Airport Delays, Gum Crackers, & My Ongoing Need For Sanctification

Early Friday afternoon I hopped on a plane for Oklahoma City. Well, really I hopped on a plane for Atlanta, and then I got on another plane for Oklahoma City, but I guess the point is that I utilized air travel in order to get to Oklahoma City for a Ministry Wives’ Conference.

I had the best time at the conference, by the way. The women were so kind and warm and welcoming. I spoke Friday night and Saturday morning, and then I went back to the airport as soon as the conference was over. Now that I think about it I wasn’t even in Oklahoma City for 24 hours, but I managed to laugh a lot AND consume two large drinks from Sonic in that short period of time. So I’d call that a win.

Also, at the conference they kept a beverage station up and running the whole time, and here is what they offered: iced tea, lemonade, lemon water, lime water, and coffee. This is pretty much the best idea in the history of the world and I have since decided that wherever two are more are gathered, we need to do this for each other. I mean, I’m not planning on setting up an actual beverage station in my house or anything, but I do think the third shelf of my refrigerator can serve in a more practical and intentional way with the inclusion of some lemon water and some tea. The water was so cold that it almost hurt to drink it, and I drank approximately 8 glasses of it. Give or take. It was so enjoyable.

Saturday was my birthday (I’m 32!) (Thanks so much for asking!) (I just lied!), so David and I decided before I left for OKC that the three of us were going to have a birthday / dip party when I got home Saturday night. We actually went out for a really nice dinner one night last week when Alex was at a camp with his whole 6th grade class, so the low-key dip idea totally appealed to me. Plus, I haven’t said anything on the blog, but I haven’t been eating gluten for the last couple of months (I know – I feel like such a cliche’ – but it has been a necessary and super-helpful change for me), so birthday cake was out of the question. There’s actually a gluten-free bakery not far from our house, but I don’t really want to get a taste for that kind of stuff because not eating gluten has helped me cut way back on sugar. And I really didn’t mean to discuss this particular dietary tangent so I guess this is what I get for overexplaining.

I had a little time to kill when I got to the OKC airport for my return flight, so I watched a little OU football and then played a significant amount of Candy Crush. After a pretty hectic week it felt like a luxury to just sit at my gate while crushing some candies, and before I knew it my flight was boarding. I had checked my bag because I didn’t want to have to fool with my suitcase during what was sure to be a sprint through the Atlanta airport, so I was feeling pretty light and breezy considering that I only had a purse and an iPad. I found my seat on the plane, opened my iPad so that I could crush lo, even more candies, and prepared myself for a relaxing flight.

And then I heard it.

The person behind me was cracking her gum.

Not chewing. Not smacking. CRACKING.

And of all the peeves that could possibly become my pets, this one is at the top of the list.

It’s fingernails on a chalkboard for me, the gum cracking.

Also, it makes me want to throw things.

And furthermore, it makes me want to scream.

Fortunately, I remembered that I had headphones (real live headphones – not earbuds) in my purse, so I plugged them in my phone and cranked up some music. Every time a song would end, though, I’d hear the gentle gum cracking of my neighbor behind me, and I’d ponder the irony that I had traveled all the Oklahoma City to ENCOURAGE WOMEN WITH SCRIPTURE and yet I was on the verge of damaging my personal testimony OVER SOME GUM.

I got a little tickled about that.

When we finally got to Atlanta, I had to switch terminals, and when I finally made it to the gate (which, of course, was at the very end of the new terminal), I plopped down in one of two remaining seats and pulled out my phone to check football scores.

(This was before the Aggies put the hurt on my Bulldogs.)

(I was mainly checking to see what was happening in the Florida / Ole Miss game.)

And y’all, I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I tell you that the guy who was sitting beside me at the gate? He let out a big ole belch just like he was at home in his recliner.

He didn’t say he was sorry or beg anyone’s pardon or anything like that, so I just figured maybe he got a little too comfortable, but then a few minutes later it happened again, and he wasn’t even a little bit fazed by it.

And a few minutes later? Big ole belch #3 – still with no acknowledgment on his part.

Well at that point I had no choice but to text my sister.

I mean, I hope he doesn’t have any sort of medical condition that causes that, and I certainly hope he isn’t dealing with anything serious, but I thought, Well, this is where we are, America. The once-glamorous world of air travel has degenerated into a herding process where we openly share all of our worst habits with our fellow passengers and basically expect them to just deal with it.

Don’t even get me started about how it’s like Lord of the Flies trying to get off of a plane. There used to be a little bit of decorum about men letting women out of the rows first, people helping each other with carry-ons, folks stopping to let the rows ahead of them exit – but now it’s like survival of the fittest. You snooze, you lose. You expect that the people behind you will be patient as you remove your bag from the overhead bin, but you turn around and realize that everyone has painted their faces and someone has stolen Piggy’s glasses and the parachute on the mountain looks like a monster.

You can blow that conch shell all you want to, sister. Nobody gives a rip.

It turned out to be another hour or so before my flight left Atlanta; something was wrong with the first plane and they had to bring in another one from the hangar (?!?!) and naturally, of course, we had to change gates. Finally, though, I made it to home sweet home. Alex told me all about his camp trip, and David had made several varieties of dip even though he does not really enjoy dip, and we cheered on the ‘Dogs to no avail. It only took about ten minutes before I reminded myself that basically any form of transportation is a-okay as long as it gets me home again.

No matter where I go, home is always my favorite place to be.

Hope y’all had a great weekend!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 54


On this episode Melanie is live from Sacramento, so this is pretty much our fanciest podcast ever.

We talk about our road trips across the US, our theories about air travel, the relaxing properties of Candy Crush, our 40-something eyesight and its unwillingness to cooperate, the Mississippi State / Texas A&M football game, and the fashion courage required for an open-toe bootie.

We also discuss red lipstick, the intensity Melanie brings to any college game day experience, and a completely random assortment of various delights.

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):

Ritz Chips
Sahale Pomegranate Vanilla Cashew Mix
My Miracle Contact Lenses (they’re multifocal)
Mississippi State’s Pregame Video – Texas A&M
Good Bull Hunting (Mel’s favorite for A&M news)
KCRA – If you time it right, maybe you can watch Melanie’s interview live on Thursday morning!
TOMS Majorca Peep Toe Bootie
C.Style – one of Mel’s favorite fashion blogs

Enjoy, y’all!

dotMOM, dotMAMAW, & dotNOCKELS

Well, if you ask me – and to be clear, no one has, but I figure I’ll talk about it anyway – the 6th dotMOM conference was just a ton of fun. It was so good to be in Nashville again, and Brentwood Baptist was such a great host church. Plus, it is always a treat to meet and visit with people who, for all sorts of reasons, already feel like friends. So if you were one of those people this past weekend, thank you. You encouraged me more than you know.

Melanie and I had a fine time together – as we tend to do – and I’ll have you know that we did not eat mediocre Mexican food even once. Maybe we’re finally growing up.
We did, however, run into Target for some snacks around 10:45 Friday night, so we’re probably not ALL THE WAY THERE in terms of smart choices. However, we’d eaten supper around 5:00 and then spoke at 8:00-ish and by 10:45 nothing sounded better to me than a banana with some crunchy peanut butter on it. And then we got some tortilla chips and bean dip because why not.

There was a pretty significant change this year, though: at our Friday morning meeting, Melanie and I thought we might need some reading glasses in order to see the information on our dotMOM notecards that we use for announcements. Thankfully I had a fresh pair of Miracle Contact Lenses to rescue me, and Melanie managed beautifully by holding the cards a little lower than she normally does. Even still, it occurred to me that by the time Alex and Caroline finish high school, Mel and I are going to age out of dotMOM and have to start emceeing dotMAMAW. And while dotMAMAW isn’t an actual event, I really can’t imagine anything more delightful than a conference full of grandmothers. I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

This would be a great place to put a picture of Melanie and me, by the way. But I didn’t take any pictures. So there’s that.

ALSO. I can’t even pretend to be low-key about the fact that Christy Nockels led worship this past weekend. Y’ALL. She was unbelievable. Her whole band (including her sweet husband) was unbelievable, too. Melanie and I never got over it. Every single session we were just blown away by how the Lord ministers through them. I always say that one reason Travis is such an incredible worship leader is because he’s been gifted with so much leadership but he never makes worship about him, and ditto that for Christy. She’s such a strong, humble leader – utterly sincere in everything she says, does, and sings. It’s a rare gift and such a blessing to sit under it. Can’t say enough about her. Except that I may have made a suggestion was that she and her hubby start a conference called dotNOCKELS. I’d be the first one to sign up and the last one to leave.

It was also a huge treat to hear the other speakers – Sherry Surratt, Karen Kingsbury, Rebekah Lyons – plus a whole bunch of breakout leaders who served the women at the conference so beautifully.

It’s fun to see people do what they were made to do, you know?

After everything was over Saturday afternoon, Melanie and I went back to our hotel to watch as much football as possible before we left for a friend’s birthday party later that night. Thankfully I was never really SUPER nervous during State’s game against Auburn – at least not after we intercepted on our own goal line during Auburn’s first possession. But have mercy it is nice (and rare) to get out of Jordan-Hare with a win, so I was thrilled for our ‘Dogs.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 8.10.01 PM

And, needless to say, for Dak.

Maybe dotDAK is another conference possibility.

The State game wasn’t the only treat of the evening, because being with Melanie during the A&M / Arkansas game was a highlight of 2015 for me. I got so tickled. And while I have a feeling that she’ll tell more of this story on her blog, I just want to confirm that I have never – NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE EVER – seen any one human as excited as she was when the Aggies tied the game at the end of the 4th quarter. And please keep in mind that my sister and I have had some VERY loud, VERY high-energy moments watching our Bulldogs (the 2009 and 2013 Egg Bowls come to mind, along with our game against Auburn last year), but I honestly believe that Melanie could teach us some lessons. Because there’s game day enthusiasm, and then there’s Shankle-level enthusiasm. It comes with an extra degree of intensity and no small degree of shouting – and IT IS A TREASURE. Made me so happy.

So now I’m home. I pulled into Birmingham just in time to meet my people for lunch at Chuy’s, and we have had an afternoon so relaxing that I may write an ode to commemorate it. It’s been the best way to ease into the week that’s in front of us, and it’s given me a chance to catch my breath a little bit during my busiest stretch of fall speaking stuff. YAY FOR HOME. No matter where I go, it’s always my favorite place.

But if there’s ever a dotNOCKELS, it might run a close second.

And understandably so.

Laughter & Also A Significant Portion Of Joy

Book #3 has pretty much become an all-consuming mission at this point. That’s partly because it’s due in just a few months so TIME’S A WASTIN’, and it’s also because I really love what I’m writing about. So whenever I find a little window-o-time, I grab the laptop and try to crank out a few paragraphs. That’s not necessarily great for blogging, I know, but I’m enjoying working on this one so much – and I really, really hope y’all will like it.

I hope to have all sorts of fun details in the next couple of months. I just want to make sure that the title’s not going to change before I tell you what it is – and I want to be able to show you the cover, too.

So that’s the latest on that.

Also. A few minutes ago Melanie reminded me about Ryan Adams’ cover / reinterpretation of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album, so now I’m listening to his version of “Out of the Woods.”

I’ll be honest. It’s messing with me a little bit. Because I know all of the words, but I have no idea how (or when) to sing them.

Not that I can really sing while I write, you understand.

But I guess my head is trying to convince the melody that it needs to go in one direction, only Ryan Adams has already taken off towards the southern tip of Iceland.

Or something like that.

Anyway. The whole reason I started this post is because 1) Alex is at football practice and 2) there are several videos that I’ve been meaning to share because THEY MAKE ME HAPPY.

So, in no particular order, here they are.

1. It was a tough weekend to cheer for Alabama’s college football teams.

2. I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed some more.

3. Oh, 80’s. Sometimes I really miss you. And this video specifically makes me miss “Night Tracks” on WTBS, but that may be another memory for another time.

4. Last Thursday? I bet I watched this 14 times.

5. And finally, thanks to my friend Daphne for reminding me that tonight is a very special night indeed.

p.s. Those costumes are glorious.

p.p.s. Those trumpets are even better.

What’s Going On

1. Hazel is out of dog food.

2. We are practically out of people food – except that we do have some pickle relish, some oatmeal, and half a bag of gluten-free crackers. So YUM, YUM supper.

3. I have been trying to go to the grocery store for two days.

4. Clearly I have failed in my grocery-related efforts.

5. Tonight I’m planning to drop off Alex at football practice, go to the pet store, go to the grocery store, then drive home and throw the groceries in the kitchen floor before I collapse onto the couch and wait for those groceries to whip up a meal.

6. I’ll let you know how that works out.

7. I still haven’t watched Miss America.

8. It’s like I don’t even know myself anymore.


9. I went to the pet store and the grocery store, too.

10. I’m about to put a pork shoulder in the crock pot.

11. My people will be unfamiliar with how to respond to this thing called HOME-COOKED FOOD.


12. I really like Justin Bieber’s new song.

13. I have no idea what he’s saying, really, but it’s catchy as can be.

14. Tonight on the way to football practice we heard this song, and we decided it’s perfect for football games. I mean, I’m not saying that “Sandstorm” has run its course or anything, but this might be fun….

15. And then there was this sunset at practice.

16. So that’ll pretty much make your day right there.


17. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see a new TV show or seven.

18. And oh! Kansas! I so enjoyed my time in Kansas.

19. It was actually a little hillier that I expected and reminded me of the drive from Birmingham to Tupelo, for what it’s worth.

20. When I finally got there Thursday night, I was so elated to be off of that airplane that I basically talked non-stop from Manhattan to Salina (where the conference was).

21. We had flown through some storms, and at one point I felt like our plane was attached to a stick – like in old movies when they’d move a model airplane over a map to show where someone was traveling.

22. I like to think that I’m a fairly breezy traveler, but by the time we landed I was calculating how long it would take David to drive to Kansas and pick me up because NO MORE FLYING FOR ME.

23. Thankfully the flights home were far less eventful.

24. And now we’re living on the edge with a pantry full of groceries and a pork shoulder in the crockpot.

25. I may even make a fresh pitcher of Crystal Light lemonade.



Hey From B Terminal

I’m sitting at a gate in the Dallas airport right now, and there’s a little boy who looks to be about four years old who’s making me downright wistful about when Alex was that age.

Here’s the memory that keeps popping in my head.

Fight Song from boomama on Vimeo.

Pretty sure that was yesterday.


I’m flying into Manhattan, Kansas tonight, and I’m secretly hoping that I’ll be greeted by a very large K-State Wildcat in the Manhattan airport. I mean, I’m not hoping for a real-live mascot or anything like that because mascot costumes make me nervous (and obviously I would be terrified if there were any sort of actual wildcat), but I would at least like to see a mural of K-State traditions. Maybe walk through a tunnel that plays the fight song.

My wishes are very simple.

My flight from Birmingham was a rare treat because there were only about five of us on the last seven rows of the plane, and we were all so thrilled by the wide open spaces – a rare airline treat these days – that we were borderline giddy. The guy across from me said, “We could fit a whole band back here!” and then he sprawled out across both of the seats on his row and enjoyed a bag of Chex Mix. I was so enamored of the QUIET that I couldn’t even read; I just closed my eyes and soaked up the relative silence. We all had our electronics spread out on the neighboring seats and were making the most of our access to a second tray table and I am here to tell you that it was the adult equivalent of a free second scoop of ice cream. GLORIOUS, it was.

Here are some other exciting things that have happened so far:

– I ate in the airport Chili’s all by myself – even though eating in a restaurant by myself is one of my all-time least favorite things.
– I ordered a Sante Fe chicken salad. It was surprisingly tasty.
– There’s a beautiful sunset outside; I keep looking to my left so I can see its progress, and I think the girl next to me thinks I’m trying to read her computer screen.

As you can tell, my time in Dallas has been fraught with all manner of excitement and drama.

I’m sad to be missing high school football tomorrow night, but I can’t wait to see Kansas (will it be as flat as I expect? will there be wheat farms lining the roads?) and get to visit with the women at the conference where I’m speaking. Then, if all goes as planned, I’ll be home Saturday night in time to see the last little bit of the State / LSU game.

I think I speak for all Bulldogs when I say we would appreciate your prayers.

Hope y’all have a great weekend!