The Big Boo Cast, Episode 69


Well, it’s the first podcast of 2017 for Melanie and me, and our discussion seems to focus on several people that we really don’t know even a little bit: Mariah Carey (not to mention her affection for a bodysuit), Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Queen Elizabeth, and Meghan Markle, to name a few.

There is a considerable amount of La La Land-related raving / fangirling. We also spend a lot of time talking about television – one of our very favorite topics – and then we reflect a little bit on 2016 and look forward to an awesome 2017.

All in all, a good time was had by all. Or at least the two of us. And we certainly hope it’s a good time for you, 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):

Pimento Cheese Cornbread

Palmetto pimento cheese (it is THE BEST)

Mariah Carey’s reality show

La La Land

Emma Stone talks about La La Land

The La La Land choreographer talks about the behind-the-scenes of the musical numbers

Ryan Gosling talks about practicing piano for, you guessed it, La La Land (and apparently he played by ear before the movie…I got that part wrong in the podcast)


The Man in the High Castle


Queen Elizabeth’s health

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

Meghan Markle’s Fashion Retrospective

Vanity Fair on Meghan Markle (Melanie mentioned this article)

Dak Prescott – 10 Things You May Not Know

Happy New Year, everybody!

2017, You Are Welcome Here

Last night I watched New Year’s Rockin’ Eve because, well, we were pretending that when the ball dropped on the East Coast that would sort of give us permission to go ahead and go to bed here in central time. I realize that probably sounds like about 17 different varieties of lame, but as someone who has not “gone out” for New Year’s Eve since the year of our Lord 1994, I am completely unaccustomed to any sort of NYE revelry. As far as I’m concerned, New Year’s Eve is a time for some chicken and dumplins and some cornbread and, if the weather’s good, lighting a few Roman candles in the cul de sac.

For the record, it was raining here last night. So no Roman candles. Also: we were all in pajamas by 4.

Anyway, we were watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, but that was only after I’d spent about 30 minutes watching Mariah Carey’s new show on E! I watched her show when no one else was in the living room – lest I be mocked by my people for my quality television viewing – and I got very tickled by the fact that Mariah totally seems to live like the rest of us in that she seems to spend considerable time reclining on a chaise lounge while wearing a leotard or corset along with heels. Fur throws and pillows are optional accessories, of course, but fishnet stockings seem to be pretty standard attire. This is such a crazy coincidence, of course, since leotards and fishnets are such staples in my own wardrobe.* Who would have thought that Mariah and I had so much in common?

So I was watching Mariah’s show – making mental notes of all the parts I wanted to mention to Melanie and marveling how Mariah seems to have a lock on the visual for “sauntering” – and I realized that it was about 15 minutes away from East Coast New Year’s, so I flipped the channel to ABC. My fellas joined me in the living room, and a few minutes later, when Ryan Seacrest announced that Mariah Carey would be performing, I thought, Well, Happy New Year’s Eve, Mariah – it would seem that we are destined to spend this night together.

And y’all – when she hit that stage and the monitors weren’t working but that back-up track was going strong and the dancers were giving it everything they had while Mariah *sauntered* around the stage and talked, even when her back-up track was hitting the high notes? Well, as far as I’m concerned there’s never been a more perfect end to a year. 2016 was a train wreck on many fronts (and yes, I know it wasn’t all bad, and that is fine, but personally it was not my favorite year), and it seemed just right somehow that Mariah (and I really did feel sorry for her – that had to have been at least one of a performer’s worst nightmares) kicked 2016 to the curb in such an awkward, oh-my-word-is-this-really-happening way.

(I’ll confess that the whole thing gave me more than one flashback to Remember the Alamodome.)

(I may have shivered.)

Given all of that, I woke up this morning and felt like I needed to give 2016 a little bit of a break. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was sad. But there were also some really happy, really fun moments here in our neck of the woods. Here are a few.

1. Alex’s first lacrosse season – We had a blast. It was so great watching Alex embrace something new, and we enjoyed getting to spend time with the other families so much.

2. The senior girls’ mother / daughter luncheon – I am always attached to “my” senior girls at school, and watching them graduate is so bittersweet. Back in May I spoke at their mother / daughter luncheon, and afterwards (and there’s a whole story here that I don’t really have time to tell, so we’ll bookmark it) they gave me this painting. It will forever be special to me.

As you might imagine, I took one look at it and bawled like a baby. Also, the painting is by a Birmingham artist named Julie Howard, and she is all kinds of talented.

3. Mississippi State won the regular season championship in baseball, and it was glorious.

And even though I broke my foot at State’s first game, the SEC Baseball Tournament was, as always, a highlight of the year.

4. Friends – In good times and in sad times, you just can’t beat sweet friendships. From lifelong friends to college friends to writing friends to work friends to church friends, I am so grateful for deep, real friendships. I actually feel like I was a pretty terrible friend this past year – I was covered up with work the first part of the year, kind of emotionally immobile the second part of the year, and super busy with writing stuff all the way around. It was not my finest hour for keeping up with everybody, being intentional about spending time with people, or even texting to check in with friends I don’t get to see much. I want to be better about this in 2017.

5. The body of Christ – As heartbreaking as it was when Mama died, I can honestly say that I have never felt as loved and supported by people’s physical presence and their prayers. There’s not enough room for me to chronicle how beautifully people took care of our family. I will never get over it.

6. Mama’s Bible – It has been such a gift to read from Mama’s Bible in the mornings. Sometimes I open it and can smell her lotion…it’s the strangest thing. And more than anything it is enormously encouraging and comforting to see everything she underlined. There are a couple of times every day when I almost feel like I can hear her talking to me: one is when I read her Bible, and the other is when I cook. Isn’t that strange? Totally true, though.

A photo posted by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

7. La La Land – Totally inspiring and so beautiful.

8. Hamilton – Remember that time I was completely obsessed with a Broadway musical even though I don’t really care for musicals? I can’t even think about writing Giddy Up, Eunice without hearing Hamilton songs in my head. It was such a fun obsession. And I don’t remember if I blogged about this or not, but back in the spring we had a Hamilton lunch at school with several of the senior girls, a couple of my teacher buddies, and my friend Erin. It was the nerdiest 40 minutes of my whole life, and IT. WAS. FANTASTIC.

A photo posted by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

9. Chef’s Table – Every episode leaves me awed by God’s very good gift of creativity. I even watched the season from France and read all the subtitles because STUNNING.

10. Dak Prescott & the Dallas Cowboys – WHO KNEW pro football could be so fun? And of course I’ve never met Dak Prescott, but like every other Mississippi State alum, I am so proud of him and have had the most fun cheering on him and his team. We’ve also watched this video a time or forty in our house.

11. Books – I think it will always be surreal to me that I get to write them, and I am beyond grateful that people would take the time to read them. Thanks for welcoming Eunice to the world this past year.

12. That time Melanie and I podcasted with Beth Moore – WHAT. A. TREAT.

13. Updating our kitchen – I know this is such a trivial thing, but considering that we’ve had “updating the kitchen” on our to-do list for, you know, ten years, it was high time. Really, we did more of a re-surfacing than anything else, but oh my goodness it has made such a difference. I’m so glad we finally got ‘er done. I’ll post some pictures soon.

14. Home – We didn’t travel at all this Christmas; the week before Christmas our kitchen was torn up, and the week after Christmas our kitchen was torn up to a lesser degree – plus it was a week of all kinds of appointments. Regardless, I can’t remember when we’ve had such an uninterrupted stretch of time at home, and for the most part, our nights have been free. I’ve loved every single second of it. It’s been so good to recharge and be home with my people. I’ve loved fluffing up the pillows every night before I go to bed and draping the throws like I like ’em (they’re not fur, Mariah) and basically nesting like it’s my job. I was WORN OUT at the beginning of Christmas holidays, and now I’m mostly a fully functioning, rested person. WHAT IS THIS FEELING?

I hope your year is off to a wonderful start. And I also hope you had some good blackeyed peas and cornbread today (good blackeyed peas and cornbread can make anybody feel hopeful about the future). I am so grateful for y’all and your patience with my semi-wayward blogging this past year – not to mention your prayers for our family over the last six months. I cannot thank you enough.

Happy 2017, y’all!

*Never. Not in any universe. Not in any situation. Thank you for understanding.

New Year’s Eve Eve Eve

So. How are things?

I hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas. We had most of our family here with us in Birmingham, and even though my kitchen was in about seventeen states of disarray on Christmas Eve, Sister came to my rescue and helped me get everything presentable for Christmas Day. We had people working on our kitchen the week leading up to the 25th, so it felt like a huge relief to finally clear away some of the piles and make that end of the house a little more livable. We’re still not finished with the kitchen – cabinet doors are hopefully being installed tomorrow – but I’ve already enjoyed our countertops and backsplash so much. Having actual cabinet doors (and hardware!) will feel very fancy after the last couple of weeks of the “open shelving” look.

(There are some people who were born with the organizational skills to have open shelves in the kitchen.)

(I am not one of those people.)

We actually ordered our Christmas meal this year since we didn’t know if we’d have a fully operational kitchen, and while I don’t know that I’d want to do the same thing every year, I have to say that it was very nice to just warm up some pans-o-food and call it a day. My sister and sister-in-law were kind enough to supplement what we’d ordered, so we ended up with more than plenty. The best part was that clean-up was a dream, and I didn’t even have to load the dishwasher because my brother went straight to the kitchen and GOT AFTER IT when supper was over. We all missed Mama but did our best to focus on the happy instead of the sad. Sister and I had some good laughs on Christmas Eve about how alarmed Mama would have been about the state of my Christmas linens. Ironing has never been one of my spiritual gifts.

Everybody headed home the day after Christmas, so after I straightened up the house a little bit, I found me a spot on the couch and watched an obnoxious amount of football. First was the Bulldogs and their bowl game, then a replay of the 2007 Egg Bowl, then the Cowboys vs. the Lions. Tuesday I managed to stay in my pajamas all day long (glory!), and I spent a good part of the morning listening to every George Michael song I could find (I have been so sad about his death – and I have such happy memories associated with his music). After I listened to “Freedom 90” for roughly the 16th time, I took down all the Christmas decorations, put everything away, washed a couple of loads of laundry, and basically tried to be slightly more productive than the previous day’s football-a-thon.

Baby steps, you know.

Yesterday David and I went to see Manchester by the Sea. The language was terrible, but I really loved the structure of the story. Lots to talk about afterwards, too. I got so tickled when we were leaving the theater, though, because a lady who’d been sitting in front of us was standing in the hallway (breezeway? corridor? I am unsure of the terminology), and she turned to her friend and said, “Well, I have never seen so much HURT in my whole life.” That’s a pretty good description.

Today we went to see La La Land, and OH. MY. GOODNESS. I loved it so much. I would even go so far as to say that I was captivated by it. Also: there were a couple of parts where I had to will myself not to cry openly. It is visually stunning, crazy compelling, and such a treat all the way around. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack ever since we got home, and I think I may need to see it again. For whatever reason it was completely inspiring to me. It’s nostalgic and modern all at the same time – just a beautiful movie all the way around. Big thumbs up from me.

And oh! How could I forget to share some of the biggest news of Christmas 2016?

A couple of podcasts ago Melanie and I had a discussion about how she wanted to create a coffee bar in her new cabinets. She ended up going with a different plan, but I kept thinking about the whole coffee bar idea and wondering if there was a better spot for the coffee stuff in our kitchen. I don’t have a whole lot of counter space, and I’ve never really had all of our coffee stuff arranged logically, truth be told. So when Sister and I were trying to bring some order to the kitchen chaos on Christmas Eve, I said, “Hey – do you think it would work if I moved the coffee stuff to the desk by the breakfast room table?” It’s not next to the sink, but we always fill up our Keurig with water from the refrigerator – and the desk is right by the refrigerator. There’s also a cabinet above the desk that I’ve always used for cookbooks, but there was no reason why I couldn’t rearrange a little and move all of our coffee mugs to the bottom shelf of that cabinet.


It’s the best thing ever. I put a little trash can under the desk to make it simple to throw away coffee pods and sweetener packets, and we have WORN OUT that little area in the last week. It was so nice when we had a house full of company because they could fix coffee without being in the middle of the kitchen traffic, not to mention that I felt like I gained a few square feet of kitchen counter space just by moving the coffeemaker off of the countertops.

And that little framed saying above the desk? My aunt Ginger gave it to Mama before I was born. It used to hang by Mama’s breakfast room table when I was little, and it’s been fun to pay a little more attention to it over the last week or so.

So. That’s Christmas 2016 for us. Lots of family, lots of football, a couple of movies, and a new coffee station in the kitchen.

Can you even stand all the excitement?

We’ll probably line up some naps and a re-watch marathon of the last season of Sherlock for New Year’s Eve.

We like to keep it crazy, you know.

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 68


Earlier today Melanie and I decided to try to record a podcast, and lo and behold, our schedules cooperated. Then, on a whim, I texted our good friend Travis Cottrell to see if he could join us, and when he said that he could, I’m pretty sure that I heard some angels sing.

Or maybe that was just Hazel barking at the UPS driver. Regardless, it was a moment.

So. We discuss our thoughts about conveying tone in texts, the latest on Melanie’s kitchen (complete with a coffee bar update), and then we cover a wide range of ground with Travis, including our favorite moments of 2016.

Also, in keeping with the theme of our delivery-heavy holiday season, Hazel barks a good bit. I’m just as sorry as I can be about that.

Enjoy, y’all!

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):

Special guest / friend / Neil Diamond impersonator Travis Cottrell

– We didn’t mention this, but we for sure want to remind you. :-) The Big Boo Box from Hummingbird Farms – it’s our favorite! (use the code BIGBOO26 and get the whole collection for $49 + free shipping)

– Neil Diamond singing “Hello”

Phillips, Craig & Dean

Alex Guaranschelli’s Butter

Waiting for Guffman

A little background on Hamilton, just in case you’re wondering why anyone would get obsessed with it

– Leslie Odom, Jr. is crazy talented

“The Little Drummer Boy” by Neil Diamond

“In the First Light” by Travis Cottrell, who is also crazy talented (Mel and I both adore this song, and it’s even more special because Travis sings it).

Merry Christmas, everybody!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 67


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!