So Here’s What We Did

The four year-old and I had sort of a rough go of it last week. I’d been away for eight days. I came home, and he proceeded to test almost every single one of his boundaries with me. I was prepared for that to happen. But being prepared didn’t make it any easier.

So Friday afternoon, we hit the road, the boy and me, for a little Mother-Son Road Trip. We drove up to Nashville to see my sister and her hubby, who were gracious enough to accommodate a couple of last-minute guests.

It’s probably pretty telling that Alex and I both slept for ten hours Friday night. Not that our level of exhaustion had anything to do with all the head-butting.

Alex wanted to “play trains” Saturday morning, so we drove to the closest Barnes & Noble. As an added bonus, we also got to see the FryDaddy family (no, Angela didn’t wear The Jeans, but she did wear one of the cutest coats I’ve ever seen). The FryDaddies were smack-dab in the middle of their Saturday Basketball Extravaganza, OH BLESS THEIR HEARTS, but they made time to swing by the Barnes & Noble(s) and hang out with us in the children’s section.

I love it when new friends feel like old ones.

After we left the bookstore, Sister, Alex and I had Sonic for lunch BECAUSE WE ARE FANCY. Alex experienced his very first hockey game Saturday night, and when it was over we watched the end of the UT / Memphis game on the jumbotron and screamed our heads off because we’re a little cuckoo for the SEC.

And also: the Bulldogs won in overtime.

It was a really good day.

And I’m leaving out the part about what happened with my digestive tract yesterday because, well, I heart you, internets, and I would like for you to continue to feel comfortable when you visit here and BELIEVE YOU ME if I tell you what happened with my digestive tract yesterday you will never feel comfortable here again.

Not to mention that you would never be able to make eye contact with me if we were to meet in person.

Suffice it to say that yesterday’s trip home wasn’t exactly the most pleasant car ride of my life.


And I’m all better now.

By the way, I’m also leaving out the part about how I’m struggling a little bit right now with lots of post-trip emotions that render me very quiet and leave me feeling sort of disconnected, but I’m hoping that if I use enough capital letters and exclamation points IT WON’T BE TOO NOTICEABLE.


Oh, me and my ingenious diversions.

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  1. God bless the soul who ever thought to put the trains into the Barnes and Nobles.

    there is a special place in heaven for them, indeed.

    glad you’re back, boomama, and i’m sure that everyone understands there are quite a few things you need to work out in your head right now; it’s quite understandable.

    you keep on blessin’ everyone you encounter, hear?

  2. You sweet thing! You just keep loving on that boy and talking to Jesus. He knows your heart. I will be praying for your digestive tract (never a fun time there)!

  3. Bless your heart! I understand way too clearly about your trip home. We’ve had that “issue” at our house last week when a cute little redhead decided to share the “love” with us all! Enough said.

    My “boys” enjoyed the UT -Memphis game as well. (I’m a Gamecock, so I really didn’t care to watch! We’re a divided UT/USC family) I was in the next room devouring a new Karen Kingsbury book. Fun!I just can’t put her books down. I usually don’t take time to read for pleasure during the school year. I wait until we hit the beach, then I pull out a dozen or more that I’ve been looking forward to for the entire year. Life is too short to wait a whole year! So…I’m reading again and lovin’ it! Hope that y’all have a great day!

  4. Just for the record, I’ll be proud to meet you and your digestive tract any old time. At some place fancy like Sonic or an MCD with a playplace!

    Thank you God for family that takes us in on the spur of the moment and friends who welcome us with open arms. They’re a lot like Jesus that way…

    Soph, I agree with Beth. You’re going to need a lot of time to accept all that you’ve seen, heard, smelled, learned over the past few weeks. Personally, I love that you’re still waffling all over the place because, if you weren’t, then that would mean that the trip didn’t affect you to your heart. And seriously, that would disappoint me quite more than I would believe to be possible.

    Love you and your ever-emotional self!

    !!! (I just did that to make you feel better.)

  5. I defer to the list format:

    1. I think you should insist on calling him Howard when he’s acting up. Unless he likes that name. If so, feel free to ignore this entire suggestion.

    2. I really hope you whipped out your cell phone and pretended to be writing a text but ACTUALLY GOT A PHOTO OF A CERTAIN SOMEONE’S CUTE JACKET. Please, please tell me you did.

    3. Sonic is VERY fancy. Why, I turn on my classical music CD while parked in my car booth each time I eat there.

    4. I wrote about my vomiting in a random small Baptist church in the second week of starting my blog. Based on the information you left out above, did I do something wrong? Have I perhaps killed my potential bloggy audience? :)

    5. I know you’ll get a lot of sensitive, sweet and rather touching comments about your current state of introspective-ness. However, for the record, I would just like to say that when I read the words “render me very quiet” I actually laughed out loud. Say what you want Boomama, but I won’t believe it ’til I see it. You, quiet? Never.

    And, I think I speak for the rest of the bloggy community when I say that we like it that way.

  6. disconnected is my favorite word lately.

    well not favorite.

    most commonly felt?

    much love.

  7. Okay. How much do I love SONIC?!! That makes me homesick for my high school days in Texas.

    The fact that you’re feeling disconnected makes sense. There’s just so much to process after such a drastically life-changing experience. If you’d already processed everything and tied it up in a nice emotional package, I’d be worried about you.

  8. Okay, I haven’t even read this post, but I just wanted to call another post to your attention and my email doesn’t work on this computer.

    Have you seen Ragamuffin’s video tribute to you and Rocks? It is hilarious. He entitled it Throwing Rocks at my Boodaddy. I didn’t know if you had seen it since you haven’t linked to it even on your interwebby awesomeness. He says he’s going to do it every Friday.

  9. We can wait until things are properly processed. I have had the flu for 2 weeks and actually kinda like that you and Shannon are getting to this slowly because my brain on the flu?==MUSH. I think that it is February, and that once March gets here we will all feel better.

  10. Oh, and I forgot to add to Susan-I am the UT/USC!!! Ouch. Some days I’m not so much fun to be around.

  11. Anyplace that doesn’t have a $1 Value Menu is fancy to me!

  12. Ah, the coming home from a foreign country “gift that keeeeeps on giving”

  13. Boo–

    I am a RN and am going to give you a little friendly advice– if that stomach issue/digestive stuff continues- call your doctor. After I went to Haiti, I ended up with the same thing and it continued on for about a week before I called my doctor. He immediately put me on a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
    You may have picked up a souvenir from your trip- being a third world country and all. I never even drank the water- but did get it in my eyes etc. when showering.. so please be careful!

    It is totally normal to feel emotionally overwhelmed after an experience like you just had. Be patient and give yourself time to process- God knows your heart and is letting you handle it a little at a time. Oh, I praise God for how mightily He has answered prayers for you to be able to write about these experiences with grace, love, compassion and humor. Thank you for sharing your heart with us all!~

  14. Glad you are feeling better….digestive issues are, shall we say, crappy! (Pun intended)

    I too have a 4 year old and I feel ya sister on the testing of the boundries….we seem to go through cycles every few months where she has to figure out all over again if I’m in charge. God made preschoolers cute for a reason – it’s a preservation tactic!

    I’m praying for you and the rest of your team as you continue to re-integrate back into real-life. You’ve seen and felt so much, raw emotions are to be expected. Thanks for taking the risk to do that so you could be the eyes and ears for those of us who could not be there.


  15. Love those boundary tests.

  16. Dear Sweet BooMaMa – other than your widespread fame (have you read the raves at the blogs of your fellow Ugandaers?) you have much to deal with – first – I am NOT an RN and I don’t play one on TV but I second the emotion – get thee to a doctor – gut problems are nothing to mess with and they make you so socially uncomfortable. Please also post pictures of aforementioned cute jackets. We love you Boo/Soph

  17. I hate to be a downer here, but am I the only one connecting the dots between the trains at B&N and the terrible car ride home? In our family we have had too many icky sickies that coincide with trips to the train table.

    My son has his own trains at home now so is less likely to beg for the B&N train experience…but if we go there again I am wiping all those little suckers down with Lysol wipes before he touches them. And then we will both scrub our hands up to the elbows with the wipes, and we will do the same to all the sickly little children who come over to the table while we are there.

    I could write my own book of Leviticus about this stuff…

  18. Trains at Barnes and Noble? I have never heard of such a thing! Our B&N only seem to carry these curiosities called “books”…

    When my kids were little we had to go to the dentist to play with the trains- or invest sixty-thousandish dollars to have Brio trains at home. We invested- and Yes, I am saving those train set pieces for future grandchildren!

  19. Bless your heart on that ride home!!! Digestive issues + long car ride + 4 year-old does NOT equal fun!! You should try using public facilities with a 4, 3, & 1.5 year-old sometime. Ya really gotta go!

  20. It wouldn’t matter if you only went away for 24 hours every 4 year old tests the boundaries! Mine Sure Does! I love Sonic, the kids think is is great to eat in the car while stopped, We eat in the car while it’s moving all the time but stopped is way cooler!

  21. Might be a good idea to go and get some blood drawn. When my daughter was playing college basketball, they went to a tourney in Cancun and even though they took cases and cases of their own water and gatorade and didn’t even brush their teeth with anything else, they had various stomach ailments for about 10 days after they got back. I reckon its in the air, food, everything. Welcome back, by the way. And I feel your pain with that intestinal-traveling issue. I cleared out a Wal-Mart restroom one time with the surprise onset of a stomach virus. Ick.

  22. Have you seen Shaun’s post on Stinky Pete? His netbuddies sent him to Publix and he found Cipro for free! I can’t remember if B’ham has Publix – but maybe you can find another kind pharmacist who can annoint you with Parasite Extermination Potion.

    GTWS! (Get thee well, sistah!)

  23. So sorry to hear about your digestive problems. And all the “re-entry” emotions are not cool either, but it does get better…well, some things do.

  24. First, my kids all think that Barnes and Noble(s) is for adults only, kind of like an “over 21” place for squares. I have no desire to disabuse them of the notion, as that is where I go to read, think, consume over-priced, caffeinated beverages and generally enjoy moments of child-free navel gazing.

    Second, when I return from a mission trip, I get a fresh, spiral notebook and write in it. Sometimes the words, they become sentence-like things. Mostly, they are bursts of thought, especially at first. There are even pages of big, black scribbles. Really. And I’m (supposedly) a grown up. I’ve been doing overseas missions of varying lengths for over 20 years. I have a LOT of notebooks.

    Do not hurry the “re-entry/debriefing” phase.

  25. Sorry about the digestive tract humiliations, but glad you got to spend time with the youngun.

    Found you through Shannon’s blog, which I just discovered before you all went to Uganda. I have been a sponsor-momma to an El Salvador girl for 7 years, but she wasn’t disadvantaged in the same way as the African children. Since so many are sponsoring them now, because of the group of bloggers, I searched for other desperately poor countries, and found a little girl in Bangladesh who’s been waiting for more than six months for someone to give her a hand up. My Compassion family has expanded.

    Thanks for helping me see my surroundings with opened eyes.

  26. Hope you and Alex get back to your normal relationship soon :)

    As for your feelings right now, I went on several short-term missions trips in college, and I always went through something like that. For me, it helped to talk, but usually to people who had been through it and understood. Even people I was very close to made me feel kind of bad because they just didn’t get it and couldn’t relate, even though they cared. It takes a while to process everything and the shock of coming back to “normal” life can be pretty big, especially if you feel changed, yet everything at home has stayed the same. I said a prayer for you as you adjust to being home and process what you’ve learned.

  27. …not to mention your very first Diet Cherry Limeade in the history of the world!

    And no pictures of the many Kodak moments you captured? :)

  28. It’s just going to take a little bit of time of being gentle with yourself. Praying for you as you settle back in. xoxo

  29. *HUG*

    I can relate to your disconnection/emotionality (is that a word?). Very hard to blog through, still harder to get through without all the friends you can muster up, so you GOTTA blog in order to muster them. Sometimes I think of just posting something like,


    And seeing if that gets me the support I crave without my having to put so much of myself out there. I’m willing to bet that it would, aren’t you?

    The beauty of it is, with this fantastic group of women (and men?), there’s no need to try to fool anyone AND when you let down that guard, you get blessed beyond your greatest expectations. Oh, yes ma’am, you do.

    *Nuther hug.*

  30. Did you know Oklahoma City is the home of Sonic’s headquarters? Yes ma’am, tis true. We’ve even got Sonics that have drive-thru windows and everything.

    Talk about fancy.

  31. Love your heart. Love your thoughts. Love that you used impulse control and did not share about your digestive problems. Time is a healer, one of God’s best instruments. It will hep with those moments that you’ll never forget.

  32. I’m dedicating a song to you…Matt Redman, “Let My Words Be Few,” from his album Blessed Be Your Name, The Songs of Matt Redman, Vol. 1.
    Yes, can you just BELIEVE how truly blessed we are??? It leaves me speechless sometimes to feel Him…His Grace. Love you, Boo.

  33. Hang in there on the re-entry. Keep talking or blogging about it, lest you shut down emotionally. If it helps, re-entry has gotten easier for me every time. The first time it like to have killed me-ah yes there’s a good southern phrase :-) I’m from MS, I can say things like that. I’ll be praying for you.
    BTW, you tickle me to death!

  34. P.S. Oh, I too am a huge bulldog fan. The MSU variety. If you haven’t ever been to Coach Croom’s ladies football camp. Please oh please try to go. It is so worth the time and money.

  35. Bailey's Leaf says:

    Okay, can we give a big AMEN AND PRAISE GOD WITH ALL HANDS RAISED that the digestive ugliness didn’t happen to, from or in Africa?!

    And, I dealt with the same (or at least I’m sure without detail) digestive ugliness. Daughter dear suffered from it at 2 AM on Thursday morning (the upper version), so I wasn’t surprised that even though I scrubbed and cleaned that both hubs and I came down with it.

    A car ride with it? Been there my friend. So sorry!

    But, I’m hoping that you’ve mended head butting ways with Howard. My 4 year old child is currently in a 20 minute time out. She head butted her 4 minute way to 20. Don’t worry girl, it’s not just you!

  36. *Sigh…*

    I just KNEW you and I could be friends. I could just feel it.

    And then you went and dogged my ‘horns.

    I just HATE it when new friends feel like old enemies!


  37. Oh…so you’re a farter. Good to know.


    Boomama, those feelings are so normal, and unfortunately, you just have to feel them. Part of the miry clay and all that. Be blessed, sweet one.

  38. Sounds like such a fun trip including watching basketball and seeing Travis. I love that you at at Sonic. We ate there on our wedding night. It’s a memory I will cherish forever! :-)

  39. Oh – well my daughter would say you all most shared TMI! But I am so sorry you are struggling in so many ways. I will be praying for you. Could it be God is still sifting things with you in the aftermath of your visit to Uganda, your recent “head-butting” with Alex and your quiet contemplative quality since returning from your trip. I would ask Him to show me why I can’t shake it… Perhaps reading the Beattitudes would help in Matthew 5. God knows they are helping me right now.

    Blessings, Sweet Friend.

  40. Praying for this time to be a full connect with the Lord and to be good in all its different-ness.


  41. I think what you and Shannon saw has the same effect as one coming back from war. The people around you really cannot relate to what you witnessed. You will never be the same. It is so good that the two of you were able to go together.

  42. Sophie,
    Just wanted you to know my husband and I picked out a little boy tonight from Nicaragua from Compassion and we are so excited! I have actually been to the city where he is from and hubby is going there next month and might get to meet him and I will be going in September and I will meet him then! God is so real! Bless you again for making all of us aware if the Compassion sponsorships! I will send you a picture when we meet our new little boy!

  43. Disconnected. Hard…but Good. God will use this time in your life. We got back from Ethiopia (with our two newest children) almost three months ago, and I’m still feeling it a bit…yet I know that God is using this time in my life.

    I am so enjoying reading all that you and the others are sharing about the trip. Thank you for being willing!

  44. I have decided that I can no longer lurk since I have recently decided that lurkers are creepy! :) I really love your blog and just wanted to identify myself! Thanks for your fun perspective–I’ve really appreciated and been blessed by your thoughts from Uganda.

  45. Do men, other than the famous Travis Cottrell, leave comments on this blog? Just curious.

    I love how you make fun of the south and the (s) on the end of places like Barnes and Noble, Kroger, and Wal-Mart. For the first year we lived in TN I thought our neighbors were headed out for an entire day because they kept talking about going to visit the “Wal-Marts”. I had no idea why they needed to visit plural Wal-Marts in one day, but who was I to judge?

    Just know you are not alone in your post-Ugandan intestinal adventures. It’s common and a little magic pill will help it greatly.

  46. My husband has made five missions trips to Haiti. After the first trip he was so shaken that he literally could not interact with anyone for two solid weeks. Then he, who is completely paper resistant, wrote and wrote and wrote about the trip in a little notebook. But he still couldn’t really talk about the trip until almost 3 months later.

  47. GLAD you are feeling better! I loved looking at your pics from Africa–Mother went a few years ago and her life was great impacted! The missions work there was an awesome experience for her. She can’t wait to go again.
    I, on the other hand…have never EVER boarded an airplane. Nope. Not kidding. My husband has went on several missions trips…my mother and stepdad…but I’ve always held down the homefront and prayed and watched my babies. But you know?….I may have to board a plane. I think I need to “see” and experience what God is doing in foreign lands.
    God bless you for your efforts and your awesome heart!
    I look FORWARD to meeting you and hearing you at the SheSpeaks Conf.!!