The Big Boo Cast, Episode 67

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If you have ever thought to yourself, Gosh, you know what would be awesome? LISTENING TO MELANIE AND SOPHIE TALK ABOUT KITCHENS!, well, this is your lucky day.

Or not!

But listen. You can rest easy – even if kitchens aren’t your thing – because we still have ourselves some laughs. And we eventually talk about what we’ve been watching and reading. Plus our Christmas plans. Plus maybe setting the bar a little higher when we (hopefully) record a Christmas podcast next week.

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):

The Big Boo Box from Hummingbird Farms – it’s our favorite! (use the code BIGBOO26 and get the whole collection for $49 + free shipping)

The Carol Burnett Show DVDs

Melanie’s favorite spoons (or a close representation, at least)

West Elm Sale (discount code: BEMERRY)

Personalized disposable coffee cups

The place that makes the cabinet doors and drawer fronts (THIS IS A WONDER TO ME)

Melanie’s favorite gumbo recipe

– The Anal-Retentive Chef on SNL

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X

Spoiled – what I’m reading right now

“Spoon” by Dave Matthews Band

“A Spoonful of Sugar” by Julie Andrews

A Flash Sale Of Sorts

Hey y’all –

Hope you are doing great on what is a dreary-ish morning here in Alabama. I finished my last speaking thingie (official title) of 2016 this past weekend (thanks, StoneBridge Church, for being so welcoming). Afterwards I flew home and ate supper with my people and then drove to school and took up money for the Christmas dance. ‘Tis the season, you know. Yesterday we did our normal church / Chuy’s, and after a brief stop at Trader Joe’s and then Home Goods, I was back in my pajamas by 2 and basically happier than any one person has a right to be. It was a glorious Sunday afternoon.

The biggest news around here, I guess, is that I finished a writing thingie (official title) that I’ve been working on. I wrapped it up last Sunday night and promptly bawled my eyes out. Then I went straight to Amazon and bought the fluffiest, most whimsical work of fiction I could find. It wasn’t very good, and I probably wouldn’t recommend it, but oh have mercy it felt like therapy.

Also. The Crown. It is next up on my TV agenda. I CANNOT WAIT.

On top of all of that, we are in the smack-dab middle of a whole lot of house stuff, and while I am hopeful that our kitchen will be fully operational on Christmas day, I am fully aware that my hope is based in a whole lot of blind optimism (MY FAVORITE KIND). David is also determined to get the garage completely cleaned out, and that particular goal is directly related to this next thing.

Because our garage is where I store the books that I use for speaking thingies.

And I have a significant number of leftover books.

So, if you’re interested, you can buy a signed copy of Giddy Up, Eunice between now and Wednesday (12/14). I’ll mail out books on Thursday or Friday. II’ll remove the shopping cart if I start to get close to the number of copies I have in the garage…I don’t want to run the risk of having orders I can’t fill. The cost includes a bubble mailer + shipping, and if you’d like for your book to be personalized (“To Mary,” “To Sister,” etc.), then just leave me a note in the box that says “Personalization.” If you order more than one copy and would like both of them personalized, just separate the names by a comma.

(Thanks, y’all – I’ve taken down the purchase button. I shipped all of the books this morning; hope you enjoy them! Thanks so much for helping us clean out the garage!)

Hope y’all have a great week! Mel and I are planning to do a podcast this week, so be on the lookout for that. :-)

Happy Monday, y’all!

Also, The Weather Is Finally Something Resembling Cold

Hey there, everybody (although “everybody” might be a generous term since I haven’t blogged in a while, so maybe a more accurate greeting would be “Hey there, person”) –

Well, it is Sunday night, and for the first Sunday in a lot of Sundays, I didn’t do any writing this afternoon. Instead I got home from church and Chuy’s and watched the Cowboys play. Then I watched the latest Mission Impossible movie (I believe it’s the 194th installment or something like that), and then I heated up a little supper, and then I caught up on Mississippi State’s women’s basketball team and their big win over Texas. For all of these reasons it has been an utterly delightful few hours. AND I have a whole week off of work in front of me. This holiday has totally snuck up on me for some reason, and it didn’t really hit me until this morning that I don’t have to set an alarm at all this next week. I for sure love the place where I work and the kids that I work with, but that no-alarm business for a whole week? THANKS BE TO GOD. I think everybody is ready for a break.

Yesterday my Bulldogs lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks in pretty spectacular fashion, but as I have said over and over this season, “AT LEAST THERE’S DAK.” My goodness it has been fun to watch him do so well. And after today’s game, when this clip went viral, all I could think was, WELL, I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD.

Isn’t that oddly refreshing? To watch an NFL quarterback pick up his own trash? HOME. TRAINING.

We don’t have any big plans for the week; we’re just going to try to cross a few things off the house to-do list and enjoy spending time with our family. My sister, sister-in-law, cousin, and I are dividing the cooking duties, and I can’t wait to get in the kitchen later this week and make some of our favorite dishes. I also need to get the house decorated for Christmas, and if you just read the first part of this sentence and are still awake, KUDOS TO YOU because my word this is a whole lot of boring.

Okay. Here are a few random things I wanted to mention.

1) I have been all about some Christmas music this year. ALL ABOUT IT. And it just so happens that this year has been a great one for new Christmas albums. There are three that I love with all my heart: Simply Christmas by Leslie Odom, Jr., The Thrill of Hope by Christy Nockels, and The Christmas Collection by Act of Congress. I know that I’ve mentioned a couple of those over and over on social media (including the last podcast), but y’all, they are beautiful.

2) There was a chapter in Giddy Up, Eunice where I talked about how we can overcomplicate what it means to take care of each other (I think the whole idea was that the Lord will provide in our gleaning, but we don’t have to get into all of that right now). Anyway, not too long after I finished writing Giddy Up, I read an advance copy of my friend Karen Ehman’s new book, Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World, and I thought, Oh my goodness – this is what it looks like to glean in our daily lives.

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There is so much practical wisdom in this book, and if you have a heart for serving others in small ways but struggle with putting that into practice, then here is some recommended reading. It’s excellent.

3) I mentioned this on Instagram a couple of days ago, and I wanted to make sure to share it here.

A couple of months ago WaterBrook Multnomah sent me five of these Everything Beautiful coloring books because one of the illustrations is a quote from one of my books. Well, Tuesday morning I knew I was going to have lots of girls in my office, so I picked up the books on my way out the door and thought maybe a few of the girls might want to color. Y'all. They all wanted to color, and they loved these illustrations because they look like printables a teenager would want in her room. For the rest of the week, kids would stop by my office just to color or ask where I got the books. SO, if you need a gift or stocking stuffer for a teenage girl, look no further. Get this book, a fresh set of markers, and DONE. Happy happy! Link in profile.

A photo posted by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out. It’s a winner.

4) Bruno Mars released a new album last week, and y’all? THIS SONG?

It is quite possibly the most fun musical moment of 2016.

5) A month or so ago I mentioned on Instagram that I’d bought the world’s most comfortable booties at Nordstrom Rack. Several people have emailed me asking for the link. Well, here they are.

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I am such a fan of this cognac color that I went back to the store and bought them in black. They’re the kind of comfortable where I can wear them all day long and still love them just as much at the end of the day. The heel height is great, too, because you get a good little boost, but it’s still low enough that you feel stable and can walk really fast if fast-walking is called for.

All righty. I’m gonna go re-watch some Cowboys highlights and then read a little before I go to bed. Right now I’m reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and it is cute and quirky. I think the writing style and structure are really fun. And for some reason I love books where a house is almost a supporting character (that’s a big thing in Southern fiction, so maybe that’s why I’m drawn to it), and that’s definitely the case in this book.

Hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love,
Me

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 66

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Well, well, well. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle!

We’re so happy to be back with y’all after a too-long absence. We talk about our kitchens, the changing tides of bridal registries, Melanie‘s super-sunny new outlook, the Dallas Cowboys (heyyyyyy, Dak Prescott), skin care, and Christmas music. Plus some other stuff. Because we had a lot of catching up to do.

Also, Hazel makes a lot of background noise during the first ten minutes of the podcast, but that’s just part of our podcasting charm. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

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):

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

Parks and Recreation Season One

The Crown on Netflix

Oprah’s Favorite Things on Amazon

my sassy new pasta pot

Mike Brady’s Motivational Quotes

The Mom Translator

Dak Prescott gets the call from the Cowboys

– Melanie’s Rodan & Fields skin regimen that she loves

Leslie Odom Jr.’s Simply Christmas

Christy Nockels’ The Thrill of Hope

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Love,
Me

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 65

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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

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Breaking Free by Beth Moore

Living Proof Live

Enjoy, y’all!