Covering All Manner Of Ground

Well, last week I spent so much time trying to get work and home and my people ready for me to be at dotMOM that I never mentioned the fact that we’d spent the previous Saturday at the Mississippi State / Troy U. football game. Since our husbands were out of town, Sister and I cooked up a road trip to the southern part of Alabama, and the little man went along for the ride (well, and for the football, too).

This is Sister and A when we were waiting for Dawg Walk – which turned out to be more of a Wave-At-The-Team-As-The-Bus-Passes Walk as much as anything else.

Away games are weird sometimes.

And this is when A had reached the end of his picture-taking rope and decided that he was no longer content to post for pictures with his mama.

He’s getting so big. And he’s still so much fun.

(By the way, here’s what that little punkin’ looked like when I started this blog.)

(I seriously could bawl my eyes out.)

One thing we didn’t anticipate about the Troy game is that it would turn out to be a lot warmer than the weather forecast indicated. So far a thick blanket of humidity has been the theme of the 2012 football season (at least for me), and by the time we made our way up to our seats and settled in for the game, we were pretty much begging the Lord for a breeze. That air had no intention of moving, though.

The game itself nearly killed us, and we were beyond fortunate to get out of there with a win. I actually attribute the win to Sister, who had the good sense to change seats after Troy scored their last touchdown and went up 24-23. Sister high-tailed it way down the row and kept her distance from A and me, and that, THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING. State scored about ten minutes later, and we basically held our collective breath until the end of the game. I’ve never been happier to see a game clock hit 00:00.

However, it’s not officially college football season until you have to close your eyes during some fourth down plays, so I guess from that perspective, the MSU / Troy game was an important milestone for Bulldog fans.

I spent last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in sort of an endless to-do list-related fog, but by Thursday morning, I was ready for some big dotMOM fun. I spent part of my morning with my friend Keely, who was kind enough to look past the fact that I am the most awkward person alive when it comes to having my picture made (I don’t know where to look, and I don’t know what to do with my hands, and I never know what to wear) and take some pictures for book stuff. Hopefully there’s something in that batch of photographs that Keely can salvage, but based solely on my MACH 5 level of discomfort, I am skeptical. You might want to keep Keely and her copy of Photoshop in your prayers.

After the picture fun I drove to the airport and picked up Melanie, Amanda, and Kelly. I was so happy to see them, and even though I’ve known all of them for a while now, it still just tickles me to no end that we met ON THE INTERNET. Love ’em to pieces, I do.

Thursday night we went to dinner with a whole bunch of sweet women, and one of the highlights was getting to visit with Korie Robertson from Duck Dynasty. She is cute as a button – so kind and sincere and darlin’. She’s one of those people who talks about her husband and her children in such a warm, loving way that she reminds you to treasure your people just a little bit more. I was so impressed by that.

Another highlight from the dinner was an appetizer platter that contained some fried cheese, but that’s neither here nor there, really.

dotMOM started Friday afternoon, and while I know I’m a little biased because I love the LifeWay folks so much, it really is such a great conference. There’s a lot of flexibility within the structure, but at the same time everything is oh-so-organized. The main speakers / teachers were Jen Hatmaker, Vicki Courtney, Sissy Goff and David Thomas, and Esther Burroughs. I walked away from every session with conviction and encouragement. Good, good stuff – especially in terms of remembering that our homes should be God-centered, not kid-centered. That theme came up over and over and over again.

There were two big (BIG!) highlights to the weekend for me. One was getting to interview John Croyle, the founder of Big Oak Ranch here in Alabama. I’ve heard wonderful things about him for years, and Mel and I both got such a kick out of him. He’s going to be one of the speakers at dotMOM Dallas (February 2013) and at dotMOM Chattanooga (September 2013), and I cannot wait. We only got to interview him for about 15 minutes, but I’ll remember four or five things that he said for the rest of my life.

The second highlight was getting to hear the story of a woman named Olive. Olive was a Compassion child in Uganda when she was a little girl, and now she’s a Compassion sponsor who lives here in the US. It’s been almost five years since I went to Uganda with Compassion (that is so hard for me to believe), and Olive’s story was a fresh reminder that Compassion’s ministry doesn’t just change the life of one child in a family – it can change that child’s family for generations.

Anyway. I’m close to 1000 words and don’t want to wear out my welcome, but it was a wonderful weekend, and I’m mighty grateful. Melanie and I actually got to debrief with a trip to Chuy’s after the conference was over, and then we drove to my house and put on pajamas and visited with my people for the rest of the night. Even now I think that I could sit on this couch for the next four days, but real life awaits tomorrow.

And I have to say: it’s good to be able to jump back into real life with such a full heart.

Have a great Monday, y’all.

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  1. I was SO BUMMED that I couldn’t come to Birmingham but then I heard about Dallas and I’m so excited to be able to come! Can’t wait!

  2. Well, first off, I can’t wait to meet you in Dallas!

    I had to chuckle at your sister changing seats at the game. We are very much a switch seats, change your t-shirt, do something different bunch when it comes to watching the Gators and they are not doing well. Years ago, one Thanksgiving, my in-laws were visiting. My sister came over to watch the Florida-Florida State game. My husband had taken his folks somewhere that day so they were not at the house for the early part of the game. Well, they returned, and as soon as they did the Gators started loosing! My sister, who is right serious about her Gator football looked at my in laws and told them they had to leave, right now. She was not kidding. Some things we just do not kid about my house. I’m not too sure the in laws every really understood why they got hustled into another room in the house so quickly…

    Thanks for the dotMOM recap.

  3. Sophie, is there a place where we can hear your interview with John Croyle?

  4. I find that I decompress from every trip I go on with Mexican food. Queso, specifically.

  5. so bummed i couldnt make it bham since i am so close to there (huntsville). i am going to go ahead and plan for the chattanooga conference though. are you going to be em-ceeing that one as well? sure hope so :)

  6. Kimberly/OKC says:

    Ok, wow, I always wondered how you and Melanie met!! So glad to read you today!! I might plan a trip to Dallas in February to attend the dotMom bc you are going to be there right? And Melanie too? I feel like I’m friends with you both…tho my 15 year old daughter assures me that I am only friends with the internet!!

  7. Hi, my name is Tara.

    First off I’m a terrible blog follower in that I read everyone of your posts on google reader and never comment. But you should know that I always look forward to your posts – they make me smile and laugh. Even though I’m from Canada, a land where we hardly care about college sports and have no team spirit, I love to hear of your great fandom. It helps me understand my American husband!

    Plus your writing style is just lovely – it works for me. I follow about 70 blogs (I know, that’s probably too many) and yours is always one of my favorites. Plus your tag line “read by tens of people” makes me giggle.

    Also my husband and I took a trip around America this summer (13,000 miles in total in three months) and ended up in lower Alabama thanks to your awesome blog post about it – we took the Fort Morgan ferry over to Dauphin island and headed up from there to New Orleans – we were so glad you’d written about the area. It was beautiful and we would never have discovered it all otherwise.

    And lastly, in Canada we don’t have Chuy’s but I discovered it in Tennessee and Texas while we were there this summer, so your mention of it above made my mouth drool! That and I was wondering, do all Chuy’s have the creamy jalapeno dip that comes with the chips and salsa or was that just in Nashville?

  8. Leslie @GeekMama says:

    Thanks for letting us know about the event in Dallas! I would have loved to have gone to the one in Alabama, but wasn’t willing to spend the money. But I could just drive to Dallas and stay with my sis, so that one is a real possibility! Now I just need to see how my husband feels about being alone with the kids for a couple of days!

  9. I couldn’t wait to read your recap of dot MOM. I absolutely enjoyed myself and meeting Kori was so cool!! I’m such a fan of their show and she seemed like a truly genuine person, which is not always the case. Jen Hatmaker = amazing!!!!!!! I am so excited about John Croyle. He is great and very matter of fact about sharing the love of Christ. And as always, you and Melanie were so much fun! All my friends loved you and I told them ya’ll were worth the trip without seeing/listening to anyone else. Lifeway has put together a successful event for women and I for one will be spreading the word!

  10. You and Melanie emceeing were a highlight for me. And John Croyle. I’m still laughing about him. So thankful my path gets to cross with yours at least once a year. :-)

  11. You and Melanie were great at dotMom!!! I quickly ran over to say hello to both of you at the very end of the conference. I spoke to Melanie but you were talking with another group. Absolutely hilarious!! Another great conference!! Can’t wait to do it again in Chattanooga next year.

  12. Had a wonderful time again this year at DotMom. I’m already talking it up with my friends for Chattanooga next year. And if you think SEC football is fun, you come watch a little Region 1 5A football down here in Mobile. I am a mom of 2 precious girls, but my sweet husband coaches the defense at an inner city school. Oh so amazing!!