini tramp (Melanie may try it, so STAY TUNED).

We go on to share our thoughts about Costco, vacations, shorts, plus what we’ve been watching and reading. And naturally there’s a lengthy discussion about all the skin care knowledge (and tips!) Melanie gleaned on her recent video shoot. You might want to grab a pencil.

Finally, we talk a good bit about the NCAA women’s basketball tournament because BULLDOGS.

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

You can also listen on Stitcher.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy. We’d be honored if you’d leave us a review.

And if you’re on the Facebook, well, we are, too.

Here’s where you can get more info on the stuff / products / places we mention:

Compassion International

Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Vacations

Costco

Levi’s 501 Long Denim Shorts

GAP Railroad stripe girlfriend shorts

GAP archive reissue pleated denim shorts

GAP girlfriend rolled utility shorts

LuLaRoe Carly dress

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing by Jennifer Weiner

Fraxel laser treatment

Good Genes lactic acid treatment

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

The shot heard ’round the world (and one of the best moments of Sophie’s life)

Enjoy, y’all!

Testing, Testing, 1-2-3

Listen. It has been a minute.

How are y’all?

I’ve had an unusually busy January / February / March in terms of speaking and travel, so when I’ve been at home, I’ve tried to really be at home. That’s meant lots of cooking and carpooling and catching up with my people, and it’s been so good. At the beginning of February I realized that I’ve been in “book mode” pretty much non-stop for five years – whether that’s been thinking about books, working on books, writing books, editing books, mapping out ideas for books, you name it – and after I finished the edits on my next book (more later about that one – it comes out in August), I sort of hit the wall in terms of words. Writing books is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done, but five years of pretty constant writing = nothing much left to say. No more words. Nothing. Zilch. No más.

So, you know, I’ve been sort of quiet.

Life has still been lively, though. Alex is in the middle of lacrosse season, not to mention that a couple of weeks ago we celebrated his 14th birthday. It’s crazy to think about, but he was two when I started this blog. TWO. For some reason this 14th birthday was a ginormous reminder that we don’t have that many more years with him at home, and I may have had to tell myself to GRAB HOLD OF THE EMOTIONAL REINS, GLADYS a time or six during his birthday week. I feel like I’ve said it over and over, but this phase of parenting is hands-down, 100% my favorite. It’s probably too much to explain in a blog post, but this year (7th grade) Alex moved to the campus where I work, and OH, THE JOYS AND DELIGHTS of being in the same place all day. I get to see his friends, I get to see him, I get to eat lunch / spend time with the girls in his grade, and basically it has been all manner of wonderful. I am doing my best to soak it up and savor what sometimes seems mundane but is really oh-so-special.

This week is our Spring Break, and last night we got home from a trip to Orlando. We love us some Universal Studios, and this time we made the trip with two families from our small group. Before the trip I think we all considered the fact that even though we’ve spent a lot of time together, we had never traveled together – much less navigated four days’ worth of roller coasters together. But oh my goodness. It turned out even better than we could have imagined. We had an absolute blast. The kids are all close friends, so they had a big time (repeated rides on loopy roller coasters will solidify some bonds), but I think my enduring memory of the trip will be how much we all laughed. Tuesday night we had dinner at the hotel pool – couples at one end of the table, kids at the other – and as everybody was recapping different parts of our day, there was a point where I got so tickled that I couldn’t sit up straight. It was that kind of laughter where you can’t get sound to come out despite the fact that you are WEEPING OPENLY, and it was perfect – the best kind of chorus to our Spring Break song.

Hark! Some photos!

We watched the Mississippi State / Baylor women’s Elite 8 game while we ate dinner at the pool Sunday night. I tried not to yell. Or maybe I should say I tried not to yell too much. And I 100% cried when we won because FINAL FOUR!

The Jimmy Fallon ride is awesome, by the way. So fun that I literally bought a t-shirt. Also, I totally downloaded this picture from my friend Stephanie’s Facebook page, so a thousand pardons for that.

Two strangers and three teenagers on the log ride. There was some serious soakage.

We actually drove to and from Universal this time, and I have to say: NOT BAD AT ALL. In the past we’ve flown because there’s a direct Southwest flight from Birmingham to Orlando, and it’s been tough to beat in terms of travel time. But the flight schedule was all wonky this time around – not to mention that plane tickets were a small fortune – so we drove. I was surprised by how much I loved the road trip. We drove about six hours after school on Friday – down to Lake City – then finished the drive on Saturday morning. We did the full 8 1/2 hours coming home yesterday, and I thought it flew by (podcasts don’t hurt when it comes to filling up the time). We even made it back in time to pick up Hazel from the vet, and she was so happy to see us that she lifted her head toward the sky and barked / sang when we were driving from the vet to the house. David said she was offering her thanks and praise to the Lord for our return. I think he may have been right about that.

Today (Thursday) we have mostly stayed close to home, and tomorrow we’ll run a few errands (HELLO, GROCERY STORE) before we settle in for the Final Four semi-final games tomorrow night.

I imagine we will have some dips.

Fingers crossed that there will also be a Bulldog victory.

Happy Weekend, y’all.

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 73

bigboographic

As you might expect, we spend some time in this podcast recapping Melanie’s recent visit to Birmingham, and we talk at length about our visit to SEC Headquarters. I don’t think it’s overstating it to say that it was a life highlight.

We also talk about the Oscars, the ageless wonder of Halle Berry, texting etiquette, a few favorite podcasts, and the great mystery that none of the old SEC Wives episodes are online.

As seems to always be the case recently, we have a big discussion about This Is Us and why we all seem to want to feel emotion that deeply week after week. Plus, somewhere in the middle of all that, Melanie lays down a hashtag that’s going to catch on like wildfire. Or 🔥, if you will.

Finally, we break down some of the finer points of #oldlove – and how that might affect, say, the way your husband gets to the hospital the morning of his knee surgery. Hypothetically.

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

You can also listen on Stitcher.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy. We’d be honored if you’d leave us a review.

And if you’re on the Facebook, well, we are, too.

Here’s where you can get more info on the stuff / products / places we mention:

SEC Video Center

SEC Media Days 2017

The 2017 Oscars Best Picture snafu

Halle Berry at the Oscars

The Popcast with Knox & Jamie

NPR’s Fresh Air podcast

Mel Tillis – “Send Me Down to Tucson” (Y’ALL.)

Emma Stone – “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”

Enjoy, y’all!